A Soldier-Humanist Fights a War for Peace in North America
A few generations ago, American colonial history centered on a single narrative that flowed from Jamestown in 1607 to the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Today early American history has blossomed into a braided narrative with many story lines.
How tough Henry Knox hauled a train of cannon over wintry trails to help drive the British away from Boston
Knox was one of those providential characters which spring up in emergencies, as if they were formed by and for the occasion.
—Washington Irving, Life of George Washington .
Last fall, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s master shipbuilder, Dale Henry, above, steers the oak-and-pine bateau he built for Fort Ticonderoga into the La Chute River. In the large roadless upstate New York of the 18th century, the scene of much fierce fighting during the French and Indian War and Revolution, the clumsy, flat-bottomed bateau became the vehicle of choice to transport troops. Henry based his replica on the remains of a bateau recovered from Lake Champlain, one of 1,000 bateaux that carried Gen.Read more »
The largest army ever assembled in North America attacked the French at New York’s Fort Carillon . . . with disastrous results
By early morning of July 5, 1758, more than a thousand Albany-built bateaux, whaleboats, and three radeaux—cumbersome barges known as “floating castles”—crowded the calm waters of New York’s Lake George in orderly columns. They spread a mile and a half from shore to shore and extended “from front to Rear full Seven Miles,” as The Pennsylvania Journal reported.Read more »
The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum has extensive displays on the Battle of Valcour Island and the archeological explorations being made there. The museum is open daily 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., from late May to mid-October ( www.lcmm.org / 802-475-2022).
1741 Born in Norwich, Connecticut.
1758 Enlists in a New York company for service in the French and Indian War.
1759–73 Deserts and returns to Norwich to finish an apprenticeship as a druggist. In time becomes a successful trader and shipowner.
1774 Elected captain of militia. Read more »
From Fort Ticonderoga to the Plaza Hotel, from Appomattox Courthouse to Bugsy Siegel’s weird rose garden in Las Vegas, the present-day scene is enriched by knowledge of the American past
To grow up in New England is to grow up with an inescapable sense of history, a heritage that a New Englander carries with him wherever he goes. Read more »
It started with jaunty confidence and skirling bagpipes. Five days later it had turned into one of the bloodiest and most futile battles ever fought on American soil.
At Ticonderoga, Lake George spills its waters northward into Lake Champlain, and for over a century whoever controlled the narrows there controlled the gateway to a continent. Travel through the dense American forests was arduous at best, impossible when supplies and trade goods needed to be taken along. If smugglers, traders, or armies wished to pass between the domains of Britain and France, between New York and Montreal, they had to go by water. Read more »