Speaking to groups is my absolute favorite! It allows me to have a place of intersection between my writing and my hobby of “living history.” I love engaging with audiences and small groups to help educate them on the subjects of Colonial life and the Revolutionary War period. I have presented roughly 350 times to over 150 classrooms and groups since 2014.
I love to speak to classrooms, clubs, libraries, DAR & SAR Chapters … anyone!! I can bring a high-energy, interactive presentation to your community, group, or school. All I need from your group is a projector and screen (for some presentations) and a book table for sales.
The Essential Details:
- Talk Duration: Typical programs are about an hour total. This includes the primary talk and a Q&A follow-up.
- Cost: My typical booking rate is $175 per presentation (this is the rate set by the Kentucky Humanities Council), plus travel expenses. However, for smaller groups with much smaller budgets, I am willing to work out something that is good for both of us. I simply ask groups to remember that a presentation is not just the time involved in giving the talk. There are hours of travel and preparation for the event.
- Projector and Screen: Some of my talks have a corresponding audiovisual presentation. If so, it will be indicated in the summary of the talk. I will have my own laptop and standard connectors.
- Book Table: I must have the opportunity to host a book table and make my books available to listeners. In the event that my wife is unable to travel with me, I may need a volunteer to help with book sales so that I might talk with audience members and autograph books.
Just contact me by email to arrange a date. We can discuss honoraria, book sales, etc… If you are from Kentucky, you have the opportunity to book me as a speaker through the Kentucky Humanities Council. I’ll tell you all about it. Please be sure to book the date with me before contacting the Kentucky Humanities Council! Groups in other states may contact me directly to make booking arrangements.
Current Programs Available
- **Revolutionary War in a Trunk – This hands-on, interactive program is fun for all ages! It is my most popular program, by far. I bring an old wooden trunk full of interesting items and military equipment from the Revolutionary War period. This presentation utilizes reproductions of 18th Century weaponry, camp tools and equipment, clothing, toys, personal hygiene items, and other everyday necessities. This trunk full of Colonial “treasures” helps bring to life the reality of everyday living during the Revolutionary War / Colonial Period. The program is adaptable to various locales and age groups.
*I require an additional table in the front of the room for the trunk and items.
- **The Siege of Fort Jefferson — Western Kentucky’s Forgotten Battle of the Revolution – Most Kentuckians associate the raids and combat of the Revolutionary War in their home state with the central and eastern sections of the Commonwealth. Precious few people know that there was actually a series of Revolutionary War skirmishes and a siege in the far western end of Kentucky. In this presentation, I tell the story of Fort Jefferson, a short-lived frontier outpost along the Mississippi River in what is now Ballard County. The fort was established in 1780 but abandoned in 1781 after a siege by the British and their Chickasaw Nation allies. The engagement involved the only major combat between American and Chickasaw forces in the American Revolution.
*Projector and screen required.
- **Betsy Johnson: Girl Patriot of Bryan Station, Kentucky – In August of 1782, the remote outpost at Bryan Station came under siege by a large band of Shawnee natives and British-Canadian Rangers. A group of incredibly brave women and their daughters ventured outside the walls of the station to carry water from the nearby spring back to the desperate families taking refuge inside the fort. Ten-year-old Elizabeth “Betsy” Johnson was one of those brave girls. Later that night, once the attack began in earnest, Betsy took an action that changed the course of American history. In this presentation, I tell the story of the Johnson family and their journey to Kentucky, their life on the frontier, and little Betsy’s amazing bravery as a Patriot of the American Revolution. This presentation relates to one of my novels, A Bucket Full of Courage: Betsy Johnson of Bryan Station.
*Projector and screen required.
- A Speech that Saved a Nation – George Washington and the Newburgh Conspiracy – In this program, I share the context of a series of events that almost led to an armed rebellion by the officers of the Continental Army against the Congress in 1783. Known as the “Newburgh Conspiracy,” this event threatened the United States in its infancy. The culmination of this presentation is my presentation of George Washington’s speech before that gathering of officers on the morning of March 15, 1783. Truly, it was a speech that saved our nation.
