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The Declaration of Independence (Text and Video)

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

New Hampshire:
Josiah BartlettWilliam WhippleMatthew Thornton

Massachusetts:
John HancockSamuel AdamsJohn AdamsRobert Treat PaineElbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen HopkinsWilliam Ellery

Connecticut:
Roger ShermanSamuel HuntingtonWilliam WilliamsOliver Wolcott

New York:
William FloydPhilip LivingstonFrancis LewisLewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard StocktonJohn WitherspoonFrancis HopkinsonJohn HartAbraham Clark

Pennsylvania:
Robert MorrisBenjamin RushBenjamin FranklinJohn MortonGeorge ClymerJames SmithGeorge TaylorJames WilsonGeorge Ross

Delaware:
Caesar RodneyGeorge ReadThomas McKean

Maryland:
Samuel ChaseWilliam PacaThomas StoneCharles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia:
George WytheRichard Henry LeeThomas JeffersonBenjamin HarrisonThomas Nelson, Jr.Francis Lightfoot LeeCarter Braxton

North Carolina:
William HooperJoseph HewesJohn Penn

South Carolina:
Edward RutledgeThomas Heyward, Jr.Thomas Lynch, Jr.Arthur Middleton

Georgia:
Button GwinnettLyman HallGeorge Walton

Congress’s Draft

Jefferson wrote of this draft, “The Declaration thus signed on the 4th, on paper was engrossed on parchment, & signed again on the 2d. of August.”

NOTES

  • Any additions made by Congress appear «this way as red text»
  • Any deletions made by Congress appear as struck-out red text

A DECLARATION
By the REPRESENTATIVES of the
UNITED STATES of AMERICA,
in «GENERAL» CONGRESS ASSEMBLED

When in the Course of human Events it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth the separate & equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation. We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, & the Pursuit of Happiness: —That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the governed; that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, & to institute new Government, laying it’s Foundation on such Principles, & organizing it’s Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety & Happiness. Prudence indeed will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light & transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shown that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses & Usurpations begun at a distinguished period and pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty to throw off such Government, & to provide new Guards for their future Security. Such has been the patient Sufferance of these Colonies; & such is now the Necessity which constrains them to expunge «alter» their former Systems of Government. The History of the present King of Great-Britain is a History of unremitting«repeated» Injuries & Usurpations, among which appears no solitary fact to contradict the uniform tenor of the rest but all have «all having» in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid World for the truth of which we pledge a faith yet unsullied by falsehood.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome & necessary for the public Good. He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, & continually for opposing with manly Firmness his Invasions on the Rights of the People. He has refused for a long Time, after such Dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the meantime exposed to all the Dangers of Invasion from without, & Convulsions within. He has endeavored to prevent the Population of these states; for that Purpose obstructing the laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their Migrations hither, & raising the Conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.He has made our Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the Tenure of their Offices, & the Amount & payment of their Salaries.He has erected a Multitude of new Offices by a self assumed power and sent hither Swarms of new Officers to harass our People and eat out their Substance. He has kept among us in Times of Peace, Standing Armies, and ships of war without the consent of our Legislatures. He has affected to render the Military independent of, & superior to the Civil power. He has combined with others to subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, & unacknowledged by our Laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation: For quartering large Bodies of Armed Troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock-Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all Parts of the World:
For imposing Taxes on us without our consent:
For depriving us «, in many Cases,» of the Benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended Offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighboring Province, establishing therein an arbitrary Government, and enlarging it’s Boundaries, so as to render it at once an Example and fit Instrument for introducing the same absolute Rule into these states «Colonies»:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, & declaring themselves invested with Power to legislate for us in all Cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here by withdrawing his governors, and declaring us out of his allegiance & protection «declaring us out of his Protection, and Waging war against us.» He has plundered our Seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, & destroyed the Lives of our People.

He is, at this time Transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to complete the works of Death, Desolation & Tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and Perfidy «scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages, & totally» unworthy the Head of a civilized Nation. He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the Executioners of their Friends & Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. He has «excited domestic Insurrections amongst us, & has» endeavored to bring on the Inhabitants of our Frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known Rule of Warfare, is an undistinguished Destruction, of all Ages, Sexes, & Conditions of existence. He has incited treasonable insurrections of our fellow-citizens, with the allurements of forfeiture & confiscation of our property. He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it’s most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of INFIDEL powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce. And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people on whom he also obtruded them: thus paying off former crimes committed against the LIBERTIES of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the LIVES of another. In every stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble Terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury. A Prince whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a «free» People who mean to be free. Future ages will scarcely believe that the hardiness of one man adventured, within the short compass of twelve years only, to lay a foundation so broad & so undisguised for tyranny over a people fostered & fixed in principles of freedom.

Nor have we been wanting in Attentions to our British Brethren. We have warned them from Time to Time of Attempts by their Legislature to extend a «an unwarrantable» jurisdiction over these our states «us». We have reminded them of the Circumstances of our Emigration & Settlement here, no one of which could warrant so strange a pretension: that these were effected at the expense of our own blood & treasure, unassisted by the wealth or the strength of Great Britain: that in constituting indeed our several forms of government, we had adopted one common king, thereby laying a foundation for perpetual league & amity with them: but that submission to their parliament was no part of our constitution, nor ever in idea, if history may be credited: and. We have appealed to their native Justice and Magnanimity as well as to «, and we have conjured them by» the Ties of our common Kindred to disavow these Usurpations, which were likely to«, would inevitably» interrupt our Connection and Correspondence. They too have been deaf to the Voice of Justice & of Consanguinity ,and when occasions have been given them, by the regular course of their laws, of removing from their councils the disturbers of our harmony, they have, by their free election, re-established them in power. At this very time too they are permitting their chief magistrate to send over not only soldiers of our common blood, but Scotch & foreign mercenaries to invade & destroy us. These facts have given the last stab to agonizing affection, and manly spirit bids us to renounce forever these unfeeling brethren. We must endeavor to forget our former love for them, and hold them as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends. We might have been a free and a great people together; but a communication of grandeur & of freedom it seems is below their dignity. Be it so, since they will have it. The road to happiness & to glory is open to us too. We will tread it apart from them, and «. We must therefore» acquiesce in the Necessity which denounces our eternal Separation «, and hold them, as we hold the rest of Mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace, Friends!»

We, therefore, the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA in General Congress Assembled,«appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions,» do, in the name, & by the Authority of the good People of these states reject and renounce all allegiance and subjection to the kings of Great Britain and all others who may hearafter claim by, through or under them; we utterly dissolve all political connection which may heretofore have subsided between us and the people or parliament of Great Britain: and finally we do assert and declare these colonies to be free and independent states, «Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and are of Right to be, Free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connection between them and the State of Great-Britain is and ought to be totally dissolved;» & that as Free & Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce & to do all other Acts & Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, «with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence,» we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our Fortunes, & our sacred Honor.

The Declaration House (Graff House)

From: http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/graff.htm

The Declaration House (Graff House)In June of 1776, Thomas Jefferson was part of a Virginia delegation that planned to ask the Second Continental Congress to sever its ties from Great Britain. While that historic body was meeting, Jefferson was assigned to a committee that was asked to write a declaration which enumerated the causes that led to that severance.

Finding his lodging in the heart of the city uncomfortable, he removed to the rooms of Jacob Graff. Graff was a well-known bricklayer who had built his house on the outskirts of town but a year before Jefferson arrived. It’s probable that Jefferson had to pay a little extra for the rooms as they came furnished. The Graffs lived in the house while Jefferson undertook his task. Situated on the outskirts of town, surrounded by fields and a stable across the street, the house provided Jefferson with the space and distance from the city he needed for his task.

Working from the Virginia Constitution as well as an extensive knowledge of political theory Jefferson wrote the document in under three weeks. An author at heart, Jefferson squirmed in resentment as the document was redacted during the final week of June 1776 by his fellow delegates to the Second Continental Congress.

The Declaration house exhibit includes a recreation of the two rooms Jefferson rented on the second floor. In it, one sees Jefferson’s bedchamber including a tiny bed that makes it hard to imagine how the gangly Jefferson slept at night. One of the only original items in the exhibition is a key to the front door. Jefferson entertained other members of the Congress in the sitting room.

