The Continental Army was formed by the Second Continental Congress after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War by the ex-British colonies that became the United States of America. Established by a resolution of the Congress on June 14, 1775, it was created to coordinate the military efforts of the Thirteen Colonies in their revolt against the rule of Great Britain; the Continental Army was supplemented by local militias and volunteer troops that remained under control of the individual states or were otherwise independent. General George Washington was the commander-in-chief of the army throughout the war. Most of the Continental Army was disbanded in 1783; the 1st and 2nd Regiments went on to form the nucleus of the Legion of the United States in 1792 under General Anthony Wayne. This became the foundation of the United States Army in 1796; the Continental Army consisted of soldiers from all 13 colonies and, after 1776, from all 13 states. When the American Revolutionary War began at the Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, the colonial revolutionaries did not have an army.
Each colony had relied upon the militia, made up of part-time citizen-soldiers, for local defense, or the raising of temporary "provincial regiments" during specific crises such as the French and Indian War of 1754–63. As tensions with Great Britain increased in the years leading to the war, colonists began to reform their militias in preparation for the perceived potential conflict. Training of militiamen increased after the passage of the Intolerable Acts in 1774. Colonists such as Richard Henry Lee proposed forming a national militia force, but the First Continental Congress rejected the idea. On April 23, 1775, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress authorized the raising of a colonial army consisting of 26 company regiments. New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut soon raised similar but smaller forces. On June 14, 1775, the Second Continental Congress decided to proceed with the establishment of a Continental Army for purposes of common defense, adopting the forces in place outside Boston and New York.
It raised the first ten companies of Continental troops on a one-year enlistment, riflemen from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia to be used as light infantry, who became the 1st Continental Regiment in 1776. On June 15, 1775, the Congress elected by unanimous vote George Washington as Commander-in-Chief, who accepted and served throughout the war without any compensation except for reimbursement of expenses. On July 18, 1775, the Congress requested all colonies form militia companies from "all able bodied effective men, between sixteen and fifty years of age." It was not uncommon for men younger than sixteen to enlist as most colonies had no requirement of parental consent for those under twenty-one. Four major-generals and eight brigadier-generals were appointed by the Second Continental Congress in the course of a few days. After Pomeroy did not accept, John Thomas was appointed in his place; as the Continental Congress adopted the responsibilities and posture of a legislature for a sovereign state, the role of the Continental Army became the subject of considerable debate.
Some Americans had a general aversion to maintaining a standing army. As a result, the army went through several distinct phases, characterized by official dissolution and reorganization of units. Soldiers in the Continental Army were citizens who had volunteered to serve in the army, at various times during the war, standard enlistment periods lasted from one to three years. Early in the war the enlistment periods were short, as the Continental Congress feared the possibility of the Continental Army evolving into a permanent army; the army never numbered more than 17,000 men. Turnover proved a constant problem in the winter of 1776–77, longer enlistments were approved. Broadly speaking, Continental forces consisted of several successive armies, or establishments: The Continental Army of 1775, comprising the initial New England Army, organized by Washington into three divisions, six brigades, 38 regiments. Major General Philip Schuyler's ten regiments in New York were sent to invade Canada; the Continental Army of 1776, reorganized after the initial enlistment period of the soldiers in the 1775 army had expired.
Washington had submitted recommendations to the Continental Congress immediately after he had accepted the position of Commander-in-Chief, but the Congress took time to consider and implement these. Despite attempts to broaden the recruiting base beyond New England, the 1776 army remained skewed toward the Northeast both in terms of its composition and of its geographical focus; this army consisted of 36 regiments, most standardized to a single battalion of 768 men strong and formed into eight companies, with a rank-and-file strength of 640. The Continental Army of 1777–80 evolved out of several critical reforms and political decisions that came about when it became apparent that the British were sending massive forces to put an end to the American Revolution; the Continental Congress passed the "Eighty-eight Battalion Resolve", ordering each state to contribute one-battalion regiments in proportion to their population, Washington subsequently received authority to raise an additional 16 battalions.
Enlistment terms extended to three years or to "the length of the war" to avoid the year-end crises that deplet
Second Continental Congress
The Second Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies that started meeting in the spring of 1775 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It succeeded the First Continental Congress, which met in Philadelphia between September 5, 1774, October 26, 1774; the Second Congress moved incrementally towards independence. It adopted the Lee Resolution which established the new country on July 2, 1776, it agreed to the United States Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776; the Congress acted as the de facto national government of the United States by raising armies, directing strategy, appointing diplomats, making formal treaties such as the Olive Branch Petition. The Second Continental Congress came together on May 11, 1775 reconvening the First Continental Congress. Many of the 56 delegates who attended the first meeting were in attendance at the second, the delegates appointed the same president and secretary. Notable new arrivals included John Hancock of Massachusetts.
