Aug 172019
 

What really happened after the Battle of Brandywine? Where was this little known battle fought? Why did Washington cross the river to engage Howe again in the South Valley Hill area of the Great Valley? What happened here that set up the Battle of Paoli? Find out the answers to these questions in this lecture.

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Join us on Monday, January 27, 2020, as we welcome back Chris Reardon who will be speaking about the often overlooked Battle of the Clouds .  Our meeting place is at Scoogi’s Italian Restaurant 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 7:15 pm. The presentation will start at 7:30 pm. We encourage you to join our membership for the very small and reasonable tax deductible amount of $30.  Don’t forget our book raffle too.  Each meeting we raffle off a number of American Revolutionary themed books.  You can purchase tickets for the book raffle; $1 per ticket, or $5 for 6 tickets.  The money raised goes to pay the room fee and speaker expenses.

Our speaker, Chris Reardon, will explain what happened after the Battle of the Brandywine and how this battle in the Great Valley area was shaping up to be another Brandywine for George Washington. Skirmishing broke out in two different places around the battlefield and Potter’s Militia stationed near the Boot Tavern nearly captured Hessian Colonel Carl Von Donop. Find out what happened to Washington and his 10,000 troops situated on a strong position on South Valley Hill on September 16, 1777.

Chris Reardon is a historian and lives on what was part of the Battle of the Clouds battlefield. He was past president of the East Goshen Township Historical Commission, past treasurer of the Paoli Battlefield Preservation Fund, and volunteers at both Newlin Grist Mill and the PA Colonial Plantation.

Aug 152019
 

Special Presentation of our 2018 ARRTOP Book Award Winner, The Indian World of George Washington: The First President, the First Americans, and the Birth of the Nation.

George Washington’s place in the foundations of the Republic remains unrivaled. His life story from his beginnings as a surveyor and farmer, to colonial soldier in the Virginia Regiment, leader of the Patriot cause, commander of the Continental Army, and finally first president of the United States reflects the narrative of the nation he guided into existence. There is, rightfully, no more chronicled figure.

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Join us on Wednesday, March 18th as we welcome our 2018 ARRTOP book award winner Colin G. Calloway, as he presents his award winning book, The Indian World of George Washington: The First President, the First Americans, and the Birth of the Nation. Our meeting place is at 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 7:15 pm. The presentation will start at 7:30 pm. We encourage you to join our membership for the very small and reasonable tax deductible amount of $30.  Don’t forget our book raffle too.  Each meeting we raffle off a number of American Revolutionary themed books.  You can purchase tickets for the book raffle; $1 per ticket, or $5 for 6 tickets.  The money raised goes to pay the room fee and speaker expenses.

Yet American history has largely forgotten what Washington himself knew clearly: that the new Republic’s fate depended less on grand rhetoric of independence and self governance and more on Indian land. Colin G. Calloway’s biography of the greatest founding father reveals in full the relationship between Washington and the Native leaders he dealt with intimately across the decades: Shingas, Tanaghrisson, Guyasuta, Attakullakulla, Bloody Fellow, Joseph Brant, Cornplanter, Red Jacket, and Little Turtle, among many others. Using the prism of Washington’s life to bring focus to these figures and the tribes they represented the –Iroquois Confederacy, Lenape, Miami, Creek, Delaware– Calloway reveals how central their role truly was in Washington’s, and therefore the nation’s, foundational narrative.

Calloway gives the First Americans their due, revealing the full extent and complexity of the relationships between the man who rose to become the nation’s most powerful figure and those whose power and dominion declined in almost equal degree during his lifetime. His book invites us to look at America’s origins in a new light. The Indian World of George Washington is a brilliant portrait of both the most revered man in American history and those whose story during the tumultuous century in which the country was formed has, until now, been only partially told.

Aug 142019
 

General Lee, second in command in the Continental Army led by George Washington, was captured by the British in December 1776. While a prisoner, he prepared and submitted to his captors a military plan on how to defeat Washington’s army as quickly as possible. This extraordinary act of treason, arguably on a par with Benedict Arnold’s heinous treachery, was not discovered during his lifetime. Many historians shrug off this ignoble act, but it should not be ignored. Less well known is that throughout his sixteen months of captivity and even after his release, Lee continued communicating with the enemy, offering to help negotiate an end to the rebellion.  Revolutionary War historians and biographers of Charles Lee have treated him as either an inveterate enemy of George Washington or a great defender of American liberty. Neither approach is accurate, in order to fully understand the war’s most complicated general, objectivity is required. In his new book, Christian McBurney relies on original documents (some newly discovered) to combine two dramatic stories involving the military law of treason and court-martials, creating a balanced view of the Revolution’s most fascinating personality.