The original structure was torn down in 1883. Photographs of the site enabled the National Park Service to build a rather faithful recreation of the original building.


Fun Facts

The house was once owned by Hyman and Simon Gratz. Their sister, Rebecca, is said to be the inspiration for Walter Scott’s “Ivanhoe” and Thackeray’s “Rebecca.”
Jefferson complained about the houseflies from the stable across the street while writing the Declaration of Independence.
Jefferson had an account at the City Tavern while writing the Declaration.
The site became among other things a print shop and a Tom Thumb diner.
The Independence Hall Association (owners of ushistory.org) led the efforts to have the Declaration House rebuilt in 1975 for the Bicentennial.

Timeline of the Revolutionary War

From: http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/revwartimeline.htm

1754-1763
The French and Indian War
1754
June 19-July 11 The Albany Congress
1763
Oct. 7 Proclamation of 1763
1764
April 5 The Sugar Act
September 1 The Currency Act
1765
March 22 The Stamp Act
March 24 The Quartering Act of 1765
May 29 Patrick Henry‘s “If this be treason, make the most of it!” speech
May 30 The Virginia Stamp Act Resolutions
Oct. 7-25 The Stamp Act Congress
1766
March 18 The Declaratory Act
1767
June 29 The Townshend Revenue Act
1768
August 1 Boston Non-Importation Agreement
1770
March 5 The Boston Massacre
1772
June 9 The Gaspee Affair
1773
May 10 The Tea Act
Dec. 16 The Boston Tea Party
1774
March 31 Boston Port Act, one of the “Intolerable Acts
May 20 Administration of Justice Act, one of the “Intolerable Acts
May 20 Massachusetts Government Act, one of the “Intolerable Acts
June 2 Quartering Act of 1774, one of the “Intolerable Acts
June 22 Quebec Act, one of the “Intolerable Acts
Sept. 5-Oct. 26 The First Continental Congress meets in Philadelphia and issues Declaration and Resolves
Oct. 10 Battle of Point Pleasant, Virginia (disputed as to whether it was a battle of the American Revolution or the culmination of Lord Dunmore’s War)
Oct. 20 The Association (prohibition of trade with Great Britain)
Oct. 24 Galloway’s Plan rejected
1775
March 23 Patrick Henry‘s “Give me liberty or give me death” speech
Apr. 18 The Rides of Paul Revere and William Dawes
Apr. 19 Minutemen and redcoats clash at Lexington and Concord “The shot heard ’round the world.”
May 10 Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys seize Fort Ticonderoga
May 10 The Second Continental Congress meets in Philadelphia
June 15 George Washington named Commander in Chief
June 17 Battle of Bunker Hill: The British drive the Americans from Breed’s Hill
July 3 Washington assumes command of the Continental Army
Nov. 10-21 Ninety Six, SC, Patriots sieged
Nov. 13 The patriots under Montgomery occupy Montreal in Canada
Dec. 11 Virginia and NC patriots rout Loyalist troops and burn Norfolk
Dec. 22 Col. Thomson with 1,500 rangers and militia capture Loyalists at Great Canebrake, SC
Dec. 23-30 Snow Campaign, in SC, so-called because patriots are impeded by 15″ of snow
Dec. 30-31 American forces under Benedict Arnold fail to seize Quebec
1776
Jan. 1 Daniel Morgan taken prisoner in attempt to take Quebec City
Jan. 15 Paine’s “Common Sense” published
Feb. 27 The patriots drive the Loyalists from Moore’s Creek Bridge, North Carolina
March 3 The Continental fleet captures New Providence Island in the Bahamas
March 17 The British evacuate Boston; British Navy moves to Halifax, Canada
June 8 Patriots fail to take Three Rivers, Quebec
June 12 The Virginia Declaration of Rights
June 28 Sullivan’s Island, SC, failed British naval attack
June 29 The First Virginia Constitution
June 28 Patriots decisively defeat the British Navy at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina
July 1 At the instigation of British agents, the Cherokee attack along the entire southern frontier
July 1-4 Congress debates and revises the Declaration of Independence. See Chronology of the Declaration
July 4 Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence; it’s sent to the printer
July 8 The Declaration of Independence is read publicly
July 15 Lyndley’s Fort, SC, Patriots fend off attack by Indians and Tories dressed as Indians
Aug. 1 Ambushed by Cherokees, Patriots are saved by a mounted charge at Seneca, SC
Aug. 2 Delegates begin to sign The Declaration of Independence
Aug. 10 Tugaloo River, SC, Andrew Pickens defeats Cherokees
Aug. 12? Andrew Pickens’ detachment surrounded by 185 Cherokee Indians, forms a ring and fires outward. It is known as the “Ring Fight.”
Aug. 12 Col. Williamson and Andrew Pickens defeat Cherokee Indians and burn Tamassy, an Indian town
Aug. 27 Redcoats defeat the George Washington’s army in the Battle of Long Island. Washington’s army escapes at night.
Sept. 15 The British occupy New York City
Sept. 16 Generals George Washington, Nathanael Greene, and Israel Putnam triumphantly hold their ground at the Battle of Harlem Heights
Sept. 19 Col. Williamson’s patriots attacked by Cherokees at Coweecho River, NC
Oct. 11 Benedict Arnold defeated at the Battle of Valcour Island (Lake Champlain), but delayed British advance
Oct. 28 The Americans retreat from White Plains, New York. British casualties (~300) higher than American (~200).
Nov. 16 The Hessians capture Fort Washington, NY
Nov. 20 Lord Cornwallis captures Fort Lee from Nathanael Greene
Dec. 26 Washington crosses the Delaware and captures Trenton from Hessians
1777
Jan. 3 Washington victorious at Princeton
Jan. 6-May 28 Washington winters in Morristown, NJ
Apr. 27 Benedict Arnold‘s troops force a British retreat at Ridgefield, Connecticut.
May 20 Treaty of DeWitt’s Corner, SC: Cherokees lose most of their land east of the mountains
June 14 Flag Resolution
July 5 St. Clair surrenders Fort Ticonderoga to the British
July 27 Lafayette arrives in Philadelphia
Aug. 6 The Redcoats, with Iroquois support, force the patriots back at Oriskany, NY, but then have to evacuate
Aug. 16 American Militia under General Stark victorious at the Battle of Bennington, VT (actually fought in Walloomsac, New York, several miles to the west)
Aug. 23 British withdraw from Fort Stanwix, NY, upon hearing of Benedict Arnold’s approach
Aug. 25 British General Howe lands at Head of Elk, Maryland
Sept. 11 The British win the Battle of Brandywine, Pennsylvania
Sept. 16 Rain-out at the Battle of the Clouds, Pennsylvania
Sept. 19 Burgoyne checked by Americans under Gates at Freeman’s Farm, NY. This is part of the “Battles of Saratoga.”
Sept. 21 Paoli Massacre, PA
Sept. 26 British under Howe occupy Philadelphia
Oct. 4 Americans driven off at the Battle of Germantown
Oct. 7 Burgoyne loses second battle of Freeman’s Farm, NY (at Bemis Heights). This is part of the “Battles of Saratoga.”
Oct. 17 Burgoyne surrenders to American General Gates at Saratoga, NY
Oct. 22 Hessian attack on Fort Mercer, NJ repulsed
Nov. 16 British capture Fort Mifflin, Pennsylvania
Dec. 5-7 Americans repulse British at Whitemarsh, Pennsylvania
Dec. 19 Washington’s army retires to winter quarters at Valley Forge
1778
Feb. 6 The United States and France sign the French Alliance
March 7 British General William Howe replaced by Henry Clinton
May 20 Battle of Barren Hill, Pennsylvania. Lafayette with 500 men and about 50 Oneida Indians successfully evade British onslaught
June 18 British abandon Philadelphia and return to New York
June 19 Washington’s army leaves Valley Forge
June 28 The Battle of Monmouth Court House ends in a draw
July 4 George Rogers Clark captures Kaskaskia, a French village south of St. Louis
