Tag Archives: French And Indian War

New Fort Ticonderoga Tour Highlights Artillery


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Fort Ticonderoga’s newest tour “The Usefulness of those fine Cannon” highlights the museums extensive 18th-century artillery collection. The walking tour takes visitors through the armament history of Fort Ticonderoga and is presented as part of the daily schedule for the remainder of the 2011 season.

The tour provides a window into the events where Fort Ticonderoga’s heavy cannons played such a large part in General Montgomery’s siege of Quebec, General Benedict Arnold’s navy, and Henry Knox’s epic efforts to haul these guns to Boston to force a British withdrawal in 1776. With three artillery pieces original to these events in Fort Ticonderoga’s collection, and many others nearly identical to the historic pieces, the tour of the Fort’s cannons allows visitors to experience Fort Ticonderoga’s important place in American history.



Fort Ticonderoga is home to one of America’s largest collections of 18th-century military material culture. The weapons collection is composed of over one thousand muskets, bayonets, pistols, swords and pole arms representing most of the major types of weapons used in the colonial wars and struggle for American Independence. The museum’s collection of 18th-century artillery is considered the largest collection of its type in the western hemisphere.

The special tour is included in the admission price. Visit www.fortitonderoga.org for calendar details or call 518-585-2821.

Fort Ticonderoga offers programs, historic interpretation and tours, garden tours, demonstrations and exhibits daily from 9:30 am – 5 pm, May 20 – October 20. A full schedule and information on events can be found at www.Fort-Ticonderoga.org or phone (518) 585-2821. Fort Ticonderoga is located at 100 Fort Ti Road Ticonderoga, New York.

Photo: Artillery at Fort Ticonderoga. Photo by John Warren.

Fort Ticonderoga Highlights Role of 1759 Indian Agent


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Visitors to Fort Ticonderoga this summer will be able to explore the role of an Indian agent in 1759 as part of a new program entitled “Within Humane Bounds.” The program will be offered from 2 pm – 5 pm, Sunday through Thursday through October 20, 2011.

An historic interpreter representing an Indian agent of Sir William Johnson’s Northern Indian Department who supplied and coordinated with Mohawk warriors in 1759 brings this nuanced history to life. The program includes an impressive display of representative trade goods including leggings, shirts, powder horns and weapons that were that were needed to secure Mohawk support to the British army. Visitors will learn about the role the agent played in maintaining the bonds of alliance as well as being an important source for practical trade goods utilized in the native villages including agricultural tools and cutlery.

Native American allies in the French & Indian War were key players for both the French and British armies. Accordingly, both sides had extensive networks of agents and traders to try to forge those alliances and coordinate native warriors. Beyond the backing of the British crown, and a large supply of trade goods, Indian agents also had to use personal connections to fulfill their positions. Their fluency in languages, knowledge of local customs, as well as their own personal bonds of kinship within tribes were all essential in securing native alliances. These bonds were very often tested during these times of war, as Indian agents walked a fine line between encouraging native military support while keeping these warriors acting, “Within Humane Bounds”. Sir William Johnson’s directive to his Indian agents was to use the inherent skills of natives in woodland warfare, while keeping them acting within the moral morays of European warfare. Indeed, 1759 through the work of Indian Agents, the Mohawk allies had a reputation among the British army for discipline as admirable as their martial skill.

“Within Humane Bounds” program is part of Fort Ticonderoga’s broader interpretive emphasis this season which brings to life the year 1759. Costumed historic interpreters portraying members of Abijah Williard’s Massachusetts Provincial Regiment recreate 1759 through daily programs and historic trades demonstrations.

Photo: Fort Ticonderoga’s Historic Interpreter, Joseph Privott, portrays an Indian Agent of Sir William Johnson’s Northern Indian Department at Fort Ticonderoga as part of the “Within Humane Bounds” Program.

Ogdensburg Founder’s Day Weekend July 23-24


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Ogdensburg, in St. Lawrence County, will play host to it’s annual Founder’s Day celebration, French and Indian War reenactment, and colonial trade fair on Saturday, July 23 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Sunday, July 24 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

More than 250 years ago the roar of cannon fire echoed over the St. Lawrence River on the now peaceful stretch between Ogdensburg, New York and Prescott, Ontario. The final battle of the French and Indian War – the battle that truly led to the French losing Canada to the English – was fought here in August 1760.

