Exploring the journeys of thousands of slaves evacuated by the British at the end of the American War of Independence

After Yorktown

For many enslaved people in the 13 colonies, the American War of Independence presented an opportunity to escape their bondage. By the war’s end, it is estimated that tens of…

What the first president’s fox hunting habit says about early America

George Washington loved fox hunting. As hobbies go, he was dedicated. Starting in the 1760s and only being interrupted by the American War of Independence, Washington went on over 150 hunts in his lifetime. He trained hounds for the task and sometimes would go on hunts several days in a…

How science was conducted by letter in the 18th century

Benjamin Franklin is well known as a prolific scientist. Every American schoolchild is taught how Franklin invented bifocals and flew a kite in an electrical storm. Franklin is often portrayed as a lone scientist working in isolation. But in fact, he was part of a global community of part-time scientists…

During the American War of Independence, thousands of slaves took immense risks in a bid for freedom

“State of the losses of Thomas Jefferson in the county of Cumberland by the British in the year 1781.”, starts a document, that, despite its bureaucratic tone, reveals some of the horror of the Revolutionary War for African Americans.

As the United States was in the last stages of fighting…

The Founding Father faced a disease that threatened to destroy the Continental Army

The Coronavirus has brought the world of epidemic response to the public imagination.

Countries all over the world have had different approaches to handling the crisis. Some leaders have been criticized and some praised for their COVID-19 response.

But managing infectious disease at scale is not new. In fact, the…

Benjamin Church and the little-known politics of American Independence

Benjamin Church is arguably America’s first traitor. At the very beginning of the American War of Independence, the prominent patriot and surgeon led a plot to send military information to British commanders in Boston.

His plot failed, and he has been generally forgotten by popular recollection of the period. However…

Joseph Dragovich

History and culture writer. Author of Hawkhurst: Money, Murder and Smuggling in Georgian England, out in 2023

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