In about a dozen years from now, our nation will commemorate, celebrate and observe the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It seems too early for preps, but Philly has already rang the planning bell and the temperature’s rising for the “readerati.” A good starting point for the whole story starts with the signing of the “Peace Treaty of 1763.” A year later, heads rolled in the colonies when Parliament enacted the “Sugar Act of 1764.”
Many books will roll out in the run up to July 4, 2026, and then coverage of the nine-year war. Perhaps the first step in this long procession is, “Reporting the Revolutionary War.” Todd Andrlik, curator and published of RagLinen.com, conceived the idea, nurtured the project and supplied newspaper accounts from his personal collection.
For those of us who like to read our books in bed, this one is too heavy. In every other regard, however, it is worth the price tag. 13 chapters cover various aspects of the war. Each chapter contains an introduction by an area expert, and features sepia-toned facsimiles of newspapers. Boston and New England papers dominate, of course, but other colonies including Virginia and Maryland are tapped into. Balance is achieved by reporting from London and Edinburgh.
As a native of Greensboro, I first read the chapter on the “Battle of Guilford Courthouse” (March 18, 1781). As Dennis M. Conrad notes, this battle is “the pivotal contest of the war in the south.” The British under General Cornwallis won it tactically, but his losses forced him to retreat. He headed to Yorktown, where he surrendered to General George Washington.
Reading these primary accounts are not easy, but Andrlik provides tips. Some of them are food for thought as you think about present day conditions in the journalistic field - “Realize that most newspapers of the time were biased.”
All in all, this book is a great way to kick off this look back to the birth of our country. Will you be ready for the forward march?