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13 Revolutions

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"The Revolution was in the Minds and Hearts of the People," John Adams wrote on 13 Feb. 1818. The colonists' drive to independence marked a new era of American history, Adams thought, when "Thirteen Clocks were made to Strike together; a perfection of Mechanism which no Artist had ever before effected."

So how did people experience the American Revolution?

1. Take a look at the material culture and manuscript resources shown below. Using 3-5 items ONLY, write a SHORT recap (1 paragraph) of the Revolution's rise and progress, ca. 1760s-1780s.

2. Then, nominate 1 MORE Smithsonian item to join this gallery. Choose any artifact/manuscript that you think we MUST see in order to understand vast early America's revolutionary culture--and tell us WHY.

As you build your history, which episodes and people come to the fore? How does the big picture change?

Portrait of America: The American Revolution [fresco] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Revolutionary War Door, (sculpture)

Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums

Thomas McKean

National Portrait Gallery

Portrait of Mrs. John Trumbull (Sarah Hope Harvey), (painting)

Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums

American Revolution letter

National Postal Museum

1p Stamp Act of 1765 proof

National Postal Museum

The Dispatch Rider of the American Revolution, (sculpture)

Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums

D.A.R. Eagle, (sculpture)

Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums

World War II Patriotic cover

National Postal Museum

Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776, (painting)

Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums

John Trumbull in Prison, (painting)

Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums

Stamp from the Stamp Act of 1765

National Postal Museum

Resolution to Raise Troops

National Museum of American History

Daniel Leonard

National Portrait Gallery

Anne Catharine Hoof Green

National Portrait Gallery

Model of Tobacco Ship "Brilliant"

Smithsonian Archives - History Div

Gunboat "Philadelphia"

Smithsonian Archives - History Div

Judge Thomas Waties

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Charles Cotesworth Pinckney

National Portrait Gallery

Samuel Blodget

National Portrait Gallery

George Washington's Battle Sword and Scabbard

National Museum of American History

Red Jacket (Sagoyewatha)

National Portrait Gallery

Newport Light Infantry Miter Cap

National Museum of American History

Margaret Whetten Dean

National Portrait Gallery

John Adams (1735-1826), (painting)

Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums

Lafayette (model for colossal statue)

Smithsonian American Art Museum