The American Revolution in New York

Date: March 6, 2010

Location: Manhattanville College, 2900 Purchase Street, Purchase, NY
Contact Hours:7.5
Time: 9:00-4:30
Cost: $25 (includes lunch)
Click here for registration form

New York and the Hudson River Valley in particular played a critical role in the American Revolution that is often overlooked. The Yankee-Red Sox rivalry has precedents in the telling of the story of the American Revolution. For too long Massachusetts writers have made Massachusetts the cosmic center of the confrontation. Now it is time for New Yorkers to have their say. Hear and met the scholars who are telling the New York story. See the displays of the historic organizations that preserve and tell the New York story. Share ideas on how to bring this knowledge back to the classroom.


9:00 – Welcome and program overview: Peter Feinman, IHARE

9:15 – Britain and the American Revolution: A Reassessment, Ray Raymond, United States Military Academy (West Point), SUNY

This lecture will separate myth from reality. It will examine how and why the noble dreams of the liberal founders of the 18th century British Empire ended in failure; how the underlying cause of the American Revolution was the new geopolitical realities created by the scale of the British victory in the French and Indian War combined with differing interpretations of the British constitution within the two halves of the transatlantic British community. Finally, the lecture will explore how opportunities for reconciliation that were lost and how the American Revolution was an entirely avoidable war.

Ray Raymond is a former British Diplomat; currently the Thomas Hawkins Johnson Visiting Professor of Government at the United States Military Academy and Associate Professor of Government and History at the State University of New York. He also is a Fellow of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. He is writing a biography of John Jay and producing a documentary for PBS on Benedict Arnold.

10:15 – The American Revolution in the Hudson River Valley Jim Johnson, Hudson River Valley Institute, Marist College

The topic is the decisive role that the Hudson River Valley played in the American Revolution. As the center of the colonies at the time of the American Revolution, the Hudson River Valley provided a nexus for the conflict and hosted many key figures, battles, and political events throughout the eight years of war. He will focus on the 230th anniversary of Benedict Arnold’s attempt to sell Fortress West Point to the British and Major John Andre’s capture near Sleepy Hollow.

He is the Executive Director of the Hudson River Valley Institute at Marist College and teaches history there as well. As the Military Historian of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, he is responsible for the American Revolutionary interpretive theme. He is the author of Militia, Rangers, and Redcoats, has a Duke Ph.D. and is a retired U.S. Army colonel. He is an expert on the War for Independence in the Hudson River Valley and taught military history at West Point for 15 years.

11:15 – The POWs of Occupied New York City, Ed Burrows, Brooklyn College

As the principal base of the Crown’s military operations, New York became the jailhouse of the American Revolution. Beginning with the bumper crop of American captives taken during the 1776 invasion of New York, captured Americans were stuffed into hastily assembled collection of public buildings, sugar houses, and prison ships. As many as 18,000 may have died in these prisons, more than twice the number to die on the battlefield. This is their story.

Ed Burrows Distinguished Professor of History at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. He is the co-author of Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 which won the 199 Pulitzer Prize for History and the author of Forgotten Patriots, The Untold Story of American Prisoners During the Revolutionary War. Her serves on the board of the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum in Manhattan.

12:15 – Lunch roundtables, Speakers, historic organization staff, teachers, and general public

1:30 – An Object of Great Importance: Teaching about the Hudson River during the American Revolution, Chris DiPasquale, author and middle school teacher

He will discuss various strategies and topics to coincide with the NY Social Studies curriculum. Our local history is often over looked in favor of larger topics. He will demonstrate how one can fit local history into the bigger picture and different way to get students interested in the history of their own backyards.

He is the Social Studies Teacher Coordinator for Mildred E Strang MS in Yorktown NY and the author of An Object of Great Importance, the Hudson River during the American War for Independence. He has a BA and MA in American History and is PhD candidate. He has spoken throughout the area for historical societies, graduate classes ,historical round tables and museums on the topic and is a member of the 5th NY Regiment reenactment group.

2:30 – Historic organizations – Presentations by historic organizations with connections to the American Revolution

3:30 – Teaching the American Revolution in the Hudson Valley – Using the information presented today in the classroom and working with historic organizations.

For further information contact IHARE at 914-939-9071 or email us at: