The History of the United Sates is a True Story—Worth Telling
America’s History is a living narrative that belongs to all American citizens. While “We the People” stem from many different geographic origins and ethnic backgrounds—we are “One People”—the story of our nation should be viewed in its totality with no contributions overlooked.
Our Chapter and Society confirms that the story of the United States began formally on 4 July 1776. And while the first permanent colonies were settled, beginning in 1607 at Jamestown, followed in 1620 by the colony founded in Plymouth by Puritan Pilgrims, the country, or the colonies as they were then known, began to prosper and expand throughout the passage of the 17th and 18th Centuries. Many of the institutions that defined the colonies were carried into the new nation of the United States upon its Declaration of Independence from the English Crown on 4 July 1776. The ability to govern, legislate, adjudicate, educate, succeed in domestic and international commerce, construction, maritime development, and defense were developed and practiced during the colonial period of our history as was human slavery, and oppression of the native people of this land.
As in every chapter of World History, America’s Story is filled with episodes of amazing achievement and contribution to the betterment of its people and those of other countries. Yet, with truth as a paramount virtue of a great nation, our story is incomplete without the inclusion of the grave errors made with respect to human slavery and its treatment of our Native Americans.
The history of the United States that we share in our presentations is Our National Story—it is My history and it is Your history—irrespective of our race, religion, creed or personal preference—these have no bearing on the truth we seek to share.
The commitment of the compatriots of the Cincinnati Chapter of the Ohio Society of the Sons of the American Revolution is to equally represent all facets of the American Story as they may impact any presentation to our youth and adult audiences. Any presentation made will find its roots in the founding archival documents of our nation.
The Cincinnati Chapter SAR Speakers Bureau consists of members of the Sons of the American Revolution who are knowledgeable in many historical and genealogical disciplines. All presentations can be tailored to younger students as well as adult audiences.
Please contact the Speaker Chairman to schedule a speaker for your event. Our schedule fills fast. Do not wait until the last minute to schedule your event.
All of our members are volunteers. Donations are accepted. The Sons of the American Revolution is a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization.
Classes, Lectures & Stories of the Revolutionary Era
The Battle of Yorktown – Presented by Dr. Ed Bonniwell
The Battle of Yorktown presentation is the story of the Battle of Yorktown, which effectively ended the Revolutionary war, and is full of mystery and intrigue. In this presentation you will learn about how Britain’s greatest military tactician and strategist, Lord Cornwallis, came to position himself on the banks of the York River, the strategy of Washington at Yorktown, and the significant contributions made by American General Nathaniel Green. The presentation chronicles the life of Lord Cornwallis following the American Revolution, and George Washington in the aftermath of the surrender of Yorktown.
- Why was the Battle of Yorktown significant?
- Why did Lord Cornwallis the British General, position himself in such a vulnerable place as Yorktown?
- Why do some say that General Nathaniel Greene is most responsible for winning the Revolutionary War?
- When Nathaniel Greene relieved General Gates, many of his militia were using a different weapon that helped to turn the tide of the war, what was it?
Reflections on Samuel Adams – Presented by Dr. Ed. Bonniwell
Often thought of as America’s Brewmeister, Samuel Adams was a man of great substance and learning. This presentation reveals the life change that occurred in Adams’ thinking. We will see how he extrapolated from scripture the great principles and ideals that found their way into the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights. His voice, perhaps more than any other, was the prophetic voice of the American Revolution!
Upon completion of the course students should be able to answer 3 of the following…
- In 1740 Samuel Adams graduated from Harvard and came under the spell of a great British evangelist named George Whitfield. How did this forever change his life, turning him into a radical Patriot?
- Samuel Adams’ innovation of the letters of correspondence throughout the Colonies was a brilliant movement for what great reason?
- Samuel Adams’ extrapolation of the great principles and ideals that he came to hold regarding freedom are found in what great documents that we now cherish as a nation?
- Why did Samuel Adams create and fund at his own expense a great Sunday school movement that was non-sectarian employing at his own expense teachers who would be accountable to him?
Artifacts of the late 18th century – Presented by Dr. Michael Bernard Gunn
I have an assortment of more than 30 objects that represent items utilized in the 18th Century around the time of The Revolutionary War. They describe and reflect, for example, on what was worn as clothing, utensils at the dinner table different than what we see today. A few items used in the Wars fought during that era Musket balls, Cannon ball, tomahawk, etc.
Upon completion of the course students should be able to answer 3 of the following…
- What two types of clothing were worn by the Americans during the Revolution?
- Who inspired some common dining ware to the Colonial Army?
- How much did cannon balls weigh?
- Why did rifles help win the American Revolutionary War?
- What was the most potent weapon used by both sides during the War with Britain?
The Events Leading Up to the Revolutionary War – Presented by Bob Bowers
It is important to understand what caused the Colonists to rebel against the King of England. This presentation describes events from 1764 to 1775 that infuriated the Colonists and led to war.
