Jim Christ

Oct 032022

Live Meeting at Stone & Key Cellars 435 Doylestown Rd, Montgomeryville, PA 18936

Today, Germantown is a busy neighborhood in Philadelphia. On October 4, 1777, it was a small village on the outskirts of the colonial capital whose surrounding fields and streets witnessed one of the largest battles of the American Revolution. The bloody battle represented George Washington’s attempt to recapture Philadelphia, but has long been overshadowed by better-known events like Brandywine, Saratoga, and Valley Forge. Award-winning author Michael C. Harris’s impressive Germantown: A Military History of the Battle for the Control of Philadelphia, October 4, 1777, elevates this important action from obscurity in the first full-length study of this pivotal engagement.

 General Sir William Howe launched his campaign to capture Philadelphia in late July 1777, with an army of 16,500 British and Hessian soldiers aboard a 265-ship armada sailing from New York. Six difficult weeks later, Howe’s expedition landed near Elkton, Maryland, and moved north into Pennsylvania. Washington’s rebel army did all it could to harass Howe and fought and lost a major battle at Brandywine on September 11. Philadelphia fell to the British.

On October 4, obscured by darkness and a heavy morning fog, Washington launched a surprise attack on the British garrison at Germantown. His early attack found initial success and drove the British legions before him. The recapture of the colonial capital seemed within Washington’s grasp until poor decisions by the American high command brought about a reversal of fortune and a clear British victory. Like Brandywine, however, the bloody fight at Germantown proved that Continental soldiers could stand toe-to-toe with British Regulars. The Battle of Germantown began a protected quasi-siege of the British garrison in Germantown prior to the travails soon to come that winter at Valley Forge.

Harris’s Germantown is the first complete study to merge the strategic, political, and tactical history of this complex operation and important set-piece battle into a single compelling account. Following up on his award-winning Brandywine, Harris’s sweeping prose relies almost exclusively on original archival research and a deep personal knowledge of the terrain. Complete with original maps, numerous illustrations, and modern photos, and told largely through the words of those who fought there, Germantown: A Military History of the Battle for the Control of Philadelphia, October 4, 1777 is sure to please the most discriminating reader and assume its place as one of the finest military studies of its kind.

Book Purchase: To purchase this book please click on this link: https://www.amazon.com/Germantown-Military-History-Philadelphia-October/dp/1611215196

About Michael Harris:

Michael C. Harris is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington and the American Military University. He has worked for the National Park Service in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Fort Mott State Park in New Jersey, and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission at Brandywine Battlefield. He has conducted tours and staff rides of many east coast battlefields. Michael is certified in secondary education and currently teaches in the Philadelphia region. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife Michelle and son Nathanael.

Sep 222022

Online Meeting  (7:00pm Zoom opens) (7:30pm Lecture begins)

America’s War for Independence dramatically affected the speed and nature of broader social, cultural, and political changes including those shaping the place and roles of women in society. Women fought the American Revolution in many ways, in a literal no less than a figurative sense. Whether Loyalist or Patriot, Indigenous or immigrant enslaved or slave-owning, going willingly into battle or responding when war came to their doorsteps, women participated in the conflict in complex and varied ways that reveal the critical distinctions and intersections of race, class, and allegiance that defined the era.

This collection examines the impact of Revolutionary-era women on the outcomes of the war and its subsequent narrative tradition, from popular perception to academic treatment. The contributors show how women navigated a country at war, directly affected the war’s result, and influenced the foundational historical record left in its wake. Engaging directly with that record, this volume’s authors demonstrate the ways that the Revolution transformed women’s place in America as it offered new opportunities but also imposed new limitations in the brave new world they helped create.

Contributors: Jacqueline Beatty, York College * Carin Bloom, Historic Charleston Foundation * Todd W. Braisted, independent scholar * Benjamin L. Carp, Brooklyn College * Lauren Duval, University of Oklahoma * Steven Elliott, U.S. Army Center of Military History * Lorri Glover, Saint Louis University * Don N. Hagist, Journal of the American Revolution * Sean M. Heuvel, Christopher Newport University * Martha J. King, Papers of Thomas Jefferson * Barbara Alice Mann, University of Toledo * J. Patrick Mullins, Marquette University * Alisa Wade, California State University at Chico

Book Purchase: To purchase this book please click on this link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0813948274

About Dr. Holly A. Mayer:

Holly A. Mayer is Professor Emerita of History at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and the author of Belonging to the Army: Camp Followers and Community during the American Revolution. Holly A. Mayer is an historian of early America. She taught at Duquesne for decades enlightened by many super students and colleagues. Her positions included History Department chair between 2007 and 2013 and Interim Associate Provost for Academic Affairs from 2017 to 2019. Dr. Mayer was also the visiting Harold K. Johnson Chair of Military History at the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, in 2016-2017.  She continues to be actively engaged with history as a researcher, editor, and author. Her primary interests include the social, cultural, and military histories of late eighteenth-century North America.

