PODCAST What was life like in New York City from the summer of 1776 to the fall of 1783 — the years of British occupation during the Revolutionary War?
New York plays a very intriguing role in the story of American independence. The city and the surrounding area were successfully taken by the British by the end of 1776 — George Washington and the Continental Army forced to escape for the good of the cause — and the port city became the central base for British operations during the conflict.
While British officers dined and enjoy a newly revitalized theater scene, Washington’s spies on the streets of New York collected valuable intelligence. As thousands of soldiers and sympathizing Loyalists arrived in the city, hunger and overcrowding put the residents of the city in peril. When the sugar houses and churches became too filled with captured rebels, the British employed prison ships along the Brooklyn waterfront to hold their enemies.
This is a very, very special episode, a newly edited combination of two older shows from our back catalog. PLUS several minutes of brand new material, featuring stories that we overlooked the first time.
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Since 2008, we’ve taken a deep dive into New York’s Revolutionary years with several shows focusing on many different aspects of these trying times. For more information, check out these shows from our back catalog:
Fraunces Tavern is one of America’s most important historical sites of the Revolutionary War and a reminder of the great importance of taverns on the New York way of life during the Colonial era.
BRONX TRILOGY (PART ONE): THE BRONX IS BORN
Before it was the borough of the Bronx, the southern portion of Westchester County was populated with wealthy, prominent British families who faced a tough choice during the Revolutionary War? Remain loyal to the Crown or support the rebels?
GOWANUS! Brooklyn’s Troubled Waters
Back when the Gowanus was a marshy creek, an early battle in the quest for American independence was fought here. The Old Stone House today pays homage to this pivotal skirmish.
THE GREAT FIRE OF 1776
The circumstances surrounding the Great Fire of 1776, the events of the Revolutionary War leading up to the disaster, and the tragic tale of the American patriot Nathan Hale.
BEFORE HARLEM: NEW YORK’S FORGOTTEN BLACK COMMUNITIES
Featuring a chat with Kama’u Ware of Black Gotham Experience about the struggles of enslaved and free black people during the colonial period
GEORGE WASHINGTON’S NEW YORK INAUGURATION
After Washington resigned as head of the Continental Army in 1783, many did not ever expect to see him back in New York. But providence — and a new nation — called.