Jim Christ

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

Add to Calendar

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

Add to Calendar

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

Add to Calendar

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

Add to Calendar

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 $20.

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

Add to Calendar

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.   Feel free to arrive early and eat in the back room where our meetings are held.  MaGerks Pub and Grill in Fort Washington has a wide variety of food and drinks on their menu.  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.

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.

Jun 252017
 

Presentation Date: Monday March 26, 2018

Add to Calendar

Allen McLane, born in Philadelphia in 1746, moved to Delaware in the late 1760’s, married Rebecca Wells and settled in Duck Creek Crossroads (now Smyrna) where he set up a business making men’s leather pants.  When the fires of independence began to emerge in the colonies, he quickly became associated with the early leaders of the cause in the Lower Three Counties of Pennsylvania.   In the fall of 1775 he decided to join with the Patriots in Virginia and became involved in the Battle of Great Bridge where the military governor of Virginia Lord Dunmore was defeated.   Then as the Three Lower Counties were declaring separation from Pennsylvania and Britain, McLane joined with the patriots of Pennsylvania and New Jersey who answered the call to assist General Washington to defend New York against the advancing British.

Join us on Monday, March 26, 2018 as we welcome Tom Welch as he portrays Allen McLane.  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. 

His heroism and enterprising leadership was often noticed by General Washington and others at the Battle of Long Island, Harlem Heights, Kip’s Bay, White Plains, Trenton and Princeton.   General Washington promoted him to Captain at Princeton and sent him back to (then) Delaware to recruit his company.  When he reported back to General Washington, he was made a key member of the Philadelphia Spy Ring with Major John Clark.  He also commanded a partisan unit of dragoons who were charged to be “the eyes and ears” of the commander and to disrupt the plans and actions of the enemy.   So successful was McLane in disrupting British actions, they dubbed the McLane Partisan Party “the Market Stoppers” and placed a bounty on his head of one thousand pounds.

Throughout his eight years in the War, he played a key role at Monmouth, Stony Point, Powell’s Hook, and in many other battles.   One of the most significant assignments he had was to gain an audience with French Admiral de Grasse in Haiti – which led to the Admiral to decide to take his fleet to Yorktown.   It was that French fleet that kept the British Navy from extracting General Cornwallis from Yorktown, a major victory for the combined Franco-American forces.

After the War General Washington expressed his appreciation to McLane by initially in 1789 making him the first Marshal of the Delaware District and then subsequently in 1797 appointing him the Tax Collector of the Port of Wilmington.

His was a long, productive, and patriotic life, one deserving to be emulated by us all.

Tom Welch, has been an historical interpreter at the Old State House in Dover, Delaware since 2007.  Since discovering the life and illustrious military career of Allen McLane in 2008, he has been researching and portraying McLane all over the State in historical societies, school groups, churches, SAR, DAR, Society of the Cincinnati and others.  He does so to keep alive the contributions of men such as Allen McLane, who have sacrificed much to preserve the way of life that we enjoy today.

Prior to 2007 he enjoyed two other careers, 34 years as an educator and 13 years as a financial advisor.

For those who want to know more about Allen McLane, there is an extensive box of research materials in the Delaware Public Archives.  A microfilm copy of his papers, 350 original documents from the NY Historical Society in January 2014 was donated to the Archives by the Sons of the American Rev.  There is also a copy of the McLane Papers in the David Museum of the American Revolution in Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania.  Those who would like more information are invited to share your contact information with Tom Welch.

A great friend of ARRTOP, the late John Nagy, was very aware of Allen McLane and included him in three of his books on spying, most recently George Washington’s Secret Spy War (2016).   He also wrote a chapter in Allen McLane – Patriot, Soldier, Spy, Port Collector, (2014)  Tom Welch was the editor and primary writer of the book.  Copies are available for $10 at the Delaware Public Archives or by contacting Welch at tompj8129@gmail.com or 302-632-1803.

Jun 242017
 

Presentation Date: Monday April 30, 2018

Add to Calendar

Robert E. Sheridan is a marine geophysicist and marine geologist who studied the North American Atlantic continental margin for over fifty years. He has a bachelor’s degree in geology from Rutgers University and a master’s and Ph.D. degrees in marine geophysics from Columbia University. He was an associate professor at the University of Delaware when he was part of the team that discovered the USS Monitor wreck off Cape Hatteras. As a descendant of a Union Army veteran with an interest in Civil War history, his work on the discovery and recovery of the USS Monitor allowed him to combine his vocation with his avocation, the love of history.

Join us on Monday, April 30, 2018 as we welcome Robert E. Sheridan who will be presenting a program on his research on General Daniel MorganOur 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.

