Robert A. Selig

About:

Robert A. Selig is a historical consultant who received his Ph.D. in history from theUniversität Würzburg in Germany in 1988. He published a number of books on the American War of Independence such as Hussars in Lebanon! A Connecticut Town and Lauzun’s Legion during the American Revolution, 1780-1781 (Lebanon, 2004) and a translation of A Treatise on Partisan Warfare by Johann von Ewald. Introduction and Annotation by Robert A. Selig and David Curtis Skaggs (Westport, 1991).

He is a specialist on the role of French forces under the comte de Rochambeau during the American Revolutionary War and serves as project historian to the National Park Service for the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail Project. For this project he researched and wrote surveys and resource inventories for the states of New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia through which American and French forces marched in 1781 and 1782. These reports are available on the internet at http://w3r-us.org/history-by-state/

He also served and serves as Project Historian for American Battlefield Protection Program projects such as the “Battle of Princeton”, “Battle of Green Spring and Spencer’s Ordinary”, the “Paoli Massacre”, “Battle of the Clouds”, “Battle of Red Bank”, “Battle of Bennington”, “Battle of Hubbardton” and the “Battle of Brandywine”.

He has been a regular contributor to German Life magazine for over 20 years and has also published more than 100 articles in American and German scholarly and popular history magazines such as the the William and Mary Quarterly, Eighteenth-Century Studies, the Yearbook of the Society for German-American Studies, Journal of Caribbean History, American Heritage, Naval History, Military History Quarterly, Colonial Williamsburg, German Life, Damals, (in German) and the Journal of the Johannes Schwalm Historical Association as well as chapters in various books and anthologies.

Contact:

robertaselig@gmail.com

Resumé:

EDUCATION:

Ph.D., history, cum laude, Universität Würzburg, Germany, 1988

M.A., English, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, 1980

 

DOCTORAL DISSERTATION:

“Mangy Sheep and Greedy Shepherds: Emigration from the Prince-Bishopric of
Würzburg in the Eighteenth Century and its Causes” (in German)

 

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:

Historical Consultant to the National Park Service for the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route (W3R) Study Project, 2001 – to the present

Historical Consultant to the State of Connecticut for the W3R project, 1997 – 2004

Historical Consultant to the Hudson River Valley Greenway for the W3R project, 2000 – 2001

Historical Consultant to the State of Delaware for the W3R project, 2001 – 2003

Historical Consultant to the State of Rhode Island for the W3R project, 2004 – 2015

Historical Consultant to the State of New Jersey for the W3R project, 2004 – 2007

Historical Consultant to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the W3R project, 2005 – 2008

Historical Consultant to the Commonwealth of Virginia for a “Revolutionary War
Road and Transportation Survey”, 2007 to 2010

Historical Consultant to the State of Maryland for a “Revolutionary War Road and Transportation Survey”, 2010 – to the present

Historical Consultant to the State of Maryland Department of Transportation, 2014 – to the present

Contributing Editor, German Life, beginning with Vol. 4, No. 3, Oct./Nov.1997.

 

HONOR AND AWARDS:

Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History Fellowship, Summer 2000

Good Citizenship Medal in Silver, Delaware Society, National Society, Sons of the American Revolution, 2003

Chevalier de l’ordre des palmes académiques, August 2011
Founded by Emperor Napoleon I in 1808, l’ordre des palmes académiques honors major contributions to French education, history and culture worldwide.

Distinguished Patriot Award, National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, September 2012.
The “Distinguished Patriot Award” is the NSSAR’s most prestigious national award. It was established in 1987 and may be given only once by a President General during his tenure in office. The first recipient was Bob Hope in recognition of his many years of entertaining members of the Armed Forces; President Ronald Reagan received the award after he left office in 1989. President George W. Bush was thus honored in 2005, Frank Buckles, last surviving American Soldier of World War I, received the award in 2009.

Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies Fellowship, Monticello, Virginia, May 2015.

