Heroes of the Revolution

in Digging Up the Dead

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780226423296
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226423326 | DOI:
Heroes of the Revolution

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The reburial of some important personalities from the age of the American Revolution was often politicized in a number of ways. Yet these nineteenth-century episodes offer more insights about patriotism than they do about nationalism or sectionalism. This article focuses on battle-tested heroes who died and were buried far from home, frequently giving rise to disputes over the issue of which venue was more apropos: home or the site of a hero's greatest military triumph and contribution to American independence. The article also looks at a few foreign-born figures who played major roles in helping the United States achieve freedom and died in the country. It begins with the sad, intensely politicized story of the “prison ship dead” and their unfortunate neglect before turning to four European-born individuals who figured prominently in the controversy over exhumation and reburial, including the British patriot Thomas Paine.

Keywords: patriotism; heroes; American Revolution; independence; prison ship dead; Thomas Paine

Chapter.  13695 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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