We’re excited to continue our Historical Dinner Series on Tuesday, December 17, 2019, with a focus on the little fort that stood in the way of the British, Fort Mifflin on the Delaware.
Our speaker, Beth Beatty, Executive Director of Fort Mifflin, will let us know how in 1777 (from November 10th to the 15th), British troops bombarded the 22-acre fort with more than 10,000 cannon balls, eventually destroying the structure.
Inside the fort, a cold, wet and hungry garrison of 400 men suffered 240 casualties in the effort. So short were the Americans on ammunition that anyone retrieving a cannonball that could be fired back was promised a gill of rum — about four ounces. The weather hurt the Continental soldiers in another critical way. With unusually heavy rains flooding the back channel, two British ships were able to sail up the channel and bombard the fort’s only unfinished walls at point-blank range. British Marines even climbed up to the crow’s nest of the HMS Vigilant and threw hand grenades at soldiers inside the fort.The 40 men remaining at Fort Mifflin set fire to what was left of the structure, and then joined their comrades. But they left the fort’s flag flying, and they never surrendered.
Also find out about the explosion of the 64-gun HMS Augusta in the Delaware River in October 1777 after running aground and being fired on by Americans at Fort Mifflin and Fort Mercer. Author Tom Paine of “Common Sense” fame, who was on the road between Germantown and Whitemarsh, wrote to Ben Franklin that the sound was “like the peal of a hundred cannons at once.” The Augusta was the largest ship ever lost by the British to the Americans in two wars.
During the event, we’ll be pouring Yards Brewing Company’s Thomas Jefferson Golden Ale and George Washington Porter.
Light appetizers will be served at 5:30 p.m. Dinner orders will begin at 6:00 p.m., and dinner will be served around 6:30 p.m. View a PDF of the menu here.
A Q&A session will follow with complimentary coffee and mini desserts.
The price is $45 (tax & gratuity included), seating is limited and reservations are required. Call (610) 293-9333 to book your spot with us today.
More about Beth Beatty
Elizabeth has been Executive Director at Fort Mifflin on the Delaware since September 2010. Her career includes diverse experience, from public accounting to historic site management and program development. Beth earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Economics from Lehigh University and spent the early years of her career at Price Waterhouse. Following an interest in historic preservation and programming, she joined the staff at the Barclay Farmstead in the 1990s. As Executive Director at Fort Mifflin she enjoys varied responsibilities including program development, restoration, fundraising, marketing and strategic planning. Plus, she gets to fire the cannon occasionally!
Upcoming Historical Series Dinners
Jan 21st: The Battle of the Kegs and the Fall of Philadelphia (Presenter: Mike Kochan)
Feb 18th: The Battle of Monmouth (Presenter: Michael Timpanaro)