On April 7-9, 2022 the Museum of the American Revolution, in Philadelphia, hosted their Conference, “Collecting the Revolutionary War.” The conference opened the evening of April 7th, with keynote speaker, Mr. Philip Zea, offering a lecture about the powder horn collection at Historic Deerfield. The museum invited Dennis Farm Charitable Land Trust President, Denise Dennis, to present opening remarks as an introduction to Mr. Zea’s lecture.
In their invitation to Ms. Dennis, the museum wrote, “All agree that your story about how your family preserved the Gershom Prince powder horn is one of the most powerful stories related to ‘collecting the Revolutionary War’ that we have ever heard.” The powder horn is currently on exhibition at the Museum of the American Revolution.
In her remarks, “A Powder Horn in the Family,” Denise described her family’s ancestral relationship to the Gershom Prince powder horn, how her late aunt donated it to the historical society in Wilkes-Barre, and how knowing this story influenced her from the time she was a young child, to the present.
“I must confess,” said Denise, “that it seems strange, a little uncomfortable that the powder horn, a part of our family’s history that no one else knew about, is now on display for the world to see. It’s as if something that was personal has now been taken from me and exposed to the public. It isn’t our secret, our private treasure anymore. On the other hand, and more significantly, I am happy that this tangible evidence of African American participation in the French and Indian War and the Revolution, taken from the body of an African American man who gave his life in battle, is now available for others to see. I hope it makes African Americans, especially young people, feel connected to the American Revolution and empowered, as I have felt; and I hope it makes non-African Americans more aware that from the beginning, Black men fought to make this a free, independent nation.”
The attendees gave Ms. Dennis a standing ovation.