Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
  March 6, 2006
  Educators' Newsletter
In this issue


The Final Invasion, Fitz-Enz

The Final Invasion: Plattsburgh, The War of 1812's Most Decisive Battle,
Colonel David G. Fitz-Enz

The U.S. Army was largely unsuccesful in its attempts to ward off the British southward movement in the early parts of the War of 1812, but the U.S. Navy, led by Thomas Macdonough, defeated the British fleet at Plattsburgh in August 1814 in what Fitz-Enz argues was a far more important battle than Oliver Hazard Perry's victory at Lake Erie.

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Once again, we've had a hard time choosing just one Featured Resource. Visit these other titles for more information on the War of 1812:
Old Ironsides: Eagle of the Sea,
by David G. Fitz-Enz
War of 1812: The War That Forged a Nation, by Walter R. Borneman
The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict, by Donald R. Hickey

And these websites, too:
USS Constitution Museum
USS Constitution
Battle of Plattsburgh Association
Battle of Plattsburgh Festival
America's Historic Lakes


Cut and Run
This expression dates back to the days of square- rigged sailing ships when, on occasion, the urgent need to get under way could be anticipated. In preparation, sails were secured to the yards with light ropeyarn that could be cut to let the canvas fall quickly, thus enabling the ship to sail at once. Figuratively, one cuts and runs when making an unceremonious and hasty departure.

From When a Loose Cannon Flogs a Dead Horse There's the Devil to Pay,
by Olivia A. Isil.
Available at LCMM, 802-475-2022.


Young Recruits Hard at Work

LCMM Welcomes USS Constitution to Burlington!

The vessel herself will remain in Boston Harbor, but the captain and some of the crew from "Old Ironsides" will be in Vermont March 28 - March 31, 2006, offering free programs to 4th and 5th graders from area schools on the history of the USS Constitution, the War of 1812 vessel that never lost a battle. Crewmembers will engage students through hands-on learning and role-playing in this standards-based presentation.

History is brought to life as students try on period uniforms, read primary source accounts from museum documents, explore 19th century menu charts, and handle reproduction articles and food. Participating schools receive a copy of the USS Constitution Museum's award-winning curriculum and video All Hands On Deck: Learning Adventures Aboard Old Ironsides. And best of all, they are offering it all at no charge!

Dates: Tuesday March 28 - Friday March 31, 2006
Time: 45 minutes/presentation
Grades: 4th & 5th
Class Size: up to 50 students, 4 presentations a day
Fees: None

Please follow this link for more details, or contact the USS Constitution Museum's National Outreach Coordinator, Margaret Warren, at 617-426-1812, ext 131, or

The USS Constitution is also offering a FREE
K-12 Teacher Workshop!

Become a student for the afternoon as you learn about the curriculum and its relevance to US and world history, social science, geography, language arts, math, science and visual ars. This workshop is offered in conjunction with "Old Ironsides" Across the Nation.
When: Tuesday March 28 4pm-6pm
Where: Essex Junction Parks and Recreation, 75 Maple Street, Essex Junction
Contact: or call 617-426-1812 x185

Free Public Presentation: 208 Years Aboard "Old Ironsides"
During this free public presentation about the ship's colorful naval history, the Ship's Captain, Commander Thomas C. Graves, and the USS Constitution Museum's Executive Director, Burt Logan, will describe USS Constitution's legacy as an undefeated frigate and explain how she earned the nickname "Old Ironsides." They will present illustrated commentary on the ship's history and discuss life aboard "Old Ironsides" today.
When:Thursday March 30th, 7:00 pm
Where: Contois Auditorium at City Hall, Burlington, on the Church Street Marketplace

Free Weekend Activities for the Whole Family
Throughout the weekend, join us at family-friendly activities. Watch hourly demonstrations of the gun drill by sailors from Constitution, meet the craftsmen who maintain the historic warship, discuss life aboard Constitution 200 years ago, examine the materials the sailors used at sea, learn to tie knots and read signal flags, and etch your name on a copper sheet to be installed on Constitution's hull during a future restoration. Visit the LCMM booth to see a display of artifacts from the Battle of Plattsburgh .
When: Saturday and Sunday, April 1 & 2 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Where: Contois Auditorium at City Hall, Burlington, on the Church Street Marketplace

Confiance Anchor Raised from Plattsburgh Bay

Did You Know .... After resting at the bottom of Lake Champlain for exactly 184 years, a remarkable anchor from the War of 1812 was raised on September 11, 1998 from Plattsburgh Bay, New York.

This 14-foot anchor was one of the bow anchors from the frigate Confiance, the flagship of the British fleet at the Battle of Plattsburgh Bay in 1814, and the largest vessel to have sailed on Lake Champlain before or since. During the War of 1812, Lake Champlain, the key to controlling the surrounding territory, was hotly contested by British and American forces. This conflict culminated in the Battle of Plattsburgh Bay on September 11, 1814 where the British frigate Confiance was beaten by the American forces in less than two hours of battle; the conflict ended in an American victory shortly afterwards.

LCMM conservators found that the anchor was a complex artifact to work on, since the wooden stock, the iron shank and flukes, and some surviving traces of paint all required different types of treatments. Because the base was buried in the anaerobic mud at the bottom of the lake, many markings were still clearly legible. The word "Quebec" may indicate a shipping label, "H-T-1242" stamped on the shank, is a possible registration number, and "1813 HAWKS" indicates its date and place of foundry. Today, the anchor is on display at City Hall in Plattsburgh, NY.

Related Outreach: What's On the Bottom of Lake Champlain
There are hundreds of well-preserved shipwrecks in Lake Champlain. After a short slide show on the process of nautical archaeology, students become historical detectives as they examine the actual artifacts from one of these Lake Champlain wrecks. How did it sink? How old is it? Who was on it? Help solve the mystery of this sunken vessel. (Grades 4+; max 45 students; Call for funding information and registration, 802-475- 2022)

Phone: 802-475-2022