Marinus Willett (1740-1830), born in Jamaica, Queens, NY, was an agitator by 1765. He served in many military posts throughout the war, and was New York City's mayor 1807-08.
Date: Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Where: The Coffee House, 20 West 44th Street, 6th floor
Speaker: Tom Shachtman
Subject: How the French Saved America: Soldiers, Sailors, Diplomats, Louis XVI and the Success of a Revolution
To the rebelling colonies, French assistance made the difference between looming defeat and eventual triumph. Even before the Declaration of Independence was issued, King Louis XVI and French foreign minister Vergennes were aiding the rebels. After the Declaration, that assistance broadened to include wages for our troops; guns, cannon, and ammunition; engineering expertise that enabled victories and prevented defeats; diplomatic recognition when no other country would give it; safe havens for privateers; battlefield leadership by veteran officers; and the army and fleet that made possible the Franco-American victory at Yorktown.
Tom Shachtman is the author of two dozen non-fiction books as well as books for children and novels, and documentaries for CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, BBC, and other outlets. He has lectured at Harvard, New York University, Stanford, CCNY, Georgia Tech, the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, and the Huntington Library.
Cost: $45 for members, $55 for guests. (This includes an excellent three-course dinner.)
Individuals with food allergies or vegetarian preferences should definitely make their needs known before we meet.
Reservations, made 30 hours in advance by e-mail, postal mail, or phone, are much appreciated but not required. The secretary-treasurer can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org, or called at 212-874-5121. We look forward to seeing you!
The Coffee House, notwithstanding its name, is a private business-persons' luncheon club that has been in existence over a century. It is dedicated exclusively to ARRT-NY for five evenings each year. The club has a kitchen and two large, comfortable, atmospheric rooms on the sixth floor of a building of great architectural and historical interest in its own right: the home of the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen--New York's earliest labor union, organized in 1785. (The 44th Street block, incidentally, also comprises the New York Yacht Club, the Harvard Club, the New York City Bar Association, and the Algonquin Hotel.)
Meetings commence informally at 6:00 p.m. Hors d'oeuvres are served in the "living room," and a cash bar is available. Around 6:45, everyone finds a seat in the dining hall, where The Coffee House staff commences table service of a salad or appetizer, as the meeting begins with announcements, the introduction of first-time attendees, and the presentation by various members of reviews of recently-published books germane to the Revolutionary era. Books donated to ARRT are then auctioned off.
A hiatus is declared for general conversation while the main course is served. Around 8:00 p.m., as dessert and coffee are presented, the featured speaker is introduced. He or she offers a thirty or forty minute summary of the research involved in his or her recently-published book--heavily discounted copies of which are generally available for sale--followed by a lively question-and-answer period. The formal meeting is concluded around 9:00.