First group of nineteen restored paintings by John Ward Dunsmore (1856-1945) newly hung in the bright new gallery on the third floor of 54 Pearl Street
photo by Charles C. Lucas

Celebrate 1783!

After the British evacuated Manhattan in 1783, the Americans fired a 13-gun salute from Fort George at the Battery and raised the American flag, signaling the end of the war. That night, there was a fireworks display at Bowling Green, deemed by a local newspaper to have "exceeded every former Exhibition in the United States." This month, the SRNY marks the 225th anniversary of Evacuation Day with three exciting events. Celebrate with us!

Evacuation Day

Barnet Schecter Returns!

Our celebration begins on Thursday, Nov. 20, with a talk based on The Battle for New York: The City at the Heart of the American Revolution (Walker & Co., 2002) by one of our favorite authors, Barnet Schecter. He will recount the dramatic yet peaceful transfer of power in New York from the British to George Washington and his forces, and the evacuation of loyalist refugees. Join us at 6:30 p.m. at 54 Pearl Street; room to be announced. $6 (FTM Members free) includes museum admission and a wine and cheese reception.

March with Us

On Saturday, Nov. 22, walk the path of George Washington when you join the line of march or cheer from the sidelines. Our Evacuation Day Parade will be led by the Veteran Corps of Artillery (VCA) and will include representatives of many patriotic groups and lineage societies, to date:

  • Commodore Barry Club of Brooklyn, Inc.
  • Fort Greene Chapter, NSDAR
  • Hamilton Ramblers
  • Knickerbocker Chapter, NSDAR
  • Spirit of Liberty Fife & Drum
  • St. George's Society of New York
  • New York City Chapter, National Society US Daughters of 1812
  • New York City Chapter, NSDAR
  • New York Scottish Pipes and Drums
  • Order of Lafayette
  • 2nd Regiment, Light Dragoons, Tallmadge's Troop
  • 305th Elite Honor Guard USAF, McGuire AFB
  • US Army Garrison Fort Hamilton
  • US Coast Guard Sector New York
  • and our very own SRNY Color Guard

Join us! The list is still in formation. If you would like to be included, please call Margaret O'Shaughnessy, 212-425-1776, as soon as possible. For a printable flyer, click here.

All participating organizations should line up at City Hall at 10 a.m. according to the year each was founded. (Parade Marshalls will be on hand to help you.) The parade will step off at 12 noon sharp and make its way down Broadway, stopping at the reviewing stand in Bowling Green Park. There, the Union Jack will be lowered and the Stars and Stripes raised. Our final destination is Historic Battery Park, home to Castle Clinton and other historic sites.

13 Toasts and a Feast

Our Evacuation Day festivities conclude with our annual gala reception and dinner on Monday, Nov. 24 in Frances Tavern®. On Nov. 25, 1783, the British Army left New York and, that night, the first American-born Governor of New York, George Clinton, honored George Washington with a banquet in Fraunces Tavern®. Thirteen toasts were offered, beginning with "The United States of America" and ending with "May the Remembrances of this Day be a lesson to Princes". We will offer those toasts once again this year.

The evening begins with a cocktail reception at 6:30 P.M. in the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Educational Center for American History (Flag Gallery) in Fraunces Tavern® Museum. Dinner will be held in the restaurant at 7:30 P.M. The price is $75.00 per person. If you would like to join us, click here for the invitation and reservation form. The deadline is Nov. 17th.

News from the Executive Director

Richard A. Gregory reports that preparations for the 2009 visit of Magna Carta are underway. The contract between the SRNY and Lincoln Cathedral was signed on August 10th, clearing the way for much needed upgrades to the HVAC, security, and fire suppression systems in the Museum's Davis and Mesick Galleries. Construction is expected to begin October 13th and should be completed before December 30th. The improved systems will exceed American Association of Museums (AAM) standards, enabling us to qualify for traveling exhibits and loans from Mount Vernon and other major lenders.

We hope that possible collaborations with several foundations, institutes, and organizations with interest in the Magna Carta Exhibition will enhance and expand our education program. We are in contact with The Bill of Rights Foundation, The Heritage Foundation, The New-York Historical Society, The Gilder Lehrman Institute, The Mount Vernon Ladies Association, and the Council on Foreign Relations.

Negotiations are also underway with two organizations for special exhibits to replace "54 Pearl Street: If These Walls Could Talk" in the months leading up to Magna Carta's opening next fall. Details will be announced soon; for more information, email

Report of the Nominating Committee

Every December, the SRNY elects its officers and board members. The Notice of Annual Meeting will be mailed with the proxy card to all members by November 4. Members who don't sign and mail in the proxy may vote by ballot in person at the SRNY annual meeting on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2008, at 6 p.m.

