About Portraits in Revolution


Copyright © 2009—2022 by The JDN Group.
All Rights Reserved.


PortRevolt centers on the events and lives in the years following the French and Indian War (1763) until the beginning of George Washington’s first term as president (1789). These are the years leading up to the Revolutionary War, the war itself, and the years immediately following, during which the states are figuring out how to govern themselves. Arguably the revolution continues to 1800, Jefferson’s first term as president, which this site will not neglect, but the early presidencies are not its focus.

Much has been done on this site and there is still even more to do. However there are no dead ends; incomplete articles link to Wikipedia for convenience.

If you are looking for something specific, perform a search. If you don’t know what you are looking for clicking on one of the tabs is the best way to start.

PortRevolt® was begun in 2009 in order to capture and describe the full experience of the American Revolution — in text, context, and images — as it was then, what it means, and how it can be appreciated and understood now.

It continues to be a work in progress ...

Please send your comments or corrections to [email protected]

Site Bibliography

  • Allison, Robert J. Before 1776: Life in the American Colonies (audio; The Teaching Company, 2009).
  • Anderson, Fred. Crucible of War: The Seven Years’ War and the Empire in British North America, 1754 - 1766 (2000).
  • Atkinson, Rick. The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775—1777 ((Volume One of the Revolution Trilogy; 2010).
  • Ayer, A.J. Thomas Paine (1988).

  • Bailyn, Bernard. To Begin the World Anew: The Genius and Ambiguities of the American Founders (2003).
  • Birzer, Bradley J. American Cicero: The Life of Charles Carroll (2010).
  • Boudreau, George W. Independence: A Guide to Historic Philadelphia (2012).
  • Boyd, Julian P. The Declaration of Independence: The Evolution of the Text (1999; originally published 1943)
  • Broadwater, Jeff. George Mason: Forgotten Founder. (2006).
  • Brodie, Fawn M. Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate History (1974).
  • Brookhiser, Richard. Alexander Hamilton, American (1999).
  • Brookhiser, Richard. Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington (1996).
  • Brookhiser, Richard. Gentleman Revolutionary: Gouverneur Morris, the Rake Who Wrote the Constitution (2003).
  • Brookhiser, Richard. James Madison (2011).

  • Carbone, Gerald M. Nathanael Greene: A Biography of the American Revolution (2008).
  • Cerami, Charles. Young Patriots: The Remarkable Story of Two Men, Their Impossible Plan and the Revolution That Created the Constitution (2005).
  • Crawford, Alan Pell. Twilight at Monticello: The Final Years of Thomas Jefferson (2008).

  • Desjardin, Thomas A. Through a Howling Wilderness: Benedict Arnold’s March to Quebec, 1775 (2006).

  • Ellis, Joseph J. American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies at the Founding of the Republic (2007).
  • Ellis, Joseph J. American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson (1997).
  • Ellis, Joseph J. His Excellency: George Washington (2004).
  • Ellis, Joseph J. Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams (1993).
  • Ellis, Joseph J. The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783—1789 (2015).
  • Ellis, Joseph J. Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American independence (2013).

  • Ferling, John. Adams vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800 (2004).
  • Ferling, John. Almost a Miracle: The American Victory in the War of Independence (2007).
  • Fischer, David Hackett. Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America (1989).
  • Fischer, David Hackett. Paul Revere’s Ride (1994).
  • Fischer, David Hackett. Washington’s Crossing (2004).
  • Fleming, Thomas. The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers (2009).
  • Fleming, Thomas. Now We Are Enemies: The Story of Bunker Hill (1960; reissued 2010).
  • Fleming, Thomas. The Perils of Peace: America’s Struggle for Survival After Yorktown (2007).
  • Fleming, Thomas. Washington’s Secret War: The Hidden History of Valley Forge (2005).
  • Forbes, Esther. Paul Revere and the World He Lived In (1942).
  • Franklin: The Autobiography and Other Writings on Politics, Economics, and Virtue (ed. Alan Houston; 2004).

  • Golway, Terry. Washington’s General: Nathanael Greene and the Triumph of the American Revolution (2005).
  • Grossman, Loyd. Benjamin West and the Struggle to be Modern (2015).
  • Gordon-Reed, Annette. The Hemingses of Monticello (2008).
  • Gordon-Reed, Annette & Peter S. Onuf. Most Blessed of the Patriarchs: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination (2016).

  • Hayes, Kevin J. The Road to Monticello: The Life and Mind of Thomas Jefferson (2008).

  • Isenberg, Nancy. Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr (2007).

  • Jaffe, Irma B., John Trumbull: Patriot-Artist of the American Revolution (1975).

