TNov. - Fred Seth - "Delaware's Ironclads, the monitors built in the first state, 1862 -1863."
The mid-ninteenth century was a time of incredible growth and change. The industrial revolution was in full force in England and was in its initial stages in America. Development of the steam engine in England led to its use in ships. Robert Fulton was an important, if not the first, inventor to build such a ship in the U.S. In addition, roads and canals led to improved transportaion and communication between the states. Meanwhile, in Wilmington, Delaware a revolution in shipbuilding was underway. In 1843, a railroad car company accepted a job to do machine work on a transport ship's cracked cylinder. This led the directors of the company to embark on building quality steamships. By the beginning of the Civil War, Harlan and Hollingsworth was one of the U.S. leaders in shipbuilding. Wilmington produced more ships than New York, Boston or Baltimore. Over the past six years, I have given talks on ships that were built by Harlan prior to the Civil War; and converted to blackade runners, gunboats, transports and ships of the blockade. The year my talk is about ships built for war. During 1862 and 1863, the government contracted with Harlan to produce three different class monitors. This year's talk will focus on these three ships, how they were built and what they achieved during the war. I look forward to seeing you on November 20th, sharing a Thanksgiving feast and talking about Delaware's contribution to the Union Navy.
Oct. -Dr. Terry Bryan
The Civl War caused a terrible ecomic crisis for both sides and for all levles of society. For gobernments or households, even in Delaware, finding the cash for war finance or merely buying needles and thread was a problem. Dr. Bryan will exhibit and twll about financial relics of the time.
Our May Speaker
Eugene D. Schmiel is a retired U.S. Department of State Foreign Service officer. He was an assistant professor of history at St. Francis University (PAP and has taught at Marymount, Shenandoah, and Penn State universities. He holds tha ph.D. degree from The Ohio State University and coauthored, with his wife Dathryn, a Book on life in the Foreign Service.
Jacob Dolson Cox and the Civil War Era
"Jacob Dolson Cox, a former divinity student with no formal military training, was
among those who rose to the challenge. In a conflict in which "political generals"
often proved less than competent, Cox, the consummate citizen general, emerged as one of the best commanders in
the Union army.
Dec. - Charlie Zahm
Jan. - Willian Connery
Feb. - Jeff Munn - topic TBA
March - Bob Sheridan - the Irish 69 (for St. Paddy's Day!)
Sept. - Kathryn Canavan
"Lincoln's Last Days"
What else was going on inside Pertersen's Boardinghouse on the night President Abraham Lincoln died there?
Kathryn Canavan who became a first-time author at 65, will bring us the stories about the ordinary people who surrounded the dying president during his last nine hours.
It is natural that she writes about the Lincoln assassination, the most consequential crime in American history, because Canavan began her journalism career as a crime reporter. To get a story, she has reported at gunpoint, lived with the Moonies, negotiated with a killer and joined Tug McGraw in the Phillies dugout.
She eventually worked as reporter or editor in four states. Her freelance writing has been published in USA Today, the Philadelphia Inquirer and History News Network among others. Named a National Health Journalism Fellow at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School of Communications and Journalism in 2011, Kathryn is a 2017 Individual Artist Fellow of Delaware Division of the Arts, awarded the Established Professional Award for Creative Nonfiction.
She is a former dinosaur docent at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia and former long-time volunteer with Cub Pack 506, the nation's first Cub Scout pack exclusively for boys living in shelters or on the streets.
Aug. - Paul Bretzger
"Gen. Hancock on First Day of Gettysburg"
Paul E. Bretzger received the 1987 History Award at Stockton University for outstand senior theis and is an architect living and working in New York City.
General Winfield Scott Hancock was perhaps the most influential officer in the federal lines, though he command only one of seven Union corps at gettyburg.
Understanding Hancock's pivotal actions at Gettysburg is essential to understanding the battle itself.
THIS MONTH'S SPEAKER IS:
David R. Craig
GREETINGS FROM GETTYSBURG
Mr. Craig has showcased 160 beautiful historic postcards, memorializing important and noteworthy scenes as though browsing a family picture album.
His book is as much about the visitors to Gettysburg as it is about the soldiers and the battle struggles.