Jim Christ

Aug 162018
 

The remarkable story of Benjamin Rush, medical pioneer and one of our nation’s most provocative and unsung Founding Fathers In the summer of 1776, fifty-six men put their quills to a dangerous document they called the Declaration of Independence. Among them was a thirty-year-old doctor named Benjamin Rush. One of the youngest signatories, he was also, among stiff competition, one of the most visionary. A brilliant physician and writer, Rush was known as the “American Hippocrates” for pioneering national healthcare and revolutionizing treatment of mental illness and addiction. Yet medicine is only part of his legacy. Dr. Rush was both a progressive thorn in the side of the American political establishment—a vocal opponent of slavery, capital punishment, and prejudice by race, religion or gender—and close friends with its most prominent leaders.

Join us on Monday, September 24th was we welcome Stephen Fried to our round table to discuss his new book Rush: Revolution, Madness & the Visionary Doctor Who Became a Founding FatherOur meeting place is now Scoogi’s  Italian Resturant at 738 Bethlehem Pike in FlourtownFeel free to arrive early and eat in the back room where our meetings are held.  A short business meeting will start around 7:15pm. The presentation will start at 7:30pm. We encourage you to join our membership for the very small and reasonable tax deductible amount of $25.  Don’t forget to our book raffle too.  Each meeting we raffle off a number of American Revolutionary themed books.  You need to write your name “legibly” on any dollar bill, and then submit that at the meeting.  We do draw multiple winners each meeting.

He was the protégé of Franklin, the editor of Common Sense, Washington’s surgeon general, and the broker of peace between Adams and Jefferson, yet his stubborn convictions more than once threatened his career and his place in the narrative of America’s founding. Drawing on a trove of previously unpublished letters and images, the voluminous correspondence between Rush and his better-known counterparts, and his candid and incisive personal writings, New York Times bestselling author and award-winning journalist Stephen Fried resurrects the most significant Founding Father we’ve never heard of and finally installs Dr. Rush in the pantheon of great American leaders.

Stephen Fried is an award-winning investigative journalist and essayist, and an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s graduate school of journalism. He is the author of the highly praised books Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia, Bitter Pills: Inside the Hazardous World of Legal Drugs, The New Rabbi, and Husbandry: Sex, Love & Dirty Laundry—Inside the Minds of Married Men.

Aug 152018
 

Did you know that Israel Putnam commanded a force of 500 men who were shipwrecked off the coast of Cuba?  Did you know that in 1758 he barely escaped being burned alive by Mohawk Indians?  Israel Putnam was born in Salem Village, Mass., on Jan. 7, 1718. He had very little education and remained nearly illiterate all his life. In 1738 he married Hannah Pope and the following year moved to Connecticut, where he bought land and farmed successfully, soon becoming a man of substance. When the French and Indian War broke out in 1756, Putnam was commissioned a lieutenant in the Connecticut militia and served throughout the conflict, rising steadily in rank until he reached a colonelcy by the time it ended in 1763. He fought in numerous engagements, earned a reputation for bravery and resourcefulness, and gained valuable military experience.

Join us on Monday, October 29th was we welcome Robert Ernest Hubbard to our round table to discuss his new book Major General Israel Putnum: Hero of the American Revolution.  Our meeting place is now Scoogi’s  Italian Resturant at 738 Bethlehem Pike in FlourtownFeel free to arrive early and eat in the back room where our meetings are held.  A short business meeting will start around 7:15pm. The presentation will start at 7:30pm. We encourage you to join our membership for the very small and reasonable tax deductible amount of $25.  If you pay after 12/31/2018, the dues go up to $30 per person.  Don’t forget to our book raffle too.  Each meeting we raffle off a number of American Revolutionary themed books.  You need to write your name “legibly” on any dollar bill, and then submit that at the meeting.  We do draw multiple winners each meeting.

