A humid August morning in Brooklyn. The year is 1776 and thirty-five thousand British regulars and Hessian mercenaries are bearing down upon George Washington’s recently formed American army of twelve thousand men. The Revolution could be snuffed out before it has a chance to begin. The actions of one man, General William Alexander, leading a group of four hundred Maryland soldiers, prevented a decisive British victory that day. The Brave Man tells his story, which is also the story of the Battle of Brooklyn, one of the bloodiest but least-known conflicts of the War for Independence.
It looks like you won’t have to wait until July 4th to get into the spirit of Independence Day this year. According to an article in the Brooklyn Eagle, Friends of Historic New Utrecht, the New Utrecht Liberty Pole Association and New Utrecht Reformed Church will be celebrating Liberty Weekend once again this June, one whole month before the Fourth. The festival will include a film on the Battle of Brooklyn, “historical lectures, Civil and Revolutionary War re-enactor/ historians, an evening band concert and a parade.” It takes place Saturday, June 4th and Sunday, June 5th on the grounds of the New Utrecht Reformed Church at 84th Street and 18th Avenue.
Highlights of the weekend will include a showing of The Brave Man, a film about General William Alexander, who the Eagle calls “a forgotten hero of the Battle of Brooklyn”, at 145PM on Saturday. There will also be a concert on Saturday at 7PM, given by the Interschool Orchestras Symphonic Band, which is conducted by Brian P. Worsdale. On Sunday, ceremonies will take place honoring the inspiration for Liberty Weekend, the New Utrecht Liberty Pole, a replica of one erected at the same site, in front of the New Utrecht Reformed Church, in 1783. Liberty Poles were created during the last days of the American Revolution to fly the flag of our newly created nation, both celebrating the United States victory and sending a signal of defeat to any passing loyalists or British troops.