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For the colonists of the new world, the years of the American Revolution were a time of upheaval and rebellion. History boils it down to a few key events and has embodied it with a handful of legendary personalities. But the reality of the time was that everyday people witnessed thousands of little moments blaze into an epic conflict—for more than twenty years. Now, for the first time, experience the sparks of revolution the way the colonists did—in their very own town newspapers and broadsheets. Reporting the Revolutionary War is a stunning collection of primary sources, sprinkled with modern analysis from 37 historians. Featuring Patriot and Loyalist eyewitness accounts from newspapers printed on both sides of the Atlantic, readers will experience the revolution as it happened with the same immediacy and uncertainty of the colonists.
The American newspapers of the eighteenth century fanned the flames of rebellion, igniting the ideas of patriotism and liberty among average citizens who had never before been so strongly united. Within the papers, you’ll also read the private correspondence and battlefield letters of the rebels and patriots who grabbed the attention of each and every colonist and pushed them to fight for freedom and change. From one of America’s leading Revolutionary War newspaper archivists, Todd Andrlik, and guided by scores of historians and experts, Reporting the Revolutionary War brings you into the homes of Americans and lets you see through their eyes the tinderbox of war as it explodes.
"The story of the battle for independence unlike any version that has been told." —Military Review
Table of Contents
The Eighteenth-Century Newspaper Business
Revolutionary Newspaper Reading Tips
Chapter One: The Cursed Stamp Act
1. Sugar Act by Todd Andrlik
2. Stamp Act by Todd Andrlik
3. Stamp Act Repeal by Todd Andrlik
Chapter Two: Frugality and Industry
1. Townshend Acts by Todd Andrlik
2. Nonimportation and Nonconsumption by Todd Andrlik
Chapter Three: The Late Horrid Massacre
1. Arrival of the Troops in Boston by Robert J. Allison
2. Boston Massacre by Robert J. Allison
3. Gaspee Affair by Steven H. Park
4. Committees of Correspondence by Carol Sue Humphrey
Chapter Four: The Detestable Tea
1. Tea Act in America by Benjamin L. Carp
2. Boston Tea Party by Benjamin L. Carp
Chapter Five: Rebellion
1. Coercive Acts by Ray Raphael
2. Powder Alarm by J.L. Bell
3. Suffolk Resolves by Ray Raphael
4. Massachusetts Provincial Congress by Ray Raphael
5. First Continental Congress by Benjamin H. Irvin
6. Raid on Fort William and Mary by J. Dennis Robinson
Chapter Six: Bloody News
1. Battle of Lexington and Concord by J.L. Bell
2. Williamsburg Gunpowder Incident by Neal Thomas Hurst
3. Second Continental Congress by Benjamin H. Irvin
4. Capture of Fort Ticonderoga by William P. Tatum III
5. Battle of Noddle's Island by James L. Nelson
6. Battle of Bunker Hill by Don N. Hagist
7. George Washington Takes Command by Robert J. Allison
8. Battle of Great Bridge and Burning of Norfolk by John W. Hall
9. Invasion of Canada by Tabitha Marshall
10. Native Americans Choosing Sides by Daniel J. Tortora
Chapter Seven: The Spirit of Liberty
1. Common Sense and the American Crisis by Jim Piecuch
2. Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge by William P. Tatum III
3. Battle of the Rice Boats by Hugh T. Harrington
4. Fortification of Dorchester Heights by Don N. Hagist
5. Battle of Sullivan's Island by David Lee Russell
6. Declaration of Independence by Matthew P. Dziennik
7. New York Campaign by Barnet Schecter
Chapter Eight: Cut to Pieces
1. Battles of Trenton and Princeton by Bruce Chadwick
2. Siege of Fort Ticonderoga by Eric H. Schnitzer
3. Battle of Oriskany by Daniel J. Tortora
4. Battles of Brandywine and Germantown by Bruce E. Mowday
5. Battles of Saratoga by Eric H. Schnitzer
6. Women and Children on the War Front by Eric H. Schnitzer
Chapter Nine: Good and Faithful Allies
1. Valley Forge Winter Encampment by Wayne Bodle
2. French-American Alliance by Julia Osman
3. Battle of Monmouth by Michael S. Adelberg
Chapter Ten: Conquer or Die
1. Revolutionary War in the West and George Rogers Clark by John Reda
2. Sullivan Expedition by Daniel J. Tortora
3. Battle of Flamborough Head and John Paul Jones by Dennis M. Conrad
Chapter Eleven: Marks of Heroism
1. Siege of Savannah by Rita Folse Elliott
2. Siege of Charleston by David Lee Russell
3. Carolina Backcountry Militia Actions by Charles B. Baxley
4. Battle of Camden by Jim Piecuch
5. Battle of Kings Mountain by Jim Piecuch
6. Treason of Benedict Arnold and Hanging of John André by Dennis M. Conrad
Chapter Twelve: Conquest and Capture
1. Battle of Cowpens by John Buchanan
2. Race to the Dan by Dennis M. Conrad
3. Battle of Guilford Courthouse by Dennis M. Conrad
4. Battle of Hobkirk's Hill by John Buchanan
5. Siege of Ninety Six by Robert M. Dunkerly
6. Raid on New London by Matthew Reardon
7. Battle of Eutaw Springs by David Paul Reuwer
8. Yorktown Campaign by Diane K. Depew
Chapter Thirteen: Delivered with Eloquence
1. Perils of Peace by Thomas Fleming
2. British and Loyalist Evacuations of America by Dennis M. Conrad
3. Resignation of George Washington as Commander in Chief by Robert J. Allison
Revolutionary Press Impact
The Value of Primary Sources
There are no photographs of the American Revolution. No snapshots exist to show ordinary life or depict the struggles and suffering of the late eightee...
