National Park Quiz 9: The American Revolution

Visitors inspect the Minute Man statue. Photo by herzogbr via Flickr.

1. The famous Minute Man Statue is located at ______ in Minute Man National Historical Park.
a. North Bridge
b. Hartwell Tavern
c. Concord Armory
d. Lexington Green

2. One of the early American victories in the Revolutionary War occurred on 28 June 1776, when Americans defending a palmetto log fort repulsed an attack by British warships. The site is now protected at
a. Fort Sumter National Monument
b. Fort Pulaski National Monument
c. Fort Union National Monument
d. Fort Necessity National Battlefield

3. Valley Forge National Historical Park gets all the publicity, but in January 1777, and again in 1779-1780, Washington’s Continental Army made winter encampments of vital importance at what is now
a. Fort Stanwix National Monument
b. Thomas Stone National Historic Site
c. Morristown National Historical Park
d. Guilford Courthouse National Military Park

4. Boston National Historical Park’s Freedom Trail links all of the following sites EXCEPT:
a. Paul Revere House
b. Dorchester Heights
c. Faneuil Hall
d. Old North Church

5. Independence Hall is the main attraction of the Independence National Historical Park. All of the following statements about this building are true EXCEPT:
a. It was formerly the Old Pennsylvania State House.
b. It is where the Liberty Bell is housed for public viewing.
c. It is where the Continental Congress adopted a declaration of independence on July 4, 1776.
d. It is where the U.S. Constitution was thrashed out in the summer of 1787.

6. Cowpens National Battlefield commemorates the Battle of Cowpens, a decisive American victory over a powerful British force commanded by the hated Lt. Colonel Banastre Tarleton (“Bloody Tarelton”). This battle, one of the most important of the Revolutionary War, occurred
a. north of Albany, New York
b. just east of Philadelphia
c. in northwestern South Carolina
d. near Greensboro, North Carolina

7. We like to commemorate our victories, not defeats or draws. But ______ preserves the site of a star-shaped earthen fort that Loyalist troops successfully defended when 1,000 Continental Army troops under General Nathaniel Green mounted a 28-day siege against it in 1781.
a. Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial
b. Kings Mountain National Military Park
c. Fort Bowie National Historic Site
d. Ninety Six National Historical Site

8. Many people take the seven-mile self-guided Battlefield Tour while visiting the Yorktown Battlefield unit of Colonial National Historical Park. By selecting this auto tour, these visitors are able to visit
a. the American Artillery Park, where siege guns were gathered
b. the Surrender Field, where Cornwallis’ troops laid down their arms
c. General Cornwallis’ Headquarters
d. General Washington’s Headquarters

9. Federal Hall National Memorial, where the Second Continental Congress met in 1785 and George Washington took his oath of office as first president on 30 April 1789, is located on
a. Wall Street in Manhattan
b. Independence Square in Philadelphia
c. the Inner Harbor in Baltimore
d. the National Mall

10. The Benjamin Franklin National Memorial is
a. listed on the National Register of Historic Places
b. comprised of a house, gardens, statue, and observatory
c. situated in the center of Franklin Square in Philadelphia.
d. an Affiliated Area, not a National Park System unit

Bonus question

11. To visit the place most closely associated with Benedict Arnold’s treachery, you need to go to West Point, the site of the vital American fort that Arnold tried to help the British capture. But if you want to visit the place where Arnold made his greatest contribution to the cause of American freedom, you need to visit Saratoga ______. It was there in 1777 that Arnold’s courage and leadership helped American troops defeat a British army and gain the victory that convinced France it should join the war on America’s side.
a. National Military Park
b. National Battlefield
c. National Battlefield Park
d. National Historical Park

Super bonus question

12. Though best known for its role in the onset of the Revolutionary War, the little town of Concord, Massachusetts, was an amazing place in the 19th century. Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, Margaret Fuller, and ______ all lived in Concord, and all at the same time (1840s).
a. Elizabeth Cady Stanton
b. Frederick Law Olmsted
c. Ralph Waldo Emerson
d. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Answers:
(1) a -- Fort Moultrie is an administrative unit of Fort Sumter National Monument.
(2) a
(3) c
(4) b
(5) b
(6) c
(7) d
(8) b
(9) a
(10) d
(11) d
(12) c
Grading: 9 or 10 correct, rest on your laurels; 7 or 8 correct, pretty darn good; 6 correct, passable fair; 5 or fewer correct, nothing to brag about.

Comments

The Freedom Trail in Boston does not actually go to Bunker Hill. It starts (ends) at Bunker Hill Monument, but that is actually on Breed's Hill, where most of the fighting of the Battle of Bunker Hill took place. [Ed: Nice catch! The Hauptquizmeister has edited the referenced item to remove the glitch. BTW, the official line is that the Freedom Trail starts at the Boston Common and ends at the Bunker Hill Monument, but visitors can certainly choose to begin at the Bunker Hill Monument.]

