Category Archives: Military History

Lafayette: Hero of Two Worlds, Champion of Liberty


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lafayette book coverHe used civil disobedience before Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. made it a thing. Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, French aristocrat and military officer, fought for the United States in the American Revolutionary War and influenced America’s founding fathers on issues like slavery and capital punishment.

Veteran journalist and self-proclaimed Lafayette historian Donald Miller’s seventh book, Lafayette: His Extraordinary Life and Legacy (iUniverse, 2015) looks in depth at one of the most influential men in French and American history. Continue reading

Battlefield Stewardship Workshops Planned


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crown point by john warrenHistorians, museums, cultural groups and community members are invited to join one of two workshops on battlefield stewardship to be held at two locations – Wednesday April 13, 2016 from 1 to 4 pm in the Schuyler Room of Saratoga Town Hall, and Thursday April 14th from 1 to 4 PM in the auditorium of Crown Point State Historic Site.

The workshop discussion will be led by Saratoga National Historical Park Superintendent Amy Bracewell. Keynote speakers Lindsey Morrison and Kathy Robertson from the Civil War Trust will share information about Campaign 1776 – a national initiative to foster the preservation and interpretation of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 battlefields. Continue reading

Historian Ari Kelman On The American Civil War


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ben_franklins_worldThe American Civil War took place over 150 years ago.

The war claimed over 600,000 American lives and its legacy affects the way present-day Americans view civil rights and race relations.

The Civil War stands as an important, watershed event in United States history, which is why, in this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we will discuss the event with Civil War historian Ari Kelman, the McCabe Greer Professor of History at the Pennsylvania State University. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/072

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The DePeyster Family: From Loyalists to Loyal Citizens


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from loyalists to loyal citizensAuthor Valerie H. McKito’s new book, From Loyalists to Loyal Citizens: The DePeyster Family of New York (2015 SUNY Press) takes a look at the DePeyster family, one of the first families of New Amsterdam. The family ranked among the wealthiest of New York during the early days of the American Republic. The DePeysters were also unapologetic Loyalists, serving in the King’s forces during the American Revolution.

After the war, the four sons left the United States for Canada and Great Britain. Ten years later, one son, Frederick DePeyster, returned to New York, embraced his Loyalist past, and utilized his British connections to become a prominent and successful merchant. The DePeysters went on to become true Patriots, zealously supporting US interests in the War of 1812. Continue reading

Saratoga and Hubbardton, 1777


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ben_franklins_worldHistorians refer to the Battle of Saratoga as the turning point of the American Revolution.

They argue the patriot army’s defeat of British General John Burgoyne’s forces convinced the French to enter the War for Independence. Together, French and American forces cornered Charles, Earl Cornwallis at Yorktown in 1781 and ended the war.

This is the quick version of Saratoga, but as we know, history is more complicated.

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we explore the Saratoga Campaign of 1777 in more depth with Bruce M. Venter, author of The Battle of Hubbardton: The Rear Guard Action that Saved America (Arcadia, 2015). You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/071.

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Washington’s Spies: America’s First Spy Ring


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ben_franklins_worldIn this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we explore espionage during the American Revolution and the origins and operations of the Culper Spy Ring with Alexander Rose, author of Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring (Bantam, 2007) and a historian, writer, and producer for AMC’s television drama TURN. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/065 Continue reading

Newburgh’s Tower of Victory Needs Restoration


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Tower of Victory 1906-Library of CongressJonathan Hasbrouck III will forever be known as the Hasbrouck who lost the “Old-Headquarters” home (Washington’s Headquarters in 1782-1783) in Newburgh by foreclosure. The State of New York took control of the home and in 1850 made it the first publicly owned historic site in the nation.

Jonathan Hasbrouck III hoped to save it the home from foreclosure, and even proposed a monument on the grounds over four decades before the current Tower of Victory was erected. Today, that tower is in desperate need of restoration. Continue reading

Destruction and the American Civil War


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ben_franklins_worldThe American Civil War claimed more than 620,000 American lives. It also cost American forests, landscapes, cities, and institutions.

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we explore the different types of ruination wrought by the American Civil War with Megan Kate Nelson, author of Ruin Nation: Destruction and the American Civil War (University of Georgia Press, 2012). You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/063

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Braddock’s Defeat: The Battle of the Monongahela


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ben_franklins_worldDid George Washington start the French and Indian War?

Why should we remember a battle that took place over 260 years ago?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we investigate the answers to those questions as we explore the Battle of the Monongahela with David Preston, author of Braddock’s Defeat: The Battle of the Monongahela and the Road to Revolution (Oxford University Press, 2015). You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/060

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War, Money, and the American State, 1783-1867


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ben_franklins_worldAs Benjamin Franklin stated in 1789, “nothing is certain but death and taxes.” Given the certainty of taxes it seems important that we understand how the United States’ fiscal system developed.

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we explore the development of the early American fiscal system with Max Edling, Professor of History at King’s College, London and author of A Hercules in the Cradle: War, Money, and the American State, 1783-1867 (University of Chicago Press, 2014). You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/057

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