Calendar of David Library Events

Fall 2015

Special Event

Deborah Read FranklinSunday, September 20 at 3:00 PM: "The Good Wife: Mrs. Benjamin Franklin."  The David Library will co-present with the Lower Makefield Historical Society a performance by Jo Ann Tufo as Deborah Read Franklin.  "The Good Wife" allows the audience to experience the life of Benjamin Franklin through the eyes of his partner of 44 years as Mrs. Franklin chronicles her life from the Sunday morning in 1723 when she met 17 year old Ben Franklin on his first day in Philadelphia.

Fall 2015 Lecture Series: "Rebels, Boys and Native Peoples:  War and Empire in Revolutionary America"

Marie RaphaelRay RaphaelWednesday, October 7 at 7:30 PM:  "From Tea Party to Lexington and Concord: The Missing 16 Months," a lecture by Ray and Marie Raphael, authors of The Spirit of '74: How the American Revolution Began.  Americans know about the Boston Tea Party and "the shot heard round the world," but sixteen months divided these two iconic events, a period nearly lost to history. In their new book, The Spirit of '74. Ray and Marie Raphael explore this gap in our nation's founding narrative, showing how in these mislaid months, step by step, Massachusetts patriots seized control of their province and prepared to defend themselves from the British counter-revolution they knew would come. Ray Raphael's seventeen books include A People's History of the American Revolution, The First American Revolution, Founders, Mr. President, Constitutional Myths, and Founding Myths. He is currently a senior research fellow at Humboldt State University and associate editor of Journal of the American Revolution. Marie Raphael, author of two historical novels, has taught literature and writing at Boston University, College of the Redwoods, and Humboldt State University. The Raphaels live in Northern California.

RuddimanSunday, October 11 at 3:00 PM: "Becoming Men of Some Consequence," a lecture by John A. Ruddiman, Ph. D., Assistant Professor of History, Wake Forest University.  Young men carried the heaviest military burden in the War of American Independence. Their experiences of coming of age during the upheavals of war provide a novel perspective on the Revolutionary era, reshaping our understanding of families, economics, and politics. Continental soldiers' own youthful expectations about respectable manhood and goals of economic competence and marriage not only ordered their experience of military service, they also shaped the fighting capacities of George Washington's army and the course of the war. Professor Ruddiman's lecture is based on his book, Becoming Men of Some Consequence: Youth and Military Service in the Revolutionary War. 

McDonnellWednesday, November 18 at 7:30 PM:  "Mastering Empires: The Anishinaabeg of the Great Lakes and the Making of America," a lecture by Michael A. McDonnell, Ph. D., Associate Professor of History, University of Sydney. In 1763, the British formally took possession of French settlements and territorial claims in North America after the fierce international conflict known as the Seven Years' War. Imperial officials who inherited lands stretching from the St. Lawrence River to the Mississippi River looked forward to lasting peace across the continent and a monopoly on the still lucrative fur trade while their colonial counterparts eyed up western lands now that the French no longer stood in their way. But in taking possession of former French posts and garrisons in the interior, the British quickly realized that they had also inherited a set of diverse and complex relations with indigenous peoples across the territory-- people who contested the 'conquest' and made it clear that "although you have conquered the French, you have not yet conquered us." The story of the Anishinaabe Odawa of Michilimackinac (a strategic crossroads at the heart of the Great Lakes) during this tumultuous period shows just how much the new British empire in North America was forced to act much like the old French empire – and at what cost.  Professor McDonnell's new book is Masters of Empire: Great Lakes Indians and the Making of America.

TortoraMonday, November 23 at 7:30 PM:  "Carolina in Crisis, 1761: The James Grant Expedition Against the Cherokees and the Rumblings of Revolution," a lecture by Daniel J. Tortora, Ph. D., Assistant Professor of History, Colby College. In 1761, an army of British troops, South Carolina provincials, and Indian allies under Lieutenant Colonel James Grant marched against the Cherokee Indians. They emerged victorious in a decisive battle and then burned fifteen villages. A dramatic two-year war came to a close, but its conclusion devastated the Cherokee people and set the stage for the American Revolution. The talk is drawn from Professor Tortora's new book, Carolina in Crisis: Cherokees, Colonists and Slaves in the American Southeast, 1756–1763, written following extensive research using materials in the David Library's collections including the James Grant Papers.


CallowayThursday, December 3, at 7:30 PM: "The Indian World of George Washington and the 'Other Revolution,'" a lecture by Colin G. Calloway, Ph. D., author of The Victory with No Name: The Native American Defeat of the First American Army.  In this lecture, Professor Calloway will discuss his research on his upcoming book, The Indian World of George Washington: How Native America Shaped the Life of the Man Who Shaped the Nation.  The lecture will focus on the Revolutionary War in the West in the context of Washington's ongoing efforts to acquire Indian land and his agenda for the new nation.  A leading scholar of Native American history, Professor Calloway is the John Kimball Jr. 1943 Professor of History and Native American Studies at Dartmouth College.


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.