Calendar of David Library Events

Spring 2016 David Library Lecture Series

"Fighting and Fulfilling the American Revolution" 

Dennis M. ConradWednesday, February 24, 2016 – 7:30 PM – "A Sea Change: Naval Warfare in the American Revolution during the Spring of 1778," a lecture by Dennis M. Conrad.  There were significant changes in the nature of naval warfare in the spring of 1778, including the internationalization of the naval war, a re-direction in British strategy, and the emergence of significant Loyalist privateering activity, to name but a few. Many of these changes, although vitally important in understanding the American Revolution, have been virtually ignored in history books. Using materials taken from the newly-published Naval Documents of the American Revolution, volume 12, Dennis Conrad will provide a new and exciting perspective to anyone interested in America's War for Independence or in America's naval heritage.  Dr. Conrad is an historian and Documentary Histories Technical Lead at the Naval History and Heritage Command.

Patrick K. O'DonnellTuesday, March 15, 2016 – 7:30 PM – "Maryland Immortals: Washington's Elite Regiments and the Band of Brothers Who Led Them," a lecture by Patrick K. O'Donnell.  In August 1776, General George Washington found his troops outmanned and outmaneuvered at the Battle of Brooklyn. But thanks to a series of desperate charges by a single heroic regiment, famously known as the "Immortal 400." Washington was able to evacuate his men and the nascent Continental Army lived to fight another day.  Drawing on his new book, Washington's Immortals: The Untold Story of an Elite Regiment Who Changed the Course of the Revolution, acclaimed combat historian Patrick K. O'Donnell will tell the "boots on the ground" story the "Maryland Line," one of the Continental Army's first elite outfits, which fought not just in Brooklyn, but in key battles including Trenton, Princeton, Camden, Cowpens, Guilford Courthouse and Yorktown. 

TH BreenTuesday, April 12, 2016 – 7:30 PM – "George Washington's Journey to the American People," a lecture by T. H. Breen.  In the first months of his presidency, George Washington boldly transformed American political culture by organizing a journey to all thirteen original states, a demanding tour designed to promote the strength and prosperity a fragile new republic.  The trip taught Washington the power of public opinion in securing support for the federal union, an achievement that he saw as the fulfillment of the Revolution.  T. H. Breen is the author of a dozen books, several of which explore popular mobilization during the American Revolution.  His most recent is George Washington's Journey: The President Forges a New Nation.   Professor Breen held the William Smith Mason Professorship in American History at Northwestern University (emeritus) and is currently the James Marsh Professor at-large at the University of Vermont.

Don GlicksteinFriday, April 22, 2016 – 7:30 PM – "No One Told Them the War Had Ended: The Revolution After Yorktown, from Arkansas to India," a lecture by Don Glickstein. The popular myth is that heroic, patriotic Americans under George Washington defeated the British at Yorktown, the Revolution was over, and Americans were exceptional. But Yorktown was more a French victory than an American one. It meant the defeat of one British army, but not the British. Washington, George III, and their allies vowed to fight on. And that fighting—which expanded after the French entered the war in 1778—now spanned the world, from Hudson Bay to South America, Cape Town to Arkansas, Gibraltar to Schenectady. Don Glickstein is a journalist and the author of the new book After Yorktown. His lecture will be about some of the fascinating characters who fought on following Yorktown, including the only general to surrender to both Washington and Napoleon, Washington's aide who had a suicide wish, one admiral who nearly made India a French colony, and another admiral whose greed and anti-Semitism made him a pariah—until he became a hero. 

Todd BraistedSunday, May 1, 2016  - 3PM –"Grand Forage 1778: The Revolutionary War's Forgotten Campaign," a lecture by Todd Braisted.  1778 marked a crucial period in the American Revolution.  The French entry into the war forced the British to completely alter their strategy, having to both put down a rebellion and engage their traditional European rival.  The unenviable task of carrying out London's strategy fell upon the new commander in chief in America, Sir Henry Clinton.  In the midst of detaching 10,000 of his troops across North America, Britain's commander led his full army into the field one last time that autumn, gathering supplies, striking at Washington's advanced posts, and perhaps hoping for one last big push at the full Continental Army itself.  Todd Braisted is the author of the new book, Grand Forage 1778: The Revolutionary War's Forgotten Campaign and the creator of, the world's largest website dedicated to Loyalist military studies.

In Partnership with the Lower Makefield Historical Society, the David Library will present two additional programs:

Nancy K. LoaneSunday, March 13, 2016 – 3PM- "The Surprising Martha Washington," a lecture by Nancy K. Loane presented in observance of Women's History Month.  Martha Washington was a woman of independent means who spoke her mind and dressed with flair.  The varied activities of this "worthy partner" of General Washington, both at the encampments during the Revolutionary War and as the wife of the first President, may surprise you!  Nancy K. Loane is a former interpreter at Valley Forge National Historic Park.  She is a founding member of the American Revolution Round Table of Philadelphia, and an honorary lifetime member of the Society of the Descendants of Washington's Army at Valley Forge.

Becky Libourel DiamondSunday, April 24, 2016 - 3PM – The Lower Makefield Historical Society's Annual Laura Prickett Lecture, "The Thousand Dollar Dinner" by Becky Libourel Diamond.  In 1851, fifteen wealthy New Yorkers wanted to show a group of Philadelphia friends just how impressive a meal could be and took them to Delmonico's, New York's finest restaurant. They assured the chef that money was no object and that he should "astonish our Quaker City friends with the sumptuousness of our feast." Not to be outdone, the Philadelphia men returned the favor by inviting the New Yorkers to a meal prepared by James W. Parkinson in their city. In what became known as the "Thousand Dollar Dinner," Parkinson created a seventeen-course extravaganza featuring fresh salmon, baked rockfish, braised pigeon, turtle steaks, spring lamb, out-of-season produce, and desserts, all paired with rare wines and liquors. Becky Libourel Diamond, author of the new book, The Thousand Dollar Dinner:  America's First Great Cookery Challenge, will tell this tale of Gilded Age excess that set the bar for American culinary arts and defined fine dining as we know it today. 

Programs at the David Library are free and open to the public. Reservations are necessary. Please call 215.493.6776 ext. 100 or send an email to All events take place in the Feinstone Conference Center at the David Library of the American Revolution, 1201 River Road (Rt. 32), Washington Crossing PA.