This Day in History: Who was the Secretary of Congress throughout the Revolution?

On this day in 1789, President George Washington accepts a letter of resignation from someone you’ve never heard of. But maybe your schools should have told you about him! 😉 Charles Thomson was the perpetual secretary of Congress throughout the American Revolution. “[Y]our Services have been important,” Washington wrote Thomson, “as your patriotism was distinguished.” […]

This Day in History: Benjamin Rush on Democracy

On this day in 1789, a signer of the Declaration of Independence writes a letter to John Adams. The letter sounds harsh to modern ears. And yet it makes perfect sense. “A simple democracy,” Benjamin Rush wrote, “or an unbalanced republic, is one of the greatest of evils.” Wait. Democracy . . . . evil?! […]

This Day in History: Patriots set fire to Boston Light

On this day in 1775, American Patriots set fire to Boston Light, then the oldest lighthouse in North America. In many ways, our Revolution was full of these little-known conflicts! Many of the stories are all but lost to history. How sad. These little incidents were, in so many ways, critical to our success. The […]

This Day in History: Jefferson and Adams renew their long-lost friendship

On this day in 1813, Abigail Adams sends a note to Thomas Jefferson. She had been upset and hadn’t communicated with him in years! Her husband, too, had only just begun writing to Jefferson after more than a decade of silence. It had taken Abigail longer to relent. “Abigail’s voice, as always,” historian Joseph Ellis […]