With the coming of peace, Putnam returned to farming and also operated a tavern. He took part in the developing conflict between England and the Colonies, helping organize the Sons of Liberty in 1765. He participated in the political life of Connecticut as a representative to the General Assembly in 1766 and 1767. In 1774 he headed the local Committee of Correspondence and accepted appointment as lieutenant colonel of a regiment of Connecticut militia. When the fighting began in the spring of 1775, Putnam entered active service and in June was appointed by the Continental Congress one of the four major generals under George Washington’s command.  It was he who reportedly gave the command “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes” at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

In his book “Major General Israel Putnum: Hero of the American Revolution”, author Robert Ernest Hubbard details Putnam’s close relationships with Aaron Burr, Alexander Hamilton, and John and Abigail Adams, this first full-length biography of Putnam in more than a century re-examines the life of a revolutionary whose seniority in the Continental Army was second only to that of George Washington.

Robert Ernest Hubbard is a retired professor from Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, Connecticut and an adjunct faculty member in the college’s Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program. For over 20 years, he has been webmaster of major websites on American Revolutionary War general Israel Putnam and entertainer Phil Silvers. He lives in Wallingford, Connecticut.

Aug 142018
 

The Red Tape and the Revolution topic is the result of a quest that began many years ago. Bob has been researching Continental Army forms, especially printed ones, for many years. The show how the Army became organized, specifically tracking logistics and day-to-day mundane tasks. Paperwork, where did it start, why does it look the way it does, and who decided what to track and what not to track. I have found about 75 examples of Continental Army printed forms, and the talk is about their origin, their reason for being, and how to interpret them.

Join us on Monday, November 26th, as we proudly welcome Bob Sullivan as he presents his talk on Red Tape and the American Revolution.  Our meeting place is now Scoogi’s  Italian Resturant at 738 Bethlehem Pike in FlourtownFeel free to arrive early and eat in the back room where our meetings are held.  A short business meeting will start around 7:15pm. The presentation will start at 7:30pm. We encourage you to join our membership for the very small and reasonable tax deductible amount of $25.  If you pay after 12/31/2018, the dues go up to $30 per person.  Don’t forget to our book raffle too.  Each meeting we raffle off a number of American Revolutionary themed books.  You need to write your name “legibly” on any dollar bill, and then submit that at the meeting.  We do draw multiple winners each meeting.

Much like a modern business, the Continental Army operated on a system of debits and credits. Every time equipment was given out to a particular military unit the disbursement was listed as a debit. And when equipment was received into the military stores, there was a credit.

The story of major campaigns of the Revolutionary War can be followed through account books. The vast amount of equipment the British surrendered to the Continental Army at Yorktown was, however, listed in the ledger book as simply “Credit – The United States.” Through pictures and prints, maps and account books, Bob Sullivan will give us an understanding of just what the British surrendered on October 19, 1781, and what the Americans gained.

Bob Sullivan has been interested in American History as far back as he can remember. His history-related accomplishments include three summers as a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg National Military Park, summer employment at Ft. McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore, and an article on the Pennsylvania Mutiny published in the Journal of the Company of Military Historians.

Bob’s interest in military paperwork and books began as soon as he discovered that original paper was cheaper to buy than original uniforms and weapons. He has contributed his research skills and knowledge to authors, prop masters, and museum directors. Currently, Bob’s personal collection of 19th century paper items numbers over 250 items. His reproductions of paper have appeared in such productions as The Patriot, Master and Commander, and the AMC series Turn.

He is currently employed by Springhouse Education and Consulting Services in Exton, PA, as an instructor and consultant. Bob has used his knowledge of computer skills and historic paperwork to create his successful side business, Sullivan Press, ongoing since 1989. He also currently serves as the Treasurer of the Twin Valley School Board. Bob is married with two daughters.

Aug 132018
 

Did you know that at various times Trenton was occupied by American Continentals, Militia, British Regulars, Hessians, Continental Mutineers, and the French Army and it housed British and Hessian prisoners and Loyalist sympathizers?