Founder’s Day Weekend is the annual commemoration of Ogdensburg’s French colonial history and the Battle of the Thousand Islands. Lighthouse Point features a military re-enactment and colonial trade fair. As many as 500 participants from the U.S. and Canada, dressed in 18th-century clothes, will establish an encampment of white canvass tents.

French and English naval contingents will moor their historically accurate small boats along the shore and bivouac there. The crews will race on Saturday morning, but Saturday and Sunday afternoon the boats with bow guns and muskets in battle on the river. The skirmishing on the water leads into the land battle. Across the width of Lighthouse Point, the opposing forces and their Native allies will maneuver.

Civilian life of the colonies will also be represented as women and children, pipers, dancers, artisans, traditional tradesmen and women, and sutlers, the merchants that followed the armies, set up their shops to furnish just about anything a re-enactor, or 21st-century tourist, could want.

The re-enactment of the Battle of the Thousand Islands and the colonial trade fair are adjacent to the archaeological remains of Fort de la Présentation, built by the French in 1749. When the tide of war turned in favor of the English, the French vacated the fort in early 1759 and continued the construction of Fort Lévis downriver on Île Royal, now Chimney Island. La Présentation was a wooden stockade; Lévis was a substantial fortification.

The 1760 Battle of the Thousand Islands began with the capture of the French corvette L’Outauaise by a swarm of English row galleys off abandoned Fort de la Présentation. The battle continued with the successful, weeklong siege of Fort Lévis. The English pressed on to accept the capitulation of Montreal.

For more than a decade, the annual Founder’s Day Weekend has honored the shared history of Canada and the United States. Here, where the Oswegatchie River flows into the St. Lawrence, the Fort La Présentation Association plans to rebuild the historic fort as a high-quality, tourist attraction.

Admission: Adults $8; Children 7 to 12 $2; children 6 and under free.

More information is available online or by calling the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce at 1-877-228-7810.

Photo courtesy Sandy Goss, Eagle Bay Media.

Fort Ticonderoga to Recreate 1759 British Capture


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Re-enactors portraying French and British soldiers of the Seven Year’s War, also known as the French and Indian War, will converge upon Fort Ticonderoga this Saturday and Sunday, June 25 and 26 to recreate the tumultuous and chaotic events by which General Amherst’s British army captured the vital Fort. Visitors will experience the life of British soldiers and besieged French soldiers recreated around them, with all the sights and sounds they would have encountered at Fort Ticonderoga in the summer of 1759.

The modern recreation of this clash for empire will feature a variety of demonstrations and events. Highlights of the weekend include: a battle each day featuring re-enactors recreating events of the siege as reported in the diary of a private in Willard’s Regiment of Massachusetts Provincials, who was part of the British force attacking the Fort; artillery and musket demonstrations; a talk by author Russ Bellico on his book, Empires in the Mountains; 18th-century music performed on period instruments by musician Robert Mouland; a rousing game of 18th-century cricket; and historic merchants to give visitors an immersive experience in the inevitable victory for the British forces. In addition to these special events, visitors to Fort Ticonderoga on June 25 and 26 can also enjoy the museum’s extensive collection of artifacts and militaria and the King’s Garden; admission to this reenactment weekend is included in the price of general admission to the Fort.

During the Seven Year’s War the great rivalry between France and Britain played out in their American colonies. The summer of 1759 saw General Amherst, commander and chief of all British forces in North America, moving to take the French Fort Carillon (Ticonderoga) from the rear guard of soldiers posted there. Amherst moved his massive force of 11,000 to siege lines previously held by the French outside the Fort. The tiny French contingent of 400 pounded the British line with artillery for four days, in a futile attempt to stave off the inevitable. Finally, with their defeat in sight, the French spiked the cannons in the Fort, rendering them useless, and lit a fuse in the powder magazine, which exploded with destructive force. The French force retreated by boat to Fort St. Frederic in the north, also known as Crown Point. Out of the rubble of the old Fort Carillon rose the new Fort Ticonderoga as the British forces immediately moved in to begin reconstructing the fortifications.

Photo: Fort Ticonderoga’s Historic Interpreters Portray Massachusetts Provincial Soldiers in 1759. Courtesy Fort Ticonderoga.

Program on Crown Point Cannon Offered


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Where, in the Lake Champlain region, was the richest trove of artillery pieces at the time of the outbreak of the Revolutionary War? Most published histories, including those used in the classroom, overlook the largest British fort ever built in North America – Crown Point. At 7:00 pm, May 12th, artillery expert Joseph M. Thatcher will present a free public lecture inside the museum auditorium at the Crown Point State Historic Site on the little-known but fascinating topic of “The Cannon From Crown Point.”

