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The Muster Roll
General Fund Donation

2017–2018 Speaker Series

sponsored by Sponsored by The Sherrin H. and Bruce A. Baky Foundation Sponsored by Malvern Federal Savings Bank

As part of the Alliance’s 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 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 unless otherwise noted. Suggested donation of $10 per person. A complimentary reception follows each talk.

For directions to the Chapel, visit

Enjoy dinner at The Tavern at Valley Forge before the show – 20% discount for members!

Tuesday, April 3
First Entrepreneur: How George Washington Built His – and the Nation’s – Prosperity

In this talk, Edward G. Lengel will present his first-ever study of Washington as a businessman, demonstrating how Washington’s mastery of finance and determination to secure American prosperity ultimately secured independence. Using Washington’s extensive but often overlooked financial papers, Lengel chronicles the fascinating and inspiring story of how this self-educated man built the Mount Vernon estate into a vast multilayered enterprise and prudently managed meager resources to win the war of independence. Later, as president, he helped establish the national economy on a solid footing and favorably positioned the nation for the Industrial Revolution.

About the Speaker

Edward G. Lengel

Edward G. Lengel is Chief Historian of the White House Historical Association. He received his B.A. in history from George Mason University in 1991, and his Ph.D. in history from the University of Virginia in 1998. For many years he was Professor and Director of the Washington Papers project. Lengel has written several award-winning books, including First Entrepreneur: How George Washington Built His – and the Nation’s – Prosperity (2016); Thunder and Flames: Americans in the Crucible of Combat, 1917–1918 (2015); To Conquer Hell: The Meuse-Argonne, 1918 (Henry Holt, 2008); and General George Washington: A Military Life (2005). He writes regularly for Military History Quarterly, American History and other periodicals, and has made television and radio appearances on The History Channel, Fox News, and National Public Radio.

Tuesday, May 1
SPECIAL LOCATION: Park Theater • Advance Tickets required due to capacity
An Evening with Baron Steuben
as interpreted by Bill Troppman

An evening with Baron Steuben, the brash, brilliant, determined foreigner who transformed the Continental Army.

About the Interpreter

William Troppman

William Troppman is a native of the Pittsburgh area. As a boy Bill developed a strong interest in history: initially with the era of the French and Indian War and the American Revolution, and not long thereafter, the American Civil War. Relatives and family friends always knew that for birthday and Christmas gifts, Bill presented his current book gift-list.

After completing his undergraduate studies in history at Monmouth College (now University) in New Jersey, Bill moved to Delaware County, where he taught U.S. History for ten years to middle and high school students.

Since 1990 Bill has worked with the National Park Service in the division of interpretation; first, at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, and for the last twenty-four years at Valley Forge National Historical Park. For three years Bill was also on the faculty of the Valley Forge Military Academy College, teaching U.S. History.

Besides presenting education programs at the park, Bill is the Valley Forge liaison for U.S. military staff rides. When time permits, he speaks to local historical societies in the area, and occasionally beyond the immediate area, including at the Fort Ticonderoga Revolutionary War Symposium and French and Indian War College, Fort Stanwix National Historic Site in Rome New York, the Sons of the American Revolution in Princeton, New Jersey, the Society of the Cincinnati in Philadelphia, and the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, in Alexandria, Virginia.

Bill and his wife Karen live in Delaware County. Their son lives in the area and their daughter and son-in-law reside in Charleston, South Carolina.

Alliance Members and Washington Memorial Heritage Donors:
Free with advance registration*

Non-members: $20 per ticket

* Young Friend or Individual member – 1 free ticket
* Family membership or higher – 2 free tickets

Click here to reserve or purchase your tickets.