Within two weeks, Randolph was summoned back to Virginia to preside over the House of Burgesses. Henry Middleton was elected as president to replace Randolph. Hancock was elected president on May 24. Delegates from twelve of the Thirteen Colonies were present when the Second Continental Congress convened. Georgia had not participated in the First Continental Congress and did not send delegates to the Second. On May 13, 1775, Lyman Hall was admitted as a delegate from the Parish of St. John's in the Colony of Georgia, not as a delegate from the colony itself. On July 4, 1775, revolutionary Georgians held a Provincial Congress to decide how to respond to the American Revolution, that congress decided on July 8 to send delegates to the Continental Congress, they arrived on September 13. The First Continental Congress had sent entreaties to King George III to stop the Coercive Acts; the Second Continental Congress met on May 10, 1775 to plan further responses if the British government had not repealed or modified the acts.
For the first few months of the war, the Patriots carried on their struggle in an ad-hoc and uncoordinated manner. They had seized arsenals, driven out royal officials, besieged the British army in the city of Boston. On June 14, 1775, the Congress voted to create the Continental Army out of the militia units around Boston and appointed George Washington of Virginia as commanding general. On July 6, 1775, Congress approved a Declaration of Causes outlining the rationale and necessity for taking up arms in the Thirteen Colonies. On July 8, they extended the Olive Branch Petition to the British Crown as a final attempt at reconciliation. Silas Deane was sent to France as a minister of the Congress, American ports were reopened in defiance of the British Navigation Acts; the Continental Congress had no explicit legal authority to govern, but it assumed all the functions of a national government, such as appointing ambassadors, signing treaties, raising armies, appointing generals, obtaining loans from Europe, issuing paper money, disbursing funds.
The Congress had no authority to levy taxes and was required to request money and troops from the states to support the war effort. Individual states ignored these requests. Congress was moving towards declaring independence from the British Empire in 1776, but many delegates lacked the authority from their home governments to take such a drastic action. Advocates of independence moved to have reluctant colonial governments revise instructions to their delegations, or replace those governments which would not authorize independence. On May 10, 1776, Congress passed a resolution recommending that any colony with a government, not inclined toward independence should form one that was. On May 15, they adopted a more radical preamble to this resolution, drafted by John Adams, which advised throwing off oaths of allegiance and suppressing the authority of the Crown in any colonial government that still derived its authority from the Crown; that same day, the Virginia Convention instructed its delegation in Philadelphia to propose a resolution that called for a declaration of independence, the formation of foreign alliances, a confederation of the states.
The resolution of independence was delayed for several weeks, as advocates of independence consolidated support in their home governments. On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee offered a resolution before the Congress declaring the colonies independent, he urged Congress to resolve "to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances" and to prepare a plan of confederation for the newly independent states. Lee argued that independence was the only way to ensure a foreign alliance, since no European monarchs would deal with America if they remained Britain's colonies. American leaders had rejected the divine right of kings in the New World, but recognized the necessity of proving their credibility in the Old World. Congress formally adopted the resolution of independence, but only after creating three overlapping committees to draft the Declaration, a Model Treaty, the Articles of Confederation; the Declaration announced the states' entry into the international
New York and New Jersey campaign
The New York and New Jersey campaign was a series of battles in 1776 and the winter months of 1777 for control of New York City and the state of New Jersey during the American Revolutionary War between British forces under General Sir William Howe and the Continental Army under General George Washington. Howe was successful in driving Washington out of New York City, but overextended his reach into New Jersey, ended the active campaign season in January 1777 with only a few outposts near the city; the British held New York harbor for the rest of the war, using it as a base for expeditions against other targets. First landing unopposed on Staten Island on July 3, 1776, Howe assembled an army composed of elements, withdrawn from Boston in March following their failure to hold that city, combined with additional British troops, as well as Hessian troops hired from several German principalities. Washington had New England soldiers as well as regiments from states as far south as Virginia. Landing on Long Island in August, Howe defeated Washington in the largest battle of the war, but the Continental Army was able to make an orderly retreat to Manhattan under cover of darkness and fog.
