tv Lectures in History The American Revolution 1775-76 CSPAN January 20, 2019 12:00pm-1:07pm EST
kentucky with literary aspirations, was hungry for an education. she was this young woman who ran into breckenridge and she was desperate to make or sell something and get an education. >> tonight, at 8:00 eastern on q&a. michael gabriel to does a class about military engagement in the american revolution the july 1776. he highlights the battle of funk or hill, the american envision of canada and the eventual ownership that tuition in boston. this class is about an hour. prof. gabriel: ok, everybody. last class, we were talking about the outbreak of the american revolution. all of this tension is building in the spring of 1775, in april,
general thomas gage since troops -- sends troops into the countryside and fighting breaks out at lexington and concord. at nightfall, about 20,000 americans descend on boston, lay siege to the city, this war that nobody really wants but has been brewing for probably 12, 13 years, has started. we are going to talk about -- does anybody take french? april 17, 75. right after lexington and concorde. this is sometimes called the popular uprising. this is the year of the revolution, that probably more people supported the war than any other one. why do you suppose there's so much support for the revolution this year? any ideas? go ahead, isabel. student: they haven't started
fighting it. prof. gabriel: they haven't started fighting it. anybody else, any ideas? this is like fury, i've got some images here to show you guys. kind of a neat quote, there's a historian who teaches at lsu, he's the guy who coined this phrase rage militaire. , it comes from philadelphia, as the french call, a passion for arms, has taken possession of the whole continent. the americans are literally fighting mad. there are literally fighting mad. ok? that's why there is so much support for the war. it's like this while passion. even the words -- rage. what is rage? go ahead. >> anger. >> intense anger. the americans are really
furious. all of this has been building up and it comes boiling out. what is sort of interesting during this phase is the americans are on the offensive and actively taking the war to the british. what we are going to look at is rage militaire in the north, south, and specifically in boston. we're going to see that what is going on here is partly about the war, partly about what is the american war aim? different people have different ideas of what those war aims are. the final thing i would say here, it starts in april 1775, lexington concorde. what is july 1776? go ahead. the declaration of independence. popularity in support of a war begins to decline.
the emotional edge does not last. the horrors of war take the edge off. it's hard to maintain an emotional peak for extended periods. maybe a bad analogy, but when you fall in love with someone, you can't stop thinking about them, then the 20th wedding anniversary, i love you, could you pass the salt. it's not the same thing. the intensity fades away. also, not all americans support independence. we will look at some today that fit that model. we are going to start with the north. fighting breaks out at lexington and concorde in april. we talked about that. what is significant is fighting spreads to upstate new york. you can see this is lake champlain. at the southern end, there is
fort ticonderoga. in may, 1775, a group of americans led by ethan allen and benedict arnold sees for t ticonderoga -- it is loaded with military cannon. the attack is not authorized by congress. congress is meeting for the first time. we will pick that up later. it is authorized by the messages committee of safety and a bunch -- massachusetts committee of safety and a bunch of angry guys in vermont. they are taking the war to the english. or is no reason this should -- there is no reason they should happen, but it does. over the next couple of days, and we will see a map in a minute that expands on this, at crown point, which we don't really need to worry about, and benedict arnold invades canada. the americans are taking the war to the champlain valley, they are taking the war to the
british. that is rage militaire. the second part is boston. what is going on in boston? we said that 20,000 americans descend on the city and the city is under siege. this is the governor of massachusetts. he is also rich commander in -- british commander in north america. thomas gage. he is an interesting guy. he is married to an american. his wife is an american, maybe even an american spy. those of you doing female spies, gage's wife is someone to look at. he has been in america since the french and indian war. he somewhat sympathizes with , he believes in liberty but not in the american sense of liberty is. throughout the fall of 1774 and spring of 1775, gage keeps asking for reinforcements. he sends letters to england, the situation is pretty bad, we should send more reinforcements.
