Fort Ticonderoga celebrates a quarter-century of its premier conference the Twenty-Fifth Annual War College of the Seven Years’ War May 15-17, 2020, in the Mars Education Center. Since its beginning in 1996, the War College has become a top venue for historians on subjects relating to the Seven Years’ War in North America and beyond, drawing speakers and participants from across North America and Europe. An enthusiastic audience of over 150 people represents all levels of interest, from general lovers of history to scholars. The War College offers a unique, informal setting that promotes interaction and discussion between speakers and attendees. Our speakers include both established and new scholars studying the French & Indian War in North America and the broader Seven Years’ War internationally.
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The Occupation of Havana—This keynote presentation explores the causes, central dynamics, and consequences of a crucial incident of imperial warfare, the British invasion, occupation, and return of Havana (1762-1763) during the final stages of the Seven Years’ War The presentation highlights the central but overlooked role people of African descent played in this event and uses it to show how African-descended peoples and rivalry over the slave trade shaped and reshaped European empires. Elena A. Schneider is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of California Berkeley and the author of The Occupation of Havana. Schneider earned her undergraduate degree at Harvard University and her MA and Ph.D. in History from Princeton University.
“Lay’d up And Decay’d”: Examining the History and Archaeological Material of the King’s Shipyard at Fort Ticonderoga—After the Seven Years’ War in North America, a number of vessels from the British flotilla were left to rot in “The King’s Shipyard.” Other structures were built there as well, including the “Great Bridge,” during the Revolutionary War, and a steamboat dock, during the lake’s commercial era. Results from recent archaeological investigations are shedding light on this complex assemblage of submerged cultural resources near Fort Ticonderoga. Daniel Bishop is a PhD student in the Nautical Archaeology Program at Texas A&M University. He specializes in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century maritime history and ship construction.
Smashing the Clockwork Soldier: The Infantryman’s Experience of Battle in Europe and North America, 1740-1783—The idea that mid-eighteenth century European infantrymen were inadaptable and inflexible is one of the most persistent myths regarding this era. This paper explores the ways in which soldiers deviated from tactical drill manuals in order to enter combat in a rational and effective way. Alex Burns is a Ph.D. Candidate in European History at West Virginia University. His dissertation explores the worldview of common soldiers in Britain and Prussia between 1739-1789.
William Trent and the Fort St. George—In the year 1754, before a young George Washington would set the world on fire in the glen or build that “thing upon the meadows,” trader William Trent and his hired volunteers would begin an outpost at the Forks of Ohio in spring of 1754 that would not only lay the foundation for the conflict known as the Seven Years War but also began the early remnants of the city we know today as Pittsburgh. Jason Cherry is a historical interpreter, independent researcher, “resident author” for the William Trent House in Trenton, New Jersey, and author of the newly published Pittsburgh’s Lost Outpost: Captain Trent’s Fort.
Britain in the Carolina Borderlands: Fort Loudoun and the Use of Fortifications to Influence Space in the Seven Years’ War—During the Seven Years’ War, South Carolina continued its attempt to form trade relationships with the Cherokee Nation in order to secure their western border. This culminated with the construction of fortifications including Fort Loudoun that were meant to signify a Cherokee-British alliance. Rather than specifically control terrain, this fort was meant to influence groups of people. The analysis of this fort, its construction, and its destruction during the Anglo-Cherokee War reveal the perceptions that different groups of people can have of the same fortification and same physical space. Alexander Humes is an instructor at the United States Military Academy and a Ph.D. Candidate in History at the University of Virginia.
Between War and Peace: Ticonderoga in the Final Years of the Seven Years’ War, 1759-1763—Fort Carillon fell to the British in July of 1759, ending nearly five years as the target of British military campaigns. From the summer of 1759 to the end of the global Seven Years’ War in 1763, Fort Ticonderoga, as it was renamed, remained a British garrison. Fort Ticonderoga’s Curator Matthew Keagle explores the almost-forgotten history of Fort Ticonderoga’s first years in British hands. This initiated the longest period Fort Ticonderoga was held by one power during its active service. Now well behind the lines, Fort Ticonderoga’s garrison struggled to maintain fortifications and military discipline, anticipating broader challenges the British faced occupying the interior of America until the War of Independence.
La Guerre de partis During the French & Indian War: A Tradition of the Military Elite of New France—The tactic of la Guerre de partis or partisan war, played an important though not decisive role during the French & Indian War in America. Apart from their Native American allies, the French could rely on a small group of relentless officers of the troupes de la Marine and volunteers from the elite of New France to carry la Guerre de partis to the New-England borders. This socio-military research will demonstrate that these men are the product of a long tradition of combat lifestyle that has been passed on from generations to reaffirm or consolidate the privileges of the military elite of New France. Louis Lalancette is a guide at the McCord and Stewart museums in Montréal. He published several articles concerning the officers of the troupes de la Marine and is now a Ph.D. candidate in history at Université Laval.
The Other Montcalm and Wolfe: German Soldiers Among the French Army in Canada—Explore the scope of German and German-speaking soldiers among the French Army in Canada. Examine Franco-German links between petite guerre in Europe and the warpaths of America. Stuart Lilie is the Vice President of Public History at Fort Ticonderoga.
Two Massacres in as Many Days: Forts Upper Tract and Seybert as a Microcosm of the French and Indian War on the Virginia Frontier—Although frequently memorialized and popularized in local history, little is written about the struggles of southern frontier outposts in the French and Indian War. This analysis will peel back the local mythos concerning the destruction of Fort Upper Tract and Fort Seybert and examine primary and early secondary source materials to reveal a more succinct contemporary view of the struggles of settlers along the Virginia frontier during the war. James (Jamie) Slaughter is a historian, adjunct professor, and teacher. He is currently completing his doctorate at the University of Wolverhampton.
The War College brings over 150 people to Ticonderoga. This event is taking place during a busy time of the year for Ticonderoga. We suggest that you make accommodations arrangements as soon as possible if you plan to attend this event. For more information.
Twelfth Annual History Conference for Educators
Fort Ticonderoga hosts the Twelfth Annual History Conference for Educators on Friday, May 15, 2020, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Mars Education Center. This day-long conference features presentations by classroom teachers, museum educators, and archivists. While geared for educators, the conference is open to anyone interested in how to connect students with history. War College attendees receive a conference discount. For more information.
Thanks to the generous support of War College patrons, Fort Ticonderoga offers scholarships for K-12 school teachers who are first-time attendees at the War College. Since 2001, Fort Ticonderoga has provided 77 teacher scholarships for the War College of the Seven Years’ War.
2019 Scholarship Winners are:
- Jennifer Connolly, Preston High School, Bronx, New York
- Ron Eisenman, Rutland High School, Rutland, Vermont
- Steve Kruger, Arlington Memorial High School, Arlington, Vermont
- Christian Scott, Lyndon K-8 Boston Public Schools, West Roxbury, Massachusetts
Other Conferences and Symposia at Fort Ticonderoga
Fort Ticonderoga offers a series of conferences and symposia throughout the year: