Twenty-Seventh Annual War College of the Seven Years’ War

May 21, 2023

9am - 12pm


9:00-9:30am Captive Bodies: Examining the Material Culture of Captivity during the Seven Years’ War—Historians of 18th-century material culture have challenged the notion that the value of material culture analysis is limited to man-made objects, and have explored how the human body was often manipulated and controlled to accommodate cultural expectations. This presentation extends that argument by examining how female bodies were captured, transported, and used as objects of power and negotiation during the Seven Years’ War, and how captives fought to regain their humanity from their captors. Jenifer Ishee is a Ph.D. Candidate in Early American History at Mississippi State University. Her dissertation is a microhistory that explores the female experience of captivity, religion, and Native relations in western Pennsylvania during the Seven Years’ War.

9:45-10:15am Feeling Strangeness: the Sensory Experience of War in North America (1754-1760) —From the soldiers’ point of view, the French and Indian war has been a sensory shock in many ways. European soldiers, as well as their Native allies, experienced new environments, new forms of warfare, and some of them also made their first experience of the enemy’s fire. This presentation examines how the troops dealt with new sensations, between confusion and adaptation. Clément Monseigne is a Ph.D. candidate in Early Modern History at Bordeaux University; his dissertation analyzes the place of sensory perceptions in the war experience of French and British soldiers during the Seven Years’ War.

10:30-11:00am  “Lay’d up And Decay’d”:  Examining the History and Archaeological Material of the King’s Shipyard at Fort Ticonderoga—After the Seven Years’ War in North America, a number of vessels from the British flotilla were left to rot in “The King’s Shipyard” at Fort Ticonderoga. Other structures were built there as well, including the “Great Bridge” during the Revolutionary War and a steamboat dock during the lake’s commercial era. Results from recent archaeological investigations are shedding light on this complex assemblage of submerged cultural resources near Fort Ticonderoga. Daniel Bishop is a Ph.D. student in the Nautical Archaeology Program at Texas A&M University. He specializes in 18th– and early19th-century maritime history and ship construction.

11:15-11:45am  “that Most Fatal disorder to the Virginians”: The Seven Years’ War and a Pandemic of Smallpox, 1756-1766—Smallpox is perhaps the most significant pathogen in human history. This presentation recasts the global Seven Years’ War as a story about smallpox and its spread, relocating our lens away from the battlefield, and showing how it impacted indigenous nations, enslaved Africans, and women in camp and on the home front. Camden R. Elliott is a Ph.D. candidate in early American history at Harvard University. His dissertation uses the methods and sources of environmental history to recast the history of the Ango-Wabanaki Wars.

12:00pm Lunch (Box lunch from America’s Fort Café included).

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