- ›› Coverage Organizations : Continental Army
Most Americans know George Washington's December 1776 crossing of the Delaware from the famous painting by Emmanuel Gottlieb Leutze. David Hackett Fischer, Warren Professor of History at Brandeis University and author of Washington's Crossing (2004), looks beyond the famous painting to the events of that tumultuous month. He follows the retreating American army from the Battle of Long Island down through New Jersey, as an American victory seemed more and more unlikely. Fischer emphasizes how Washington's great strengths allowed him to take advantage of conditions in December to win the Battle of Trenton and turn the tide of the war, rekindling the ailing Revolutionary cause.
Joseph J. Ellis examines George Washington’s career as a general and the challenges he faced as the nation’s first president based on his thorough reading of Washington’s collected papers.
Josiah Bunting III is president of the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the author of Ulysses S. Grant (2004). In a series of three lectures, Josiah Bunting III examines the lives of George Washington, Ulysses S. Grant, and George C. Marshall and the ambivalent relationship between America’s citizens and its military establishment. In addition to their leadership qualities, all three men were students of military history and wrote prolifically on the topic. In the first lecture, he considers George Washington’s character as revealed in his generalship of the Continental Army and military strategy against the British.
Josiah Bunting on Ulysses S. Grant
Josiah Bunting on George C. Marshall
Carol Berkin, Presidential Professor of History at Baruch College and the CUNY Graduate Center, contrasts the popular memory of the Revolutionary War with its more complicated realities. She argues that although many of us were taught in school that American support for the Revolution was passionate and unified, it would be better for students to learn that America has always been diverse and that colonists had their own strong political divisions.
Richard Brookhiser, senior editor at National Review, discusses his book, Alexander Hamilton, American. Brookhiser recounts Alexander Hamilton's great successes and tragic failures as Revolutionary, bovernment-shaper, financial genius, and American visionary. He explores Hamilton's impoverished upringing in the Caribbean and describes how Hamilton went on to give birth to American capitalism by developing the country's financial system.
Joseph J. Ellis, Professor of History at Mount Holyoke College, discusses his Pulitzer Prize–winning book Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation, explains the emergence of the men who led the Revolutionary War and created the new nation, and delves into the four criticisms modern society lays at the door of the Founding Fathers.
In 1807, Aaron Burr was tried and acquitted on charges of treason for his "adventures" in the American West, but he had fallen out of favor in American life long before, after he had run for president against Thomas Jefferson, served a single term as vice president, and shot and killed Alexander Hamilton in an 1804 duel. A free spender, a womanizer, and the only Founding Father who was actually descended from the English aristocracy, Burr was famously secretive and conspiratorial. In this lecture, historian Gordon S. Wood, Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History Emeritus at Brown University, argues that Burr's true treason was not his actions in the West but his naked ambition and his lack of principles and character that made him a threat to the young republic.
During the American Revolution, Sharp Liberty, an African American soldier, served in the Connecticut Line of the Continental Army. The cash-strapped government issued this voucher to him promising full payment by a certain date and interest until the full amount was collected.
An adjutant general in George Washington’s Continental Army, Pickering wrote his father this moving letter of farewell on February 23, 1778, from his post in Yorktown, Virginia. Pickering revered his father but disagreed with him on one critical issue: colonial independence from Great Britain.