Image courtesy of Colonial National Historical Park, Yorktown.

Friday, February 28, 2014

American Revolution Round Table of Richmond Book Award

A page has been added (tab at the top of the page) explaining the American Revolution Round Table of Richmond book award. There you will find the general considerations, the specific criteria, the email address for submitting suggestions for books to be considered, and the list of books under consideration for the 2014 award. This list will be updated as the year progresses.

Preservation Virginia Announces 2014 Season

House Museum Openings on February 28, 2014

John Marshall House, Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown, Bacon’s Castle and Smith’s Fort Plantation Re-Open this weekend.

Richmond— February 24, 2014 — Today, Preservation Virginia announced the opening of their four core historic house museums, including expanded hours, new tours and programs and exciting new interpretive techniques. After partnering and training with the worldwide coalition, Sites of Conscience, our Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown will open this season with a new look and a focus on dialogue based tours which delve into the issues of civic engagement which Henry Family’s story bring to light.

“We are extraordinarily excited to be incorporating the ideas of revolution and the legacy of Patrick Henry into our new interpretation of Scotchtown,” said Jennifer Hurst Wender, Associate Director of Museum Operation and Education at Preservation Virginia.

As places of community, our guests can engage in civil discourse and shift from the solitary experiences of museums to learning through engaged conversations about civic issues of both the past and the present. We have committed to using the unique resources of our staff to develop conversations with visitors that connect the legacy of our forefathers  to our own modern challenges.

About Preservation Virginia

Preservation Virginia, a private non-profit organization and statewide historic preservation leader founded in 1889, is dedicated to perpetuating and revitalizing Virginia's cultural, architectural and historic heritage thereby ensuring that historic places are integral parts of the lives of present and future generations. Preservation Virginia provides leadership, experience, influence, and services to the public and special audiences by saving, managing, and protecting historic places, and developing preservation policy, programs, and strategies with individuals, organizations, and local, state, and national partners. For more information about extended hours or admission prices, visit, find us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter @preservationva.

Bull's Head Tavern, New York City

The rollicking Bull’s Head Tavern, on the Bowery (parts of which have been recently uncovered underground), catered to the butchers and cattle men who worked in the abattoirs on and near Mulberry Street.
This circa-1800 sketch of the tavern and an adjoining pen belonging to a slaughterhouse provides an idea of what Slaughterhouse Street looked like. (What it smelled like, one can only imagine!)

Bert Dunkerly sent the following report:
Recently in New York City, photographer Adam Woodward and historian David Freeland found what they believe are the remnants of famed 18th century saloon the Bull's Head Tavern. The building is currently being razed to make way for a hotel. The Bull's Head was built in the 1750s, and George Washington stayed there during the heyday of the American Revolution. It was here that Washington paused on Evacuation Day, Nov. 25, 1783, to prepare for his entry into New York City. Washington met with Governor George Clinton to plan the army's parade into the liberated city. The building was later expanded, and the older structure incorporated into a large one, and forgotten. At one point in time, the bar was owned by Henry Astor, of the Astor family.After it closed, the space then became home to a massive beer hall and entertainment venue called the Atlantic Garden. One authority noted that this  might be the "oldest partial, surviving structure in Manhattan by almost a half century." No word yet on what will happen to this relic.

The Landmarks Commission notes that they're "aware of the situation," but "cannot require the owner to conduct archaeology." The best they can do is give the owner a list of good archaeologists. Some elected officials are also getting involved, but again must discuss it with the owner first.

Our Header Graphic: "The Stage is Set"

Many of you have asked about the individuals portrayed in the graphic at the top of our site. David Riggs, the Yorktown curator at Colonial National Historical Park, has provided the following information and key to the painting:
The Stage Is Set
Heiser & Jaques
The Stage Is Set was painted in 1981 by Sandra Heiser and Douglas Jaques, two artists in Austin, Texas. It was commissioned by the National Park Service for the Yorktown Bicentennial. The painting was displayed adjacent to George Washington’s tents in an exhibit at the Yorktown Visitor Center, 1981-1997. It was removed from exhibit when the Washington tents exhibit was reconfigured. The painting depicts the scene at Washington’s headquarters at the conclusion of the meeting in which it was decided to attack Redoubts 9 and 10 at Yorktown on October 14, 1781.
Key: (left to right)
Lt. Col. Jonathan Trumbull, Jr., Secretary
Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman, Aide-de-Camp
Commander-in-Chief Guard
Aide (American)
Maj. Gen. Benjamin Lincoln
Maj. Gen. Marquis de Lafayette
Commander-in-Chief Guard
Gen. George Washington
Lt. Gen. Comte de Rochambeau
Maj. Gen. Comte de Viomenil
Brig. Gen. Henry Knox
Aide (French)
Brig. Gen. Duportail
Maj. Gen. Baron von Steuben
Many thanks, David!

Princeton Battlefield Society Wins Fight!

I'm passing along the following report from Glenn Williams:

It looks like the Princeton Battlefield Society (PBS) has won its fight for keeping the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) from building faculty housing on historically significant land - the sight of the most crucial fighting on January 3, 1777 - which lies outside the state battlefield park boundary! Members of the PBS filed a complaint against the IAS waiver request to build on land within the jurisdiction of the Delaware and Raritan Canal Commission (DRCC).  Based on the legal arguments presented by the PBS complainants, DRCC denied the waiver that the IAS had applied for to build.  

As a member of the board of trustees for the Princeton Battlefield Society, I would like to put the news in context.  First, however, those of you who attended the Congress of ARRTs in Newcastle two years ago may remember that we collected some money to donate to the legal defense fund that helped make this possible - Thank You! 

This has been a long and tough struggle.  Not unlike George Washington and the Continental Army in the retreat from New York and across the Jerseys in late 1776, we received a number of setbacks along the way - such as the regional planning commission ruling against historic preservation in favor of the housing project.  The DRCC hearing can therefore be equated to Washington's counterattack of January 3, 1777, the culmination of the "ten crucial days" that started with his crossing the Delaware on December 26, 1776, that saved our nation's recently declared independence. 

The DRCC is a land-use regulatory program that must approve projects of any size proposed for that area that is within 1,000 feet of the D & R Canal. Each project is reviewed for its visual impact on the D & R Canal State Park. The Commission also reviews large projects that are within one mile of the park for their traffic impact, and requires the preservation of corridors along the major streams that enter the park.

The Maryland 400

Thanks to John Maass for forwarding this link to an article on the Maryland 400 at the battle of Brooklyn.;postID=5203242270968302604

"When Fate Summons," Harry Ward

Harry Ward's new biography of General Richard Butler, When Fate Summons, is now available. I'm sure he'd be happy to sign your copy at our next meeting.