instead of sending gage reinforcements, the british sent three more generals. a guy by the name of william howe. he will feature prominently in your book. a guy named henry clinton. and a guy named john burgoyne. all these guys we are going to talk about later. what do you suppose the gage asksce is that for reinforcements and britain sends three generals? what was the ramification of that? any ideas? student: a lot of convict -- conflicting views about what they should do. prof. gabriel: a lot of conflicting views. student: the british don't think manpower is necessary at this point. prof. gabriel: they might not think manpower is necessary. they might not have a lot of faith in thomas gage. when you ask for reinforcements and they send three more generals, that's not a huge vote
of support. kind of interestingly, the british ship that brings the three generals is the hms cerebus, which is the name of the three-headed dog who guards hell. it's kind of interesting, the americans have one of those heads for each of those generals. this is boston. you can see boston on this peninsula sticking out here. it is called the boston neck. the americans are at roxbury and cambridge and they have the british bottled up in boston. you can see boston harbor. here you can see castle william. remember we read the document about the boston riots and the governor was writing from castle william? that's where it is. what is interesting here, and this shows the american anger after lexington and concord. the americans don't just sit here, they don't try to storm the city, they could never get
across the boston neck, but what the americans do is they fortify this peninsula, called the charlestown peninsula. the theory is that if the americans control be high could put artillery up here in potentially shelve the city and make boston harbor untenable. the americans occupied this land on the night of june 16. they are supposed to go to this hill called bunker hill. is actually two hills. thanabout 40 feet taller breeds hill, but in the darkness, the men get confused and go to the forward hill, breeds hill, it is closer to boston. in some ways that is good and in some ways it's bad. over the course of the night, they dig a fortification. up onen the british wake the morning of june 17, they can
hear some shoveling. in thend somewhere neighborhood of 2000 to 3000 americans have done application on a kernel technically and they are overlooking the city of boston. gage decides that this is a threat. let the troops stay overlooking the city and you've got to drive them back. who he puts in tactical command, the guy who will command on the battlefield is certainly in how -- is sir william howe. he's the commander underground. if you are the british and you see these americans appear you do,hill, what would would you leave them there, what would you do, any ideas? student: [indiscernible]
bunker hill is 40 feet higher. prof. gabriel: here or here. ok. in a sense, you control the water, that is doable, and you can cut off their retreat route. student: that the british navy to encircle. prof. gabriel: shell the heck out of those guys. that would be a good strategy. that is not what britain decides to do. that is not what so william howe the size to do. -- decides to do. instead, he lines up 2200 british soldiers shoulder to shoulder, and since the straight -- sends them straight up the hill. it is kind of interesting -- british soldiers, and you can see this here, this is a relatively accurate painting. this is probably the second assault. they wear lots of belts. the belts crisscross. natural target points.
british officers wear a shiny metal desk around their throat called a gorgon. it's a symbol of authority, british officers loved it and it would shine in the sun. anything bad about having a shiny metal thing around your throat? >> they know exactly where to shoot. gabriel: -- professor gabriel: same with the crisscrossing belts. the famous quote from booker hill is don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes. that is probably actually said. the british march up the hill and the americans fired their first folly at under 150 feet, volley and the british go down in waves, they are blasted down the hill. howehey reform, william puts them in line and send them back up a second time.
student every time they crawl up : the ridge, they get wiped out? prof. gabriel: oh yeah. and they are crawling over there -- their own guys. you suppose he adopted this tactic? why not swing around the navy, why go straight up the hill? student: it is always how they has been fighting. prof. gabriel: it's always how they have been fighting. who have they been fighting? student: militia. prof. gabriel: they are way underestimating american ability and overestimating british ability. in the british march up the hill a second time and they get blasted down a second time. the way we know this is the third assault, because the third assault, howe calls for reinforcements, and he lets them take off their backpacks. british soldiers carry 60-80 pounds of equipment. the first us all, they are -- the first assault they are , carrying the equipment, the
third time of the hill, the americans have run out of gunpowder. the british overrun booker hill. -- bunker hill. the british capture bunker hill. bunker hill is technically a british victory. they seized the charlestown peninsula. student: wait, are they going up result or bunker hill -- up breeds hill or bunker hill? prof. gabriel: well, breeds hill. that is a good point. it is technically the battle of breeds hill. it is known as the battle of bunker hill, because it was the hill they were meant to be on. the british win the battle of breeds hill or bunker hill and occupy the charlestown peninsula. ok? but bunker hill is tremendously important because it has lots of -- ramifications. it feeds into the idea of rage militaire. we are going to pick that up in a minute. one of the things about bunker hill is the casualties.
british soldiers take horrible losses. 268 british soldiers are killed, 828 are wounded, out of about 2200. casualty rate of about 45-50%. william howe was personally on the field. almost all of his staff is killed. he miraculously is unhurt, bullets kill everybody around him but not him. two british regiments are completely wrecked, and the british are horrified by this. you have to think about how small boston is, and boston is now filled with wounded guys, dying men. it is summertime, it is hot. the british army is horrified i -- by what has happened here. and what is striking, we will pick this up later, the british army in boston doesn't try anything for about nine months. they have been pummeled by bunker hill. american losses at bunker hill
are 115 dead and 305 wounded, ok? a second result of bunker hill is even though the americans have lost this hill, the americans are greatly encouraged by this. it shows americans will fight, americans will fight like crazy. as the british ultimately seize the hill, americans stay and fight them with rocks, they in -- they don't have bayonets. british soldiers comment that they have never seen soldiers stand up like this. normal troops would run. angry americans don't do that. another legacy of bunker hill is tremendously heavy officer casualties. very hard to put precise numbers on anything in any war, especially the american revolution, it is estimated somewhere in the neighborhood of about 12%, 13% of british officers killed in the american revolutionary war are killed a at bunker hill.
