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[Detail] Illustration of the shield of Virginia, from the eighteenth century

Historical Comprehension: Reading Imaginatively

The "Memoir of Lieut. Col Tench Tilghman: Secretary and Aid to Washington: Together with an Appendix, Containing Revolutionary Journals and Letters, Hitherto Unpublished" includes letters between Tilghman and George Washington, as well as letters Tilghman wrote to his father following noted Revolutionary War battles. The letters to his father are interesting not only for the information they provide about the war but because his father was a Loyalist. Read the letters, tracing the movements of Washington's troops that can be inferred from the letters and looking for evidence of the political disagreement between father and son. In the last letter to his father presented (pages 170 and 171, June 12, 1778), Tilghman urges his father to declare his loyalty to the new country. Imagine that you are Tilghman, opening the return letter from your father. What do you think he will say? How will you respond?