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Digging Up the DeadA History of Notable American Reburials$
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Michael Kammen

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780226423296

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226423326.001.0001

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Heroes of the Revolution

Heroes of the Revolution

The Siting and Reciting of Patriotism

(p.43) Two Heroes of the Revolution
Digging Up the Dead
University of Chicago Press

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

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