As the long-time Supervising Curator for the New York State Bureau of Historic Sites, Thatcher tracked the movements – over the centuries – of artillery pieces. His presentation falls precisely on the 236th anniversary of the liberation (by the Green Mountain Boys militia, led by Captain Seth Warner) of more than 100 British-held artillery pieces at Crown Point. Those cannon from the French and Indian War-period would soon be put to use during the War for American Independence.

Crown Point seasonal staff will return to service at the site on Saturday, May 14, to provide history interpretation in the museum and in both fort ruins at Crown Point. Summer open hours are 9:30 – 5:00, Thursdays through Mondays. The museum contains an audio-visual presentation and exhibition, both installed in 2009, that features four different original artillery pieces from the 1700s.

Crown Point occupies a key location, both geographically and historically. Before the 1730s, Woodland Indians camped on the peninsula. In 1734, the French military built an impressive stronghold here, Fort St. Frédéric, with its tall limestone tower and its artillery-fortified windmill. A quarter-century later, when the British arrived, they built a vast fort at Crown Point, starting in 1759. The limestone ruins of both the French-built fort and of the earthen walls and stone barracks of the British fort have remained largely unchanged since a devastating fire burned the British fort in April 1773, just two years before the start of the War for American Independence.

New York’s Historic Military Maps Event


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On Friday, May 6, 2011, the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Discovery Center in Sackets Harbor, NY, opens for the spring season with a special exhibit of New York’s Historic Military Maps from 1750 to 1820. At 6:30 pm that evening living history re-enactor Randy Patten will share his collection of historic maps, accouterments and artifacts from the French and Indian War.

Patten says, “These maps provide a fascinating look into America’s history as it occurred in New York State. Several show the local Northern New York area as well as all of New York state and parts of Canada and Pennsylvania, plus the waterways that people traveled to establish settlements and forts in such places as Oswego and Youngstown.”


Over the past 30 years, Patten has traveled to the Library of Congress and as far as Great Britain to obtain color copies of original maps, including some from the collection of King George III. Patten describes the hand-drawn maps as “works of art.”

The presentation by the retired New York State Trooper will include a look at French and Indian War artifacts, a British broadsword from a man-of-war used in the War of 1812, and a lesson on historic musket safety.

The exhibit of more than 50 historic maps will be on display Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 5 pm at the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Discovery Center through June 26, 2011. The Center is located at 401 W. Main Street. Day admission is $4. Evening program admission is $5.

For more information on the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Discovery Center and the Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway, visit www.seawaytrail.com or call 315-646-1000.

Seven Years’ War College Teacher Scholarships


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Fort Ticonderoga is has announced the winners of teacher scholarships to attend the Sixteenth Annual War College of the Seven Years’ War May 20-22, 2011. They are: Wendy Bergeron, of Winnacunnet High School, Hampton, New Hampshire; Steven Hammerman, Falcon Cove Middle School, Weston, Florida; Judd Kramarcik, Commack Road Elementary School, Islip, New York; and Bill Sullivan, Northwestern Regional High School, Winsted, Connecticut.

Fort Ticonderoga’s teacher scholarships are supported by generous War College patrons and have been awarded to 53 teachers since 2001. Teacher scholarships are also offered for the annual Fort Ticonderoga Seminar on the American Revolution, held this year September 23-25, 2011. The seminar brochure and teacher scholarship application form are both available on the fort website at www.fort-ticonderoga.org by selecting the “Education Program” tab and then clicking on “Revolutionary War Seminar.”

Photo: Fifteenth Annual War College of the Seven Years’ War, May 2010.

Lake Champlain: An Illustrated History


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The eastern edge of the Adirondack Park stretches into the middle of Lake Champlain, that great river-lake 120 miles long, four times the size of Lake George. Standing between the states of New York and Vermont, it’s the largest body of water in the Adirondacks, one that connects Whitehall and (via the Champlain Canal and Hudson River) New York City to Quebec’s Richelieu River and the St. Lawrence River.

