The Federalists of the 1780s had a glimpse of what America was to become — a scrambling business society dominated by the pecuniary interests of ordinary people — and they did not like what they saw. This premonition of America’s future lay behind their sense of crisis and their horrified hyperbolic rhetoric. The wholesale pursuits of private interest and private luxury were, they thought, undermining America’s capacity for republican government. They designed the Constitution in order to save American republicanism from the deadly effects of the private pursuits of happiness.
New York, NY — 16 November 1776.
PA — 4 October 1777.
NY — 27 August 1776.
NY — 15 July 1779.
NJ — 26 December 1776 (Second Battle of Trenton, 2 January 1777).
Charleston, MA — The monument that stands in Dorchester Heights is dedicated to the victory of the Continental Army over the British Regulars in 1776.
Boston, MA — 4 March 1776.
Vails Gate, NY — Used by General Knox several times during the war, this 1754 Georgian-style house has been restored and “carefully furnished in period style.”
Thomaston, ME — Built in 1794, Montpelier was constructed as the retirement home of Henry and Lucy Knox, and was in use by the family until 1854; it was razed in 1871. The current Montpelier is a recreation built in 1930 and includes some of Knox’s personal effects.
Trenton, NJ — Built in 1758 for use by British and Irish soldiers during the French and Indian War, in 1776 it housed Hession troops when Washington attacked them in the 1776 Battle of Trenton.
The Idea of America: Reflections on the Birth of the United States (2011)