Canadian Historian is Keynote Speaker at Oswego History Conference April 22

Chartrand is Expert on Montcalm’s Military Career –

OSWEGO, NY – Keynote speaker Rene Chartrand  will deliver an illustrated lecture on the five-month French campaign against Oswego at the Fort Ontario History and Archaeology Conference to be held at the Great Lakes Event and Conference Center in Oswego Saturday, April 22.

The Canadian historian and author is an expert on the 1756 campaign that began with attacks on British supply lines east of Oneida Lake, and ended with Major-General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm, Marquis de Saint-Veran’s siege and capture of three forts, 1,800 troops and civilian contractors, supplies, ordnance, and a Royal Navy squadron at Oswego on Aug. 14, 1756.  Montcalm’s first of three great victories pushed the British colonial frontier back more than 100 miles from Oswego to the mid-Mohawk Valley, and was a devastating defeat that took British forces three years to recover from.

Chartrand is scheduled to speak at 10:50 a.m. Saturday, April 22, and is one of seven historians and archaeologists lecturing at the Fort Ontario History and Archaeology Conference.

“The conference explores new perspectives on warfare and human conflict in North America, from its appearance in the archaeological record around 5,000 BCE, to the War on Terrorism,” noted Paul Lear, Superintendent of Fort Ontario State Historic Site.

Born in Montreal, Rene Chartrand was educated in the United States, Canada, and the Bahamas.  A senior curator with Canada’s National Historic Sites for nearly three decades, he was also a National Defense historian and is now a freelance writer and historical consultant.  Chartrand has authored or co-authored some 50 books and hundreds of articles published in England, France, the United States, and Canada.  Chartrand’s books include one published in 2014 on the subject of his Fort Ontario conference presentation, “Montcalm’s Crushing Blow:  French and Indian Raids along New York’s Oswego River in 1756,” which will be available for sale and signing by the author.  The author lives in Aylmer, Quebec Province.

The Fort Ontario History and Archaeology Conference kicks off on Friday, April 21 at 6:30 p.m. with a meet and greet social, light refreshments, cash bar, early registration, and SUNY Oswego history and anthropology student paper presentations delivered before a panel of judges for prizes.  The public is welcome. There is no charge or registration required for attending the student paper presentations on Friday evening.

The main lecture program begins on Saturday, April 22 with registration beginning at 8 a.m., followed by the National Anthem sung by former Fort Ontario Curator Jennifer Emmons.  Lear will introduce the guest presenters, who are scheduled to speak from  9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  On Sunday, April 23, visitors will embark on a guided bus trip to several locations of French and Indian War activity in Oswego County. The bus trip will leave the conference center at 8:45 a.m.

Pre-registration and payment is required for the Saturday program of speakers and Sunday bus trip.  One-day Saturdayregistration is $30 for the general public and $15 for students.  One-day Sunday bus trip registration is $25 for all.  General registration (includes lunches) for both Saturday and Sunday is $50 for adults, and $40 for students.

For a complete conference schedule visit the Friends of Fort Ontario website http://historicfortontario.com/, find it at Facebook, or contact Paul Lear at (315) 343-4711, e-mail Paul.Lear@parks.ny.gov.

Special room rates for conference attendees are available at the Best Western – Captain’s Quarters Hotel, 26 E. Bridge St., Oswego.  Please call the hotel at 315-343-4040 and mention the conference when reserving a room.

For more Oswego County history and visitor information go to http://visitoswegocounty.com/ or call 1-800-248-4FUN (4386).

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 180 state parks and 35 historic sites, which are visited by 65 million people annually.  A recent study found that New York State Parks generates $1.9 billion in economic activity annual and supports 20,000 jobs.  For more information on any of these recreation areas call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.

Built by the British in 1727, Fort Oswego stood on the west side of the mouth of the Oswego River until August 1756 when it was captured and destroyed by French forces under Major-General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm, along with Fort George and Fort Ontario. Fort George, derisively called “Fort Rascal” by the soldiers defending it, was built in 1755 near where Montcalm Park is now located in the City of Oswego. The first Fort Ontario, a six-pointed wooden stockade, was also built by the British in 1755 on the approximate location of the fourth and current fort, Fort Ontario State Historic Site. The current structure was built by the United States from 1839 to 1844.