Defending the Delaware
A unique 2-part event exploring the design and history of the chevaux de frise
Robert Smith was the leading architect in 18th-century Philadelphia. On the eve of the American Revolution, he built Carpenters’ Hall and then applied his skills to defending the city, designing fortifications called chevaux de frise that were submerged in the Delaware River to thwart British attack.
The Carpenters’ Company, Fort Mifflin and the Independence Seaport Museum partner to bring you a special two-part event exploring this fascinating history. First, join us virtually on July 28 to learn more about Smith and how chevaux de frise were used to fortify the Delaware during the Revolution. Then, on August 21 and 22, visit Fort Mifflin in person to work with volunteers from the 4th Connecticut Regiment, who are constructing a replica cheval de frise. Fort Mifflin’s exhibit space includes several relics of these defenses, dredged from the Delaware River as recently as 2009. Learn about this fascinating yet little known colonial defense then lend your hand (or just watch others do the work!) to the project of re-creating a piece of Revolutionary history!
Panelists for July 28:
- Moderator: James Bilella, Vice President, General Manager of Facilities & Building Systems, Urban Engineers
- Alexander Arnold, Military Programs Interpreter, Colonial Williamsburg
- Craig Burns, Chief Curator, Independence Seaport Museum
- Alex Palma, Assistant Director, Carpenters’ Hall