For the 30,000-some German soldiers who fought for the British during the American Revolution, the colonists and their country were a complete unknown. Friederike Baer, an associate professor of history at Pennsylvania State University, will discuss their unique view of the fledgling country on March 29 in “Hurray to America!: The German Auxiliary Troops in the War for American Independence.”
The 5 p.m. lecture in Litrenta Lecture Hall of the Toll Science Center is the College’s 2016-2017 Guy F. Goodfellow Memorial Lecture and is free and open to the public.
In the 1770s and 1780s, Britain employed at least 30,000 German soldiers in its quest to put down the American rebellion. Known as “Hessians,” these troops made up one-third of the British army in North America by 1781. This lecture draws from the wealth of records and documents produced by soldiers and their families in order to offer a view of America, the war and the revolutionary movement from the perspective of these Germans, most of whom knew virtually nothing about the emerging United States when they boarded the transports that took them across the Atlantic.
Baer is an associate professor of history at Pennsylvania State University, Abington, where she focuses on early American history and German-speaking people in America. She is also an archivist and the author of The Trial of Frederick Eberle: Language, Patriotism and Citizenship in Philadelphia’s German Community.