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Grant number: BH-50630-14

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Fort Ticonderoga Association (Ticonderoga, NY 12883-0390)
Richard Strum (Project Director: March 2014 to present)

The American Revolution on the Northern Frontier: Fort Ticonderoga and the Road to Saratoga

Two one-week workshops for seventy-two school teachers on the role of Fort Ticonderoga and the northern frontier in the early years of the American Revolution.

This program considers the strategic location of Fort Ticonderoga within the geographic context of Lake Champlain and the northern frontier. With the outbreak of the Revolution at Lexington and Concord, Fort Ticonderoga quickly became a target for two separate forces supported by Massachusetts and Connecticut. The capture of Fort Ticonderoga on May 10, 1775, led by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold, marked the first offensive victory of the Revolution for the colonists. During 1776, Ticonderoga became a vital defensive position protecting New York from a British invasion from Quebec. Continental troops built extensive entrenchments on the Ticonderoga peninsula and across the lake on Mount Independence. In addition to studying the important role Fort Ticonderoga, Lake Champlain, and the northern frontier played during the war, participants explore the influence of the French and Indian War, the people involved on both sides of the Revolution, the sometimes-overlooked role of Benedict Arnold in those early years, the immediate and long-term impact of the Saratoga Campaign, and the lasting legacies of the northern campaign on the Revolution. Noted scholars from across the country, including William Fowler (Northeastern University), Thomas Chambers (Niagara University), Jon Parmenter (Cornell University), Douglas Egerton (Le Moyne College), James Kirby Martin (University of Houston), Carol Berkin (Baruch College, City University of New York), Holly Mayer (Duquesne University), and Todd Braisted (Loyalist Institute), lead participants in a week of lecture-based discussions and site visits, each of which is coordinated with a theme, document, and artifact of the day. The weekly program is organized around chronology and the unfolding of events: Monday, "Pre-cursor to Revolution: The French and Indian War"; Tuesday, "A Revolutionary People"; Wednesday, "Benedict Arnold: An Unlikely Hero?"; Thursday, "The Saratoga Campaign: Turning Point of the Revolution"; and Friday, "Lasting Legacies." Fort Ticonderoga comprises a historic landscape with numerous structures and object-rich exhibits, as well as thousands of original manuscripts, diaries, orderly books, and maps; participants also visit the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, the site of Fort St. Frederick, and Saratoga Battlefield. With the option to design lessons individually or as part of a small group, participants learn how to read and interpret historic sites, documents, and artifacts while preparing teaching modules. To aid in their research, participants are given a primary source reader. A reading list of secondary sources includes James Nelson's Benedict Arnold's Navy and Richard Ketchum's Saratoga.

Project fields:
U.S. History

Landmarks of American History

Education Programs

Total amounts:
$169,232 (approved)
$151,209 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2014 – 12/31/2015