Join us on Monday, January 29th, as we proudly welcome noted author William Kidder as he presents his talk on his newest book, Crossroads of the Revolution: Trenton 1774-1783.  Our meeting place is now Scoogi’s  Italian Resturant at 738 Bethlehem Pike in FlourtownFeel free to arrive early and eat in the back room where our meetings are held.  A short business meeting will start around 7:15pm. The presentation will start at 7:30pm. We encourage you to join our membership for the very small and reasonable tax deductible amount of $30.  Don’t forget to our book raffle too.  Each meeting we raffle off a number of American Revolutionary themed books.  You need to write your name “legibly” on any dollar bill, and then submit that at the meeting.  We do draw multiple winners each meeting.

The story of Trenton between 1774 and 1783 is a microcosm of the struggles faced by ordinary Americans during the Revolution, struggles intensified by Trenton’s geographic location in the State which saw more military activity than others and on a road constantly used to move and supply armies. Life in Trenton connected to just about every aspect of the Revolution. The story of the people who lived in Trenton, or who spent time there because of the Revolution, helps us better understand the hitherto untold importance of their town beyond the one well known day of battle.

For much of the war Trenton supplied a Continental army hospital and was a supply depot and transfer point employing local people to get supplies to the army at many places including Valley Forge and Morristown. Trenton was not the State capital, it was only a county seat, but its location made it the spot chosen for the new State government to sit for a great deal of time, another strain on the town’s resources. All this activity provided stress for some and opportunities for others, but everyone had to deal with it on a daily basis.

William L. “Larry” Kidder was born in California and raised in California, Indiana, New York, and New Jersey. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania.

Larry served four years of active duty in the US Navy and was assigned to the US Navy Research and Development Unit, Vietnam and then the destroyer USS Brownson (DD868) home ported in Newport, Rhode Island. In the 1980s he was the lead researcher and writer for the creation of the Admiral Arleigh Burke National Destroyermen’s Museum aboard the destroyer museum ship USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (DD850) at Battleship Cove in Fall River, Massachusetts.

Larry is a retired high school history teacher who taught for forty years in both public and private schools. He considers teaching to be both his vocation and avocation. During his 32 years of teaching at The Hun School of Princeton he enjoyed designing courses that gave his students the opportunity to develop the thinking, research, and writing skills that result from “doing history” and not just learning facts for a test.

For more than twenty-five years, Larry has been a volunteer at the Howell Living History Farm, part of the Mercer County Park System, in Hopewell, New Jersey. For varying lengths of time he has volunteered as an historian, interpreter, webmaster, and draft horse teamster.

Larry is active in historical societies in Ewing, Hopewell, and Lawrence townships. He is an avid member of the Association for Living History, Farm, and Agricultural Museums (ALHFAM), the Washington’s Crossing Roundtable of the American Revolution, and the New Jersey Living History Advisory Council. He is a member of the Advisory Council for Crossroads of the American Revolution and is working with Crossroads as volunteer coordinator and editor of its Meet Your Revolutionary Neighbors project.

Jul 032017
 

Presentation Date: Monday September 25, 2017

Most images depicting the American Revolution are historically inaccurate nineteenth- and twentieth-century recreations. Historian Arthur S. Lefkowitz is working to change this. Lefkowitz gathered images from artists who were eyewitnesses to the events of our War for Independence. His research in museums and private collections in the United States, Canada, and Europe spanned years and brought together both professional and amateur artist renditions, including those from British officers. With over one hundred examples of “eyewitness” artwork, Lefkowitz draws readers into our nation’s fight for independence, appealing to those interested in American history and art history alike.

Join us on Monday, September 25, 2017 as we welcome Arthur S. Lefkowitz as he talks about his book “Eyewitness Images from the American Revolution“.   Our meeting place is now Scoogi’s  Italian Resturant at 738 Bethlehem Pike in FlourtownFeel free to arrive early and eat in the back room where our meetings are held.  A short business meeting will start around 7:15pm. The presentation will start at 7:30pm. We encourage you to join our membership for the very small and reasonable tax deductible amount of $20.

Mr Lefkowitz will not be bringing books to this event, but will be more than happy to autograph any prebought books.

