Fort Ticonderoga as a “Learning Campus”

The term “campus” usually brings forth visions of sprawling college buildings clustered around a quad. There’s a constant bustle of activity as professors, undergraduates, and graduate scurry from place to place. Campuses promote education by providing an environment conducive to learning.

Learning Campus

Over the past six years, we’ve been looking at the Ticonderoga peninsula as a “learning campus.” This has been a deliberate attempt to think of the historic buildings, the expansive landscape, the gardens, and the Lake Champlain shoreline as learning resources, much like the science building and the library make up the components of a college campus. Our learning campus promotes our mission to “ensure that present and future generations learn from the struggles, sacrifices and victories that shaped the nations of North America and changed world history.”

Our mission says “learn from,” not “learn about.” This is intentional. History is not just to be studied in the past tense. It’s to be “learned from” in the present tense.

Learning from history is an on-going endeavor here at Fort Ticonderoga. This summer we are offering a number of opportunities for teachers from around the country to spend a week on our learning campus and immerse themselves in the rich history of the Ticonderoga peninsula.

NEH Teachers workshopWe are delighted to be offering two week-long NEH Landmarks of American History & Culture Workshops for School Teachers this summer. This is the fourth year we’ve successfully applied to host these workshops. In “The American Revolution on the Northern Frontier: Fort Ticonderoga and the Road to Saratoga,” teachers will delve into the early years of the American Revolution as they unfolded at Fort Ticonderoga and the surrounding region. They’ll have the opportunity to work with well-known scholars as they explore the roles of various groups in the Revolution.

Among the scholars is Holly Mayer, from Duquesne University, who will discuss the role of women during the Revolution with one week’s participants. Holly is the author of Belonging to the Army: Camp Followers and Community during the American Revolution, a landmark work in combating decades-old stereotypes. Holly’s current research involves the often overlooked Canadians who enlisted in the Continental Army during the invasion of Canada in 1775-76 and remained with the army after the invasion’s failure.

A complete listing of our NEH Visiting Scholars can be found on our website at this link: http://www.fortticonderoga.org/education/neh/staff-scholars. Through these NEH workshops we’ve developed some great long-term relationships with many of these scholars and I look forward to working with them this summer.

Participation in the NEH Landmarks Workshops is open through a competitive application process. The application window is now open—applications are due by March 1, 2016. You can learn more about the workshops and how to apply here: http://www.fortticonderoga.org/education/neh.

large_11542042101529857139890332136359328390890937nAlso for teachers this summer is our Fourth Fort Ticonderoga Teacher Institute. This year’s Institute focuses on “British Perspectives on the American Revolution.” A group of twelve teachers from across the country will spend one week learning about the American Revolution from the point of view of the British soldiers, the Loyalists, and the German allies. Teachers will also participate in a series of experiences designed to immerse them in the 18th-century history of Fort Ticonderoga. Teacher Institute participants will work with original documents and objects in our collection and spend time creating innovative projects incorporating multiple disciplines, including history, geography, ELA, math, and science. Developing an environment of collegiality, we hope to create a model learning experience for educators that will be replicated in their classrooms.

Like the NEH Landmarks Workshops, participation in the Fort Ticonderoga Teacher Institute is open through a competitive application process. We are accepting applications now; applications are due April 15, 2016. You can learn more here: http://www.fortticonderoga.org/education/educators/teacher-institute.

large_Cathrine-with-streaksWe also offer a unique learning experience for graduate students through the Edward W. Pell Graduate Fellowships. We launched this program last summer with four students from Stonybrook University, Texas State University, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Western Michigan University. These fellows spent two months working at Fort Ticonderoga, one each in Collections, Education, Exhibitions, and Interpretation. Each fellow helped lay the ground work for programs and exhibitions that will be part of our 2016 season focused on the year 1777.

This year’s fellowships will run from June 13-August 12, 2016. Fort Ticonderoga seeks graduate students in museum studies, museum education, public history, history, American studies, or military history. Interns will need to be self-motivated and able to work independently as well as contribute to a dedicated team to create and develop ground-breaking exhibitions and programs for a diverse audience. Qualified undergraduates are welcome to apply.

