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This Month in Delaware History

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Cooch’s Bridge Monument, DHS Photograph Collection HIS20

The only significant battle on Delaware soil between the British and American armies during the American Revolution took place this month in 1777. After the British captured New York City the previous year, British military planners devised a dual attack on the Continental Army intended to divide the American colonies and crush the rebellion once and for all. One British campaign was planned from the north through Canada south through the Hudson River Valley. The other was to be from the south through Chesapeake Bay north toward Philadelphia. In late August, 1777, British Lieutenant General William Howe and his army landed near Elkton, Maryland.  He and General George Washington were said to have peered at each other through looking glasses from respective hilltops soon after the British pushed northeast; Howe from Gray’s Hill and Washington from Iron Hill. Read more.

 


Object of the Month

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A-127 Vest Pocket Autographic Kodak folding camera, ca. 1917 Gift of Mrs. Lammot du Pont Copeland

In an age of 24-hour cable news it seems incomprehensible that, a mere century ago, Americans had very little up to the minute information about world events. While we now watch major news unfold before our eyes and receive a seemingly endless barrage of updates afterward, Delawareans on the homefront during World War I had no such luxury. While newspapers kept the public informed to some extent, other types of media coverage were curtailed since radio usage was largely off-limits and reserved for the war effort. Lengthy intervals often passed without word from loved ones serving abroad, with the result that many Delawareans did not truly experience the scale and devastation of the “war to end all wars” until their servicemen and women arrived home, often bearing postcards, and photographs.  While many soldiers purchased photographs in small, pre-packaged sets with a variety of images intended to offer an overall sense of the war experience, others captured their own with lightweight, foldable cameras, like the one featured here. Read more.

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