Learning about the Revolutionary War ahead of the Skirmish

Lecture series focuses on unheard voices with seven weeks of talks

The seven-week series will conclude with a faceoff between historical reenactors for John and Abigail Adams. It was inspired by last year’s successful “debate” between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson. (Special to The Sun)

The Skirmish Committee of the Friends of the Indian King Tavern Museum and Camden  County College (CCC) will present a seven-week free lecture series on Revolutionary War-related events beginning Wednesday, April 12.

This year, guests can learn about unheard voices of the Revolution as part of a series that will lead up to a debate between President John and First Lady Abigail Adams on May 25 and the Skirmish historic reenactment on June 3.

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“One of our missions is to educate people about the Revolution in our communities,”  explained Joseph Murphy, chair of the Skirmish committee. “ … We developed this speaker series because we thought it would be nice to have more on education and bring in different perspectives.”

The faceoff between historical reenactors for John and Abigail Adams at the American Historical Theatre was inspired by last year’s successful “debate” between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, a sellout that earned the fastest standing ovation Murphy has ever seen.

“With this theme of unheard voices, and knowing the kind of humor of the relationship between Abigail and John Adams – Abigail really calling him to task for not advocating enough for women and getting women’s rights – we thought anyone who’s married understands the concept of a debate between married partners,” Murphy explained. 

“The Adamses were very loving, but she clearly had her views and she had no reluctance to express them in a very articulate way to John, so we thought this would be great.”

Participants can also learn about the role of women, African Americans, loyalists who sided with Britain, Jews, Freemasons and more in the series, which will take place at various Camden County locations. Subjects for Wednesday sessions each week are:

  • When Religious and Political Beliefs Conflict: The Dilemma of Local Quakers during the American Revolution, by semi-retired archaeologist and historian Dr. Garry Wheeler Stone. April 12, 6:30 p.m. Lutheran Church of Our Savior in Haddonfield.  
  • The Impact of Disease on the American Revolution and Local Communities, by CCC Professor Dr. Kelly Jackson. April 12, 1 p.m. CCC Blackwood campus, Connector Building Room 105 in Civic Hall. 
  • Phillis Wheatley: An Enslaved Poet, by Dr. Daisy Century of the American Historical Theatre. April 26, 6:30 p.m. Lutheran Church of Our Savior. Wheatley was the first published African American poet. 
  • African Americans in the Age of Revolution, by CCC assistant professor for the Department of History Kendra Boyd. May 3, 1 p.m. CCC Camden campus, CTC Conference Center. 
  • Fighting for the Crown: Colonial Loyalists, presented by CCC instructor Herb Kaufman, founding instructor at the Civil War Institute and History Institute at Manor College in Pennsylvania. May 17, 6:30 p.m. Lutheran Church of our Savior.
  • We Were There, Too: Jews and the American Revolution, by author Norman H. Finkelstein. May 24, 7 p.m. Cherry Hill library. 
  • Freemasonry and the American Revolution, by John Herd Couch Minott, a  Pennsylvania Freemason with a background in history. May 31, 6:30 p.m.  Lutheran Church of Our Savior.

Pre-registration is requested at https://www.camdencc.edu/arts/cce/the-center-mini-courses-registration/ but the lectures are open to all.

The John and Abigail Adams debate will take place at The Haddon Fortnightly on  Thursday, May 25. Admission is $17.76. Visit https://bit.ly/3mb61xV.

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