Aug 272022

ARRTOP’s Return to in-person meetings

The ARRTOP board has decided to return to in-person meetings (targeting October for our first in-person meeting).   In evaluating potential venues, the board primarily considered:  1) ability to accommodate 50 to 70 people, 2) food and drink service   3) room logistics and 4) location.

After a large search of the area, we have narrowed our choices to these 2 venues:  Scoogis and Stone & Key Cellars

Scoogis would be a return to our previous venue in the same room. We would have to switch our meeting night from Monday to Wednesday since they are currently closed on Monday and Tuesday.   Additional info (www.scoogis.com)

Pro’s:  1) Full Service Resturant  2) They have Heating/Air Conditioning 3) Much wider menu options  4) A/V Equipment would be there

Con’s  1) Room is smaller than Stone and Key Cellars  2) They charge us a room fee for each meeting  3) Move meetings to Wednesday night

Stone and Key Cellars is a winery and cidery which offers a selection of the wines, local microbrewing beer and Stone and Key Cellars/Boylan Bottling Company non-alcoholic drinks. They are open on Monday with a limited food menu.  Their room is much larger but with no servers.  They also have no HVAC equipment, but have fans and portable heaters.    (photos available on their Facebook page.  They are located at 435 Doylestown Rd in Montgomeryville.  Additional info (www.facebook.com/StoneAndKey , http://stoneandkeycellars.com )

Pro’s: 1) Bigger meeting space   2) No room fee  3) Keep Monday meeting date

Cons’s:  1) Not a full service resturant   2) No Heating/Air Conditioning (but they have fans and heaters)  3) Limited menu options  4) We would need to invest in new A/V Equipment

The Board invites you to provide us your thoughts on these venues prior to September 15 and submit your comments.

As always, your support of ARRTOP is greatly appreciated and we look forward to our long-awaited return to in-person meetings

                                                                          The ARRTOP Board

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    Aug 192022

    Online Meeting  (7:00pm Zoom opens) (7:30pm Lecture begins)

    In Past and Prologue, Michael Hattem shows how colonists’ changing understandings of their British and colonial histories shaped the politics of the American Revolution and the origins of American national identity. Between the 1760s and 1800s, Americans stopped thinking of the British past as their own history and created a new historical tradition that would form the foundation for what subsequent generations would think of as “American history.” This change was a crucial part of the cultural transformation at the heart of the Revolution by which colonists went from thinking of themselves as British subjects to thinking of themselves as American citizens. Rather than liberating Americans from the past—as many historians have argued—the Revolution actually made the past matter more than ever. Past and Prologue shows how the process of reinterpreting the past played a critical role in the founding of the nation.


    Book Purchase: To purchase this book please click on this link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0300234961

    About Michael D. Hattem

    Michael D. Hattem earned his PhD in History from Yale University and BA in History from the City College of New York. He is Associate Director of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute and has taught a wide variety of early American history and American Studies courses at Knox College and Lang College at The New School. His research interests include the American Revolution, historical memory, colonial New York City, and eighteenth-century political culture and intellectual history. He is the producer of “The JuntoCast,” the first podcast devoted to early American history and was a founding member and contributing editor of “The Junto: A Group Blog on Early American History.”

    He has been awarded research fellowships from such institutions as the American Philosophical Society, The Library Company, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the New-York Historical Society, and Mount Vernon. He has also contributed to numerous public history projects including “Hamilton: The Exhibition.” He has published articles in academic journals and media outlets such as The Washington Post and appeared in a television documentary about the American Revolution. In 2013, he identified, authenticated, and wrote a catalogue essay for a long-lost Continental Congress document from 1775 that subsequently sold at auction for a record $912,500. As a songwriter, musician, and producer, he has released multiple records under the name “National Steel.”