  • Kamensky, Jane. A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley (2016).
  • Kelly, Jack. Band of Giants: The Amateur Soldiers Who Won America’s Revolution (2014).
  • Ketchum, Richard M. Saratoga: Turning Point of America’s Revolutionary War (1997).
  • Ketchum, Richard M. Victory at Yorktown: The Campaign That Won the Revolution (2004).

  • Lengel, Edward G. General George Washington: A Military Life (2005).
  • Lengel, Edward G. Inventing George Washington: America’s Founder, in Myth and Memory (2011).
  • Lockhart, Paul. The Drillmaster of Valley Forge: Baron de Steuben and the Making of the American Army (2008).

  • Magnet, Myron. The Founders at Home: The Building of America, 1735 - 1817 (2014).
  • Maier, Pauline. American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence (1997).
  • Maier, Pauline. The Old Revolutionaries: Political Lives in the Age of Samuel Adams (1980).
  • Maier, Pauline. Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787 - 1788 (2010).
  • McCullough, David. 1776 (2005).
  • McGlaughlin, Jack. Jefferson and Monticello: The Biography of a Builder (1988).
  • Middleton, Richard. Colonial America: A History, 1585-1776 (2nd Ed., 1996).
  • Miller, Lillian B., ed. The Peale Family: Creation of a Legacy 1770—1870 (1996).
  • Morgan, Edmund S. American Heroes: Profiles of Men and Women Who Shaped Early America (2009).
  • Morgan, Edmund S. Benjamin Franklin (2002).
  • Morgan, Edmund S. The Genuine Article: A Historian Looks at Early America (2004).

  • O’Shaughnessy, Andrew Jackson. The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire (2013).

  • Paine, Thomas. Common Sense (1776).
  • Philbrick, Nathaniel. Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War (2006).
  • Price, David A. Love & Hate in Jamestown: John Smith, Pocahotas, and the Start of a New Nation (2003).
  • Puls, Mark. Henry Knox: Visionary General of the American Revolution (2008).
  • Puls, Mark. Samuel Adams: Father of the American Revolution (2006).

  • Rebora, Carrie and Paul Staiti, et al. John Singleton Copley in America (1995).
  • Rebora Barratt, Carrie and Lori Zabar. American Portrait Miniatures in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2010).
  • Rebora Barratt, Carrie and Ellen G. Miles. Gilbert Stuart (2004).
  • Richardson, Edgar P., Brook Hindle, Lillian B. Miller. Charles Willson Peale and His World (1982).
  • Rutland, Robert A. James Madison: The Founding Father (1987).

  • Schecter, Barnet. The Battle for New York: The City at the Heart of the American Revolution (2002).
  • Schiff, Stacy. A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America (2005).
  • Sellers, Charles Coleman. Mr. Peale’s Museum: Charles Peale and the First Popular Museum of Natural Science and Art (1980).
  • Shepherd, Jack. The Adams Chronicles: Four Generations of Greatness (1975).
  • Shorto, Russell. The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America (2004).
  • Stephenson, Michael. Patriot Battles: How the War of Independence Was Fought (2007).
  • Stewart, David O. The Summer of 1787: The Men Who Invented the Constitution (2007).
  • Staiti, Paul. Of Arms and Artists: The American Revolution through Painters’ Eyes (2016).
  • Stuart, Nancy Rubin. The Muse of the Revolution: The Secret Pen of Mercy Otis Warren and the Founding of a Nation (2008).

  • Wills, Garry. Cincinnatus: George Washington & the Enlightenment (1984).
  • Wills, Garry. Inventing America: Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence (1978).
  • Wills, Garry. Mr. Jefferson’s University (2002).
  • Wills, Garry. Negro President: Jefferson and Slave Power (2003).
  • Wood, Gordon S. The American Revolution: A History (2002).
  • Wood, Gordon S. The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin (2004).
  • Wood, Gordon S. The Creation of the American Republic, 1776—1787 (1969).
  • Wood, Gordon S. Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789 - 1815 (2009).
  • Wood, Gordon S. The Idea of America: Reflections on the Birth of the United States (2011).
  • Wood, Gordon S. The Radicalism of the American Revolution (1992).
  • Wood, Gordon S. Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different (2006).

What ultimately convinced Americans that they must revolt in 1776 was not that they were naturally and inevitably republican, for if that were truly the case evolution, not revolution, would have been the eventual solution. Rather it was the pervasive fear that they were not predestined to be a virtuous and egalitarian people that in the last analysis drove them into revolution in 1776. It was this fear and not their confidence in the peculiarity of their character that made them so readily and so remarkably responsive to Thomas Paine’s warning that the time for independence was at hand and that delay would be disastrous. By 1776 it had become increasingly evident that if they were to remain the kind of people they wanted to be they must become free of Britain.

Gordon S. Wood
The Creation of the American Republic, 1776—1787 (1969)