United States History and American Revolution: 1782

About the United States in 1782, American Revolution concludes, history and the Battle of the Saints, purple hearts, and the Seal.


Mar. 4 The British Parliament called for the end of the war and the recognition of the Colonies' independence.

Apr. 12 The Battle of the Saints. British Admiral Rodney defeated French Admiral De Grasse in a massive, classic attack, staged in the island group named after the Saints, between Guadeloupe and Dominica. Rodney split the French line, capturing De Grasse himself. It shook U.S. morale.

May A 22-year-old woman named Deborah Sampson, disguised as a man, began 17 months' service in the 4th Massachusetts Regiment of the Continental Army under the name of Robert Shurtleff. After the war she married, had 3 children, and in 1802 became the 1st female lecturer in the U.S.

June 20 The Great Seal of the U.S. became official. Its designer, William Barton, chose the eagle--the symbol of Imperial Rome--as the new nation's emblem, rejecting such suggestions as the wild turkey and the dove. Other seal symbolisms: a 13-star crown, representing a new constellation in the galaxy of nations; a 13-tiered pyramid (with room to add more), the tiers signifying permanence. Lesser known are 2 Latin mottoes on the reverse side. These are based on Vergil's Aeneid (ix 625) and the Eclogues (iv 5--7) passages.

Aug. 7 George Washington established the order of the Purple Heart as an honor badge for enlisted men. The 1st, and only, 3 men to receive it in the Revolution: Sgts. Daniel Bissell, William Brown, Elijah Churchill.

Nov. 10 George Rogers Clark, commanding 1,100 mounted riflemen, routed Shawnee Indians at Chillicothe, O. It was the last land battle of the Revolution on U.S. soil.

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