authenticity, common soldier, difficult interpretations, first person interpretation, interpretation, living history, New Jersey, Princeton, Revolutionary War
It’s upon us, this Princeton event, and Peale’s, too. And the overnight march I missed two years ago. I’m so glad to be part of this, and I’m interested in seeing where it goes from here– partly for me, and partly for the way we do living history. Now, I’ll miss some of what I’d like to see (like Mr. White’s tour of the second battle of Trenton, but when you’re plundering in Princeton, you’re committed.) A formal media release may be downloaded here.
A little more than two years ago I was asked if I wanted to join the Peale’s March to Princeton. I said no, because women couldn’t march and that was the experience I wanted. Someday, I will have the hallucination that allows me to square experiential learning with authenticity, and, at the same time, the world will care about having a women’s Tour de France.
Anyway: there’s a point. This event became a pivot point for me in thinking about accuracy and authenticity of all kinds.
Accurate impressions rendered in a place of shared value will transport you to the past, and give you insights you did not expect. That is the point of these exercises: insight and understanding. It’s how to get high on history.
In Palmer Square and at Morven, that means stealing (from each other), soldiers arresting Quakers, Loyalists and Whigs insulting each other, arguments about loyalty oaths, and women being attacked. (When you see the grey gown grabbed off the square by the red coat, please know that this is acting.) It means rough justice in a drum head court martial.
Will it work? I think so. Will it change my life, the way not attending two years ago did? That will depend on what I regret.