"1757 Fort Carillon Storehouses Inventory & The French Army Visualized"
One of the great, and often times frustrating, parts about the study of history is that one can never know it all. Whether one has delved into Ticonderoga’s history for years or decades, tantalizing questions always remain. As historians, our goal is not to “know it all,” but to continually build upon the work of those who preceded us to develop a richer, deeper understanding of the experiences of men and women who found themselves at this wilderness outpost during 18th-century wars for empire and nationhood. Fort Ticonderoga’s staff is dedicated to the proposition that there is always more to learn.
The reconstruction of the magasin du Roi in the first decade of the 21st century helped inspire this issue of The Bulletin of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum, which focuses on the French at Carillon. The Mars Education Center on the eastern side of the restored fort now stands on the magasin du Roi ’s location. Archaeology undertaken from 2000-2002, in preparation for the reconstruction of the magasindu Roi, provided a wealth of information. The artifacts recovered add greatly to our archaeology collections and offer tantalizing details about supply issues the French troops at Carillon faced during the Seven Years’ War.
Our feature guest contributor for this issue is Steve Delisle, and his work dovetails very well with those archaeological investigations. Currently with the Department of Historic Trades at Colonial Williamsburg, Delisle interned at Fort Ticonderoga ten years ago and transcribed one of the treasures from the Bourlamaque Papers—an inventory itemizing everything contained in the magasin de Roi at Carillon in October 1757. Delisle’s article, “The 1757 General Inventory of the King’s Stores at Carillon,” and his accompanying transcription and translation of the inventory bring to light this important document that describes the condition of Carillon’s stores just months after the successful French siege and destruction of Fort William Henry in August. A number of items listed on the inventory also match items archeologists recovered on the fort grounds.
Fort Ticonderoga is grateful to the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts for its support in funding the photography and editing for this article. Additional support came from Furthermore: a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund.
In fall 2015, the Fort Ticonderoga Museum acquired a painting of French troops on campaign, an unusual subject. Curator Matthew Keagle discusses the importance of the new acquisition in his article, “Italian Campaigns to American Wars,” and how the artwork helps our understanding of the French Regular troops at Carillon in the period from 1755 to 1759.
The Fort Ticonderoga team is dedicated to keep digging up new history, and contributors are already at work on articles for the 2018 edition of the Bulletin. By 2019, a peer-review panel will be in place and we invite scholars to submit proposals for future articles.
Back Issues of The Bulletin
Select back issues of The Bulletin of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum are available for sale at $5 each.