*An excellent presentation for George Washington’s Birthday or any other Patriotic event.
- A Tale of Two Revolutionary Christmases – This is my Revolutionary War Christmas program. In the presentation, I compare and contrast the Christmas of 1776 with the Christmas at Valley Forge, a mere one year later. This presentation brings to life the desperate days of America’s first two Christmases.
*An excellent program for any historically-related Christmas event … delivered in full Continental Army uniform.
**The first three programs are available to Kentucky groups by booking through the Kentucky Humanities Council.
Schools I have worked with include:
- Trigg County Intermediate School – Cadiz, KY
- Lakeland Elementary – Lakeland, TN
- Central Elementary – Dexter, MO
- Burt Elementary – Clarksville, TN
- Heritage Christian Academy – Hopkinsville, KY
- University Heights Academy – Hopkinsville, KY
- Caldwell County Elementary – Princeton, KY
- Lone Oak Middle School – Paducah, KY
- North Marshall Middle School – Calvert City, KY
- Mascoutah Elementary – Mascoutah, IL
- Pennyrile Area Christian Home Educators of Kentucky – Hopkinsville, KY
- Mary Jane Potter Elementary School – Whitesburg, KY
- Southwest Calloway Elementary – Murray KY
- North Calloway Elementary – Murray, KY
- East Calloway Elementary – Murray, KY
- Lincoln County Middle School – Stanford, KY
- Christian Home Education Network – Stanford, KY
- Murray Middle School – Murray, KY
- Fort Wright Elementary School – Fort Wright, KY
- South Todd Elementary – Guthrie, KY
Other Audiences / Groups:
- Tennessee Society SAR
- Kentucky Society SAR
- Illinois Society SAR
- Tennessee Society – Children of the American Revolution
- Descendants of Washington’s Army at Valley Forge – PA
- West Kentucky Pastfinders – Russellville, KY
- Trigg County Historical Society – Cadiz, KY
- John Manire Chapter SAR – Hopkinsville, KY
- Louisville-Thruston Chapter SAR – Louisville, KY
- Lt. William Moseley Chapter SAR – Owensboro, KY
- David Craig Chapter DAR – Brownsville, TN
- George Coon Public Library – Princeton, KY
- Lincoln County Public Library – Stanford, KY
- Larue County Public Library – Hodgenville, KY
- Col. Benjamin Logan Chapter SAR – Russellville, KY
- Gen. George Rogers Clark Chapter SAR – Edwardsville, IL
- Long Knives Chapter SAR – Marion, IL
- Valentine Sevier Chapter SAR – Clarksville, TN
- Col. Anthony Bledsoe Chapter SAR – Springfield, TN
- Joseph Greer Chapter SAR – Fayetteville, TN
- Hancock County Historical Society – Hawesville, KY
- Gen. Evan Shelby Chapter DAR – Owensboro, KY
- Capt. William Oury Chapter DAR – Murray, KY
- Elizabeth Campbell Russell Chapter DAR – Central City, KY
- Gen. John Caldwell Chapter DAR – Princeton, KY
- Russellville Chapter DAR – Russellville, KY
- Simpson County DAR – Franklin, KY
- Charlotte Reeves Robertson DAR – Springfield, TN
- State of Franklin Chapter SAR – Rogersville, TN
- Col. Benjamin Cleveland Chapter SAR – Cleveland, TN
- First Baptist Church – Russellville, KY
- Fort Laurens Museum – Bolivar, OH
- Ancestral Trails Historical Society – Elizabethtown, KY
- Todd County Public Library – Elkton, KY
- Lafayette Chapter SAR – Lexington, KY
- Capt. William Edmiston DAR – Clarksville, TN
- Col. Stephen Trigg SAR – Cadiz, KY
- Historic Camden (Revolutionary War Days) – Camden, SC
- Capt. Jacob Van Meter Chapter DAR – Elizabethtown, KY
- Kenton County Public Library – Erlanger, KY
- Rebecca Bryan Boone Chapter DAR – Burlington, KY
Meanwhile, here are a few testimonials from some of my recent “customers.”