The Artifact Collections
Fort Ticonderoga is home to one of America’s largest collections of 18th-century military material culture. Fort Ticonderoga's artifact collections are among the most important of their type in the world. Preserved within the collection is 18th-century military weaponry, unique military uniforms, artworks of all types, and a vast collection of archeological artifacts recovered on site during its restoration.
Weapons - Muskets, Bayonets, Pistols, Swords, Pole Arms, Artillery
The weapons collection is composed of over one thousand muskets, bayonets, pistols, swords, pole arms and cannon representing most of the major types of weapons used in the colonial wars and struggle for American Independence. The museum’s collection of 18th-century artillery is considered the largest collection of its type in the western hemisphere.
Fort Ticonderoga preserves the best collection of early military uniforms and headgear in America. Numbering over fifty uniforms and over eighty hats, the collection spans the 1760s through the 1820s. Highlights of the collection include the oldest-known American military coat worn by a soldier of the First Corps of Cadets, Boston, Massachusetts, 1773-1774 and an early 1780s Loyalist uniform and associated leather breeches.
The art collection, spanning three centuries, includes 18th-century military portraiture and battle scenes, 19th-century view of the fort’s ruins and works depicting events in Ticonderoga’s dramatic history. Highlights in the art collection include Thomas Davies’ View of the Lines at Lake George depicting the British military camp at the south end of Lake George on the eve of the British siege of Fort Ticonderoga in July 1759. Thomas Cole’s dramatic painting Gelyna, or A View Near Ticonderoga is one of the museum’s most significant works. The painting, Cole’s earliest-known signed and dated work, illustrates the popular, although fictional story of the death of Edward Rutledge, an officer of the British army mortally wounded in the 1758 British attack on Ticonderoga. The museum also preserves dozens of 19th-century paintings, prints and sketches showing the fort as a ruin. An extensive collection of prints illustrates all facets of Ticonderoga's history from portraits of the people who served at the fort to satirical images of soldiers and events in America created during the French & Indian War and American Revolution.
A collection of nearly 100 engraved powder horns spanning the last half of the 18th century highlights a unique form of American art popular in military camps. Because most powder horns have names, dates and places engraved on them, they have the ability to speak in unique ways about the wartime experiences of soldiers. Many horns are also decorated with scenes of fortifications, beautiful floral motifs or poetic phrases often reflecting sentiments related to their military service. Other horns are decorated with maps showing the regions through with armies passed or the principal places associated with military campaigns.
Hundreds of thousands of objects were recovered from the site during the fort's restoration and archeological projects since. The collection includes vast assemblages of ceramics, cooking and eating utensils, clothing-related items such as buttons and buckles, military entrenching tools and building hardware, and artillery carriage metalwork and cannon shot of all types.
To learn more about the artifact collection or set up an appointment to use the collection please visit http://www.fortticonderoga.org/history-and-collections/research