americans are targeting these guys, shooting them down like crazy. what is interesting is william howe's response. not william howe, thomas gage's response. he says the americans are now spirited up by rage and enthusiasm. rage, anger. a rage and enthusiasm as great as ever people were possessed of. you must proceed in earnest or give the business up. let's look at that quote. the americans are now spirited up like a rage and and susie as him as ever people were possessed of. what does that mean? what is gage literally saying here? student: [indiscernible] prof. gabriel: yeah, he says i have never in my career seen anybody so angry. the americans are unbelievably angry. this next quote is very
interesting. you must proceed in earnest or give the business up. what is happening? proceed in earnest or give the business up. student: [indiscernible] prof. gabriel: yeah, he is telling parliament, you need to send a whole army, this is full-blown war. this is not a little rebellion. if you're not going to commit the entire empire, don't even bother. this is wildly out of control. then you go back to that quote, the rage militaire has swept the continent. there is another guy, we will talk about him later, richard montgomery. he is in new york city. we have philadelphia, boston, new york city. this is what richard montgomery says about booker hill. -- bunker hill. see what the enthusiasm of liberty and in dickinson of injury isnt sense of capable of doing. enthusiasm. tremendous anger. he says every friend of old england wishes this contest
speedily concluded. it lasts many months, she is done with us forever. what does that last part mean? englandiend of old wishes this contest speedily ended. if it lasts many months, she is gone forever. what does that mean? what is richard montgomery saying? anybody? go ahead, isabel. student: that everyone who is a supporter of england wants this to be over fast, and if not, they are going to give up. prof. gabriel: ok. this war is wildly violent. if this last very long, there will never be reconciliation. there will be too much blood spilled. it shows you, some people are still hoping for reconciliation. richard montgomery is one of them. we will get back to him in a little bit. this is rage militaire. the final result of the battle of bunker hill, is parliament releases thomas gage. they see he failed.
one of the things were going to see, we talked about how the coming of the revolution, britain kept going through prime ministers. once the war breaks out, britain keeps going to commanders in america. that is a bad sign, that the war is not going well and you can't pick somebody to stay. thomas gage is relieved of command and send back to england. the new commander is william howe, the guy who fought at bunker hill. what is interesting, he will show up prominently in your washington's crossing book. some historians have argued, and i don't want to give away too much of that book, that one of the problems with william howe he is sympathetic to americans. he's a member of parliament and told his constituents he would not fight against the americans and then changes his mind when they offer him command. some historians have argued that william howe is traumatized by bunker hill. he is gun shy. after bunker hill, he will never commit his men in a major assault.
some say, probably today you would say he has ptsd, is horribly scarred i seen so much of his command shot down. student: he is the guy who sent waves of british soldiers to die? prof. gabriel: he is. student: so why -- professor gabriel: thomas gage is the guy who is messing up. howe was a senior, and is now the commander in north america. makes no sense, but that's the way it was peered that is rage militaire. we have another man in this rage militaire, and this is in the invasion of canada. we talked a little bit about canada. canada is new to the british empire, the treaty of paris. 70,000 french-canadians there. we said, parliament has just passed the quebec act to appease the french-canadians. it extended the province of
quebec to the ohio river. it allowed catholicism. it allowed for an appointed assembly for the use of french law in the province of quebec. what is interesting is the americans think the french-canadians might want to join them. and maybe the americans would be welcomed in canada. why do you suppose they might think that? any ideas? student: they are still sour because of the french indian war? prof. gabriel: maybe they have not been assimilated into the empire and would join the rebellion. any downsides to the thinking? student: they might be more interested in france taking back the area. prof. gabriel: they might want the french back. do you suppose the french-canadians have love for americans?
why? student: they helped the french in the french and indian war. student: the americans pretty much started the war. professor gabriel. : the americans call the quebec act part of the intolerable acts. so why do the americans who are going to be welcome in canada, but congress thinks they might be. one of the things congress is thinking about, this is when the situation gets collocated, there -- complicated, there is 70,000 french-canadians in these people are generically called the new subjects. because they are new to england. but after the british conquer canada, about 3000 american and english merchants settle in canada. these people are called the old subjects, they were traditionally english.
