The book Hessians: German Soldiers in the American Revolutionary War (Oxford University Press, 2022) by Friederike Baer takes a look at the thirty thousand German soldiers that Great Britain hired to fight in its war against the American rebels between 1776 and 1783.
Collectively known as Hessians, the soldiers and accompanying civilians, including hundreds of women and children, spent extended periods of time in locations as dispersed and varied as Canada in the North and West Florida in the South.
Collectively, they recorded their experiences and observations of the war they fought in, the land they traversed, and the people they encountered in a large body of letters, diaries, and similar private and official records. Friederike Baer presents a study of Britain’s war against the American rebels from the perspective of the German soldiers, a people uniquely positioned both in the midst of the war and at its margins. The book offers a ground-breaking re-imagining of this watershed event in world history.
Friederike Baer is Associate Professor of History and Division Head for Arts and Humanities at Pennsylvania State University, Abington College. She holds a Ph.D. in History from Brown University. Her research focuses on the experiences of German-speaking people in North America from the Revolutionary period to the late nineteenth century. Her publications include the books Hessians: German Soldiers in the American Revolutionary War, and The Trial of Frederick Eberle: Language, Patriotism and Citizenship in Philadelphia’s German Community, 1790-1830.
The Fraunces Tavern Museum will host Friederike Baer to highlight some of the key experiences of these participants in a war on a distant continent against a people that had done them no harm, on Monday, April 3rd. This lecture will begin at 6:30 pm and will be held both in-person and virtually via Zoom. Tickets are $5 for in-person attendance, free for virtual attendance. For more information or to register, click here.
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