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Student directions, with links to background essay, primary and secondary sources

Note for teachers on primary and secondary sources

Background essays:
1. Student essay online 
(and as a downloadable PDF)

2. Teacher version

Student questions for "Revolutionary America: Choosing Sides "
As you read through the materials for this project, keep in mind these central questions:

  1. To what extent do you think Elizabeth Murray was either a “patriot” or a “loyalist”?
  2. What factors influenced the decisions of Murray and her family as to what side to take in the American Revolution?
  3. How do their experiences demonstrate the difficulties average Americans faced during the war?

I. Introductory Secondary Source excerpts:
Document 1: Norton, “The challenges of neutrality,” Liberty’s Daughters, 155.
Document 2: Norton, “Hardships during the war,” Liberty’s Daughter, 195-196.
Document 3: Kerber, “Women join the troops,”56-58.
II. Murray and Her Family Struggle in Choosing Sides (Student Essay)
Read through this essay. It provides a narrative of the experiences of Elizabeth Murray and her family members throughout the war. Though these specific experiences pertain only to Murray’s family, they provide insight into the range of experiences average Americans may have had in choosing sides in the American Revolution, which was in key ways a civil war.
II. Primary Sources Document list:
Document 1: “A View of Part of the Town of Boston in New England and British Ships of War Landing Their Troops, 1768,” engraving by Paul Revere, 1770.
Document 2:) The Inman House, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Document 3 : Primary source excerpt: _____Intolerable Acts
Document 4 : Elizabeth Drinker “_____, 1744
Document 5 : Hannah Winthrop “_____
Document 6 : Elizabeth [Murray)] Inman to [Ralph Inman], 22 April 1775
Document 7: Elizabeth [Murray] Inman to Ralph Inman, 14 June 1775
Document 8: Elizabeth [Murray] Inman to Ralph Inman, 30 July 1775