turns out, the old subjects don't like quebec acts. they don't like french law, they want common law and they want direct assembly. 1775ghout the spring of before lexington and concord, americans are sending spies and canada and canada is sending spies out saying that the new subjects are in different but the old subjects would welcome an american invasion. so congress believe there's going to be support for invasion of canada. they also want canada because it they could take canada, they would get the british author backs. champlain down lake is a traditional invasion route into the interior of new york, that's what the americans seized to come for over -- ticonderoga. that if also believes they could take canada, it would show parliament they were serious. maybe parliament will negotiate.
some thought that you could use canada as a bargaining chip. we will give you canada back if you repeal the act, something like that. once again, the americans invade, capture ticonderoga in may. so the time to invade canada would have been june, july, august. but congress doesn't. congress does not know what to do. congress actually for a while considers inventorying all of the captured canadians at ticonderoga and moving them to the same place so they can give them back to england when the war is over because congress still believes reconciliation is going to happen. but throughout the summer of 1975, -- 1770 five, congress begins to realize maybe reconciliation won't happen and they authorize the invasion of canada until the end of june. that's late, because it's going to take a couple of months for the army's to get ready which
means american armies are not going to enter canada until september october. why is that problematic? did: -- student: canada in late fall. >> why is that bad? not a goodpaigning is decision, but that's what congress does. congress can't quite make up its mind what to do, so they ultimately adopt an invasion of canada. the actualsting, order says if the canadian inhabitants don't mind. how are you going to know? are you going to ask them? congress authorized the invasion of canada. it's actually very smart. arnoldng led by benedict , the guy who captured for ticonderoga, is going to lead an army through the main wilderness about 1000 men, mainly new englanders. and the theory is that they
would attack quebec city directly out of the wilderness. arnold, this is quebec city in the background. march 2 quebec turns out to be a nightmare. winter sets in earlier than they planned. , the finalt 1100 men 400 have most of the supplies and they turned back to take the other supplies to the other 700 trapped in the wilderness with no food. part of the problem for arnold the americans have a map from the coast of maine to quebec. map says this route is about 160 miles. math is off by a factor of two to three. its 300 miles or 400 miles. so these guys get caught up in the rivers of northern maine in
parts of southern quebec in winter and these men star. these men are like walking scarecrows. this account is very heavily recorded. lots of arnold's men leave diaries, some speculated new englanders had a high literacy rate, and you read about these guys. they are eating squirrels, they are eating their shoes, they are eating smocks. dogs, the dogse disappear relatively quickly because there is no food in their late walking scarecrows but arnold and 600 men make it to this place and they cross and theyec in november call upon the city of quebec to surrender. the british laugh at them. they are 600 scarecrows telling this city to surrender, they don't do it. but arnold does make it to quebec. historians at the time, writers at the time compare this to hannibal's march through the alps with elephants.
famous route, this is the one everyone knows about because it's well documented. like benedict arnold was kind of an interesting figure because he's a hero and he's a traitor at the same time. but the guy i want to focus on is the man who leads the main army in canada and it's actually the main invasion force. his name is richard montgomery and this is richard montgomery. montgomery's job was to take the city of montreal, he was supposed to proceed up lake champlain, faced the main british army and the theory was if montgomery attacked montreal, the british would put all their force against him and quebec would fall without resistance. he thought the british would not have anything left in quebec. they are going to hit the two major cities of canada simultaneously. what interesting about montgomery is first, i did my doctoral dissertation on that which makes them fascinating.
and i told you guys earlier, i told my wife and son i would name him richard montgomery gabriel but that never happened. guygomery is an interesting , it shows us something about conspiracy and something about rage militare. he's a former british officer, spends 15 years in the british army. it's kind of interest in. three very high-ranking british -- american general officers are all former british soldiers that all seemingly know each other. talkio gates, we will about him later, charles laid, we will talk about him later -- charles lee. richard montgomery entered the army at 18 years old, he sees extensive service in north america, he's at ticonderoga, these at havana and the caribbean. catches a very bad case of yellow fever or malaria in the
caribbean and later write that he used -- he fights in pontiac's rebellion, expensive duty in north america. and on the way to fight pontiacs indians in 1765, is ship runs aground on the hudson river and the meeting will wealthy american family called the meets their eldest daughter, she remembers when his regimen comes back, he's not there. he's going to marry her at some future point. , montgomeryrvice goes back to england and seemingly sympathizes with the american physicians. he seems to be a political liberal for his time. and montgomery wrote dissolution -- grows disillusioned partly because he can't get promoted. this is something we bring up a little bit. at this point in history, british officers are partly promoted by purchase system.
