|Centuries:||17th century – 18th century – 19th century|
|Decades:||1740s 1750s 1760s – 1770s – 1780s 1790s 1800s|
|Years:||1773 1774 1775 – 1776 – 1777 1778 1779|
|1776 by topic:|
|Arts and Sciences|
|Archaeology – Architecture – Art – Literature (Poetry) – Music – Science|
|Canada –Denmark – France – Great Britain – Ireland – Norway – Scotland –Sweden – United States|
|Lists of leaders|
|Colonial governors – State leaders|
|Birth and death categories|
|Births – Deaths|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Establishments – Disestablishments|
|Ab urbe condita||2529|
|British Regnal year||16 Geo. 3 – 17 Geo. 3|
|Chinese calendar||乙未年 (Wood Goat)
4472 or 4412
— to —
丙申年 (Fire Monkey)
4473 or 4413
|- Vikram Samvat||1832–1833|
|- Shaka Samvat||1697–1698|
|- Kali Yuga||4876–4877|
|Japanese calendar||An'ei 5
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 11 days|
|Minguo calendar||136 before ROC
|Thai solar calendar||2318–2319|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1776.|
1776 (MDCCLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Monday (dominical letter GF) of the Gregorian calendar and a leap year starting on Friday (dominical letter CB) of the Julian calendar, the 1776th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 776th year of the 2nd millennium, the 76th year of the 18th century, and the 7th year of the 1770s decade. As of the start of 1776, the Gregorian calendar was 11 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1918.
The year is dominated by events of the American Revolutionary War.
- January 1 – American Revolutionary War: Burning of Norfolk: The town of Norfolk, Virginia, is destroyed by the combined actions of the British Royal Navy and occupying Patriot forces.
- January 10 – American Revolution: Thomas Paine publishes his pamphlet Common Sense "written by an Englishman" in Philadelphia arguing for independence from British rule in the Thirteen Colonies.
- January 20 – American Revolution: South Carolina Loyalists led by Robert Cunningham sign a petition from prison agreeing to all demands for peace by the formed state government of South Carolina.
- January 24 – American Revolution: Henry Knox arrives at Cambridge, Massachusetts, with the artillery that he has transported from Fort Ticonderoga
- February 17 – Edward Gibbon publishes the first volume of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
- February 27 – American Revolution: Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge: Scottish North Carolina Loyalists charge across Moore's Creek bridge near Wilmington to attack what they mistakenly believe to be a small force of rebels. Several loyalist leaders are killed in the ensuing battle. The patriot victory virtually ends all British authority in the province.
- March – Restrictions on the cereal trade in Sweden are lifted.
- March 2–3 – American Revolutionary War:
- March 4 – American Revolutionary War: American Patriots capture Dorchester Heights dominating the port of Boston.
- March 9 – Scottish economist Adam Smith publishes The Wealth of Nations in London.
- March 17 – American Revolutionary War: Threatened by Patriot cannons on Dorchester Heights, the British evacuate Boston, ending the 11‑month Siege of Boston.
- March 28 – Juan Bautista de Anza finds the site for the Presidio of San Francisco.
- April 12 – American Revolution: The Royal Colony of North Carolina produces the Halifax Resolves making it the first British colony officially to authorize its Continental Congress delegates to vote for independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
- May 1 – Adam Weishaupt founds the Illuminati in Ingolstadt, Bavaria.
- May 4 – Rhode Island becomes the first American colony to renounce allegiance to King George III of Great Britain.
- May 15–26 – American Revolution: Battle of The Cedars: British forces skirmish with the American Continental Army around Les Cèdres, Quebec.
- June 6 – A fire destroys major parts of the town of Askersund, Sweden.
- June 7 – American Revolution: Richard Henry Lee of Virginia proposes to the Second Continental Congress (meeting in Philadelphia) that "these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states."
- June 8 – American Revolution: Battle of Trois-Rivières: The invading American Continental Army is driven back at Trois-Rivières, Quebec.
- June 11 – American Revolution: The Continental Congress appoints a Committee of Five to draft a Declaration of Independence.
- June 12 – American Revolution: Virginia Declaration of Rights by George Mason adopted by the Virginia Convention of Delegates.
- June 15 – American Revolution: Delaware Separation Day: The Delaware General Assembly votes to suspend government under the British Crown.
