J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Lecture Program at West Point, 27 June

Peter Feinman of the Institute of History, Archaeology, and Education sent me an announcement for a series of Revolutionary War lectures in the military academy at West Point on Friday, 27 June. The program is free, but security and parking considerations require that all participants register for the program by Tuesday, 24 June.

Winning the war, Winning the Peace: The American Revolution Historyhostel

10:00 “The Battles of Brooklyn and Saratoga and the Strategic Importance of the Hudson Valley”
Maj. Jeffery Lucas, Department of History, U.S.M.A., and Ray Raymond, S.U.N.Y.–Ulster and U.S.M.A.

The campaigns of 1776-1777 were Britain’s one and only chance to crush the American Revolution. The key was control of the Hudson, which would have cut off New England from the rest of the colonies. These lectures will assess why Britain failed to deliver a knockout blow at Brooklyn and why it lost the strategically vital battle of Saratoga.

12:00 Lunch

1:00 “Reassessing Yorktown and the Southern Insurgency”
Maj. Lucas and Prof. Raymond.

These lectures will reassess Yorktown and the Southern insurgency led by Gen. Nathanael Greene, which eventually won the Revolutionary War. They will address such questions as:
  • Was Yorktown more of a French military victory than an American one?
  • Was Yorktown’s real importance political rather than military?
  • How close did the British military come to rescuing Cornwallis?
2:15 walking tour of the U.S.M.A. grounds from an American Revolution perspective

3:30 bus trip to Fort Putnam (not normally open to the public)

4:30 “Fort Putnam: The Thomas Cole Perspective”
Peter Feinman, IHARE

Thomas Cole is known as the founder of the Hudson River School of painting. When he emigrated from England, one of the first subjects he chose to paint was Fort Putnam. What did this site mean to him and to American culture in the 1820s?
To register, email Dr. Feinman or call 914-933-0440.

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