Jim Christ

Jul 252016

Presentation Date: September 26, 2016

Did you know that during the 6 day siege at Fort Mifflin the 400 American’s inside the fort had only 10 cannon to defend against the British with 2000 troops, a fleet of ships, and 228 cannon? It was a cold and wet November in 1777 at Fort Mifflin (Named after General Thomas Mifflin), a wood and stone structure located nine miles from center city Philadelphia, on a muddy island in the Delaware River. What happened here may well have changed American history. But few people are aware of it.

Join us on Monday, September 26th as we welcome Elizabeth Beatty, executive director of the National Historic Landmark Fort Mifflin to talk about The Fort That Saved America.

A short introduction to our new website (http://arrtop.org) , along with a short business meeting will start around 7:00pm. The presentation will start at 7:30pm. MaGreks Pub and Grill will be running a 1/2 price special on burgers that night. We encourage you to join our membership for the very small and reasonable tax deductible amount of $20.  If you join before December 2016, you only pay $15 in celebration of our 15 year anniversary.

Fort Mifflin: The Fort That Saved America.

In 1777 (from November 10th to the 15th), British troops bombarded the 22-acre fort with more than 10,000 cannon balls, eventually destroying the structure.

Inside the fort, a cold, wet and hungry garrison of 400 men suffered 240 casualties in the effort. So short were the Americans on ammunition that anyone retrieving a cannonball that could be fired back was promised a gill of rum — about four ounces.

The weather hurt the Continental soldiers in another critical way. With unusually heavy rains flooding the back channel, two British ships were able to sail up the channel and bombard the fort’s only unfinished walls at point-blank range. British Marines even climbed up to the crow’s nest of the HMS Vigilant and threw hand grenades at soldiers inside the fort.

With the fort walls collapsing around them from the incredible shelling, most of the Americans evacuated after nightfall on November 15th, rowing with muffled oars across the river to nearby Fort Mercer (now part of Redbank Battlefield Park, Gloucester, New Jersey).

The 40 men remaining at Fort Mifflin set fire to what was left of the structure, and then joined their comrades. But they left the fort’s flag flying, and they never surrendered.


Sinking of the HMS Agusta

Biggest Boom: The explosion of the 64-gun HMS Augusta in the Delaware River in October 1777 after running aground and being fired on by Americans at Fort Mifflin and Fort Mercer. Author Thomas Paine, of “Common Sense” fame, who was on the road between Germantown and Whitemarsh, wrote to Ben Franklin that the sound was “like the peal of a hundred cannon at once.” The Augusta was the largest ship ever lost by the British to the Americans in two wars.

What they accomplished: The troops at Fort Mifflin bottled up 250 British ships in the Delaware River for about six weeks, destroying several — and preventing food, clothing, gunpowder and munitions from reaching the British army in Philadelphia.

By holding “to the last extremity,” as General George Washington had ordered, the men at Fort Mifflin gave Washington time to move his exhausted troops to Valley Forge for the winter — and very possibly saved the country.

After the war, Fort Mifflin was rebuilt. It served as a prison during the Civil War, and a naval munitions depot during World War I and II.

Beth Beatty 90 - Cropped 250 x 250

Executive Director, Elizabeth Beatty

Elizabeth has been Executive Director at Fort Mifflin on the Delaware since September 2010. Her career includes diverse experience, from public accounting to historic site management and program development.

Beth earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Economics from Lehigh University and spent the early years of her career at Price Waterhouse. Following an interest in historic preservation and programming, she joined the staff at the Barclay Farmstead in the 1990’s. As Executive Director at Fort Mifflin she enjoys varied responsibilities including program development, restoration, fundraising, marketing and strategic planning. Plus, she gets to fire the cannon occasionally!

For donations to Fort Mifflin, or to volunteer, go to: www.FortMifflin.us, or call 215-685-4167.