- June 17 – Lt. José Joaquín Moraga leads a band of colonists from Monterey Presidio, landing on June 29 and, with Father Francisco Palóu, constructing the Mission San Francisco de Asís ("Mission Dolores") of the new Presidio of San Francisco, the oldest surviving building in the modern-day city.
- June 28 – American Revolutionary War: Battle of Sullivan's Island – South Carolina militia repel a British attack on Charleston.
- June 29 – American Revolution: Battle of Turtle Gut Inlet – The American Continental Navy successfully challenges the British Royal Navy blockade off New Jersey.
- July 2 – American Revolution: The final (despite minor revisions) U.S. Declaration of Independence is written. The Continental Congress passes the Lee Resolution.
- July 4 – American Revolution: United States Declaration of Independence: The Continental Congress ratifies the declaration by the United States of its independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
- July 8 – American Revolution: The Liberty Bell rings in Philadelphia for the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence.
- July 9 – American Revolution: An angry mob in New York City topples the equestrian statue of George III of Great Britain in Bowling Green.
- July 12 – Captain James Cook sets off from Plymouth, England, in HMS Resolution on his third voyage, to the Pacific Ocean and Arctic, which will be fatal.
- July 21 – Mozart's Serenade No. 7 (the "Haffner") is first performed in Salzburg, Austria.
- July 29 – Francisco Silvestre Vélez de Escalante, Francisco Atanasio Domínguez, and eight other Spaniards set out from Santa Fe on an eighteen-hundred mile trek through the American Southwest. They are the first Europeans to explore the vast region between the Rockies and the Sierras.
- August 2 – Most of the American colonies ratify the Declaration of Independence.
- August 15 – American Revolution: First Hessian troops land on Staten Island to join British forces.
- August 27 – American Revolution: Battle of Long Island: Washington's troops routed in Brooklyn by British under William Howe.
- September 1 – Invasion of Cherokee Nation by 6,000 patriot troops from Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina begins. The troops destroy thirty-six Cherokee towns.
- September 6 – Hurricane hits Guadeloupe, killing more than 6000 people.
- September 7 – American Revolution: World's first submarine attack. American submersible craft Turtle attempts to attach a time bomb to the hull of British Admiral Richard Howe's flagship HMS Eagle in New York Harbor.
- September 11 – American Revolution: abortive peace conference between British and Americans on Staten Island.
- September 15 – American Revolution: Landing at Kip's Bay: British troops land on Manhattan at Kips Bay.
- September 16 – American Revolution: Battle of Harlem Heights: The Continental Army under Washington are victorious against the British on Manhattan.
- September 22 – American Revolution: Nathan Hale executed in New York City for espionage.
- September 24
- First running of the St Leger Stakes horse race (not yet named) in England, first of the British Classic Races, devised by Anthony St Leger (British Army officer), on Cantley Common at Doncaster. The winner is a filly (later named Allabaculia) owned by the organiser, the 2nd Marquess of Rockingham.
- The Bolshoi Theatre company hosts its first annual opera season, with the opening of the Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
- October 7 – Crown Prince Paul of Russia marries Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg.
- October 9 – Father Francisco Palóu founds the Mission San Francisco de Asís in what is now San Francisco.
- October 11 – American Revolution: Battle of Valcour Island: On Lake Champlain near Valcour Island, a British fleet led by Sir Guy Carleton defeats 15 American gunboats commanded by Brigadier General Benedict Arnold. Although nearly all of Arnold's ships are destroyed, the two-day-long battle will give Patriot forces enough time to prepare defenses of New York City.
- October 18 – American Revolution: Battle of Pell's Point: Troops of the American Continental Army resist a British and Hessian force in The Bronx.
- October 28 – American Revolution: Battle of White Plains: British forces arrive at White Plains, attack and capture Chatterton Hill from the Americans.
- October 31 – In his first speech before British Parliament since the Declaration of Independence that summer, King George III acknowledges that all is not going well for Britain in the war with the United States.
- November 16 – American Revolution: Battle of Fort Washington – Hessian forces under Lieutenant General Wilhelm von Knyphausen capture Fort Washington (Manhattan) from the American Continental Army. The captain of the American navy ship Andrew Doria fires a salute to the Dutch flag on Fort Oranje and Johannes de Graaff answers with eleven gun shots.
