On July 4th 1776, while the Declaration of Independence was being adopted in Philadelphia, George Washington, the General of the Continental Army was defending New York against a British attack. Five days later, at the Commons in New York City, General Washington read the Declaration of Independence aloud to his troops. His long dream of independence from England was finally being realized. But Washington and his army had no time to celebrate as New York Harbor was filled with British ships. At this critical moment in history, little did General Washington know that the island of Manhattan would be the center stage to the birth of the United States of America.