Fort Ticonderoga presents the Twenty-Seventh Annual War College of the Seven Years’ War over three days, Friday-Sunday, May 19-21, 2023. 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 19, 2023
3:00-4:30pm “Archaeology and the Carillon Battlefield” Guided Tour—Join Fort Ticonderoga Director of Archaeology Margaret Staudter for a walking tour of the Ticonderoga battlefield. The tour will introduce participants to the battlefield’s remarkable history, discuss recent survey work, visit key archaeological features, and share exciting initiatives for long-term investigation and stewardship. This tour is SOLD OUT! There is another opportunity to attend this tour on Sunday, May 21 — register below!
6:00-7:00pm Opening Reception—Join War College faculty and museum staff at an opening reception in the Mars Education Center with light refreshments and cash bar (included in registration fee, but reservations are required).
7:00-7:45pm Highlights from the Robert Nittolo Collection—Fort Ticonderoga’s Curator Dr. Matthew Keagle shares highlights from the Robert Nittolo Collection related to the Seven Years’ War.
Saturday, May 20, 2023
9:00am Welcome—Beth Hill, President and CEO, Fort Ticonderoga.
9:15-9:45am Anchors for Collective Identity: Culloden Militaria of the ’45, Artefacts and Memorabilia—The items taken by people after the Battle of Culloden to different parts of the British Empire infused historic fact and myth to create collective identities. This presentation explores how these objects were cared for (in some cases fabricated many years later) and how this contributes to their intangible cultural value through analysis of two blunderbusses on either side of the Atlantic. Ellen Fogel Walker is the Public Affairs Coordinator at Culloden Battlefield for the National Trust for Scotland in Inverness, United Kingdom. Her work focuses on advocating for strengthened protection of battlefield landscapes in Britain using public memory and collections to demonstrate their outstanding value.
10:00-10:30am Building an American Identity on the Mid-Atlantic Frontier in the 1760s—Much has been written about the transition of colonists from British subjects to Americans, but few scholars examine this transition on the frontier. This presentation explores how colonists on the mid-Atlantic frontier navigated the aftershocks of the Seven Years’ War by forging an inter-colonial identity, often in opposition to British soldiers. Dr. Jay Donis is an Assistant Professor of History at Thiel College.
10:45-11:30am The Six Nations Confronts the French and Indian War: Joseph Brant Versus Han Yerry—During pre-Columbian times, the Five (later Six) Nations of Iroquois Indians formed what became their powerful League of Peace and Power. This alliance promised internal harmony as well as unity of purpose in dealing with those troublesome peoples external to the Confederacy. Overall, the League alliance remained firm to its purpose until small internal fissures became evident during and immediately after the French and Indian War. Emerging differences between young Mohawk leader Brant and the older Oneida warrior Han Yerry personify the factors pointing toward the decline and eventual collapse of the League, from which the once powerful Confederacy would never fully recover. Dr. James Kirby Martin is a widely published historian who co-authored Forgotten Allies: The Oneida Indians and the American Revolution and has served as a historian advisor to the Oneida Indian Nation of New York.
11:30-1:45pm 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 John Bradstreet’s Raid 1758: A Revisionist Assessment—Military historian Ian McCulloch attempts to dispel many of the myths that have grown up around the famous 1758 operation against Fort Frontenac (Kingston, Ontario) which preceded Robert Rogers’ raid by a year. Commanded by the “Battoe-Master General,” Jean Baptiste Bradstreet, an “American-born” British regular, it was carried out principally by American provincials from New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New York. The Goose Van Schaick Orderly Book from the Fort Ticonderoga Museum collections will be highlighted, as well as French sources added to the mix, to give a more balanced unvarnished account of the raid than Bradstreet’s personal version. McCulloch will also discuss the riverine operational capability that Bradstreet honed and put in place, a new water-borne style of combat that the British-American army would soon successfully deploy in the campaigns of Niagara (1759) and Montreal (1760). Lt. Col. Ian Macpherson McCulloch (ret) is the former Director of the Canadian Forces’ Centre for National Security Studies in Toronto and former CO of Canada’s Black Watch in Montreal. Colonel McCulloch has spoken at the War College on several previous occasions on a variety of topics. Purchase his book John Bradstreet’s Raid, 1758: A Riverine Operation of the French and Indian War now!
