Twenty-Eighth Annual War College of the Seven Years’ War
Fort Ticonderoga presents the Twenty-Eighth Annual War College of the Seven Years’ War over three days, Friday-Sunday, May 17-19, 2024. Since its beginning in 1996, the War College has become a top venue for historians on subjects related to the Seven Years’ War in North America and beyond, drawing speakers and participants from across North America and Europe.
Attendees can participate in person or join the conference from home via the Fort Ticonderoga Center for Digital History.
War College Schedule (subject to change)
Friday, May 17, 2024
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, May 18, 2024
9:00am Welcome—Beth Hill, President and CEO, Fort Ticonderoga.
9:15-9:45am “Continually at the Fort”: The Many Lives of Fort Loudoun—While historians have long focused on the military importance of North America’s frontier forts, these forts also served crucial roles as trading posts, centers of missionary activity, and hubs for interracial relationships and families. This presentation focuses on the variety of individuals who called South Carolina’s Fort Loudoun home during the Seven Years’ War, from its inception as the westernmost British outpost in the Southern colonies to its besiegement and surrender to its former Cherokee allies during the Anglo-Cherokee War (1759-1761). Tracing the ways these individuals forged compromises, however short-lived, demonstrates the limits of imperial strength in the backcountry and the power that Native Americans held over their allies in the Seven Years’ War. Dr. Jessica L. Wallace is an associate professor of early American history at Georgia College & State University, where she teaches courses in colonial, digital, and Native American history. Her research focuses on Anglo-Cherokee relations on the Southern frontier.
10:00-10:30am The Conestoga Massacres: Frontier Genocide in the Shadow of the American Theater—In the aftermath of one global war and the dawn of new domestic one, the intimate relationship between settlers and peaceful Indians collapsed along the Pennsylvania frontier. The Paxton Boys, a force with too little manpower to act defensively, moved against all their presumed enemies including a small town of Indians in Lancaster who they murdered to the last. Michael E. Carter is an adjunct professor of History at Kean University; his focus is on American history, settler colonialism, and genocide studies.
10:45-11:15am “I enlisted myself into His Majesties Service”: Analyzing Reuben Smith’s Journal, 1759-60—On his first day as a soldier, Connecticut resident Reuben Smith began a journal in which he recorded “all that is strange,” continuing until his death from smallpox in May 1760. This brief journal, supported with other primary materials, provides a rare window into a typical provincial recruit’s thinking and activities during the French & Indian War. Lisa Johnson is an independent historian and writer, Town Historian for Farmington, Connecticut, and Emeritus Executive Director of Stanley-Whitman House, Farmington, Connecticut.
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.
2:00-3:00pm The Road to Ticonderoga: The Campaign of 1758 in the Champlain Valley—Beyond being one of the largest battles fought in North America until the onset of the Civil War, the Battle of Ticonderoga also falls within a small class of military engagements by being a victory against the odds. The Road to Ticonderoga explores the components behind this unexpected outcome, and how a series of small mistakes can cascade into a catastrophe under weak leadership or be exploited by a strong one. Michael Laramie is the author of eight books on colonial America and the Civil War. His upcoming work, King George’s War and the Thirty-Year Peace, will complete his trilogy on the first three French & Indian Wars.
3:15-3:45pm “Give It to Them, Jersey Blues!” A look at the New Jersey Regiment, “The Jersey Blues,” in the French & Indian War 1755-1760—This presentation will focus on the Jersey Blues and their participation in the actions at Oswego, Sabbath Day Point, Fort William Henry, Ticonderoga, and Frontenac. It also includes some of the unique characteristics of the regiment. John Hayward is a retired public school teacher of 43 years and is currently an adjunct professor of History at Southern New Hampshire University. He is the author of two books on the American Civil War: “Give It to Them, Jersey Blues!” A History of the 7th NJ Regiment and “Follow Me, Jersey Men!” A History of the 5th NJ Regiment.
5:00pm Dinner at America’s Fort Café (pre-registration only).
Sunday, May 19, 2024
9:00-9:30am Holy Wars of the 18th Century: The French & Indian War as an Apocalyptic Conflict—The Seven Years’ War was seen as the culmination of the French & Indian Wars by contemporaries, not just for the scale of invasion but on religious grounds. Preachers in the English colonies and priests in New France both emphasized that the war was a holy one, escalating the rhetoric of religious violence from previous conflicts into describing it as the final battle between God and Antichrist. This presentation examines the language used in sermons and letters in the Northeast from both sides to show how the language of holy war and apocalypticism changed and grew over the nearly 20 years from King George’s War through the fall of Quebec. Dr. Thomas Lecaque is an Associate Professor of History at Grand View University; his research looks at the longue durée of religious violence and apocalypticism and his current book project centers on holy war rhetoric in colonial North America.
9:45-10:15am And just like that… Fort Ticonderoga and the Fall of Nouvelle France—Nouvelle France had been a French colony, an extension of the metropole where the colonists retained French law, French currency, and their linguistic, religious, cultural, and familial ties. This presentation explores the Seven Years’ War from the French colonial perspective in Nouvelle France and the aftermath of the British victory over the French that began in 1759 with the British victory at Fort Ticonderoga and that suddenly transmuted the French of Nouvelle France into British subjects. Sylvie L.F. Richards is a Trusts and Estates attorney who holds a Ph.D. in French and Romance Philology from Columbia University and a J.D. from New York Law School; she is admitted to practice in New York State, in federal courts (Eastern and Southern District of New York), and at the U.S. Supreme Court.
10:30-11:00am The Battle of Minden: Decisive Battle of the Seven Years’ War—Remarkable for large coalition armies and global strategies, the Seven Years’ War was the last of the great 18th-century wars for empire. The conflict saw combat operations on the continent of Europe, Indian Sub-continent of Asia, West Indies, West Africa, the Philippines, and at sea, as well as North America. In what became arguably the most decisive and pivotal battle in the European theater of operations, an Anglo-German army of 41,000 men and 170 pieces of artillery, commanded by Field Marshal Ferdinand the Duke of Brunswick, fought the French-Allied army of 52,000 men and 162 guns, commanded by Marshal of France the Marquis de Contades, near the north German town of Minden. Dr. Glenn F. Williams is a military historian whose primary research interest is the 18th century.
11:30am Lunch (Box lunch from America’s Fort Café included).
Date & Time:May 17, 2024 05:30 PM to May 19, 2024 12:00 PM
Admission Price:Regular Registration
- $120.00 Member ONLINE Registration
- $130.00 Non-Member ONLINE Registration
- $150.00 Member Regular Registration
- $170.00 Non-Member Regular Registration
- $350.00 Patron Lieutenant Colonel
- $500.00 Patron Colonel
- $750.00 Patron Brigadier General
Fort Ticonderoga offers teacher scholarships for teachers who are first-time attendees at the War College of the Seven Years’ War. 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 box lunches, and an off-site dinner Saturday evening with other scholarship winners and the faculty and staff of the War College.
Virtual scholarships waive the registration fee and provide virtual access to all sessions of the War College.
Applications are due March 15, 2024. Complete the application here.