Two routes inland from the Atlantic Ocean that have had a historic impact on the entire North County, New York and Vermont. The book Lake Champlain: An Illustrated History celebrates what is unquestionably America’s most historic lake. Continue reading

Fort Ticonderoga Presents Material Matters Workshop


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Fort Ticonderoga presents the next “Material Matters: It’s in the Details” Winter Weekend Workshop on Saturday, February 26th. This workshop, focusing on the Revolutionary War era, takes place in the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center at Fort Ticonderoga from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Pre-registration is required.

Designed for those who want a deeper understanding of the everyday objects that help tell the story of life during the 18th century, this workshop is a part of a series examining the material culture of the 18th century as it relates to Fort Ticonderoga’s role in the 18th-century contests for North America.

The February 26th workshop features William Hettinger, an expert on 18th-century jewelry; Jenna Schnitzer, who will speak on 18th-century women’s clothing; Chris Fox, the Fort’s Curator of Collections, whose presentation focuses on 18th-century lighting devices; and Eric Schnitzer, from Saratoga National Historical Park, who will discuss the use of artworks when researching 18th-century material culture. The workshop concludes with an opportunity for participants to examine examples of 18th-century artifacts with the panel of experts.

The cost for the day-long workshop is $35 and includes morning refreshments and lunch. To register, contact Rich Strum at 518-585-6370 or you can download a registration form at www.Fort-Ticonderoga.org and select “Adult Programs” under the “Education Programs” button.

Fort Ticonderoga Receives Program Grant


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Fort Ticonderoga has been awarded a grant in the amount of $15,000 by the Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust of Saratoga Springs, NY. The funds will support an expanded interpretive program entitled “These Worthy Fellows are Second to None in Courage” highlighting the daily lives of the soldiers garrisoned at Fort Ticonderoga.

The funding support from the Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust will help support interpretive staff and the purchase of interpretive clothing, weapons, accoutrement and tools. The Fort’s expanded programming will further bring to life the Fort’s social and military history as well as the material culture of the 18th century soldiers who served at Fort Ticonderoga.

Beth Hill, Executive Director, said the generous grant provided by Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust will “support a significant initiative at Fort Ticonderoga that invests in the visitor’s experience, serves the heart of our mission and meets a national need.” As part of an institutional-wide assessment, Fort Ticonderoga has identified the need for more interpretive opportunities that engage visitors through expanded living history programs.

According to a recent national study, 83% of U.S. adults failed when tested on the beliefs, freedoms and liberties established during the American Revolution. A goal of the Fort’s interpretive initiative is to address in part the historical amnesia identified in the report. Fort Ticonderoga, often called “America’s Fort,” tells the story of how the blood spilled in the name of empire during the French and Indian War became part of the same story of the blood spilled in the name of liberty during the American Revolution.

Photo: Interpreters portray Loyalist militia at Fort Ticonderoga.

New NY Military History: Empires in the Mountains


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Meeting Russell Bellico, as I did briefly several years ago, you’d think you were in the presence of an old sea captain spending his retirement in the softer wind and spray of Lake George. You’d be surprised to know that he spent 35 years in the economics department at Westfield State College in Massachusetts.

You’d be glad to hear that Bellico spent his time away from Westfield at Lake George, where as a summer resident he invested himself in local history. He has spent over three decades photographing shipwrecks and historic sites on Lake George and Lake Champlain. He served as a consultant on the National Park Service’s Champlain Valley Heritage Corridor, a trustee of the Lake George Battlefield Park Alliance, and a board member of Bateaux Below, the organization founded by the archaeological team (which included Bellico) that documented the 1758 radeau Land Tortoise which lies underwater at the southern end of Lake George.

Bellico is the author of a score or more articles and five books on the maritime and military history of Lake George and Lake Champlain published by Purple Mountain Press. His first two projects were Chronicles of Lake George (1995) and Chronicles of Lake Champlain (1999). Both were aptly subtitled Journeys in War and Peace, as they were mostly drawn from primary sources by diaries, journals, and other early first hand accounts.
His third major effort, Sails and Steam in the Mountains: A Maritime and Military History of Lake George and Lake Champlain, earned a place as the go-to resource on the region’s maritime history.

His interest in boots on the ground history has no doubt contributed to some of Bellico’s most unique contributions to the region’s history – his careful looks at what remains. For example, Bellico weaves together histories of not just the events (through archaeology, primary sources, and first hand accounts) but of what remains of those events on the landscape.

