Contributor Close-up: Kim Burdick

"Now George, are you sure?"

What inspired you to start researching and writing about the Revolution?

As a little kid growing up in very rural Chenango County, New York, I remember the astonishment my classmates and I felt when our teacher told us we lived in the Mid-Atlantic.“Uh- Uh,” shouted twenty 4th graders. “We live in New England!!!”  It didn’t matter what the social studies textbook or the teacher said. To us, the Mid-Atlantic meant Maryland and Delaware and other far-away places. In our community, we were nearly all descendants of early Connecticut and Massachusetts ancestors who had come over the New England border after the Revolutionary War. Many of us lived on the original land grants and the houses and cemeteries were still there. We “knew” we were right. With names like Rogers, Wooster, Weeks, Alden, Adams, Dunning, Heath and Handy, Mather, Parsons, Phelps, living in a town named for Nathanael Greene, we were not buying that silly idea and we could prove we were right!

What historians or books have most influenced your work? Why?

Shortly after we moved to the Hale Byrnes House, John Nagy encouraged me in 2009 to establish the American Revolution Round Table of Northern Delaware. Nagy then reached out to Thomas Flemming to be ARRTNDE’s first speaker. It is amazing how quickly (and how many) doors opened after that.

What are your go-to research resources?

My husband has always teased me about my “Book-a-Day Club.” Thanks to Amazon, our doorbell is always ringing! Somehow even after giving away half my books, the shelves and tables are still full of Rev War materials.

Which of your own JAR articles is your favorite or most rewarding? Why?

What They Saw and Did At Yorktown’s Redoubts 9 And 10. I love first-person accounts and am still amazed at how many letters, diaries, and pension records have survived through the years encapsulating the stories of those who fought at Yorktown.

Other than your own contributions, what are some of your favorite JAR articles?

I’m not picky! I like them all—and often call up the authors asking them to please be a speaker at the American Revolution Round Tables we hold at the Hale Byrnes House. (www.halebyrnes.org)

What books about the American Revolution do you most often recommend?

Joseph Plumb Martin: Private Yankee Doodle, Johann Ewald: Diary of the American War: A Hessian Journal, Delaware Continentals by Christopher Ward.

What new research/writing projects are you currently working on?

In Their Own Words: l’Expédition Particulière has enough fodder for a book and many, many articles.

What other hobbies/interests do you enjoy?

Global Studies; People to People International; anything French—and yes, some of those Revolutionary War ancestors were Huguenots!

Why is Journal of the American Revolution important to you?

JAR is truly an amazing educational and networking tool.

Is there an article, or subject area, that you would like to see appear in JAR?

I like them all!

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