TICONDEROGA - Fort Ticonderoga's Author Series kicks off on Sunday, July 18, with Richard Berleth, author of Bloody Mohawk: The French and Indian War & American Revolution on New York's Frontier. The program takes place in the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center at Fort Ticonderoga at 2 p.m., followed by a book signing at 3 p.m. in the Fort Ticonderoga Museum Store. The program is included in the cost of admission.
Berleth's sweeping historical narrative chronicles events instrumental in the painful birth of a new nation from the Bloody Morning Scout and the massacre at Fort William Henry to the disastrous siege of Quebec, the heroic but lopsided Battle of Valcour Island, the horrors of Oriskany, and the tragedies of Pennsylvania's Wyoming Valley massacre and the Sullivan-Clinton Expedition's destruction of the Iroquois homeland in western New York State. Caught in the middle of it all was the Mohawk River Valley.
In his narrative history of the Mohawk River Valley and surrounding region from 1713 to 1794, Professor Richard Berleth charts the passage of the valley from a fast-growing agrarian region streaming with colonial traffic to a war-ravaged wasteland. The valley's unique geography plays a key role in the cataclysmic events of the French & Indian Wars and the battles of the American Revolution. Patriots eventually wrenched the valley from British interests and the Iroquois nations, but at fearsome cost. When the fighting was over, the valley lay in ruins and as much as two-thirds of its population lay dead or had been displaced. But by not holding this vital inland waterway the gateway to the West, the river between the mountains America might have lost the Revolution, as well as much or all of the then poorly defined province of New York.
Richard Berleth received his Ph.D. from Rutgers University in 1970 and is currently Chair of the Communication Arts Department at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights, New York. Previously, he taught English at Pace University and Russell Sage College, was a managing editor for Time/Life Books, a marketing manager for McGraw-Hill, and a senior vice president at Simon & Schuster. His other books include The Twilight Lords: An Irish Chronicle, The Orphan Stone: The Minnesinger Dream of Reich, and two works for children: Samuel's Choice and Mary Patten.
Additional "Author Series" programs will take place on July 25, Aug. 8, Aug. 15, and Oct. 17. Each program begins at 2 p.m. and is followed by a book signing at 3 p.m. in the Museum Store.
Fort Ticonderoga is a private not-for-profit site dedicated to preserving and interpreting the important history in which it played such a vital role. The French & Indian War and the American Revolution are explored with tours, family programs, demonstrations of 18th-century crafts as well as world-class exhibits and collections. The King's Garden is part of the reconstruction history of the Fort and also offers tours and programs. Both are open from 9:30 - 5 daily and are covered by the same admission charge: $15 for adults, $13.50 for those 60 and older, $7 for children from 7 through 12. Children under 6 and residents of Ticonderoga and the surrounding communities; Crown Point, Hague, Putnam, Silver Bay, Orwell and Shoreham, are admitted free of charge. Information on this and all the activities see www.FortTiconderoga.org