Jul 242016

Presentation Date: October 24, 2016

The Battle of Crooked Billet

On the night of April 30th, the British marched out of Philadelphia with 850 men on foot and horse. Their destination was The Billet, present- day Hatboro. Their mission was to stop the Militia from disrupting supplies reaching Philadelphia. Their other objective was to capture the leader of the Militia General John Lacey. Three hundred militiamen were encamped with Lacey at the Billet; most of them were unarmed and untrained. The British marched through the Fox Chase area of Philadelphia down the Huntington Pike where they split. The Queens Rangers, a loyalist regiment continued down the Second Street Pike and the 500 British regulars went left toward Old York Road.

bcblogoJoin us on Monday, October 24, 2016 as we welcome Scott Randolph has he presents The Battle of Crooked Billet.  A short business meeting will start around 7:15pm. The presentation will start at 7:30pm. MaGreks Pub and Grill will be running a 1/2 price special on burgers that night.  We encourage you to join our membership for the very small and reasonable tax deductible amount of $20.  If you join before December 2016, you only pay $15 in celebration of our 15 year anniversary.

The plan was to have the British regulars wait in ambush along the Horsham Meeting Road near the Old Mill Inn in Hatboro. The Queens Rangers were to drive the Militia into the waiting British troops. The Militia were expected to retreat along the Horsham Meeting Road which leads to Valley Forge and the Continental Army.


Battle of Crooked Billet monument

General Lacey was a native of Bucks County, Pennsylvania and was the youngest appointed General under Washington’s command. During the battle he saved hundreds of lives by keeping his militiamen together and heading his troops north escaping into Bucks County.

The Militia suffered 9 men wounded, 26 killed and 58 captured. The British reported no casualties. However, several were wounded and 3 horses killed.

The British never achieved their objectives. They did not prevent the Militia from continuing to disrupt supplies and most importantly, General Lacey was never captured. While it is true the British could claim this a military victory, it was however a British failure thanks to the quick thinking and leadership of General John Lacey. He is truly a faceless hero of the American Revolution.

The State of Pennsylvania has officially recognized May 1, 2016 as “Battle of Crooked Billet Day” throughout the Commonwealth in large part thanks to PA State Senator Stewart Greenleaf. This film has won 2 awards Excellence in a Historical/Biography and Excellence in Videography/Cinematography

Director and Executive Producer Scott Randolph was born in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania suburb of Hatboro; the town’s 300-year-old history including its inclusion during the Revolutionary War planted the seed of interest in documenting history in the young would-be filmmaker. As a teen he became a part-time student at Cinekyd, a small local non-profit school for aspiring writers, directors, actors and production people, where he spent 8 years working in front and behind the camera.

Scott P. Randolph

Director and Executive Producer Scott Randolph

Randolph was increasingly involved in television, film and radio in the mid-1980s. Over the years he has produced and directed local, regional and national television shows and films, as well as local commercials. He served as Audio Production for Inside the Sixers TV Show on The Sports Channel, provided Sales Development for Radio WXTU Country 92.5, Phila. and Comcast Spotlight, and continues to work with cable giant Comcast as Director and Assistant Director for their Newsmakers program, with the Philly Pops and World Café, and other projects.

In 2009, Randolph’s documentary The Battle of Crooked Billet, based on the Revolutionary War battle waged in his home town, won two Telly Awards for Excellence for a Historical/Biography and Excellence in Videography. In 2010, the marketing video he directed and produced for the Friends of Washington Crossing was shown at the Liberty Medal Ceremony in Philadelphia for British Prime Minister Tony Blair, presented by former Present Clinton. In 2013, he won another Telly Award and a Communicator Award for the orientation video for the National registered site Graeme Park State Park in Horsham, PA.

In 2012 he became the director for the national PBS television show Christina (formerly known as Christina Cooks). Under his guidance, along with business partner Rick Lombardi, it became the number one cooking show on cable.

In 2014 he began producing three television pilots, including working with a former cast member of Saturday Night Live and Second City Television. Also, he has begun work on a documentary on the National Shrine of Our Lady at Czestochowa with partner Rick Lombardi, American Czestochowa.

In 2015 he earned another Telly Award for the music video Power from national gospel recording artist Kevin Jarido and Nu Virtu.

In 2006 Randolph founded Arrival Video Productions, LLC, in Southampton, Pennsylvania, and continues to serve as its owner.