Sheridan moved to Rutgers as a full professor in 1986 and he retired in 2003. He is active at Rutgers as a professor emeritus. He lives in Delaware with his wife Karen. After retirement, he served on several groups working on Civil War history and local environmental and historic preservation projects.  One of those historical projects was the installation of a plaque for General Daniel Morgan near his birthplace along the Musconetcong River a few miles from Sheridan’s New Jersey home. This project was partly funded by the Jockey Hollow Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution and the US National Park Service. The research for this Morgan plaque added knowledge about his Revolutionary War ancestor, Capt. Diel Rockefeller, who served alongside Morgan’s Rifles at the Battle of Saratoga.

Jun 232017
 

Presentation Date – Monday, May 21, 2018

Add to Calendar

The Old Lancaster Road, or Conestoga Road, or King’s Highway, was the main artery between America’s largest city, Philadelphia, and America’s largest inland town, Lancaster. The road was always BUSY, and when war came to Chester County in 1777-78, the local roads were heavily used by both armies.

Join us on Monday, May 21, 2018 as we welcome local historian, teacher, and acclaimed author, Tom McGurie back our Round Table to talk about this heavily traveled road and the inns that were popular at the time.  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.

In the aftermath, the Lancaster Road was nearly impassable: ruts, potholes, water plashes and washouts were common. In the 1780s, the state of Pennsylvania was broke and the new national government had no money. Commerce was in crisis. This presentation takes a look at the road during and after the war, and the creation of the first long, macadamized turnpike in the United States: the Lancaster Turnpike, constructed by a PRIVATE company in 1792-1796.

See how they straightened out the road, created new taverns (including the Ship Inn), and how the old taverns were affected. The presentation will include tidbits about what culinary choices and beverages you could expect to be served in the taverns of the 1790s before Howard Johnson’s, Sbarro, or Starbucks.

 

About the Speaker

Thomas J. McGuire teaches history at Malvern Preparatory School in Malvern, PA. His work on the Battle of Paoli is considered the most complete documentation of the Revolutionary War battle, and was instrumental in preserving the battlefield as a historic site. In that book, as well as his other work, McGuire uses a wealth of primary material to record history from the American Revolutionary War, with a particular focus on Southeast Pennsylvania and Philadelphia.   Tom’s books include “Brandywine Battlefield Park: Pennsylvania Trail of History Guide”, “Battle of Paoli”, “Stop the Revolution: America in the Summer of Independence and the Conference for Peace”, “The Surprise of Germantown: Or, the Battle of Cliveden, October 4th, 1777”, “The Philadelphia Campaign:  Volume One: Brandywine and the Fall of Philadelphia”, and The Philadelphia Campaign: Volume Two: Germantown and the Roads to Valley Forge”

 

Jun 222017
 

Presentation Date – Monday, June 25, 2018

Add to Calendar

In November 1774, a pamphlet to the “People of America” was published in Philadelphia and London. It forcefully articulated American rights and liberties and argued that the Americans needed to declare their independence from Britain. The author of this pamphlet was Charles Lee, a former British army officer turned revolutionary, who was one of the earliest advocates for American independence. Lee fought on and off the battlefield for expanded democracy, freedom of conscience, individual liberties, human rights, and for the formal education of women.

Join us on Monday, June 25, 2018 as we welcome Phillip Papas as he talks about his book “Renegade Revolutionary: The Life of General Charles Lee”.   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.

Renegade Revolutionary: The Life of General Charles Lee is a vivid new portrait of one of the most complex and controversial of the American revolutionaries. Lee’s erratic behavior and comportment, his capture and more than one year imprisonment by the British, and his court martial after the battle of Monmouth in 1778 have dominated his place in the historiography of the American Revolution. This book retells the story of a man who had been dismissed by contemporaries and by history. Few American revolutionaries shared his radical political outlook, his cross-cultural experiences, his cosmopolitanism, and his confidence that the American Revolution could be won primarily by the militia (or irregulars) rather than a centralized regular army. By studying Lee’s life, his political and military ideas, and his style of leadership, we gain new insights into the way the American revolutionaries fought and won their independence from Britain.

Charles Lee probably had the most remarkable personality of any military or civilian leader on either side of the Revolutionary War. Born in England, he was ignored by his mother; his father, colonel of a British regiment, at least made sure that his son was trained to be an army officer. During the French and Indian War in America, Lee showed courage in battle, but also a penchant for getting into disputes with his fellow officers and writing bitterly sarcastic invectives against his superiors. He called Major General James Abercrombie, for example, a “stupid blunderer” and “our booby in chief.” The most widely read of the American army’s officers, Lee commanded a spectacularly successful raid in Spain in 1762 and received even more military training during his years as a soldier of fortune in Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe.

Phillip Papas is Senior Professor of History at Union County College in Cranford, New Jersey. He is the author of That Ever Loyal Island: Staten Island and the American Revolution (NYU Press, 2007) and Renegade Revolutionary: The Life of General Charles Lee (NYU Press, 2014), which earned Honorable Mention for the 2015 Fraunces Tavern Museum Book Award and Honorable Mention for the 2015 Book Award from the American Revolution Round Table of Richmond.