Virginia History 101: The Yorktown Campaign

Ed Lengel

Ed Lengel

Regular listeners of our podcasts might know Rick Britton. He’s a historian and cartographer and a frequent guest on WINA’s Charlottesville Right Now with Coy Barefoot. Rick also designs and hosts Virginia history programs for the Charlottesville Senior Center.

In the fall of 2010, the Senior Center offered one of Rick’s programs entitled “Virginia History 101.” Running from October 7th through November 18th, this six-session lecture series was designed for those interested in Virginia’s fascinating early history. The series focused on some of the big topics that dominated the Old Dominion’s first two centuries, including, Native Virginians, Tobacco, Slavery, the Revolution, George Washington’s Presidency, and Jeffersonian Architecture. The series was followed with a travel session where participants experienced Virginia history first hand.

The lecture for October 28, 2010, “The Yorktown Campaign,” was presented by Ed Lengel, UVA Professor of History, Editor-in-Chief of the Papers of George Washington, and author of a number of books and articles on Washington’s military expertise. Following a fascinating description of Washington’s obsession with attacking Gen. Sir Henry Clinton’s large British garrison at New York City–based on the premise that one great battle would end the war–Lengel then focuses on how the cooperation of the French army and navy, and the intervention of lady luck, put an end to the English Empire’s hold on the American colonies. At the end, at Yorktown, close to 9,000 British veterans surrendered to a Franco-American force almost twice that size!

This is the forth in a six part series for 2010.

Click here to listen to all six lectures in this series:

* December 2, 2010 – The Monacan Nation – Rick Britton
* December 9, 2010 – Tobacco, The First Cash Crop – Susan Kern
* December 16, 2010 – Foodways of the Enslaved – Leni Sorensen
* December 23, 2010 – The Yorktown Campaign – Ed Lengel
* December 30, 2010 – Washington’s Presidency – David Hoth
* January 6, 2011- Architecture in the Jeffersonian Period – Ed Lay