By Rosalyn Graham
In his most recent book, “Unshackling America: How the War of 1812 Truly Ended the American Revolution,” historian and author Willard Sterne Randall contends that the American Revolution, commonly thought to have ended in 1783, actually ended in 1814 with a decisive battle on Lake Champlain.
Randall will explain his reasoning and share his research at Shelburne Town Hall on Monday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m. Shelburne Historical Society is hosting this free presentation that will delve into stories of the moment in local history when early settlers as members of their militias, laid down their farming tools and took up their muskets to defend their country in the Battle of Plattsburgh.
Professor Randall, who began his career as a journalist, taught American history at John Cabot University in Rome, at the University of Vermont and at Champlain College, where he was a Distinguished Scholar in History and is a professor emeritus. His previous books include biographies of Ethan Allen, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and Benedict Arnold.
Monday’s program will also feature documents and artifacts related to the involvement of local militias in the war.
Historical Society President Dorothea Penar has found records in the town archives relating to several key local figures of the time: Eli Thayer, who volunteered Sept. 7, 1814, and took part in Battle of Plattsburg; Aaron Rowley, aged 69, who volunteered the same day in Shelburne, Sept. 7, 1814, and was stationed at a bridge over the Saranac River to thrwart British troops;
Garrad Burritt, listed as a musician, who with his brother, Ruben, and brother-in-law, Levi Comstock, answered the call for sharp-shooters for the battle.