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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 wmchapel.org.

Tuesday, February 3
The Battle of Crooked Billet

On May 1, 1778, while Gen. Washington’s troops were camped at the now-iconic Valley Forge, the virtually unknown Battle of Crooked Billet was fought near Hatboro, Bucks County. The confrontation pitted Gen. John Lacey’s Pennsylvania militia against the Queen’s Rangers led by Capt. John Graves Simcoe and Lt. Col. Robert Abercromby.

Surprised and outmaneuvered, Lacey’s troops fled to Warminster, losing their much-needed supplies and equipment. Of the several hundred men in the militia, almost one-quarter were killed, wounded or taken prison. Crooked Billet was a brutal battle, with the British committing war atrocities as never seen before.

About the Speaker

Scott Randolph

Scott Randolph, who has worked in television and film for over twenty years, has produced and directed numerous local, regional, and national television shows and films. His documentary, The Battle of The Crooked Billet, won two Telly Awards in Excellence for a Historical/Biography and Excellence in Videography.

Scott is the director for the national PBS television show Christina, which, under his guidance, became the #1 cooking show on cable. He has also directed fundraising shows for WHYY in Philadelphia.

He also won both a Telly and a Communicator Award for the orientation video for Graeme Park State Park (Horsham, PA), a national registered site.

In 2010, the marketing video Scott directed and produced for the Friends of Washington Crossing was shown at the Liberty Medal Ceremony for British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Scott is currently working on American Czestochowa, a documentary about the National Shrine at Czestochowa.


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
to be announced