    Jul 132022

    Online Meeting  (7:00pm Zoom opens) (7:30pm Lecture begins)

    The American Revolution was a vicious civil war fought between families and neighbors. Nowhere was this truer than in South Carolina. Yet, after the Revolution, South Carolina’s victorious Patriots offered vanquished Loyalists a prompt and generous legal and social reintegration. From Revolution to Reunion investigates the way in which South Carolinians, Patriot and Loyalist, managed to reconcile their bitter differences and reunite to heal South Carolina and create a stable foundation for the new United States to become a political and economic leader.

    Rituals and emotions, as well as historical memory, produce a complex and nuanced interpretation of the reconciliation process in post-Revolutionary South Carolina, detailing how Loyalists and Patriots worked together to heal their society. We need to frame the process in a larger historical context by comparing South Carolina’s experience with that of other states.

    Loyalists apologized but also went out of their way to serve their neighbors and to make themselves useful, even vital, members of the new experiment in self-government and liberty ushered in by the Revolution. Loyalists built on existing social ties to establish themselves in the new Republic, and they did it successfully.

    By 1784 the state government reinstated almost all the Loyalists who had stayed, as the majority of Loyalists had reinscribed themselves into the postwar nation. South Carolinians went on to manipulate the way they talked about Loyalism in public to guarantee that memories would not be allowed to disturb the peaceful reconciliation they had created. South Carolinians succeeded in creating a generous and lasting reconciliation between former enemies, but in the process they unfortunately downplayed the dangers of civil war—which may have made it easier for South Carolinians to choose another civil war.

    Book Purchase: To purchase this book please click on this link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1611176689/

    About Rebecca Brannon:

    Rebecca Brannon is an Associate Professor of History and Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.  When not teaching or researching at a university named for the Father of the Constitution, she enjoys the area’s local craft breweries, diverse people, and wines and cheeses from around the world.  She lives in downtown Harrisonburg with her spouse and children.

    Her academic research focuses on eighteenth-century American history and is concerned with broad questions about the American Revolution and the transition to modernity in the period.  We are often tempted to portray the transition to modern ways of organizing the world as elegant and completely embraced, yet in fact as all her research shows, it was halting, disjointed, and sometimes deeply painful for the people going through it.  Modernity was not self-evidently superior to the people who found themselves grappling with immense change.

    Jun 162022
    Online Meeting  (7:00pm Zoom opens) (7:30pm Lecture begins)
    The speaker for this meeting is T. Cole Jones. He’ll be speaking about his 2019 book, Captives of Liberty: Prisoners of War and the Politics of Vengeance in the American Revolution.

    Contrary to popular belief, the American Revolutionary War was not a limited and restrained struggle for political self-determination. From the onset of hostilities, British authorities viewed their American foes as traitors to be punished, and British abuse of American prisoners, both tacitly condoned and at times officially sanctioned, proliferated. Meanwhile, more than seventeen thousand British and allied soldiers fell into American hands during the Revolution. For a fledgling nation that could barely afford to keep an army in the field, the issue of how to manage prisoners of war was daunting.

    Captives of Liberty examines how America’s founding generation grappled with the problems posed by prisoners of war, and how this influenced the wider social and political legacies of the Revolution. When the struggle began, revolutionary leadership strove to conduct the war according to the prevailing European customs of military conduct, which emphasized restricting violence to the battlefield and treating prisoners humanely. However, this vision of restrained war did not last long. As the British denied customary protections to their American captives, the revolutionary leadership wasted no time in capitalizing on the prisoners’ ordeals for propagandistic purposes. Enraged, ordinary Americans began to demand vengeance, and they viewed British soldiers and their German and Native American auxiliaries as appropriate targets. This cycle of violence spiraled out of control, transforming the struggle for colonial independence into a revolutionary war.

    In illuminating this history, the violence of the Revolutionary War had a profound impact on the character and consequences of the American Revolution. Captives of Liberty not only provides the first comprehensive analysis of revolutionary American treatment of enemy prisoners but also reveals the relationship between America’s political revolution and the war waged to secure it.

    BOOK PURCHASE: To purchase this book please click on this link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0812251695.


    ABOUT T. Cole Jones :

    T. Cole Jones completed a BA in History at Duke University and a PhD in Early American History at Johns Hopkins University. He specializes in Colonial and revolutionary America, the Atlantic world, the cultural history of violence, and war and society. Prior to joining the Purdue faculty, he was the Hench Post-Dissertation Fellow at the American Antiquarian Society and the National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at the New-York Historical Society.

