Celebrating 240 years since 1776, adapted in part from Stories of Faith & Courage from the Revolutionary War (AMG)

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March 1776

Who was charmed by Common Sense?

March 2, 1776
Abigail Adams writes John Adams about reading Common Sense.

“I am charmed with the sentiments of ‘Common Sense,’ and wonder how an honest heart, one who wishes the welfare of his country and the happiness of posterity, can hesitate one moment at adopting them. I want to know how those sentiments are received in [the Continental] Congress? I dare say there would be no difficulty in procuring a vote and instructions from all the assemblies in New England for independency.”

Revolutionary Bravery

March 4-5, 1776
George Washington takes advantage of spring weather and trumps the British siege of Boston when his men haul more than twelve artillery pieces onto Dorchester Heights in the middle of the night. Henry Knox had recently brought this artillery from New York’s Fort Ticonderoga. To cover their movements, patriots noisily fire from another location to distract the British military occupying Boston. When the British see these cannon on Dorchester Heights, they realize they can no longer safely bring supplies in and out of Boston Harbor. Will the redcoats fight? Or will they leave Boston? No one yet knows.

March 7, 1776
Abigail Adams isn’t sure that all is yet well in British-controlled Boston, even though Washington’s men intimidated the British by posting artillery on Dorchester Heights. Not understanding or seeing the outcome just yet, she writes to John Adams.

“This day our militia are all returning, without effecting anything more than taking possession of Dorchester Hill. I hope it is wise and just, but from all the muster and stir, I hoped and expected more important and decisive scenes; I would not have suffered all I have for two such hills. Ever since the taking of that we have had a perfect calm, nor can I learn yet what effect it has had in town Boston.”

March 10, 1776 
“I feel still more for my bleeding country men who are hazarding their lives and their limbs. -- A most terrible and incessant cannonade from half after 8 till 6 this morning.” Abigail Adams writes to her husband, John Adams.

March 17, 1776
The British military evacuates Boston after an eleven-month siege.

“The town, although it has suffered greatly, is not in so bad a state as I expected to find it,” General Washington observes.

Adams muses about Common Sense

March 19, 1776 
Some people mistakenly think that John Adams is the author Common Sense. In a letter, he analyzes Common Sense at his wife Abigail’s request.

“You ask, what is thought of Common Sense [in the Continental Congress]. Sensible men think there are some whims, some sophisms, some artful addresses to superstitious notions, some keen attempts upon the passions in this pamphlet. But all agree there is a great deal of good sense, delivered in a clear, simple, concise and nervous [courageous] style. His [whoever the author is] sentiments of the abilities of America, and of the difficulty of a reconciliation with Great Britain are generally approved.”

Abigail asks John to "remember the ladies"

March 31, 1776
Abigail Adams writes to John Adams to remember the ladies. 

“I long to hear that you have declared an independency -- and by the way in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make. I desire you would remember the ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. . . If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”

With the British out of Boston, Abigail begins to feel more optimistic about spring. 

“I feel very differently at the approach of spring to what I did a month ago. We knew not then whether we could plant or sow with safety. . . but now we feel as if we might sit under our own vine. . . I think the sun looks brighter, the birds sing more melodiously. We feel a temporary peace.”


Celebrating 240 years since 1776, adapted in part from Stories of Faith & Courage from the Revolutionary War (AMG)

JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJune  |  JulyAugustSeptember  |  October  |  November  |  December


Jane Hampton Cook's TV segments relating to the American Revolution

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