Back in the 1970s, in honor of the 200th anniversary of the Declaration on Independence, John Jake wrote a series of eight best selling novels. Collectively know as The Kent Family Chronicles, or The American Bicentennial Series, they tell the story of Phillipe Charboneau, a Frenchmen who travels through England and the New World in Revolutionary times, changing his name to Philip Kent, and interacting with a surprisingly large number of historical figures. The series continues with Philip's descendants, eventually ending in 1890.
Given the books' popularity, it should come as no surprise that they would be adapted for the screen. Or, the first three were, anyway, as television miniseries. Acorn Media has released a DVD set of these called The Kent Chronicles. This three disc edition contains the trio of films, broadcast in 1978 and 1979, and each over three hours long.
The first in the series is The Bastard. Here, Phillipe Charboneau (Andrew Stevens, Dallas, The Boondock Saints) is 17-years-old when he learns that he is the son of the Duke of Kent. The Duke is ill and won't claim his bastard child. Feuding with the legitimate family, and too poor to go home, Phillipe flees to London. There he meets Benjamin Franklin (Tom Bosley, Happy Days), who convinces Phillipe that America is the place to go.
Changing his name to Philip Kent, the protagonist is not in Boston very long before getting involved with the rebels and participating in the Boston Tea Party. Philip concurrently plays a role in the early dispute for the colonies, while haunted by the past he left in England, which follows him across the pond. The Bastard culminates in love and the Battle of Concord.
Picking up months later, The Rebels continues Philip's role in the war. This takes him away from home, leaving his wife, Anne Kent (Kim Cattrall, Sex and the City) to fend for herself, which, to make a long story short, does not go well.