Twentieth Annual Seminar on the American Revolution 

September 20, 2024 - September 22, 2024

This annual premier conference focused on the military, political, social, and material culture of the American Revolution regularly features scholars from across North America and beyond.

Attendees can participate in person or join the conference from home via the Fort Ticonderoga Center for Digital History. 

Seminar Schedule

Friday, September 20, 2024

8:00am-4:00pm “In the Footsteps of Ethan Allen, Benedict Arnold, and John Brown: The Capture of Fort Ticonderoga” Bus Tour—see below for more details about this tour offered by America’s History LLC.

5:30-6:30pm Opening Reception—Join seminar faculty and museum staff at an opening reception at the Pavilion and King’s Garden with light refreshments and cash bar.

7:00-7:45pm Topic to be Determined—Fort Ticonderoga’s Curator Dr. Matthew Keagle.


Saturday, September 21, 2024

9:00am Welcome—Beth Hill, President and CEO, Fort Ticonderoga.

9:15-9:45am Archaeology, Archive-Making, and Interpretation: Military Kitchens at Fort Ticonderoga—Fort Ticonderoga was a sophisticated, globalized, and populated military and civilian center throughout the majority of the eighteenth century. It was also the center of a massive system that was needed to provision and feed the many men, women, and children who labored at and lived in or near the Fort. The world in which these individuals lived was a world of color, noise, and flavor, just as it was a world of military conflict. This presentation explores the material culture of food preparation and eating at Fort Ticonderoga, and the ways in which kitchens were spaces of cultural exchange. These kitchens facilitated the adaptation of traditional and the creation of new culinary labor practices to fit a military setting, as evidenced by the archaeological, architectural, and written record. Sara C. Evenson is a Ph.D. candidate at the University at Albany and was the 2023 Omonhundro Institute-Fort Ticonderoga Fellow.

10:00-10:30am Governing the Anglo-American Subjects of Spanish Florida after 1783—Britain transferred Florida back to Spain in 1783 after two decades of control, prompting some rooted residents to remain as immigrants-in-place and others to scramble to sell property. The tangle of transfers—in both property and allegiance—created legal questions that tested the outgoing governor, Patrick Tonyn, and his incoming counterpart, Vicente Manuel de Zéspedes. This presentation explains how these two practitioners of empire, lacking guidance from superiors, developed ideas about the boundaries of jurisdiction, the limits of trans-imperial property rights, and the meaning of subjecthood. Dr. Jason T. Sharples is an associate professor of History at Florida Atlantic University and the author of The World That Fear Made: Slave Revolts and Conspiracy Scares in Early America.

10:45-11:15am “For the Common Cause of the States:” Ideology and Canadian Participation in the American Revolution—This paper investigates the ideological motivations of Canadian members of the 1st and 2nd Canadian Regiments during the American Revolution. Consisting of both Anglo and French Canadians, these men primarily enlisted as part of the Continental Army during the fall of 1775 and the spring of 1776. Following the Continental Army out of Canada in 1776 Canadians participated in many of the major conflicts of the war and were active until their discharge in 1783. This paper argues that ideology was a major factor in enlistment and continued participation of the Canadians in the American Revolution and illustrates the broad appeal of American Whig ideology during the Revolution that transcended cultural and political boundaries. Robert Swanson is a PhD student at the University of Missouri. 

11:30am-1:45pm Lunch Break (Box lunch from America’s Fort Café included).

1:00-1:30pm Book Signing at the Museum Store in the Log House.

 2:00-2:30pm “Anxious to be of some Service to the Government”: The Trials and Tribulations of Burgoyne’s Royalist Corps after Saratoga—While Burgoyne’s British and German troops marched into captivity after his defeat at Saratoga, the remains of his four regiments of Royalist troops were permitted to go to Canada.  What became of these men for the next six years of the war? Todd W. Braisted is an author and independent researcher specializing in Loyalist studies.

