VITA


ROBERT A. SELIG

Historian and Author
robertaselig@gmail.com

Contact via e-mail. Author with family.
I am a professionally trained historian, scholar, lecturer, consultant, editor, and writer. My area of expertise is German and German-American history, and the history of the American War of Independence, particularly the role of German-speaking soldiers fighting on all sides in the American Revolutionary War. I have also taught at a number of colleges and universities in the Mid-West.
As one of the few experts on this side of the Atlantic on the role of French troops under the comte de Rochambeau in the American war between 1780 and 1782, I serve as historical consultant and project historian to the National Park Service for the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail (W3R-NHT) project.
As part of this project I researched and wrote historical and architectural site surveys and resource inventories on the W3R for the States of Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia and am currently conducting similar surveys in the states of Maryland and Massachusetts. Many of these reports are available on the internet at http://www.w3r-us.org/
I also served as Project Historian for the "Battle of Princeton" and "Battle of Green Spring and Spencer's Ordinary" surveys conducted for the American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) under the general supervision of the NPS. I also served as consultant to the Tuxedo Land Trust (NY), the Town of Greenburgh (NY), and the Battle of Short Hills (NJ) ABPP project. I am available for similar local and state-wide history and historical preservation projects as well as for lecturing on a wide variety of topics relating to the American Revolutionary War.
My most recent scholarly publications are an essay on "Washington, Rochambeau, and the Yorktown Campaign of 1781." in: A Companion to George Washington. Edward G. Lengel, ed. (Blackwell, 2012), pp. 266-287, and an article on African-Americans in the War of Independence for the American Revolution Center. It is available at http://www.americanrevolutioncenter.org/author/robert-selig
As Contributing Editor for German Life magazine I am in charge of all historical features, and I also write regularly on Revolutionary War topics for the Journal of Colonial Williamsburg and other publications. In my "free" time I continue research on Africans and African-Americans in the American, British, French and Spanish armies and navies of the American War of Independence.
On 29 August 2011, the French government honored my research on the contributions of France to, and her role in, the American War of Independence by awarding me the title of Chevalier de l'ordre des palmes académiques. At the annual meeting of the Board of Trustees of the National Society, Sons of the American Revolution (NSSAR) in Louisville, KY, on 29 September 2012, NSSAR President-General Stephen Leishman honored me with the "Distinguished Patriot Award," the NSSAR's most prestigious national award. The first recipient was Bob Hope in 1986; Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush are also recipients of this award.

Thank you very much!