Regular Ticket 2008-2009


  • President: COL Charles C. Lucas, Jr., MD
  • First Vice President (Chairman, Executive Committee): The Honorable James R. Grayshaw
  • Second Vice President: Floyd Smith Sanford, III
  • Third Vice President: Steven P. Trusnovec
  • Secretary: Kenneth H. Chase, Esq.
  • Treasurer: Donald Westervelt, Esq.
  • Registrar: Cornwell C. Martin
  • Chaplain: The Rev. Christopher M. Cullen

Board of Managers

  • Frederick L. Baker, III
  • Alan W. Borst, Jr., Esq.
  • Philip Coombe, III
  • Michael P. Coneys, Esq.
  • Raymond J. Manning
  • Stephen M. Noonan
  • Christopher M. Norfleet
  • Daniel J. O'Connell, Jr.
  • Wesley M. Oler, IV
  • Frederick W. Pattison
  • Charles A. Poekel, Jr., Esq.
  • Ambrose Richardson III, Esq.
  • Jonathan W. Ridgeway
  • Andrew W. Russell
  • P. Layton Sanders, Jr.
  • LTC Donald L. Twiss
  • Stephen T. Whelan, Jr., Esq.

Welcome, New Members!

The following men were voted into, or transferred to, senior membership at the Board of Managers meeting on Monday, Oct. 27, 2008:

  • Alejandro Beggs Quintana - Ancestor, Abner Graves
  • (Alejandro is the son of SRNY member Nicolas I. Quintana.)

Transferred to Senior Membership:

  • Michael Patrick Clarke - Ancestor, Caleb Smith
  • Patrick Nash Clarke - Ancestor, Caleb Smith
  • Thomas Loudon Collins, III - Ancestor, Edward Bennett
  • Alan George Coombe - Ancestor, Timothy Corwin
  • Christopher Rath Latos - Ancestor, George Stearns
  • Maxime Paternotte de la Vaillee - Ancestor, Major General P.J. Schuyler
  • Nicholas David Elliott Rigolino - Ancestor, Jacob Braden
  • Jeffrey Fulcher Thompson, Jr. - Ancestor, Johannes Van Deusen

Ave atque vale

We report with sadness that The Rev. Stephen J. Dibble of Liberty, New York, passed away on Oct. 11, 2008. He had been a member since 1968.

Color Guard Corner

Look your best for the holidays in our great silk ties! The dark blue Color Guard tie with bold insignia is a favorite with CG members. But everyone can enjoy sporting a red or blue SRNY tie. All are available in standard and long lengths, and as bow ties. For just $30 each, treat yourself to several. We know your friends and family will like them, too.

To order, send a check with your preferences to CG Treasurer Steven P. Trusnovec, P.O. Box 241, Yaphank, NY 11980. Make your check payable to "Color Guard - SRNY"; for more information, call Steve at (631) 924-9042.

Museum News

New Dunsmore Gallery Is Open

Take a quick trip through history when you visit the bright, new Dunsmore Gallery! The collection is a treat for the eye. The space provides a venue in which our docents can bring the Revolution to life for thousands of schoolchildren - and adults - who visit us each year.

The first group of restored paintings by John Ward Dunsmore (1856-1945) has been hung on the third floor of 54 Pearl Street; as of Nov. 1, 19 dramatic paintings illustrate events from the American Revolution. The paintings are arranged in loosely chronological order and include works such as "The Defense of Ft. Washington," "Washington Rebukes Lee at the Battle of Monmouth," and the ever-popular "Battle of Springfield - Give 'em Watts, Boys!" This is the first time in decades that some of these paintings have been displayed, and the first time they have been exhibited together in more than 40 years.

More paintings will be added to the Dunsmore Gallery as conservation progresses.

Dunsmore Conservation Continues

In 2005, Drumbeat, the national newsletter of the Sons of the Revolution, reported on the Museum's restoration of the paintings by John Ward Dunsmore. That article resulted in several generous sponsorships of paintings, and we are pleased to report that our Dunsmore Conservation Project has continued to grow. Of the forty-five paintings owned by the Museum, thirty-five were identified as needing conservation treatment. To date, a total of twenty-one have been sponsored and conserved.

In the past year alone, seven paintings were treated thanks to the Bay & Paul Foundations, Lawrence K. Casey, Jr., The Artist Preservation Group, Mr. & Mrs. Chips Page, Harlow Unger, and the Order of Lafayette. Fourteen paintings, however, still need work. One of our top priorities is "Washington and Staff Watching the Battle of Long Island," a small work that will only cost $2000 for restoration of both the painting and the frame. Costs for conservation of the remaining paintings range from $1200 for the smallest to $7500 for the largest, with most paintings falling within the $2500 - $3500 range. Please visit for a detailed listing.

