American Revolution

U.S. House of Representatives

It doesn't pack the same wallop or stoke the local pride as much as, say, John Stark Dayhonoring the general who coined the Live Free or Die motto. Still, "Lafayette Day" is a long-time official observance in the state of New Hampshire.

Will the French Tricolours be flying in the Granite State today in celebration of the Marquis de Lafayette?

Courtesy Chuck Coker via flickr/creative commons

Long before Lin Manuel Miranda and Hamilton nudged us to remember that our nation’s past is neither dead nor inaccessible, similar efforts were being made in New Hampshire. After the Revolution, written by David Magidson and produced by UNH’s Theatre Education Program, dealt with New Hampshire’s legislative debate over the ratification of the United States Constitution.

In a new book, acclaimed historian Nathaniel Philbrick offers the untold back-story to this battle, which he calls the tipping point of the American Revolution.  He introduces us to little-known but vitally important characters in this drama, who did much of the heavy lifting of the Revolution in Boston, while the founding fathers were far from the scene, in Philadelphia.

“Our country is a nation on the make,” according to historian Walter McDougall. He says we’re builders, dreamers, go-getters, inventers and organizers, so much so that "hustling" has become an indelible part of the American character and American history. He means it in all senses of the word, even going back as far as colonists's first arrival on American soil.