Lebanon Historical Society Program Investigates Forgotten Revolutionary War Incident

DNA analysis, computer modelling, and historical research help illuminate a 230-year old mystery at a Lebanon Historical Society program on Monday, March 21, at 7:00 p.m. at the Soldiers Memorial Building on Colburn Park.

Dr. David Starbuck, vice chair of the New Hampshire State Historical Resources Council, will speak on “Buried Secrets of the Revolutionary War: The Forensic Analysis of Miss Jane McCrea”.

Engaged to a British loyalist, Jane McCrea was abducted in an Indian raid in 1777. But was she scalped by British-allied Indians, or mistakenly shot by colonial militia trying to save her? Hunting for clues, forensic anthropologists opened her grave and found two sets of bones — but only one skull, and it wasn’t Jane’s. Starbuck will tell how historians and scientists have searched for Jane’s kinfolk and have tried to resolve questions about her death.

Starbuck, who is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Archaeology at Plymouth State University, has conducted archaeology at Canterbury Shaker Village since 1978. He has also excavated military sites from both the French & Indian War and the Revolutionary War since 1985. He appeared twice on the “Archaeology” series on The Learning Channel and most recently in the series “Investigating History” on The History Channel. He has published approximately 100 articles, books, and chapters in books.

The program is free, and will begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Soldiers Memorial Building on Colburn Park. Parking is available in front of the building. The meeting was moved from the Marian Carter Home. Signs will direct visitors from the original location to the Soldier’s Memorial on the night of the program.

The Lebanon Historical Society preserves and promotes the heritage of Lebanon, New Hampshire – its prominent citizens, special places, and memorable events – as well as historical scholarship. The Society’s Web site is located at:www.lebanonnh.org.

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