History Talk on the Alligator: The US Navy's First Submarine 

 

On Thursday, October 18, 2018, at 7:30 p.m. in Titusville, NJ, naval historian Chuck Veit will give an illustrated lecture on the Alligator, the Navy's first submarine. The fascinating story of the Alligator, its missions, and its loss, is told against the history of underwater vessels in the first half of the 19th century. This free lecture is sponsored by the Delaware River Greenway Partnership (DRGP). It will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Route 546 in Titusville, NJ.

In the late 1850s—on the Delaware River at Philadelphia and on Rancocas Creek in New Jersey--an immigrant French engineer named Brutus de Villeroi built a submarine. It was to be used for hunting sunken treasure, but, when war broke out, the inventor offered it to the Navy of his adopted country. Although not interested in submarine warfare, the U.S. Navy was willing to gamble on anything that might be able to sink the rebel Merrimack. De Villeroi's credentials were impeccable: he had a lengthy record of inventions and discoveries, and had built his first submarine in 1832. What could go wrong?

Chuck Veit is author of a number of original research books on Civil War naval topics. Copies of his most recent book, Natural Genius, which tells the story of Brutus de Villeroi and Alligator, will be available for sale.
Chuck is a frequent speaker on 19th century naval topics at area historical societies, Civil War roundtables and conferences and has published numerous articles in journals and magazines. He is president of the Navy & Marine Living History Association, an organization dedicated to sharing America’s naval history through the medium of in-the-field events.

The Unitarian Universalist Church at Washington Crossing is located in Hopewell Township about a mile from the river at 268 Washington Crossing-Pennington Road (Route 546), Titusville, NJ.

This talk is one in a series sponsored by DRGP on different aspects of the cultural and natural heritage of the Delaware River and is open to the public free of charge. The next talk in the series is Jeff Marshall, Delaware River Towns: Full of character and full of characters, at 7:30 on Wednesday, November 14, at the David Library of the American Revolution.

 

Pedal & Paddle on Sunday, June 3, 2018

A much-enjoyed blend of an 8.5 mile bike ride on the Delaware Canal Towpath and a 3 mile kayak paddle on the D&R Canal!
Co-sponsored by Delaware Canal State Park, D&R Canal State Park and Delaware River Greenway Partnership.

Monday, April 23, 2018
“Fever! The History and Archaeology of the Philadelphia Lazaretto, a Precursor to Ellis Island”
Presented by historical archaeologist Dr. Richard Veit, Professor of Anthropology and Chair of the Department of History and Anthropology at Monmouth University. The presentation examined the history of the Lazaretto and Monmouth University’s archaeological investigations at the site.

The Philadelphia Lazaretto, located in the Delaware River community of Essington in Tinicum Township, Pennsylvania, is the oldest surviving lazaretto, or quarantine station, in North America. The 10-acre lazaretto, built with a hospital, offices and residences on the banks of the Delaware River, processed ships, cargo and passengers sailing from the port of Philadelphia for nearly a century.

Fever! The History and Archaeology of the Philadelphia Lazaretto, a precursor to Ellis Island

Fever! The History and Archaeology of the Philadelphia Lazaretto, a precursor to Ellis Island

On Monday, May 14, 2018, the Delaware River Greenway Partnership (DRGP) will sponsor an illustrated lecture, “Trenton’s Other Canal – the Trenton Water Power” by Dr. Richard Hunter at 7:00 p.m. in the ACME Screening Room of the Pittore Justice Center in Lambertville.

Built at the same time as the Delaware and Raritan Canal in the early 1830s, the Trenton Water Power arguably exerted as much influence over Trenton’s 19th-century industrial growth as its better known and larger sibling waterway. The 7-mile-long canal powered dozens of downtown factories – flour mills, saw mills, textile mills and foundries. It played an especially critical role in the rise of the Trenton Iron Company and the Cooper Hewitt iron and steel empire. Today, virtually all above-ground trace of the Trenton Water Power has disappeared. Much of it lies beneath Route 29, which faithfully follows its course from Scudder’s Falls to the Assunpink Creek. Once in a while, remains of the canal will come to light as the city redevelops. Dr. Hunter’s presentation this evening will draw heavily on his firm’s historical and archaeological studies carried out over the past quarter century in connection with the reconstruction of Route 29 and other downtown development projects.

