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MCHA Presents

Historically Speaking...

A Virtual Lecture Series 

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Previous Lectures
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Rick Geffken presents

The Mysteries of the 1777 Battle of Navesink

Accounts of the history of the Revolutionary War often overlook the Battle of Navesink. The war was less than a year old when the First Regiment of the Monmouth Militia occupied a hillside lookout station in February 1777. Surprised by British regulars during a cold winter's night, 25 militiamen were killed, while 72 were captured and sent to the notorious Sugar House Prison where many perished. Although 40 men escaped, some of these died during their flight. It was a disaster for the Monmouth Militia. This talk reveals the actual battle site, then and now; the combatants who took part, and the impact on both sides due to this crucial early engagement.

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Bernadette Rogoff presents

"A Woman of Unblemished Reputation":

Elizabeth Covenhoven and the Battle of Monmouth

Learn about 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 by witnesses and 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 Cyro, and her grandson, Will. 

Season 1


John Schneider claims to have more video footage and historical photographs of Monmouth County than any living person. His most recent book, "A Historical Journey Across Raritan Bay," recounts what he's learned during his own nautical voyages to seek out the relics and stories left behind by our ancestors.  His weekly television program on Comcast documents the results of his exploration with almost 250,000 viewers and some 135,000 members from all his Facebook groups.  Learn more about his book at www.AHistoricalJourney.comWhen asked about his upcoming presentation, John responded by saying he'd be "thinking out loud" and will be showing a lot of "really old photographs from the shoe box." 

Season 2

Graham Russell Gao Hodges, author and professor of History, Africana and Asian Studies at Colgate University, details how early African American experiences and contributions helped shape New Jersey. The Revolution is discussed, including the effects of Lord Dunmore's Proclamation, ex-slave Colonel Tye, runaways and abolition. 

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Season 3

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"Downton Abbey" enjoyed immense popularity as the fictitious story of a fabulously wealthy English noble family. Lady Cora Crawley was an American however, and embodied the real-life experience of many women of the Gilded Age. Advances in American industrialization created a sect of "new money" families; while they had wealth beyond belief, they could not compete with the social standing of the more established "old money" families. To remedy this, daughters from these American families traded wealth for titles as they married into the nobility of Europe...particularly those families who were experiencing a shortfall of cash. Join Melissa Ziobro as she discusses the Dollar Princesses of Monmouth County. 

Bernadette Rogoff presents

Julia's Wardrobe

In 1868, Julia Norton Hartshorne ordered a brand new wardrobe to take advantage of the latest style trends. Her husband, Benjamin Minturn Hartshorne, was born and raised in Monmouth County and ran a successful steamboat company along the West Coast. The couple and their three children traveled from their home in San Francisco for an extended summer visit with Benjamin's family in Middletown. Upon returning, Julia fell ill and died in February 1869. Benjamin packed away all of Julia's things and returned with his children to Monmouth County. Through the generosity of Hartshorne family descendants, Julia's Wardrobe is now part of the Association's historic textile collection. Director of Collections Bernadette Rogoff will introduce you to Julia and explore her style and personality with an enjoyable virtual fashion show through Julia's Wardrobe.

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