One of the most surprising connections of the American Revolutionary era emerged at the very beginning of the war between the African American poet Phillis Wheatley and the commander in chief of the American forces, George Washington.
The puritans who settled New England in 1630 were not coming to America to promote religious freedom for all, but to achieve for themselves a freedom from the church and civil officials in England who had prevented them from pursuing their faith as they believed God wanted them to. The settlement of Massachusetts presented the colonists with their first opportunity to decide what views and actions were acceptable and to prohibit what was not.
The British Crown merged the English colonies of New England—Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island—into a single province called the Dominion of New England. The Dominion, headed by a single royal governor, was dissolved in 1689 in the aftermath of the Glorious Revolution when English colonists overthrew the royal government and sent Crown representatives back to London.