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Join us on Monday, March 30, 2020 as we welcome back author Christian McBurney who will be talking about his book George Washington’s Nemesis: The Outrageous Treason and Unfair Court-martial of Major General Charles Lee during the American Revolution. Our meeting place is at 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 7:15 pm. The presentation will start at 7:30 pm. We encourage you to join our membership for the very small and reasonable tax deductible amount of $30.  Don’t forget our book raffle too.  Each meeting we raffle off a number of American Revolutionary themed books.  You can purchase tickets for the book raffle; $1 per ticket, or $5 for 6 tickets.  The money raised goes to pay the room fee and speaker expenses.

After Lee rejoined the Continental Army, he was given command of many of its best troops with orders from Washington to attack the rear of British General Henry Clinton’s column near Monmouth, New Jersey. Lee intended to attack on June 28, 1778, but retreated in the face of Clinton’s bold move to reverse his march. Two of Lee’s subordinate generals—without orders and without informing Lee—moved more than half of his command off the field. Faced with the possible destruction of the balance, Lee ordered a general retreat while conducting a skillful delaying action.

Many historians have been quick to malign Lee’s performance at Monmouth, for which he was convicted by court-martial for not attacking and for retreating in the face of the enemy. This was a miscarriage of justice, stresses McBurney, for the evidence clearly shows that Lee was unfairly convicted and had, in fact, by retreating, performed an important service to the Patriot cause. The guilty verdict was more the result of Lee’s having insulted Washington, which made the matter a political contest between the army’s two top generals—only one of them could prevail.

Christian McBurney has written five books on the American Revolutionary War, including Kidnapping the Enemy: The Special Operations to Capture Generals Charles Lee & Richard Prescott. His published articles include one in MHQ: The Journal of Military History, on the British attempt to abduct George Washington, which was nominated by the U.S. Army Historical Foundation as best magazine article for 2017. He also publishes Rhode Island’s leading history blog (www.smallstatebighistory.com). He is an attorney in Washington, D.C.

Aug 132019
 

In the summer of 1775, a Virginia gentleman-planter was given command of a New England army laying siege to British-occupied Boston. With his appointment, the Continental Army was born. Yet the cultural differences between those serving in the army and their new commander-in-chief led to conflicts from the very beginning that threatened to end the Revolution before it could start. The key challenge for General George Washington was establishing the standards by which the soldiers would be led by their officers. What kind of man deserved to be an officer? Under what conditions would soldiers agree to serve? And how far could the army and its leaders go to discipline soldiers who violated those enlistment conditions?

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Join us on Monday, April 27, 2020 as we welcome author and historian Seanegan P. Sculley who will be talking about his book Contest for Liberty: Military Leadership in the Continental Army, 1775–1783. Our meeting place is at Scoogi’s Italian Restaurant 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 7:15 pm. The presentation will start at 7:30 pm. We encourage you to join our membership for the very small and reasonable tax deductible amount of $30.  Don’t forget our book raffle too.  Each meeting we raffle off a number of American Revolutionary themed books.  You can purchase tickets for the book raffle; $1 per ticket, or $5 for 6 tickets.  The money raised goes to pay the room fee and speaker expenses.

As historian Seanegan P. Sculley reveals in Contest for Liberty: Military Leadership in the Continental Army, 1775–1783, these questions could not be determined by Washington alone. His junior officers and soldiers believed that they too had a part to play in determining how and to what degree their superior officers exercised military authority and how the army would operate during the war. A cultural negotiation concerning the use of and limits to military authority was worked out between the officers and soldiers of the Continental Army; although an unknown concept at the time, it is what we call leadership today. How this army was led and how the interactions between officers and soldiers from the various states of the new nation changed their understandings of the proper exercise of military authority was finally codified in General Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben’s The Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States, first published in 1779. The result was a form of military leadership that recognized the autonomy of the individual soldiers, a changing concept of honor, and a new American tradition of military service.