As I am sure others will point out, the Continental Congress declared independence on July 2, 1776 and adopted a declaration to that effect on July 4. The parchment we now see was then prepared and the first signatures affixed on August 2. Some signatures were placed on it up to years later. John Adams wrote that "The second day of July 1776 will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shows, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more." Unfortunately, Adams was wrong. Americans decided not to celebrate the day we declared our independence from Britain, but rather the day we adopted the paper wording describing why we declared independence. Come to think of it, maybe celebrating the bureaucratic activity instead of the momentous decision itself is an American trait!

Also, as I am sure you realize, the current Federal Hall National Memorial is on the site of the Federal Hall where Washington was inaugurated. It is not the same building. It was not only the site of the Continental Congress, but the first capital of the United States under the Constitution.

[Ed.: The Hauptquizmeister has said aaaaaaargh! and is pondering retirement.]

Rangertoo: I’m not sure I understand your first point. Guess I’m feeling a little dense today. (Maybe I’ve caught the National Geographic best list disease?) I thought I had my bases covered when I said “…signed in 1776” without specifying day and month. Or were you referring to something else?

Your comment about Federal Hall National Monument also leaves me a bit frustrated. In my vocabulary, “where” means “site”. If you replace the original building once or twice or a hundred times, that site retains the property of “where."

Note that the Park Service agrees that "where means site means where." Here is the first sentence of the lead paragraph on the Federal Hall National Monument home page:

Here on Wall Street, George Washington took the oath of office as our first President, and this site was home to the first Congress, Supreme Court, and Executive Branch offices.

As you can see, the Park Service charges right in there with a site-specific declaration that doesn't mention the building or buildings -- whether still there or long gone -- in which the events of interest took place.

OK; enough of the weaselspeak. .” I did tinker a bit with the question stem, and I hope you can live with the new version.

Bob - I was not criticizing, just clarifying. You do a great job with this site and great service to the public in promoting national park issues.

I do have a hard time with the site/place issue, though. I have been to and worked in Federal Hall and I think the NPS doth protest too much in its effort to justify preserving this former Customs House. I once heard a guide at Williamsburg describe Patrick Henry’s “give me liberty or give me death speech” as having occurred in the room she was in, except it was a recreated building not more than 20 years old at the time. I then got a description of “historic airspace!”

I think that in the case of Federal Hall, there is nothing there that remains from the original building and that building did not look like the current building. In terms of public understanding, to say the “place” where something happened is to imply the building or edifice in question. I think that one could really only justify place as a synonym for site when it is unbuilt upon land like a battlefield. It would seem odd to visit Grand Central Terminal in New York and say this is the place where Nathan Hale was hanged. It was the site of the farm where he was hanged, but not the place in my mind.
My point with the signing of the Declaration is just that people misunderstand what “signing the Declaration” means. We celebrate July 4 as the date of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. We do not celebrate its signing. As I noted, it was signed over the course of years. Many signers were not members of the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776 and did not vote for the Declaration (although they obviously supported it and risks their lives just as much by signing it).

This country has a rich and exciting history. Unfortunately, the public too often confuses history with myth or are just plain wrong about events of the past. In the words of historian Richard Shenkman, “"Not only have (Americans) forgotten what they should remember, but they have remembered what they should have forgotten."

BTW Bob, love the quizzes. Also, the Freedom Trail from the Bunker Hill Monument to the Common is an easier walk -- all downhill.

[Ed.: There is a nice map of the Freedom Trail at this site. You can zoom to 50% for greater clarity and and still see the entire trail.]

Rangertoo, your comments highlight at least two quite troubling issues. One is the need to quit perpetuating historic myth. Here at Traveler we want to avoid passing along bad information, so we really appreciate it when you help us sort fact from myth. I really mean that. Another problem is the need to somehow deal with the temporal ambiguity inherent in the concept of site. I'm not sure you can provide us with a hard and fast rule to follow. Site can mean a place where something is located or was located. Hell, it can even mean where something is scheduled to be located ("the future site of...") or should be located ("that would be a great site for ....") In historic context, the site where something happened can mean the precise spot or the general setting. So, just exactly what is it that a national park preserves when it preserves the SITE of something important? I'm getting a headache, so I'm going to stop for now.

Bob--

Now that you have dusted off Harry Yount's name in your previous quiz. can you name the only 5 recipients of the career Harry Yount award for service to the ranger profession? PS--they are all retired save one although he works for another agency.