Jul 232016

Presentation Date: November 21, 2016

George Washington called such efforts “honorable” and supported attempts to kidnap the British commander-in-chief (twice), Benedict Arnold (after he turned traitor), and Prince William Henry (a future king of Great Britain).  Of course the British did target Washington at his Morristown NJ winter headquarters by British dragoons who crossed the frozen Hudson River.among other military and civilian leaders of the United States.

Join us on Monday, November 21st as we welcome back Christian McBurney who will talk about his new book “Abductions in the American Revolution“.  A short business meeting will start around 7:15pm. The presentation will start at 7:30pm. MaGreks Pub and Grill will be running a 1/2 price special on burgers that night. We encourage you to join our membership for the very small and reasonable tax deductible amount of $20.  If you join before December 2016, you only pay $15 in celebration of our 15 year anniversary.

Christian was raised in Kingston, Rhode Island in a home built in 1809.  In high school, he wrote a book on the history of Kingston, which was not a bad effort for a teenager!  He graduated from Christian McBurneySouth Kingstown High School in 1977 and from Brown University in 1981. At Brown, he wrote a 300-page undergraduate history thesis on colonial South Kingstown planter society.  After graduating from New York University School of Law in 1985, he embarked on a career as an attorney.  Currently, he is a partner with the law firm of Arent Fox LLP.  He live with my wife, Margaret, in Kensington, Maryland, where they have raised three wonderful children, Ryan, Kyle and Victoria.  He has renewed his interest in history writing by writing the adult version of the history of Kingston, which was published in 2004.  Please go to http://christianmcburney.com/ to learn more about Christian McBurney.

The tactic of kidnapping enemy leaders, used in recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, dates to the American Revolution.  New Jersey governor William Livingston performed a patriotic service by going to considerable lengths to avoid numerous abduction attempts.

Abductions in the American RevolutionSometimes these operations succeeded, as with the spectacular captures of Continental Army Major General Charles Lee, British Army Major General Richard Prescott, Connecticut’s Brigadier General Gold Selleck Silliman, Massachusetts’s Brigadier General Peleg Wadsworth, and North Carolina’s Governor Thomas Burke. Sometimes they barely failed, as with the violent attempt by British secret service operatives against Major General Philip Schuyler, the mission by British dragoons against Thomas Jefferson at Monticello, and even John Champe’s plan to nab Benedict Arnold in New York City.

Some of the abducted, such as signer of the Declaration of Independence Richard Stockton and Delaware’s Governor John McKinly, suffered damage to their reputations. The kidnapper risked all—if caught, he could be hanged—and some were, including Isaac Hayne in South Carolina, William Riddle in North Carolina, and Joseph Bettys in upstate New York.

This book covers more than thirty major attempted and successful abductions of military and civilian leaders from 1775 to 1783, from Maine to Georgia, and including two in Great Britain.

Jul 222016

Presentation Date: December 19th, 2016

In 1776, Delaware declared independence from both England and Pennsylvania. Originally known as the Three Lower Counties of Pennsylvania, the First State was instrumental in the fight to form a new republic. The Marquis de Lafayette, Nathanael Greene and George Washington all made trips to the state. Caesar Rodney’s ride and the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge are legendary, but the state has many unsung heroes. Citizens from every village, town, crossroads and marsh risked their lives to support their beliefs. Author Kim Burdick offers the carefully documented story of ordinary people coping with extraordinary circumstances.revolutionary-delaware

Join us on Monday, December 19th as we welcome back Kim Burdick who will talk about her new book “Revolutionary Delaware”.  A short business meeting will start around 7:15pm. The presentation will start at 7:30pm. MaGreks Pub and Grill will be running a 1/2 price special on burgers that night. We encourage you to join our membership for the very small and reasonable tax deductible amount of $20.  If you join before December 2016, you only pay $15 in celebration of our 15 year anniversary.

kim-coralynnKim Burdick is the founder and chairman of the American Revolution Round Table of Northern Delaware. From 2003 to 2009, she served as project director of the 225th anniversary of the Yorktown Campaign (W3R), including the coordination of celebrations and lobbying efforts in nine states, D.C. and France. In recognition of these efforts to celebrate French assistance in the American Revolution, Kim was awarded Les Palmes Académiques at Yorktown Days 2009 by Ambassador Pierre Vimont and Consul General Michel Schaffhauser. In 2008, she moved with her family to the Hale-Byrnes House in Stanton, Delaware—once the home of Delaware Quaker Daniel Byrnes. Kim has served both as chairman of the Delaware Humanities Council and as a member of the board of advisors of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.


