Plans, Plans

Well, you know what they say about the best intentions and plans…

I really do hope to get out some weekend soon. There is a small festival and remembrance ceremony for Baron von Steuben up near Remsen tomorrow. I hope to get to that… but seeing it is scheduled on a Sunday, I cannot make solid plans to be there.

My children are history buffs. They know every battle fought during the American Revolution. My daughter is an expert on Alexander Hamilton and Samuel Kirkland. Someday she hopes to write a biography of one of them (or both).

Right now my girls are reading The Diary of Private Joseph Plumb Martin, written after the Revolution. He was a Connecticut Yankee who signed on with the militia and the Continental Army early on in the War. What a terrific book! The book is very well-written, and the author is incredibly verbose for a guy who was “no grammartarian.” I am astounded that this book is not required reading in public schools– it would be perfect and is so interesting. I had to suffer through John Steinbeck novels and The Death of a Salesman. Now I feel bad because I missed out on much better books!

There are also a few reenactments coming up this month and next. Of interest is the Civil War festival coming up in German Flatts/Herkimer area September 16 and 17th. I am still garnering information about that. This trip would be of extra special interest– my son is a Civil War expert, and my husband’s ancestors were the Palatines of Stone Arabia and German Flatts– the first to settle the Mohawk Valley (besides the Mohawks). Apparently, in the 1860’s, this same area was the site of a large and productive training ground for Union troops. The guys who stage these renenactments travel to perform all over the country, and they look good!

P.S. I’ll post an excerpt of Martin’s sardonic style. Here is his overview of the British condition right before the Continentals pound them at Yorktown:

Soon after landing we marched to Williamsburg, where we joined General Lafayette, and very soon after, our whole army arriving, we prepared to move down and pay our old acquaintance, the British, at Yorktown, a visit. I doubt not but their wish was not to have so many of us come at once as their accommodations were rather scanty. They thought, “The fewer the better cheer.” We thought, “The more the merrier.” We had come a long way to see them and were unwilling to be put off with excuses. We thought the present time quite as convenient, at least for us, as any future time could be, and we accordingly persisted, hoping that, as they pretended to be a very courtly people, they would have the politeness to come out and meet us, which would greatly shorten the time to be spent in the visit, and save themselves and us much labor and trouble, but they were too impolite at this time to do so.

A great book. Recommended for any person interested in an entertaining first-person narrative of the Revolution.

About the Author

I've been traveling throughout New York State since I got the travel bug after touring the Herkimer Home on a school field trip as a youngster. We've been blogging about our travels since 2006 and have visited over half of New York's 62 counties so far.

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