After the Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, the British army retreated into the city of Boston where they were besieged by various state militias. A strategic move, this entrenchment nevertheless had drastic consequences for civilians who lived in and around Boston. Residing in a besieged city altered civilians’ lives in profound ways; they faced hunger, disease, property destruction, and the pervasive threat of violence and invasion as war raged around them, including the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775. That same summer, the newly-appointed General George Washington arrived in Boston to take command of the new Continental Army. This research kit allows you to explore the intensifying military conflict in the early months of the Revolution through the daily lives and eyewitness accounts of the people who lived through this tumultuous period. –Prof. Lauren Duval
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Primary Sources: Original Documents from the Time
Haslewood, Captain William. “A British Officer’s Diary, 1775” in Kellogg, Louise Phelps. “Journal of a British Officer During the American Revolution.” The Mississippi Valley Historical Review 7, no. 1 (1920): 51–58.
“Letters between Abigail and John Adams,” 1775. Massachusetts Historical Society.
- Abigail to John, 18-20 June 1775
- Abigail to John, 22 June 1775
- Abigail to John, 25 June 1775
- Abigail to John, 5 July 1775
- John to Abigail, 7 July 1775
“Letters between Mercy Otis Warren and Hannah Winthrop,” 1774-1775. Massachusetts Historical Society.
- Winthrop to Warren (January 1774)
- Winthrop to Warren (May 1775)
- Warren to Winthrop (June 1775)
- Winthrop to Warren (August 1775)
“Letters from Mercy Otis Warren to John Adams,” 1775. Founders Online. National Archives and Records Administration.