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.
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 Creation of the American Republic, 1776—1787 (1969)