A Revolutionary tale: The battle of New Haven

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John Trumbull’s “The Declaration of Independence, 4 July 1776” is among the works on view at the Yale University Art Gallery. It shows Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, and Benjamin Franklin presenting the document to John Hancock, president of the Continental Congress.

The Fourth of July holiday is the ideal time to revisit the story of Napthtali Dagget, the Yale Divinity School professor and former Yale president, who rode out to confront the Redcoats when the British forces invaded New Haven in 1779.

Daggett’s story is just one of the tales of life at Yale and in New Haven before and during the War of Independence that are recounted in this lecture from Professor Joanne B. Freeman’s Open Yale Course, “The American Revolution.”

This section, titled “Citizens and Choices: Experiencing the Revolution in New Haven,” looks at the conflicted loyalties, deprivations, and atrocities that took place on a local level as illustrations of the wider dilemmas facing all Colonists at that time.


Campus & Community