The unattractive truth was that the arrival of the provisional treaty ending the war in April 1783 made the Continental Army superfluous, and the sooner it disappeared, the better. Congress eventually voted to provide full pay for five years for officers in lieu of half pay for life, but doing so was a purely rhetorical exercise, since there was no money in the federal coffers to pay anyone. Even that meaningless commitment generated widespread criticism, especially in New England, where returning officers were greeted with newspaper editorials describing them as blood-beaked vultures feeding at the public trough. At least in retrospect, the dissolution of the Continental Army in the spring of 1783 was one of the most poignant scenes in American history, as the men who had stayed the course and won the war were ushered off without pay, with paper pensions and only grudging recognition of their service.
Charlestown, MA — 17 June 1775.
Lexington / Concord, MA — 19 April 1775.
Charlestown, MA — With groundbreaking fifty years after the event of 17 June 1775, an obelisk commemorates the Battle of Bunker Hill and the fallen militia General Dr. Joseph Warren. A statue of Colonel William Prescott, one of the battle leaders, stands in front.
Boston, MA — The steeple was used to signal, by lantern, Paul Revere and colonists in Charlestown (“one if by land, two if by sea”); also used by Thomas Gage during the Battle of Bunker Hill.
New York, NY — The Anglican parish of Trinity Church was founded in 1698 in lower Manhattan; the first church building was constructed facing Wall Street the same year. The magnificent neo-gothic structure that one sees today is the congregation’s third church; the graveyard is the burial ground for several patriots, including Alexander Hamilton.
The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783—1789 (2015)