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The American Revolution: Writings from the War of Independence 1775-1783
     

The American Revolution: Writings from the War of Independence 1775-1783

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Drawn from letters, diaries, newspaper articles, public declarations, contemporary narratives, and private memoranda, The American Revolution brings together over 120 pieces by more than 70 participants to create a unique literary panorama of the War of Independence. From Paul Revere's own narrative of his ride in April 1775 to an account of George

Overview

Drawn from letters, diaries, newspaper articles, public declarations, contemporary narratives, and private memoranda, The American Revolution brings together over 120 pieces by more than 70 participants to create a unique literary panorama of the War of Independence. From Paul Revere's own narrative of his ride in April 1775 to an account of George Washington's resignation from command of the Army in December 1783, the volume presents firsthand all the major events of the conflict-the early battles of Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill; the failed American invasion of Canada; the battle of Saratoga; the fighting in the South and along the western frontier; and the decisive triumph at Yorktown. The American Revolution includes a chronology of events, biographical and explanatory notes, and an index.

Editorial Reviews

Forbes Magazine
A superb compendium of contemporary documents, diaries, letters, newspapers articles and narratives from the American Revolutionary War period. These were written by a broad array of people, ranging from George Washington to Benedict Arnold (justifying his treason-one of the earliest and brazen examples of what we now call spin) to ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events. Once you become accustomed to the period’s writing style, you get a you-are-there view of this incredible conflict. (1 Oct 2001)
—Steve Forbes
Library Journal
This is the newest volume from the Library of America, which aims to make major classics of American literature available in reasonably priced, archival editions. Editor Rhodehamel, the Norris Foundation Curator of American History at the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA, has assembled a comprehensive collection of over 120 pieces by more than 70 Revolution-era writers from both sides of the War of Indepedence. The book begins with Paul Revere's personal account of his famous ride in April 1775 and ends with a description of George Washington's resignation from the command of the Continental Army in December 1783. Other selections include letters, speeches, and newspaper articles. The authors range from the famous (Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Paine) to more obscure American and British observers of signal events. The collection contains eyewitness accounts of just about every significant development during the Revolution. At the book's end one can find a long section that includes a chronology, biographical sketches of the authors, and other notes on the texts. Highly recommended for all academic and public libraries. T.J. Schaeper, St. Bonaventure Univ., NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
One of the Library of America's editions of historic writings, this is a collection of papers from the Revolutionary period. It starts with Paul Revere's own account of his famous ride in 1775 and ends with a description of George Washington's resignation from the Continental Army in 1783. Journal entries, letters, newspaper articles, and public documents are included, written by Revolutionary leaders, soldiers and their wives, British officers, and Colonial loyalists. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781598531398
Publisher:
Library of America
Publication date:
04/01/2001
Series:
Library of America Series
Sold by:
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
874
Sales rank:
1,274,164
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt




Chapter One


THE WAR BEGINS: MASSACHUSETTS, APRIL 1775


Paul Revere: Memorandum on Events
of April 18, 1775


Paul Revere of Boston, in the Colony of Massachusetts Bay in New England; of Lawfull Age, doth testify and say, that I was sent for by Duct Joseph Warren, of said Boston, on the evening of the 18th of April, about 10 oClock; when he desired me "to go to Lexington, and inform Mr Samuel Adams, and the Honle John Hancock Esqr that there was a number of Soldiers, composed of Light troops, & Grenadiers, marching to the bottom of the Common, where was a number of Boats to receive them; it was supposed, that they were going to Lexington, by the way of Cambridge River, to take them or go to Concord, to distroy the Colony Stores." I proceeded immeditely, and was put across Charles River, and landed near Charlestown Battery, went in town, and there got a Horse, while in Charlestown, I was informed by Richd Devens Esqr that he mett that evening, after Sun sett, Nine Officers of the Ministeral Army, mounted on good Horses, & Armed, going towards Concord; I set off, it was then about 11 oClock, the Moon shone bright. I had got almost over Charlestown Common, towards Cambridge, when I saw two Officers on Horseback, standing under the shade of a Tree, in a narrow part of the roade. I was near enough to see their Holsters, & cockades. One of them Started his horse towards me, the other up the road, as I supposed, to head me should I escape the first. I turned my horse short about, and rid upon a full Gallop for Mistick Road, he followed me about 300 yardes, and finding he could not catch me, returned. I proceeded to Lexington, thro Mistick, and alarmed Mr Adams & Col. Hancock. After I had been there about half an hour Mr Daws arrived, who came from Boston, over the neck; we set off for Concord, & were overtaken by a young Gentn named Prescot, who belonged to Concord, & was going home; when we had got about halfway from Lexington to Concord, the other two, stopped at a House to awake the man, I kept along. When I had got about zoo Yards ahead of them, I saw two officers as before. I called to my company to come up, saying here was two of them, (for I had told them what Mr Devens told me, and of my being stoped) in an instant, I saw four of them, who rode up to me, with their pistols in their hands, said G—d d—n you stop, if you go au Inch further, you are a dead Man. immeditly Mr. Prescot came up we attempted to git thro them, but they kept before us, and swore if we did not turn in to that pasture, they would blow our brains out, (they had placed themselves opposite to a pair of Barrs, and had taken the Barrs down) they forced us in, when we had got in, Mr Prescot said put on. He took to the left, I to the right, towards a Wood, at the bottom of the Pasture, intending, when I gained that, to jump my Horse & run afoot; just as I reached it, out started six officers, siesed my bridle, put their pistols to my Breast, ordered me to dismount, which I did. One of them, who appeared to have the command there, and much of a Gentleman, asked me where I came from; I told him, he asked what time I left it; I told him, be seemed surprised, said Sr, may I crave your name. I answered my name is Revere, what said he, Paul Revere; I answered yes; the others abused me much; but he told me not to be afraid, no one should hurt me. I told him they would miss their Aim. He said they should not, they were only waiting for some Deserters they expected down the Road. I told him I knew better, I knew what they were after; that I had alarmed the country all the way up, that their Boats were catch'd aground, and I should have 500 men there soon; one of them said they had 1500 coming; he seemed surprised and rode off into the road and informed them who took me, they came down immeditly on a full gallop, one of them (whom I since learned, was Major Mitchel of the 5th Regt) clapd his Pistol to my head, and said he was going to ask me some questions, if l did not tell the truth, he would blow my brains out. I told him I esteemed myself a man of truth, that he had stopped me on the highway, & made me a prisoner, I knew not by what right; I would tell him the truth; I was not afraid. He then asked me the same questions that the other did, and many more, but was more particular; I gave him much the same answers; he then ordered me to mount my horse, they first searched me for pistols. When I was mounted, the Major took the reins out of my hand, and said, by G—d Sr, you are not to ride with reins I assure you; and gave them to an officer on my right to lead me. he then Ordered 4 men out of the Bushes, and to mount their horses; they were country men which they had stopped who were going home; then ordered us to march. He said to me "We are now going towards your friends, and if you attempt to run, or we are insulted, we will blow your Brains out." When we had got into the road they formed a circle and ordered the prisoners in the centre & to lead me in the front.

    We rid towards Lexington, a quick pace; they very often insulted me calling me Rebel, &c &c. after we had got about a mile, I was given to the Sergant to lead, he was Ordered to take out his pistol (he rode with a hanger) and if I run, to execute the Major's sentence; When we got within about half a Mile of the Meeting house, we heard a gun fired; the Major asked me what it was for, I told him to alarm the country; he Ordered the four prisoners to dismount, they did, then one of the officers dismounted and cutt the Bridles, and Saddels, off the Horses, & drove them away, and told the men they might go about their business; I asked the Major to dismiss me, he said he would carry me, lett the consequence be what it will; He then Orderd us to march; when we got within sight of the Meeting House, we heard a Volley of guns fired, as I supposed at the tavern, as an Alarm; the Major ordered us to halt. he asked me how far it was to Cambridge, and many more questions, which I answered; he then asked the Sergant, if his horse was tired, he said yes; he Ordered him to take my horse; I dismounted, the Sarjant mounted my horse; they cutt the Bridle & saddle off the Sarjant's horse & rode off down the road. I then went to the house where I left Mess Adams & Hancock, and told them what had happined; their friends advised them to go out of the way: I went with them, about two miles a cross road; atter resting myself, I sett off with another man to go back to the Tavern, to enquire the News; when we got there, we were told the troops were within two miles. We went into the Tavern to git a Trunk of papers belonging to Col. Hancock, before we left the House, I saw, the Ministeral Troops from the Chamber window. We made haste & had to pass thro' our Militia, who were on a green behind the Meeting house, to the number as I supposed, about 50 or 60. I went thro' them; as I passed I heard the commanding officer speake to his men to this purpose. "Lett the troops pass by, & don't molest them, without they begin first" I had to go a cross Road, but had not got half Gun shot off when the Ministeral Troops appeared in sight behinde the Meeting House; they made a short halt, when a gun was fired. I heard the report, turned my head, and saw the smoake in front of the Troops, they imeaditly gave a great shout, ran a few paces, and then the whole fired. I could first distinguish Iregular fireing, which I suppose was the advance Guard, and then platoons. At the time I could not see our Militia, for they were covered from me, by a house at the bottom of the Street, and further saith not.


Excerpted from The American Revolution by John Rhodehamel. Copyright © 2001 by Literary Classics of the United States, Inc.. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Meet the Author

John Rhodehamel, editor, is the author of The Great Experiment: George Washington and the American Republic, and the editor, also for The Library of America, of George Washington: Writings

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