Jul 212016

Presentation Date: January 30, 2017

We all think we know the story of Benjamin Franklin, we know the story of him flying a kite in a thunderstorm, but do you know the other inventions he worked on?

Join us on Monday, January 30th, 2017 as we welcome Mike Kochan who will be presentation and demonstrating some of Benjamin Franklin’s Experiments.A short business meeting will start around 7:15pm. The Presentation will start at 7:30pm. MaGreks Pub and Grill will be running a 1/2 price special on burgers that night. We encourage you to join our membership for the very small and reasonable tax deductible amount of $20Benjamin-Franklin-Kite (reduced)

Mike will be bring some reproductions of Franklin’s machines he used in his experiments as well as audience participation in some experiments to help tell the story of Benjamin Franklin’s involvement in these scientific experiments.

Mike’s presentation will show Franklin’s place in the history of the discoveries in electricity. The presentation will start with the Greeks, move to the seventeenth century then the eighteenth century and finish in mid eighteenth century with a demonstration of his famous kite experiment. The talk will use a combination of a power point as well as replicas of some of his experiments that the guests can do themselves bringing the history of developments in electricity to life.  Mike has the ability over the years to make museum quality examples of the technology of the eighteenth and nineteenth century technology and is currently portraying Franklin in venues that include children as well as adults.

Ben Franklin's Experiments

Ben Franklin (Mike Kochan), and some of his experiments

Jul 202016

Presentation Date: February 27, 2017

The success of the War of American Independence depended on substantial military assistance provided by France and Spain, which saw their strategic interests align with those of America in the fight against England.

Join us on Monday, February 27, 2017 as we welcome Larrie D. Ferreiro who will talk about his new book “Brothers at Arms: American Independence and the Men of France and Spain Who Saved It”.  A short business meeting will start around 7:15pm. The presentation will start at 7:30pm. MaGreks Pub and Grill will be running a 1/2 price special on burgers that night. We encourage you to join our membership for the very small and reasonable tax deductible amount of $20.

At the time the first shots were fired at Lexington and Concord, the American colonists had almost no chance of militarily defeating the British. The United States had no navy, little in the way of Brothers at Armsartillery, and a militia bereft even of gunpowder. Without the extensive military and financial support of the French and Spanish, the American cause would never have succeeded. France and Spain provided close to the equivalent of $30 billion and 90 percent of all guns used by the Americans, and they sent soldiers and sailors by the thousands to fight and die alongside the Americans, as well as around the world. Instead of viewing the American Revolution in isolation, the real story is that the American nation was born as the centerpiece of an international coalition fighting against a common enemy.

Ferreiro adds to the historical records the names of French and Spanish diplomats, merchants, soldiers, and sailors whose contribution is at last given recognition. Instead of viewing the American Revolution in isolation, Brothers at Arms reveals the birth of the American nation as the centerpiece of an international coalition fighting against a common enemy. The remarkable untold story of how the American Revolution’s success depended on substantial military assistance provided by France and Spain, and places the Revolution in the context of the global strategic interests of those nations in their fight against England.


Larrie D. Ferreiro

Larrie D. Ferreiro received his PhD in the History of Science and Technology from Imperial College London. He teaches history and engineering at George Mason University in Virginia and the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey. He has served for over thirty-five years in the US Navy, US Coast Guard and Department of Defense, and was an exchange engineer in the French Navy. He is the author of “Measure of the Earth: The Enlightenment Expedition That Reshaped Our World” and “Ships and Science: The Birth of Naval Architecture in the Scientific Revolution, 1600-1800”. He lives with his wife and their sons in Virginia.

Jul 192016

Presentation Date: March 27, 2017

In the darkest days of the American Revolution, Francis Marion and his band of militia freedom fighters kept hope alive for the patriot cause during the critical British “southern campaign.” Like the Robin Hood of legend, Marion and his men attacked from secret hideaways before melting back into the forest or swamp. Employing guerrilla tactics that became commonplace in later centuries, Marion and his brigade inflicted losses on the enemy that were individually small but cumulatively a large drain on British resources and morale.