    Jones’ first book, “Captives of Liberty: Prisoners of War and the Politics of Vengeance in the American Revolution,” was published in the University of Pennsylvania Press Early American Studies Series in 2020. By examining American treatment of enemy prisoners, this study reveals the factors that coalesced to transform a war for independence into a revolutionary struggle. His next book, “Loyalist Rising: The Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge,” is under contract with Westholme Press. In addition to this project, he is currently at work on a study of the western theater of the American Revolutionary War provisionally entitled, “Patrick Henry’s War: The Struggle for Empire in the Revolutionary West.”

    Jones has published articles in the New England Quarterly, the Journal of the Early Republic, the Journal of Military History, and Common-Place. He contributed a chapter to “Justifying Revolution: Law, Virtue, and Violence in the American War of Independence,” edited by Glenn Moots and Philip Hamilton. His research has been supported by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the United States Army Center of Military History, and the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon, among others.

    May 112022

    On Line Meeting (7:00pm Zoom opens) (7:30pm Lecture begins)

    In the late summer and fall of 1777, after two years of indecisive fighting on both sides, the outcome of the American War of Independence hung in the balance. Having successfully expelled the Americans from Canada in 1776, the British were determined to end the rebellion the following year and devised what they believed a war-winning strategy, sending General John Burgoyne south to rout the Americans and take Albany. When British forces captured Fort Ticonderoga with unexpected ease in July of 1777, it looked as if it were a matter of time before they would break the rebellion in the North. Less than three and a half months later, however, a combination of the Continental Army and militia forces, commanded by Major General Horatio Gates and inspired by the heroics of Benedict Arnold, forced Burgoyne to surrender his entire army. The American victory stunned the world and changed the course of the war. In the end, British plans were undone by a combination of faulty strategy, distance, geography, logistics, and an underestimation of American leadership and fighting ability. Taking Ticonderoga had misled Burgoyne and his army into thinking victory was assured. The campaign’s outcome forced the British to rethink their strategy, inflamed public opinion in England against the war, boosted Patriot morale, and, perhaps most critical of all, led directly to the Franco-American alliance. Weddle unravels the web of contingencies and the play of personalities that ultimately led to what one American general called “the Compleat Victory.”

    Kevin J. Weddle offers the most authoritative history of the Battle of Saratoga to date, explaining with verve and clarity why events unfolded the way they did. In the end, British plans were undone by a combination of distance, geography, logistics, and an underestimation of American leadership and fighting ability. Taking Ticonderoga had misled Burgoyne and his army into thinking victory was assured. Saratoga, which began as a British foraging expedition, turned into a rout. The outcome forced the British to rethink their strategy, inflamed public opinion in England against the war, boosted Patriot morale, and, perhaps most critical of all, led directly to the Franco-American alliance. Weddle unravels the web of contingencies and the play of personalities that ultimately led to what one American general called “the Compleat Victory.”


    BOOK PURCHASE: To purchase this book please click on this link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0195331400


    ABOUT Kevin J Weddle:

    Colonel (Retired) Kevin J. Weddle, Ph.D. is Professor of Military Theory and Strategy at the US Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. He is a native Minnesotan, graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, and served 29 years as a combat engineer officer. Throughout his career he worked in a variety of command and staff positions in the United States and overseas and he is a veteran of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and Operation Enduring Freedom.

    Colonel Weddle’s assignments included service as a platoon leader, assistant battalion operations officer, company executive officer, company commander and tours of duty at West Point, Germany, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the Pentagon. He also served as operations officer for the 555th Combat Engineer Group, battalion commander of the 299th Engineer Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, and was selected for brigade command before joining the US Army War College faculty. At the War College he was the director of the Advanced Strategic Art Program, served as the Deputy Dean of Academics, and held the General Maxwell D. Taylor Chair in the Profession of Arms. He has also earned the Army War College’s Excellence-in-Teaching Award.

    He has led numerous military and civilian groups to battlefields in the United States, Europe, and the Mediterranean, including Gettysburg, Antietam, Grant’s Overland Campaign, Vicksburg, Saratoga, Normandy, Dunkirk, Ypres, Agincourt, Waterloo, the Somme, Gallipoli, Sicily, and Anzio.

