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).

Fort Mifflin: The Fort That Saved America

 
Fort Mifflin: The Fort That Saved America.

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 25th 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 lecture will start at 7:30pm. MaGreks Pub and Grill will be running a 1/2 price special on burgers that night. Our meetings are free and open to the public, and we encourage you to join our membership for the very small and reasonable tax deductable amount of $15.

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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

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 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

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.