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Friends Speaker Series

Sponsored by the Sherrin H. and Bruce A. Baky Foundation

As part of the Friends mission to provide interesting and compelling programming for the public, the annual Speaker Series is held in cooperation with the Washington Memorial Chapel. This series, which runs from October through May, gathers an array of historians, scientists, authors, archeologists, actors and performers to share with the public their multiple points of view on history, the natural world and the ongoing commemoration of Valley Forge.

Presentations are held at Washington Memorial Chapel, on Route 23 in Valley Forge, on Tuesdays at 7 pm. Free and open to the public. A reception follows each talk.

For directions to the Chapel, visit

October 7
Wade P. Catts
Searching for the Continental Powder Works on French Creek
Wade P. Catts, an Associate Director of Cultural Resources with John Millner Associates, tells about the search for this important industrial complex, which was put to the torch by the British.
November 4
Richard R. Beeman
The Forging of American Independence, 1774-1776
Acclaimed historian and author Richard R. Beeman recalls the remarkable story of how a divided Continental Congress united for freedom.
December 2
Tim McGrath
Give Me a Fast Ship: The Continental Navy
The adventures of the sailors and the ships of America’s fledging Navy, as meticulously researched and masterfully told by author Tim McGrath.
January 6
Nancy K. Loane
’My Dear’: Officers’ Letters from Valley Forge
Author Nancy K. Loane shares new information about the encampment and the lives of the officers in the Continental Army, and those they left behind.
February 3
Scott Randolph
The Battle of Crooked Billet
Scott Randolph, the director and producer of the award-winning film “The Battle of the Crooked Billet,” discusses this little-known Bucks County battle.
March 3
Jesse West-Rosenthal
Archaeology at Valley Forge
Archaeologist Jesse West-Rosenthal presents a history of archaeology at Valley Forge, details of recent excavations, and a show-and-tell of selected artifacts from the encampment.
April 7
Joel T. Fry
The Bartram Family: Plant Collectors in the 18th century
Joel T. Fry, the curator of Bartram Gardens, shares the story of the careers and travels of John and William Bartram, famed natural scientists and plant men, and the family garden.
May 5