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The Muster Roll

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The Friends of Valley Forge is now the
Valley Forge Park Alliance

celebrating 40 years! VF Park Alliance logo revealed

Valley Forge Park Alliance announced during Heritage Night on June 17, 2016.

This year marks a special anniversary for us – in 1976, Valley Forge became a national park and a group of visionary citizens united as “Friends” to support it. Forty years later, we have grown into a national alliance of corporations, organizations and individual who share the goals of supporting and protecting the hallowed grounds of Valley Forge but also recognize an ever growing community that extends beyond the boundaries of the Park.

To celebrate this milestone, we are now the Valley Forge Park Alliance. As a friend of Valley Forge Park and now a friend of the Valley Forge Park Alliance, YOU are the reason for our success. Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do to support and preserve Valley Forge National Historical Park.

Our Mission: The Alliance works to advocate for Valley Forge National Historical Park, to enhance the visitor experience and to promote public appreciation of the Park’s historic, environmental and recreational resources.

Speaker Series

Tuesday, October 4 7 pm Washington Memorial Chapel Free Event
“Whatever did they eat?”

In the 18th century, some called Pennsylvania “the best poor man’s country. Seeking a better life, and perhaps to practice religion peacefully, Europeans came by the boatload to Penn’s Woods. Hard work and a favorable environment led to success for many.

Then the Revolutionary War erupted. Some residents did not take sides, hoping to continue their lives undisturbed. The Battle of Brandywine, the British occupation of Philadelphia, and the American encampment at Valley Forge, however, kept the opposing armies in the area for months. With two armies nearby – both foraging and hungry – families in Eastern Pennsylvania during the winter of 1777-78 found themselves severely pinched for food.

Using a variety of 18th century sources as well as meticulous research and analysis, Dr. Dillon will help us to answer this question: Whatever did they eat during the winter of 1777–78?

About the Speaker

Clarissa F. Dillon

Clarissa F. Dillon, with a Ph.D. in history from Bryn Mawr College, is a highly regarded historian, interpreter, author, teacher, and demonstrator who brings wide-ranging research, hands-on experience, and careful documentation into her presentations and publications on 18th-century housewifery.

She has presented at dozens of conferences throughout the country and has given hundreds of programs at schools, garden clubs, Questers groups, historical sites, and museums. Dr. Dillon was the kitchen consultant at the 1696 Thomas Massey house in Broomall, the Thompson-Neely House in Washington Crossing, and Rockingham House in New Jersey, as well as a consultant for Cedar Grove, a Fairmount Park House in Philadelphia, and Waynesborough, in Paoli.

Dr. Dillon is a founding member of Past Masters in Early American Domestic Arts; many of her articles have appeared in this organization’s newsletter. Her numerous conference papers include intriguing titles such as They Did Too Eat Tomatoes! and Weeds or Wildings? She has also written at least twenty books, including So Serve it up: Eighteenth Century Foodways in Eastern Pennsylvania and Next to Godliness (about doing laundry).

Student Transportation Funds for Teachers

student transportation fund

The Friends of Valley Forge Park has established a fund to provide free transportation for qualifying school groups to visit the Valley Forge National Historical Park (VFNHP). The goal is to make it easier for teachers and students to access the exhibits and many educational resources offered by the VFNHP. Funds to reimburse the costs of transportation are currently available, on a first-come, first-served basis, to Schools in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey Regions (schools should be within a 45 mile radius of VFNHP).   read more

Valley Forge Legacy: The Muster Roll Project

muster roll

The Valley Forge Muster Roll is dedicated to the memory of those who were at the Valley Forge encampment from December 19, 1777 to June 19, 1778. The Continental Army used monthly muster rolls to track the army’s strength. Each roll contains names, ranks, dates of enlistment, and other notes on soldiers’ assignments, activities, or conditions. In addition, the names officers, camp followers, civilians and others present at the Valley Forge encampment are included. You may be surprised at the wide array of people who were at Valley Forge.

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