The Breed's Hill Institute

THE BREED'S HILL INSTITUTE An educational foundation. Part of the Southwest Living History Association Our FB page provides a daily historic post.

The Breed's Hill institute is (as part of the SWLHA) a non-profit organization that fosters discovery of the revolutionary ideas of the American founding. We believe that through the creative use of entertainment, education and community projects, on both a national and local level, we can encourage appreciation for the bedrock principles of the United States and the American Adventure they inspired. Our goal is that all Americans may develop a lifelong passion for their national legacy.


June 16, 1775
George Washington makes his acceptance speech in Congress.
As a gesture of civic virtue, he declines a salary but requests that Congress pay his expenses at the close of the war.
On July 1, 1783, Washington submits to the Continental Board of Treasury his expense account.

Photos from The Breed's Hill Institute's post 06/15/2024

June 15 1775
The Continental Congress commissioned George Washington as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. Washington was selected over other candidates such as John Hancock based on his previous military experience and the hope that a leader from Virginia could help unite the colonies.
Washington left for Massachusetts within days of receiving his commission and assumed command of the Continental Army in Cambridge on July 3, 1775.
After eight years of war, Washington resigned his commission as Commander in Chief on December 23, 1783.

Painting of 'John Adams proposing George Washington for Commander-in-Chief of the American Army' by John Ward Dunsmore, 1913.


On June 14, 1775, the Continental Congress authorizes the enlistment of expert riflemen to serve the United Colonies for one year. This launches the U.S. Army as America's first national institution, more than a year before the Declaration of Independence is published on July 4, 1776.


June 14, 1777
The Flag Resolution
The Continental Congress adopted a resolution stating that "the flag of the United States be thirteen alternate stripes red and white" and that "the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation."

Photos from The Breed's Hill Institute's post 06/13/2024

June 13, 1777
A 19-year-old French nobleman, Marie-Joseph Paul Roch Yves Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, arrived at North Island South Carolina accompanied by Baron Johann de Kalb (56 years old).
Shortly after the outbreak of the American Revolution, the American army was in need of experienced and professional officers. American ambassador to France, Silas Deane, was a crafty American negotiator known to freely hand out commissions in the American army to those whose influence he deemed important. With the promise of being made major generals upon landing in America, the party landed at Charleston, South Carolina and traveled north to Philadelphia.


June 12, 1775, the Battle of Machias is the first naval battle of the American Revolution. Citizens of Machias, Maine (then part of Massachusetts) captured the armed British schooner HMS Margaretta when it threatened their town.

The Battle of Machias, also known as the Battle of the Margaretta, took place around the port of Machias, Maine between the citizens of Machiasport and the British warship, the HMS Margaretta.
The Americans won the battle, killing Lieutenant Moore, the Margaretta's commander, and seizing the ship. The battle was an early sign that the American rebellion could succeed.


On June 11, 1776, the Continental Congress selects Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Roger Sherman of Connecticut and Robert R. Livingston of New York to draft a declaration of independence. They have come to be known as the Committee of Five.


On June 10, 1775, John Adams proposes to the Second Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, that the men laying siege to Boston should be considered a Continental Army led by a general.


June 10 1781
Lafayette had been ordered by General Greene to take command of the entire army in Virginia.
He was reinforced on the 10th by Mad Anthony Wayne’s Pennsylvanians and mountain militia which he led across the Rapidan River and took up a strong position close to Cornwallis’ Army.
This forced Cornwallis to March back to Richmond and then for Williamsburg. The hounds were finally moving the fox into a corner that would be Yorktown.

Photos from The Breed's Hill Institute's post 06/09/2024

June 8, 1789,
James Madison proposes the Bill of Rights to Congress. Acceptance of the US Constitution had been a long and arduous process. Many people were wary that it would create a federal government that was too powerful and no different than the one they just overthrew from England.
Madison made a speech to Congress in which he proposed these 20 amendments to the Constitution. The rights included such things as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to keep and bear arms, the right to trial by jury, freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, freedom of the press, the right to have an attorney represent you and freedom from being tried for the same crime more than once.


June 9, 1772; The Burning of The Gaspee
The British customs schooner Gaspee was pursuing American Captain Thomas Lindsey’s packet from Newport, when it ran aground in Narragansett Bay on June 9.
That evening, John Brown, an American merchant angered by the British Townshend Acts, took eight longboats with muffled oars and 67 men to seize control of the ship. After capturing the ship, the Americans set the Gaspee on fire.

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June 7 1780 The Battle of Connecticut Farms (present-day Union Township).
Hessian General Knyphausen led a force of British troops to attack the American Army encamped at Morristown NJ.
The British progress was halted by New Jersey Militia before they could reach their objective.
American Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene showed great battlefield knowledge, the ability to focus on protecting the important Hobart’s Gap and utilizing militia and Continental forces together.


