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American Revolution Timeline

1775-1783
An oil painting depicting the the surrender of British Lieutenant General Charles, Earl Cornwallis at Yorktown, Va. on October 19, 1781.
"The Surrender of Lord Cornwallis" is an oil painting by John Trumbull. The painting was completed in 1820, and hangs in the rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D. C. Public Domain

1754

May 28 - The French and Indian War begins

July 10 - Albany Plan of Union—Benjamin Franklin proposes a single government for the colonies

1763

February 10 - The Treaty of Paris ends the French and Indian War. The English drive the French from North America, and the English national debt soars

October 7 - Proclamation of 1763—King George III banned colonists from settling beyond the Appalachian mountains

1764

April 5 - Sugar Act—Smugglers could be tried in Admiralty Courts, without the benefit of a jury

1765

March 22 - Stamp Act—Tax on paper goods and legal documents

March 24 - Quartering Act—Colonies must provide housing and food for British troops

March 29 - Virginia House of Burgesses passes the Virginia Resolves, 7 resolutions that challenge the legality of the Stamp Act

October 7-25 - Stamp Act Congress meets in Philadelphia to discuss the crisis

1766

March 18 - Parliament repeals the Stamp Act and passes the Declaratory Act, which reiterates Parliament's authority over the colonies

1768

February 11 - Massachusetts Assembly issues Massachusetts Circular Letter, denouncing Townsend Acts

August 1 - Boston Non-Importation Agreement—Boston merchants agree to not import British goods, or sell to Britain

1770

January 19 - Golden Hill Riot, NY

March 5 - Boston Massacre

1772

June 9 - Gaspée Affair—A British ship patrolling for smugglers runs aground in Rhode Island and a local mob burns it; the mob is then accused of treason

1773

         May 10 - Tea Act—An attempt by Parliament to undercut smugglers by reducing the price of tea to the colonies

December 16 - Boston Tea Party

1774

March 31 - Boston Port Act— Parliament closes the city’s port in response to the Tea Party.

May 20 - Administration of Justice Act and Massachusetts Government Act, two of the so-called Intolerable Acts, further anger colonists

June 2 - Quartering Act is amended

September 5–October 26 - First Continental Congress—Carpenter’s Hall, Philadelphia

1775

March 23 - Patrick Henry’s “Liberty or Death” speech, Richmond, VA

April 18 - Revere and Dawes Ride

April 19 - Battles of Lexington and Concord, MA

May 10 - Ethan Allen and Green Mountain Boys seize Fort Ticonderoga, Second Continental Congress meets

June 15 - George Washington appointed commander-in-chief

June 17 - Battle of Bunker Hill

July 3 - George Washington assumes command of the Army outside Boston

July 5 - Congress approves the Olive Branch Petition, a final attempt to avoid war with Britain

October 13 - The U.S. Navy is established

November 19-21 - First Siege of Ninety Six, SC

November 13 - Americans take Montreal

December 9 - Battle of Great Bridge, VA

December 22 - Battle of Great Canebreak, SC

December 23-30 - Snow Campaign, SC

December 30-Jan 1 - Battle of Quebec

1776

January 10 - Thomas Paine publishes Common Sense

February 27 - Battle of Moore's Creek, NC

March 3 - Continental Navy captures New Providence Island, Bahamas

March 17 - British evacuate Boston

April 12 - Halifax Resolves, NC—First colony to authorize its delegates to vote for independence

June 7 - Lee Resolution: Richard Henry Lee proposes independence to the Second Continental Congress

June 28 - Battle of Sullivan’s Island, SC

July 1 - Cherokee attack the southern frontier

July 4 - Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence

August 27 - Battle of Brooklyn, NY

September 15 - British occupy Manhattan

September 16 - Battle of Harlem Heights, NY

September 22 - British execute Nathan Hale, a soldier in the Continental Army

October 11 - Battle of Valcour Island, Lake Champlain

October 28 - Battle of White Plains, NY

November 16 - Battle of Fort Washington, NY

November 20 - British capture Fort Lee, NJ

December 23 - Thomas Paine publishes The American Crisis

December 26 - Battle of Trenton, NJ

1777

January 3 - Battle of Princeton, NJ

January 6 - May 28 - Continental Army winters at Morristown, NJ

April 27 - Battle at Ridgefield, CT

June 14 - Flag Resolution- Congress declared “That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field”

July 5 - British capture Fort Ticonderoga

August 6 - Battle of Oriskany, NY

August 16 - Battle of Bennington, VT (Walloomsac, NY)

September 11 - Battle of Brandywine, PA

September 19 - Battle of Saratoga, NY (Freeman’s Farm)