Bellico’s latest effort, Empires in the Mountains: French and Indian War Campaigns and Forts in the Lake Champlain, Lake George, and Hudson River Corridor, is the fruit of three decades of the author’s work to understand the military and maritime importance of the region. His first volume to focus entirely on the campaigns and forts of the Great Warpath during the French & Indian War (1754-1763), Empires in the Mountains covers the epic battles of the war in the lake valleys, as well as the building of the fortresses and battleships in Northern New York’s wilderness.

And true to his authoritative and thorough style, Bellico explores this history with one eye toward what happened after those great events of 350 years ago. He reviews the history of the abandonment, the excavations, and the exploitation of French and Indian War sites from Bloody Pond (which Bellico seems to suggest may in fact be correctly marked on Route 9 south of Lake George) and Fort Gage (bulldozed by a local developer avoiding APA oversight) to the more popular spots like Fort Ticonderoga, Fort Edward, Fort William Henry, and Fort George.

It’s that concluding epilogue, “Forts Revisited” that is perhaps the most valuable chapter of the book for local historians, and those interested in how we remember, and exploit, local history. For that chapter alone, this book belongs on the shelf of those interested in local history, regardless of your particular interest in the French and Indian War.

Note: Books noticed on this site have been provided by the publishers. Purchases made through this Amazon link help support this site.

Ogdensburg’s Lighthouse Point Makes Historic Register


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The Fort La Présentation Association’s historic Fort de la Présentation property on Lighthouse Point, already listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places, will soon join the seven Ogdensburg sites recognized by the National Register of Historic Places.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s office has helped move the Fort Association’s application forward, and her office reports the Fort historic site on Lighthouse Point should be on the Federal Register soon.

“Fort de la Présentation, one of the historic jewels in New York State, once played a vital role in the formation of our nation. Once fully restored, the Fort has the potential to attract thousands of tourists, which will help stimulate the region’s economy through new development and job creation,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “As New York’s first Senator from Upstate in nearly 40 years, I am proud to support the restoration of this beautiful, historic site. Thanks to the work of the Fort La Présentation Association, New Yorkers will soon be able to enjoy this landmark restored to its former glory.”

“The Fort Association is grateful to Senator Gillibrand for her staunch backing of the Fort Project and the assistance of her office to have the Fort’s location listed on the National Register of Historic Places, along with Ogdensburg’s registered heritage sites,” said Barbara O’Keefe, President of the Fort La Présentation Association. “Becoming an acknowledged member of this distinguished group will positively impact our work toward building our Interpretive Center. The recognized historical importance of our property gives us credibility among potential donors as we continue planning to build Fort de la Présentation.”

From the mid-18th century to the early 19th century the fort at the mouth of Oswegatchie River, under French, British and American flags, influenced the development of Ogdensburg and its role in the history of the United States.

“In addition to honoring the City’s place in American, Canadian, and Native histories, placement of these lands on the National Register of Historic Places positions the Fort La Présentation Association to use the site to continue to play an important role contributing to the development of historic tourism and local hospitality businesses, as well as the overall growth of our local economy,” said Ogdensburg City Manager Arthur J. Sciorra.

The Acker and Evans Law Office, New York State Armory, Ogdensburg Armory, Oswegatchie Pumping Station, U.S. Customs House, U.S. Post Office, and Library Park Historic District have met the criteria to be worthy of federal recognition and preservation because of their links to American history.

Until the building of the Interpretive Center and Fort de la Présentation, the interpreted site on Lighthouse Point will attract tourists who would not usually venture this way and indicate to residents the significance of their community’s history.

Study: Ogdensburg History Event Offers Local Boost


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Between $250,000 and $500,000 was injected into the regional economy by the Fort La Présentation Association’s Founder’s Day Weekend, July 16-18, 2010, according to Association President Barbara O’Keefe. The financial impact was made by the 3,000 visitors and 700 re-enactors who came to Ogdensburg to commemorate the last Battle of the French and Indian War.

In an exit survey conducted Friday, Saturday and Sunday, visitors were asked to estimate their expenditures related to the event in terms of transportation, meals and beverages, accommodation, and all other expenses.

Harold G. Needham, a consultant to the Fort La Présentation Association, designed the survey, analyzed the data and wrote the report. He took a very conservative approach. Needham disregarded the high-end estimates of the dollar value in each expenditure range selected by respondents; he also disregarded estimates exceeding 50 percent of the dollar range selected by respondents in each expenditure category.

“I deliberately undervalued event organizers’ estimates of numbers of visitors and gave a zero value to the estimates of people who didn’t respond to the economic impact questions in the survey,” Needham said. “I believe my estimated range of total expenditures errs, if at all, in underestimating the economic impact of the event.”