Robert A Selig, PhD

EDUCATION:
  • Ph.D., history, cum laude, Universität Würzburg, 1988
  • M.A., English, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, 1980
DOCTORAL DISSERTATION:
    "Mangy Sheep and Greedy Shepherds: Emigration from the Prince-Bishopric of Würzburg in the Eighteenth Century and its Causes" (in German)
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:
  • Historical Consultant to the National Park Service (Philadelphia Support Office) for the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail (W3R-NHT) Project, 2001- to the present
  • Historical Consultant to the State of Connecticut for the W3R project, 1997-04
  • Historical Consultant to the Hudson River Valley Greenway for the W3R project, 2000-01
  • Historical Consultant to the State of Delaware for the W3R project, 2001-03
  • Historical Consultant to the State of Rhode Island for the W3R project, 2004-11
  • Historical Consultant to the State of New Jersey for the W3R project, 2004-07
  • Historical Consultant to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the W3R project, 2005-08
  • Historical Consultant to the Commonwealth of Virginia for a "Revolutionary War Road and Transportation Survey", 2007-09
  • Historical Consultant to the State of Maryland for the W3R project, 2010 to the present
  • Historical Consultant for the Battle of Princeton (3 January 1777), Battle of Spencer's Ordinary (26 June 1781) and Green Spring (6 July 1781), and Battle of Short Hills (26 June 1777) Mapping Projects conducted under the general supervision of the National Park Service's American Battlefield Protection Program, 2007 to the present
  • Historical Consultant to the Black Patriots Foundation, 2004/2005
  • Contributing Writer and Editor, German Life, beginning with Vol. 4, No. 3, October/November 1997
RECENT HONOR AND AWARDS:
  • Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History Fellowship, Summer 2000
  • Good Citizenship Medal in Silver, Delaware Society, National Society, Sons of the American Revolution, 2003
  • Invited three times, in 2007, 2009 and in 2011, to deliver the keynote address at the annual commemoration of the allied victory at Yorktown on 19 October in Yorktown, VA.
  • Chevalier de l'ordre des palmes académiques, August 2011.
  • Distinguished Patriot Award, National Society, Sons of the American Revolution, September 2012.
LANGUAGES:
German, English, French, Latin and some Russian
MEMBERSHIP IN PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS:
Society for German-American Studies, Company of Military Historians.
MILITARY SERVICE:
1 July 1974 to 31 March 1976, German Bundeswehr Commissioned Second Lieutenant, 31 March 1976. Honorably discharged 1 April 1976
MAJOR PUBLICATIONS:
The Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route in the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, 1781 - 1783. An Historical and Architectural Survey. (Providence: Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Association in the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, 2011)
Battle of Short Hills (26 June 1777) Mapping Project. Report of Military Terrain Analysis and Battle Narrative. Prepared for the Metuchen-Edison Historical Society and funded by the National Park Service, American Battlefield Protection Program. (West Chester, PA 2011) This work was done under contract with John Milner Associates, Inc. as part of a study team with Brooke Blades, PhD and Wade P. Catts, RPA.
Battle of Spencer's Ordinary (26 June 1781) and Green Spring (6 July 1781) Mapping Project. Report of Military Terrain Analysis and Battle Narrative. Prepared for James City County and funded by the National Park Service, American Battlefield Protection Program. (Williamsburg, VA 2010). This work was done under contract with Archaeological and Cultural Solutions, Inc. as part of a study team with Alain C. Outlaw, Principal Archaeologist.
Battle of Princeton (3 January 1777) Mapping Project. Report of Military Terrain Analysis and Battle Narrative. Prepared for the Princeton Battlefield Society and funded by the National Park Service, American Battlefield Protection Program. (West Chester, PA 2010) This work was done under contract with John Milner Associates, Inc. as part of a study team with Wade P. Catts, RPA and Matthew Harris.
Revolutionary War Route and Transportation Survey in the Commonwealth of Virginia, 1781-1782. An Historical and Architectural Survey. (Richmond: Virginia Department of Historic Resources, 2009)
La Courageuse and La Contrebandiere. A Pair of Bronze 1758 Vallière Light 4 - Pounder Cannon from the American War of Independence. (Privately Printed, 2008)
The Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 1781 - 1783. An Historical and Architectural Survey. (Philadelphia: Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution; Pennsylvania Society, Sons of the American Revolution, 2007)
The Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route in the State of New Jersey, 1781 - 1783. An Historical and Architectural Survey. 3 vols. (Trenton: New Jersey Historic Trust, Department of Community Affairs, 2006)
Hussars in Lebanon! A Connecticut Town and Lauzun's Legion during the American Revolution, 1780-1781 (Lebanon: Lebanon Historical Society, 2004)
'En Avant' With Our French Allies: Sites, Markers, and Monuments in Connecticut Commemorating the Contributions of French Troops under the comte de Rochambeau to the Achievement of American Independence, 1780 to 1782 (Hartford: Connecticut Historical Commission, 2004)
The Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route in the State of Delaware, 1781-1783. An Historical and Architectural Survey (Dover: State of Delaware, 2003)
The Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route in the State of New York, 1781-1782. An Historical and Architectural Survey (Albany: Hudson River Valley Greenway, 2001)
Rochambeau's Cavalry: Lauzun's Legion in Connecticut 1780-1781. The Winter Quarters of Lauzun's Legion in Lebanon and its March Through the State in 1781. Rochambeau's Conferences in Hartford and Wethersfield. Historic and Architectural Survey. (Hartford: Connecticut Historical Commission, 2000)
Rochambeau in Connecticut: Tracing his Journey. Historic and Architectural Survey (Hartford: Connecticut Historical Commission, 1999)
A Treatise on Partisan Warfare by Johann von Ewald. Translation, Introduction and Annotation by Robert A. Selig and David Curtis Skaggs. Contributions in Military Studies, 116 (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1991)
'Räutige Schafe und Geizige Hirten': Studien zur Auswanderung aus dem Hochstift Würzburg im 18. Jahrhundert und ihren Ursachen. Mainfränkische Studien 43 (Würzburg: HartDruck, 1988)

ADDITIONAL PUBLICATIONS:
About 100 articles in American and German scholarly and popular history magazines such as the William and Mary Quarterly; Eighteenth-Century Studies; Yearbook of the Society for German-American Studies; Journal of Caribbean History; American Heritage; Naval History; Military History Quarterly; Colonial Williamsburg; German Life; Damals; The Brigade Dispatch. Journal Of The Brigade Of The American Revolution; Notes on Virginia and the Journal of the Johannes Schwalm Historical Association.
Page revised 23 January 2013.