American Revolution Podcast
Episode 115 Congress and French Diplomacy

Episode 115 Congress and French Diplomacy

September 22, 2019

The Continental Congress makes no real progress approving Articles of Confederation and has trouble supporting its own army.  It sends a delegation to France to get an alliance with France.  Congress sends Benjamin Franklin to join Arthur Lee and Silas Deane in France, with all three receiving official commissions.  Before the commissions arrive, Deane has great difficulty getting any French aid to America.  Lee's interference even raises doubts in the French government about whether Deane has any legitimate authority at all to negotiate on behalf of Congress.

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Book Recommendation of the Week: A Diplomatic History of the American Revolution, by Jonathan Dull

Online Recommendation of the Week: The Crossing and Ten Crucial Days - The Musical https://www.thecrossingmusical.com

 

Episode 114 Escape from Fort Lee

Episode 114 Escape from Fort Lee

September 15, 2019

A British and Hessian force led by Lord Cornwallis storms Fort Lee in New Jersey, forcing the Continental Army led by George Washington to flee further south.  The two armies spend days moving through cold rain and muddy roads.  The Continentals continue to retreat back toward Philadelphia as the British take Newark.

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Book Recommendation of the Week: The Day is Ours by William Dwyer

Online Recommendation of the Week: Revolutionary War New Jersey, https://RevolutionaryWarNewJersey

 

Episode 113 The Fall of Fort Washington

Episode 113 The Fall of Fort Washington

September 8, 2019

General Washington ignores British General Howe's repeated hints that he needs to evacuate Fort Washington.  Instead, he leaves the decision up to General Nathanael Greene.  The British capture the Fort along with 3000 officers and men, the Continental Army's greatest loss in the first part of the war.

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Book Recommendation of the Week: Washington's General: Nathanael Greene and the Triumph of the American Revolution, by Terry Golway 

Online Recommendation of the Week: The British History Podcast https://www.thebritishhistorypodcast.com

Episode 112 The Battle of White Plains

Episode 112 The Battle of White Plains

September 1, 2019

The British under General Howe continue to push back the Continentals under General Washington, slowly nudging them off Manhattan island, but refusing to surround them or force a major battle.  Eventually the Continentals are forced to retreat to New Jersey.

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Book Recommendation of the Week: Narrative of a Revolutionary War Soldier, by Joseph Plumb Martin

Online Recommendation of the Week: PBS Liberty: https://www.pbs.org/ktca/liberty

 

Episode 111 Retreat from Lake Champlain

Episode 111 Retreat from Lake Champlain

August 25, 2019

Benedict Arnold avoids almost certain capture near Valcour Island with a daring night move.  The British fleet catches up with him, but Arnold is able to ground most of his ships and escape overland back to Fort Ticonderoga.  The British, after reaching Crown Point, decide it is too late to begin a siege of Ticonderoga.  Instead, they return to Canada with plans to return in the spring.

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Book Recommendation of the Week: Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution, by Nathaniel Philbrick.

Online Recommendation of the Week: Based on a True Story Podcast https://www.basedonatruestorypodcast.com

Episode 110 The Battle of Valcour Island

Episode 110 The Battle of Valcour Island

August 18, 2019

General Benedict Arnold forces the British fleet to attack him at the location of his choosing, near Valcour Island.  His smaller and less experience force performs well during the battle, but then finds itself trapped by the British.

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Book Recommendation of the Week: The Battle of Valcour Island: The Participants and Vessels of Benedict Arnold's 1776 Defense of Lake Champlain, by Stephen Darley

Online Recommendation of the Week: Univ. of Groningen American History http://www.let.rug.nl/usa

 

Episode 109 Great Fire of NY & Hanging Nathan Hale

Episode 109 Great Fire of NY & Hanging Nathan Hale

August 11, 2019

After the Continental Army evacuates and the British occupy New York City, a night fire burns a quarter of the town.  The British capture Captain Nathan Hale and hang him as a spy.  The Americans court martial a deserter.

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Book Recommendation of the Week: The British Are Coming, by Rick Atkinson

Online Recommendation of the Week: https://jstor.org

 

Episode 108 The French Connection

Episode 108 The French Connection

August 4, 2019

France makes plans for covert aid to America.  Silas Deane arrives to encourage such aid.  French foreign minister puts him in contact with a playwright and part-time arms dealer name Beaumarchais.  The British spy network immediately infiltrate all of this to thwart their plans.  Also, others from America and in France attempt to block the attempt for personal reasons.

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Book Recommendation of the Week: Unlikely Allies: How a Merchant, a Playwright, and a Spy Saved the American Revolution, by Joel Richard Paul

Online Recommendation of the Week: https://TheFrenchHistoryPodcast.com

Episode 107 Kip’s Bay and Harlem Heights

Episode 107 Kip’s Bay and Harlem Heights

July 28, 2019

The British land at Kip's Bay on Manhattan, scattering the patriot defenders.  A few days later, British advance forces run into more effective resistance at Harlem Heights.  While the British capture the island, they allow the Continental army to escape to the north.

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Book Recommendation of the Week: Revolution on the Hudson, by George C. Daughan

Online Recommendation of the Week: https://mountvernon.org

 

Episode 106 Arms Race on Lake Champlain

Episode 106 Arms Race on Lake Champlain

July 21, 2019

The British spend months putting together a fleet to crush the Americans on Lake Champlain and retake Fort Ticonderoga.  Generals Carleton and Burgoyne do not get along and create a divided command.  Those divisions, however, are nothing compared the divisions on the American site where Generals Schuyler and Gates fight to control the northern Continental Army.  General Arnold also fights with a court martial, which tries to hold him in contempt.

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Book Recommendation of the Week: Benedict Arnold's Navy, by James Nelson.

Online Recommendation of the Week: Dispatches Podcast, with Brady Critzer