Aug. 8 French and American forces besiege Newport, RI
Dec. 29 The redcoats occupy Savannah
1779
Feb. 3 Maj. Gen. Moultrie defeats British detachment at Port Royal Island, SC
Feb. 14 Patriots Andrew Pickens and Elijah Clarke beat Loyalists at Kettle Creek, GA
Feb. 23-24 American George Rogers Clark captures Vincennes (in what is now Indiana) on the Wabash in the Western campaign
March 3 British Lt. Col. Jacques Marcus Prevost defeats Americans under Gen. John Ashe at Brier Creek, GA
May 11-13 Maj. General Augustin Prévost (brother of Jacques, see above) breaks his siege when American forces under Maj. Gen. Lincoln approaches
June 20 Stono River, SC, Maj. Gen. Lincoln inflicts extensive British casualties in indecisive battle
June 21 Spain declares war on Great Britain
July 8 Fairfield, CT, burned by British
July 11 Norwalk, CT, burned by British
July 15-16 American “Mad” Anthony Wayne captures Stony Point, NY
Aug. 19 “Light Horse” Harry Lee attacks Paulus Hook, NJ
Aug. 29 Newtown, NY, after two massacres, American forces burn Indian villages
Sept. 23 John Paul Jones, aboard the Bonhomme Richard, captures British man-of-warSerapis near English coast
Sept. 28 The Tappan Massacre (“No Flint” Grey kills 30 Americans by bayonet)
Oct. 9 American attempt to recapture Savannah, GA fails
Nov.-June 23, 1780 Washington’s 2nd winter at Morristown, NJ (the harshest winter of the 18th century)
1780
May 12 British capture Charleston, SC
May 29 British crush Americans at Waxhaw Creek, SC
June 20 Patriots rout Tories at Ramseur’s Mill, NC
July 11 French troops arrive at Newport, RI, to aid the American cause
Aug. 6 Patriots defeat Tories at Hanging Rock, SC
Aug. 16 British rout Americans at Camden, SC
Sept. 23 John André arrested, leading to the exposure of Benedict Arnold’s plans to cede West Point to the British
Oct. 7 King’s Mountain, SC: battle lasts 65 minutes. American troops led by Isaac Shelby and John Sevier defeat Maj. Patrick Ferguson and one-third of General Cornwallis’s army
Oct. 14 Washington names Nathanael Greene commander of the Southern Army
1781
Jan. 1 Mutiny of unpaid Pennsylvania soldiers
Jan. 17 Patriot Morgan overwhelmingly defeats British Col. Tarleton at Cowpens, SC
Feb. 1 The Battle of Cowan’s Ford, Huntersville, NC
March 2 Articles of Confederation adopted
March 15 British win costly victory at Guilford Courthouse, NC
April 25 Greene defeated at Hobkirk’s Hill, SC
May 15 British Major Andrew Maxwell cedes Fort Granby, SC to patriot Lieutenant Colonel Henry Lee
June 6 Americans recapture Augusta, GA
June 18 British hold off Americans at Ninety Six, SC
July 6 “Mad” Anthony Wayne repulsed at Green Springs Farm, VA
Sept. 8 Greene defeated at Eutaw Springs, SC
Sept. 15 French fleet drives British naval force from Chesapeake Bay
Oct. 19 Cornwallis surrounded on land and sea by Americans and French and surrenders at Yorktown, VA
1782
March 20 Lord North resigns as British prime minister
July 11 British evacuate Savannah, GA
Nov. 30 British and Americans sign preliminary Articles of Peace
Dec. 14 British leave Charleston, SC
1783
April 19 Congress ratifies preliminary peace treaty
Sept. 3 The United States and Great Britain sign the Treaty of Paris
Nov. 25 British troops leave New York City
Dec. 23 Washington resigns as Commander
1787
Sept. 17 U.S. Constitution signed
1788
June 21 U.S. Constitution adopted, when New Hampshire ratifies it
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One Comment on “The Declaration of Independence (Text and Video)”

  1. Global Vantage Point Network July 4, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

    Thank you. This was the most comprehensive website that I found on this subject.

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