June 7, 1776
Richard Henry Lee of Virginia proposes a resolution for independence to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.
Lee’s resolution reads: “That these United Colonies are, and of right out 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 measures should be immediately taken for procuring the assistance of foreign powers, and a Confederation be formed to bind the colonies more closely together.”
The resolution would be referred for consideration two more days to make sure all delegates were in attendance.


June 6 1778
The British ship 'Trident', arrived in British controlled Philadelphia from London carrying a group of peace commissioners. The three commissioners, led by 29 year old Frederick Howard, the Earl of Carlisle, William Eden, and Richard Jackson, arrived with substantial bargaining power from London to bring this rebellion to an end.

When the commissioners arrived in Philadelphia, they were able to offer an impressive set of concessions. However, they were surprised to learn that General Howe had already left for London, and even more surprised to learn that General Clinton was preparing to evacuate Philadelphia. This was the first that the commissioners were hearing about the evacuation plans.

On June 13, a week after the commission’s arrival in Philadelphia the commissioners sent a message to the Continental Congress in York, essentially saying that they just wanted the war to end and that they were willing to discuss all the demands that the colonies had articulated as reasons for the war and independence.
General Washington did not permit the messenger to go to Congress, but did allow the message to be delivered.

Four days later, President Henry Laurens, on behalf of a unanimous Congress rejected the peace overture and rejected any offers for further meetings. As a condition for any further discussions, the British either had to recognize American Independence, or remove all military forces from the US.


June 5, 1781
Augusta, Georgia was captured and held by Patriots after changing hands several times during the war.
Patriot militia General Andrew Pickens and Lt. Col. "Light Horse Harry" Lee assisted Georgia Patriots in recapturing the city of Augusta.
After a two week siege the Loyalists finally surrendered which eventually proved to be a critical victory for the Patriots.
Since Savannah remained in British control, even after the surrender at Yorktown, holding Augusta gave American peace negotiators leverage in asserting that Georgia (at the time the most Southern state) was still a part of the United States and not a British prize.

Mural of the 2d Siege of the British stronghold of Augusta, Georgia painted by Dick Westcott and owned by the
Augusta Museum of History. The Maham tower shown in the distance is where the Patriots mounted their six
pounder to fire into the Loyalists holding Fort Cornwallis.


June 4 1781,
During the siege of Ninety Six (western South Carolina), General Greene ordered his soldiers to make large arrows. They were covered in pitch, lit, and fired from their muskets over the stockade buildings in an attempt to set the roofs on fire.
The British responded by taking the roofs off the stockade buildings.


June 4, 1754
A 22-year-old Lieutenant Colonel George Washington began construction of Fort Necessity during the French and Indian War. This was an absolute disaster of a fort and can only be explained by age and inexperience.
Even with this explanation it is hard to imagine a surveyor choosing a low spot in an open field with trees providing perfect cover for the enemy within shooting range. Surrender was inevitable.

(photo by Roger Cronin)

Photos from The Breed's Hill Institute's post 06/03/2024

Washington's General Orders for the day of 3 June 1779, give the parole (Password) as "American Arms" and the countersigns as "Successful" and "Campaign"
He was breaking down the camp near Middlebrook (now Somerville), New Jersey and preparing to depart with the army to counter the movements of British troops out of New York.
(The image is of General Washington's surviving camp chest)

Photos from The Breed's Hill Institute's post 06/03/2024

With the Revolutionary War won, the Continental Army (first authorized on 14 June 1775) was no longer needed to secure the new nation's independence.
Therefore, the Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation disbanded the Continental Army on 2 June 1784, ordering the discharge of "the several officers and soldiers now in the service of the United States, except 25 privates to guard the stores at Fort Pitt, and 55 to guard the stores at West Point and other magazines," with the required number of officers.

The next day, 3 June 1784, however, the Congress resolved "a body of troops to consist of seven hundred noncommissioned officers and privates, properly officered, are immediately and indispensably necessary for securing and protecting the northwestern frontiers of the United States."


Martha Dandridge was born on June 2, 1731, at Chestnut Grove plantation in New Kent County, Virginia, which is roughly 35 miles from the colonial capital of Williamsburg.
Martha was the first of eight children born to John Dandridge and Frances Jones.


June 1st, 1779
The court-martial of Benedict Arnold convenes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After a relatively clean record in the early days of the American Revolution, Arnold was charged with 13 counts of misbehavior, including misusing government wagons and illegally buying and selling goods.
Although his notorious betrayal was still many months away, Arnold’s resentment over this order and the perceived mistreatment by the American Army would fuel his traitorous decision.
Abruptly interrupted at its outset by a British attack north of New York City, the court-martial did not get underway again until December 23 in Morristown, New Jersey. Although Arnold was cleared of most charges, General George Washington issued a reprimand against him, and Arnold became increasingly angered.


