WHO WE ARE
The Swan Historical Foundation, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to encouraging and inspiring continuing knowledge and appreciation of the American Revolution for the benefit of present and future generations. The foundation is the founder and developer of the National Museum of the American Revolution.
The foundation is named for an early United States Congressman, Dr. Samuel Swan, of Somerville, N.J., who wrote the bill authorizing a pension for the widows and orphans of the first American soldiers. That legislation eventually led to the creation of the Veterans Administration. His great, great grandson, Mr. H. Kels Swan, established SHF and served as its president.
The Swan Historical Foundation is proud to be a partner and sponsor of America’s 250th Anniversary and is currently in the planning, design, and developmental process of building the National Museum of the American Revolution at Washington Crossing State Park Visitor Center, Titusville, N.J.
Board of Trustees
President, Robert H. Swan
LTC Richard J. Kane, US Army Retired
Finance & Nominating Committees
Museum Develpment, Education, Communications & Nominating Committees
James C. Beachell
Finance, Property & Membership Committees
Robert N. Fanelli
Museum, Finance, Property & Communications Committees
Anthony D. Giannascoli, ESQ.
Museum Development & Nominating Committees
Michael S. Jesberger
Education & Membership Committees
Museum Development, Property & Communcations Committees
Museum Development, Education & Property Committees
Pricilla Kim Reidinger, ESQ.
Herbert M. Patullo
Constance Schuyler, PhD.
The Late H. Kels Swan
Interested in membership? Please send us an email
TEN CRUCIAL DAYS
At the end of 1776, the demoralized American army was on the verge of disintegration, following a series of losses in New York and New Jersey. Many of the men’s enlistments would expire at the end of December. Something needed to be done to revitalize the new nation’s military campaign. General George Washington realized that a bold stroke against his enemies might inspire his fellow countrymen to continue the struggle. Leading his army on Christmas night across the icy Delaware River from Pennsylvania, Washington launched a brilliant surprise attack against the Hessian garrison at Trenton. The move was a complete success, the Americans eliminating the enemy outpost, capturing nearly all of the enemy soldiers, and retreating back across the Delaware before the British could organize a counter strike.
At this point, the Americans decided to gamble everything on a second crossing at Trenton on January 2nd to confront the British army directly. Finding the enemy too strong to resist, the Americans soon found themselves backed up against the Delaware, once again on the verge of destruction. But the wily Washington still had a few tricks up his sleeve. Secretly abandoning his camp at night, he slipped his army out of the trap, circling around the British to march against their rear guard at Princeton. A short, sharp battle ensued, with the Americans driving the enemy from the field before their main force could come to the rescue. Marching rapidly to a new, well-defended camp at Morristown, NJ, Washington and his men were able to threaten the British army’s headquarters in New York City throughout the following winter and spring.
Seen as one of the turning points of the Revolution, the success of this lightning campaign, from December 25th to January 3rd, did indeed invigorate the army and reignited the fledgling nation’s commitment to American independence.
Watch the video
Silver Spoon with initials GW
Silver Spoon with initials GW (detail)
Announcement of the Swan Foundation Fellowship for 2021:
Swan Foundation Short-Term Resident Research Fellowship for Revolutionary-Era Material Culture
The Swan Historical Foundation, Inc. in Titusville, NJ and the David Center for the American Revolution at the Library & Museum of the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia invite applications for an inaugural short-term residential research fellowship in Revolutionary-Era Material Culture (defined as 1750-1820).
This funding opportunity provides one month of support for researchers to work in the artifact collections of the Swan Historical Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, and other repositories in the Greater Philadelphia Region. The fellowship is open to scholars in all fields who show a demonstrated need to use the collections for their project. Applicants will be judged on the strength of the project and the demonstrated need to use collections. For those who need materials at institutions other than the APS or Swan, a letter of support from a curator or other relevant person at the proposed repository is highly encouraged.
Successful applicants are awarded a stipend of $3,000. The stipend is paid after the awardee arrives at the APS’s Library & Museum to begin their fellowship. The purpose of the stipend is to defray the costs of working in Titusville and Philadelphia. All awardees will have a small additional stipend to cover a trip to the Swan Foundation to see its collection. Awards are taxable income, but the Society is not required to report payments. It is understood that recipients will discuss their reporting obligations with their tax advisors. The Society does not provide fellows’ housing but will share suggestions for possible accommodations with the successful applicant.
Fellowships may be taken starting any day no earlier than June 1, 2021 and must be completed by May 31, 2022. Fellows are required to be in residence for four consecutive weeks. Fellows do not have to decide on the dates of their fellowship right away; they have one year to decide, although most take their fellowships during the summer period.
