Five American Revolution Facts You May Not Know
Who started the revolution? Things history class missed to teach
The American Revolution is the most celebrated event of American history. Why? Well, as what has been taught to us since time immemorial in school, this war freed the colonies, which are now the Americans, from Great Britain.
However, there are some fun and entertaining facts that the educators might have missed. You will find five American Revolution facts that you may not have known before.
- The War Hero Turned War Traitor
A brave man was hailed a war hero during the American Revolution. This man is no other than Benedict Arnold. Some may not know him as a hero anymore for he is now dubbed as one of the most hated traitors in the US history. At the early set out of the war, Arnold played a vital role in achieving several battle victories. He was one of the brave revolutionary soldiers that captured Fort Ticonderoga, hindered the British invasion at New York, and became a key person who brought surrender of the army led by Gen. John Burgoyne. However, the hero changed sides and sold out his fellow men for money and a position in the British Army. Fortunately, his evil plot was discovered and Benedict Arnold was since then dubbed as a traitor.
- General George Washington’s Teeth
George Washington’s teeth has been a constant question among the American people. For a long time, a myth circulated among Americans that the first US President had wooden teeth. Fact is, George Washington’s teeth were not made of wood but of ivory, metal alloys, and—most interesting and controversial—teeth of other humans. Where did he get these human teeth? According to Kathryn Gehred, a research specialist at the University of Virginia, these human teeth may have been pulled out from Washington’s slave. It is a known fact that George Washington was a slave owner and a standard-bearer to other slave owners. His ledger also reflects this fact which indicated, “By Cash pd Negroes for 9 Teeth on Acct of Dr. Lemoire.”
- The Secret Plot to Remove General Washington
Being a commander-in-chief of the revolution carries a huge burden to General Washington. It also includes people who are envious and ambitious that wants to be on the top of the power pyramid. During the humiliating defeat at Brandywine and Germantown, a lot of people lost morale and trust in Washington’s leadership. Benjamin Rush was one of those who voiced out a protest to oust Washington and replace him with either Horatio Gates or Thomas Conway. The conspiracy died down when Washington confronted the perpetrators.
- America’s First Secretary of War Trained at a Bookstore
Henry Knox, the America’s first secretary of war, never had military training as he was growing up. The Knox family owned a shipping business that closed up in 1759. After having ample experience in bookselling, Henry Knox took interest of the revolution after witnessing a massacre. He started reading books on military and even asked trivial questions to soldiers who visited his shop. Though not trained in the military, Knox’s knowledge through reading books became a key component to the victory of Patriot troops throughout the war.
- Fort Lee Named after a Turncoat General
Traitors are quite famous during wars, and it seemed like the famous Fort Lee of New Jersey is named after one traitorous general during the American Revolution: Continental Army general, Charles Lee. An English-born, Charles Lee joined the Continental Army in America. Lee settled in America after he failed to obtain a British military commission. Washington purportedly named Fort Lee after the general to soothe Lee’s ego for not being chosen to be commander-in-chief. In the end, Lee betrayed the colonies by giving William Howe information in capturing Philadelphia.
These little facts may not have been neglected or forgotten in schools but they are part of history still. What we must remember that these people and these unpopular information of the American Revolution contributed to the independence that America is experiencing today.
“Benedict Arnold.” History. Last modified August 21, 2018. Accessed on November 9, 2018. https://www.history.com/topics/american-revolution/benedict-arnold.
“Ten Things You (probably) Didn’t Know About the American War of Independence.” History Extra. Last modified July 3, 2018. Accessed on November 9, 2018. https://www.historyextra.com/period/georgian/facts-american-war-of-independence-declaration-battle-yorktown-george-iii-colonies.