The Friends Speaker Series

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The Friends Speaker Series on the American Revolution is a joint project of the Friends of the Washington Memorial and the Friends of Valley Forge Park. Its purpose is to increase public understanding and appreciation of the American Revolution. Recognized experts in their fields provide entertaining and informative insights into the people and events of the period. The Series began its sixth year in October 2014.

The Series has the enthusiastic backing of the Valley Forge National Historical Park and  since 2011 has been sponsored by the Sherrin H. and Bruce A. Baky Foundation.    The talks are presented  in the Washington Memorial Chapel on the first Tuesday of the month from September through May at 7:00 pm.  Admission is free and a reception is held in the Chapel’s Patriots Hall following the talk.

This year’s topics are:

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Wade P. Catts                    “Searching for the Continental Powder Works on French Creek”

Wade P. Catts, an Associate Director of Cultural Resources with John Milner Associates, tells about the search for this important industrial complex, which was put to the torch by the British.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Patrick Henry   as portrayed by Doug Thomas

Patrick Henry led the opposition to the Stamp Act in 1765. A passionate orator he is perhaps best known for his “Give me Liberty or give me Death!” speech.  Henry promoted the fight for independence but later opposed both a Federal government and the Constitution.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tim McGrath                                      “Give Me a Fast Ship: The Continental Navy”

The adventures of the sailors and the ships of America’s fledgling Navy, as meticulously researched and masterfully told by author Tim McGrath.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Nancy K. Loane                                 “’My Dear’: Officers’ Letters from Valley Forge”

Author Nancy K. Loane shares new information about the encampment and the lives of the officers in the Continental Army, and those they left behind.

Tuesday, February  3, 2015

Scott Randolph                                 “The Battle of Crooked Billet”

Scott Randolph, the director and producer of the award-winning film “The Battle of the Crooked Billet,” discusses this little-known Bucks County battle.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Jesse West-Rosenthal                   “Archaeology at Valley Forge”

Archaeologist Jesse West-Rosenthal presents a history of archaeology at Valley Forge, details of recent excavations, and a show-and-tell of selected artifacts from the encampment.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Joel T. Fry                            “The Bartram Family: Plant Collectors in the 18th century”

Joel T. Fry, the curator of Bartram Gardens, shares the story of the careers and travels of John and William Bartram, famed natural scientists and plant men, and the family garden.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015  

TBA