George Washington was born in Virginia on February 11, 1731, according to the then-used Julian calendar. In 1752, however, Britain and all its colonies adopted the Gregorian calendar, which moved the calendar ahead 11 days and made January the first month of the year instead of March. The new calendar placed Washington’s birth on February 22, 1732.
Washington, George, the Virginia Colonel (3/4 length), 1772
The American Colonies and France signed this military treaty on February 6, 1778. Believing that they would benefit militarily by allying themselves with a powerful nation, the revolutionary colonies formed an alliance with France against Great Britain. According to this first military treaty of the new nation, the United States would provide for a defensive alliance to aid France should England attack, and neither France nor the United States would make peace with England until the independence of the United States was recognized.
Treaty of Alliance, 02/06/1778
Contrary to popular belief, this bit of propaganda—created by Benjamin Franklin in 1754—was created for the French and Indian War, not the American Revolution. Franklin’s aim was to urge colonists to unite against the common threat that the French and Native American tribes posed against the then-western frontiers. Later, in 1765, it would take on a new meaning as colonists used it as a symbol for uniting against the British crown (also around this year, some colonies changed the wording to “Unite or die”). It was the first known depiction of colonial unity published by a British colonist in America.
(New England is represented here as N.E. rather than breaking each state out.)
Announcing the National Archives Transcription Pilot Project!
You can help the National Archives make historical documents more accessible by contributing to transcriptions!
Transcriptions help in searching for the document as well as in reading and understanding the document. The work you do transcribing a handwritten or typed document will help the next person discover and use that record.
Available documents include letters to a civil war spy, presidential records, suffrage petitions, and fugitive slave case files, and today’s featured document - the Credentials of Hiram Rhodes Revels.
Alexander Hamilton was born on January 11, 1757, the illegitimate son of a poor itinerant merchant. He would go on to become a lieutenant colonel in the American Revolution, a close confidant to George Washington, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, and first Secretary of the Treasury.
This is most likely to be a fashion doll, or a pandora. Pandoras were used from the 14th century to convey the latest fashion among the courts of Europe. By the 18th century this practice had become more common, and these three-dimensional fashion plates were sent all over Europe and America to a much wider clientele by dress makers to promote their wares. By the end of the 18th century the pandoras had given way in importance to fashion magazines. The figures were not designed as toys, but, after they had served their original purpose they may been given to children to play with.
This wooden figure is dressed in a silk sack back robe with matching petticoat and stomacher. She wears all the accessories and underpinnings of a fashionable lady of the late 1750s. The original headed pins suggest that the garments have remained in position since the 18th century and the figure may never have been played with.
A Tea Party, Boston-Style
In protest of new restrictions on the tea trade imposed by the British government, colonial revolutionaries known as the “Sons of Liberty” disguised themselves as Mohawks and boarded several cargo ships anchored in Boston harbor on the evening of December 16, 1773, emptying hundreds of chests of tea into the water. The British government would respond with the “Intolerable Acts” and by closing the Port of Boston, escalating the situation closer to war.The Destruction of Tea at Boston Harbor. 1773. Copy of lithograph by Sarony & Major, 1846