American Revolution

As recent archival finds and reappraisals of well-known documents show, Liss forged her own path to freedom—and may have even spied on the British while doing so.

Women Who Shaped History

Did an Enslaved Woman Try to Warn the Americans of Benedict Arnold's Treason?

New research sheds light on Liss, who was enslaved by the family of a Culper Spy Ring leader and had ties to British spymaster John André

Painted to inspire a sense of patriotism among 19th-century Americans, Washington Crossing the Delaware still has cultural sticking power today. 

'Washington Crossing the Delaware' Sails Toward the Auction Block—and Could Fetch $15 Million

The smaller version of the iconic painting was displayed at the White House for decades

Coin experts thought a medal honoring Revolutionary War hero Daniel Morgan had been lost forever, but it recently sold to the tune of nearly $1 million.

Cool Finds

Long-Lost Medal Honoring Revolutionary War Hero Sells for Record-Breaking $960,000

The artifact, which honors General Daniel Morgan, went missing for years—then mysteriously turned up at an auction house specializing in coins and medals

One reader wonders how birds stay balanced on tree branches while they’re asleep. 
 

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The only reference to 355 appears in an August 15, 1779, letter: “I intend to visit 727 [Culper code for New York] before long and think by the assistance of a 355 [lady in the code] of my acquaintance, shall be able to outwit them all.”

Women Who Shaped History

The Myth of Agent 355, the Woman Spy Who Supposedly Helped Win the Revolutionary War

A single reference in the historical record has spawned an array of adaptations, most of which overstate the anonymous figure's role in the Culper Spy Ring

Sybil Ludington has been called the "female Paul Revere."

Women Who Shaped History

Did the Midnight Ride of Sibyl Ludington Ever Happen?

What to make of the alluring legend of the New York teen who warned that the Redcoats were coming

Archaeologist pulled 12 Revolutionary War era cannons from the Savannah River in January. 

Cool Finds

How Did So Many Revolutionary War Cannons End Up in the Savannah River?

Archaeologists pull another dozen sediment-encrusted artillery pieces after finding three last year

Johannes Adam Simon Oertel's 1852–53 depiction of the George III's statue toppling features several ahistorical elements, including the presence of Alexander Hamilton and a fictionalized Native American family.

A Toppled Statue of George III Illuminates the Ongoing Debate Over America's Monuments

In July 1776, colonists destroyed a sculpture of the English king. A new exhibit explores this iconoclasm's legacy—and its implications for today

Artifacts found in an attic in a Boston home consisted of items such as letters, tools and a trade sign, all believed to have been owned by the family of Paul Revere.

Cool Finds

Sold: Paul Revere Family Artifacts Found in a Boston-Area Attic

A trade sign bearing the name of the patriot’s son, along with letters and personal items owned by his grandchildren, sold at auction for $20,000

A decent fellow after all? King George III, painted by Sir William Beechey (1753-1839).

In Defense of King George

The author of a new biography shines a humane light on the monarch despised by the colonists

A recently discovered portrait believed to be of Jane Strachey, English School, c.1788

What an Englishwoman's Letters Reveal About Life in Britain During the American Revolution

A new book highlights the writings of Jane Strachey, a middle-class woman whose husband worked for the famed Howe family

The sign states, “The use of enslaved labor to build the home of the President of the United States—often seen as a symbol of democracy—illuminates our country’s conflicted relationship with the institution of slavery and the ideals of freedom and equality promised in America’s founding documents.”

New Plaque Tells Story of Enslaved People Who Helped Build the White House

A marker in Lafayette Square is the first public work to acknowledge these individuals' roles in constructing the presidential mansion

Users play as Kendra Turner, an intern who uncovers the dark past—and present—of the fictional Blackhaven Hall Historical Society.

Innovation for Good

New Video Game Confronts Slavery's Legacy Through a Historical Mystery

"Blackhaven" finds a fictional intern working to uncover a colonial estate's hidden history while facing present-day racism

Map of Nova Scotia made in 1755 by provincial chief surveyor Charles Morris

Unraveling the Colonialist Myths of Nova Scotia

Planners saw the region as a blank space ripe for transformation: the perfect canvas for imperial fantasies

To mark its 35th birthday, American Girl rereleased its original six characters (L to R): Felicity Merriman, Kirsten Larson, Samantha Parkington, Addy Walker, Josefina Montoya and Molly McIntire.

The Enduring Nostalgia of American Girl Dolls

The beloved line of fictional characters taught children about American history and encouraged them to realize their potential

Established 200 years ago, on May 17, 1821, the Tangier American Legation is a rambling mansion that spans two sides of the Rue d’Amerique in the southern corner of Tangier's old walled city.

Why a 200-Year-Building in Morocco Is the Only National Historic Landmark Outside the U.S.

The structure in the port city of Tangier has served as a diplomatic residence, consulate, espionage headquarters, museum and library

This month's book picks include African Europeans, X Troop and Chasing the Thrill.

Books of the Month

African Europeans, Jewish Commandos of WWII and Other New Books to Read

These May releases elevate overlooked stories and offer insights on oft-discussed topics

This recreated wooden building resembles one that may have housed enslaved people on John Dickinson's Dover, Delaware, plantation.

Graves of Enslaved People Discovered on Founding Father's Delaware Plantation

A signee of the U.S. Constitution, John Dickinson enslaved as many as 59 men, women and children at one time

Illustration of Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley, the likely inspiration for Molly Pitcher, stoking a cannon for the U.S. Pennsylvania artillery during the Battle of Monmouth

Women Who Shaped History

Molly Pitcher, the Most Famous American Hero Who Never Existed

Americans don't need to rely on legends to tell the stories of women in the Revolution

A dedication marker outside of the damaged Prince Hall Masonic Lodge.

Black Soldiers Played an Undeniable but Largely Unheralded Role in Founding the United States

Veterans like Prince Hall fought for independence and then abolition in the earliest days of the nation

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