While some of the artwork presented may look familiar, Mr. Lefkowitz offers historical information on each piece, and new insight about the artists who created them. Pictures have been gathered from a variety of museum collections and, using high quality images, interesting details (frequently lost when the pictures are reproduced in books) come to life. Central to the presentation are portraits of George Washington, shown as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army.

Military historian and author Arthur S. Lefkowitz has dedicated his research to the most important event in United States history: the Revolutionary War. His expertise in the field has given him the opportunity to lecture for various organizations, including the New Jersey Council for the Humanities and the Washington Association of New Jersey, for whom he was a keynote speaker. Lefkowitz’s scholarly expertise has even been showcased in several appearances on New Jersey Public Television.

Arthur S. Lefkowitz is an award-winning author and lecturer. He is also a member of the board of governors of the American Revolution Round Table. His books include:The Long Retreat (Rutgers University Press, 1999); George Washington’s Indispensable Men (Stackpole Books, 2003); The American Turtle Submarine, The Best Kept Secret of the American Revolution (Pelican Publishing, 2012; originally published by Scholastic, Inc. as Bushnell’s Submarine); Benedict Arnold’s Army, The 1775 American Invasion of Canada (Savas Beatie, 2008) and Benedict Arnold in the Company of Heroes(Savas Beatie, 2012).

Jul 022017
 

Presentation Date: Monday October 30, 2017

What makes a good marriage?   Washington’s own advice on love and marriage echoes through the words of our First Couple as they share the story of their courtship, former loves, the trials during the War for Independence, and the tribulations of the Presidency upon their 40-year marriage.

Join us on Monday, October 30th, 2017 as we welcome Carol Spacht and John Lopes who portray Martha and George Washington.  Our meeting place is now Scoogi’s Italian Restaurant at 738 Bethlehem Pike in Flourtown.  Feel free to arrive early and eat in the back room where our meetings are held.  A short business meeting will start around 7:15pm. The presentation will start at 7:30pm. We encourage you to join our membership for the very small and reasonable tax deductible amount of $20.

Carol Spacht performs extensively in the Philadelphia region, presenting interactive programs at schools, libraries and civic organizations. She studied theater at Villanova University and graduated with highest honors from Eastern University with degrees in Literature and Theater Arts. Mrs. Spacht has authored original scripts and scholarly papers, and also completed a commissioned project culminating in the publication of Whitpaine’s Creek, a book on early Pennsylvania history. Carol is well-known as “Betsy Ross,” portraying our nation’s premier flag maker  in conjunction with Historic Philadelphia, Inc. the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia. She has extensive knowledge of hand-sewing techniques, textiles, and the trade of the upholsterer in the eighteenth century. As an historic interpreter, Carol also portrays several other women, including Hannah Penn and Juliette Gordon Low, Founder of the Girl Scouts. Students of all ages enjoy the educational and interactive “Tree to Lumber” tours on forestry and the Pennsylvania lumber trade led by Carol and her husband, Dave at Spacht Sawmill in Worcester, Pennsylvania.

John Lopes has been acting in California and then in Philadelphia since 1990. With a BA in English from California State and an MFA in Acting from Temple University, Mr. Lopes is a well-trained theater artist. John’s acting experience includes performances with Hunger Theater, Arcadia Shakespeare Festival, Lantern Theater, Commonwealth Classic Theater and productions by the Walnut Street Theater. Winner of the Irene Ryan Award, John is an adjunct professor at Temple University. Performing as part of the American Historical Theater since 2007, Mr. Lopes can ride, dance the minuet and fence—all talents he brings as part of his interpretation of George Washington. John has appeared in venues that include the Templeton Foundation at Princeton, New Jersey; Federal Hall in New York; Washington Crossing National Park and Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge in Pennsylvania.

Jul 012017
 

Presentation Date: Monday November 27, 2017

Benjamin Franklin was serious when he suggested the colonists arm themselves with the longbow. The American colonies were not logistically prepared for the revolution and this became painfully obvious in war’s first years. Trade networks were destroyed, inflation undermined the economy, and American artisans could not produce or repair enough weapons to keep the Continental Army in the field. The Continental Congress responded to this crisis by mobilizing the nation’s manufacturing sector for war. With information obtained from Europe through both commercial exchange and French military networks, Congress became familiar with the latest manufacturing techniques and processes of the nascent European industrial revolution. They therefore initiated an innovative program of munitions manufacturing under the Department of the Commissary General of Military Stores. The department gathered craftsmen and workers into three national arsenals where they were trained for the large-scale production of weapons. The department also engaged private manufacturers, providing them with materials and worker training, and instituting a program of inspecting their finished products.