- November 20 – American Revolution: Battle of Fort Lee – Invasion of New Jersey by British and Hessian forces and subsequent general retreat of the American Continental Army.
- December 5 – The Phi Beta Kappa Society is founded at the College of William & Mary in Virginia.
- December 7 – American Revolution: The Marquis de Lafayette attempts to enter the American military as a major general.
- December 21 – American Revolution: The Royal Colony of North Carolina reorganizes into the State of North Carolina after adopting its own constitution. Richard Caswell becomes the first governor of the newly formed state.
- December 23 – American Revolution: Thomas Paine, living with Washington's troops, begins publishing The American Crisis, containing the stirring phrase, "These are the times that try men's souls."
- December 25 – American Revolution: Gen. George Washington orders the first issue of The Crisis read to his troops on Christmas Eve, then at 6 p.m. all 2600 of them march to McKonkey's Ferry, cross the Delaware River and land on the Jersey bank at 3 a.m.
- December 26 – American Revolution: Battle of Trenton: Washington's troops surprise the 1500 Hessian troops under the command of Col. Johann Rall at 8 a.m. outside Trenton and score a victory, taking 948 prisoners while suffering only 5 wounded.
The United States of America became an independent country, no longer subject to British rule.
- January 1 – James M. Broom, American politician (d. 1850)
- January 2 – Jeremiah Chaplin, Reformed Baptist theologian (d. 1841)
- January 3 – Thomas Morris, American politician (d. 1844)
- January 4
- January 6
- January 8 – Thomas Langlois Lefroy, Irish politician (d. 1869)
- January 9 – Ludwig Rhesa, Prussian scholar (d. 1840)
- January 10 – George Birkbeck, English doctor, academic and philanthropist (d. 1841)
- January 15 – Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, Roman-born British Prince (d. 1834)
- January 16
- January 17 (bapt.) – Jane Porter, English novelist (d. 1850)
- January 21
- January 23 – Howard Douglas, British Army general (d. 1861)
- January 24
- January 25 – Joseph Görres, German writer and journalist (d. 1848)
- January 29 – William Bowie, American agrarian (d. 1826)
- February 4
- February 11 – Ioannis Kapodistrias, Governor of Greece (d. 1831)
- February 12
- February 14 – Christian Gottfried Daniel Nees von Esenbeck, prolific German botanist (d. 1858)
- February 15 – Jean-Pierre Boyer, President of Haiti (d. 1850)
- February 16 – Abraham Raimbach, British engraver (d. 1843)
- February 17
- February 18 – Karl August Ferdinand von Borcke, German general (d. 1830)
- February 20 – Mariano Ricafort Palacín y Abarca, Spanish colonial governor of Cuba (d. 1846)
- February 21 – Joseph Barss, privateer and sea captain (d. 1824)
- February 23
- February 25 – George William Tighe, English expatriate (d. 1837)
- February 26
- February 28 – François Quirouet, Canadian politician (d. 1844)
- March 1
- March 3 – James Parker, American politician (d. 1868)
- March 4 – Guillaume Emmanuel Guignard, vicomte de Saint-Priest, Russian army commander (d. 1814)
- March 5 – Gerard Troost, American mineralogist (d. 1850)
- March 6 – Luigi Lambruschini, Catholic cardinal (d. 1854)
- March 7 – Timothy Ruggles, Canadian politician (d. 1831)
- March 8
- March 9
- March 10
- March 12 – Lady Hester Stanhope, English archaeologist (d. 1839)
- March 15 – Aimé Picquet du Boisguy, French chouan general during the French Revolution (d. 1839)
- March 17 – Joel Abbot, American politician (d. 1826)
- March 19 – Philemon Beecher, American politician (d. 1839)
- March 20
- Joshua Bates, American educator (d. 1854)
- Richard Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, English politician (d. 1839)
- March 21 – John Frederick Frelinghuysen, United States general (d. 1833)
- March 23
- March 24 – Zusho Hirosato, Samurai (d. 1849)
- March 27 – Charles-François Brisseau de Mirbel, French botanist and politician (d. 1854)
