The Friends of Fort Trumbull Welcome as their July Speakers
Members of the Stonington Historical Society
The Battle of Stonington- Volunteers with Tenacity and Courage
Almost every August for the past 198 years, the residents of Stonington Borough have commemorated with pride a local event in the War of 1812. From August 9-12, in 1814, Stonington volunteers, despite being heavily out-gunned, fought back gallantly against a British naval squadron which seemed intent on totally destroying the village. Soon after the squadron, under the command of Sir Thomas Hardy, loomed off Stonington Point, the British sent Stonington an ultimatum, giving the people of Stonington an hour to remove out of town or be destroyed.
It is recorded that the valiant volunteers replied, “We shall defend the place to the last extremity; should it be destroyed, we shall perish in its ruins.” Historians still debate why Hardy chose Stonington to attack and why he abruptly disengaged. Whatever the possible reasons, there can be little doubt that the defenders fought bravely using two 18-pounder cannons that had been hidden in a shed since the Revolutionary War.
On July 25, 2013, at 7 p.m., The Friends of Fort Trumbull will welcome members of the Stonington Historical Society who will discuss this local victory. The group will be led by Meredith Mason Brown, a director and past president of the Stonington Historical Society, who has written extensively on American history. In 2008, his book Frontiersman: Daniel Boone and the Making of America won the Spur Award for the best western biography published that year. His new book, Touching America’s History: From the Pequot War through World War II, has recently been released.
Mr. Brown will be joined by James Boylan, past president of the Stonington Historical Society, and for many years the editor or co-editor of the Society’s quarterly Historical Footnotes. Most recently, he and his wife Betsy Wade have written Stonington’s Old Lighthouse and it Keepers, a book scheduled for publication by the Historical Society in July 2013.
Dr. Nancy Steenburg, a well-known favorite of the Friends of Fort Trumbull, will complete the panel. Dr. Steenburg, adjunct history professor and program coordinator of the Bachelor of General Studies program at the University of Connecticut, Avery Point, is presently the president of the New London County Historical Society. She recently wrote an article, “Attack on Stonington”, which appeared in the last edition of Connecticut Explored.
In 2012, each of the panelists was a contributing author of the award-winning book The Rockets’ Red Glare: The War of 1812 and Connecticut.
The presentation will take place at 7 p.m. on July 25, 2013, in the Conference Center at Fort Trumbull State Park. The meeting is open to the public and new members are welcomed.