Each year Fort Ticonderoga’s interpretation focuses on a specific year in the site’s multi-layered history. Internships in 2016 will focus on the year 1757 in preparation for exhibitions, programs, and educational initiatives to be offered to the public in 2017. While the Horticulture Fellowship will also focus in part on 1757, the Horticulture Fellow’s focus will be broader.

large_Matt-S.-with-Alec-in-Collections-StorageInterns during the summer of 2016 will focus their research and creative energy to support exhibitions and programs related to the year 1757 at Fort Ticonderoga. While working individually with their project supervisors, interns will also meet and work together throughout the two month experience. They will have an opportunity to work with Fort Ticonderoga’s professional staff as part of our team-approach to all major projects. Professional development opportunities during the internships will include visits from outside scholars and field trips to related sites. In general, project-specific work will encompass about 50% of the intern’s time. The remaining half will be taken up with day-to-day tasks in their department, providing a wide-ranging experience working at a historic site.

Each Graduate Fellow will receive a $2,500 stipend plus housing. Fort Ticonderoga’s Black Watch House for Fellows is located within walking distance of both the Thompson-Pell Research Center and the main grounds of Fort Ticonderoga.

Know of a graduate student who might benefit from spending two months at Fort Ticonderoga this summer? Encourage them to check out the details at: http://www.fortticonderoga.org/education/university-partnerships.

This just begins to scratch the surface when it comes to using the Ticonderoga peninsula as a learning campus. Stay tuned!

Rich Strum

Director of Education

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Experience “Winter Family Fun Day: An 18th-Century Experience ” at Fort Ticonderoga!

Winter Family Fun DayJoin Fort Ticonderoga for its first “Winter Family Fun Day: An 18th-Century Experience” on Saturday, February 13 and enjoy a day of winter play with an 18th-century twist. Grab your gear to experience sledding, snowshoeing, and skating on the garrison grounds of Fort Ticonderoga. Tours and presentations will give visitors a chance to learn about the rich history of Ticonderoga in the winter. Warm up with a delicious cup of hot chocolate made from 18th-century ingredients and discover the tasty history of chocolate at Fort Ticonderoga in the 18th century. This unique family-fun event takes place from 10 am – 4 pm and costs $10 per person; Members of Fort Ticonderoga are free. For more information call 518-585-2821 or click here.

“Sledding, snowshoeing, and ice skating are fun recreational sports today, but were vital military activities in the winter campaigns in the French and Indian War and Revolutionary War,” said Stuart Lilie, Fort Ticonderoga’s Senior Director of Interpretation. “This event is your chance to witness the epic scouts of Rogers’ Rangers trekking on several feet of snow with homemade snowshoes or skating miles along frozen Lake Champlain and Lake George. See how today’s toboggans descend from tools which carried the packs of native warriors, Canadians, and soldiers alike.”

Click here to view the Event Schedule!

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Registration Open for War College of the Seven Years’ War at Fort Ticonderoga

Registration is now open for Fort Ticonderoga’s Twenty-First Annual War College of the Seven Years’ War May 20-22, 2016. This annual seminar focuses on the French & Indian War in North America (1754-1763), bringing together a panel of distinguished historians from across the United States. The War College takes place in the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center and is open to the public; pre-registration is required.

Begun in 1996, the War College of the Seven Years’ War has become nationally recognized as the premier seminar on the French & Indian War (1754-1763), a conflict that spread across the globe and set the stage for the American Revolution. The War College features a mix of new and established scholars in an informal setting for a weekend of presentations related to the military, social, and cultural history of the French & Indian War. Speakers include:

  • Fort Ticonderoga's War College of the Seven Years' War featured speaker, David Preston

    David Preston, author of the award-winning book Braddock’s Defeat: The Battle of the Monongahela and the Road to Revolution, is one of the featured speakers at Fort Ticonderoga’s War College of the Seven Years’ War.

    Carl J. Anderson, III, researcher and author, “John Goffe, Jacob Bayley, and the New Hampshire Regiment.”

