by Ray Raphael
British General Burgoyne (center left) surrenders to General Horatio Gates at Sa

On July 4, 1774, exactly two years before the United States declared independence, a patriotic club in Worcester, Massachusetts, decided that each member should have in the ready two pounds of gunpowder and twelve flints. With the Massachusetts Government Act, Parliament had just revoked key provisions of the colony’s provincial charter (like a constitution), and the people of Worcester vowed they were ready to fight to protect their political rights. Two months later 4,622 militiamen—half the adult population of this rural county—rode or walked for as many as fifty miles to gather along Worcester’s Main Street and shut down the governmental machinery at the local level. The show of force was so overwhelming that the British military commander in Boston did not dare send in his troops.More »

Featured Primary Sources

Timothy Pickering Jr. to Timothy Pickering Sr., February 23, 1778. (GLC)

A patriot’s letter to his loyalist father, 1778

Creator: Timothy Pickering Jr. Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:
Alexander Hamilton to François, Marquis de Barbé-Marbois, October 12, 1780 (GLC)

Alexander Hamilton’s “gloomy” view of the American Revolution, 1780

Creator: Alexander Hamilton Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels:
William North’s Recollection, September 18, 1823 (GLC02541.02)

Benedict Arnold’s 1780 treason and the execution of John Andre recalled, 1823

Creator: William North Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:
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Teaching Resources

Hollywood and the American Revolution

Curriculum Subjects: Art Grade Levels: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

My Brother Sam Is Dead

Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics, Literature Grade Levels: 7
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Multimedia

Women and the Revolution

Speaker(s): Carol Berkin Duration: 2 minutes 31 seconds

Divided Loyalties: How the American Revolution Came to New York

Speaker(s): Richard M. Ketchum Duration: 28 minutes 25 seconds

The Costs of the American Revolution

Speaker(s): Andrew Robertson Duration: 2 minutes 59 seconds
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