As to the infusion of visitors’ cash Needham wrote, “While most of this would have been spent in the immediate area, some of it impacted on the economy elsewhere in the state and nation, and a very small part in adjacent areas of Canada.”

The survey did not ask about money spent on groceries, but found from $75,000 to $150,000 was spent on meals and beverages and $31,000 to $63,000 on accommodation. Visitors’ transportation expenses infused between $68,000 and $136,000 and from $77,000 to $154,000 flowed into all other expenses.

“As the Founder’s Day Weekend re-enactment and colonial trade fair has grown over the years, we have assumed a significant amount of money is spent locally by the visitors and re-enactors,” said Barbara O’Keefe, President of the Fort La Présentation Association. “We decided this year, when we hosted New York State’s final 250th anniversary commemoration of the French and Indian War, would be a good opportunity to gauge the potential economic impact of this tourist-focused event, and we have been pleasantly surprised.”

This is the second survey conducted for the Fort Association to get a profile of the visitors and their responses to Founder’s Day Weekend activities. However, this is the first look at what the weekend can pump into the economy.

“We know people spent money getting here. Some traveled lengthy distances to get to our re-enactment and colonial trade fair, and some who were here to visit family took in the event,” said O’Keefe. “Regardless, local motels, bed and breakfasts, restaurants and other business saw trade directly linked to Founder’s Day Weekend, and we are very pleased to have helped contribute to their bottom lines.”

Re-enactors and others who brought the mid-18th century to life put their dollars into the local economy. They arrived in Ogdensburg one, two or more days before the Friday opening and some did not leave until Monday.

In addition, St. Lawrence County and the City of Ogdensburg benefit from their share of the sales tax collected by local merchants.

As of the end of September 2010, the financial statements of the Fort La Présentation Association indicate almost $59,000 had been spent in the local economy on the event. When bills yet to be received are paid, the total will rise to at least $60,000, giving the event a total economic impact of between $300,000 and $550,000

“The major events hosted by the Fort translate into enough additional business for our restaurant that we can do improvements that we otherwise could not afford,” said Deb Janson, owner of the Freight House Restaurant. “The Fort brings in the additional customer base that establishments like ours really need to move ahead.”

Of the visitors to Founder’s Day Weekend, 61.7 percent live in St. Lawrence County and another 18.9 percent elsewhere in New York State; 11.7 percent came from other U.S. states and 7.6 percent from Canada.

Fort Ticonderoga Hosts Garrison Ghost Tours


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Discover the unexplained past at Fort Ticonderoga during evening Garrison Ghost Tours, Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 22 and 23 and Oct. 29 and 30. The lantern-lit tours, offered from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m., will highlight Fort Ticonderoga’s haunted history and recount stories featured on Syfy Channel’s Ghost Hunters.

Garrison Ghost Tours, led by costumed historic interpreters carrying lanterns, allow guests to enter areas of the Fort where unexplained events have occurred. The forty-five minute walking tour in and around the Fort offers historical context to the many ghostly stories that are part of Fort Ticonderoga’s epic history. The evening tours allow guests to experience the magic of Fort Ticonderoga at night. Guests can also take their own self-guided walk to the historic American Cemetery where a costumed interpreter will share the many stories related to its interesting past.

Fort Ticonderoga has a long and often violent history. Constructed in 1755, the Fort was the scene of the bloodiest day of battle in American history prior to the Civil War when on July 8, 1758 nearly 2,000 British and Provincial soldiers were killed or wounded during a day-long battle attempting to capture the Fort from the French army. During the American Revolution nearly twenty years later thousands of American soldiers died of sickness while defending the United States from British invasion from the north.

Tickets for the Garrison Ghost Tours are $10 each and reservations are required. Call 518-585-2821 for reservations. No exchanges and refunds allowed. The Garrison Ghost Tours are a rain or shine event. Beverages and concessions are available for purchase. Garrison Ghost Tour dinner packages are available through Best Western Ticonderoga Inn & Suites. Visit www.fort-ticonderoga.org for package details.

Photo: Twilight at Fort Ticonderoga

A Fort Edward French & Indian War Encampment


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Two full days of free family entertainment and education are being offered at Rogers Island Visitors Center in Fort Edward this weekend, September 25 and 26. French and Indian War reenactors from across the Northeast will establish an authentic period encampment on Rogers Island along the Hudson River.