  • Kathleen Barker, Massachusetts Historical Society, “Ursuline Nuns and the French & Indian War.”
  • Katherine Grandjean, Wellesley College, “Publishing Terror: War and Communication on the New England Frontier.”
  • James M. McManus, independent historian, “Sir William Johnson: British Colonial Politics during the French & Indian War.”
  • John-Eric Nelson, independent historian, “‘No Real Dependence is to be Had’: Connecticut Provincials in the 1758 Campaign.”
  • David Preston, The Citadel, “Braddock’s Defeat: The Battle of the Monongahela and the Road to Revolution.”
  • Charles W. Thayer, independent historian, “The Engraved Powder Horn: origin and evolution of an indigenous American art form, 1746-1763.”
  • Tim Todish, author, “‘with intent to raise Commotions and Disturbances in the upper Countrys’: The Trial of Major Robert Rogers for Treason While Commandant of Fort Michilimackinac.”

The War College also features presentations by two Fort Ticonderoga Museum staff. Curator Matthew Keagle will give a presentation “Dieskau’s Grenadiers: Re-evaluating a key moment of the Battle of Lake George, 1755.” Keagle will examine traditional narratives of the second half of the Battle of Lake George and pose an alternative interpretation that challenges those narratives of the opening combat of the northern campaign of the French & Indian War.

Fort Ticonderoga’s Senior Director of Interpretation, Stuart Lilie, will delve into the role of artillery in the fighting at Ticonderoga in “‘Desirous of Getting Up More Artillery’: Cannons of the Campaigns at Carillon.”

Registration for the War College is now open at $145 ($120 for those registering by March 15); additional discounts available for Members of Fort Ticonderoga. Registration forms can be downloaded from Fort Ticonderoga’s website here. A printed copy is also available upon request by contacting Fort Ticonderoga at 518-585-2821.

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Fort Ticonderoga Presents Fifth Annual Garden & Landscape Symposium

King's Garden - Garden & Landscape SymposiumThe King’s Garden at Fort Ticonderoga presents the Fifth Annual Garden & Landscape Symposium on Saturday, April 9, 2016. This day-long symposium, geared for both beginning and experienced gardeners, provides helpful insights from garden experts who live and garden in upstate New York and northern New England. This springtime event takes place in the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center and is open by pre-registration only.

This one-day program focuses on practical, easy-to-implement strategies for expanding and improving your garden or landscape. The programs are offered in an informal setting that encourages interaction between presenters and attendees.

Garden & Landscape Symposium

Peter J. Hatch is the featured speaker at Fort Ticonderoga’s Fifth Annual Garden & Landscape Symposium April 9, 2016.

The featured speaker at this year’s symposium is Peter J. Hatch, long-time Director of Gardens and Grounds at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. Hatch’s presentation “Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden” focuses on both Jefferson’s original 1,000-foot-long terraced vegetable garden as an experimental laboratory and how the 1984 restoration of that garden at Monticello continues to inspire the farm to table movement today. Hatch oversaw the care of the restored gardens at Monticello for 35 years. He is the author of four books on Monticello and its gardens.

Leonard Perry, Fort Ticonderoga’s new Horticulturist in Residence, will also speak at the symposium. Perry’s talk “Top Flowers and Vegetables for North Country Gardens” is based on Dr. Perry’s coordination of the All-America Selections flower display garden at Burlington’s Waterfront Park for over 20 years. He will also highlight the top ten vegetables from his online course on home vegetable growing. Dr. Perry is the author of The Fruit Gardener’s Bible, and served as the Extension Horticulture Specialist at the University of Vermont for 34 years.

King's Garden Aerial - Garden & Landscape SymposiumJudith Irven from Goshen, Vermont, will give a presentation on “A Sense of Place: Gardens that Celebrate the Natural Landscape.” She will explore how to evoke the imagery of the land in garden-making, including: the design of natural spaces, layered compositions, contrasts of sun and shade, the cycle of the seasons, using stone and wood in the garden, and the choice and arrangement of garden plants. Irven is a landscape designer, garden writer, and life-long gardener. She is a Vermont Certified Horticulturist and teaches Sustainable Home Landscaping for the Vermont Master Gardener program.

Sarah Salatino, from Full Circle Gardens in Essex, Vermont, will talk about “Planning Perennials for Pollinators.” With the alarming decline of butterfly and bee pollinators, Salatino shares how we can encourage and support pollinator populations with careful choices in what we plant in our gardens. Salatino’s nursery grows over 650 varieties of northern hardy perennials on site, including many native varieties.

