War of 1812 Artifact Project

Original content by: Macy Kleinfelder

About The Project

In the fall of 2012, Macy Kleinfelder designed a project to help her students delve deeper into the War of 1812 and gain a better understanding of artifacts of the period. Her class project used the collaborative exhibit, “The Rocket’s Red Glare: the War of 1812 in Connecticut*” at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum.

Ms. Kleinfelder’s students conducted extensive research on artifacts from the exhibit, using the local museums involved in the exhibit as a resource. The student presentations were given in the actual exhibit space and were “graded” by some special visitors:

  • Dr. Nancy Steenberg, assistant professor in residence of history at the Univeristy of Connecticut- Avery Point,
  • Fred Calabretta, Curator of Collections and Oral Historian at Mystic Seaport,
  • Dr. Glenn Gordinier of Mystic Seaport, Williams-Mystic Maritime Studies Program and the Munson Institute, and
  • Krystal Rose, MSE Project Manager at Mystic Seaport.

*A Note About the Exhibit

The collaborative exhibit, "The Rockets' Red Glare: The War of 1812 in Connecticut" was developed in partnership with Mystic Seaport, the Stonington Historical Society, the New London County Historical Society, the New London Maritime Society, and the Lyman Allyn Art Museum. The exhibit featured items from the collections of the partners, as well as from other museums and private collections. "The Rocket's Red Glare" focused on important local events including Commodore Stephen Decatur's naval squadron taking refuge in the Thames River to avoid the British, the bombardment of Stonington, the raid on Essex, and the effects of the British blockade on New London and the region.