Join us on Monday, November 27th, 2017 as we welcome Robert F Smith who will speak on his book Manufacturing Independence: Industrial Innovation in the American Revolution.  Our meeting place is now Scoogi’s Italian Restaurant at 738 Bethlehem Pike in Flourtown.  Feel free to arrive early and eat in the back room where our meetings are held.  A short business meeting will start around 7:15pm. The presentation will start at 7:30pm. We encourage you to join our membership for the very small and reasonable tax deductible amount of $20.

As historian Robert F. Smith relates in Manufacturing Independence: Industrial Innovation in the American Revolution, the colonies were able to provide their military with the arms it needed to fight, survive, and outlast the enemy—supplying weapons for the victory at Saratoga, rearming their armies in the South on three different occasions, and providing munitions to sustain the siege at Yorktown. But this manufacturing system not only successfully supported the Continental Army, it also demonstrated new production ideas to the nation. Through this system, the government went on to promote domestic manufacturing after the war, becoming a model for how the nation could produce goods for its own needs. The War for Independence was not just a political revolution, it was an integral part of the Industrial Revolution in America.

ROBERT F. SMITH is Assistant Dean for Humanities and Social Sciences at Northampton Community College. He received his PhD in Early American History and Technology from Lehigh University and his MA in American History from Villanova University. He is the author of numerous articles on military history and the history of technology. This is his first book.

Jun 302017
 

Presentation Date: Monday December 18, 2017

Learn how on a warm September 11th morning, exactly 240 years ago, a mixed American army of Continental Troops, State Troops, and local Militia met and fought a British/German army on the banks of the Brandywine River. Much has been written about that battle, but little has been said about how these 12,000 Americans came to be armed when the common people in their mother countries were forbidden arms. What arms did they carry? Where did they come from? Were those arms as good as the arms carried by the British and German’s? How about their side arms and accouterments? In fact, what rights or laws allowed these British Citizens to even possess, manufacture, and carry these weapons?

Join us on Monday, December 18, 2017 as we welcome Chris Reardon who will present his gun collection and talk about Lock, Stock, and Barrel.  Our meeting place is now Scoogi’s Italian Restaurant at 738 Bethlehem Pike in Flourtown.  Feel free to arrive early and eat in the back room where our meetings are held.  A short business meeting will start around 7:15pm. The presentation will start at 7:30pm. We encourage you to join our membership for the very small and reasonable tax deductible amount of $20.


Join us as local historian Chris Reardon explains the evolution of old style guns and muskets from the 1630,s to the 1830’s.  Chris will also have some of these weapons there as well so you can see them along with accouterments from the era.

Learn from local historian Chris Reardon as he presents an in-depth look at the evolution of hunting and military arms from the beginning of European settlement in the Delaware Valley, to the Valley’s impact on the arms used as the eastern settlements push westward.

See a collection of more than a dozen representative arms with hundreds of associated accouterments, and participate in discussions regarding the many myths, rights, and laws surrounding these arms  as we look at the evolution that helped win our freedom and carry us westward across the Mississippi.

Chris is a long time member of the East Goshen Historical Commission, an educator at the Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation and the Newlin Grist Mill, a Guide at Valley Forge, a previous member of the Paoli Battlefield Preservation Fund Board of Directors, and has been a student of local and military history for over 40 years.

Jun 292017
 

Presentation Date: Monday, January 29, 2018

Among students of the American Revolution, George III is widely recognized as the ‘mad’ king who lost the American colonies. The years of revolutionary upheaval, from the Stamp Act of 1765 to the Treaty of Paris in 1783, coincided with a period of political instability in Great Britain. George III struggled to establish a stable political partnership with a trustworthy chief minister who could lead the House of Commons. In this talk, the impact of Parliamentary volatility on the conduct of the American War (and vice-versa) will be discussed. The legacy of this period of George’s rule on his historical reputation will also be reviewed.