Washington suffered a series of further defeats in Manhattan, with the exception of the skirmish at Harlem Heights, withdrew to White Plains, New York. At that point Howe returned to Manhattan to capture forces Washington had left in the north of the island. Washington and much of his army crossed the Hudson River into New Jersey, retreated all the way across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania, shrinking due to ending enlistment periods and poor morale. Howe ordered his troops into winter quarters in December, establishing a chain of outposts from New York to Burlington, New Jersey. Washington, in a tremendous boost to American morale, launched a successful strike against the Trenton garrison after crossing the icy Delaware River, prompting Howe to withdraw his chain of outposts back to New Brunswick and the coast near New York, while Washington established his winter camp at Morristown. During the remaining winter months, both sides skirmished as the British sought forage and provisions.
Britain maintained control of New York City and some of the surrounding territory until the war ended in 1783, using it as a base for operations elsewhere in North America. In 1777, General Howe launched a campaign to capture Philadelphia, leaving General Sir Henry Clinton in command of the New York area, while General John Burgoyne led an attempt to gain control of the Hudson River valley, moving south from Quebec and failed at Saratoga. Northern New Jersey was the scene of skirmishing between the opposing forces for the rest of the war; when the American Revolutionary War broke out in April 1775, British troops were under siege in Boston. They defeated Patriot forces in the Battle of Bunker Hill, suffering high casualties; when news of this expensive British victory reached London, General William Howe and Lord George Germain, the British official responsible, determined that a "decisive action" should be taken against New York City using forces recruited from throughout the British Empire as well as troops hired from small German states.
General George Washington named by the Second Continental Congress as the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, echoed the sentiments of others that New York was "a post of infinite importance", began the task of organizing military companies in the New York area when he stopped there on his way to take command of the siege of Boston. In January 1776, Washington ordered Charles Lee to raise troops and take command of New York's defenses. Lee had made some progress on the city's defenses when word arrived in late March 1776 that the British army had left Boston after Washington threatened them from heights south of the city. Concerned that General Howe was sailing directly to New York, Washington hurried regiments from Boston, including General Israel Putnam, who commanded the troops until Washington himself arrived in mid-April. At the end of April, Washington dispatched General John Sullivan with six regiments to the north to bolster the faltering Quebec campaign. General Howe, rather than moving against New York, withdrew his army to Halifax, Nova Scotia, regrouped while transports full of British troops, shipped from bases around Europe and intended for New York, began gathering at Halifax.
In June, he set sail for New York with the 9,000 men assembled there, before all of the transports arrived. German troops from Hesse-Kassel, as well as British troops from Henry Clinton's unsuccessful expedition to the Carolinas, were to meet with Howe's fleet when it reached New York. General Howe's brother, Admiral Lord Howe, arrived at Halifax with further transports after the general sailed, followed; when General Howe arrived in the outer harbor of New York, the ships began sailing up the undefended Narrows between Staten Island and Long Island on July 2, started landing troops on the undefended shores of Staten Island that day. Washington learned from prisoners taken that Howe had landed 10,000 men, but was awaiting the arrival of another 15,000. General Washington, with a smaller army of about 19,000 effective troops, lacked significant intelligence on the British force and plans, was uncertain where in the New York area the Howes intended to strike, he split the Continental Army between fortified positions on Long Island and mainland locations, established a "Flying Camp" in northern New Jersey.
This was intended as a reserve force that could support operations anywhere along the New Jersey side of the Hudson. The Howe brothers had been granted authority as peace commissioners by Parliament, with limite
Oney "Ona" Judge, known as Oney Judge Staines after marriage, was an enslaved woman owned by Martha Washington who worked on George Washington's plantation, Mount Vernon, in Virginia. Beginning in 1789, she worked as a lady's maid to First Lady Martha Washington in the presidential households in New York City and Philadelphia. With the aid of Philadelphia's free black community, Judge liberated herself in 1796 and lived as a fugitive slave in New Hampshire for the rest of her life. More is known about her than any other enslaved person on the Mount Vernon plantation because she was twice interviewed by abolitionist newspapers in the mid-1840s. Judge was born about 1773 at Mount Vernon, her mother, was an enslaved woman who worked as a seamstress. Oney had a half-brother, a half-sister, Delphy. Betty had been among the 285 African persons enslaved by Martha Washington's first husband, Daniel Parke Custis. Custis died intestate, so his widow received a "dower share" – the lifetime use of one third of his estate, which included at least 85 enslaved Africans.
