American Revolution Round Table
Program Event,
4 March 2015

"A Sea Change: Naval Warfare in the American Revolution
during the spring of 1778."

  • The program meeting will be held at the Fort Myer Officers' Club, Arlington, VA; and follow the standard meeting venue described lower on this page.
  • Please allow extra time for your arrival due to a possible security check required to gain access onto Fort Myer.

Regular ARRT sponsored programs are planned for the first Wednesday of the months of March, May, September, and November. There may be possible additions.
These programs are normally held at the Fort Myer Officers' Club, Arlington, Virginia.

Time schedule is as follows:

From 1800 hrs [6:00 PM] to 1845 hrs will be a social period for members and guests to gather in the Campaign Room; this will be followed by fixed price, sit-down dinner. Cash-bar is available until dinner starts at 1845 hrs [6:45 PM]. Following dinner, there will be brief announcements and a possible short membership business discussion.
The speaking presentation is open to any interested persons, and will begin between 1945 hrs [7:45PM] and 2000 hrs [8:00 PM]. The program should end between 2045 hrs [8:45 PM] and 2100 hrs [9:00 PM] .

Click here for Directions to Fort Myer Officers' Club.

Click here for ARRT Program Meeting Reservation Procedures.

Click here for "Be It Known By All Who Enjoy History Lore":
ARRT Flyer and Membership Application in PDF format.

Click here for ARRT of DC Membership / Renewal Form in PDF format.

ARRT meetings are open to the public, non members are welcomed to sign up for the dinner and speaking presentation. Dinner reservations are required to attend the full dinner and speaking presentation. Contact Information is at the main American Revolution Round Table web page.

The ARRT program meetings also allow, on a space available basis, attendance at the speaking program only [without attending, but following the dinner] There is a charge of $10 to be paid at the entrance by post-dinner attendees, who need to be in the ante-room of where the program is being conducted at the Fort Myer's Officers' Club prior to break at 1945 hours [7:45 PM] between the dinner and the start of the speaking presentation that begins no later than 2000 hours [8:00 PM]. Contact link in previous paragraph to obtain further information. ,

Temporary information on non ARRT events
taking place in the local DC area is posted at:
Special Announcements
The 4 March 2015 program "A Sea Change: Naval Warfare in the American Revolution during the spring of 1778, " will be presented by Dr. Dennis M. Conrad, a historian at the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC). Conrad considers the spring of 1778 to be a time when the naval war changed fundamentally and dramatically. Developments he will highlight include: the internationalization of the naval war, including the sailing of the fleet of the Comte d'Estaing to America and the British response; a re-direction in British strategy that included some retrenchment on the North American mainland; a new aggressiveness on the part of the Continental Navy that increasingly brought the war to European waters. This presentation will also address American naval successes along the periphery of North America, i.e., East Florida/Georgia, Spanish Louisiana/British West Florida and Nova Scotia in North America and Africa; an increase in the numbers and effectiveness of Loyalist privateers in American waters; the questioning of the reputation of the Continental Navy and its officers by fellow Americans; and questions of the allegiance and power of ordinary seamen in the Continental Navy. Many of these changes, although vitally important in understanding the American Revolution, have been virtually ignored in history books. This talk,will use material found in the newly-published "Naval Documents of the American Revolution," volume 12, that provides a fresh and exciting perspective to anyone interested in the Revolutionary War.
Dr. Dennis M. Conrad is associate editor for the Naval Documents of the American Revolution series and has published an essay on John Paul Jones. He is currently the lead historian for an electronic documentary edition on the US Navy in the Spanish-American War and a book-length study of Josephus Daniels, Secretary of the Navy during World War I. Prior to coming to the NHHC, Dr. Conrad was the principal editor and project director for volumes 7 through 12 of the award-winning Papers of General Nathanael Greene, published by the University of North Carolina Press. Those volumes covered Greene's time as Continental Army commander in the South. Dr. Conrad has published several essays concerning Greene's campaigns in the South, which were also the subject of his doctoral dissertation at Duke University.