Join us on Monday, January 29, 2018 as we welcome Kathleen Connolly Flanagan as she presents King George III and the Parliamentary Politics of Revolution.  Our meeting place is now Scoogi’s Italian Restaurant at 738 Bethlehem Pike in Flourtown.  Feel free to arrive early and eat in the back room where our meetings are held.  A short business meeting will start around 7:15pm. The presentation will start at 7:30pm. We encourage you to join our membership for the very small and reasonable tax deductible amount of $25.

Kathleen Connolly Flanagan attended Villanova University where she was awarded the Christopher J Dawson Award for History and was elected to Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society. The then attended the University of Pennsylvania on a Graduate Fellowship. She received her MA in European History, with a concentration in general European History from 1789 to 1945, while specializing in British History from 1688 to 1945. Her Master’s Thesis, The Webbs, Trade Unions and Parliament: A Re-evaluation of Trade Union Legislation, 1861-1876, focused on working class political activity. She served as a Teaching Assistant for classes in general European History, as well as German History. She now works in IT, but has tutored students for Advanced Placement classes in American History and European History.

 

Jun 262017
 

Presentation Date: Monday February 26, 2018

In Frontier Country, Patrick Spero addresses one of the most important and controversial subjects in American history: the frontier. Countering the modern conception of the American frontier as an area of expansion, Spero employs the eighteenth-century meaning of the term to show how colonists understood it as a vulnerable, militarized boundary. The Pennsylvania frontier, Spero argues, was constituted through conflicts not only between colonists and Native Americans but also among neighboring British colonies. These violent encounters created what Spero describes as a distinctive “frontier society” on the eve of the American Revolution that transformed the once-peaceful colony of Pennsylvania into a “frontier country.”

Join us on Monday, February 26, 2018 as we welcome Patrick Spero who will talk about his book Frontier Country.   Our meeting place is now Scoogi’s Italian Restaurant at 738 Bethlehem Pike in Flourtown.  Feel free to arrive early and eat in the back room where our meetings are held.  A short business meeting will start around 7:15pm. The presentation will start at 7:30pm. We encourage you to join our membership for the very small and reasonable tax deductible amount of $25.

Spero narrates Pennsylvania’s story through a sequence of formative but until now largely overlooked confrontations: an eight-year-long border war between Maryland and Pennsylvania in the 1730s; the Seven Years’ War and conflicts with Native Americans in the 1750s; a series of frontier rebellions in the 1760s that rocked the colony and its governing elite; and wars Pennsylvania fought with Virginia and Connecticut in the 1770s over its western and northern borders. Deploying innovative data-mining and GIS-mapping techniques to produce a series of customized maps, he illustrates the growth and shifting locations of frontiers over time. Synthesizing the tensions between high and low politics and between eastern and western regions in Pennsylvania before the Revolution, Spero recasts the importance of frontiers to the development of colonial America and the origins of American Independence.

Patrick Spero is the Librarian and Director of the American Philosophical Society Library in Philadelphia. As a scholar of early American history, Dr. Spero specializes in the era of the American Revolution. He has published over a dozen essays and reviews on the topic. His is the author of Frontier Country: The Politics of War in Early Pennsylvania and The American Revolution Reborn: New Perspectives for the Twenty-First Century, an edited anthology also from Penn Press. For more information on Dr. Spero’s work, visit www.patrickspero.com.

A specialist in early American history, Dr. Spero previously taught at Williams College where he served as an assistant professor of History and Leadership Studies and received recognition for his integration of new technology in the classroom. Prior to his position at Williams, Dr. Spero held the position of Historian at the David Library of the Revolution and served on their Board of Trustees. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2009 and has held long-term fellowships from the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the Society of the Cincinnati, the Doris Quinn Foundation, the David Library of the American Revolution, and the American Philosophical Society.