Fort Ticonderoga

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Fort Ticonderoga was a forth that featured in two key episodes in wars in 18th Century North America.

The fort is most famous for its seizure by Benedict Arnold, Ethan Allen, and the Green Mountain Boys.

On May 10, 1775, the fort was lightly garrisoned and poorly defended. Largely run down compared to its inception, the fort on that day was defended by just 50 British soldiers. Allen, Arnold, and their compatriots convinced the soldiers to surrender, and the fort belonged to the Americans. The seizure of the fort postponed an invasion of British troops from Canada.

The fort, formerly named Fort Carillon, was built from 1755 to 1757, during the French and Indian War. Soldiers at the fort could control comings and goings of soldiers and traders between the British-controlled Hudson River Valley and the French-controlled Saint Lawrence River Valley. The was on the southern tip of Lake Champlain and also near Lake George. The name comes from an Iroquois word, tekontaroken, which means something similar to “junction of two waterways.”

In 1758, French troops numbering 4,000 successfully an attack by British troops numbering four times that. The British returned the next year, however, and captured the fort, holding it until the surprise success of the Green Mountain Boys in 1775.

American soldiers didn’t hold the fort all that long, relatively speaking. British troops led by General John Burgoyne arrived in large numbers in June 1777 and convinced the defenders to withdraw. A few months later, an American counterattack was unsuccessful.

The American victory at Saratoga convinced the British to abandon the fort, and it became a target for people looking to repurpose the stone, metal, and wood.

After the end of the Revolutionary War, New York assumed ownership of the fort. Through the 19th Century, the fort had a series of owners.

The fort is now a tourist attraction, accompanied by a museum and a research center.

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