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

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


1773

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 Allan 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 10-21 – 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 15 – 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 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 20 – 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 Briar Creek, GA

June 20 – Battle of Stono River, SC

June 18 – Sullivan expedition attacks Indian villages in NY

June 21 – Spain declares war on Great Britain

July 8 – 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

October 23 – John Paul Jones and the USS Bonhomme Richard capture HMS Serapis near English coast

November–June 23 – Washington’s Main Army camps 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

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 Granbury, 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 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 – Battle of John’s Island, 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