    Colonel Weddle holds masters degrees in history and civil engineering from the University of Minnesota and a Ph.D. in history from Princeton University. He has written numerous articles for popular and scholarly journals and his first book, Lincoln’s Tragic Admiral: The Life of Samuel Francis Du Pont (University of Virginia Press, 2005), won the 2006 William E. Colby Award and the Army War College’s faculty writing award, and was runner up in the Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Naval History Prize competition. He is currently writing a strategic history of the Saratoga campaign for the Oxford University Press. He is also a licensed professional engineer.

    He is married to the former Jean Buechner of St. Paul, Minnesota and they have one daughter, Anne.

    Apr 152022

    On Line Meeting (7:00pm Zoom opens) (7:30pm Lecture begins)

    The speaker for this meeting is J. L. Bell. He’ll be speaking about his 2016 book, The Road to Concord: How Four Stolen Cannon Ignited the Revolutionary War. In the early spring of 1775, on a farm in Concord, Massachusetts, British army spies located four brass cannon belonging to Boston’s colonial militia that had gone missing months before. British general Thomas Gage had been searching for them, both to stymie New England’s growing rebellion and to erase the embarrassment of having let cannon disappear from armories under redcoat guard. Anxious to regain those weapons, he drew up plans for his troops to march nineteen miles into unfriendly territory. The Massachusetts Patriots, meanwhile, prepared to thwart the general’s mission. There was one goal Gage and his enemies shared: for different reasons, they all wanted to keep the stolen cannon as secret as possible. Both sides succeeded well enough that the full story has never appeared until now. The Road to Concord: How Four Stolen Cannon Ignited the Revolutionary War by historian J. L. Bell reveals a new dimension to the start of America’s War for Independence by tracing the spark of its first battle back to little-known events beginning in September 1774. The author relates how radical Patriots secured those four cannon and smuggled them out of Boston, and how Gage sent out spies and search parties to track them down. Drawing on archives in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, the book creates a lively, original, and deeply documented picture of a society perched on the brink of war.

    BOOK PURCHASE: To purchase this book please click on this link: https://www.amazon.com/Road-Concord-Revolutionary-American-Revolution/dp/1594162492.

    About J.L. Bell:

    I’m a writer specializing in the history of the American Revolution in New England. I grew up in a suburb of Boston during the Bicentennial years, and the stories we celebrated during that time stuck with me. But I’m even more excited to find stories and details that aren’t so well known or may never have been told before.

    The easiest way to sample my writing is to check out my website at Boston1775.net. I update that site daily with doses of history, analysis, and unabashed gossip about Revolutionary New England. The most lucrative way to sample my writing (for me) is to buy “The Road to Concord,” my take on what set off the Revolutionary War.

    In addition, I’ve contributed chapters and articles to a number of other books: “Children in Colonial America” by James Marten; “Reporting the Revolutionary War” by Todd Andrlik; and volumes of the “Journal of the American Revolution” and the “Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife.” I’m an assistant editor and one of the writers of “Colonial Comics: New England,” edited by Jason Rodriguez.

    We’re now passing through the Sestercentennial, or 250th anniversary, of the events that led up to the creation of the U.S. of A. as an independent republic. In 1766 Americans celebrated how Parliament had repealed the Stamp Act, the first big rift between Britain and its North American colonies. Everyone felt the crisis was over. No one knew what was coming up. That’s the big story I find so fascinating.

    I am a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston.  I was  particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. and have published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. I was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

    Jan 182022

    On Line Meeting (7:00pm Zoom opens) (7:30pm Lecture begins)

    The speaker for this meeting is  Nancy Rubin Stuart.  She’ll be speaking about her recently released book (March 15th), Poor Richard’s Women: Deborah Read Franklin and the Other Women Behind the Founding Father.

    A vivid portrait of the women who loved, nurtured, and defended America’s famous scientist and founding father.  Everyone knows Benjamin Franklin—the thrifty inventor-statesman of the Revolutionary era—but not about his love life. Poor Richard’s Women reveals the long-neglected voices of the women Ben loved and lost during his lifelong struggle between passion and prudence. The most prominent among them was Deborah Read Franklin, his common-law wife and partner for forty-four years. Long dismissed by historians, she was an independent, politically savvy woman and devoted wife who raised their children, managed his finances, and fought off angry mobs at gunpoint while he traipsed about England.