Space for the Garden & Landscape Symposium is limited, so register early. The cost, including the day-long symposium and a lunch prepared by Libby’s Bakery Café, is $85 ($75 for members of Fort Ticonderoga). There is an Early Bird rate for registrations received by March 15: $75 ($65 for member of Fort Ticonderoga).

A brochure with the complete schedule and registration form is available here. A printed copy is also available upon request by calling 518-585-2821.

The Garden & Landscape Symposium is one of numerous opportunities for continuing education for the public at Fort Ticonderoga in 2016. You can learn more about these programs, including the annual War College of the Seven Years’ War and the Seminar on the American Revolution, by clicking here.

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Fort Ticonderoga Receives Grant from Mars Chocolate North America at Colonial Chocolate Society Meeting

Fort Ticonderoga Receiving Grant from Mars Chocolate North America at Colonial Chocolate Society Meeting

Fort Ticonderoga Receives Grant from Mars Chocolate North America at Colonial Chocolate Society Meeting

Fort Ticonderoga is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a $10,000 grant by Mars Chocolate North America, which will support the research and living history programming presented to visitors at Fort Ticonderoga in 2016. The grant funded project entitled 1777: A Bittersweet Year will focus on research, a new exhibition, and living history programs and highlight how chocolate was used by armies and the various cultures that held Ticonderoga during the year 1777.  The grant funding will allow research into Fort Ticonderoga’s vast archival holdings which will uncover new information to help determine the specific quantities of chocolate and other provisions sent by American forces to Ticonderoga, that later fell into British and German hands. This research will be translated into living history programming and exhibition content, showing that chocolate was adopted by a wide range of peoples across the Atlantic world.

During the 2016 season, soldiers’ life camp cooking demonstrations will compare the rations, cookware, and cuisine of these diverse soldiers, examining how chocolate was used and possibly adapted as it passed through the hands of different armies and cultures that held Ticonderoga during the bittersweet year of 1777. Using chocolate as an important ingredient in the diet of soldiers, camp cooking programs provide the perfect venue for the real historical use of this complicated commodity. In addition, an engaging and visually rich new museum exhibition opening in May 2016 will highlight chocolate’s important place among the vast stockpile of ammunition and provisions housed in Ticonderoga. The exhibition will include the laundry list of provisions that were such a central element of the 1777 campaign, along with artifacts recovered on the site that directly relate to their consumption.

FT1_2224“We are extremely grateful to Mars Chocolate North America for this grant and their enthusiasm for this important project,” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO. “Fort Ticonderoga is the only site in the world that tells a new story each year through dynamic historical interpretation, exhibitions, and educational programs. In 2016 we have the unparalleled opportunity to bring chocolate history to life with our focus on 1777. Supplied throughout that spring with extraordinary quantities of foodstuffs and armaments, American fortunes plummeted as the under-strength garrison at Ticonderoga lost their stockpiles, and nearly their necks, to the rapidly advancing British army. At the heart of the story is chocolate, which sustained the Americans that withdrew from Ticonderoga that July, and fortified the European troops that took their place in the great fortress complex.”

The 2015 Chocolate History Research and Investigative Studies Grant was awarded to three institutions across the US and Canada innovating in the areas of research and chocolate programming. Fort Ticonderoga was acknowledged at the 12th Annual banquet dinner of the Colonial Chocolate Society held at The National Archives, in Washington, DC. The Colonial Chocolate Society is a group whose mission is to further the study of chocolate’s rich history and its impact on past and present culture in the Americas.

“At Mars, we believe passionately in uncovering and sharing chocolate’s unique role in our heritage,” said Gail Broadright, Director of Mars Sponsorships. “This year’s grant winners are thought leaders in the areas of discovery and interpretation and we are excited to partner with them to bring more chocolate stories to life for their visitors.”

Fort Ticonderoga is a world renowned cultural destination, historic site, and museum that educates and inspires while creating jobs and generating revenue. The 2015 Chocolate History Research and Investigative Studies Grant funding will enable the Fort Ticonderoga Museum to bring a new and innovative facet of historical interpretation to its visitors, and thus strengthen its mission to ensure that present and future generations learn from the struggles, sacrifices and victories that shaped the nations of North America and changed world history.

