Chocolate & the War for Independence: Mars awards grant to discover use of chocolate among 18th century troops
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 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.
Posted by Firoz Daginawala,