you can buy yourself a commission. and there's a scale, so i second lieutenant is like 500 pounds, a first is like 800 pounds, a captaincy is 1500 pounds. so montgomery's dad buys in a commission and he slowly earns his way up and he serves as captain. but multiple times after the french and indian war, remember we talked about the british army as cut in size, montgomery gets passed over, he has the money and the experience, but he never can get promoted and he gets disgusted and he comes to america. he writes a very interesting letter to his cousin and he says "i cast my eyes on america where my pride will be much more acceptable." he's pretty wealthy but by british standards, he's pretty poor. he settles near new york city and in 1772, marries the
daughter of this wealthy american family called the livingstons. montgomerysting is sees the coming of the revolution, he knows the boston tea party, doesn't seem to do anything. the thing that seems to ofiticize him is the course -- coursercive acts. he's a member of the new york .rovincial congress june, 1775, because of the military background, congress picks them to be a general. in his comments on being made a general are pretty interesting.
think about what we have talked " the, montgomery writes congress having done me the honor of electing the the brigadier general of their which mustan event put an end to the quiet scheme of life i have prescribed for myself." "for although entirely unexpected and undesired by me, the will of an oppressed people compelled to choose between liberty and slavery must be obeyed. the will of an oppressed people compelled to choose between liberty and slavery must be obeyed." what is montgomery saying, what does he believe in? freedom/ conspiracy. professor gabriel: he believes in the conspiracy. ed montgomery is put in command of the invasion of canada, he's
the number two officer, the number one officer gets ill. leads the main american army into canada. montreal, just north of the current day american border, there's a place called st. john. and montgomery lays seized to st. john's for 43 days. map,f you look at this this is a map drawn by the british commander of st. john's. look what he calls. the swampy woods. not a great place you would want to spend 43 days in october. it rains incessantly and montgomery becomes more and more depressed. he calls his army drowned rats calling through the swap -- crawling through the swamp. johnfter 43 days, st. surrenders and montgomery captures almost all the british army in canada.
almost the entire british army in canada and he has destroyed it. montgomery proceeds on and occupies montreal which surrenders without firing a shot. on novemberrenders 13. he has taken the western part of canada. it's montgomery, throughout this iod writes letters to his wife and he repeatedly talks about being homesick and how he is moral qualms against fighting the british army because he was a british officer for 15 years. he hears word that is all regimen is being applied to america and he writes something like "heaven save me from having
to fight my old regiment." "i feel more closely to those people than anyone on earth." montgomery, horridly homesick, increasingly disillusioned with american troops advances to quebec city. he meets arnold outside of quebec and the americans lay siege to quebec. the americans have about 900 men. montgomery had about 300. montgomery left about 500 behind. he works his way down to quebec city. montgomery lays seized quebec for about a month. quebec is a walled city. american artillery is so light, the cannonballs bounce off. montgomery sends letters into the city telling them they should surrender. guy carleton sends the messages back unopened.
montgomery faces a huge problem. on january 1, most of arnold's and willstment expires go home on january 1. so what richard montgomery decides is on the night of december 31, 1775, to try to storm the city of quebec. a wild blizzard, the american army is demolished. richard montgomery is killed almost immediately. a shot in the face and in the groin, killed immediately. benedict arnold is seriously wounded. the american army in canada is shattered. what is interesting here, and this is where we are going to take a quick aside, yes, go ahead. student: did they really only go they were all going to
expire? prof. gabriel: that's why they attacked. if we wait until generate first, half the army is going home. student: did they think they had any actual chance? prof. gabriel: that's a debatable question. montgomery believes he actually has a fighting shot because he thinks the blizzard is going to hide them. it didn't work. there is a wild account. montgomery is leading the attack. montgomery literally grabs and xets and that -- grabs an a and he's the first guy through the gates and the first guy killed. he really wants to go home, he really does. montgomery becomes the first martyr of the revolution. real, but bunker richard montgomery is the first and highest ranking american officer killed in the revolution. highest ranked. irony, on the odd
day richard montgomery is killed, his overall commander writes in a letter and says there is a rumor that you have been killed, and hope that's not true. and congress just made you a major general, congratulations. as he is writing that letter, montgomery is being killed. what is interesting, and if any of you would take the early republic class next semester, we will talk about this a little more, montgomery becomes a major hero. this is a very famous painting by a man named john trumbull in 1786. if you look, and you can put these other paintings, montgomery, if you compare it to renaissance painting, it looks like christ taken down from the cross. you can see these two battle flags and they symbolically are making across. richard montgomery is almost a deity. 17 states will name counties after richard montgomery.