 

About American Heritage® Chocolate:

In 2003, Mars Incorporated undertook an extensive global research initiative to uncover the true history of chocolate. A group from Mars led a multi-disciplinary team of more than 115 experts from around the globe who accessed over 200 archives, libraries, museums and private collections to reveal chocolate’s origin and history in the Americas. “CHOCOLATE: History, Culture, and Heritage,” has contributions from 45 authors, including researchers, culinary chefs, food scientists and historians from leading historic institutions, and was published in 2009 by Wiley. Out of this research project, the American Heritage Chocolate brand was developed in 2006 by Mars Chocolate North America to help educate consumers about the history of our nation through the engaging story of one of our most beloved foods…chocolate! Fashioned off an ingredient list from 1750, American Heritage Chocolate is an authentic historic chocolate made from ingredients available in the 18th Century. The recipe represents a true taste of chocolate the way our ancestors would have enjoyed it. The product line celebrates chocolate’s important role in the lives of Americans during the 18th century. Made with all-natural ingredients and no preservatives, American Heritage Chocolate comes in four unique formats: chocolate sticks, chocolate bites, chocolate baking/grating blocks, and finely grated chocolate drink mix. American Heritage Chocolate is sold exclusively at over 160 fine gift shops at historic sites, museums and historic inns across the USA and Canada. For a complete listing or to purchase online, please visit our website at www.americanheritagechocolate.com. Learn more about American Heritage Chocolate at Facebook.com/AmericanHeritageChocolate, on Twitter @Choc_History and NOW on Pinterest @ChocHistory.

 

About Mars, Incorporated

In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars’ first roots as a confectionery company. In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY® bar. In 1932, Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of building a business based on the objective of creating a “mutuality of benefits for all stakeholders” – this objective serves as the foundation of Mars, Incorporated today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $33 billion, six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, Symbioscience, and more than 75,000 Associates worldwide that are putting its Principles into action to make a difference for people and the planet through its performance.

About Fort Ticonderoga: America’s Fort TM

The Fort Ticonderoga Association is an independent not-for-profit educational organization which serves its mission to ensure that present and future generations learn from the struggles, sacrifices, and victories that shaped the nations of North America and changed world history. It serves this mission by preserving and enhancing its historic structures, collections, gardens and landscapes; and educating the public as it learns about the history of Fort Ticonderoga. Welcoming visitors since 1909, it preserves North America’s largest 18th-century artillery collection, 2000 acres of historic landscape on Lake Champlain, and Carillon Battlefield, and the largest series of untouched 18th-century earthworks surviving in America.  Fort Ticonderoga engages more than 72,000 visitors each year. Fort Ticonderoga offers programs, historic interpretation, boat cruises, tours, demonstrations, and exhibits throughout the year and is open for daily visitation May through October. Fort Ticonderoga is accredited by the American Association of Museums and pursues its vision to be the premier cultural destination in North America. Visit www.FortTiconderoga.org for a full list of ongoing programs or call 518-585-2821. Fort Ticonderoga is located at 100 Fort Ti Road, Ticonderoga, New York.

America’s Fort is a registered trademark of the Fort Ticonderoga Association.

 

 

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Fort Fever Series at Fort Ticonderoga Explores Dutch Contributions to the American Revolution

Fort Fever Series at Fort Ticonderoga Explores Dutch Contributions to American RevolutionFort Ticonderoga’s 2016 “Fort Fever Series” begins on Sunday, January 10, at 2:00 pm with “Going Dutch: The Material Culture of America’s Unlikely Ally” presented by Fort Ticonderoga’s Curator of Collections, Matthew Keagle. The cost is $10 per person and will be collected at the door. The program is free for Members of Fort Ticonderoga.

“Going Dutch” will provide visitors with the opportunity to examine the traces of the Dutch connection to the wars that made America and explore the evidence of Dutch military contributions to the conflicts of the 18th century from Fort Ticonderoga’s collections.