2:45-3:15pm Energy, Geography, and Geology in the Saratoga Campaign, 1777—Similar to all living organisms, armed forces have a “military metabolism,” one that requires food, fuel, work animals, and food for those animals in order to move and fight. In the Saratoga Campaign, British and Hessian forces faced daunting challenges when acquiring and using energy; this shaped the outcome of battles and had a long-term effect on the battlefield environment. David C. Hsiung, Professor of History at Juniata College, is writing a book about the environmental history of the War of Independence.

3:30-4:00pm Why did Horatio Gates become a Revolutionary?—Horatio Gates is best known as the general who oversaw the American victory at Saratoga in 1777, but for much of his life, he was a loyal British Army officer. This presentation will explore how and why Gates went from a dutiful subject of the crown to a committed revolutionary. It argues that his drift to revolution stemmed from personal grievances with the British ministry, political ideology, resentment against class hierarchy, and shifting geographic context. Dr. Kieran J. O’Keefe is an Assistant Professor of History at Lyon College.

5:00pm Dinner at America’s Fort Café (pre-registration only).


Sunday, September 22, 2024

9:00-9:30am A Spirit of Dissention and Disobedience in the Troops: Military Mischief and Geographic Isolation at Michilimackinac—In the summer of 1780, internal conflict overwhelmed the British garrison at the western outpost of Michilimackinac. A dispute over soldiers’ pay grew until it encompassed collective disobedience, petition writing, and a struggle between military and civil authority. This presentation contextualizes these events within patterns of negotiation employed by soldiers in the global British army, and examines how Michilimackinac’s isolated location shaped official responses. Craig Wilson is chief curator for Mackinac State Historic Parks, a family of museums in northern Michigan.   

9:45-10:15am Chicago’s Long War of Independence: Native Peoples and the Power of Chicago’s Portage Geography—This presentation connects the localized Indigenous struggle for autonomy with the broader history of Revolutionary America, showing how Native peoples around the Chicago area used the environmental and geographic realities of the Great Lakes region to enhance their power, and resist imperial encroachment, well into the 1780s. This resistance dovetailed with American activities in the Illinois Country to threaten British control over the West during the American Revolution. John William Nelson is assistant professor of history at Texas Tech University and author of the recent book, Muddy Ground: Native Peoples, Chicago’s Portage, and the Transformation of a Continent (UNC Press, 2023).

10:30-11:00am Just IMPORTED from LONDON: An Apothecary’s Place within the British Empire—Prior to the American Revolutionary War, apothecary-surgeons advertised new shipments of medicines as fresh, cheap, and genuine. Yet the Navigation Acts adversely impacted not just colonists’ finances, but also their health and welfare. This presentation argues that the rebellion’s logistics forced medical personnel to increase domestic manufacture, and to create their own medical standards with an official, national pharmacopeia. In turn, this ushered in a new era of American medicine. Jennifer K. Bolton is an independent scholar living near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Event Details

Date & Time:

September 20, 2024 09:00 AM to September 22, 2024 12:30 PM

Admission Price:

Member Online, $125; General Public Online, $135; Member In-Person, $155; General Public In-Person, $175

Additional Information:

Friday Bus Tour — “In the Footsteps of Ethan Allen, Benedict Arnold, and John Born” The Capture of Fort Ticonderoga” — America’s History, LLC partners with Fort Ticonderoga to offer a one-day Revolutionary War bus tour led by Jim Rowe and Bruce Venter. Jim is a historian and past President of the Crown Point Road Association and a member of the Descendants of Green Mountain Boys Association. A complete tour description is available on the America’s History website. The cost is $160/person and includes transportation, lunch, materials, and refreshments. There are two ways to register: call 703-785-4373 or visit and click the “Register for Tours” tab.


Fort Ticonderoga offers teacher scholarships for teachers who are first-time attendees at the Seminar on the American Revolution. Teachers can apply for a scholarship to attend in-person or virtually through the Fort Ticonderoga Center for Digital History.

In-person scholarships include waiving the registration fee, two boxed lunches, and an off-site dinner on Saturday evening with other scholarship winners and the faculty and staff of the Seminar. Virtual scholarships waive the registration fee and provide virtual access to all sessions of the Seminar.

Applications are due August 14, 2024. Complete the application here.

Venue Details




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