Lewes Historical Society announces History Happy Hour schedule for August

July 27, 2013

The Lewes Historical Society continues its History Happy Hour of interesting dialog led by local history buffs, ranging in topic from early explorers of the Delaware Bay to Lewes during the Revolutionary War. Every Friday through Sept. 27, featured presentations will be offered free of charge at 4 p.m. for 20 to 30 minutes, followed by a question-and-answer period.

During the presentations, a glass of wine will be served by Rose & Crown, Lewes’s upscale British pub. Due to the public’s overwhelming support, The Lewes Historical Society has relocated these programs to a larger venue. All History Happy Hours will now be held at the Hotel Rodney, the program's sponsor, at 142 Second St.

On Aug. 2, William H.J. Manthorpe Jr. will present "Jacob Jones: Naval Hero of 1812." This presentation highlights the heroic activities of Jacob Jones during the War of 1812 and discusses how his choice of a naval career could have been influenced by his boyhood in Lewes.

Manthorpe is a retired U.S. Navy captain, government senior civilian executive and university professor. He currently teaches at Delaware Technical Community College. In recent years he has been researching, writing and speaking on naval history with a focus on Delaware’s naval heroes, their battles, naval activities in Delaware Bay and at Cape Henlopen, and Delaware’s ships and shipbuilding.

On Aug. 9, speaker Chuck Fithian will present "The Wooden World Revealed: The Archaeology of His Majesty’s Sloop of War DeBraak."  This presentation will cover DeBraak’s history and what the analysis of the many common and rare artifacts have revealed about life aboard a Royal Navy warship, and will place the vessel into its wider historical context.

Raymond Bradley, PhD, will present "The War of 1812 and the Bombardment of Lewes" on  Aug. 16. Bradley will share the historical highlights of the War of 1812 and the events surrounding the actual bombardment of the town of Lewes and its aftermath.

Bradley was a professor emeritus of philosophy at St. Francis University in Loretto, Pa. He received his PhD from Duquesne University. Bradley moved to Lewes with his wife in 2009. He has four children and six grandchildren. Bradley is also a descendent of two veterans of the War of 1812.

On Aug. 23 Paul Collins will present "Early Explorers of the Delaware Bay." This lecture will consider the early explorers of the region and the charters of the Delaware River and Bay, their nationality, sponsors and missions. Collins will also examine the names the explorers gave to the region throughout this period and the current names and the early settlements at Zwaanendael and Fort Christina.

Collins and his wife moved to Lewes in 2007. Since then, he has been very active with The Lewes Historical Society working on ghost tours and lecturing on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry during the summer. Prior to moving to Lewes, Collins worked for New York State Institute for Basic Research in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities as assistant director of the Department of Biomedical Engineering.  In 1988, he was recruited by Total Tec Systems; there, he became vice president of Engineering Services in 1997 and in 1999 was promoted to the position of CIO/CTO. In 2001, Total Tec Systems was sold to Bell Microsystems, and Collins took on the role of CTO for Bell Micro. His educational background includes a master of science in biomedical engineering from Rutgers University, a master of science in biopsychology from Rutgers University, a bachelor of science in biopsychology from Virginia Commonwealth University and a bachelor of science in engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

On Aug. 30, Mike Morgan will present "Lewes and the Revolutionary War." The story of the War for Independence at Lewes is one of determination, intrigue and courage. Local historian and author Morgan will discuss this turbulent time in the history of Lewes.

A retired history teacher, Morgan has been writing freelance newspaper articles on the history of southern Delaware and the Mid-Atlantic Region for more than three decades. He is the author of the Delaware Diary, which appears weekly in the Delaware Coast Press and the Sussex Journal, which is a weekly feature of The Wave.  He is the author of "Pirates and Patriots," "Tales of the Delaware Coast," "Rehoboth Beach: A History of Sand and Surf," "Bethany Beach: A Brief History,"  "Ocean City: Going Down to the Ocean" and "Civil War Delaware."

The Lewes Historical Society expressed thanks to History Happy Hour sponsor Hotel Rodney. The Rose & Crown also supports the History Happy Hour program. For a complete listing of speakers, subjects and locations of The Lewes Historical Society’s History Happy Hours, visit

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