“The United States was not the first Republic of the modern world. Preceding it by almost exactly two centuries, the Dutch had triumphed in their own bitter war of independence against the Spanish,” said Fort Ticonderoga’s Curator Matthew Keagle. “During the 18th century the Dutch were a small colonial power, but important transporters of goods as well as arms manufacturers. Dutch weapons armed many Americans through the French & Indian War and American Revolution, even before the Dutch finally entered the war against Great Britain in 1780.”

Additional “Fort Fever Series” programs are scheduled for February 21, March 13, and April 10.  The complete schedule of winter and early spring programs is available here.

The “Fort Fever Series” is just one of several programs taking place at Fort Ticonderoga this winter and early spring. Clothing and Accoutrement Workshops are offered January 16 & 17, January 30 & 31, and February 27 & 28. Fort Ticonderoga presents “Winter Family Fun Day: An 18th-Century Experience” on February 13. The living history event “1775 British Garrison Weekend” takes place March 12. The Fifth Annual Garden & Landscape Symposium will be held on April 9. You can learn more about all of these programs by clicking here. Some programs require advance registration.

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Rare French Painting Joins Fort Ticonderoga Museum Collections

Fort Ticonderoga's recent acquisition of an important painting of the French military on campaign from the mid-18th centuryFort Ticonderoga is thrilled to announce the recent acquisition of an important painting of the French military on campaign from the mid-18th century. The work depicts a French regiment camped in hilly terrain of the Italian Piedmont during the final campaigns of the 1740-1748 War of Austrian Succession. This painting is an internationally significant addition to the museum’s collection and an important document of military and material culture during the Ancient Regime with a direct connection to the French soldiers that built and served at Fort Carillon (later named Ticonderoga) during the French and Indian War (1754-1763).

The campaign depicted in the painting involved French forces advancing into Northern Italy. These French troops suffered a shocking defeat at the hands of numerically inferior Piedmontese troops at the Battle of l’Assietta. The Marquis de Montcalm also served during the campaign depicted in the painting, where he was wounded during the battle, his final field command prior to his service in Canada. The painting represents the camp of the Royal Roussillon Regiment, identifiable by their uniforms which follow the January 19, 1747 regulations. This regiment later served and wore the same uniforms at Fort Carillon from 1756-1758, including the climactic battle on July 8, 1758, making this one of the very few surviving contemporary images of French regiments that saw service in North America.

This painting serves not only as a detailed glimpse into a French military encampment, but represents a campaign that may have served as a lesson for the Marquis de Montcalm of how a small, well-entrenched force could defeat a much larger army. The lopsided victory at l’Assietta in 1747 shares some striking similarities with the later battle at Ticonderoga in 1758, including the presence of Montcalm as well as four of the infantry regiments that had fought in Italy, one depicted in this painting.

“The intricate detail of the painting is a remarkable window into daily life in the French military,” said Fort Ticonderoga’s Curator Matthew Keagle. “It illustrates in full color many of the details of camp life depicted in the engravings of military manuals in the Fort Ticonderoga Museum’s library collection. The level of detail allows the identification of numerous examples of objects from soldiers’ muskets to powder horns to eating utensils that match examples recovered archaeologically at Fort Ticonderoga.”

Fort Ticonderoga holds one of North America’s premier collections of 18th-century military material culture. This painting adds immensely to the museum’s holding of French material. Exhibits across the museum’s campus contain thousands of objects and tell thousands of stories, narrating the history of Fort Ticonderoga from the military culture of the 18th century to the reconstruction of the fort in the 20th century. The painting will be on display during the museum’s 2016 season in the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center.

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“Slavery and Race in Colonial America” Focus of Annual Colonial America Conference for Educators at Fort Ticonderoga this May  

Fort Ticonderoga will host the Eighth Annual Colonial America Conference for Educators on Friday May 20, 2016 in the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center. This day-long conference, while intended for educators, is open to anyone with an interest in helping connect students with history. This year’s conference, titled “Slavery and Race in Colonial America,” has a special focus on slavery in New York and the Champlain Valley. Presenters include classroom teachers, museum educators and consultants, and archivists.

Keynote speaker Kristin Gallas will speak on “Teaching Slavery and Race.” Gallas argues that “A more comprehensive and culturally competent approach to teaching about slavery can build a greater sense of shared humanity as opposed to the separation that has long been wrought by racial hierarchies in our society.” Gallas is a consultant with the Tracing Center on Histories and Legacies of Slavery, overseeing the design of workshops for educators and public history professionals. She is the co-editor of Interpreting Slavery at Museums and Historic Sites, among other publications on best practices in the interpretation of slavery.

