Charm and Reenactment at Fort Ticonderga

  • It’s not just the Civil War that has passionate participants performing in famous battle reenactments, there are localized instances of reenactments from the American Revolution as well. Probably the best known is the recreation played out every year on Lexington Battle Green (starting at 5:30 am) as part of Patriots’ Day, a Massachusetts state holiday. To better understand the attraction of these reenactments for the participants, read this charming piece — Where the Past is Never Left Behind — about how one mother was finally seduced into enjoying with her family the setting, the view, and eventually the history and its fake battles at Fort Ticonderoga on Lake George, New York (The New York Times, 12-Sep-2013).
JDN | 23-Aug-2013

Charles Willson Peale, despite his devotion to the taxonomic and contemplative majesty of the natural world, nevertheless loved novelties and used all sorts of amusements to attract customers to his museum. He eventually resorted to hiring a popular musical performer who played five different instruments simultaneously, using all parts of his body. Following Peale’s death the museum passed into the enterprising hands of P. T. Barnum, becoming part of his traveling circus — a romantic ending for an Enlightenment institution.

Gordon S. Wood
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)