igniting the american revolution

Igniting the American Revolution brings to life the people of Boston and Massachusetts in the lead up to armed conflict.  There’s a balanced picture of American patriots, British loyalists and royal representatives.  Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, Dr. Joseph Warren, Dr. Benjamin Church and General Thomas Gage are not shown as caricatures, but as complete human beings.

Igniting the American Revolution combines people, politics and military insight to create an educational, entertaining and inspirational page turning rendition of history.

Derek Beck thoroughly documents the events in this book, but does not interrupt the narrative with the documentation.

Derek Beck

This book is the first in Derek Beck’s ten year project about the American Revolution.

 Book Review: Igniting the American Revolution, 1773-1775


abigail writes her husband

England rejected The Olive Branch Petition. Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams, wrote her husband on November 12, 1775 after hearing the news.

“Let us separate, they are unworthy to be our Brethren. Let us renounce them and instead of supplications as formerly for their prosperity and happiness, Let us beseech the almighty to blast their councils and bring to Nought all their devices.”


The Olive Branch Petition was authored by John Dickinson the previous July. It appealed directly to King George III and expressed hope for reconciliation between the colonies and Great Britain. The feeling was that most colonists were disgusted with Parliament. 

There was a belief that the king cared for his subjects welfare. When he refused to accept The Olive Branch Petition, the shift from Parliament to the king had already begun. The rejection of the petition solidified that notion. 

Abigail Adams
The blame for the depletion of rights was placed squarely on the shoulders of King George III.

Sources for this post:



In 1777, the British staged a two-prong attack to split the Colonies in two. This was to separate New England from the rest of the Colonies.

British General John Burgoyne's army marches south from Canada to link up with General William Howe's army. Burgoyne had taken Fort Ticonderoga in July. This dealt a tough defeat to the colonial cause. Howe decided to move his troops from New York to the Chesapeake Bay.

The British defeated Washington's army at Brandywine, Pennsylvania on September 11th. The British entered Philadelphia on September 25th. Howe's move left Burgoyne exposed near Saratoga, New York.

On September 19th,the Colonial Army under the command of General Horatio Gates defeated Burgoyne at Freeman's Farm near Saratoga. On October 7th the British were defeated again at Bemis Heights (the Second Battle of Saratoga). Burgoyne surrendered his forces.

This win for the Continentals allowed France to openly enter the war on the side of the Americans.


the george washington prize: 2018


George Washington: A Life in Books

Based on a comprehensive amount of research at the Library of Congress, the collections at Mount Vernon, and rare book archives scattered across the country, Kevin J. Hayes reconstructs in vivid detail the active intellectual life that has gone largely unnoticed in conventional narratives of Washington.
Throughout, Hayes examines Washington's writing as well as his reading, from The Journal of Major George Washington through his Farewell Address.

 The link about The George Washington Prize: 2018 
Podcast with Kevin J. Hayes - here's the link


drayton hall

Located on the Ashley River, Drayton Hall is the only plantation house to have survived both the American Revolutionary War and the Civil War. The mansion was built by John Drayton (1715 - 1779). The house is believed to have been originally occupied in the early 1750's.

Drayton Hall
Drayton Hall is managed by The National Trust for Historic Preservation. It has been open to the public since 1977. For more information on Drayton Hall, here is the Wikipedia link: Drayton Hall

Drayton Hall is a prime example of Palladian architecture. Information on house tours are found on this website: Visit Drayton Hall

Drayton Hall on the Ashley River