the first monument congress ever approved and created and paid for is in honor of richard montgomery, in new york city at a place called st. paul's chapel. richard montgomery is buried in quebec, the british very him with honor. 43 years later, they bring him back to new york city and bury him in new york city. but this is richard montgomery. thomas paine will write an appeal for independence using montgomery's ghost to argue for independence. so he becomes a great hero. what is interesting is he doesn't want independence. we saw that one letter he wrote where he said we hope this thing ends quickly or england is through with us. about two weeks before richard montgomery is killed, he writes a letter to his brother-in-law, a member of congress, and he says, how the americans approached any foreign powers and how they set a date beyond reconciliation is impossible?
he never gets an answer because he is killed. but he has an interesting postscript. an add on. i hope and do billy believe that -- do barely believe that the ministry will not reduce us to this melancholy necessity. i hope we never have to adopt a position of independence, i hope they don't force us to do this. so richard montgomery doesn't get killed dying for american independence. he gets killed for neglect. the americans want independence back and to be left alone. there was a horrible smallpox epidemic that destroyed what was left of the army, and the invasion of canada fails. canada won't become the 14th colony, it will become a bargaining chip. they try like crazy, but it
doesn't happen. i asked you guys to read a document that is a translation of the british report on who collaborated. if anybody had the time to do ,hat, throughout the document it keeps talking about these people called the boston a. does anybody know? student: [indiscernible] prof. gabriel: ok. you are basically right. student: i think it said it was americans in general. prof. gabriel: the french canadians think anyone who is american is from boston. if you look at the way americans baston., it's tba,
the documents it's talking about ey? habitants, who are th the french canadians, the common people. the farmers. those are the people who don't know if they are going to help the americans are not. that's when everything was ultimately riding on. from that document, did you see any way the french canadians helped americans? anybody see it, this is question number two that i passed out? protected say the spiesn what were three that say there was a notice to have them removed and then the general supposed to remove them told a friend of his that they needed to get them out. prof. gabriel: so they aid american spies, anything else? student: they smuggled food and armed them. prof. gabriel: anything else?
someof them stand guard, of them build signal fires for the americans. some of them fight with the americans, not many. did anybody see anything why the americans are not welcome in canada? there's one or two things. you have to read this fairly carefully. if it looks repeatedly, it says the americans by provisions, they don't give them cash, they give them ious. what the matter with that? why? student: you can't pay someone if you are dead. prof. gabriel: anything else? was bad about iou> what is that implying? student: they never really get it. prof. gabriel: they are assuming the army is going to stay in canada. what if that doesn't happen? the iou is worthless. why do you suppose they don't
just wait for cash, why not just give them gold coins and stuff? why give them a paper iou? student: they don't have any hard currency. prof. gabriel: they don't have any. they can barely feed themselves. as the american army stays in canada been into requisition supplies, they begin to take things because they are starving to death but that does not build a lot of confidence among the french canadians and the british keeps saying if these guys can feed themselves and their taking your own, what are the odds they are going to treat you well if you become part of the united states? the american invasion of canada is doomed. rowley always was doomed but it's definitely over. like is a silver lining poor richard montgomery and all these other guys who died of smallpox. because this is a major divergence from the british. the rest of the war, britain will be forced to spend somewhere in the neighborhood of as many as 12,000 troops to canada to conquer it. they are going to have to
permanently keep 4000 to 6000 troops to keep canada loyal or at least under control. and by diverting troops to canada, there's less troops to fight in the main lower 13 colonies. in a sense, the invasion of canada works out. but it's a very high loss. but fighting is also spreading to the self. we talked about boston, new york, canada. well, virginia is a world colony. the most populous, geographic, wealthiest colony. may, 1775 right after lexington and concorde, lord dunmore seizes all the gunpowder held at the capital, colonial williamsburg. see the powder magazine,
the big brick building? they seized all the gunpowder because he does not want the american rebels to get it. 75, heout the summer of fights these skirmishes with american militias, partly led by a guy named patrick henry. give me liberty or give me death, that guy. the other thing he does, and we are going to pick this up later, in november lord dunmore issues a proclamation that he tells slaves. who enter british area and takes up arms will be set free. doing, he'sre's creating a force made up of a handful of british regulars, loyalists, and slaves. the fall of 1775, he has about 1200 of these people in the area around north, virginia. dunmore flees to a british warship. we see british authority collapse in new jersey in the
benjamin franklin book. authority all across america collapses. december, dunmore lands his combined force of about 1200 and a place called great bridge and they try to defeat the american militia forced to take the city of norfolk. americans defeat his force at great bridge. bridge is an great american victory secures virginia. december 9, 1775. the same time montgomery is in canada, this fighting in virginia. dunmore hangs around off the coast of the small british squadron and on january 1 he burned the ground. he burns it. some will argue that very much
alienates british symbol in virginia because dunmore wilburn other cities. will the british burn anything? talking about how you win the war, how you make civilians like you, how you promote your loyalist population, may burning cities is not the answer. burning soon after norfork, disease breaks out. scatter, what sort of tragic, and they will pick this up later, the slaves are taken to the west indies and sold as slaves. the british did not free them, they just move them from virginia to barbados. so, virginia has been secured. the same situation is happening in north carolina. there's a royal governor in north carolina who has fled to a warship, a man by the name of josiah martin.