Travis Bowman, Senior Curator for the New York State Bureau of Historic Sites, will speak on “Slavery in the Dutch New York.” His session examines the role slavery played in the formation and growth of the West India Company and how the Company’s Atlantic slave trading activities affected the colonists of Dutch New York.

Julie Daniels, Coordinator of Education Programs at the New York State Archives, and Jessica Maul, an education consultant with the New York State Archives Partnership Trust, will present “Slavery in New York.” The session will take participants through a case study/inquiry developed by the New York State Archives to teach students about the history of slavery in New York State. The lessons give students the opportunity to analyze documents, interpret the evidence, and draw conclusions about the system of slavery in New York and the process of gradual emancipation.

Tim Potts, a teacher at Robert J. Kaiser Middle School in Monticello, New York, and Rich Strum, Director of Education at Fort Ticonderoga, explore “Slavery in the Champlain Valley: Case Studies.” Most of us are guilty of thinking about slavery as a “southern” issue, but slavery existed right here in the Champlain Valley. Participants will examine two case studies: one alluding to slavery, while the second demonstrates that slavery was a crucial part of the economy at the southern end of Lake Champlain in the 1760s and 1770s. Participants will share in learning lesson plan strategies for unpacking unique primary sources from Fort Ticonderoga Museum’s collection.

Pre-registration to attend the conference is required. The cost is $45 per person. Registration forms can be downloaded from Fort Ticonderoga’s website at www.fortticonderoga.org under the “Education” tab by selecting “Educators” on the drop down menu. You can learn about other opportunities for educators at Fort Ticonderoga in 2016 on the same page on the website.

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Popular Fort Fever Series Returns to Fort Ticonderoga

FT1_2102Fort Ticonderoga’s “Fort Fever Series” returns this winter and early spring with monthly programs January through April 2016. Programs take place on Sunday afternoons at 2:00 pm in the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center. The cost for each program is $10 per person and will be collected at the door; free for Members of Fort Ticonderoga.


January 10: “Going Dutch: The Material Culture of America’s Unlikely Ally”—
Join Matthew Keagle, Curator of Collections and explore the evidence of Dutch military contributions to the conflicts of the 18th century from Fort Ticonderoga’s collections. Examine how, without sending any troops to America, the Dutch supported the French & Indian War and the American Revolution.

February 21: “Who’s in Charge Here?”— Explore the conflict over command of the American fleet on Lake Champlain in 1776. Using techniques from our summer teacher workshops, Rich Strum, Director of Education, will lead participants through an examination of documents related to the command of the American fleet in August 1776 and a discussion on how such a debacle could happen.

March 13: “Gunners, Bombardiers, & Matrosses: Uniforms of Artillerymen at Ticonderoga”— Join Senior Director of Interpretation Stuart Lilie to discuss the organization, clothing, and distinctions of some of the many corps of artillery that have manned guns at Fort Ticonderoga.

April 10: “Building 18th-Century Redoubts”— Led by Nick Spadone, Assistant Military Programs Supervisor, delve into the tools, materials, and mathematics employed in constructing a redoubt. Begin with a theoretical look at redoubt construction through 18th-century treatises, and then dive into a practical view by examining the original earthworks that still remain at Fort Ticonderoga.

The “Fort Fever Series” is just one of several programs taking place at Fort Ticonderoga this winter and early spring. Clothing and Accoutrement Workshops are offered January 16 & 17, January 30 & 31, and February 27 & 28. Fort Ticonderoga presents “Winter Family Fun Day: An 18th-Century Experience” on February 13. The living history event “1775 British Garrison Weekend” takes place on March 12. The Fifth Annual Garden & Landscape Symposium will be held on April 9. You can learn more about all of these programs by visiting www.fortticonderoga.org and clicking on “Calendar” at the top of the page. Some programs require advance registration.

