Chocolate & the War for Independence: Mars awards grant to discover use of chocolate among 18th century troops

By Oliver Nieburg contact

- Last updated on GMT

Chocolate's use among US, British and German soldiers at Fort Ticonderoga in 1777 to be revealed in Mars-backed exhibit. Photo: Fort Ticonderoga
Chocolate's use among US, British and German soldiers at Fort Ticonderoga in 1777 to be revealed in Mars-backed exhibit. Photo: Fort Ticonderoga
Mars Chocolate North America has handed a $10,000 grant to Fort Ticonderoga for a new exhibition on how chocolate was used by armies and cultures that held the fort in 1777.

The living history exhibition titled ‘1777: A Bittersweet Year’ will show how much chocolate was sent to American soldiers at Ticonderoga, which fell during the year to British and German forces.

Siege of Fort Ticonderoga

Fort Ticonderoga in New York State was seized by the British in 1777 following an American retreat during the Revolutionary War for American Independence.

The British, accompanied by German troops, abandoned the fort later that year after defeat at the Battles of Saratoga.

“At the heart of the story is chocolate, which sustained the Americans that withdrew from Ticonderoga that July, and fortified the European troops that took their place in the great fortress complex,”​ said Beth Hill, president and CEO of Fort Ticonderoga, which has served as a tourist attraction since the early 20th​ century.

Chocolate was among the rations and armaments sent to American troops at the fort in the Spring of 1777. Some of the chocolate stockpiles later fell into British hands.

The Mars-backed exhibition will show how the chocolate was used and adapted by both sides.

mars american hertigae choc
Mars has also developed an American Heritage Chocolate, sold in 160 gift shops at museums and historic sites across the US and Canada, that uses a recipe from an ingredients list from 1750. Photo: Mars

Mars and chocolate history

The grant award forms part of Mars’ ‘Chocolate: History, Culture, and Heritage’ program, which aims to unearth the origins and history of the confection.

Late last year, Mars awarded three institutions, including Fort Ticonderoga, a 2015 Chocolate History Research and Investigative Studies Grant.

The other grants were for Old North Church Foundation of Boston to research Captain Jackson's background as a chocolate maker and to the Friends of Fort Ontario to research chocolate’s uses at the fort from the French and Indian War to present day.

Related topics: Markets, Chocolate, Mars

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1 comment


Posted by Firoz Daginawala,

Chocolate has been liked and tolerated by human body since time immemorial.

A feeling of goodness and reinforcement is achieved after a (cup)ious amount of chocolate which opens up the blood vessels in all body systems and helps to gain ground in the battles.
( The battle of Ticonderoga 1755)

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