A new book by Robert P. Watson, The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn (Da Capo Press, 2017) tells the story of a prison ship employed by the British during the American Revolution.
Moored off the coast of Brooklyn until the end of the war, the derelict ship, the HMS Jersey, held thousands of Americans either captured by the British or accused of disloyalty.
Crammed below deck – one thousand men at a time – without light or fresh air, the prisoners were scarcely fed food and water. Disease ran rampant and human waste fouled the air as prisoners were held at the mercy of British and Hessian guards. Continue reading
The New Windsor Cantonment and Knox’s Headquarters will present a day of Revolutionary War activities on July 4, 2017. At New Windsor Cantonment see a military drill and cannon firing at 2 pm, followed by a children’s wooden musket drill.
At Knox’s Headquarters tour the 1754 Ellison House, the military command post for three generals. Continue reading
Willard Sterne Randall’s new book, Unshackling America: How the War of 1812 Truly Ended the American Revolution (St. Martin’s Press, 2017) challenges the notion that Americans fought two separate wars of independence.
Willard Sterne Randall documents a fifty-year-long struggle for economic independence from Britain overlapping two armed conflicts linked by an unacknowledged global struggle. Randall argues that the struggle was all about free trade. Continue reading
The New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site and National Temple Hill Association will present a night of Revolutionary War military drills, musket firings and other period activities on Saturday June 24 from 7 to 9:30 pm.
The authentically-constructed log huts were commissioned by the Town of New Windsor during the Bicentennial of the American Revolution to highlight their historic property, encompassing a large portion of the 1782-83 final winter encampment of the northern Continental Army. This property is currently managed by the National Temple Hill Association on behalf of the Town of New Windsor. Primarily responsible for the preservation of a large portion of this encampment site, the National Temple Hill Association also operates the mid-18th century stone house owned by James Edmonston that was used for a short time as a headquarters by Major General Horatio Gates. Continue reading
Saratoga National Historical Park finalized the acquisition of 170 acres of historically significant land in April, after 10 years of collaboration with the Open Space Institute (OSI). After a minor administrative boundary adjustment to the park in 2016, Saratoga successfully secured funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to provide for the transfer of the property from OSI. Continue reading
The American Revolution Round Table (ARRT) of the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys will host Wayne Lenig, who will give a presentation entitled Joseph Brant’s 1780 Attack on Canajohary.
Original accounts of the August 2nd raid began appearing in major newspapers about two weeks after the attack. A newspaper account dated September 9, 1780 stated the following: “At the fort now called fort Ransalaer (Fort Plain), Sir John Johnson and Captain Brant have burnt 51 houses, 42 barns, 17 killed, and 52 prisoners.”
A few weeks ago in this space appeared the story of Gershom Beach’s remarkable 24-hour recruiting hike in Vermont, rounding up Green Mountain Boys to join their leader, Ethan Allen, in capturing Fort Ticonderoga on the New York side of Lake Champlain. In the end, their combined efforts played a critical role in George Washington’s American troops driving the British from Boston, for the armaments he used came from Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point. Men serving under Colonel Henry Knox completed the delivery, carrying them south to Albany and east to Boston.
Typically shortchanged in that famous story is the fort at Crown Point, which was captured two days after Ticonderoga fell. Seth Warner, a name very familiar to historians in connection with other military campaigns, commanded the troops that executed the takeover, which met with little resistance. Continue reading
Here’s the opening stanza from “Paul Revere’s Ride”:
Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.
Less than a month later, at a different location but with the same cadence, Longfellow could have written: Continue reading
Did the Americans win the War for Independence? Or did the British simply lose the war?
The history of the American War for Independence is complicated. And history books tell many different versions of the event, which is why we need an expert to guide us through the intricacies of whether we should look at the war as an American victory, a British defeat, or in some other light.
In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Andrew O’Shaughnessy, author of The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire (Yale University Press, 2013) joins us to explore British viewpoints of the American War for Independence. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/122
On January 23, 1795, John Sullivan, Revolutionary War general, two term governor, and the namesake of counties in New York and Pennsylvania, as well as numerous other places and landmarks, died at his Durham, New Hampshire home at the age of 55.
Despite his many accomplishments, only a handful of friends and his family braved the New England winter to bury him. Continue reading