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The Revolutionary War Conference 250 in the Mohawk Valley

The Revolutionary War Conference 250 in the Mohawk Valley

June 14-16, 2024


Mail (Print and Mail to Address on the Form):



Conference 250 Speakers:

Fireside Chat – James Kirby Martin with guest host Mark Edward Lender – Professor and Student Discuss the American Revolutionary War, the Upcoming 250th Anniversary and Their Legacies

Nancy Bradeen Spannaus – Alexander Hamilton’s War for American Economic Independence Through Two Documents: The Full Vindication of the Measures of Congress (Dec. 15, 1774) and The Farmer Refuted (Feb. 23, 1775) (Supported by the Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society)

Gary Ecelbarger- “This Happy Opportunity”: George Washington and the Battle of Germantown

Shirley L. Green – Revolutionary Blacks: Discovering the Frank Brothers, Freeborn Men of Color, Soldiers of Independence

Mark Edward Lender – “Liberty or Death!” – Some Revolutionary Statistics and Existential Warfare

Shawn David McGhee – No Longer Subjects of the British King: The Political Transformation of Royal Subjects to Republican Citizens, 1774-1776

James Kirby Martin – The Marquis de Lafayette Visits the Mohawk Valley, Again and Again

Kristofer Ray – The Cherokees, the Six Nations and Indian Diplomacy circa 1763-1776

Matthew E. Reardon – The Traitor’s Homecoming, Benedict Arnold’s Raid on New London, September 4-13, 1781

John L. Smith – The Unexpected Abigail Adams: A Woman “Not Apt to Be Intimidated” (Supported by the Dr. Joseph Warren Foundation)

Bruce M. Venter – Albany and the Stamp Act Crisis of 1765

Glenn F. Williams – No Other Motive Than the True Interest of This Country: Dunmore’s War 1774

Mohawk Valley Resident Historian – Chris Leonard (Schenectady City Historian) – Storehouse Schenectady: Depot and Transportation Center for the Northern War

David Moyer – Recent Archaeology Discoveries on the Site of Revolutionary War Fort Plain

Bus Tour – 1774: The Rising Tide

In 1774, the politics of the Revolution had arrived in the Mohawk Valley with a vengeance. At the eastern end of the Mohawk another violent Liberty Pole riot was having a detrimental effect on the local citizens of Schenectady. Meanwhile further west along the Mohawk River, in Johnstown, events took a turn when Sir William Johnson passed away in July, thus starting a new chapter in political unrest.

The Bus Tour will include several stops in both Schenectady and Johnstown, such as the Schenectady Stockade, Johnson Hall and more. Lunch is included and will consist of a sit-down buffet with many options. This is a rain or shine tour, please dress for the weather and wear shoes for walking. A tour booklet will be provided.

Conference Location: The Fulton-Montgomery Community College’s Theater – The Visual Arts & Communications Building – 2805 NY-67, Johnstown, NY 12095

Christmas at the Fort

Christmas at the Fort – Saturday, December 2, 2023 – 11 am – 5 pm

The Museum is Located at 389 Canal Street, Fort Plain, NY 13339

40% – 50% Off Clearance Book Sale – Many Titles to Choose From – All other books and gift shop items 20% Entire Purchase

German Beer will be served by Eisenadler Brauhaus – There will be plenty Refreshments and Christmas Cheer!

2023 Author Fair (Authors will be selling their books):

Defeating Slavery: Hamilton’s American System Showed the Way by Nancy Bradeen Spannaus

Also by Nancy – Hamilton Versus Wall Street: The Core Principles of the American System of Economics

Wanda Easter Burch – The Home Voices Speak Louder Than the Drums: Dreams and the Imagination in Civil War Letters and Memoirs

Ken Jones – Sam’s Sam the Gallows Bird – Ken also has other local titles too

Kiersten Marcil – Witness to the Revolution

Rosemay Nichols – Building the Erie Canal – Murder in Rome – Stolen – Civil War Series Volume 1

Jeff O’Connor – Skohere and the Birth of New York’s Western Frontier 1609 – 1731 Volume I 1609 – 1686 and Volume II 1687 – 1731 – The Old Stone Fort: Guardian of Schoharie County History Since 1772

Veronica Pastecki – Whipponnock Creek: The Life and Times of Will Traylor

Don Rittner – Watervliet Historic Images – Remembering Albany: Heritage on the Hudson – Albany Through Time – Schenectady: Frontier Village to Colonial City – Troy Through Time – & many others on Local History!