3:15-3:45pm Simeon Piscevic (Simeon Piščević), general and diplomat of the era of the Seven Years’ War—Simeon Piscevic (1731-1797) was a Serb who began his military service in the Austrian army during the War of the Austrian Succession. He then transferred to the Russian services, where he rose to the rank of general. During the Seven Years’ War in the Russian military services, numerous Serbian officers would share the same fate as Simeon Piscevic. Destinies of these officers, and the entire Serbian people, were determined by the relations between Russia and Austria, two allies in the Seven Years’ War and the following decades of the 18th century. Dr. Djordje Djuric is a professor at the Faculty of Philosophy in Novi Sad, Serbia, where he teaches world history of the 18th and 19th centuries. He studies, among other things, Serbian-Russian relations in that period.
4:00-5:00pm Fort Ticonderoga Museum, King’s Garden, and Museum Store open.
5:00pm Dinner at America’s Fort Café (pre-registration only).
Sunday, May 21, 2023
9:00-9:30am Feeling Strangeness: the Sensory Experience of War in North America (1754-1760) —From the soldiers’ point of view, the French and Indian war has been a sensory shock in many ways. European soldiers, as well as their Native allies, experienced new environments, new forms of warfare, and some of them also made their first experience of the enemy’s fire. This presentation examines how the troops dealt with new sensations, between confusion and adaptation. Clément Monseigne is a Ph.D. candidate in Early Modern History at Bordeaux University; his dissertation analyzes the place of sensory perceptions in the war experience of French and British soldiers during the Seven Years’ War.
9:45-10:15am “Lay’d up And Decay’d”: Examining the History and Archaeological Material of the King’s Shipyard at Fort Ticonderoga—After the Seven Years’ War in North America, a number of vessels from the British flotilla were left to rot in “The King’s Shipyard” at Fort Ticonderoga. Other structures were built there as well, including the “Great Bridge” during the Revolutionary War and a steamboat dock during the lake’s commercial era. Results from recent archaeological investigations are shedding light on this complex assemblage of submerged cultural resources near Fort Ticonderoga. Daniel Bishop is a Ph.D. student in the Nautical Archaeology Program at Texas A&M University. He specializes in 18th– and early19th-century maritime history and ship construction.
10:30-11:00am “that Most Fatal disorder to the Virginians”: The Seven Years’ War and a Pandemic of Smallpox, 1756-1766—Smallpox is perhaps the most significant pathogen in human history. This presentation recasts the global Seven Years’ War as a story about smallpox and its spread, relocating our lens away from the battlefield, and showing how it impacted indigenous nations, enslaved Africans, and women in camp and on the home front. Camden R. Elliott is a Ph.D. candidate in early American history at Harvard University. His dissertation uses the methods and sources of environmental history to recast the history of the Ango-Wabanaki Wars.
11:30am Lunch (Box lunch from America’s Fort Café included).
12:30-2:00pm “Archaeology and the Carillon Battlefield” Guided Tour—Join Fort Ticonderoga Director of Archaeology Margaret Staudter for a walking tour of the Ticonderoga battlefield. The tour will introduce participants to the battlefield’s remarkable history, discuss recent survey work, visit key archaeological features, and share exciting initiatives for long-term investigation and stewardship ($30 additional fee for this limited-space program).
Special Carillon Battlefield Tour
Sunday, May 21, 12:30-2:00pm
“Archaeology and the Carillon Battlefield” Guided Tour—Join Director of Archaeology Margaret Staudter for a walking tour of the Ticonderoga battlefield. The tour will introduce visitors to the battlefield’s remarkable history, discuss recent survey work, visit key archaeological features, and share exciting initiatives for long-term investigation and stewardship.
There is limited space for this tour, and it is only available for War College participants at $30/person. You can register for this tour when you register for the War College here.
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 daytime sessions on Saturday and Sunday of the War College.
Applications are due March 15, 2023. Complete the application here.