FORT TICONDEROGA: Key to a Continent by Edward P. Hamilton

FORT TICONDEROGA: Key to a Continent

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Written with authority and with by the director of the Fort Ticonderoga museum, this delightful book tells the story of the ""puny little fortress"" on Lake Champlain from its first 22 turbulent years of existence to its later somnolence and final restoration. Built by the French in 1755 at the outbreak of the Seven Years War, the ""key to the continent"" stood -- and still stands -- on the southern arm of Champlain the critical point on the disputed waterway from the British colonies to Canada by way of the Hudson valley. Repulsing heavy British attacks for years, on the fall of Montreal Ticonderoga, abandoned by the French, became an unhappy British outpost ""far out in the wilderness"" where ""history became still."" History revived in 1775, when Ethan Allen, with more profanity than skill, captured the fort. As an American post Ticonderoga knew Benedict Arnold's cutthroat ambitions and heard the guns of his naval battles on Lake Champlain in his attempt to invade Canada by water. Evacuated after his failure by the ""starved, lousy, thievish, pocky"" American garrison, Ticonderoga was captured by Burgoyne on his way to Saratoga; recaptured after his surrender it is now, after years of neglect, restored and cherished, again an outpost of history in what is no longer wilderness. Filled with fascinating and little-known historical details and with pithy accounts of the colonial wars, this informal book is in fact a major contribution to the annals of 18th century American history and as such belongs in the more comprehensive libraries of the world.

Publisher: Little, Brown