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This Day In Founding Fathers History – 19 June 2013

On this day in 1778, upon hearing of the British evacuation of Philadelphia, General Washington and his army departed from Valley Forge. British troops left Philadelphia and returned to New York upon hearing of France’s alliance with the colonies. 1

George Washington at Valley Forge

ISamuel Coltn 1841 on this day, Samuel Colt, famous for his revolvers, wrote to President John Tyler describing an underwater torpedo operated by electric current. He had worked with fellow inventor Samuel Morse on creating waterproof cable for telegraph lines. Colt received funds from the U.S. military to create a prototype for an underwater mine. He made several public demonstrations, including the sinking of a gunboat in New York Harbor and a demonstration in Washington, DC for Tyler’s cabinet, Congress and various other spectators at which time he blew up a schooner on the Potomac River. 2

On this day in 1775, George Washington was commissioned by the Continental Congress as the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. He was not the only candidate, among them John Hancock, but his previous military experience and his being a Virginian weighed in his favor. Washington resigned his commission eight years later, in December 1783. 3

Washington Commissioned Commander in Chief

 1 “American Revolution: Winter at Valley Forge,” Military History,
2 “Samuel Colt’s Submarine Battery – The Secret and the Enigma,” By Philip K. Lundeberg,; “Electric mine,” Today In Science History,; “Samuel Colt,”
3 “George Washington’s Commission as Commander in Chief,” Primary Documents in American History, Library of Congress,



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