Benedict Arnold is returning to Fort Ticonderoga for Opening Weekend May 5-6 through the dramatic two-day reenactment of “America’s First Victory” and the first public display in decades of locks of his and first wife Margaret’s hair.
The “No Quarter” event vividly recreates the capture of Fort Ticonderoga on May 10, 1775, putting visitors in the middle of the country’s first military victory. The phrase “No Quarter” was the battle cry used by the Americans and is equivalent to “No Mercy” or “Take no Prisoners.”
Throughout the weekend, visitors will explore the real-life events from the perspectives of both the British Garrison and the Green Mountain Boys and come face-to-face with the historical characters including Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold.
A special pop-up exhibit on display opening weekend ONLY features rare objects from both men. In addition to the Arnold family hair locks, the public can read the actual letter from Ethan Allen dated May 12, 1775 informing the Connecticut governor of the capture of Fort Ticonderoga and the British Garrison. Both objects speak to the depth and importance of the Fort Ticonderoga museum collections.
“The ability to enhance living history with rare objects ranging from the everyday soldier to the Founding Fathers – to the fascinating and notorious Benedict Arnold – is what makes Fort Ticonderoga best-in-class for its cultural heritage and an international tourist destination,” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga president and CEO. “With ‘No Quarter’ activities happening on both sides of Lake Champlain that immerse visitors in all aspects of the battle, Opening Weekend 2018 at Fort Ticonderoga promises to be one of our most elaborate and memorable events ever.”
Benedict & Margaret Arnold Locks of Hair
Recently rediscovered among the museum’s collection of 80,000 military heritage objects, the locks of hair were acquired by Fort Ticonderoga from a direct family descendant in 1952. They were preserved by Benedict and Margaret Arnold’s youngest son Henry and were sent from London in 1801, the year of Benedict’s death. Margaret died in 1775 while Benedict was serving the American cause in the Champlain Valley. He learned of her passing following the capture of Fort Ticonderoga.
Ethan Allen Letter May 12, 1775
Ethan Allen’s letter to Governor Jonathan Trumbull informed the Governor of America’s first victory of the Revolutionary War. Allen’s men took Ticonderoga under the official authority of the colony of Connecticut, where Trumbull served as governor. Allen’s letter clearly shows his understanding of the capture in the context of an already expanding war. The British prisoners would be useful bargaining chips to exchange for Americans from Massachusetts and Rhode Island held in British captivity. He acknowledges the capture of Skenesborough (now Whitehall, NY) and Crown Point giving the rebels control of virtually all of the southern half of Lake Champlain. He also acknowledges the need to control the lake and the expectation of more battles to come. Signing off as “At Present Commander of Ticonderoga” Allen no-where mentions Benedict Arnold who shared command with him on the night of the fort’s capture.
Two Camps & Two Perspectives
The “No Quarter” event will feature two camps just as it was historically. The British will be in garrison at Fort Ticonderoga beginning Saturday, May 5, and will be part of Fort Ticonderoga’s special living history programming. Throughout the weekend, visitors will experience the daily lives of the British soldiers and their families with activities such as cooking, laundry, and guard duty. Tours will highlight the moment in time when the 26th Regiment of Foot was responsible for protecting Fort Ticonderoga, the lonely frontier outpost.
Across Lake Champlain, the Green Mountain Boys, led by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold will have a temporary camp located in Shoreham, Vermont. Beginning at noon, Fort Ticonderoga interpretive staff and re-enactors will recreate the march down to Lake Champlain along the original route in 1775. Bateaux will be awaiting them for their journey across the lake to Ticonderoga. Saturday evening, on the New York side of Lake Champlain, these re-enactors will march their way down the shore making their final approach to assault Fort Ticonderoga.
Witness the alarm of the British Garrison at Ticonderoga as the American surprise attack dramatically unfolds. Watch as the Green Mountain Boys led by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold rush into the fort with war cries and screams of “No Quarter!” Listen as British Officers try to buy time and reason with the American rebels. See the tension between Revolutionaries Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold as they each try to assert control. What will happen to the soon to become British prisoners of war? See for yourself in this stunning recreation of America’s first victory at the very place where it happened 243 years ago. Gates open at 7pm (last ticket sold at 8:15pm) and the reenactment will begin at 8:30pm.
Sunday, May 6, visitors will step into the newly captured, American-held Fort Ticonderoga. See the fate of the British Guards who unwittingly arrived the day after the American capture of the fort and meet the Green Mountain Boys who overnight became Revolutionaries. From weapons demonstrations to tours, programs will highlight how Fort Ticonderoga went from a sleepy old British outpost, to the center of a new theatre in the War for Independence.
To learn more about this exciting two-day living history event and re-enactment, visit www.fortticonderoga.org or call 518-585-2821.
America’s Fort is a registered trademark of the Fort Ticonderoga Association.