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MCHA Presents

A Virtual Lecture Series

- Co-Sponsored by the Monmouth County Library -

Register below today for FREE Zoom lectures given by Monmouth County's most interesting and well-respected historians! You'll even have the chance to engage in a Q&A at the end! 

Browse our upcoming line-up to join us on the specified date at 7 PM:

March 21st

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Bernadette Rogoff presents

"A Woman of Unblemished Reputation":

Elizabeth Covenhoven and the Battle of Monmouth

Join us as we take an intimate look at Freehold's 74-year old Elizabeth Covenhoven and her family during the American Revolution, particularly on the day of the Battle of Monmouth. Mrs. Covenhoven showed incredible fortitude by choosing not to abandon her home; the dramatic moments she endured at the hands of the British army were documented in her deposition to the state. Rogoff investigates the options that were available to the various household and family members, such as Elizabeth's daughter, Hendricka, her enslaved persons Yana and Ciro, and her grandson, Will. This presentation is a sneak peek into the upcoming MCHA exhibit Choices, which highlights that choices that our colonial forefathers were faced with. 

May 16th

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John Barrows presents

The Priest and the Pirate:

Investigating Blackbeard's Raid on Middletown

The person responsible for the enduring myth of Blackbeard the Pirate’s raid on Middletown Township was the rector at a local church. But he wasn’t always a clergyman. Before taking to the pulpit, he had been a licensed private investigator, and the official publicist for Bermuda in the U.S. While a priest, he was also a muckraking journalist.  In his obituary, he was described as “millionaire philanthropist.” John Barrows, editor of, will examine three possible ways the Blackbeard-Middletown story could be true, and take a closer look at Ernest Wyckoff Mandeville, the story’s author, a unique and fascinating individual.

July 17th

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Sue Kozel presents

Wench Betty:

The Murder of a New Jersey Slave in 1784

Discover the gripping story of Wench Betty, an enslaved woman in Western Monmouth County, murdered in 1784 for defying her owner's commands. The subsequent court proceedings for her murderer were also held that year. Using court documents, coroner’s reports, and slaveowners’ records, our presenter, Sue Kozel will take us along on her investigation. This presentation will look at the workings of race, gender, and power during and after the Revolutionary War - a time when powerful New Jerseyans were pulled between Revolutionary ideas of freedom and liberty, and the cruel realities of its legalized system of slavery. Designated as a Public Scholar by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, she has co-edited a book on Quakers and abolition, and published numerous works on Black freedom, abolitionism, and American and New Jersey History.

Viewer discretion advised: disturbing themes of enslavement and violence. 

September 17th

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Dominic Etzold presents

Reaping the Whirlwind:

The U-Boat War off North America During WWI

Acclaimed author Dominic Etzold will be presenting the fascinating and little-known story of the U-Boat activity off the New Jersey coastline in the summer of 1918. He will debunk myths and explore local history the German and American archival evidence, survivor testimony, and period logs. Mr. Etzold's book "Reaping the Whirlwind: The U-boat War off North America during World War I" made it to BookAuthority's “Best New World War I Books” and “Best World War I Books of All Time” rankings. For more on this book, please visit the Monmouth Timeline!

November 21st


Joel Farkas presents

The Pilgrims and the Mayflower

We celebrate Thanksgiving every November, but do you really know why? In The Pilgrims and the Mayflower, Joel Farkas will answer all of your Thanksgiving questions, including: Who really were the pilgrims? Why did they sail on the Mayflower? What’s the real story about the origins of Thanksgiving? What does Henry VIII ( yes, the one with all the wives) have to do with any of this? And …WHAT’S WITH THE TURKEY? Don't miss the ship! Register today!

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Register with the last name of each lecturer you would like to attend, or just type "All" if you would like to be automatically registered for all future lectures. There is no need to register again if you have selected "all" at any point. You will receive a reminder email a few days before the lecture date, and the link will be emailed a couple of hours prior to start time. 

Thanks for registering!

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