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, October 09, 2016

Fall Lectures at Fort Plain, New York

This spring I enjoyed the American Revolution in the Mohawk Valley conference organized by the Fort Plain Museum in Fort Plain, New York. I was pleasantly surprised to see the turnout—not only are lots of folks in that region proud of its Revolutionary history and eager to learn more, but some came a long distance to hear us.

The museum has just announced its fall lecture series on upcoming Thursdays.

13 October
“War on the Middleline: The Founding of a Community in the Kayaderosseras Patent in the Midst of the American Revolution”
James E. Richmond will focus on the Revolutionary War in Saratoga County and the surrounding area beyond the 1777 Battles at Saratoga. The talk will feature the impact of the war on average citizens as told “in their own words” in such documents as the records of the committees of correspondence, private journals, and pension applications. Richmond’s talk will culminate with the story of the British raid on Middleline Road in Ballston in October 1780.

20 October
Sir William Johnson and the Evolution of the Mohawk Valley Fur Trade”
Michael Perazzini, the Senior Interpreter at Johnson Hall State Historic Site, will discuss the evolution of the fur trade in upstate New York as well as the changes implemented by Superintendent of Indian Affairs Sir William Johnson. He will display and discuss several artifacts involved in this business. In addition to his work at Johnson Hall, Michael is also a member of Claus’ Rangers, a living history group dedicated to the perspective of the Loyalists.

27 October
“350 Years of Firearms”
As part of this wide-ranging presentation, John Phillips will display 20th-century replicas of the pistols used in the duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. The originals are now the property of the JP Morgan Chase Bank.

3 November
“Forgotten Pioneers: African Americans in the Mohawk Valley”
Main speaker Wayne Lenig is a Research Associate in archaeology at the New York State Museum and formerly an adjunct professor in Anthropology at Fulton-Montgomery Community College. He has worked as a curator at various museums in the region. In addition, Charles Lenig will discuss and demonstrate “West African Drumming in Colonial America.”

Each event starts 7:00 P.M. at the museum, 389 Canal Street in Fort Plain. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

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