Although many will remember the stirring adventures of the “Swamp Fox” from the Walt Disney television series of the late 1950s and the fictionalized Marion character played by Mel Gibson in the 2000 film “The Patriot,” the real Francis Marion bore little resemblance to either of those caricatures. But his exploits were no less heroic as he succeeded, against all odds, in repeatedly foiling the highly trained, better-equipped forces arrayed against him.Francis Marion

Join us on Monday, March 27th as we welcome John Oller who will talk about his new book “The Swamp Fox: How Francis Marion Saved the American Revolution“.  A short business meeting will start around 7:15pm. The presentation will start at 7:30pm. MaGreks Pub and Grill will be running a 1/2 price special on burgers that night. We encourage you to join our membership for the very small and reasonable tax deductible amount of $20.

In this action-packed biography we meet many colorful characters from the Revolution: Banastre Tarleton, the British cavalry officer who relentlessly pursued Marion over twenty-six miles of swamp, only to call off the chase and declare (per legend), that “the Devil himself could not catch this damned old fox,” giving Marion his famous nickname; Thomas Sumter, the bold but rash patriot militia leader whom Marion detested; Lord Cornwallis, the imperious British commander who ordered the hanging of rebels and the destruction of their plantations; and “Light-Horse Harry” Lee, the urbane young Continental cavalryman who helped Marion topple critical British outposts in South Carolina. But most of all Francis Marion himself, “the Washington of the South”—a man of ruthless determination yet humane character, motivated by what his peers called “the purest patriotism.”

The Swamp FoxIn this, the first major biography of Marion in more than 40 years, John Oller compiles striking evidence to provide a fresh look at Marion the man and how he helped save the American Revolution.

John Oller, a lawyer, is the author of five books, including, most recently, The Swamp Fox: How Francis Marion Saved the American Revolution (Da Capo Books, 2016).  His American Queen: The Rise and Fall of Kate Chase Sprague—Civil War “Belle of the North” and Gilded Age Woman of Scandal, was published by Da Capo in 2014. It has been praised by Pulitzer prize-winning author Debby Applegate as “a terrific work of historical research and reconstruction” which tells “the story of the Civil War and its scandalous aftermath—its assassinations, impeachments and sexual hijinks—from an entirely fresh perspective.” His first book, Jean Arthur: The Actress Nobody Knew (Limelight Editions, 1997), was lauded by film critic Leonard Maltin, who called it “an exceptional piece of work” and “an outstanding biography . . . among the best I’ve read in years.”

Born in Huron, Ohio, John is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a B.A. in journalism (summa cum laude), having written and edited for the daily student newspaper, the Lantern, and interned as a reporter for such newspapers as the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Rochester Times-Union. His undercover exposé on the infiltration of the Ohio State campus by the “Moonies” religious cult led to his selection as a congressional journalism intern in Washington, D.C., where he wrote press releases for a Michigan congressman.

John Oller

John Oller

After college he obtained his law degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. (magna cum laude), and joined the law firm of Willkie Farr & Gallagher in New York as an associate in the litigation department.  For many years he represented Major League Baseball in many high-profile cases, including the celebrated George Brett “Pine Tar” case and the Pete Rose gambling case. As a partner in the firm, he went on to specialize in complex commercial and securities litigation, and was a principal author of the Audit Committee Report for Cendant Corporation (at the time, the most massive fraud in American corporate history); the New York Times called the report a definitive case study in the area of accounting irregularities and fraud. He taught legal writing as part of his firm’s continuing legal education program for many years, and is the author of One Firm – A Short History of Willkie Farr & Gallagher, 1888 –  (2004). He holds the record as a four-time winner of the firm’s annual golf tournament in Florida.

At the end of 2011, John retired from active legal practice to concentrate on his writing career.  Since then, in addition to The Swamp Fox and American Queen, he has published an e-book, An All-American Murder, a true crime story of an unsolved cold case murder in Columbus, Ohio in 1975. It led to the reopening of the case and a renewed investigation by Columbus Police that identified the killer as someone other than the man accused 40 years earlier.  The e-book has been called “a tragic, fascinating story well-told,” and “an exceptionally well written, insightful look into the angst that people can carry for decades when the criminal justice system is unable/unwilling to provide closure.”

