January 26: Christopher Malone, curator of the American Swedish Historical Museum, will present his talk “Visiting Moravian Bethlehem: Travel and Leisure in a Germanic Town.” Come and learn about the Moravians, a religious community with deep roots in Pennsylvania history.
February 2: Mike Connelly, Executive Director of the New Castle Historical Society, will discuss how William Penn shaped the city of New Castle, from his first landing in America through to the present day. This talk will include a history of the New Castle Common and the Trustees that manage it, and reflect on Penn’s enduring influence on the state of Delaware. Mike has worked in museum and historic site management since 2004. Before becoming involved with museums and historic preservation, Mike worked in banking and finance for 13 years. Mike also teaches a short course in museum finance and budgeting at the University of Delaware. For fun, Mike plays guitar in two bands, and hangs out at the Irish pub he built in his backyard during the pandemic.
February 9: The Disagreeable Situation in between the Civil and the Military: Prisoners of War and Local Governance in the American Revolution
Over the course of the American Revolution, Patriot forces made prisoners out of 17,000 British and German soldiers. When not exchanged for captive Americans, Patriot authorities dispersed prisoners of war across the northern colonies and Virginia to the care of state and local governments. American prisoner management consisted of overlapping military and civil authorities working with civilian Americans, contracted to provide food, nursing, and board to prisoners of war. This cooperative system proved the swan song of the localism that characterized the northern colonies of early America before the codification of the federal system in 1789. Presented by Susan “Brynne” Long, a third year doctoral candidate in the American Civilization program at the University of Delaware. Her dissertation focuses on American prisoner of war management during the revolution. She has published articles for the Washington Post, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, and the Journal of the American Revolution.
February 16: “The Colonial Revival Mindset”
Many historic sites and museums were established in the 20th century to elevate and honor the American story, but inevitably, the societal imperatives of the day influenced what was created and whose story was told. Often referred to as a style, the Colonial Revival was – and remains – a mindset, a way of framing the past to suit the needs of the present. Join Debbie Harper, Senior Curator of Education at Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, for an introduction to some of the manifestations of the Colonial Revival in this talk.
February 23: “The Political Power of a Philadelphia Lady: The Story of Elizabeth Willing Powel”
In the making of a new country, traditional assumptions about the social and political roles of the populace become fluid. Kayla Anthony and Mackenzie Warren will discuss the political role of women during and after the American revolution by highlighting the life of Elizabeth Willing Powel, wife and partner to Samuel Powel. Elizabeth Powel hosted elaborate parties for the Philadelphia elite to bring together the best and the brightest, which gave her immense power and influence. Her word was so powerful, it even convinced George Washington to run for a second term. This talk will reframe political power through a gendered lens.