About Us

American History Alive! is dedicated to presenting accurate portrayals of historical persons and interpreting the context of the events in which they participated.  These presentations not only convey historical facts, but also illustrate valuable lessons in leadership, decision-making and the importance of communications, public relations and interpersonal skills. 
AHA! is proud to present Dr. Bruce M. Venter, author and historical consultant as Lieutenant General John “Gentleman Johnny” Burgoyne, an important figure in America’s War for Independence.

General Burgoyne commanded the British Army that was supposed to crush the American rebels in the campaign of 1777, two years after the American Revolution erupted at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775.

Unfortunately for the British, Burgoyne’s army was defeated and forced to surrender at Saratoga in upstate New York, creating a major turning point for American patriots as they battled Great Britain, one of the foremost powers in Europe at the time.
Burgoyne’s surrender has been directly linked to France’s alliance with the struggling American cause in 1778, a factor that ultimately determined the outcome of War for Independence in favor of the Americans.

The Surrender of Gen. Burgoyne at Saratoga, New York, 1777
Painting © The Frick Collection, New York

Hear General John “Gentleman Johnny” Burgoyne’s side of the story—his point of view may surprise you.  He is always anxious to discuss “The Murder of Jane McCrea or How I Lost the War in America.”
The Death of Jane McCrea by John Vanderlyn (1804)

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