John is a member of Biographers International Organization and the Dramatists Guild.

When not writing, John pursues his hobbies of golf, theater, film, museums, aimless walking, and travel (especially France and Italy, in close competition for his favorite). In the US, he divides his time between New York City and a home in California wine country.

Jul 182016

Presentation Date: Monday April 24, 2017

Known to history as “Dunmore’s War,” the 1774 campaign against a Shawnee-led Indian confederacy in the Ohio Country marked the final time an American colonial militia took to the field in His Majesty’s service and under royal command. Led by John Murray, the fourth Earl of Dunmore and royal governor of Virginia, a force of colonials including George Rogers Clark, Daniel Morgan, Michael Cresap, Adam Stephen, and Andrew Lewis successfully drove the Indians from the territory south of the Ohio River in parts of present-day West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky.

Join us on Monday, April 24th, 2017, as we welcome back Glenn F Williams to the American Revolution Round Table of Philadelphia has he presents his book, “Dunmore’s War: The Last Conflict of America’s Colonial Era“.  A short business meeting will start around 7:15pm. The presentation will start at 7:30pm. MaGreks Pub and Grill will be running a 1/2 price special on burgers that night. We encourage you to join our membership for the very small and reasonable tax deductible amount of $20.

Although it proved to be the last Indian conflict of America’s colonial era, it is often neglected in histories, despite its major influence on the conduct of the Revolutionary War that followed. InDunmore's War Dunmore’s War: The Last Conflict of America’s Colonial Era, award-winning historian Glenn F. Williams explains the course and importance of this fascinating event. Supported by primary source research, the author describes each military operation and illustrates the transition of the Virginia militia from a loyal instrument of the king to a weapon of revolution. In the process, he corrects much of the folklore concerning the war and frontier fighting in general, demonstrating that the Americans did not adopt Indian tactics for wilderness fighting as is popularly thought, but rather adapted European techniques to the woods.
As an immediate result of Dunmore’s War, the frontier remained quiet for two years, giving the colonies the critical time to debate and declare independence before Britain convinced its Indian allies to resume attacks on American back country settlements. Ironically, at the same time Virginia militiamen fought the biggest battle of Dunmore’s War under command of a king’s officer, delegates to the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia decided on a united resistance to Parliament’s heavy-handed Coercive, or “Intolerable” Acts that threatened representative government in all the colonies. Before another nine months passed, Virginia became one of the leading colonies in the move toward American independence. Although he was hailed as a hero at the end of the Indian campaign, Lord Dunmore’s attempt to maintain royal authority put him in direct opposition to many of the subordinates who followed him on the frontier. Before being driven from Virginia in 1776, he notably organized the “Royal Ethiopian Regiment” composed of slaves who were promised freedom if they deserted their rebel masters and entered military service to the crown.

Author Glenn F Williams

Author: Glenn F. WIlliams

Glenn F. Williams is Historian, National Musuem of the U.S. Army Project. He was Historical Operations Officer the U.S. Army Center of Military History, served with the National Park Service Battlefield Protection Program, was curator of the U.S.S. Constellation; and author of several books including Year of the Hangman: George Washington’s campaign Against the Iroquios.  He spoke here on March 29, 2006 about his book Year of the Hangman: George Washington’s campaign Against the Iroquios.


Jul 172016

Presenation Date: May 22, 2017

George Washington: First Entrepreneur: How George Washington Built His – and the Nation’s – Prosperity

The United States was conceived in business, founded on business, and operated as a business—all because of the entrepreneurial mind of the greatest American businessman of any generation: George Washington.