    Weaving detailed historical research with emotional intensity and personal testimony, Nancy Rubin Stuart traces Deborah’s life and those of Ben’s other romantic attachments through their personal correspondence. We are introduced to Margaret Stevenson, the widowed landlady who managed Ben’s life in London; Catherine Ray, the twenty-three-year-old New Englander with whom he traveled overnight and later exchanged passionate letters; Madame Brillon, the beautiful French musician who flirted shamelessly with him, and the witty Madame Helvetius, who befriended the philosophes of pre-Revolutionary France and brought Ben to his knees.

    What emerges from Stuart’s pen is a colorful and poignant portrait of women in the age of revolution. Set two centuries before the rise of feminism, Poor Richard’s Women depicts the feisty, often-forgotten women dear to Ben’s heart who, despite obstacles, achieved an independence rarely enjoyed by their peers in that era.

    BOOK PURCHASE: To purchase this book please click on this link: https://www.amazon.com/Poor-Richards-Women-Franklin-Founding/dp/0807011304

    ABOUT NANCY RUBIN STUART : Nancy has been writing since she was nine years old. An award-winning author/journalist she specializes in social history, social trends and women’s history. Long before today’s War On Women her books highlighted the lives of important, but often forgotten women.

    Nancy’s eighth nonfiction book, “Poor Richard’s Women” will be published in February 2022. This ground-breaking book traces the little-known stories of the women Benjamin Franklin loved and lost throughout his life. Early reviews have been positive. Publisher’s Weekly described it as a ‘fresh perspective” on Franklin and predicted “history buffs will be fascinated.” Kirkus called it ‘”a revealing document about early American history.”

    Nancy’s earlier book “Defiant Brides: The Untold Story of Two Revolutionary-Eva Women and the Radical Men They Married” was a selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club-2, the History Book Club and the Military Book Club. Other acclaimed books include The Muse of the Revolution:” “The Reluctant Spiritualist”, “American Empress;” “Isabella of Castile;” “The Mother Mirror” and “The New Suburban Woman.” (The last four on this list appeared under her previous pen name, Nancy Rubin).

    Nancy has appeared on national television, been interviewed on national radio, including NPR’s “Morning Edition.” She often speaks before live audiences and book clubs, and more recently on podcasts and Zoom.

    Her journalistic work includes New York Times, the Huffington Post, New England Quarterly, American History and other national magazines. Nancy serves as Executive Director of the Cape Cod Writers Center.

    Connect with her at www.nancyrubinstuart.com. www.facebook.com/NancyRubinStuart

    Jan 182022

    On Line Meeting (7:00pm Zoom opens) (7:30pm Lecture begins)

    The speaker for this meeting is David Head.  He’ll be speaking about his 2019 book, A Crisis of Peace: George Washington, the Newburgh Conspiracy, and the Fate of the American Revolution. This book won the ARRTOP 2020 Honorable Mention Book Award

    In the war’s waning days, the American Revolution neared collapsed when Washington’s senior officers were rumored to be on the edge of mutiny.

    After the British surrender at Yorktown, the American Revolution blazed on—and as peace was negotiated in Europe, grave problems surfaced at home. The government was broke and paid its debts with loans from France. Political rivalry among the states paralyzed Congress. The army’s officers, encamped near Newburgh, New York, and restless without an enemy to fight, brooded over a civilian population indifferent to their sacrifices.

    The result was the so-called Newburgh Conspiracy, a mysterious event in which Continental Army officers, disgruntled by a lack of pay and pensions, may have collaborated with nationalist-minded politicians such as Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and Robert Morris to pressure Congress and the states to approve new taxes and strengthen the central government.

    A Crisis of Peace tells the story of a pivotal episode of George Washington’s leadership and reveals how the American Revolution really ended: with fiscal turmoil, out-of-control conspiracy thinking, and suspicions between soldiers and civilians so strong that peace almost failed to bring true independence.

    BOOK PURCHASE: To purchase this book please click on this link: https://www.amazon.com/Crisis-Peace-Washington-Conspiracy-Revolution/dp/1643130811


    David Head teaches history at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Originally from Western New York, he received his B.A. in history from Niagara University and his Ph.D. from the University at Buffalo.

    An expert in maritime history, pirates, and privateers as well as the American Revolution and the Founding Fathers, David has published four books, including two as author and two as editor. His work has been honored by Mystic Seaport Museum, the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, and the Maryland Historical Society, and his research has been supported, most recently, by the National Endowment for the Humanities and by George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

    David lives in Orlando with his wife and three children and enjoys visits to Disney World. His superpower is grading papers while little girls climb on him.