Erick Kurz Memorial Award for German-American History, Steuben Society of America. September 2015

Invited three times, in 2007, 2009 and in 2011, to deliver the keynote address at the annual commemoration of the victory at Yorktown (19 October 1781)

MAJOR PUBLICATIONS RELATING TO COMTE DE ROCHAMBEAU AND FRENCH PARTICIPATION IN THE AMERICAN WAR OF INDEPENDENCE

“The Politics of Arming America or: Why are there still dozens of Vallière 4-lb Cannon à la suédoise in the United States but only four in all of Europe?” in: New Perspectives on the “Last Argument of Kings”. (Fort Ticonderoga Press, forthcoming 2018)

“Hessian Savages, Frog-Eating Frenchmen, and Virtuous Americans, 1776-1783: How Personal Experiences Change Time-honored Perceptions” in: The American Revolution: A World War (Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC forthcoming 2018)

The Franco-American Encampment in the Town of Greenburgh, 6 July – 18 August 1781: A Historical Overview and Resource Inventory (Greenburgh: Town of Greenburgh, forthcoming 2018)

The Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail in the State of New Hampshire, 1783 An Historical and Architectural Survey. (Washington, DC: Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail [WaRo], 2018)

The Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1781 – 1783. An Historical and Architectural Survey. (Boston: Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Assoc. of Massachusetts, 2017)

Cultural Resource Survey and Land and Water Based Route Reconnaissance for the Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail in the District of Columbia, September 1781 to July 1782 (Washington, DC: Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail [WaRo], 2016)

“Rochambeau in New Jersey: The Good French Ally” in: The American Revolution in New Jersey: Where the Battlefront Meets the Home Front James J. Gigantino II, ed., (New Brunswick: Rutgers U Press, 2015), pp. 85-105.

Historical Research Report on Belvoir (“Scott’s Plantation”) from the earliest known Date of European Contact to the Present with a particular Focus on the Encampment of French Forces on the Site on 17/18 September 1781 Prepared for URS Corporation as Part of TO 19: Generals Highway Project located in Anne Arundel County, MD (Annapolis, 2015)

The Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route in the Commonwealth of Rhode Island, 1781 – 1783. An Historical and Architectural Survey. (Providence: Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Association of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, 2015)

Washington, Rochambeau, and the Yorktown Campaign of 1781.” in: A Companion to George Washington. Edward G. Lengel, ed. (Blackwell, 2012), pp. 266-287.

Revolutionary War Route and Transportation Survey in the Commonwealth of Virginia, 1781-1782. An Historical and Architectural Survey. (Richmond: Virginia Department of Historic Resources, 2009)

La Courageuse and La Contrebandiere. A Pair of Bronze 1758 Vallière Light 4 – Pounder Cannon from the American War of Independence (privately printed, 2008)

The Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 1781 – 1783. An Historical and Architectural Survey. (Philadelphia: Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution; Pennsylvania Society, Sons of the American Revolution, 2007)

The Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route in the State of New Jersey, 1781 – 1783. An Historical and Architectural Survey. 3 vols. (Trenton: New Jersey Historic Trust, Department of Community Affairs, 2006)”Historical Background.” In: Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route. Resource Study and Environmental Assessment (Boston: The National Park Service Northeast and Capital Regions, 2006), pp. 9-26.

March to Victory: Washington, Rochambeau, and the Yorktown Campaign of 1781. U.S. Army Center for Military History # 70-104-1 (Washington, DC, 2005)

Hussars in Lebanon! A Connecticut Town and Lauzun’s Legion during the American Revolution, 1780-1781 (Lebanon: Lebanon Historical Society, 2004)

‘En Avant’ With Our French Allies: Sites, Markers, and Monuments in Connecticut Commemorating the Contributions of French Troops under the comte de Rochambeau to the Achievement of American Independence, 1780 to 1782 (Hartford: Connecticut Historical Commission, 2004)

The Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route. Statement of National Significance (Boston: National Park Service Northeast and Capital Regions, 2003)

The Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route in the State of Delaware, 1781-1783. An Historical and Architectural Survey (Dover: State of Delaware, 2003)

The Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route in the State of New York, 1781-1782. An Historical and Architectural Survey (Albany: Hudson River Valley Greenway, 2001)

Rochambeau’s Cavalry: Lauzun’s Legion in Connecticut 1780-1781. The Winter Quarters of Lauzun’s Legion in Lebanon and its March Through the State in 1781. Rochambeau’s Conferences in Hartford and Wethersfield. Historic and Architectural Survey. (Hartford: Connecticut Historical Commission, 2000)

Rochambeau in Connecticut: Tracing his Journey. Historic and Architectural Survey
Connecticut Historical Commission (Hartford: Connecticut Historical Commission, 1999)

MINOR PUBLICATIONS RELATING TO COMTE DE ROCHAMBEAU AND FRENCH PARTICIPATION IN THE AMERICAN WAR OF INDEPENDENCE

“Involuntary Soldiers for America –the Rest of the Story.” Journal of the Johannes Schwalm Historical Association vol. 21, (2018, forthcoming).

“Involuntary Soldiers for America: Count Friedrich Ludwig zu Wertheim-Löwenstein’s Creative Recruitment Practices, 1781-1782.” Journal of the Johannes Schwalm Historical Association vol. 20, (2017), pp. 11-18.