The Swan Historical Foundation, Inc. (SHF) is a 501c3 corporation dedicated to promoting interest in the era of the American Revolution and to collecting and exhibiting artifacts from the period. SHF owns a collection of approximately 1,200 items, housed primarily at the New Jersey Washington Crossing State Park in Titusville, NJ. SHF’s intent is to support education and research on the material culture of the era of the American Revolution and to promote familiarity with the SHF collection in the scholarly community. Applicants’ research topic need not focus specifically on items in the SHF collection, but should fit within the period of the collection’s scope (1750-1820). In return, SHF would appreciate a brief article (800-1200 words) for its newsletter about a relevant topic of the fellow’s choosing.
The David Center for the American Revolution integrates the rich manuscript, microfilm, and print collections of the David Library with the early American history collections of the APS to create a one-stop-shop for the study of the American Revolution. The David Library collections consist of approximately 8,000 volumes, 9,000 reels of microfilm, and the large Sol Feinstone manuscript collection. The Sol Feinstone Collection, a rich collection of letters and documents, was assembled by DLAR Founder Sol Feinstone (1888-1980) over a period of fifty years. It includes material on almost all notable Americans from before the Revolution to the 1850s, as well as prominent Europeans and documents related to military affairs. This adds to the APS Library's Early American History Collections, which are particularly strong for the period from 1750 to 1840. In addition to the Benjamin Franklin Papers and the Thomas Paine Collection, the APS has a wide assortment of documents from the revolutionary era. Among these are official government documents and correspondence, military records that range from the Continental Army to Pennsylvania county records, and personal correspondence from various historical actors. Comprehensive, searchable guides and finding aids to these collections are available online at www.amphilsoc.org/library and http://amphilsoc.pastperfectonline.com/.
The American Philosophical Society is committed to maintaining the highest standards of scholarly excellence while supporting a working and intellectual environment that fosters an inclusive atmosphere for learning, prizes diverse origins and points of view, advances equal opportunities to learn and communicate, and encourages the widest possible access to its collections. The APS has titled these goals the APS IDEA (Inclusivity, Diversity, Equality, and Access) for its enduring institutional commitment to these values.
Applicants may be:
- Holders of the Ph.D. or its equivalent.
- Ph.D. candidates who have passed their preliminary examinations and are working on their dissertation research.
- Degreed independent scholars (without current academic affiliation).
- U.S. citizens or foreign nationals. Candidates who live 75 or more miles from Philadelphia receive some preference.
All Applicants must submit:
- A cover letter,
- Curriculum vitae,
- A research proposal (2 pages double-spaced), that outlines the status of your work and what you will research at the Swan Historical Foundation and American Philosophical Society’s Library & Museum. Special attention must be made to specific collections that will be of use during your fellowship.
- Two confidential letters of reference
- Letters in support of research at other local repositories (optional)
Deadline: March 5, 2021. Notifications will be sent in April 2021.
Applications are due March 5, 2021. Selections will be made in April. The Fellowship will not begin until June 2021, due to restrictions on using APS’s library during the pandemic.
You can see APS’s other fellowships, including those for the David Library, here:
The premier collection includes more than 600 American Revolutionary War items at the National Museum of the American Revolution – founded and developed by the Swan Historical Foundation – in the Visitor’s Center at Washington Crossing State Park in Titusville, N.J. According to the foundation, the collection includes “an original Ferguson Rifle, numerous muskets and rifles, swords, powder horns, and eight dog-face pistols, all with information about the item.”
“At the core of the SHF charter is education,” says Richard Kane, Chairman of the Swan Historical Foundation. “We can think of no finer way to embrace that goal than to reward and encourage scholars in history. We’re excited by this fellowsip, and by the relationship that it helps to forge with the David Center for the American Revolution of the American Philosophical Society Library & Musuem.”
The Swan collection contains 1200 original items from the period of the American Revolution (1750-1810). Most of these objects are on view at the New Jersey Washington Crossing Historic Park. Others are on loan to other institutions or in storage. The collection was assembled initially by Harry Kels Swan.
State of New Jersey Sites
Ten Crucial Days Associators
- The Crossing (each year on Christmas Day)
- Washington Crossing Revolutionary War Round Table Lectures
The Battle of Edge Hill, December 7, 1777, given before the Washington Crossing American Revolution Round Table at our second virtual meeting, March 20, 2021.
Our next topic will be:
Saturday, May 22, 2021, 1:00-3:00 PM
Washington's First Aide-de-camp, Joseph Reed, led by John Fabiano
Right now, we expect the meeting to take place via Zoom. You will receive an invitation to the meeting a couple of weeks prior to May 22nd.
Robert N. Fanelli, on behalf of Joseph Seliga, Founder
Washington Crossing American Revolution Round Table
The Crossing, December 1776 by Lloyd Garrison
prints available upon request