Washington, war, New Jersey: Library hosts history talk

Courtesy of the National Museum of American History
George Washington’s famous Crossing of the Delaware, drawn by Thomas Kelly, will be among topics discussed in historian Joel Farkas’ lecture.

The Mullica Hill Library will host local historian Joel Farkas on the subjects of George Washington, New Jersey and the Revolutionary War on Thursday, Feb. 29, at 6 p.m.

The lecture – made possible from funds from a grant awarded to the library by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities (NJFTH) – will partly focus on the life of the war general and first U.S president, specifically the years 1753 to 1780.

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The lecture will not only focus on Washington’s role but the strategic part that the state played in the Revolutionary War.

“My goal is to motivate you to learn more about the founding of our country,” Farkas explains on his website. “The extraordinary people, and the sacrifices they made, that resulted in the country we live in today.

“I used to read a lot of fiction, mostly mysteries,” he added. “I don’t anymore. The American Revolution is better than any fiction ever written. You’ve got everything that you could ever hope for in a novel: extraordinary people, fabulous accomplishments, devastating failures, murder, deceit, betrayal, love, romance, spies, and – best of all – a David and Goliath story that actually happened.

“What could be better than that?”

Farkas is currently a tour guide at Washington’s Headquarters Museum in Morristown, the town where Washington established two encampments during the winters of 1776 and 1777, according to MountVernon.org.

Located between Philadelphia and New York City, Morristown was a strategic location for the Continental Army. New Jersey was also where Washington landed after leading his men across the Delaware River on Christmas Day, 1776.

These and other topics concerning Washington, the state and the war will be discussed during the lecture, devised by the speaker himself.

“I determined that it would be a good fit for the library,” said the library’s Andrew Brenza.

The lecture is free but does require a registration form completed either on the GCLS website for in-person attendees or virtually through Zoom.

“I hope they (attendees) get a better understanding of local history from the event and the role New Jersey played in America’s formation,” Brenza said.

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