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Museum lecture series continues with exploration of Lafayette

Founding partner in Lynch, Brewer, Hoffman & Fink, LLP, a Boston-based law firm, Alan Hoffman will speak on the role Lafayette played as a symbol of Franco-American friendship at the American Independence Museum’s next evening lecture on October 4. President of The American Friends of Lafayette as well as The Massachusetts Lafayette Society, Hoffman has also translated Lafayette in America in 1824 and 1825 by Auguste Levasseur.

In commenting on what attendees can expect at the lecture, Hoffman referenced Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the following at the beginning of his song “Guns and Ships” in the hit, hip-hop Broadway musical Hamilton:

How does a ragtag volunteer army in need of a shower
Somehow defeat a global superpower?
How do we emerge victorious from the quagmire?
Leave the battlefield waving Betsy Ross’ flag higher?
Yo. Turns out we have a secret weapon!
An immigrant you know and love who’s unafraid to step in!
He’s constantly confusin’, confoundin’ the British henchmen
Ev’ryone give it up for America’s favorite fighting Frenchman!

“Those words provide—albeit poetically—the backdrop for my discussion, which will cover Lafayette’s role in the Revolution and how he eventually became the most popular man in America,” said Hoffman. “It’s an interesting story that spans well over 200 years of history.”

Expressing excitement at his upcoming lecture, Museum Education manager Abigail Pietrantonio said the entire series has been “a resounding success” in 2016.

“Even though these are free lectures, I don’t think any of us thought they would command the sort of attention they have drawn,” she said. “Mr. Hoffman is well known for his expert knowledge on Lafayette, and so I expect a full house and lively discussions to follow.”

Aimée Sundstrom, marketing manager at Service Credit Union, a major Museum sponsor in 2016-2017, said the lecture series is important in that it sheds light on many facets of America’s revolutionary history.

“These lectures are great because they dig deep into aspects of American history that many people may not know about,” she said. “We are very impressed at the success of the series and look forward to Mr. Hoffman’s presentation.”

Scheduled for 7 pm on Tuesday, October 4 on the second floor of the Museum’s Folsom Tavern, 164 Water Street in Exeter, the Lecture is made possible by generous support from the New Hampshire Humanities Council.

Pre-registration is required for this free lecture. Please contact Abby Pietrantonio at

Moat Mountain Brewing Co. joins Beer for History in Exeter

Americans have long revered their pint of beer, which underscores the popularity of the American Independence Museum’s Beer for History series in Exeter and one of the reasons Moat Mountain Brewing Co. recently joined the lineup.

“I am really excited to be part of this event with so many other great breweries and people—it should be a lot of fun,” said Sales Manager Brian Dalke of Moat Mountain Brewing Co. “There is nothing wrong with having a beer for history.”

The next Beer for History takes place at the Museum’s Folsom Tavern, 164 Water Street in Exeter, on Thursday, October 20 from 5 pm to 8 pm. Moat Mountain Brewing Co. will be joined by Granite State Growler Tours, Neighborhood Beer Co. (NHBC), 7th Settlement, D.L. Geary Brewing Company and possibly others.

NHBC’s Joe Berwanger said they plan to pour their Granite Acorn Autumn Lager, which is a higher-alcohol, super malty version of the iconic harvest Märzen-style Oktoberfest. “It’s extremely smooth and crisp,” he added. “It’s the perfect complement to autumn itself.”

Beer for History is sponsored by Hoefle Phoenix Gormley & Roberts, P.A. Attorneys at Law of Portsmouth.

“We have enjoyed ourselves at the first two events and look forward to another great time,” said Kevin Baum, attorney at the firm. “It’s a wonderful community event and a terrific way to enjoy the museum grounds.”

In addition to beer and light snacks, the event will feature live colonial tavern-style music and games for kids. “It’s definitely worth the trip from Maine,” said Geary Brewing’s Tim Turner. “I’ve discovered Exeter is a pretty classic New England town. It’s been fun.”

Tickets are $30 and include light appetizers, samplings of beer, and more. Members of the Museum may purchase tickets at a discounted rate of $25. Kids are free. To buy tickets, visit

The Fabulous Find continues to make a difference

Open for 6 years, The Fabulous Find in Kittery has given away more than $870,000 to local nonprofits, which continues to delight new recipients, including the American Independence Museum in Exeter.

“We were elated to hear of our selection,” said Museum Executive Director Julie Williams. “It is amazing what they have been able to do for the greater Seacoast community.”

The Fabulous Find is a boutique style resale shop that partners with different local non-profit organizations monthly. In addition to the American Independence Museum, the Children’s Museum of NH and Seacoast Family Promises will also share profits from September sales at the shop. On September 10 at 8:30 am, The Fabulous Find will host a coffee reception to disburse monies to August beneficiaries as well as introduce September’s agencies.

Comprising the Ladd-Gilman House (c.1721) and Folsom Tavern (c.1775) on more than one acre of landscaped property, the Museum hosts public and educational programs and lectures, colonial artisan demonstrations, guided tours, and special events. The Museum is also part of the “Experience New Hampshire Heritage: The Portsmouth to Plymouth Museum Trail.”

To learn more about The Fabulous Find, visit

Museum plans to send ‘Trunk’ packing

Funded in part by a grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, the American Independence Museum’s ‘Traveling Trunk’ program will launch this fall.

According to Education Manager Abigail Pietrantonio. The program will provide “a museum-quality, educationally relevant experience for students directly in the classroom.”

“It’s a chance for us to reach significantly more children across the state and promote awareness about our collection,” she said. “We are also very excited at possibly teaching in the classroom, too.”

Loaded with replica period clothing, toys, historical artifacts, games and more, each of the Museum’s two trunks will feature more than 70 items. The purpose of the program is to help children better understand those who fought in the Revolutionary War as well as the everyday lives of people during that time in general, including Native Americans.

“The program also features a streamlined curriculum that complements the lesson plans of teachers,” added Pietrantonio.

To learn more about the program or the Museum’s many educational offerings for school children, contact Pietrantonio at or visit

American Independence Museum to celebrate Constitution and Citizenship Day

On Friday, September 16, the American Independence Museum will celebrate Constitution and Citizenship Day with a lunch lecture at 12 pm at Folsom Tavern. Entitled “Ratification of the Constitution in New Hampshire, the lecture will explore why New Hampshire almost voted against the proposed Federal Constitution. Professor Emeritus of History at Dartmouth College, Jere R. Daniell will present the lecture.

For Education Manager Abigail Pietrantonio, the entire day highlights the importance of civic engagement. “It’s important to understand what it took to draft the Constitution and what it means for our nation today,” she said. “This lecture should be very interesting, because not everyone knows just how close the Granite State was to not supporting the newly formed nation.”

Aimée Sundstrom, marketing manager at Service Credit Union, which is a major Museum sponsor, said she believes it is important people understand the meaning of citizenship.

“We appreciate the role the Museum continues to play in educating the public, especially on such an important day,” she said. “We are very excited about this Lunch and Learn lecture.”

Scheduled to take place at 12 pm at the Museum’s Folsom Tavern, 164 Water Street in Exeter, the Lecture is made possible by generous support from the New Hampshire Humanities Council. Pre-registration is required for this free lecture and people are encouraged to bring their lunches. Please contact Abby Pietrantonio at