Martha did not have the legal power to sell or free them. Upon Martha's marriage to George Washington in 1759, the "dower slaves" came with her to Mount Vernon, including Betty and then-infant Austin. Under the legal principle of partus sequitur ventrem, incorporated into Virginia colonial law in 1662, the legal status of a child was the same as that of the enslaved mother, no matter who the father was; because Betty was a "dower slave", Austin and Delphy were enslaved by the Custis Estate. Upon the completion of his indenture, Andrew Judge settled in Alexandria, some 11 miles away; when she was around 10 years old, Judge was brought to live at the Mansion House at Mount Vernon as a playmate for Martha Washington's granddaughter Nelly Custis. She became the personal attendant or body servant to Martha Washington. In an interview when she was nearly 75, Oney said she had received no education under the Washingtons, nor religious instruction. In 1789 Washington took seven enslaved Africans, including Judge 16, to New York City to work in his presidential household.
Following the transfer of the national capital to Philadelphia in 1790, Judge was one of nine enslaved persons, two of whom were female, Washington took to that city to work in the President's House, together with Austin, Paris, Hercules, Christopher Sheels, "Postilion Joe". With the 1780 Gradual Abolition Act, Pennsylvania became the first state to establish a process to emancipate its slaves, but no one was freed at first. The process was to play out over decades and not end until the death of the last enslaved person in Pennsylvania; the law prohibited importation of slaves into the state, required an annual registration of those held there. But it protected the property rights of Pennsylvania slaveholders—if a slaveholder failed to register his slaves, they would be confiscated and freed; every future child of an enslaved mother would be born free, but the child was required to work as an indentured servant to the mother's master until age 28. A slaveholder from another state could reside in Pennsylvania with his personal slaves for up to six months, but if those slaves were held in Pennsylvania beyond that deadline, the law gave them the power to free themselves.
Congress the only branch of the federal government, was meeting in Philadelphia in 1780. Pennsylvania exempted members of Congress from the Gradual Abolition Act. A 1788 amendment to the state law closed loopholes – such as prohibiting a Pennsylvania slaveholder from transporting a pregnant woman out of the state and prohibiting a non-resident slaveholder from rotating his slaves in and out of the state to prevent them from establishing the six-month Pennsylvania residency required to qualify for freedom This last point would affect the lives of Judge and the other people enslaved in the President's household. In March 1789, the U. S. Constitution was ratified. New York City was the first national capital under the Constitution. In 1790, Congress transferred the national capital to Philadelphia for a ten-year period while the permanent national capital was under construction on the banks of the Potomac River. With the move, there was uncertainty about whether Pennsylvania's slavery laws would apply to officers of the federal government.
By a strict interpretation, the Gradual Abolition Act exempted only slaveholding members of Congress. But there were slaveholders among the officers of the judicial branch and the executive branch, including the President of the United States. Washington contended that his presence in Philadelphia was a consequence of the city's being the temporary seat of the federal government, he held that he remained a resident of Virginia, should not be bound by Pennsylvania law regarding slavery. Attorney General Edmund Randolph – an officer of the executive branch – misunderstood the Pennsylvania law
Daniel Huntington (artist)
Daniel Huntington, American artist, was born in New York City, New York, the son of Benjamin Huntington, Jr. and Faith Trumbull Huntington. S. Representative from Connecticut, his maternal grandfather was Jedediah Huntington of Norwich, who served as a General in the American Revolutionary War. He studied at Yale with Samuel F. B. Morse, with Henry Inman. From 1833 to 1835 he transferred to Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, where he met Charles Loring Elliott, who encouraged him to become an artist, he first exhibited his work at the National Academy of Design in 1836. Subsequently, he painted some landscapes in the tradition of the Hudson River School. Huntington made several trips to Europe, the first in 1839 traveling to England, Rome and Paris with his friend and pupil Henry Peters Gray. On his return to America in 1840, he painted his allegorical painting "Mercy's Dream", which brought him fame and confirmed his interest in inspirational subjects, he painted portraits and began the illustration of The Pilgrim's Progress.
In 1844, he went back to Rome. Returning to New York around 1846, he devoted his time chiefly to portrait-painting, although he painted many genre and historical subjects. From 1851 to 1859 he was in England, he was president of the National Academy of Design from 1862 to 1870, again in 1877-1890. He was vice president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Among his principal works are: "The Florentine Girl" "Early Christian Prisoners" "The Shepherd Boy of the Campagna" "The Roman Penitents" "Christiana and Her Children" "Queen Mary signing the Death-Warrant of Lady Jane Grey" "Feckenham in the Tower" "Chocorua" "Republican Court in the Time of Washington" containing sixty-four careful portraits "Philosophy and Christian Art" "Sowing the Word" "St Jerome, Juliet on the Balcony" "The Narrows, Lake George" "Clement VII. and Charles V. at Bologna" "Goldsmiths Daughter" His principal portraits are: "President Lincoln" in Union League Club, New York "Chancellor Ferris of New York University General J.
