Sunday, April 29, 2012

New York History: A NY Classic: Drums Along the Mohawk

New York History: A NY Classic: Drums Along the Mohawk: After its first publication in 1936, Walter D. Edmonds' classic historical novel Drums Along the Mohawk battled Gone With the Wind as the most popular historical novel of the ensuing years, and became a feature film in 1939 directed by John Ford, and starring Claudette Colbert and Henry Fonda. Edmond's sources were varied, but he pointed out the importance of the Minute Book of the Committee of Safety of Tryon County "to understand what valley life was really like". This summer we will be able to have a taste of that life at an outdoor drama based on Drums Along the Mohawk that coincides with the British Brigade and Continental Line’s national Revolutionary War encampment at Gelston Castle Estate in Mohawk, NY. About 1,000 reenactors are expected to take part in honor of the 235th anniversary of the Battle of Oriskany. My Revolutionary War ancestor, Michael Edick (Ittig) was there. His name is in the book, and his family lived through the events of the day. So did the Fonda acting family ancestor, for whom the upstate town of Fonda is named. I think it will be great to see this outdoor drama and get a small sample of the difficult and frightening life they led on the "New York frontier."

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