Using Washington’s extensive but often overlooked financial papers, Edward G. Lengel chronicles the fascinating and inspiring story of how this self-educated man built the Mount Vernon estate into a vast multilayered enterprise and prudently managed meager resources to win the war of independence. Later, as president, he helped establish the national economy on a solid footing and favorably positioned the nation for the Industrial Revolution. Washington’s steadfast commitment to the core economic principles of probity, transparency, careful management, and calculated boldness are timeless lessons that should inspire and instruct investors even today.first-entrepreneur

Join us on Monday, May 22, 2017 as we welcome Edward C. Lengel has he presents George Washington: First Entrepreneur: How George Washington Built His – and the Nation’s – Prosperity A short business meeting will start around 7:15pm. The presentation will start at 7:30pm. MaGreks Pub and Grill will be running a 1/2 price special on burgers that night.  We encourage you to join our membership for the very small and reasonable tax deductible amount of $20.

First Entrepreneur will transform how ordinary Americans think about George Washington and how his success in commercial enterprise influenced and guided the emerging nation.

edward-lengelEdward G. Lengel is editor in chief of the Papers of George Washington and a professor at the University of Virginia. He is the author of several books, including General George Washington and This Glorious Struggle. A lecturer on Washington and the Revolutionary War, Lengel is also a historical consultant, advising on such works as the History Channel’s own comprehensive documentary. He is a frequent radio and television guest—appearing on C-SPAN, CBS, and NPR, among others—and is a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines in the vein of military history and American heritage. He lives with his family in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Jul 162016

Presentation Date: Monday June 26, 2017

After two years of defeats and reverses, 1778 had been a year of success for George Washington and the Continental Army. France had entered the war as the ally of the United States, the British had evacuated Philadelphia, and the redcoats had been fought to a standstill at the Battle of Monmouth. While the combined French-American effort to capture Newport was unsuccessful, it lead to intelligence from British-held New York that indicated a massive troop movement was imminent.

Join us on Monday, June 26, 2017 as we welcome back Todd W. Braisted as he talks about his book “Grand Forage 1778: The Battleground Around New York City”.  A short business meeting will start around 7:15pm. The presentation will start at 7:30pm. MaGreks Pub and Grill will be running a 1/2 price special on burgers that night. We encourage you to join our membership for the very small and reasonable tax deductible amount of $20.

British officers were selling their horses and laying in supplies for their men. Scores of empty naval transports were arriving in the city. British commissioners from London were offering peace, Grand Forge granting a redress of every grievance expressed in 1775. Spies repeatedly reported conversations of officers talking of leaving. To George Washington, and many others, it appeared the British would evacuate New York City, and the Revolutionary War might be nearing a successful conclusion. Then, on September 23, 1778, six thousand British troops erupted into neighboring Bergen County, New Jersey, followed the next day by three thousand others surging northward into Westchester County, New York. Washington now faced a British Army stronger than Burgoyne’s at Saratoga the previous year. What, in the face of all intelligence to the contrary, had changed with the British?
Through period letters, reports, newspapers, journals, pension applications, and other manuscripts from archives in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Germany, the complete picture of Britain’s last great push around New York City can now be told. The strategic situation of Britain’s tenuous hold in America is intermixed with the tactical views of the soldiers in the field and the local inhabitants, who only saw events through their narrow vantage points. This is the first publication to properly narrate the events of this period as one campaign. Grand Forage 1778: The Battleground Around New York City by historian Todd W. Braisted explores the battles, skirmishes, and maneuvers that left George Washington and Sir Henry Clinton playing a deadly game of chess in the lower Hudson Valley as a prelude to the British invasion of the Southern colonies.

Author Todd W. Braisted

Author Todd W. Braisted

Todd Braisted is a life-long resident of Bergen County, New Jersey. An acknowledged expert in the field of Loyalist studies and local Revolutionary War History, he serves as Honorary Vice President of the United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada and a past president of the Bergen County Historical Society. He is likewise a Fellow in the Company of Military Historians and has served as chairman of their West Point Chapter. Todd’s studies have taken him across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom researching the American Revolution. Using mostly little known or obscure primary research, his work is known for bringing new information to light, and heavily relying on the people of their time telling their stories in their own words. This is heavily reflected in his latest work, “Bergen County Voices from the American Revolution” (History Press, 2012.) In addition to books and journal articles, Todd lectures frequently across North America and appears as a guest historian on such shows as “Who Do You Think You Are” and “History Detectives.” Todd currently lives in Mahwah, New Jersey, with his wife Susan.