Independence Day

Independence Day

Did you know … The Revolutionary War started in April of 1775, over a year before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. At first, many colonists didn’t want complete freedom. When General George Washington and the Colonial Army began fighting for freedom in 1775, many colonists didn’t want complete freedom from England. Continental Congress meets in June, 1776 Attitudes were changing by the time the Continental Congress met in June, 1776. They asked Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Benjamin Franklin, and Robert R. Livingston to write a formal document. Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. It gave England the reasons the colonies wanted their freedom. Continental Congress Votes...

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A Persuasive Writer Inspires a Nation

A Persuasive Writer Inspires a Nation

by Sandra Merville Hart Thomas Paine wrote an important pamphlet called Common Sense which was published on January 10, 1776. Written in clear, easy-to-read language, it became an overnight best-seller. About 500,000 copies sold shortly after publication. Many newspapers around the country reprinted quotes from Common Sense. Paine lived in England until 1774 when he came to America. He got a job writing articles for the Pennsylvania Magazine. He wrote about issues such as slavery and women’s rights. After the Battle of Lexington and Concord in April of 1775, George Washington was appointed as commander-in-chief of the Continental army. We were already at war with England and still many hesitated to split from England. In Common Sense, Paine wrote about the need...

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New Jersey, The Garden State

New Jersey, The Garden State

by Sandra Merville Hart New Jersey’s nickname is The Garden State. This may have originated from 1876, when Abraham Browning compared New Jersey to an open-ended barrel with good things to eat spilling out both ends. New Jersey’s early history The Dutch started a trading post at Bergen in 1620. New Netherlands was the original name given to the area. When England took control in 1664, the name was changed to New Jersey for the Isle of Jersey in the English Channel. New Jersey in the Revolutionary War The British army overran Fort Washington in Manhattan, New York, on November 16, 1776. They captured 2,000 Americans as prisoners. The Continental Army fled to New Jersey with the British Army following. The Continental Army crossed the Delaware River and camped...

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A Grateful Nation Offers Thanks During the Revolutionary War

A Grateful Nation Offers Thanks During the Revolutionary War

Did you know … General George Washington decided to spend the cold winter at Valley Forge. The army camped about twenty miles away from Philadelphia, which had been captured by England. Before ordering his soldiers to build cabins as protection against the cold, he gave a Thanksgiving Proclamation on December 17, 1777. He asked the army to thank God for a recent victory, which they did the next day. During the difficult winter, many men grew sick. Food supplies were so low that the soldiers went without meat for three or four days. A shortage of clothing meant that many couldn’t keep warm. France becomes our friend General Washington heard the wonderful news on May 2, 1778 – France decided to be a friend to the United States in the war against...

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