LTC Seanegan Sculley enlisted in the US Army in January 1995 as an airborne infantryman and served in Vicenza, IT until attending Officer Candidate School in the summer of 1999. He was commissioned as an Armor officer and became a tank platoon leader in 1-12 Cavalry at Fort Hood, TX before completing his BA in History at Texas State University in December 2002. LTC Sculley then deployed to Camp Garry Owen at Munsan, Republic of Korea from 2003-2005 and then earned his MA in History at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2007. From 2007-2012, he served as both an instructor and assistant professor of History at the United States Military Academy during which time he deployed to Mosul, Iraq from 2009-2010. Following his assignment to West Point, LTC Sculley attended the Command and General Staff College in 2012-2013 and then served as the Battalion Executive Officer for 4-10 Infantry Regiment and the Brigade Operations Officer for the 71st Infantry Brigade at Fort Jackson, SC. He earned his PhD in History from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in May 2015 and he currently serves as an Academy Professor and the Division Chief for the American Division in the Department of History at West Point.

Aug 072018
 

December 1777. It is 18 months after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and some 12,000 members of America’s beleaguered Continental Army stagger into a small Pennsylvania encampment 23 miles northwest of British-occupied Philadelphia. The starving and half-naked force is reeling from a string of demoralizing defeats at the hands of King George III’s army, and are barely equipped to survive the coming winter. Their commander in chief, the focused and forceful George Washington, is at the lowest ebb of his military career. The Continental Congress is in exile and the American Revolution appears to be lost.

Yet a spark remains. Determined to keep the rebel cause alive through sheer force of will, Washington transforms the farmland plateau hard by the Schuylkill River into a virtual cabin city. Together with a dedicated coterie of advisers both foreign and domestic—Marquis de Lafayette, Baron von Steuben, the impossibly young Alexander Hamilton, and John Laurens—he sets out to breathe new life into his military force. Against all odds, as the frigid and miserable months pass, they manage to turn a bobtail army of citizen soldiers into a professional fighting force that will change the world forever.

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Join us on Monday, June 24th as we welcome award winning author Bob Brury who will be speaking about his book Valley Forge .  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 can purchase tickets for the book raffle, $1 per ticket, or $5 for 6 tickets.  They money raises goes to pay the room fee and speaker expenses.

Valley Forge is the story of how that metamorphosis occurred. Bob Drury and Tom Clavin, the team behind such bestsellers as The Heart of Everything That IsThe Last Stand of Fox Company, and Halsey’s Typhoon, show us how this miracle was accomplished despite thousands of American soldiers succumbing to disease, starvation, and the elements. Here is Steuben, throwing himself into the dedicated drilling sessions he imported from Prussian battlefields. Here is Hamilton, proffering the shrewd advice that wards off his beloved commander in chief’s scheming political rivals. Here is Laurens, determined to integrate the Continental Army with freed black men and slaves. Here is Lafayette, thirsting for battlefield accolades while tenaciously lobbying his own king for crucial French aid.

At the center of it all is George Washington, in the prime of his life yet confronting crushing failure as he fends off political conspiracies every bit as pernicious as his incessant military challenges. The Virginia planter-turned-general is viewed by many as unqualified to lead the Continental Army after the humiliating loss of Philadelphia, and his detractors in and out of Congress plot to replace him. The Valley Forge winter is his—and the revolution’s—last chance at redemption. And, indeed, after six months in the camp, Washington fulfills his destiny, leading the Continental Army to a stunning victory in the Battle of Monmouth Court House. The momentum is never again with the Redcoats.

Valley Forge is the riveting true story of a nascent United States toppling an empire. Using new and rarely seen contemporaneous documents—and drawing on a cast of iconic characters and remarkable moments that capture the innovation and energy that led to the birth of our nation—Drury and Clavin provide the definitive account of this seminal and previously undervalued moment in the battle for American independence.

New York Times bestselling author and Military Correspondent Bob Drury is the author/coauthor/editor of nine books. He has written for numerous publications, including The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Men’s Journal and GQ.

Bob has been nominated for three National Magazine Awards and a Pulitzer Prize. He has reported from Iraq, Afghanistan, Liberia, Bosnia, Northern Ireland, and Darfur among other sites. His books include the New York Times bestselling Halsey’s Typhoon, Last Men Out and The Heart of Everything That is. Bob’s The Last Stand of Fox Company was the recipient of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation’s 2010 General Wallace M. Greene Jr. Award for nonfiction.

He lives at the Jersey Shore.

His latest book is “Valley Forge.” The #1 New York Times bestselling authors of The Heart of Everything That Is return with one of the most inspiring—and underappreciated—chapters in American history: the story of the Continental Army’s six-month transformation in Valley Forge. Available at bookstores and Amazon.

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 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 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.