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Old Fort Niagara

Title: “it is the key to the whole continent…Archaeology at Old Fort Niagara, Youngstown, NY

Anthropology Colloquium Series | Dr. Susan Maguire, Buffalo State College SUNY Date: Tuesday November 19 Location: LR Wilson Hall 3001 Time: 3:30 – 5:00 pm

Nov 14, 2019

Speaking about Fort Niagara and the Niagara region in 1759, British travel writer Arthur Young declared “In short, the importance of this place is almost inconceivable; it is the key to the whole continent…". Old Fort Niagara, Youngstown, NY commands a strategic position overlooking the Niagara River at the mouth of Lake Ontario which allowed the forts occupants to control the movement of people and goods around Niagara Falls and into the interior of North America.

The fort was constructed by the French in 1726, seized by the British in 1759, and officially ceded to the United States in 1796. The Niagara Frontier was one of the major theatres of war during the War of 1812 with the fort serving as the headquarters for both the American and British militaries during the war. Excavations at Fort Niagara have recovered evidence of all these occupations; the richness of the archaeological record at the fort provides both challenges and opportunities. This talk will review past excavations of French, British, and American occupations including
archaeological findings as well as the lessons learned.