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

The most exciting scientific find of the period was Charles Willson Peale’s exhumation in 1801 near Newburgh, New York, of the bones of the mastodon, or mammoth. Peale displayed his mammoth in his celebrated museum and in 1806 painted a marvelous picture of what was perhaps the first organized exhumation in American history. Peale’s discovery electrified the country and put the word mammoth on everybody’s lips. A Philadelphia baker advertised the sale of mammoth bread. In Washington a mammoth eater ate forty-two eggs in ten minutes. And under the leadership of the Baptist preacher John Leland, the ladies of Cheshire, Massachusetts, late in 1801 sent to President Jefferson a mammoth cheese, six feet in diameter and nearly two feet thick and weighing 1,230 pounds.

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