American Revolution: Louis XVI of France declares war on the Kingdom of Great Britain

France entered the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) in 1778, and assisted in the victory of the Americans seeking independence from Britain (realized in the 1783 Treaty of Paris). The example of the American Revolution was one of the many contributing factors to the French Revolution. Following the American Declaration of Independence, the American Revolution was […]

Battle of Monmouth and the Legend of Molly Pitcher

According to legend, at the Battle of Monmouth (June 28, 1778), Mary Hays, wife of artilleryman William Hays, carried water to cool both the cannon and the soldiers in her husband’s battery—hence the nickname “Molly Pitcher.” Legend also asserts that when William Hays collapsed or was wounded, she took her husband’s place in the gun crew for the […]

Gen. Washington: “To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest Glory to laud the more distinguished Character of Christian.”

General Washington wrote at Valley Forge, May 2, 1778: “To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest Glory to laud the more distinguished Character of Christian.”  

Washington on His Ragged Army: “men without clothes to cover their nakedness, without blankets to lay on, without shoes… marching through frost and snow…”

Df, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. GW made revisions to the draft, the most significant of which are discussed in the notes below. The previous Saturday was 18 April. See, for example, William Heath to GW, 6 April, Alexander McDougall to GW, 13 April, and David Mason to GW, 21 March. GW wrote in the margin of […]

Did Isaac Potts Really See Washington Pray at Valley Forge?

One of the legends or myths of Valley Forge is that Washington prayed for his country here. We do not say that he did not pray at Valley Forge (he assuredly did), there simply is an open question as to how he did so and if he actually was witnessed in prayer. Although this article […]