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Henry Knox and His Big Guns at Fort Ticonderoga: “The Noble Train Begins” Reenactment takes place on December 5

DSC_0410 - CopyDiscover the epic story of Henry Knox’s “Noble Train” of artillery at Fort Ticonderoga’s upcoming reenactment, Saturday, December 5, from 10 am – 4 pm. The event will feature an exciting program highlighting Henry Knox’s arrival to Fort Ticonderoga and recreate the beginning of the incredible feat that ultimately forced the British evacuation from Boston on March 17, 1776. Witness the raw power of oxen and horses as these thousand pound animals pull sleds of cannon tubes while soldiers prepare the artillery for the long march to Boston. Tours highlighting Ticonderoga’s defining role in the “Noble Train” will be presented throughout the day. Admission to the “The Noble Train Begins” event is $10 per person and payable at the gate. Members of Fort Ticonderoga, Ticonderoga Resident Ambassador Pass holders, and children 4 years and under are free. For more details click here.

Step 240 years into the past at Fort Ticonderoga, as if it were December 6, 1775, during this dramatic living history event. Henry Knox rode into Ticonderoga to dispatch thousands of pounds of artillery to General Washington. This event will highlight how Knox’s wealth of knowledge, coupled with the teamsters and draft animals moved 60 tons of ordnance to Cambridge, Massachusetts. Demonstrations utilizing oxen and horses will dramatically feature the logistical challenge Knox faced with moving the heavy artillery while museum interpretive staff will present programs on the science of gunnery including cannon demonstrations.

“Guests will have the opportunity to discover the inspirational story of Henry Knox, the unassuming Boston book seller, whose physical and mental might would be first tested with the ‘noble train’ of artillery,” said Stuart Lilie, Fort Ticonderoga’s Senior Director of Interpretation. “See man power and oxen power in action as fifty-nine cannons and mortars are carefully selected from Fort Ticonderoga. Witness the struggle for liberty and hardships soldiers faced while serving at Ticonderoga in the winter of 1775-1776. Lend a hand to the carpenters repairing Fort Ticonderoga, and learn about the material needs and productions of the new fledging American army and the resources needed for Knox’s epic journey to Boston.”

At 12 pm join Curator Matthew Keagle for a presentation in the Mars Education Center entitled “Henry Knox: Autodidactic Artilleryman” to learn more about how the practical knowledge of the artilleryman was disseminated through printed volumes. Many of the volumes utilized by revolutionaries such as Knox are now in the Fort Ticonderoga Museum’s collection.

“Knox’s story in many ways represents one of the other great revolutions of the 18th century, the transmission of technical and theoretical knowledge through books,” said Matthew Keagle, Curator of Collections. “Knox was able to develop his skills through the world of print that linked together the knowledge of the Western world and beyond.”

oxen dec 2014Historical Background:
The siege of Boston, April 19, 1775 – March 17, 1776 was the opening phase of the American Revolutionary War in which New England militiamen, who later became part of the Continental Army, surrounded the town of Boston, Massachusetts, to prevent movement by the British Army garrisoned within. In November 1775, Washington sent a 25 year-old bookseller-turned-soldier, Henry Knox, to bring heavy artillery that had been captured at Fort Ticonderoga to Boston. Knox knew the challenge before him as he wrote to George Washington on December 5, 1775.

The garrison at Ticonderoga is so weak, the conveyance from the fort to the landing is so difficult, the passage across the lake so precarious, that I am afraid it will be ten days at least before I can get them on this side. When they are here, the conveyance from hence will depend entirely on the sledding; if that is wood, they shall immediately move forward; without sledding, the roads are so much gullied that it will be impossible to move a step.

In a technically complex and demanding operation, Knox began the “Noble Train” in January 1776 at Ticonderoga and carried sixty tons of artillery through the dead of winter to Boston in just forty days. In March 1776, these artillery pieces were used to fortify Dorchester Heights, overlooking Boston and its harbor and threatening the British naval supply lifeline. The British commander William Howe, realizing he could no longer hold the town, chose to evacuate it. He withdrew the British forces, departing on March 17, for Halifax, Nova Scotia thus giving Washington his first great victory of the war.

Fort Ticonderoga is the location of the first Knox Trail marker in the Knox cannon trail that traces the route of the noble train. The Fort Ticonderoga Museum owns 2 original artillery pieces that made the epic journey in the winter of 1776.

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