The Museum would like to express its grateful appreciation to all of the individuals and groups who have donated so generously to this project.

George Washington's Birthday Ball

Be prepared for a few surprises! On Thursday, Feb. 19, 2009, our annual celebration of George Washington's Birthday Ball will be held at a grand new venue: the elegant Metropolitan Club. We are working with our gracious partners from the Knickerbocker Chapter, NSDAR, to plan a memorable evening of warm fellowship, delicious dining, and lively dancing. Invitations will be mailed shortly.

This just in! The Distinguished Patriot Award will be given to G. Philip Hughes, former ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Carribbean. Currently, Ambassador Hughes is senior director of the White House Writers Group.

Join the Committee

Would you like to become part of the Benefit Committee? It's easy; click here for information. All tickets purchased above the basic level entitle you to be listed as a committee member on the Ball invitation and in the evening's program. Your own benefits increase with higher levels of support.


Thurs., Nov. 20 at 6:30 p.m.: Barnet Schecter Returns! Flag Gallery; $6 admission (includes refreshments); free for Museum members.

Sat., Nov. 22, 12 noon: A Parade Most Patriotic City Hall Park to Historic Battery Park; free. Join us in the line of march! Call 212-425-1776.

Mon., Nov. 24, 6:30 p.m.: A Gala Evening Not to Be Missed Evacuation Day Dinner at 54 Pearl Street; reservations required. Call 212-425-1776.

Tues., Dec. 9, 2008 at 12:30 p.m.: New Book! Thomas M. Truxes Defying Empire: Trading with the Enemy in Colonial New York Free with museum admission: $4/$3 students and seniors. Museum members always free.

Thurs., Dec. 18, 2008 at 6:30 p.m.: New Book! Dr. Paul Lockhart The Drillmaster of Valley Forge: The Baron de Steuben and the Making of the American Army Flag Gallery; $6 admission (includes refreshments); free for Museum members.

Thurs., Feb. 19, 2009: George Washington's Birthday Ball Metropolitan Club; invitations to be mailed soon.

Click here for Museum event details. For a complete calendar of SRNY events, click here.

Around Town

Our compatriots at the American Revolution Round Table celebrated their 50th anniversary at the Williams Club on Tuesday, Oct. 7. Linda Russell & Friends started the evening with a rousing medley of early American songs. Before dinner, members of the renowned Village Light Opera Group presented an inspiring medley from the hit musical "1776." Following a four-course feast, Pulitzer-Prize winning author David Hackett Fisher spoke about the importance of teaching history in our schools and answered questions about his book Washington's Crossing (Oxford, 2004). If you are interested in learning more about the Round Table, visit its website or email Secretary/Treasurer James Davis at Many SRNY members participate in this fine organization.

Musicians from Linda Russell and Friends entertain the ARRT on Oct. 7
Photo by Maria Dering

Dutch New York Revisited. On Thurs., Oct. 2, the Knickerbocker Chapter, NSDAR, which meets at Fraunces Tavern® Museum, hosted a walking tour of old Dutch New York for about 30 members and friends. Stops included the sites of Fort Amsterdam, Peter Minuit's house, Stone Street, the remains of the Dutch city hall, and a glimpse of Mill Lane. Although the weather was chilly, spirits ran high. For more information on this DAR chapter, visit its website.

Audrey Svensson, Anne Farley, and John Mauk Hilliard share a story on Sept. 18
Photo courtesy Colonial Dames of America

Finally, SRNY members and friends say thank-you to the Colonial Dames of America. The organization, of which Audrey Svensson is President General, hosted a delightful reception on Sept. 18 to benefit the CDA's mid-19th century-style garden. The SRNY was well represented; President John Mauk Hilliard attended, along with Executive Committee Chairman Charles C. Lucas, Jr., MD; Executive Director Richard A. Gregory; Development Director Allison K. White; Board of Managers Member Floyd Smith Sanford, III, SRNY member Harlan Whatley, and others.


When and where was the American Navy founded?

After the retreat from Canada in April and May 1776, General Benedict Arnold organized the first American Navy on Lake Champlain to thwart a British invasion from Canada. The fleet was built at Whitehall and outfitted at Ticonderoga.

The SRNY Patriot

Published online monthly by The Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York

54 Pearl Street

New York, NY 10004


Editor: Maria Dering

Contributors: Amy Northrop Adamo, Richard A. Gregory, Margaret O'Shaughnessy, Jennifer Patton, Steven P. Trusnovec

layout and HTML: Sandy Sanford

distribution: Thomas C. Williams

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