January 16, 2017

Primary Source Spotlight: Thomas Paine

Common Sense 1776 image of original cover page American Treasures: Thomas Paine’s Common Sense Plain truth; addressed to the inhabitants of America, containing, remarks on a late pamphlet, entitled Common sense signed “Rationalis” image of original cover page The American crisis (No. 1) transcription image of original cover page More Thomas Paine writings Thomas Paine National Historical Association Thomas Paine correspondence Thomas Paine historic newspaper … [Read more...]

Today in History: Nathan Hale

Today in History–September 22–the Library of Congress features Revolutionary War hero Nathan Hale, who was hanged for spying on British troops on this date in 1776. This teacher turned soldier is famous for the words he allegedly spoke before his execution, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." Find out more about patriot Nathan Hale by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access related resources. Patriot Nathan Hale Was Hanged from … [Read more...]

Today in History: Preliminary Articles of Peace Ratified

Today in History–April 15–the Library of Congress features the Continental Congress ratification of the preliminary articles of peace  with Great Britain on this date in 1783. Negotiations to conclude the Revolutionary War had begun a year earlier. "International intrigue and intense negotiation preceded the formulation of these preliminary articles." The final, formal treaty was signed on September 3, 1783 and guaranteed U.S. independence as well as awarding the territory between the 13 … [Read more...]

Today in History: Washington’s Continental Congress Correspondence

Today in History–March 24–the Library of Congress features a letter George Washington wrote to the Continental Congress on this date in 1776, one week after British troops evacuated Boston but remained nearby. In the letter General Washington expressed his surprise and disappointment at the situation and went on to describe the exploits of the British in the area. During the Revolution, Washington maintained frequent correspondence with Congress. Learn more by visiting the Today in … [Read more...]

Presidential Spotlight: John Adams

From America's Library: Born: October 30 (October 19, Old Style), 1735, in Braintree (now Quincy), Massachusetts Died: July 4, 1826, in Braintree (now Quincy), Massachusetts John Adams worked as a teacher and lawyer before dedicating himself to a life of patriotism and politics. He was America's second president. Adams was well known for his extreme political independence, brilliant mind and passionate patriotism. He was a leader in the Continental Congress and an important diplomatic … [Read more...]

Today in History: Robert R. Livingston

Today in History–November 27–the Library of Congress features statesman Robert R. Livingston, born on this day in 1746. Born into a prominent New York family, Livingston was a politically active lawyer. He was on the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence, helped draft New York's first constitution, and served as minister to France at the time of the Louisiana Purchase. Find out more about this revolutionary politico by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: The Places You’ll Go with Maps

The Library of Congress has custody of the largest and most comprehensive cartographic collection in the world and there are so many places you can visit with the Library of Congress' fabulous digitized map collections. Take a look at the wide variety of maps you can explore in incredible detail and discover engaging primary source lessons and activities. Zoom in now! Map Collections American Revolution Maps & Charts of North America & the West Indies 1750-1789 an important … [Read more...]

Today in History: John André & Benedict Arnold

Today in History–October 2–the Library of Congress features Revolutionary War officers Major John André and Brigadier General Benedict Arnold. On this day in 1780 André, a British intelligence officer, was hanged as a spy after being caught with papers concerning Arnold's treasonous dealings. Only a short time before, the Continental army general had agreed to surrender West Point to the British in exchange for 20,000 pounds. Although he avoided Major André's ignoble fate and served in the … [Read more...]

Today in History: Valley Forge

Today in History–September 26–the Library of Congress features Valley Forge. On this day in 1777, the Continental Congress was forced to flee when British troops marched into the city of Philadelphia. The Continental Army under General George Washington spent the winter at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania while British troops held Philadelphia. Find out more about this difficult season during the American Revolution by visiting  the Today in History section, then click the links below to uncover … [Read more...]

Today in History: John Paul Jones

Today in History–July 18–the Library of Congress features naval officer John Paul Jones, who died on this date in 1792 in obscurity in France. Born John Paul, this seaman added the name Jones after killing a man in what he said was self defense in the West Indies. Jones went on to serve successfully in the U.S. Continental navy and the Russian Navy under Empress Catherine II of Russia. More than a hundred years following his death his remains were discovered and brought to the United States and … [Read more...]