A Look at the DAR Library Lecture Series: Maureen Taylor and James C. Thompson

Written by: Kiera E. Nolan, DAR Library Reference Librarian
October 15, 2015

On September 26, 2015, the DAR Library was able to entertain the entwined topics of the law and genealogy. Kay and William Freilich gave a lecture on their work “Genealogy and the Law.” Much was learned about the crossroads of genealogy and the law, and how vital it is for every genealogist to have knowledge of the law, then and now. The DAR Library was very excited to see our audience more than triple since our last lecture in July!

Tomorrow, October 17, the DAR Library is pleased to welcome Maureen Taylor, “The Photo Detective,” to talk about her works The Last Muster, Vols. 1 & 2. Maureen Taylor is currently a contributor to Family Tree Magazine, and has contributed to other publications including The Wall Street Journal, Better Homes and Gardens, The Boston Globe, Martha Stewart Living, Germany’s top newspaper Der Spiegel, The New York Time, and our own  American Spirit. Ms. Taylor has also appeared on The Today Show on NBC, where she built a family tree for then host, Meredith Veiera.

The impetus for the two volumes of The Last Muster is “The Last Muster Project.” Over a decade ago, Ms. Taylor went on the hunt for photographs taken during the 1840s of the remaining members of the Revolutionary War Generation. Many of those she found included Patriots, Loyalists, wives, widows, and children as well. These pictures were able to be taken thanks to the advent of photography in 1839, a whole 56 years after the Revolutionary War ended!

The project has now spawned two volumes of a remarkable photo-documentary of the histories of those who served and lived during the birth of our grand nation. Each photo displayed in the 2 volume series has an accompanied story of the person pictured. Ms. Taylor is able to pull the reader into the very lives and worlds of the soldiers, women, and children featured in her work. For a war that has been painted in dynamic, yet stagnant scenes, to see pictures of the real people, and hear their voices rise so clearly through their stories is a fascinating and moving experience.

This lecture will be held Saturday, October 17 at DAR Headquarters at 1 p.m. Registering for this lecture is not required but those who plan to attend can register here: http://daron17.eventbrite.com or by calling 202-879-3287.

On Halloween the DAR Library is in for a real treat! Author James C. Thompson comes to speak on his work, George Washington’s Mulatto Man – Who was Billy Lee? In this brand new work Thompson examines not only the hard facts of Billy Lee’s life as George Washington’s slave and valet, who accompanied him throughout the Revolutionary War and the rest of his life, but also the differing portrayals of Billy Lee by the artists who knew him personally, but portrayed him differently.

The life of the only slave George Washington out rightly freed in his will is finally given an examination. Come find out who Billy Lee really was with this ground breaking new book by James C. Thompson.

This lecture will be held Saturday, October 31 at DAR Headquarters at 1 p.m. Registering for this lecture is not required but those who plan to attend can register here: http://daron31.eventbrite.com or by calling 202-879-3287.

Copies of both works will be available for purchase at the events, or through Amazon.com.

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