5 November 2014, "The American Revolution: A Historical Guidebook " was presented by Ms Frances H. Kennedy who edited the recently published (2014 by Oxford University Press) book with this title. Her presentation provided a brief overview of the book that reviewed sites marking key events of the revolution. Ms Kennedy addressed these events in chronological order, beginning with the colonists' protests that led to the British occupation of Boston in 1768, and continued through the years of the Revolutionary War, and the ratification of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The book guides general readers, students, and travelers to 147 historic places in twenty states. The book's content is drawn from the National Park Service "Report to Congress on the Historic Preservation of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Sites in the United States". It includes excerpts from 95 leading books on the Revolution and images of historic documents from the Gilder Lehrman Collection, the Library of Congress, and the National Archives. It also includes photographs from the National Museum of American History of Washington's camp kit and writing case and Jefferson's portable desk. The Conservation Fund, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, dedicates the book to all Americans and its proceeds to the protection of historic places.
Ms Frances H. Kennedy was Director of the Civil War Battlefield Campaign, from 1988 until 2006, which, with its partners, protected nearly 9,000 acres of "hallowed ground" on America's Civil War battlefields. She is the editor and principal contributor of The Civil War Battlefield Guide. It includes the 384 principal battlefields in the National Park Service report. The book guides battlefield preservation as well as visitors. The royalties are dedicated by The Conservation Fund to battlefield preservation. In 1994 the National Trust for Historic Preservation published, Dollar$ and Sense of Battlefield Preservation, which she co-authored with Douglas R. Porter. It encourages communities to preserve their historic land by documenting the greater economic benefits of preservation over development. She is the editor and principal contributor of American Indian Places, published in 2008 by Houghton Mifflin Company. It includes 366 places of significance to American Indians that are open to the public.

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3 September 2014, "The National Museum of the American Revolution" was presented by Scott Stephenson, Director of Collections & Interpretation at The National Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. His excellent slide aided overview described the Museum's collection, exhibition plans, and programing initiatives. The goals of the museum are to bring to life the events, people and ideals of the founding of the United States and to inspire an appreciation of the importance of the struggle that created American democracy. The museum received final approval for its architectural plans from the Philadelphia Art Commission in May 2014 and will be located just two blocks from Independence Hall. The museum is currently under construction in historic Old City Philadelphia, and is scheduled to open in late 2016.The core of the museum's collection and institutional ancestry is the old Valley Forge Historical Society, founded by the Rev. W. Herbert Burk, who in 1909 envisioned creating a national shrine to commemorate George Washington and the Valley Forge encampment. In the early 2000s it was decided to move the project to Philadelphia. A land exchange with the National Park Service was concluded in 2010, followed by fund raising and an architectural design for the new museum.
The speaker described the museum's mission being to reinvigorate the public's better understanding of the American Revolution; to inspire study of the history of the revolution; and to have a sense of the events that inspired some of the nation's greatest moments. The storyline starts from the latter part of the French and Indian War (around 1760), when George Washington, Benjamin Franklin were among a diverse cast of characters who were viewed as patriotic members of the British empire. A key challenge being undertaken my the museum is to explain how these patriotic Britons became ‘revolutionaries', and to show the radical nature of the revolution which resulted in a democratic republic. The speaker briefly overviewed major components of the museum's collection: weapons, uniforms, manuscripts and early printed works, original journals, commemorative art, and planned multimedia exhibits.
Mr. Stephenson provided considerable detail on General Washington's canvas field headquarters composed of a suite of tents – informally called the "First Oval Office." It is a large, oval-shaped "marquee" that served as the sleeping and office tent for the first commander-in-chief of the United States armed forces. For long stretches of each campaign, Washington slept and directed his staff within this canvas structure. Even when Washington's headquarters were located in private dwellings, the sleeping tent was usually pitched near at hand. Within its folds of this 'marquee', Washington sought privacy and seclusion necessary to commune with himself, and where he wrote many of his memorable dispatches in the Revolutionary War. This tent is now owned by the Museum of the American Revolution. It is the focus of multi-year, interdisciplinary collaborative effort to locate, document, preserve and reconstruct the elements of Washington's Revolutionary War field headquarters. One can read more from the speaker's article posted on the Internet at Further information is available at the main website for The National Museum of the American Revolution at
Scott Stephenson holds an MA and Ph.D. in American History from the University of Virginia. He has developed and collaborated on exhibits, films and interpretive programs for numerous historical sites and organizations, including Colonial Williamsburg, the Smithsonian, the Canadian War Museum, the National Park Service, George Washington's Mount Vernon, the Heinz History Center, and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. Before joining the Museum of the American Revolution as Director of Collections and Interpretation in 2007, Stephenson served on the production team of the four-hour PBS series "The War That Made America," and developed, curated, and authored the companion catalog for a award-winning international loan exhibition, 'Clash of Empires: The British, French and Indian War, 1754-1763'.

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ARRT programs prior to those shown on this page are shown at:

List of ARRT programs (June 1974-May 1997).

List of ARRT programs (September 1997 through May 2002)..

List of ARRT programs (September 2002 through May 2004)..

List of past ARRT programs (September 2004 - May 2007).

List of past ARRT programs (September 2007 - May 2009).

List of past ARRT programs (September 2009 - May 2014).

Reminder that ARRT Programs are open to the public. See information box earlier in this page, following announcement for the forthcoming program.

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American Revolution Round Table