Heidi Sprouse – Whispers of Liberty – Liberty’s Promise – Liberty’s Legacy – Liberty’s Price

Phillip D. Weaver – The 3rd New Jersey in New York: Stories from The Jersey Greys of 1776

Don Williams – Grandfather’s Tool Chest – Saga Of Nicholas Stoner, Or, A Tale Of The Adirondacks: Saga Of Nicholas Stoner – Don Williams’ Inside the Adirondack Blue Line & many other titles on the Adirondacks and Local History

Wayne Lenig – Fort Plain, Fork Plank, Fort Rensselaer: The Revolutionary War Forts of Canajohary

Norman J. Bollen – George Washington and the Mohawk Frontier

Thank you for supporting the Fort Plain Museum & Historical Park, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. All book sale proceeds go to historic preservation, artifact acquisition, exhibit building and educational programming.


In celebration of the 250th anniversary of historic Tryon County, Montgomery County will host a community celebration that will feature a presentation and curatorial exhibition prepared by the County’s Department of History and Archives; bus tours of the associated historic sites; reenactors from 1st and 3rd Tryon County Militia groups; 2nd Regt. Albany County Militia; goods for sale by local artisans; and activities for kids courtesy of the Utica Children Museum’s mobile museum.

Preceding the Declaration of Independence, Tryon County was carved from Albany County in March of 1772 and was comprised of territory as far north as the St. Lawrence River, as far south as the Pennsylvania border, and as far west as the territories of the Six Nations. The county was name in honor of William Tryon, the last provincial governor of New York. It featured prominently during the Revolutionary War, including the Battle of Oriskany, which was fought on August 6, 1777, between 740 Tryon militiamen, supported by 60 allied Oneidas, and the British Army.

Montgomery County’s Tryon County 250thcelebration will also feature a chicken barbecue to benefit the Montgomery County Heritage & Genealogical Society. Additional information about Tryon County can be found HERE (opens in a new tab) .

WHO: Kelly Farquhar, Montgomery County Historian

Norm Bollen, President, Mohawk Country Association

WHERE: Old Montgomery County Courthouse

9 Park Street Fonda, NY 12068-1500

WHEN: Saturday, August 27, 2022

11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

First Bus Tour Departure

11:30 a.m.

Presentation by the Montgomery County Historian

12:15 p.m.

Second Bus Tour Departure
12:30 p.m.

Third Bus Tour Departure
1:30 p.m.

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Behind the Scenes – Benedict Arnold: Hero Betrayed Presented by James Kirby Martin and Thomas Mercer

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Behind the Scenes – Benedict Arnold: Hero Betrayed Presented by James Kirby Martin and Thomas Mercer

Monday, April 11, 2022

7:00 PM Eastern Standard Time


Registration: This is a free Zoom Event and Registration is Required, Please Click Here (opens in a new tab)

Buy or Rent the Movie: Access to Benedict Arnold: Hero Betrayed, Please Click Here (opens in a new tab)

Buy the Book: To purchase a copy of James Kirby Martin’s Benedict Arnold, Revolutionary Hero: An American Warrior Reconsidered, Please Click Here (opens in a new tab)

Selections from the provocative new documentary will be shown. James Kirby Martin, executive producer of the film and author of the book upon which it is based will present the historical context and Tom Mercer producer and script writer will talk about the making of this ground breaking cinematic documentary.

Narrated by Martin Sheen and with literally a cast of thousands and dramatic special effects Revolutionary War events never before presented on film are brought to life.

James Kirby Martin – Executive Producer & Chief Historian

Martin is a nationally recognized scholar of Early American history, especially the era of the American Revolution, and he is also well known for his writings on various aspects of American military and social history. He received his B.A. degree from Hiram College (summa cum laude) and then earned his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He began his teaching career at Rutgers University, where he earned the rank of Professor of History and also served for a period as Vice President for Academic Affairs. In 1980, he moved to the University of Houston, having accepted the assignment of serving as Department Chair of History with the mandate to foster the development of a cutting edge program fully devoted to excellence in teaching and the production of high quality scholarship.