veryh martin issues a bombastic proclamation. proclamation in 1776. a most daring court in a natural rebellion is exerted in this province by insidious artifices of certain traders, wicked and designing men. that's really bad. all malese calls upon to join the british cause. he says all such rebels who will not join the royal banners, itors, theirra lives and properties will be forfeit. if you don't join, we will kill you and take your property. martin's- not dunmore,
proclamation very much resonates in north carolina. we talked about north carolina as a regulator. there's lots of different ethnic groups in rural north carolina. scotch irish, germans, highland scott. and a force of about 1500 highland scots who are very much loyalists begin to march for the coast. a britishrd that naval squadron is approaching north carolina and it's this british naval squadron -- if it could meet these loyalists, maybe they could subdue north carolina. 27, 1776, another battle is spot, this one is the bridge.f creek february 27, 1776. bridge over a deep, swampy stream and what the americans did is it apply things off the bridge. .nd they greased them
the americans are on this side of the bridge have gone that has about 1500 loyalists on the other side with kilts, bagpipes, carrying broad swords. they tried to walk across the greek bridges under fire. what do you suppose the odds are? bad. that's an understatement. they get slaughtered. the american labor planking down, counterattack. and within a couple of days, about 40 of these people have been killed and over 800 have been captured. and north carolina is now secured for the patriot cause. virginia has been secured, north carolina is secure. the patriots are taking over. we've got a final case, this one in south carolina.
south carolina has another royal governance, william campbell, that's all royal governors do, they flee. a naval has heard that force eventually is going to come to charleston which is a major southern city. it's also a very rich area. in early june, this british naval squadron arrives off the coast of charleston. which was squadron supposed to go to north carolina, they were delayed by storms. at by the time they arrive north carolina in march, they find out about bridge, north carolina has been lost in the go to south carolina. on june 20 8, 1776, the british navy attacks charleston and once called the battle of sullivans island.
the battle of sullivans island. ?nybody ever been to charleston it's very old, very historic. pretty nice place, actually. the british navy has a disaster. the americans are firing very accurately, they should the heck out of the british warships. -- they shoot the heck out of the british warships. and the british are repelled to charleston and south carolina which is now secured for the colonists. the three major southern colonies have all been secured. the world governor flees. georgia is now secured. the americans have secured the deep south. this is a very famous painting of the battle of sullivans island. this man is sergeant jasper. very famous soldier, very famous story. of launchis made out
and filled with sand, they absorb cannonballs. the british would later recover something like 3000 cannonballs. their flag staff gets shot down and they are afraid of the fly goes down, people might think fort sullivan has surrendered. sergeant jasper stands up on the battlefield under fire and he re-attaches the fly. learn about 20 different versions of sergeant jasper at sullivans island. two years later, sergeant jasper tries this again and he gets killed. probably should not have pressed his luck. but the whole story here, rage it isire in the south, being secured to the patriot cause. virginia, north and south carolina, georgia. there will be no more fighting in the carolinas. that means they can secure
troops for the fight in the north. these people can course loyalists into place. coerce loyalists into place. georgia is only settled in the mid-1730's, very small population and with everything else falling apart in the south, the governor literally just leaves. georgia is onlyhe escapes and ga warship. georgia rolls over, does not even fight. that's rage militaire in the south. we have one last topic, and that's boston. the siege of boston. the very first picture, boston has been under siege ever since bunker hill. the americans can't get in, the british can't get out. george washington shows up and immediately after bunker hill, assumes command of this 20,000
men force, begins to turn it into the main continental army. washington meets all these guys for new englanders. soldiers.black but washington does not have the strength to get into the city. the british don't have the strength to get out. the next nine months, boston remains under siege. there are periodic skirmishes. there's not any food in boston. there's lots of little battles for livestock. need if the americans they need canon inspect and blast the british out of boston. i'm the americans remember that you have cannons. that is 60 very big, heavy winter ofo in the
george washington sends a man who will be the chief of the artillery to ticonderoga. and they loath these heavy and theyn the sleds dragged them from lake champlain to boston about 200 miles. one of the real forgotten events of the american revolution, the continental army is getting heavy artillery, heavy power from cannons. and they arrive back at boston sometime in late february or early march. and that gives washington an idea to go back for our first map. can't do anything with the peninsula because the british
are occupying it. doesn't do anything to put it here. but you have this place called dorchester heights, it overlooks boston harbor and the city. it has high ground and looks a lot like breeds hill. in early march, 1776, george washington puts his heavy artillery on dorchester heights, making boston untenable. american artillery can sink any ship in boston harbor and shell the city. william howe wakes up and finds heavy american cannons overlooking the city. he could fight. he could land troops here. he could line them up and do bunker hill all over again. owe has lost his stomach for bloody, linear combat. what he does is on st. patrick's day, 1776, howe evacuates boston.
