The Fort Ticonderoga Museum has recently acquired exceptionally rare Revolutionary War era manuscript journals. The two journals of John Lacey, a Pennsylvania officer of the 4th Pennsylvania Battalion, served in the defense of Ticonderoga in 1776. The acquisition was made possible by a major donor to the museum.
Lacey was a Quaker from Bucks County who was appointed a Captain in Colonel Anthony Wayne’s 4th Pennsylvania Battalion early in 1776. Despite his enthusiasm, a bitter animosity with Wayne marred his service from fitting the regiment out in Pennsylvania to operations in Canada during the retreat from Quebec, and the remainder of the year digging in at Ticonderoga. Throughout the journals, he details the travails of a young American officer on campaign, the various methods of travel, the work preparing defenses at Ticonderoga, and the life of an officer in the field.
“Lacey’s journals are the first personal account in the museum’s collection from the pivotal year 1776, making this acquisition a significant addition to an already rich collection of Revolutionary War documents held by the museum,” said Matthew Keagle, Fort Ticonderoga Museum Curator. “Fort Ticonderoga currently holds one of the largest collections of material related to the 4th Pennsylvania Battalion. This regiment, with the notable and important Anthony Wayne as its commander, is amongst the best documented units of the American Revolution, especially for the pivotal year of 1776.”
“Historians, scholars, and students in addition to anyone interested in the colonial period and Revolutionary War will find this acquisition and the entire collection at Fort Ticonderoga a must-see resource,” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO. “The acquisition of the Lacey Journals further cements the Fort Ticonderoga Museum’s status as the premier destination for the study of warfare in the long 18th century and its role founding of America.
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Photo: An entry out of the Lacey Journal by John Lacey describing the food eaten by soldiers at Fort Ticonderoga in the fall of 1776. Copyright Fort Ticonderoga Museum. 2016.25.1-2. Photo Credit Gavin Ashworth.