G. Totten at Berkshire Museum "Sir Charles Eastlake and the earl of Carlyle," the property of the New York Historical Society "President Van Buren" in the State Library at Albany "James Lenox" in the Lenox Library "Louis Agassiz" "William Cullen Bryant" "Jefferson Davis" "John Adams Dix" "John Sherman" "Alexander Ramsey" "Chester A. Arthur" A collection of Huntington's work as held in the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Historic New England. Huntington's portrait of Mary Wheelwright Codman, 1845 The Daniel Huntington Study Portrait Photographs Collection at the New-York Historical Society Bedford Fine Art Gallery: Daniel Huntington
Mount Vernon was the plantation of George Washington, the first President of the United States, his wife, Martha Dandridge Custis Washington. The estate is situated on the banks of the Potomac River in Fairfax County, near Alexandria, across from Prince George's County, Maryland; the Washington family had owned land in the area since the time of Washington's great-grandfather in 1674. Around 1734 they embarked on an expansion of the estate that continued under George Washington, who began leasing the estate in 1754, but did not become its sole owner until 1761; the mansion was built of wood in a loose Palladian style. George Washington expanded once in the late 1750s and again in the 1770s, it remained Washington's home for the rest of his life. Following his death in 1799, under the ownership of several successive generations of the family, the estate progressively declined as revenues were insufficient to maintain it adequately. In 1858, the house's historical importance was recognized and it was saved from ruin by the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association.
Escaping the damage suffered by many plantation houses during the American Civil War, Mount Vernon was restored. Mount Vernon was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is still owned and maintained in trust by the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, is open every day of the year, including Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Allowing the public to see the estate is not an innovation, but part of a 200-year-old tradition started by George Washington himself. In 1794 he wrote: "I have no objection to any sober or orderly person's gratifying their curiosity in viewing the buildings, Gardens, &ca. about Mount Vernon." When George Washington's ancestors acquired the estate, it was known as Little Hunting Creek Plantation, after the nearby Little Hunting Creek. However, when Washington's older half-brother, Lawrence Washington, inherited it, he changed its name to Mount Vernon in honor of Vice Admiral Edward Vernon, famed for the War of Jenkins' Ear and capture of the Portobelo, Colón.
Vernon had been Lawrence's commanding officer in the British Royal Navy. When George Washington inherited the property, he retained the name; the current property consists of 500 acres. The property was 8,000 acres; the present mansion was built in phases from 1734, by an unknown architect, under the supervision of Augustine Washington. This staggered and unplanned evolution is indicated by the off-center main door; as completed and seen today, the house is in a loose Palladian style. The principal block, dating from about 1734, was a one story house with a garret. In the 1750s, the roof was raised to a third floor garret. There were one-story extension added to the north and south ends of the house, these would be torn down during the next building phase; the present day mansion is 11,028 sq ft. A two-storied wing was added to the south side. Two years a large two-story room was added to the north side. Two single-story secondary wings were built in 1775; these secondary wings, which house the servants hall on the northern side and the kitchen on the southern side, are connected to the corps de logis by symmetrical, quadrant colonnades, built in 1778.
The completion of the colonnades cemented the classical Palladian arrangement of the complex and formed a distinct cour d'honneur, known at Mount Vernon as Mansion Circle, giving the house its imposing perspective. The corps de logis and secondary wings have hipped roofs with dormers. In addition to its second story, the importance of the corps de logis is further emphasized by two large chimneys piercing the roof, by a cupola surmounting the center of the house; this placement of the cupola is more in the earlier Carolean style than Palladian, was incorporated to improve ventilation of the enlarged attic and enhance the overall symmetry of the structure and the two wings. The rooms at Mount Vernon have been restored to their appearance at the time of George and Martha Washington's occupancy; these rooms include Washington's study, two dining rooms, the West Parlour, the Front Parlour, the kitchen and some bedrooms. The interior design follows the classical concept of the exterior, but owing to the mansion's piecemeal evolution, the internal architectural features – the doorcases and plasterwork – are not faithful to one specific period of the 18th-century revival of classical architecture.
Instead they range from severe Palladianism to a finer and neoclassicism in the style of Robert Adam. This varying of the classical style is best exemplified in the doorcases and surrounds of the principal rooms. In the West Parlour and Small Dining rooms there are doorcases complete with ionic columns and full pediments, whereas in the hall and passageways the doors are given broken pediments supported only by an architrave. Many of the rooms are lined with painted panelling and have ceilings ornamented by plasterwork in a Neoclassical style.