The American Revolutionary War, 1775 to 1783, secured the independence of the United States of America from Great Britain and established a constitutional democracy. Following the passage of the Intolerable Acts in June 1774, colonial legislatures selected delegates to meet in Philadelphia to consider the issues the American colonies had with Great Britain's Parliament. North Carolina's Whigs, those who supported independence, formed a provincial congress and selected representatives to be sent to the Continental Congress in September 1774. In April 1775, the Revolutionary War began with the skirmishes at Lexington and Concord, and North Carolina joined the war in May 1775, an event that drove Governor Martin out of office and out of the country.

For additional records that document the Revolutionary War, consult the records of colonial governor Josiah Martin (1771-1775) and the first North Carolina State Governor, Richard Caswell (1776-1780, 1785-1787). These records are imaged and available here in the NCDC as part of the Governors Papers: Historical collection.