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Interpreting the Evidence

Massachusetts Requests Grain from New York, February 15, 1779

  • Documents in this Activity:
  • Historical Eras:

    Revolution and New Nation (1754 - 1820s)

  • Thinking Skill:

    Historical Analysis & Interpretation

  • Grade Level:

    Middle School
    High School
    College University

  • Topics:

    American Revolution

  • Primary Source Types:

    Written Document

  • Regions:

    New York State
    United States

  • Creator:

    NYS Archives Partnership Trust Education Team

  1. Load Massachusetts Requests Grain from New York, February 15, 1779 in Main Image Viewer

Suggested Teaching Instructions

Document Description
Letter to New York Governor George Clinton requesting grain or flour from the Province of Massachusetts Bay Council President Jeremiah Powell, February 15, 1779.
Historical Context
The newly gained independence and self determination of the United States brought to the forefront longstanding domestic issues that were destined to divide the emerging nation. One of the situations involved the land dispute between New York and New Hampshire over the territory that would eventually be the first state created under the new constitution.
Vermont maintained its mostly independent character throughout the French and Indian War and the Revolution. Powerful political factions such as those backing Ethan Allen and even early settlers in the region viewed themselves as neither part of New York nor New Hampshire. Ultimately Vermonters would become a state in 1791.
Essential Question
What effects was the Revolution having on domestic policies?
Historical Challenges
Create a list of issues surrounding the land dispute in Vermont and New York and then classify them by theme. Create a venn diagram of the themes and examples.
Interdisciplinary Connections
Divide the class into cooperative groups based on one of differing perspectives. Have each present to a committee of national representatives and have that group vote on which group provided the most persuasive argument and why.