10 Lesser-Known Facts about the American Revolution

by Rishika Jain1 year ago

6 A teenage Scots-Irish colonist girl, Mary Jemison, was taken by the Shawnee in 1755 and adopted by the Seneca family. She married a Seneca in 1765. When Seneca allied with the British during the American Revolution, she and Seneca’s townspeople helped supply Joseph Brant (Mohawks) resources to use against the rebel colonists. She also helped during negotiations for the Seneca Tribe after their defeat.

Mary Jemison
Image credit: achs

Mary Jemison was a teenage Scots-Irish colonist girl who was the captive of Native American Indians and was the most popular figure in the genre of captivity stories in the 19th century. On April 5, 1758, when Jemison was 12, She and her family were attacked by French soldiers and the Shawnee.

Her two elder brothers managed to escape, but her other three siblings and parents were killed. Jemison was adopted by a Seneca family and later married a Delaware (Lenape). After his death, she married a Seneca and raised her family.

During the American Revolution, the Seneca allied with the British. Jemison and other people of the Seneca Nation helped to supply Joseph Brant (Mohawk) along with his Iroquois warriors who fought for the rebel colonists.

After the war, the British gave up their holdings east of the Mississippi River to the US without discussing the terms first with their allied Native Americans. Due to this decision, the Seneca was forced to give up their lands.

Jemison proved her worth during the negotiations with the Holland Land Company. She proved to be a great negotiator for the Seneca Tribe. She lived in the Seneca Nation until she died at the age of 90. Later, her life story was published as the Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison (1824). (1, 2)


7 During the American Revolution as winter approached, both sides were short on resources. The American soldiers didn’t even have gunpowder to fight, so they simply started using spears to fight during the Siege of Boston in 1775.

Image is used for representational purposes only. Image credit: public domain pictures

During the American Revolution between April 19, 1775, to March 17, 1776, both Americans and British were facing issues while dealing with resources, supply, and personnel at the Siege of Boston.

When the winter approached in November, both sides started having their problems. The Americans fell short of gunpowder. Due to this, some soldiers were provided with spears to fight during the British attack.

Most of the American soldiers remained unpaid at that time. An American war fleet of about 12 merchant ships captured over 55 British ships, some of the captured ships were carrying food for the British Army.

Both sides’ armies were facing diseases like smallpox and scurvy. Many in the British Army were ready to desert due to hunger. Later, the British escaped from Boston. and within 11 months, moved their troops to Nova Scotia. (1, 2)


8 The world’s first submarine attack occurred in the American Revolution. Built in 1775 named Turtle, the sub was used to attach explosives to the undersides of British warships in 1776. Several attempts were made to sink it, but all failed. It was, though, later sunk by the British.

Bushnell Turtle
Bushnell Turtle. Image credit: Zenit via Wikimedia, Flickr via Wikimedia

On September 7, 1776, the first-ever warfare submarine was used in history. It was built in 1775 by American David Bushnell and named Turtle. It was seven and a half feet long and was to be used to attach explosives to British ships in a harbor. Several attempts were made to successfully attach a bomb to the hull of the British flagship, Eagle.

The submarine successfully approached the ship, but it failed to attach the time bomb due to the operator’s lack of skill.

Unfortunately, away from its target, the bomb exploded near the ship and caused no harm. Later, the submarine was sunk by the British. Although it was a smart move by America, perhaps they were a bit ahead of their time. (1, 2)


9 In 1776, 13 British colonies declared themselves independent during the American Revolution. To escape the oppression of the American Revolution when North America was at war, 40,000 British citizens called “loyalists,” fled to Canada to remain loyal to the Crown.

Image. credits: loyalistsintherevolution.weebly.com

In 1776, the United States was formed after 13 British colonies to the south of Quebec declared themselves independent. After the north of America was divided by war, around 40,000 of the British citizens who were loyal to the Crown, also known as “loyalists,” escaped from the oppression of the American Revolution and fled to settle in Nova Scotia and Quebec.

Thousands of Mohawk Indian loyalists were led by Joseph Brant into Canada. Other loyalists arrived from various backgrounds such as British, Scandinavian, aboriginal, Dutch, German, and several other origins.

Loyalists from religious backgrounds were Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Jewish, Catholic, and Quaker. The arrival of loyalists resulted in the creation of several colonies. These loyalists came seeking a better life. In 1792, the Crown gave these loyalists a lot of land grants. (source)


10 Vermont was an independent nation during the American Revolution between 1777 to 1791. Although the Continental Congress refused to recognize it as a separate state, the majority of Vermont’s citizens favored joining the US. Eventually, Vermont officially became the 14th state and joined the Union in 1791.

Image credit: Gearedbull via Wikimedia

Vermont was an independent nation for 14 years before becoming a US state. The “trouble in paradise” started when it got into a dispute with the neighboring state of New York, which claimed Vermont land as their own. Vermont declared its independence from both Great Britain and New York after the American Revolution raged in 1777.

Before changing their name to “Vermont,” they had named their country “New Connecticut.” This new, tiny nation soon established a constitution in which they banned adult slavery in North America and abolished property restrictions on voting. They also declared their own postal and currency.

Later, Vermont became the 14th state of the US in 1791, when the Continental Congress refused to recognize it as separate from New York. The majority of Vermont’s citizens were also in favor of joining the US. They also paid over $30,000 to New York for its “lost” territory. (source)

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