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Thompson Distinguished Lecture: A History Lesson on Battlefields

Thomas Chambers, Ph.D., signing his book for students from Siena's American Revolution and Atlantic World class.

Thomas Chambers, Ph.D., signing his book for students from Siena’s American Revolution and Atlantic World class.

History students attended the 5th annual Dell and Audrey Thompson Distinguished Lecture in American Revolution Studies at Saratoga National Historical Park on April 6. Thomas A. Chambers, Ph.D., a professor of history and associate vice president for Academic Affairs at Niagara University, spoke about his most recent book “Memories of War: Visiting Battlegrounds and Bonefields in the Early American Republic.”

Chambers talked about the transformation of battlefields in the United States. For the first 50 years after the American Revolution, people visited battlefields for the personal experience with the environment. It wasn’t until the early 19th century that people visited these places with the intention of learning history.

Left to right: Audrey Thompson; Thomas Chambers, Ph.D.; Jennifer Dorsey, Ph.D., Director of the McCormick Center; David Smith '79, Vice President for Development and External Affairs.

Left to right: Audrey Thompson; Thomas Chambers, Ph.D.; Jennifer Dorsey, Ph.D., Director of the McCormick Center; David Smith ’79, Vice President for Development and External Affairs.

History major Liz Marsh ’16 read Chambers’ book for her class and appreciated meeting the author to learn more about the subject. “He really built on what he talked about in his book. There were a lot more graphs and pictures to solidify what you read,” said Marsh, who plans on going to graduate school and becoming a public historian in a museum.

Chambers also visited Siena the following day to speak with students. He answered questions about the book, the research process and graduate school.

“It was an honor to have him here,” Marsh said.

The Dell and Audrey Thompson Distinguished Lecture is sponsored by Siena’s McCormick Center for the Study of the American Revolution, which is a campaign initiative.