The Museum of the Cape Fear in Fayetteville will welcome back Dr. Matt Farina for another presentation this spring. The topic for 2017 is the “Saratoga Campaign of 1777.” Join in Sunday April 2, at 2 p.m. as Dr. Farina explains why most historians agree that the Battle of Saratoga was the turning point of the American Revolution.
In 1776, after the last version of the Declaration of Independence was signed, Gen. George Washington faced one defeat after another having been pushed out of Long Island, Manhattan and across New Jersey. However, Gen. Washington and his troops pulled off two morale boosting victories at Trenton and Princeton.
British plans for the spring of 1777 were to crush the Americans and their revolutionary spirit by capturing Philadelphia and separating New England from the mid-Atlantic colonies. British Gen. John Burgoyne initiated a three-pronged approach: up Lake Champlain, the Hudson River and down the Mohawk River to take Albany and control the waterways in New York. The clash with American troops would ruin Burgoyne’s plans.
This September marks the 240 anniversary of the Battle of Saratoga. In addition to this being the turning point of the Revolutionary War, it also made Benedict Arnold a hero, at least for a while. The presentation is expected to last approximately one and a half hours.
“Dr. Farina will fill in the blanks about this historic battle and the irony behind Benedict Arnold going from hero to traitor,” said Leisa Greathouse, curator of education.
“Without the American victory at Saratoga, how would the Revolution have ended?” asked Ms. Greathouse.
Dr. Farina has lived most of his life in upstate New York where he learned about the Battle of Saratoga in school. After spending some time in North Carolina, where he learned about the battles of Cowpens, King’s Mountain and Guilford Court House, he has come realize the mirror image that exists in his new home state.
The presentation is free. For more information, call the museum at (910) 486-1330 or visit their website at www.museumofthecapefear. ncdcr.gov.
The Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex, located on the corner of Bradford and Arsenal avenues in Fayetteville, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The museum operates under the Division of State History Museums, Office of Archives and History, within the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.