- Why did King George tax the colonies?
- Why did the colonists resist these taxes?
- How did the colonists resist?
- How did England respond?
- What happened at Lexington and Concord?
The Battle of Brooklyn Heights – Presented by Bob Bowers
This presentation talks about the first major battle of the Revolutionary War and how weather, courage and deception saved the American army from utter annihilation to fight another day and ultimately win the Revolutionary War.
Upon completion of the course students should be able to answer the following…
- Why did Washington divide his forces between Manhattan and Brooklyn?
- What was the Americans’ biggest mistake?
- How did the British exploit the Americans’ mistake?
- What did the “Maryland 400” do?
- What was the British’s biggest mistake?
- How did weather and deception save the American Army?
The Declaration of Independence – Presented by Gregg Ballman
This begins with a brief discussion of the events leading up to the war and why the Colonists felt a break with England was necessary, although not everyone wanted independence. The Declaration is broken down into its four parts with a brief discussion of each: the preamble representing the introduction and its meaning, a declaration of national rights, grievances against King George and a Resolution of Independence from England. The Constitution and Bill of Rights are high-lighted.
- What war did America fight to win our independence from Britain?
- How did taxes and individual freedoms impact the start of the Revolutionary War?
- Name three of Americas founding documents.
- Which document declared American independence from Britain?How does the Bill of Rights relate to the Declaration of Independence?
General Overview of the Revolution – Presented by Dr. Jeff Hartman
This presentation highlights the differences between the British and Colonists. This discusses men’s and women’s clothing, citizen (militia), frontiersman and Continental Soldier. It also mentions key women of the Revolution, Deborah Sampson, Cybil Ludington, etc.
Upon completion of the class the student should be able to:
- Identify who was all involved in the Revolutionary War, and how they became involved.
- Discuss and identify articles of clothing used by the colonists, soldiers and militia.
- Identify tools and utensils used during the colonial period.
The Life of the Everyday Revolutionary War Soldier – Presented by Jack Bredenfoerder
Joseph Plumb Martin, a Memoir of a Revolutionary War Soldier. Joseph Plumb Martin was a young Revolutionary War soldier from Connecticut who served throughout the entire American Revolutionary War. He kept a detailed account of his firsthand experiences which is considered an extremely important primary source document for the Revolutionary War. It has been often cited by scholars researching the war, and it is particularly valuable because it gives us the perspectives of an ordinary Private who eventually advanced to the rank of Sergeant. This presentation concentrates on the everyday life of the soldiers of the American Revolution.
At the completion of course, students should be able answer at least 3 of the following…
- Who was Joseph Plumb Martin and why is he important?
- What hardships did he endure as a soldier in the Continental Army?
- Identify three major battles that he fought in during the American Revolution. How were they different?
- What are the major events that happened at Valley Forge that changed the direction of the war?
- How did Martin perceive his fellow soldiers, officers and leaders?
The Bill of Rights – Presented by Lee Wilkerson
This presentation will explain the Bill of Rights granted to citizens of the United States by their government under the US Constitution. The Bill defines what rights the government may not infringe upon without first amending the Constitution. Many of these first ten amendments are a direct consequence of the grievances the Colonists had against the British government and without which the U.S. Constitution may not have been ratified by all states.
At the completion of course, students should be able answer at least 3 of the following…
- In what part of the US Constitution are the Bill of Rights found?
- What organization or entity grants the rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights?
- Identify 3 individual rights guaranteed under the Bill of Rights.
- How many amendments to the US Constitution compose the Bill of Rights?
- What is a constitutional amendment?
George Washington – Presented by Zachary T. Haines
Upon being asked by the officers of his chapter, Zac reluctantly agreed to assume the role of President George Washington. Although new in the role, Zac visits K-12 schools dressed as General Washington to educate children about our Founding Fathers, Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and the American Revolution. He believes that America’s history must be preserved and transmitted to future generations.
A Broad Perspective on the Period of the Revolution — Presented by Bob Hill
In his course offerings he addresses a wide range of subjects speaking to the causes of the Revolution, Paul Revere’s ride, and Sybil Ludington’s ride, the life of a Continental Army Soldier, Militiamen, speaking of his clothing, weapons, usual diet, shelter, training for battles, and life at Valley Forge. He frequently speaks to the alliance with France, as well as the role of African Americans, or Native Americans in the American Revolution. He wears the Dragoon (Cavalry) Uniform, speaks to the life of the Continental Cavalryman. He also addresses the land bounties awarded to Revolutionary War Veterans and their migration westward into the Ohio Valley. He carries very large copies of the Declaration of Independence, sharing it with students and speak-ing to it in its broader parameters.
At completion of the course, students should be able to answer at least 3 of the following:
- How debt incurred by England in the French and Indian War led to increased taxation in the colonies and increased friction between the King and his subjects.