- March 30 – Vasily Tropinin, Russian artist (d. 1857)
- March 31 – Joseph Küffner, German musician and composer (d. 1856)
- April 1
- April 3
- April 6 – Jesse Bledsoe, American politician (d. 1836)
- April 11
- April 12
- April 13 – Wilhelm von Schütz, German author and playwright (d. 1847)
- April 15 – John Anstruther-Thomson, Scottish nobleman and Colonel of the Royal Fifeshire Yeomanry Cavalry (d. 1833)
- April 17 – Jean-François Roger, French poet and politician (d. 1842)
- April 20
- April 25
- April 27
- April 28
- May 4 – Johann Friedrich Herbart, German philosopher and psychologist (d. 1841)
- May 5 – Valentine Efner, American politician (d. 1865)
- May 6
- May 8
- May 9 – Thomas Maguire, Canadian Roman Catholic priest (d. 1854)
- May 10 – George Thomas Smart, English musician (d. 1867)
- May 13 – Jett Thomas, American militia general (d. 1817)
- May 17 – Amos Eaton, American botanist (d. 1842)
- May 18 – Dennis Pennington, American politician (d. 1854)
- May 20
- May 29 – Peter Erasmus Müller, Danish historian, linguist and theologian (d. 1834)
- May 31 – José Antonio de la Garza, American mayor (d. 1851)
- June 1
- June 4 – Isaac B. Van Houten, American politician (d. 1850)
- June 6 – William Reed, American politician (d. 1837)
- June 8 – Thomas Rickman, English architect and architectural antiquary (d. 1841)
- June 11 – John Constable, English landscape painter (d. 1837)
- June 12
- June 19 – Francis Johnson, American politician (d. 1842)
- June 21
- June 23 – Stephen Longfellow, American politician (d. 1849)
- June 28 – Charles Mathews, English actor (d. 1835)
- June 29 – George Okill Stuart, Canadian clergyman (d. 1862)
- July 1
- July 3 – Henry Parnell, 1st Baron Congleton, Anglo-Irish politician (d. 1842)
- July 4
- July 5
- July 10 – Samuel Powell, American politician (d. 1841)
- July 11 – William Bradbery (d. 1860)
- July 12 – John Christian, Manx judge (d. 1852)
- July 13 – Caroline of Baden, Queen of Bavaria (d. 1841)
- July 14 – Pierre Yrieix Daumesnil, French soldier (d. 1832)
- July 16
- July 17 – John Neilson, Canadian politician (d. 1848)
- July 18 – John Struthers, Scottish poet (d. 1853)
- July 20 – Ignaz Schuppanzigh, Austrian musician (d. 1830)
- July 22
- Etheldred Benett, early English geologist (d. 1845)
- Friedrich Hermann Otto, Prince of Hohenzollern-Hechingen (d. 1838)
- July 26 – Pierre Fouquier, French physician and professor of medicine (d. 1850)
- July 29 – James McSherry, American politician (d. 1849)
- July 30 – Sir Edward Kerrison, 1st Baronet, British general (d. 1853)
- August 1
- August 2
- August 4 – Pierre-Simon Ballanche, French writer and counterrevolutionary philosopher (d. 1847)
- August 5
- August 6 – William Crooks, Canadian politician (d. 1836)
- August 9
- August 12
- August 13 – Abraham Shepherd, American politician (d. 1847)
- August 14
- August 15
- August 16
- August 18
- August 21
- August 22 – Carlo Amati, Italian architect (d. 1852)
- August 23
- August 25 – Thomas Bladen Capel, British admiral (d. 1853)
- August 26
- August 27 – Barthold Georg Niebuhr, Danish-German statesman and historian (d. 1831)
- August 29 – Georg Friedrich Treitschke, German librettist (d. 1842)
- September 1
- September 3 – Étienne Mayrand, Canadian politician (d. 1872)
- September 4 – Stephen Whitney, American merchant (d. 1860)
- September 5 – Augustus Simon Frazer, French-born British Army officer (d. 1835)
- September 8
- September 9
- September 11 – Thomas Arbuthnot, British Army general (d. 1849)
- September 15
- September 17 – Langdon Cheves, American politician (d. 1857)
- September 18 – Thomas Gleadowe-Newcomen, 2nd Viscount Newcomen, English politician (d. 1825)
- September 21
- September 27
- October 1 – Augustus Warren Baldwin, naval officer and political figure in Upper Canada (d. 1866)
- October 3 – Thomas Walsh, Vicar Apostolic of England and Wales (d. 1849)
- October 4
- October 6
