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Chronicle Reviews

THE COLONIAL CHRONICLE is a relatively new quarterly newsletter that is chock-full of insightful articles, documentation, advice, and ideas for the 18th and 19th-century re-enactor. Editor Phil Weaver is a long-time reenactor and member of the BAR, and brings over 20 years of living history insights and experience to his publication.

Topics vary from issue to issue and include articles on authenticity, historical interpretation, research tips, historical sites, quotes from contemporary sources, and interviews with the movers and shakers in our hobby.

The Colonial Chronicle is definitely worth a look and quite a bargain at $13.00 per year --- that's less than the cost of a large pepperoni pizza (and it will stay with you longer)!

Mark Tully, Editor, The Courier, July 1996,
A Publication of the Northwest Territory Alliance (NWTA)


Despite its name, The Colonial Chronicle published by Philip Weaver, does deal with a wide variety of interests all of which are carefully selected to be of benefit to, and an entertainment for, the men and women of our several approaches. Phil is one of the pillars of Our Thing, and has done not only years of service in the field but has researched some pretty tricky questions whereby the total fund of knowledges available to the Brotherhood has been increased considerably. He is also a craftsman of no mean ability who shares his experiences freely to those with an interest. In other words he is well qualified to perform as Editor-in-Chief of this quality periodical.

William M. Wigham, October 1996,
Former Inspector, Brigade of the American Revolution (BAR)


Living history activities typically focus on a specific time period, which creates a kind of segregation; it is easy to be immersed in a single period, and be totally unaware of the activities of others concerned with a different era, even when the time periods are adjacent. This inherent segregation inhibits the sharing of information which could improve all of our activities - after all, even though time periods vary, many of the challenges faced by living history practitioners are very similar.

The Colonial Chronicle is a quarterly newsletter which attempts to bridge this information gap. Each issue includes a broad mix of information concerning living history for the 18th and early 19th Century periods. The title of the journal includes the word "colonial," but all nationalities and disciplines are included. Although the majority of the material concerns the Revolutionary War era, the two years' worth of issues that have been published so far include articles on reenactment of the 1745 Siege of Louisborg, the Federal-period militia of Sturbridge Village, living history activities at The Alamo in Texas, and other items. There are also articles about organizations which have resources to offer for living history, not only those directly concerned with living history such as the Brigade of the American Revolution and the British Brigade, but also the Trenton Barracks, the National Archives, and others.

Much of the material is not specific to a particular period. Tips for doing better research, methods of creating and procuring clothing and materials, and personal views on the value and goals of authenticity, are useful to a wide range of people.

The articles that The Colonial Chronicle provides about living history organizations are significant because no other publication present this sort of material. It is important for members of any organization to understand how their counterparts do business, not only to improve their own organization, but also to be better able to interact with others. This interaction extends from a basic awareness of the existence of other organizations, to an understanding of each groups priorities in pursuing ways to work together.

For those devoted to a single period, the diversity of The Colonial Chronicle can be frustrating; a student of the French army in Canada in 1759 might not have much interest in an article on the Sturbridge Village militia of the 1830s. But it is this very tendency to have period-specific chauvinism that makes The Colonial Chronicle an important publication. While the history is different for each period, there is a great deal in common when it comes to creating organizations, sponsoring events, procuring materials, conducting research, maintaining safety and authenticity standards, and innumerable other topics. To improve the effectiveness of the many diverse elements of living history, it is important for those involved with each period, and specific area, to learn from the others and share resources and information.

The Colonial Chronicle is a worthwhile investment for anyone wanting to know more about living history. It provides a view across the barriers created by time periods, and opens up new channels of resources and information.

Don N. Hagist, Editor, The Brigade Dispatch,
Vol XXVI, No. 4, Winter 1996,
A Publication of the Brigade of the American Revolution (BAR)


A great quarterly newsletter full of period topical issues, points of view, authenticity, interpretation, contemporary quotations, research tips, historic sites, interviews, and other features. The Colonial Chronicle comes with this editor's recommendation!

Brandt Heatherington, Editor,
First Virginia Regiment Dispatch, September 1996


Due to budgetary restraints forced on me by his Majesties Government, I have been forced to cut back on the reading material available in the waiting area of the Detached Hospital. The only magazine I refused to do away with is The Colonial Chronicle.

Not only is it a good read when waiting for treatments of wounds, it has thought provoking editorials and is a font of knowledge for the reenactor whether they are new to the game or a seasoned campaigner.

Mike Williams, Surgeon
Detached Hospital


More Comments from the Readers

"I got the newsletter today -- and it is fantastic!!! You've really done a great job putting together all the elements. It's educational, informative, and fun. No fluff! Just great well written and thought out articles. I am very pleased to be a subscriber."

Bob Whitworth
Ridgefield, CT


"My one complaint about The Chronicle is that it does not come out often enough! You have put together a fine publication, one that informs and invokes thought and introspection (and apparently anger as well). My hat is off to you. Huzzah!"

Laurence H. Todd III
High Point, NC


"The Colonial Chronicle is everything I was hoping it would be. It is truly a superior publication, and I was impressed with the amount of totally relevant information. Often, I find there is a lot of useless info (i.e., non-military) in re-enactor publications, and yours is happily chock-full of things dedicated to the soldier. Well done."

Brian English
Hoboken, NJ




"I thoroughly enjoyed the first issue of The Colonial Chronicle. You crossed many bridges in designing this newsletter. By broadening the time frame of living history to one and a half centuries, you not only gained a larger audience and subscriber base, but have also made room for the interaction between the portrayers of specific historical eras that previously were separate entities. I look forward to the next quarterly."

Dody Jane Svetahor
Berlin, PA




"The latest Colonial Chronicle is great! I hope you can continue this, because I think it is actually one of the better antidotes to the learning curve."

John Newell
Weston, MA




"I just got the Fall 1996 edition and once again it's simply marvelous!! I also appreciate the inclusion of The Old Barracks Museum material"

Dan Moraski
West Springfield, MA



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