Rick Smith

Why, of course I can name them. And their spouses and children and pets, too. Don't want to spoil a good quiz item, though, so I'm not going to share that information here.

Dear Rangertoo:

There IS an 'authenticity of place' for its own sake, and not only with a battlefield, and it is more than just the original historic structure.

Even though old Federal Hall is gone, it really does matter that the site on which Federal Hall National Memorial was built is the same site where the Northwest Ordinance was approved. It really does matter that it is the site where the slaves from the uprising in 1741 where the slaves were imprisoned before many of them were dragged to the African Burial Ground to be tortured and killed, leading to an effort to entrench slavery with such an overreaction of law that eventually New York could no longer tolerate slavery. It matters that this is the site the first Congress approved the Bill of Rights to the Constitution. Among many, many major events of US history.

It is a MEMORIAL. The Federal Hall National Memorial. Like the Lincoln MEMORIAL. Or the Washington Monument, memorializing Washington. Memorials are not necessarily the site something happened, but are a place of commemoration. The difference in the case of the memorial to Federal Hall is that it is the real place. Not the original structure. It would have been great to have had the original building, but in this case the events that happened here are what is important, and memorialized. Not that the architecture of the former sub-treasury is not significant, and fitting. But neither the architecture of the Memorial or of the original Federal Hall is the essence of the history. The Place is not significant because the Memorial is here and old Federal Hall was there. The place is significant because of what happened there.

It makes sense people fought to retain the sub-treasury building as a Memorial when it was threatened with distruction in order to be replaced by a high rise. Is there a tipping point where a site can be so altered it loses any meaning, despite what occurred there?

Roger Kennedy once said " 'PLACE' is space, plus Memory." I think that nails it.

But how much sense of the history of the landscape at Grand Central is necessary to have a sense of meaning when you see the sign across the street from Grand Central identifying it as the approximate site of his Nathan Hale's death?

In the case of old Federal Hall, the location itself has a real sense of place, on top of a hill, just below Trinity Church, were roads converged, right at the edge of the old city. This is a place of ceremony, a ceremonial center, and it remains so today, whether or not the original Federal Hall still stands.

In Homestead, PA the National Landmark survey for Labor History determined that the site of the Homestead Lockout, and the invasion by the Pinkerton's and the 'Battle' of Homestead lacks the integrity to be a National Historic Landmark because the banks of the river had been hardened with concrete. This was the turning point in American labor history, the place where the labor of a craftsman was rejected and replaced by labor of time, hitched to a machine. American labor, world labor, was never the same again. It seems to me it is a 'place' of authenticity, even though the banks of the river do not look the same. Part of the reason the riverbank has changed is because of the huge technological and social change that happened here. Although Homestead eludes NPS criteria, it is a significant place. Perhaps it would be easier to understand if it the site were more reminiscent of how it looked in the middle of the Lockout. But I definitely get a sense of the significance of that place when standing on that riverbank today. I think it is wrong to disregard the place because of that concrete: the river is still here. Homestead is here. The hills are here.

Perhaps 'authenticity' cannot be measured by black and white standards, but by independent professional or human judgement?

You do know that number 1 is also incorrect. The Minute Man statue is actually at North Bridge. Seems every site in New England gets the prefix "Old" added at some point, except "New" England. Extra points to you bob for mentioning the encampment of '77 & '79-80 at Morristown. Great book by Mark Boatner (Landmarks of the American Revolution) covers sites which cover numerous aspects of the revolutionary time period. [Ed.: With thanks to Phil, the Hauptquizmeister has revised item #1 to remove the offending adjective. He sincerely hopes that no readers were forever ruined through their encounter with "Old" North Bridge.]

You are somewhat correct. The Battle of Bunker Hill was fought on Breed's Hill, not on Bunker's Hill. The only ones who knew the difference between the hill names were the residence of Charlestown at that time. Most of the men fighting weren't even from there. Even on some of the earliest British maps from the 1770s, it is recorded as bunker hill where the battle would be fought and breeds hill will the church is now. So even the British thought that's what it was called. So today the Freedom Trail goes to both Breed's Hill and Bunker Hill. Even though it is officially Breed's Hill, it is still commonly known by many since as early as the 1830's or the people who had fought there...as Bunker Hill.

Ed: There is no reference to Breed's Hill or Bunker Hill in Quiz #9, thanks to a revision made last July after Mookie pointed out a critical error. The point Jonathan makes here -- that the Freedom Trail leads to both Bunker Hill and Breed's Hill -- relates to this comment that Mookie posted on July 2:

The Freedom Trail in Boston does not actually go to Bunker Hill. It starts (ends) at Bunker Hill Monument, but that is actually on Breed's Hill, where most of the fighting of the Battle of Bunker Hill took place.