- October 8 – Pieter van Os, Dutch painter and engraver (d. 1839)
- October 12 – Jean-Michel Mahé, French Navy officer and captain (d. 1833)
- October 13
- October 14
- October 18 – Cowles Mead, American politician (d. 1844)
- October 20 – John Rolls of The Hendre, British judge (d. 1837)
- October 21 – George Izard, United States general (d. 1828)
- October 22 – Edward Draper, military officer in the British Army and civil servant in Mauritius (d. 1841)
- October 25 – Patrick Neill, Printer and horticulturalist (d. 1851)
- October 28 – Joachim Haspinger, Catholic priest and leader of the Tyrolese revolt against Napoleon (d. 1858)
- October 30
- October 31 – Francis Locke Jr., American politician (d. 1823)
- November 1 – Abraham McClellan, American politician (d. 1851)
- November 5 – Abraham Teerlink, Dutch painter (d. 1857)
- November 7
- November 10
- November 11 – Philip E. Thomas, American banker and railroad executive (d. 1861)
- November 14 – Henri Dutrochet, French physician (d. 1847)
- November 15
- November 17
- November 20
- November 24
- November 29 – Harcourt Lees, Irish clergyman and political pamphleteer (d. 1852)
- November 30
- December 1
- December 2 – Louis Alexis Baudoin (d. 1805)
- December 3
- December 5 – Konrad Johann Martin Langenbeck, German surgeon (d. 1851)
- December 6 – Theodorick Bland, United States federal judge (d. 1846)
- December 7 – Reuben Whallon, American politician (d. 1843)
- December 8
- December 10
- December 12 – Nicholas Conyngham Tindal, English lawyer and politician (d. 1846)
- December 13 – James Hawkes, American politician (d. 1865)
- December 14 – Ingelbrecht Knudssøn, Norwegian politician (d. 1826)
- December 16
- December 19
- December 20 – José María del Castillo y Rada, President of Colombia (d. 1833)
- December 25 – John Slater, American businessman (d. 1843)
- December 26 – Charles Hamilton Smith, British artist (d. 1859)
- December 27 – Nikolay Kamensky, Russian general (d. 1811)
- December 29 – Gustaf af Wetterstedt, Swedish politician (d. 1837)
- December 30 – William Drayton, American politician (d. 1846)
- December 31 – Johann Spurzheim, German physician (d. 1832)
- March 10
- March 24 – John Harrison, English clockmaker (b. 1693)
- March 26 – Samuel Ward, American politician (b. 1725)
- April 29 – Edward Wortley Montagu, English traveller and writer (b. 1713)
- May 4 – Jacques Saly, French sculptor (b. 1717)
- June 10 – Leopold Widhalm, Austrian luthier (b. 1722)
- June 20 – Benjamin Huntsman, English inventor and manufacturer (b. 1704)
- July 7 – Jeremiah Markland, English classical scholar (b. 1693)
- July 10 – Richard Peters, English-born clergyman (b. 1704)
- August 1 – Francis Salvador, American patriot (b. 1747)
- August 2 – Louis François, Prince of Conti, French military leader (b. 1717)
- August 25 – David Hume, Scottish philosopher (b. 1711)
- September 22 – Nathan Hale, American Revolutionary War captain, writer and patriot (executed) (b. 1755)
- October 10 - Karl Gotthelf von Hund, German Freemason (b. 1722)
- October 17 – Pierre François le Courayer, French theologian (b. 1681)
- November 17 – James Ferguson, Scottish astronomer (b. 1710)
- "Timeline of the American Revolutionary War". Independence Hall. Archived from the original on May 30, 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-01.
- Williams, Hywel (2005). Cassell's Chronology of World History. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. pp. 330–331. ISBN 0-304-35730-8.
- "Askersunds historia" (in Swedish). Föreningen Gamla Askersund. Retrieved 25 March 2011.
- Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
- Saunt, Claudio (2014). West of the Revolution: An Uncommon History of 1776. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 9780393240207.
- "Mariinsky Theatre: History of the Theatre". Mariinsky Theatre. Retrieved 2011-12-04.
- Rice, Hank (June 2000), Footnotes in History: "The First Salute", Sons of the American Revolution