Dr. Richard Hunter is President of Hunter Research, Inc., a Trenton-based historic preservation consulting firm founded in 1986. A long-time resident of Hopewell Township, Richard currently serves as a Mercer County Cultural & Heritage Commissioner, a trustee of the Hopewell Valley Historical Society, and a board member of the Trenton Downtown Association. He has authored numerous articles on topics of New Jersey history and archaeology and he lectures frequently throughout the region.

The Pittore Justice Center is located at 25 South Union Street, Lambertville, NJ. Metered parking is available in the adjacent lot and on nearby streets.

This talk is one in a series sponsored by DRGP on different aspects of the cultural and natural heritage of the Delaware River and is open to the public free of charge. 

Dr. Richard Hunter

September 13, 2017 
Charles Hardy: Fish or Foul? A History of the Delaware River Basin through the Perspective of the American Shad 

Professor Charles Hardy is an authority on the Delaware’s best known fish species and its early shad fisheries industry. In this illustrated talk, Professor Hardy used the history of the Delaware River shad fishery as a window into the water quality of the lower Delaware and competing uses of its waters from the 1680s to the present.

A professor of history at West Chester University, Charles Hardy III is the producer of award-winning historical websites and documentaries. Dr. Hardy is the principal author of “Pennsylvanians and the Environment” on ExplorePAhistory.com, for which he also serves as supervising historian.

Charles Hardy: Fish or Foul? A History of the Delaware River Basin through the Perspective of the American Shad

May 22, 2017
Dr. Richard Hunter: Trenton –A Forgotten Port Community

In his lecture, Dr. Hunter discussed the history of Trenton as a port and trading hub at the head of navigation on the Del-aware River.

Trenton emerged as an important focus of the fishing industry in the mid-18th century. Beginning in the 1760s, Trenton Landing (aka Lamberton) became a satellite port of Philadelphia with transatlantic and Caribbean shipping docking on the riverbank where the Route 29 tunnel is today. Trenton Landing was a key supply station for American forces during the Revolutionary War and the port thrived into the early 19th century as sailing vessels began to be replaced by steamboats. Decline came as the Delaware and Raritan Canal and the railroads took business away from the waterfront from the 1830s onward, but Trenton maintained a portly presence well into the 20th century with its marine terminal. This presentation drew heavily on the historical and archaeological studies carried out over the past 20 years in connection with the reconstruction of Route 29.

Richard Hunter is president of Hunter Research, Inc., a Trenton-based historic preservation consulting firm founded in 1986. He holds a Ph.D. in historical geography from Rutgers University, an M.A. in archaeological science from Bradford University, U.K. and a B.A. in archaeology and geography from Birmingham University, U.K. A long-time resident of Hopewell Township, Dr. Hunter currently serves as a Mercer County Cultural & Heritage Commissioner, a trustee of the Hopewell Valley Historical Society, and a board member of the Trenton Downtown Association. Dr. Hunter has authored numerous articles on topics of New Jersey history and archaeology and he lectures frequently throughout the region.

Richard Hunter is President of Hunter Research, Inc., a Trenton-based historic preservation consulting firm founded in 1986. The company provides historical, archaeological and historic architectural services to a wide range of public, private and non-profit clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States. Dr. Hunter holds a Ph.D. in historical geography from Rutgers University, an M.A. in archaeological science from Bradford University, U.K. and a B.A. in archaeology and geography from Birmingham University, U.K.  A long-time resident of Hopewell Township, he currently serves as a Mercer County Cultural & Heritage Commissioner, a trustee of the Hopewell Valley Historical Society, and a board member of the Trenton Downtown Association. He is a past President of Preservation New Jersey and a former member of the New Jersey Historic Sites Review Board. Dr. Hunter has authored numerous articles on topics of New Jersey history and archaeology and he lectures frequently throughout the region.

