February 23, 2017 | By Kylie Larkin — Professor Edward J. Larson delivered a keynote address on the Newburgh Conspiracy at the 143rd annual meeting of the Washington Association of New Jersey. The annual meeting took place on February 20, in Morristown, New Jersey, which was the site of General Washington’s winter headquarters during the American Revolution.
Via USA Today network:
This year’s keynote speaker was Ed Larson, a Pulitzer-Prize-winning professor from Pepperdine University, who discussed “The Newburgh Conspiracy,” a potential Continental Army mutiny Washington thwarted in Newburgh, New York near the end of the Revolution.
“As Washington stories go, it’s less well-known,” Larson said. “So it’s good to share with a group (like the Washington Association of New Jersey) that knows so much about Washington, something to broaden and deepen his story.”
The story took place near the end of the Revolution in 1783, when officers in the Continental Army grew frustrated with Congresses inability to pay their military. During the Revolution, Washington battled British propaganda that made the threat of mutiny ever-present.
“They would speak to the colonists and say ‘why are you revolting?’ You’re trading in one King George for another,” Larson said. “Revolutions always make for a dictatorship, they would say.”
But Washington was a great leader and speaker, able keep command of his army in the direst of situation. While the threat of mutiny was imminent, Washington was able to prevent discord and save the republic.
“Washington stood strong in the wake of an anti-democratic coup by his own men,” Larson said. “It is one of the great historical events that make Washington so beloved. First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his country.”
Prior to Larson’s speech in the Glynallyn Room at the Madison Hotel, the Lamb’s Artillery Company & 2nd New Jersey Regiment, wearing Revolutionary War uniforms, marched the flag into the room. The colors were retired after his address.
Washington Association President Eileen Cameron was thrilled to have Larson lecture. Copies of his newest book, “Return of George Washington: Uniting the States, 1783-1789,” were also on sale at the luncheon.
“To have a Pulitzer Prize-winning speaker who is so well-regarded throughout the nation for his work in American history and George Washington is a real treat,” Cameron said. “We always look for a historian with specific knowledge of George Washington or the founding fathers.”
State Sen. Anthony R. Bucco said the luncheon is an important way to keep Washington’s history in the area alive.
“Washington’s headquarters is so close to here that you could walk to it,” Bucco said. “He spent a lot of time in New Jersey, from Fort Nonsense, to Jockey Hollow, and crossing the Delaware. It’s important to take this day to observe it along with the Washington Association.”
The complete article and video may be found at www.dailyrecord.com
Professor Larson’s book, “The Return of George Washington,” may be found at HarperCollins.com