Southampton Historical Museum’s latest exhibit is taking a look at the role Southampton played during the American Revolution. “Southampton Under Siege” will debut at the Rogers Mansion on Saturday, March 19th and remain on display until Saturday, December 31st.
“Southampton’s occupation by British soldiers during the American Revolution is this Town’s most important, historical event to happen since the landing by English pioneers in 1640,” shared Tom Edmonds, Executive Director of the Southampton Historical Museums and Research Center. “Between 1776 and 1793 Southampton suffered severe hardship and deprivation.” After General George Washington and his troops lost the Battle of Long Island, the East End found itself alienated. Once British and Hessian military forces arrived in the area, Southampton residents were encouraged to flee across the Long Island Sound to Connecticut. Many left, but a lot of the inhabitants didn’t have the resources to start over, so they stayed and were forced to house soldiers. “This exhibit brings to light the many life threatening stories that occurred to its residents as well as those of triumph,” added Edmonds.
The multimedia show will feature a timeline, maps, period rooms, video, and catalog that explores the residents who lived in the remote and occupied village from 1776 until the end of the war. The exhibit will showcase the difference between the citizens that escaped to Connecticut and those that were forced to use their homes as camp for the British soldiers. “Southampton Under Siege” will also highlight a video display that was created using the journal of Christopher Vail, a Sag Harbor teenager who served in several military companies. He took part in a whaleboat raid, became a privateer, and was eventually apprehended and held hostage in the West Indies for almost a year.
A complimentary opening reception and curator talk will take place on Saturday, March 19th from 4 to 6 p.m. Admission to the exhibit after the opening reception will be $4 for non-members, free for members, and children 17 and under.
The Rogers Mansion is located at 17 Meeting House Lane in Southampton. For more information, call 631-283-2494 or visit www.southamptonhistoricalmuseum.org.