Visitors can see how the men prepared for battle, learn what the women did in the military camps, and browse through the sutlers’ tents and see the merchandise that was offered in the military camps. Enjoy the smells as meals are prepared over open camp fires and listen to stories of 18th century camp life. At the 2:00 PM military tactical each day you will hear the musket fire as troops are ambushed by the French beyond the fort and watch as the British and provincial soldiers, along with their Native American allies, hurry to their defense. With the dredging now completed around the Island four period bateau will be launched in the river and joining in the battle.

“The End of the Campaign Reenactment” is this Saturday and Sunday, September 25 and 26, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Rogers Island Visitors Center, Route 197 (just off Route 4) in the Village of Fort Edward. Free admission. For more information call 518-747-3693.

Archeology to be Focus Of Mount Independence Hike


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The mysteries of Mount Independence’s past will be revealed in the annual archeology hike into history at the historic site in Orwell, Vermont. Archaeologist Allen Hathaway will lead the hike on Sunday, September 5 at 2:00 p.m. and share his extensive knowledge about what archeology can and has revealed about the original inhabitants of the Mount; the American Revolution; and even the earlier French and Indian War. Continue reading

Sackets Harbor French and Indian War Lecture


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On Friday, June 4, historian, colonial-style blacksmith, and authentic artifact supplier Jack Vargo will present the exciting tale of “The Last Battle of the French and Indian War.” The final struggle to control the North American continent in 1760 was waged at Fort Levis on Chimney Island in the St. Lawrence River. The program begins at 6:30pm at the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Discovery Center at the corner of Ray and West Main Streets in Sackets Harbor, NY.

Vargo is co-owner and head artisan for the Beaver River Trading Company, a Croghan, NY, business that provides historically accurate museum-quality 17th and 18th century colonial artifact reproductions to historic sites and living history reenactors.

Vargo says, “My background in mechanical engineering, an interest in the early technologies of Native American and Colonial populations and knowledge gathered through archaeological studies and publication development support our efforts to preserve and interpret history, much of which occurred throughout the Great Lakes Seaway Trail shoreline region.”

In 2009, Seaway Trail, Inc. published “Waterways of War: The Struggle for Empire 1754-1763, A Traveler’s Guide to the French & Indian War Forts and Battlefields along America’s Byways in New York and Pennsylvania.”

The New York State Signature Event commemorating the 250th Anniversary of the French and Indian War is set for July 16-18 at Fort la Presentation as part of the Ogdensburg, NY, Founder’s Day celebration.

There is a $5 fee for the June 4 program at the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Discovery Center to benefit the Seaway Trail Foundation. For more information, call 315-646-1000.

Battle of the Thousand Islands: Final 250th French and Indian War Event


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The Fort La Présentation Association’s annual Founder’s Day Weekend will host the 250th anniversary commemoration on Lighthouse Point, July 16-18, 2010. Dressed in 18th-century clothes, military re-enactors (army & navy) and heritage interpreters from Canada and the US will camp under canvas and cook over fires. Each afternoon, they will battle on land and water to bring the Battle of the Thousand Islands to life.

The Battle of the Thousand Islands, the last significant clash of French and British forces of that distant war, was fought in two parts in August 1760. The capture of the French corvette L’Outaouaise and the siege of Fort Lévis opened the upper St. Lawrence River to Montreal. In September 1760, Montreal capitulated, and the hostilities ended.

Founder’s Day Weekend is more than a military camp. Children’s games and military musters, more than 30 18th-century merchants and artisans, and period dancing are some of the activities that also include a deck tour of a schooner typical of the 1700s. There will be fur traders, a blacksmith, a tinsmith, and displays of other trades and early medical equipment.

Ogdensburg native and Hollywood actor Mark Valley (Boston Legal and Human Target) plans to dress the part and join the re-enactors. A number of military attachés posted in Ottawa, along with other special guests, will review the troops. Special visitors are expected from France.

Founder’s Day Weekend, on Lighthouse Point, is adjacent to the site of the original Fort de La Présentation (1749-1759).

Admission of $8 per adult and $1 per child opens the door to a colorful colonial world.

For information, visit www.fortlapresentation.net or call the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce at 1 877-228-7810.

The Fort La Présentation Association is facing a financial challenge by hosting this 250th anniversary commemoration. Ironically, the Fort Association was invited by New York State to host the final Signature Event for which it is unlikely to be reimbursed in the foreseeable future.

