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Distributed for University Press of New England

The Legacy of Fort William Henry

Resurrecting the Past

Fort William Henry, America’s early frontier fort at the southern end of Lake George, New York, was a flashpoint for conflict between the British and French empires in America. The fort is perhaps best known as the site of a massacre of British soldiers by Native Americans allied with the French that took place in 1757. Over the past decade, new and exciting archeological findings, in tandem with modern forensic methods, have changed our view of life at the fort prior to the massacre, by providing physical evidence of the role that Native Americans played on both sides of the conflict. Intertwining recent revelations with those of the past, Starbuck creates a lively narrative beginning with the earliest Native American settlement on Lake George. He pays special attention to the fort itself: its reconstruction in the 1950s, the major discoveries of the 1990s, and the archeological disclosures of the past few years. He further discusses the importance of forensic anthropology in uncovering the secrets of the past, reviews key artifacts discovered at the fort, and considers the relevance of Fort William Henry and its history in the twenty-first century. Three appendixes treat exhibits since the 1950s; foodways; and General Daniel Webb’s surrender letter of August 17, 1757.

144 pages | 7 x 10


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Table of Contents

Preface • The Brief Life of a Frontier Fort • Beginnings: Native Americans on Lake George • The Reconstruction of the Fort in the 1950s • The 1990s: Archeology inside Barracks, Dumps, and a Well • New Archeology at the Fort: 2011–12 • The Dead Have Stories to Tell: Forensic Anthropology at the Fort • Artifacts Discovered at the Fort • Why Is Fort William Henry Relevant Today? • Appendix 1: The Exhibits at Fort William Henry • Appendix 2: Foodways at Fort William Henry: An Interim Progress Report, by Jene C. Romeo • Appendix 3: Major General Daniel Webb’s Surrender Letter, August 17, 1757 • Further Reading • Index

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