There are no photographs of the American Revolution. No snapshots exist to show ordinary life or depict the struggles and suffering of the late eighteenth century. Engravings and oil paintings, made long after the war ended, portray epic battles and heroism but often fail to realistically capture the moment.
Newspapers are the closest thing we have to photos of the Revolution. They transport readers back in time, providing unmatched insight about common life and life-altering events. Despite their small size and lack of headlines, eighteenth-century newspapers pack an intense, concentrated punch and demonstrate the incredible power of the printed word. Through newspapers, we realize that history is much more than a chronological list of battles as we eavesdrop on everyday life and witness everyday realities of the American Revolution through the eyes of the British and the American colonists. The eighteenth-century newspapers presented in this book help us see that history is real life, messy, and exciting. We learn firsthand what many historians claim: without newspapers, there would have been no American Revolution.
Through vivid eyewitness accounts, battlefield letters, and breaking news compiled from hundreds of newspapers—primarily printed from 1763 to 1783 on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean—this story of the American Revolution is unlike any version that has been told. It is raw and uncut, full of intense action, drama, and suspense. From start to finish, these frontline newspapers deliver incomparable insight about America's founding. As a collection, they provide one of the most reliable and comprehensive narratives of the Revolutionary Era, loaded with amazing characters, better-than-fiction plot twists, and the perfect climax. Before these famous and infamous events became the history and foundation of America, they were littered among the news of the day for colonial Americans. Mark Twain wrote "of the wide difference in interest between 'news' and 'history'; that news is history in its first and best form, its vivid and fascinating form; and that history is the pale and tranquil reflection of it."
Reporting the Revolutionary War brings to life precious first drafts of history and lets readers experience the charming rusticity of eighteenth-century newsprint, complete with stains, tears, imperfect ink and paper, typesetting mistakes, misspellings, and grammatical errors that were all typical of the era. Reading Revolution Era newspapers in their original form helps reproduce the same immediacy and uncertainty felt by those who first held them.
With each newspaper, readers gain valuable insight into the social, economic, political, and military histories of the American Revolution. Reading newspapers in their entirety—including advertisements, obituaries, and essays—provides more than a glimpse of all the obstacles and ideas of the period. It creates a 360-degree view of the American Revolution and the formation of the United States.
Another important history lesson to be gained from this book relates to journalism. We live in a time of instant and on-demand news. Journalists and bloggers work frantically around the clock, competing to break news stories before anyone else. Cable news channels and websites stream updated headlines nonstop across their screens. Using Twitter and Facebook, millions of citizen reporters scramble to share the latest news affecting their lives, practically in real time. Despite the debated endangerment of printed newspapers, it is difficult to imagine a time when media were more important. However, 250 years ago, newspapers were the fundamental form of mass media and were more important than in any other time in America's history.
Just as social media helped ignite and organize the Arab Spring revolutions of the Middle East and Northern Africa, colonial newspapers fanned the flames of rebellion, provided critical intercolonial communication during the war, sustained loyalty to the Patriot cause, and aided in the outcome of the war—all of which becomes evident after reading straight from the pages of newspapers. In Reporting the Revolutionary War, readers will see that Americans maintained "Liberty or Death! Join or Die!" attitudes with blood, as well as ink, on their hands. David Ramsay, who twice served as a delegate in the Continental Congress, wrote that "in establishing American independence, the pen and the press had merit equal to that of the sword."
Not only do eighteenth-century newspapers contain the exclusive essays, reports, and advertisements of the day, but they also include reprinted extracts from other primary sources such as private letters, journal entries, official government documents, and war-zone intelligence direct from merchants, travelers, soldiers, officers, and common colonists. They are a proverbial gold mine of information. Since the day the Revolutionary War ended, historians and authors have relied heavily on newspapers as the basis for their own analysis and interpretations of the course of the war. The endnotes of practically every history book about the Revolution are loaded with references to the up-close-and-personal perspectives found in newspapers.