June 1,1774:
The Boston Port Act demanded payment for the tea destroyed in the Boston Tea Party.
British Parliament passes the Boston Port Act, closing the port of Boston and demanding that the city’s residents pay for the nearly $1 million worth (in today’s money) of tea dumped into Boston Harbor during the “Boston Tea Party” of December 16, 1773.

Photos from The Breed's Hill Institute's post 05/31/2024

May 31, 1775
A committee led by Thomas Polk met at the Mecklenburg County courthouse, in the heart of Charlotte at present-day Trade and Tryon Streets, to adopt the Mecklenburg Resolves.
This was a radical set of resolutions, denying the authority of Parliament over the colonies and investing that power in the Provincial Congress, meeting that same week in New Bern.
In the absence of an operational new government, the resolves set up some basic tenets. Anyone who received or exercised a commission from the Crown was deemed an “enemy to his country” and subject to arrest. The county’s militia companies were ordered to arm themselves and maintain vigilance.


May 30, 1778
Iroquois Indians and Loyalists, led by Joseph Brant (also called Thayendanegea), won the Battle of Cobleskill, a raid on the frontier settlement of Cobleskill, New York. The battle took place in what is now Warnerville, New York, and marked the beginning of a campaign to destroy villages on the western frontier of New York and Pennsylvania. The British supplied and encouraged the Iroquois and Loyalists, who operated out of Fort Niagara.


May 29 1780
The British called it the Battle at Waxhaw's Creek while the Patriots called it the Waxhaw Massacre.
At Waxhaws on the North Carolina border, a cavalry charge by British Colonel Banastre Tarleton’s men attacked the 350 Patriots under Colonel Abraham Buford. Tarleton and his Tories proceeded to shoot at the Patriots after their surrender, a move that spawned the term “Tarleton’s Quarter,” which in the eyes of the Patriots meant a brutal death at the hands of a cowardly foe.
The Continentals lost 113 men and 203 were captured in the Battle of Waxhaws; British losses totaled 19 men and 31 horses killed or wounded.

The term “give quarter” meant to show mercy to enemy troops that surrender. This was sarcastically labeled “Tarleton’s Quarter” and became a rallying cry (and propaganda) for the patriots. Wavering Carolina civilians terrified of Tarleton and their Loyalist neighbors were now prepared to rally to the Patriot cause.

Photos from The Breed's Hill Institute's post 05/29/2024

May 28 1781
The American Frigate Alliance captured the HMS Atalanta and the HMS Trepassey. As the battle commenced, variable winds made maneuvering the Alliance impossible.
The American Captain (John Barry) was seriously wounded by grape shot and had to be relieved of command by the executive officer (Captain Hoystead Hacker) who fought well until the inability to maneuver caused him to seek Captain Barry’s permission to surrender. When Barry refused surrender and tried to reassume command, Hacker was inspired by Berry’s spirit.
At that moment a breeze came up and Hacker resumed the fight to accomplish a cunning victory.

Photos from The Breed's Hill Institute's post 05/29/2024

May 28, 1754
The Seven Years’ War began.
At only 22 years old, Lieutenant Colonel George Washington lead an attack on a group of French and Indian he mistook for an aggressive force in contested British territories.
Teetering on the edge of war already, the attack and the events that followed marked the start of combat that would rage around the globe and involve Prussia, Electorate Brunswick-Lüneburg, Great Britain, Austria, France, Russia, Sweden, Saxony, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands.
(Painting by the historic artist Bryant White. You can find more of his work at White Historic Art)
Photo of Jumonville Glen near Hopwood, PA.


Twenty-one Iroquois came to meet with Congress in May of 1776. For over a month, they would observe the operations of the Continental Congress and its president, John Hancock, as they lodged on the second floor of the Pennsylvania State House (now called Independence Hall).
On May 27, 1776, Richard Henry Lee reported that the American army had a parade of two to three thousand men to impress the Iroquois with the strength of the United States.
Four tribes of the Six Nations viewed the parade, and Lee hoped “to secure the friendship of these people.”


May 27 1778
The Continental Army becomes The American Army when the Congress establishes it as such describing its structure and finally authorized three companies of Sappers and Miners who until then were not specifically trained in this vital part of 18th century warfare.

This broadside made its way around the colonies via newspapers, including the May 27, 1778, New-Jersey Gazette.


May 26 1783
The town of North Stratford Connecticut, held "A Great Jubilee Day" one of the first commemorations of the end of the Revolutionary War. The day included a feast, speeches, prayers, toasts, militia drills and the firing of cannons.
It is claimed that this day changed over time to become Decoration Day and finally Memorial Day.

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