Martin helped found the Papers of Thomas Edison project at Rutgers University and for a few years was a member of its board of advisers. He also served on the advisory board of the Papers of William Livingston project. He was the general editor of a book series on the “American Social Experience” (New York University Press) and likewise was a consulting editor for a book series entitled “Conversations with the Past” (Brandywine Press). Martin is currently serving on the advisory board of editors of the “Critical Historical Encounters” book series sponsored by Oxford University Press. He has done consulting with some of the nation’s most eminent law firms in regard to the history of various consumer products, including alcohol and tobacco, and has both appeared on and advised on television programs aired by the History Channel and American Heroes Channel. He advises on historical issues with Talon Films of New York and has become involved in the development of screen plays designed to bring major historical events and personalities to movie audiences. Martin serves as historian adviser to the Oneida Indian Nation of New York. He is a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Fort Plain Museum.

Tom Mercer – Producer & Writer

Tom Mercer grew up steeped in Revolutionary War history. As a youth he enjoyed riding his bicycle around the Saratoga Battlefield — a truly magical place on the bluffs overlooking the Hudson River. Typical family outings during childhood were visits to historic sites and museums all around the region where the northern campaign of the Revolution was fought. He and his mother shared a fascination with the paradox of Benedict Arnold, hero and traitor. Indeed, a frequent topic of dinner table conversation. If there was ever any doubt, his classmates got confirmation Tom Mercer was a history geek when he gave an award winning address about the Battle of Saratoga at his High School graduation.

Mercer studied film at Ithaca College where he graduated with a dual major in History and Politics. A twenty-year career in government gave way to a second career as an independent filmmaker. He wrote and directed the feature film UNCIVIL LIBERTIES, a highly acclaimed political thriller, and several short films shown at festivals in the US and Europe.

Tom has found the long commitment to making BENEDICT ARNOLD: HERO BETRAYED with his two principle partners to be an incredibly rewarding endeavor. If this film helps give his home region and its local hero the proper respect deserved for their contribution to the founding of the nation Tom says it will have been worth the years of effort and sacrifice.

This event is made possible through an Anonymous Donor – Thank you all for your support!

The Fort Plain Museum & Historical Park is a 501(c)3 Non-profit Organization

Erie Canalway IMPACT! Grants Support Education and Tourism along the Erie Canal

Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, in partnership with the NYS Canal Corporation, is pleased to announce that seven organizations have been selected to receive Erie Canalway IMPACT! Grants totaling $64,323. Funded projects include vital work to showcase canal heritage and welcome people to explore the canal in their local communities.

“We are thrilled to support these community-driven projects to strengthen the Canalway Corridor as a vibrant place to live, work, visit, and play,” said Bob Radliff, Executive Director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. “These exciting projects will foster greater awareness and pride in New York’s canals that will have lasting benefits for residents and visitors.”

The grants range from $2,000 to $12,000 and will leverage an additional $161,107 in private and public project support. Over the past 13 years, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor has made 90 grants to communities and non-profit organizations that have spurred $2.4 million in additional investments in heritage preservation, recreation, and education.

New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, “It is an honor to join with the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor in supporting education, recreation, and tourism along New York’s canal system. The history of our canals provides the framework for our State’s great legacy, and we look forward to supporting and enhancing awareness of these storied waterways for years to come through these IMPACT! Grant projects.”

Corn Hill Navigation, Pittsford

Award: $8,954

Improve educational and program delivery with new technology at a new visitor center being developed at Corn Hill Landing in Rochester.


Erie Canal Museum, Syracuse 

Award: $9,015

Develop programming related to the Empire State Trail including a Syracuse-based Trail Ambassador Program and trail amenities that raise user awareness of the museum. Pilot both weekend and Corridor-wide trail rides.

Explore & More: The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum, Buffalo

Award: $11,454

Design and present an Erie Canal themed educational play experience every Wednesday throughout 2022 that will engage children and families.


Friends of Stewart Park, Ithaca 

Award: $5,900

Design and install five outdoor interpretive signs that showcase the history of the Erie Canal and Cayuga Lake as they relate to the City of Ithaca.


National Abolition Hall of Fame, Peterboro

Award: $12,000

Design and install two outdoor interpretive signs within the Village of Canastota to raise awareness of the National Abolition Hall. Funds will also support a reenactment of a dramatic event that shaped the abolition movement in the United States.


Schoharie River Center, Esperance

Award: $12,000

Implement a series of educational programs with at-risk urban and rural youth to investigate water quality on the Erie Canal/Mohawk River and adjacent tributaries.


Village of Brockport, Brockport
Award: $5,000
Design and install a pair of outdoor interpretive signs that celebrate the history, design, and operation of the Village’s iconic lift bridges.