Reporting the Revolutionary War brings to life eighteenth-century newspapers in a firsthand account of America's founding, distinct from the history we receive in high school and university texts. Never before has such a significant collection of American Revolution newspapers been made available to the general public in such color and detail. Never before has access to such an archive been made so easy. And never before has this version of the American Revolution been told.
“Consider it a bit of historic voyeurism. Sometimes the story isn’t always right - mistakes made it into print - but that’s just another real-life example of what colonists dealt wit...
“Consider it a bit of historic voyeurism. Sometimes the story isn’t always right - mistakes made it into print - but that’s just another real-life example of what colonists dealt with as they sifted through the news of the day. Reporting the Revolutionary War is a reminder of the history behind some of the things we collect.” - Antique Week
“The author of this book is a brilliant. What a great idea for a Revolutionary War book. The concept of telling the story of the Revolution, through newspapers articles was an idea like no others...With the help of experts with each part of the war explained and the visuals of the actual newspaper articles, the Revolutionary War history is told with great detail and it keeps your attention throughout. ” - Reading Room Book Reviews
“Historians, curators, and journalists select, arrange, and introduce reproductions of newspaper articles, primarily printed between 1763 and 1783, that describe current events now known as the American Revolution or War of Independence. Boxed comments also provide contextual background. The chronological chapters examine such events and trends as the late horrid massacre, bloody news, the spirit of liberty, conquest and capture, and delivered with eloquence. End-matter essays consider the revolutionary press impact and the value of primary sources.” - BOOK NEWS, Inc.
“Historians, curators, and journalists select, arrange, and introduce reproductions of newspaper articles, primarily printed between 1763 and 1783, that describe current events now known as the American Revolution or War of Independence. Boxed comments also provide contextual background. The chronological chapters examine such events and trends as the late horrid massacre, bloody news, the spirit of liberty, conquest and capture, and delivered with eloquence. End-matter essays consider the revolutionary press impact and the value of primary sources.” - Book News Inc
“A fascinating look at the making of America from a journalist’s point of view.” - The Quincy Herald-Whig
“Reporting the Revolutionary War is a veritable time machine in book form, transporting the reader to an era of great uncertainty, and years of drastic change! Highly recommended.” - Midwest Book Reviews
“With the inclusion of London newspapers and no political agenda in selection whatsoever, general readers will get a glimpse of what it means to be an historian as they try to interpret these sources for themselves. ” - Early Americanists
“Reporting the Revolutionary War is one seriously impressive package... a must-have for anyone researching the period of the American War for Independence.” - Armchair General Online
“Stylish and intelligent collection... a fascinating display of the eyewitness accounts, battlefield correspondence, breaking news, editorial rallies to action and outright propaganda that helped to shape the young nation that would become the United States of America.” - American Profile
“I've seen nothing like it and I've been studying the Revolution since 1955... You didn't have to hold rallies [during the Revolution], you were rallying them with this journalism.” - Thomas Fleming, author of 20 nonfiction books, many on the American Revolution
“Americans can now see a different side of the birth of our country, as it was reported in real-time by the journalists of the day... a fascinating account of Americans who witnessed the war unfold firsthand as it happened.” - Soledad O'Brien, CNN Starting Point
“The events of the Revolutionary War may seem like ye olde news to today's history students, but they were breaking news to people on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, and newspapers were the main source of information. Some historians theorize there would have been no American Revolution without the era's newspapers..."” - Associated Press
“History buffs and students will find much to enjoy in this attractive and informative book. Recommended for all collections.” - Booklist
“A unique coffee-table book that compiles reproductions of actual newspaper pages from the era of the American War for Independence, with additional text to provide background and context.” - Armchair General Online
““Private correspondence and battlefield letters accompany newspaper clippings documenting America’s fight for independence.”” - Los Angeles Times (holiday gift guide)
““Newspaper archivist and historian Andrlik’s book gives us original reports ... Read all about it the way Americans did when it happened.” - New York Post” - New York Post
“This is ‘you are there’ history at its best: 70 essays by modern historians based on eyewitness accounts, battlefield letters and newspaper stories from 1763 to 1783. Cumulatively, the collection lets us see and feel how events unfolded for the people who lived them.” - American History
“Stunning in both its eye-opening content and its eye pleasing presentation. It has the appearance of a beautiful coffee table book with remarkable photos of some of the most historic front pages in United State’s history.” - Drew’s Marketing Minute
“An impressive cache of primary-source documents, normally the province of scholars, presented here in an entertaining, aesthetically pleasing fashion guaranteed to entice general readers.” - Kirkus
“Thoughtful, engaging, well-organized and illustrated journey through our independence as reported through the news. It puts a fine point on the distribution of information and news placing newspapers at the top which is even more poignant in this day and age when the demise of physical newspapers appears imminent.” - Helena Finnegan
“A coffee-table book with serious substance.” - Boston 1775
Length: 10.5 in
Width: 10 in
Weight: 67.04 oz
Page Count: 400 pages