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Fort Ticonderoga Announces Important Acquisition for New 2020 Exhibit: Rarely-seen Treasure helps Piece Together the Story of America’s Militia History

Militia exhibit pitcherFort Ticonderoga is set to open a new exhibit in May 2020, giving the public a chance to set its eyes on another beautiful piece of American military service history. Fort Ticonderoga recently acquired the piece, a unique ceramic pitcher, which is decorated with printed designs and text. The text includes a quote from one of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, during his first inaugural address.

The pitcher was made in the 1810s in Staffordshire, England. Though made in England, it reveals the value of goods made for the American market to the British economy. Printed designs such as an American eagle adorn the preserved piece of history. An American officer also stands in a bountiful landscape, framed by images that reflect the pillars of the American economy in this period: farming and trade.

“The phrase ‘Success to AMERICA whose MILITIA is better than Standing ARMIES’ displayed above the image on the pitcher encapsulates the feelings of many American founders,” says Matthew Keagle, curator at Fort Ticonderoga. “America was a new nation, from the government to the military, and many people felt that defense should be in the hands of the people in a militia, not the standing army like they had fought against during the Revolution. Despite the importance of the militia to our founders, and its presence in our founding documents, the institution is poorly understood today, which is something we plan to change in this new major exhibit.”

This newly acquired object will be on display beginning in May 2020, as part of Fort Ticonderoga’s new exhibit A Well Regulated Militia: Citizen, Soldier, and State. The exhibit will explore the unique reliance on citizen soldiers that developed in North America from the early 17th century through the early 19th century. In addition to the pitcher, the exhibit will display some of the most important objects from the Fort Ticonderoga collection, as well as new acquisitions and artifacts that have never been on display before.

Fort Ticonderoga holds North America’s premier collection of 18th-century military material and cultural artifacts. Starting in 2020, guests can visit new major exhibits that highlight the fort’s rich history, rarely-seen treasures, and discover thousands of epic stories.

Photo copyright Fort Ticonderoga

About Fort Ticonderoga:

Welcoming visitors since 1909, Fort Ticonderoga preserves North America’s largest 18th-century artillery collection, 2,000 acres of historic landscape on Lake Champlain, and Carillon Battlefield, and the largest series of untouched Revolutionary War era earthworks surviving in America. As a multi-day destination and the premier place to learn more about our nation’s earliest years and America’s military heritage, Fort Ticonderoga engages more than 75,000 visitors each year with an economic impact of more than $12 million annually and offers programs, historic interpretation, boat cruises, tours, demonstrations, and exhibits throughout the year, and is open for daily visitation May through October. Fort Ticonderoga is supported in part through generous donations and with some general operating support made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.