Nearly 200 years after its construction, the Erie Canal remains an iconic symbol of American ingenuity and determination. The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor preserves our extraordinary canal heritage, promotes the Corridor as a world-class tourism destination, and fosters vibrant communities connected by more than 500 miles of waterway. It achieves its mission in partnership with the National Park Service, New York State agencies, non-profit organizations, local residents, and more than 200 communities across the full expanse of upstate New York.

Attention Tourism Properties/Businesses. We need your help!

The Fulton Montgomery Chamber of Commerce is seeking updated Brochures, Rack Cards, Menus etc. from all Tourism Properties/Businesses in Montgomery County.

We are currently looking for updated and new information to expand our Tourism Center and need your help.

Please email if you have anything to provide to us. Pick-up’s can be arranged or you can drop off to our location at the Amsterdam Riverfront Center.

We look forward to hearing from you and expanding our Tourism Center. Thank you!




George Washington Birthday Celebration Free Virtual Events

The Fort Plain Museum & Historical Park is proud to present a George Washington’s Birthday celebration with three FREE Virtual Events by three Distinguished Historians on three Nights. Please note the dates and start times. These events are made possible through an Anonymous Donor.

  • Edward G. Lengel – George Washington and the Nemesis of War – Monday, February 22, 2021 – 6:00 PM Eastern Standard Time
  • Mary V. Thompson – “The Only Unavoidable Subject of Regret”: George Washington, Slavery, and the Enslaved Community at Mount Vernon – Thursday, February 25, 2021 – 7:00 PM Eastern Standard Time
  • James Kirby Martin – Remembering George Washington: In Context – Monday, March 1, 2021 – 7:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

To register, please visit: or contact the museum at – if you are interested in purchasing speaker books, please visit: – thank you for your support!


New Local History Book – Fort Plain, Fork Plank, Fort Rensselaer: The Revolutionary War Forts of Canajohary


The Fort Plain Museum recently published a new local history book, Fort Plain, Fork Plank, Fort Rensselaer: The Revolutionary War Forts of Canajohary by Wayne Lenig. Lenig is a Fellow of the New York State Archaeological Association, vice-president of the Van Epps-Hartley Chapter NYSAA, archaeological curator and vice-chairman of the Fort Plain Museum Board of Trustees, and Research Associate in Archaeology at the New York State Museum.

A great deal of confusion has developed regarding the historical identities of Fort Plain, Fort Plank and Fort Rensselaer. This book reviews and analyzes the published secondary sources in chronological order to gain an understanding of when and how misconceptions developed. Following that review are chapters on the archaeology and historical research from primary sources, placing the final four years of the Revolutionary War on the New York frontiers into the broad fabric of contemporary events. A fourth chapter reviews the evidence for an earlier Colonial Anglo-American fort on the site of Fort Plain. This is the most comprehensive study of the most important American outpost during the final four years of the War for Independence.

The book is 8.5 by 11 with over 260 glossy pages with color images and maps. To order the book, please visit the museum’s online book store at or email 100% of the book proceeds go to the museum for exhibits and education programming.

American Revolution Mohawk Valley Conference

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The Fort Plain Museum’s

5th Annual American Revolution Mohawk Valley Conference

June 6-9, 2019

The American Revolution Mohawk Valley Conference celebrates its 5th year with more speakers and an early sign-up special. Pre-registration is required. The early sign-up special is $10 off if you sign-up by May 7, 2019. Please Click Here for Conference Registration/Information (opens in a new tab) .

There is a great line-up of 12 notable historian/authors presenting on a wide variety of topics related to the American Revolution.

Presenting this year:

David L. Preston – First in Peace: The Delaware Indian Nation and its 1778 Treaty with the United States

Eric H. Schnitzer – Benedict Arnold at Saratoga: How a Newly Discovered Letter Changed History

Mark Edward Lender – The Plot against General Washington: The Conway Cabal Reconsidered

James Kirby Martin – The Man Who Wouldn’t Be King: George Washington, an Exceptional Revolutionary Leader

Holly A. Mayer – Women at War: Continental Army Followers

John Buchanan – The Road to Charleston: How Major General Nathanael Greene Dealt with Logistics, Savage Civil War, and Politics in the Carolina’s and Georgia

Bruce M. Venter – Defending the Mohawk Valley: Forts and Homes Illustrated by Rufus Grider’s Art Work

Glenn F. Williams – Beyond the Mohawk: the Battles of Newtown and Groveland (240th Anniversary)

Albert Louis Zambone – The Rewards of Persistence: Daniel Morgan in the Saratoga Campaign

Tony Williams – George Washington & Alexander Hamilton: A Revolutionary Relationship

Christian Di Spigna – Founding Martyr: The Life and Death of Dr. Joseph Warren, the American Revolution’s Lost Hero

Douglas J. Pippin – The American Revolution in the St. Lawrence Valley

Also welcoming back the voice of the Mohawk Valley, Bob Cudmore, who will serve as Master of Ceremony.