“Eighteenth-Century Currencies.” The Brigade Dispatch. Journal Of The Brigade Of The American Revolution vol. 43, no. 3, (Autumn, 2013), pp. 16-31.

“Site Lines: Mapping Rochambeau’s March across Connecticut” Connecticut Explored vol. 10, no. 2 (Spring 2012), pp. 48-49.

“How did Yorktown become the largest town in America?” Le bulletin. Newsletter of l’Alliance Française, Chapitre de Grasse. Norfolk, VA. (January-February 2012), pp. 9-11.

“Artillery at Yorktown: A Statistical Overview (Part 1 of 2) The Brigade Dispatch. Journal Of The Brigade Of The American Revolution vol. 40, no. 4, (Autumn, 2010), pp. 1-11.

“Artillery at Yorktown: A Statistical Overview (Part 2 of 2) The Brigade Dispatch. Journal Of The Brigade Of The American Revolution vol. 40, no. 3, (Winter, 2010), pp. 26-32.

“Heritage Tourism, Historical Re-Enactments and the Local Economy: A Global Perspective.” The Brigade Dispatch. Journal Of The Brigade Of The American Revolution vol. 40, no. 2, (Summer 2010), pp. 2-11.

“French Horse-Thieves, German Cattle-Rustlers, and Sticky-Fingered Virginia Militia: The Seedier Side of Life in Gloucester County during the Siege of October 1781.” The Brigade Dispatch. Journal Of The Brigade Of The American Revolution vol. 39, no. 1, (Spring 2009), pp. 2-10.

“Global Implications of the Peace of Paris, 3 September 1783.” The Brigade Dispatch. Journal Of The Brigade Of The American Revolution vol. 38, no. 4, (Winter, 2008), pp. 2-29.

“20 October 1781: The Day After the Surrender.” The Brigade Dispatch. Journal Of The Brigade Of The American Revolution vol. 38, no. 2, (Summer, 2008), pp. 2-16.

“Old World Meets New: Franco-American Encounters and the expédition particulière, 1780-1782.” The Brigade Dispatch. Journal Of The Brigade Of The American Revolution vol. 37, no. 1, (Spring 2007), pp. 2-11.

“Tracing the Yorktown Campaign of 1781 – 82.” Notes on Virginia no. 51 (2007), pp. 47-55.

“Walk Where They Fought: Path to Victory!” The Armchair General (July 2006) (with Barnet Schecter). Available at http://www.armchairgeneral.com/

“Hessians Fighting for American Independence? German Deserters recruited for Lauzun’s Legion in America, 1780 – 1782.” Journal of the Johannes Schwalm Historical Association vol. 7, no. 4, (2004), pp. 39-51.

“Das Deutsche Königlich-Französische Infanterie Regiment von Zweybrücken or Royal Deux-Ponts.” Journal of the Johannes Schwalm Historical Association.
Part 1: April 1756 – March 1780, in vol. 6, no. 4, (2000), pp. 52-59.
Part 2: March 1780 – June 1781, in vol. 7, no. 1, (2001), pp. 43-53.
Part 3: July 1781 – June 1783, in vol. 7, no. 2, (2002), pp. 29-43.
Part 4: June 1783 – 21 July 1791, in vol. 7, no. 3, (2003), pp. 42-52.

“Putting the Washington – Rochambeau Trail on the Map.” Flintlock & Powderhorn, Magazine of the Sons of the Revolution vol. 21, no. 1, (Spring 2003), pp. 4-15.

“Eyewitness to Yorktown.” Military History (February 2003), pp. 58-64. (based on the letters of comte Schwerin, a lieutenant in the company of grenadiers in the Royal Deux-Ponts regiment to his uncle the Prince of Neuwied.

“A New View of Old Williamsburg. A Huntington Library Manuscript Provides Another Glimpse of the City in 1781.” Colonial Williamsburg. The Journal of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation vol. 22, no. 1, (Spring 2000), pp. 30-34. The author of this manuscript is an unidentified officer in the Soissonnois Regt.

“Traveling On the Washington-Rochambeau-Revolutionary-Route.” Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine vol. 135, no. 5, (May 2001), pp. 428-435.

“The word liberté was frequently heard. The Royal Deux-Ponts in the American and the French Revolutions.” Colonial Williamsburg. The Journal of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation vol. 21, no. 1, (Spring 2001), pp. 80-84.

“The Iconography to Triumph and Surrender.” Colonial Williamsburg. The Journal of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation vol. 23, no. 3 (Autumn 2000), pp. 72-77.