The Two Hendricks: A Mohawk Indian Mystery


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In September 1755 the most famous Indian in the world was killed in the Bloody Morning Scout that launched the Battle of Lake George. His name was Henderick Peters Theyanooguin in English, but he was widely known as King Hendrick. In an unfortunate twist of linguistic and historical fate, he shared the same first name as another famous Native American, Hendrick Tejonihokarawa, who although about 30 years his senior, was also famous in his own right. He was one of the “Four Indian Kings” who became a sensation in London in 1710, meet Queen Anne, and was wined and dined as an international celebrity.

Both Hendricks were Mohawk warriors. Both were Christians who aided Great Britain against France in their struggles for empire. Both served as important sachems who stressed cooperation instead of bloody confrontation and who helped negotiate the relationship between their fellow Mohawks and European colonials who recognized that the Iroquois Confederacy was critical to the balance of power in early 18th century America. Both Hendricks, were later confused by historians into one man. Eric Hinderaker’s The Two Hendricks: Unraveling a Mohawk Mystery sets out to unearth the lives of these two important Mohawk men and untangle their stories from a confused history of colonial Native American relations.

King Hendrick (1692-1755), whose death in battle and burial place are memorialized in almost forgotten ground along the highway between Glens Falls and Lake George Village, was already famous at the time of the Bloody Morning Scout (the same attack that claimed the life of Ephraim Williams, founder of Williams College). The year before he died he gave an important speech at the Albany Congress of 1754. His death during the French and Indian War in the cause of British Empire however, propelled his fame and ships and taverns were named in his honor abroad.

The earlier Hendrick (c.1660-c.1735) took part in King Williams War, including the failed attempt to launch an all-out invasion of Canada in retaliation for Frontiac’s raid in February 1690 which destroyed Schenectady. He was among the Mohawks of Tiononderoge (the Lower Castle), who were swindled out of their lands along the Mohawk by their colonial neighbors.

Part of the value of The Two Hendricks, however, lies not only in its untangling of the two men, but also in coming to grips with the ways in which the swindling often worked both ways. Hendrick, a common Dutch name equivalent to Henry, was just one part of their names, but Mohawk names comprise the other part. Hinderaker demonstrates that both Hendricks gave as well as they got in building alliances, fame, and power that left them among the most famous Native Americans in history.

Photo Above: Henderick Peters Theyanooguin (King Hendrick), wearing the English coat he wore on public occasions and his distinctive facial tattoo. This print published just after his death and titled “The brave old Hendrick, the great Sachem or Chief of the Mohawk Indians” is considered the most accurate likeness of the man.

Photo Below: Hendrick Tejonihokarawa, one of the “Four Indian Kings” who traveled to London in 1710 The print, by John Verelst, is entitled “Tee Yee Neen Ho Ga Row, Emperor of the Six Nations.” The title “Emperor” was a bit of a stretch, he belonged to the council of the Mohawk tribe, but not to that of the Iroquois Confederacy as a whole.

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North Atlantic Conference on British Studies


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The North Atlantic Conference on British Studies will meet in Baltimore, Maryland, from November 12-14, 2010. The Program Committee of the NACBS welcomes participation by scholars working on all aspects of the British empire and the British world. They invite panel proposals addressing selected themes, methodology, and pedagogy, as well as roundtable discussions of topical and thematic interest, including conversations among authors of recent books. North American scholars, international scholars, and graduate students are all encouraged to submit proposals to the NACBS Program Committee.

Strong preference will be given to complete panel or roundtable proposals that consider a common theme. Panels typically include three papers and a comment; roundtables customarily have four presentations. Individual paper proposals will also be considered in rare cases. Those with single paper submissions are strongly encouraged to search for additional panelists on lists such as H-Albion or at venues such as the NACBS Facebook page.

Applicants may also write to the Program Chair for suggestions (nacbsprogram@gmail.com).

Committed to ensuring the broadest possible participation of scholars in British Studies, the Program Committee will give priority to those who did not read papers at the 2009 meeting. Panels that include both graduate students and established scholars are encouraged, as are submissions with broad chronological focus and interdisciplinary breadth.

All submissions must be received by March 1, 2010. For details, directions, and online submission, see www.nacbs.org/conference.html or contact Lara Kriegel, Program Chair, at nacbsprogram@gmail.com.

Photo: French Expansion and British Conquests in North America to 1763.