- Who are the “Sons of Liberty?”
- Name at least 3 signers of the Declaration of Independence. How many signers died and had their homes burned by the British?
- Who was Baron von Steuben?
- What American victory, and what American diplomat persuaded France to aid America in its War for Independence?
- Who offered freedom to former slaves if they enlisted and served time in their Army?
Unknown Heroes, John Glover and the Marblehead Regiment – Mark Holland
If there is a story that needs to be told, it’s that of John Glover and his Marblehead regiment. These heroic, brave men saved the American Revolution in 1776 not once, but THREE times! This presentation will dive into these accounts and give exciting details on what makes these men heroes!
The Ten Crucial Days: Washington crossing the Delaware and the Battles of Trenton and Princeton – Dan Schmitz
“These are the times that try men’s souls,” wrote Thomas Paine in American Crisis on December 19, 1776. Paine’s immortal words perfectly sum up the state of the Revolution at the end of 1776. The crisis was simple; George Washington’s army had been beaten and driven from Long Island, New York was in British hands, and many of his troop’s enlistments would expire at the end of the year. After a long retreat across New Jersey, the only thing holding the British at bay was winter, and the Delaware River. The Revolution tottered on the brink of failure.
At completion of the course, students should be able to answer the following:
- The learner will understand events which led to The First Battle of Trenton and how those events led to the next battle.
- The learner will understand The Second Battle of Trenton and how those events led to the next battle of the war.
- The learner will understand the Battle of Princeton and how the events became to be known as the Ten Crucial Days of the Revolutionary War. December 25, 1776-January 3, 1777
African Americans in the American Revolution– Mark Holland
The story of how the original thirteen American Colonies broke away from Great Britain and formed the United States. This story is well known. Less well known is how African-Americans felt and what they did during the War of Independence. In this presentation you’ll learn about the difficult decisions faced by African Americans, the heroic first all-black continental regiment, and a slave turned spy.
Washington’s Commander in Chief Guards – Mark Holland
With the war about to change no longer would he be commanding an army maintaining a static siege line, but a mobile army, marching to meet the next British threat. With movement came additional dangers, there were a number of Tories spread over the countryside that were determined to assist the British and of course there was the British Army itself. Therefore, a surprise raid on his headquarters was a serious possibility. To counter that possibility Washington decided to form a personal guard. This presentation will discuss the attempted mutiny, the recreation of the unit, and their exploits in various battles.
Marquis de Lafayette, the Lancelot of the American Revolution – Mark Holland
Born into an ancient family of French warriors, the Marquis de Lafayette inherited a desire for adventure! When the time came to prove his mettle, it was not at the service of France, but the rebellious American colonies. This presentation will discuss what Lafayette gave up, his relation-ships, especially with Washington, and his accomplishments on the battlefield.
John Laurens, The Abolitionist and Soldier – Mark Holland
In the words of George Washington about John Laurens, “that it is my firm belief his merits & worth richly entitle him to the whole picture: no man possessed more of the amor patria—in a word, he had not a fault that I ever could discover…” This presentation discusses John Laurens as part of Washington’s inner circle or “military family”, his plan for to recruit slaves from the southern states into regiments for the Continental Army and emancipate them in return for their military service, and his heroic nature.
Nathaniel Greene, Forgotten Hero and Youngest Brigadier General – Mark Holland
One of the most effective American generals of the War for Independence, Rhode Island’s Nathaniel Greene was one of those extraordinary figures who excelled as a commander despite having no formal military training or experience. This presentation will give details of Greene’s ups and downs and how he became one of the Revolutions greatest heroes.
Fascinating “did you knows” of the American Revolution – Mark Holland
Stories such as tales of the 16-year-old Virginia Giant who fought for the Continentals, what Washington’s teeth were really made of, the deadliest hurricane in recorded history, the first “national anthem” before the Star Spangled Banner, and many more fascinating stories and “did you knows about the American Revolution!
Washington’s Spy Ring, The Culper Spy Ring – Mark Holland
British forces occupied New York in August 1776, and the city would remain a British strong-hold and a major naval base for the duration of the Revolutionary War. Though getting information from New York on British troop movements and other plans was critical to General George Washington, commander of the Continental Army, there was simply no reliable intelligence network that existed on the Patriot side at that time. That changed in 1778, when a young cavalry officer named Benjamin Tallmadge established a small group of trustworthy men and women from his hometown of Setauket, Long Island. Known as the Culper Spy Ring, Tallmadge’s homegrown network would become the most effective of any intelligence-gathering operation on either side during the Revolutionary War.
The Captain Howard Miller Flag Collection – Colonel Don McGraw
The flag collection consists of 70 flags collected by the late Captain Miller and represent the history of the flags and banners that have flown over the United States since its earliest days as a British Colony. The story of each flag is told and anecdotes from the period of its use are related by Col. McGraw.