September 20-21 - Battle of Paoli, PA

September 26 - British take Philadelphia

October 4 - Battle of Germantown, PA

October 7 - Battle of Saratoga, NY (Bemis Heights)

October 17 - British surrender at Saratoga, NY

October 22 - Battle of Fort Mercer, NJ

November 16 - British capture Fort Mifflin, PA

December 5–7 - Battle of White Marsh, PA

December 19 -  Washington and his army winter in Valley Forge

1778

February 6 - The United States and France become allies

February 7 - British General William Howe replaced by Henry Clinton

May 20 - Battle of Barren Hill, PA

June 18 - British abandon Philadelphia, Continental Army marches out of Valley Forge

June 28 - Battle of Monmouth, NJ

July 4 - George Rogers Clark captures Kaskaskia, in modern Illinois

July 29–August 31 - French and American forces besiege Newport, RI

December 29 - British capture Savannah, GA

1779

February 3 - Battle of Port Royal Island, SC

February 14 - Battle of Kettle Creek, GA

February 23–24 - George Rogers Clark captures Vincennes, in modern Indiana

March 3 - Battle of Brier Creek, GA

June 18 - Sullivan expedition attacks Indian villages in NY

June 20 - Battle of Stono River, SC

June 21 - Spain declares war on Great Britain

July 7 - British burn Fairfield, CT

July 11 - British burn Norwalk, CT

July 16 - Americans capture Stony Point, NY

July 24-August 14 - Penobscot Expedition (Castine, ME)

July 28 - Battle of Fort Freeland, PA

August 19 - Battle of Paulus Hook, NJ

August 29 - Battle of Newtown, NY

September 16 - October 19 - American/French effort to retake Savannah fails

September 23 - John Paul Jones and the USS Bonhomme Richard capture HMS Serapis near English coast

November - Washington’s Main Army begins camping at Morristown, NJ

1780

January 28 - Fort Nashborough established (now Nashville, TN)

March 14 - Spanish capture Mobile

May 12 - British capture Charleston, SC

May 25 - Mutiny of Connecticut regiments at Morristown, NJ

May 26 - Battle at St. Louis, now in Missouri

May 29 - Battle of Waxhaws, SC

June 20 - Battle of Ramseur’s Mill, NC

June 23 - Washington’s Main Army leaves their winter camps at Morristown, NJ

July 11 - French troops arrive at Newport, RI

August 6 - Battle of Hanging Rock, SC

August 16 - Battle of Camden, SC

August 19 - Battle of Musgrove Mill, SC

September 23 - British officer John Andre arrested for spying

October 7 - Battle of Kings Mountain, SC

October 14 - Gen. Nathanael Greene named commander of the southern Continental Army

October 18 - British occupy Wilmington, NC

1781

January 17 - Battle of Cowpens, SC

February 1 - Battle of Cowan’s Ford, NC

February 12 - Spanish forces take Fort St. Joseph, now Miles, MI

March 2 - Articles of Confederation adopted; Battle of Clapp’s Mill, NC

March 6 - Battle of Weitzel’s Mill, NC

March 15 - Battle of Guilford Courthouse, NC

April 25 - Battle of Hobkirk’s Hill, SC

May 9 - Spanish capture Pensacola

May 15 - Battle of Fort Granby, SC

May 22–June 18 - Siege of Ninety Six, SC

June 6 - Americans retake Augusta, GA

July 6 - Battle at Green Spring, VA

August 28 - Battle of Elizabethtown, NC

September 5 - Battle of the Capes, Chesapeake Bay

September 8 - Battle of Eutaw Springs, SC

September 28-October 19 - Siege of Yorktown, VA

October 19 - General Cornwallis officially surrenders at Yorktown, VA

1782

March 8—9 - Indians attacked by militia at Gnadenhutten, in modern OH

March 20 - Lord North resigns as Prime Minister of Great Britain

April 19 - Netherlands recognizes American independence

May 8 - American and Spanish forces capture Nassau, Bahamas

July 11 - British evacuate Savannah, GA

July 13 - British/Indian raid on Hannahstown, PA

August 7 - Washington establishes the Badge of Military Merit, now known as the Purple Heart

August 19 - Battle of Blue Licks, KY

November 4 - Encounter at John’s Ferry, SC

November 10 - George Rogers Clark raids Chillicothe, modern OH

November 30 - British and Americans sign preliminary Articles of Peace

December 14 - British evacuate Charleston, SC

1783

March 15 - Washington addresses the Newburgh Conspiracy and discontent in the Continental Army, Newburgh, NY

April 19 - Congress ratifies preliminary peace treaty

September 3 - US and Great Britain sign the Treaty of Paris

November 25 - British evacuate New York City

December 4 - Washington bids farewell to his officers in New York City

December 23 - Washington resigns as commander in Annapolis, MD

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