"The 'Spirit of 76.' It has endured for two hundred years. It was there — unformed and unnamed — the night disguised patriots threw chests of British-taxed tea into Boston Harbor. It became a fearful reality as rebel drum beats summoned Minutemen to Lexington Green. It was proudly declared in that summer of 1776, when men signed their names to a document that began,'When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another...' It was formally conceded by the British five years later, on the fields of Yorktown, as the American, General Lincoln, received the sword of defeated Cornwallis. Many fought to keep that spirit alive. Young, old, famous, unknown. Benjamin Franklin was 70 the year he signed the Declaration of Independence."
"On September 23, 1779, Captain John Paul Jones fought a battle without parallel in naval history. Hitherto the contest upon the sea had been mainly a predatory warfare of privateers, aimed at the destruction of commerce and the plunder of merchant vessels. The young republic was without a navy proper. Called 'Pirate Jones' by the English, for retaliating on the coast of England for the atrocities committed on the coast of America, the captain of the Bon Homme Richard gallantly refused the sword of the surrending captain of the Serapis — but did take his ship."
"When, in 1761, Roger Sherman moved to New Haven, he found himself in what served as a metropolis for the colony, insofar as its fifteen hundred or so shopkeepers, artisans, and farmers could enable it to do so. Sitting quietly by the sea, the little port was outside the main currents of commerce and politics of the British Empire. She trafficked a little with Boston, New York, and the West Indies, but hardly any with England."