the british army leaves boston and goes to halifax, nova scotia. the british go to halifax. when the british leave, about 1000 loyalists go with them. you will see something, every time the british evacuate an area, thousands of loyalists go with them. loyalists do not want to be left behind. they do not know what the americans are going to do to loyalists. but it's probably not a particularly -- that is probably not a particularly wonderful prospect. the other interesting thing about the evacuation of boston, which people do not remember, is that for all practical purposes the war in new england is over. there is almost major no fighting in new england after this point. there are some coastal raids. for all purposes, the american revolution in new england is ended. the war will go on another seven
years but the fighting in new england is pretty much over. the other thing that is kind of interesting here that nobody remembers is that when the british army leaves boston, aside from places and the great -- places in the great lakes like detroit and fort niagara, there are no more british soldiers left in the 13 colonies. the americans have driven the british army out. it looks like the americans have won the revolution. british authority in america has collapsed. there is no more british military presence south of quebec and north of saint augustine, florida. the british are gone. the americans rebellion seemingly has succeeded. the americans are fighting mad and they are not going to take it anymore. ok. we will close it here. any questions? any concerns? student: when they are evacuating the city, to the
-- do the americans just let them go? prof. gabriel: yes. there was some thought of trying to sink them. but they thought that was better to just get them gone. it is interesting too, when the americans enter the city, they find that the british have trashed boston. they used churches for stables. they burned everything in sight. they take shingles on all the fences are gone. but that is not surprising. the british did not like boston. boston is the home of the massacre and the tea party. they are really revengeful on boston. student: when they asked the slaves to join, what was the result of that? prof. gabriel: that is a heck of a question. what do you think the result was? student: i thought i read somewhere that this made them trust britain even more. prof. gabriel: that goes back to this question of how desperate -- how does britain win?
it would make sense to free the slaves and ask them to fight their masters. it will not make loyalists slave owners happy. if you free some slaves, will you free some slaves come only one that helped you and once i do not? what -- and ones that do not? dunmoor is not thinking big and long-term. he needs to hold virginia and thanks slaves are the way to do it. student: you said he burned norfolk the day after he was defeated. prof. gabriel: it was january 1. about three weeks later. student: when he retreated, did he still have time to burn that city. prof. gabriel: yeah, he loses about 300 men. they flee the ships and the ships stay offshore. and early on the morning of january 1, they start to shell the city.
then they burned most of the city. then they leave. what is sort of ironic, norfork has very strong trade ties with the british empire. most people in north folk are actually loyalists. so they actually burn a loyalist city. they leave about four houses and the americans come in and burn those. anybody else? student: when they are in boston, is that when they cut down the liberty tree? prof. gabriel: yes. anyone else? ok, then i will see you next class. hope you got something out of it. see you next time. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] listen to lectures in history on the go by streaming our podcast anywhere, anytime. you are watching american history tv, only on c-span3.
next on american history tv, author gregory may talks about the nation's fourth secretary, albert gallatin. who served from 1801-1814. he explores gallatin's early political career in the overhaul of alexander hamilton's financial system, his efforts to reduce the national debt, and his work on the peace treaty that ended the war of 1812. mr. may is the author of "jefferson's treasure: how albert gallatin saved the new nation from debt." the the museum of american finance posted this event. it is about 45 minutes. >> welcome everyone. and our c-span audience with the museum of american finance is still the only mission in america with a mission to preserve, exhibit, and teach our financial history.