Donate | Book Tours (header buttons)

In 2021, the Lewes Historical Society continues to offer educational and entertaining programs that explore the history of Lewes, the surrounding area, Lewes's unique interaction in the national scene, and other related and appealing topics. All of these presentations are open to Society members, residents, and visitors of the Lewes community.

Each presentation will be held at the Community Room of the Margaret H. Rollins Community Center at the Lewes History Museum (unless otherwise indicated due to COVID19 restrictions). Check back with us each month to see what is planned as we will be hosting different speakers on various topics. These events are FREE and do not require a reservation.

Due to COVID-19, programs are subject to cancellation or rescheduling. Please check our website for updates.

Run-Away Slaves and the Underground Railroad in Southern Delaware - 1850-1860

Date: June 11, 2021
Time: 7 p.m.
Presented By: Marcos Salaverria

This lecture contains a close examination of the historic text: “Narrating the Hardships, Hairbreadth escapes, and Death Struggles of Slaves in Their Efforts for Freedom”. Compiled of numerous primary source testimonials from “fugitive” slaves who escaped along the route of the Underground Rail, to Philadelphia, in-depth details are revealed of their struggles for freedom.

Presentor Marcos Salaverria will focus on three documented group accounts of escapees from Sussex County Delaware. Names of area enslaved individuals, and locales, will be identified along with the potentially shocking behaviors and attitudes of local slave owners and masters. Life for a slave was never easy no matter where their locale. This program will seek to improve attendees’ understanding of the nature of slavery in Southern Delaware in the decade before the outbreak of the American Civil War.

This is a Virtual Program. Please join the FREE program at 7 p.m. on June 11.


Searching for Clues: The Case of the Carriage Maker’s Shop

Date: July 9, 2021
Time: 7 p.m.
Presented By: Katherine Henn

In October 1821 young Paynter Walton had a whirlwind idea for a lucrative future. With the skillful encouragement of his mother, he built a shop on Lewes’ Second Street and entered the newly booming carriage makers’ trade. But by December 1823 Paynter’s mother was dead and his dream turned into a confusing nightmare of quirky events. Research that delved through the resulting obtuse legal processes exhibited a witness list that read like a “Who’s Who” of Lewes and resulted in a perplexing decision at Delaware’s Supreme Court. Presenter Katherine Henn will take you through the series of events and the surprising conclusion.

This presentation will be VIRTUAL. Please join the FREE program at 7 p.m. on July 9:


Cartography with National Geographic

Date: September 10, 2021
Time: 7 p.m.
Presented By: Bob Pratt

Robert Pratt has designed, researched, and produced more than one hundred iconic supplement maps with National Geographic since 1981. Mr. Pratt’s presentation will take attendees through the process and discussion of the creation of a typical National Geographic Society supplement for the magazine.


Boy, Man, Hero: Jacob Jones - Lewes' Own

Date: October 8, 2021
Time: 7 p.m.
Presented By: Bill Manthorpe & Andrew Lyter
Jacob Jones was born in Smyrna, Delaware, but spent his formative years in Lewes, growing up in the Ryves Holt House.  After leaving Lewes, Jones went on to have an illustrious Naval career, rising through the ranks from Midshipman to Commodore.  This presentation will coincide with the opening of the exhibition, Boy, Man, Hero: Jacob Jones - Lewes' Own in the Jones’ childhood home.  This presentation and exhibition will explore Jones’s life and naval career, from his humble roots in Lewes, his naval career, and his legacy.

The Notorious Patty Cannon—Facts not Fiction

Date: November 12, 2021
Time: 7 p.m.
Presented By: Michael Morgan
In the early 19th century, Patty Cannon and her gang of cutthroats terrorized southern Delaware, robbing and killing with impunity. They specialized in kidnapping free African American men, women, and children. Cannon’s career of crime ended in 1829 when a farmer unearthed the remains of some of her victims. She was arrested and charged with murder; but before she could be tried, Patty mysteriously died in her Georgetown cell. Speaker Michael Morgan will present this fascinating program.