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American History

EARLY AMERICAN HISTORY

American Revolution Timeline

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Date

 

Event

April 14, 1775

Massachusetts Governor Thomas Gage is ordered by the British to enforce the Coercive Acts and suppress any rebellion among colonists by using all necessary force.

 

April 18, 1775

General Thomas Gage orders 700 British soldiers to Concord to destroy the colonists' weapons depot. Paul Revere and William Dawes are sent from Boston to warn the colonists. Samuel Adams and John Hancock, who are hiding in Lexington, Massachusetts are able to escape.

 

April 19, 1775

First shots fired in the American Revolution at Lexington, Massachusetts.

 

April 19, 1775

American Militia defeated British regulars at Concord, Massachusetts.

 

April 23, 1775

The Provincial Congress in Massachusetts orders 13,600 American soldiers to be mobilized. Colonial volunteers from all over New England assemble and head for Boston and begin a year long siege of the city.

 

May 10, 1775

The Second Continental Congress convenes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with John Hancock elected as its president.

 

May 10,  1775

American forces led by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold capture Fort Ticonderoga and its artillery in New York.

 

May 15, 1775

The Second Continental Congress places the colonies in a state of defense.

 

June 15, 1775

The Second Continental Congress unanimously votes to appoint George Washington  general and commander-in-chief of the new Continental Army.

 

June 17,  1775

The first major fight between British and American troops occurs at Boston, Massachusetts in the Battle of Bunker Hill.

 

July 3, 1775

General George Washington assumes command of Continental Army, about 17,000 men, at Cambridge, Massachusetts.

 

July 5, 1775

The Continental Congress adopts the Olive Branch Petition which appeals directly to King George III for reconciliation.

 

July 6, 1775

The Continental Congress issues a Declaration on the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms. It details the colonists' reasons for fighting the British and states the Americans are "resolved to die free men rather than live as slaves."

 

July 26, 1775

An American Post Office is established in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with Benjamin as Postmaster General.

 

August, 1775

King George III refuses even to look at the petition submitted by the Continental Congress and instead issues a proclamation declaring the Americans to be in a state of open rebellion.

 

November 10-21, 1775

Patriots are sieged by the British at Ninety-Six, South Carolina. Ended in truce.

 

November 28, 1775

The American Navy is established by Congress.

 

November 29, 1775

Congress appoints a secret committee to seek help from European nations.

 

December, 1775

Congress is informed that France may offer support in the war against Britain.

 

December 11, 1775

Virginia and North Carolina patriots routed Loyalist troops and burned Norfolk.

 

December 22, 1775

At Great Canebrake, South Carolina Colonel William Thomson with 1,500 rangers and militia captured a force of Loyalists

 

December 23, 1775

King George III issues a royal proclamation closing the American colonies to all commerce and trade, to take effect in March of 1776.

 

December 23-30, 1775

During the Snow Campaign in South Carolina against Loyalists, Patriot militia is impeded by 15" of snow.

 

February 27 1776

North Carolina militia defeated South Carolina Loyalists at Moore’s Creek, North Carolina inflicting heavy casualties..

 

March 4-17, 1776

At Dorchester Heights, Massachusetts, American forces capture Dorchester Heights which overlooks Boston harbor. The British evacuate Boston and set sail for Halifax.

 

March 17, 1776

British Navy evacuated Boston, Massachusetts and moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Washington's Army then occupies Boston.

 

April 6, 1776

The Continental Congress declares colonial shipping ports open to all traffic except the British

 

April 12, 1776

The North Carolina assembly is the first to empower its delegates in the Continental Congress to vote for independence from Britain.

 

May 2, 1776

The Continental Congress gets the much needed foreign support they had been hoping for. King Louis XVI of France commits one million dollars in arms and munitions. Spain then also promises support.

 

May 10, 1776

The Continental Congress authorizes each of the 13 colonies to form provincial governments.

 

June 7, 1776

Richard Henry Lee, a Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress, presents a formal resolution calling for America to declare its independence from Britain. Congress decides to postpone its decision on this until July.

 

June 8, 1776

Patriot attempt to take British position in Three Rivers, Canada failed.

 

June 11, 1776

Congress appoints a committee to draft a declaration of independence. Committee members are Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Livingston and Roger Sherman. Thomas Jefferson is chosen by the committee to prepare the first draft of the declaration, which he completes in one day.

 

June 28, 1776

Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence is ready and is presented to  Congress, with changes made by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin.

 

June 28, 1776

At Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, British naval attack failed when the palmetto logs held against the bombardment.

 

June-July, 1776

A massive British war fleet arrives in New York Harbor consisting of 30 battleships with 1200 cannon, 30,000 soldiers, 10,000 sailors, and 300 supply ships, under the command of General William Howe and his brother Admiral Lord Richard Howe.

 

 

Continued Next Page

 

 

 

 

Paul Revere's Ride

Paul Revere's Ride, April 18, 1775.

 

 

 

 

 

Battle of Lexington, Massachusetts

Battle of Lexington, April 19, 1775. Illustration by John H. Daniels & Son, 1903.

This image available for photographic prints and downloads HERE!

 

 

 

 

Revolutionary War DVD

 

 

 

 

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