Richard Hunter: Trenton –A Forgotten Port Community

April 10, 2016
Tom Folk: Delaware River Views by the Pennsylvania Impressionists 

This distinctively American school of Impressionist landscape painting focused on preserving views of the Delaware River. Starting in1898, painters settled along the river and the canal from New Hope to Point Pleasant. The river towns and landscapes — some views have changed while others have not — are featured in many of the best known works of this school. The paintings of Edward Redfield, Daniel Garber, Charles Rosen and many others were discussed.

Dr. Tom Folk is author of Pennsylvania Impressionists and regarded as the leading authority on the subject. He published the first book on this subject in 1997 and has organized more than a dozen museum exhibitions of paintings by the New Hope Impressionists. He is currently working on the definitive catalogue of the works of Edward Redfield, the leading painter of this group. Folk was formerly curator at the James Michener Museum in Doylestown. He has also published many articles on American ceramics. He is on the Education Committee of the Appraisers Association of America, and teaches at New York University.

Fever! The History and Archaeology of the Philadelphia Lazaretto, a precursor to Ellis Island

April 22, 2014
Bruce Stutz:  Three Centuries of Earth Day on the Delaware River

Environmental historian and journalist Bruce Stutz was the featured lecturer on Earth Day, April 22, 2014 at the David Library of the American Revolution. Mr. Stutz’s books include Natural Lives, Modern Times, People and Places of the Delaware River, an environmental history that connected the natural history of this longest undammed river on the East Coast to the civilization that grew up along its banks, a civilization that eventually threatened the very river that gave it life. His lecture, “Three Centuries of Earth Day on the Delaware River” addressed human impacts on the river. Within twenty years of William Penn's arrival in the late 1600s, Dutch, Swedish, and English colonists had irreversibly altered the nature of the Delaware River. According to Mr. Stutz, understanding the river's survival over the ensuing three centuries provides reason to be optimistic for its future.

Bruce Stutz is a contributing editor to OnEarth, the magazine of the Natural Resources Defense Council, and to e360, the online environmental journal of the Yale School of Forestry. For more than thirty years he has traveled the world to report on nature, the scientists who study it, and the challenges of environmental change. His articles have appeared in national and international publications, among them Discover, Natural History, Scientific American, The New York Times Magazine, Audubon, and Conde Nast Traveler. As a magazine editor—as features editor at Audubon and then as Editor-In-Chief of Natural History—he worked closely with international scientists from diverse disciplines and engaged some of the world’s best photojournalists. His museum projects include editorial concept design and content for “Science Storms,” a permanent exhibit at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry and exhibits at the California Science Center’s new Air and Space Center.

March 4, 2014
Michael Stewart: American Indian Life along the Delaware River in Colonial Times

Noted archaeologist Michael Stewart spoke about his research on American Indian culture in the Delaware Valley after the arrival of Europeans in a lecture held at the David Library of the American Revolution. Dr. Stewart, who teaches at Temple University, is an expert in American Indian archaeology of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. Professor Stewart specializes in the archaeology of Native Americans in the Delaware Valley over the past 13,000 years, including the historic period of Indian culture which begins with European contact with native populations. He has published extensively on Indian archaeology, and continues work on field projects throughout the Delaware Valley.

Dr. Stewart’s PowerPoint presentation explored the complicated interaction between native cultures and European set-tlers. Archaeological data and historical records illustrate how some Indian communities and aspects of traditional culture, such as tool and ceramic manufacture, continued through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries after contact with European colonists. At the same time, the archaeological record shows that European trade items were integrated into native and social relations.

Michael Stewart Indian Life along the Delaware in Colonial Times
Michael Stewart Indian Life along the Delaware in Colonial Times

November 13, 2013
Tim McGrath: War on the River: the Colonial Navy on the Delaware.

Mr. McGrath’s presentation focused on the Delaware River during the American Revolution. The events that took place on the Delaware – some heroic, some tragic, others comical – highlight the importance to the American cause that the river remain open, and equally necessary to the British that it be closed. The cast of characters include well-known names like Jones, Franklin, Barry, Cornwallis, and Howe – but also the unsung heroes, villains, and heroines who make the Delaware’s role in the war a great story.

A noted author and naval historian, McGrath is the author of John Barry: An American Hero in the Age of Sail.

Fever! The History and Archaeology of the Philadelphia Lazaretto, a precursor to Ellis Island

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