“From Newport to Yorktown: Following the Road to Victory.” Colonial Williamsburg. The Journal of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation vol. 22, no. 3 (Autumn 2000), pp. 66-71.

“Nothing but Sky and Water: Descriptions of Transatlantic Travel from the Journal of Georg Daniel Flohr, Grenadier, Royal Deux-Ponts, 1780-1783.” Naval History vol. 13, no. 5, (September/October 1999), pp. 29-34.

“The duc de Lauzun and his Légion, Rochambeau’s most troublesome, colorful soldiers.” Colonial Williamsburg. The Journal of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation vol. 21, no. 6, (December 1999/January 2000), pp. 56-63.

“François Joseph Paul Comte de Grasse, the Battle off the Virginia Capes, and the American Victory at Yorktown.” Colonial Williamsburg. The Journal of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation vol. 21, no. 5, (Oct./Nov. 1999), pp. 26-32.

“The Prince and the Pauper: Christian von Zweibrücken and Lucy Randolph” German Life vol. 6, no. 2, (August/September 1999), pp. 40-42.

“A French Volunteer who lived to rue America’s Revolution: Denis Jean Florimond de Langlois, Marquis du Bouchet” Colonial Williamsburg. The Journal of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation vol. 21, no. 3, (June/July 1999), pp. 16-25.

“America the Ungrateful: The Not-So-Fond Remembrances of Louis François Dupont d’Aubevoye, comte de Lauberdière.” American Heritage vol. 48, no. 1, (February 1997), pp. 101-106.

“And is, Alas! The Hour of our Parting Come?” Colonial Williamsburg. The Journal of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation vol. 18, no. 4, (Summer 1996), pp. 46-53.

“Lauberdière’s Journal. The Revolutionary War Journal of Louis François Bertrand d’Aubevoye, comte de Lauberdière.” Colonial Williamsburg. The Journal of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation vol. 18, no. 1, (Autumn 1995), pp. 33-37.

“Storming the Redoubts (Yorktown, 14 October 1781).” Military History Quarterly vol. 8, no. 1, (Autumn 1995), pp. 18-27.

“Deux-Ponts Germans. Unsung Heroes of the American Revolution.” German Life vol. 2, no. 2, (August/September 1995), pp. 50-53.

“Private Flohr’s Other Life: The young German fought for American Independence, went home, and returned as a man of peace.” American Heritage vol. 45, no. 6, (October 1994), pp. 94-95.

“The French Capture of St. Eustatius, 26 November 1781.” Journal of Caribbean History vol. 27, no. 2, (December 1993), pp. 129-143.

“A German Soldier in New England During the Revolutionary War: The Account of Georg Daniel Flohr.” Newport History vol. 65, no. 223, (Fall 1993), pp. 48-65.

“A German Soldier in America, 1780-1783: The Journal of Georg Daniel Flohr.” William and Mary Quarterly vol. 50, no. 3, (July 1993), pp. 575-590.

This article was featured as an outstanding scholarly article in “The Periodical Observer” Wilson Quarterly vol. 18, no. 1, (Winter 1994), pp. 136-137.

“Georg Daniel Flohr’s Journal: A New Perspective.” Colonial Williamsburg. The Journal of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation vol. 15, no. 4, (Summer 1993), pp. 47-53.

“Private Flohr’s America. From Newport to Yorktown and the Battle that won the War: a German Foot Soldier who fought for American Independence tells all about it in a newly discovered Memoir.” American Heritage vol. 43, no. 8, (December 1992), pp. 64-71. Repr. in Battles and Leaders F. Allen, ed., (New York: Forbes, 1994), pp. 2-9.

Other publications with French connections:

“Johann Georg Wüst. Der König von Ostindien.” Damals. Das aktuelle Magazin für Geschichte und Kultur vol. 32, no. 11, (November 2000), pp. 66-71.

“General Johann Georg Baron von Wüst, King of East India (1721 – 1791).” German Life, (August/September 2003), pp. 44-46.

Wüst was a run-away student from Grafenrheinfeld near Würzburg who fought with French forces at Pondicherry in India during the Seven Years’ War and died in Paris in early 1791.

“Der Spanische Erbfolgekrieg in Übersee.” In: Die Schlacht von Höchstädt/The Battle of Blenheim J. Erichsen and K. Heinemann, eds., (Ostfildern, 2004), pp. 90-95.

This is an article in the catalogue accompanying the exhibition in the castle of Höchstädt commemorating the bi-centennial of the Battle of Blenheim (1704).