Genealogy Day – Friday, June 7

Visit Mohawk Country historic sites (sites, schedules and admission fees will be posted separately). Sites will have presentations or historians on hand to discuss the families that fought on both sides during the American Revolution.

An Incident at Caughnawaga – Fundraising Dinner – Saturday, June 8

Join Mohawk Valley Historian, Norm Bollen as he describes the “Incident at Caughnawga” that ignited the Revolution in the Mohawk Valley in 1775. This incident includes neighbor against neighbor, an angry mob and a loyalist sheriff shooting at the rebels. The dinner includes a choice of one of three entrees with sides, salad and dessert. There will also be a Cocktail Hour with cash bar.

A few seats are open for each of the bus tours, call 518-774-5669 for details.

The Fort Plain Museum’s American Revolution Mohawk Valley Conference

The Fort Plain Museum’s American Revolution Mohawk Valley Conference (opens in a new tab) is back for 2018 and registrations are now being accepted. Pre-registration is required and please sign-up immediately, last year was a near sell-out. The Conference is held on June 7-10, 2018. Most of the conference will be held at the Fulton-Montgomery Community College (opens in a new tab) .

This year there are 11 Author/Historian Presentation and Panel Discussion. Starting on Thursday, June 7th, Michael E. Newton will present “Alexander Hamilton’s Revolutionary War Service”. On Friday, June 8th, Russell Shorto will present “Revolution Song: America’s Founding Era in Six Remarkable Lives”.

On Saturday/Sunday, June 9th and 10th, there are the following presentations:

  • Edward G. Lengel – George Washington and the Burning of New York City, 1776
  • Eric H. Schnitzer – “Hessians” at the Battle of Bennington, 1777
  • James L. Nelson – Benedict Arnold’s Navy: The Story of the Rag Tag Fleet that Lost the Battle of Valcour Island and Won the American Revolution
  • Don N. Hagist – Redcoats Along the Mohawk: British Soldiers in Western New York, 1777-1783
  • Bruce M. Venter – Benedict Arnold’s Nemesis: Colonel John Brown’s Fateful Journey to the Mohawk Valley
  • Jennifer DeBruin – Traitors, Spies & Heroes: Loyalist Espionage in the American Revolution
  • Glenn F. Williams – Sir William Johnson, the Iroquois Confederacy and Lord Dunmore’s War
  • John Buchanan – Two Warriors: George Washington and Sir William Howe
  • Wayne Lenig – The Tryon County Committee of Safety
  • New this year, a Panel Discussion where presenters and the audience will discuss which side they would choose, Patriot or Loyalist?
Stone Arabia Church
©Mitch Wojnarowicz

On Thursday, June 7th, there is a Bus Tour of the 1778 Battle & Raid Sites. The bus tour will feature the events of 1778; the Battle of Cobleskill, the Cherry Valley Massacre, Springfield, Andrustown, Adam Helmer’s Run, Fort Herkimer and Fort Plain/Rensselaer (opens in a new tab) . There is a lunch stop in Cooperstown.

New this year, is a Genealogy Day, this is held on Friday, June 8th. Guests can visit the Mohawk Country (opens in a new tab) historic sites located throughout Montgomery County. Sites will have presentations and/or historians on hand to discuss the families that fought on both sides during the American Revolution.

On the evening of Saturday, June 9th, “An Evening with Washington and Madison” including an all new Fundraiser Dinner held at the Bridge Walk at the Perthshire (opens in a new tab) . Join George Washington and James Madison, portrayed by Brian Hilton and Kyle Jenks, as they discuss their journeys to upstate New York and other founding moments.

To register or for further information such as pricing, locations and more details, please visit (opens in a new tab) or email (opens in a new tab) or call 518-774-5669. This is the museum’s yearly fundraiser with 100% going back into museum exhibits and upkeep, your support is greatly appreciated.