Bergen County Historical Society
The Revolutionary War in Bergen County: The Times That Tried Men’s Souls

Edited by Carol Karels; Published by The History Press, Charleston, SC (2007)
ISBN 978.1.59629.358.8   $22.99

Bios of Contributors

Arthur Aranda is the president of Garden State Mortgage. A native of Wisconsin, he moved to Leonia, New Jersey in 1986. He has a lifelong interest in American and world history, the history of ideas, and native American culture. He

has traveled extensively through Latin America to explore pre-Columbian archaeological sites. 

Dr. Henry Bischoff is Director of Historical Studies at the Hermitage, Professor Emeritus of History at Ramapo College and has authored seven books including Mahwah and the Ramapo Valley in the Revolution and Theodosia Prevost, Aaron Burr and the Hermitage.

Todd Braisted is a lifelong resident of Bergen County.  He has served as president of the Bergen County Historical Society, chairman of the West Point Chapter of the Company of Military Historians, and currently serves as president of the 4th Battalion, New Jersey

Volunteers reenactment group.  In 2007 he was elected the first American to serve as honorary vice president of the United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada.  He has organized numerous living history commemorations in the county, including those at Historic New Bridge Landing and Fort Lee Historic Park.  He is a contributing author of the 1999 Garland Book Moving On: Black Loyalists in the Afro-Atlantic World and has had numerous journal articles published.  He likewise lectures extensively on Loyalist and local history. Todd has also appeared on the popular PBS show History Detectives and the CBC’s So Who Do you think you are?   His wife, Susan Braisted, is a long time reenactor and is a co-founder of In Good Company, an 18th Century Dance group. 

Arnold E. Brown, JD is the President of Brown & Associates, a business consultant firm and a real estate sales associate with Coldwell Banker of Fort Lee. He is the Founder and President of Du Bois Book Center, a retail e-commerce bookstore specializing in used, rare, out-of-print and new books about and by African Americans. He is a member of the Afro-American Historical Society Museum, Jersey City, New Jersey, member of the Bergen County Historic Preservation Advisory Board and a member of the New Jersey Chapter of Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society. 

Joan Dater, M.A.T., is a writer and editor.  She is retired from the teaching staff at William Paterson College.  She and her husband, Tom, are members of several local historical societies. She was instrumental in organizing the 225th Anniversary Celebration of the Washington-Rochambeau March of 1781 in Mahwah during 2006-07.  She spearheaded the Mahwah Museum Society's "March to Victory" Exhibit. 

Carol W. Greene, a life-long Mahwah resident, has served the cause of history education and historic preservation for more than twenty-five years. She was a long-time Board member, and ultimately, Chair, of the New Jersey Historic Trust, and served for eighteen years on the Bergen County Historic Preservation Advisory Board. In Mahwah, she has been a member of the Historic Preservation Commission since 1980, and is a co-founder and past president of the Mahwah Museum Society.  In 2007, the Bergen County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs, Historic Preservation Advisory Board, awarded her the Claire Tholl Award for lifetime achievement in historic preservation. The Ramapough Chronicles, her history of northern Bergen County, is scheduled for publication in 2007. Her husband, Dick Greene, brought the 18th-century road at Sun Valley Farm to prominence, and with daughter Lindsey Greene, coordinated W3R-AMtY march events there on August 25, 2006.

Robert Griffin is past chairman of the Historic New Bridge Landing Park Commission in River Edge (Bergen County), a Revolutionary War site. Bob is also past president of the Bergen County Historical Society, a past chairman of the Bergen County Historic Sites Advisory Board (a County Freeholder Board) and served as Teaneck Township historian and on Teaneck’s Historic Preservation Commission as Vice-Chair. He is president of Bergen Historic Books, Inc., a book-sales and publishing company that specializes in local histories and genealogies about northern New Jersey.

Carol Karels (editor), a native Chicagoan, is the Leonia, New Jersey borough historian. She has published four books on Leonia history including Images of America: Leonia, published by Arcadia Publishing in 2001. She received a Bergen County Historic Preservation Commendation in 2007 for her efforts to preserve the Vreeland Papers, a large collection of 18th-century documents found in a Leonia attic in 2001. Her book Cooked: An Inner City Nursing Memoir, about Chicago’s historic Cook County Hospital, received an American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year award in 2005. She has a BA in History from the University of Illinois.

Steve Kelman is a reporter for a weekly newspaper in Bergen County covering the towns of Bergenfield, Dumont and New Milford. He often covers stories of historic interest in the county. He also writes a feature column for a monthly journal called Prime Times. A lifelong history buff, he grew up in Northvale, two blocks from the Tappan, New York border. 

Marvin Kitman is the author of " The Making of the Prefident 1789" (HarperCollins, Grove Press). Currently, he is also the only living co-author of Gen. Washington. The book "George Washington's  Expense Account"  (Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Grove Press), as it says on the cover, was written by "Gen. George  Washington & Marvin Kitman PFC (Ret.)  He was the TV/media critic at Newsday for thirty-five years. His most recent book is "The Man Who Would Not Shut Up: The Rise of Bill O'Reilly" (St. Martin's Press, 2007). He ran for President as a Lincoln Republican in 1964. He lost. Among his other achievements was serving in the U.S. Army at Fort Dix, where in only two years he rose to the rank of Private First Class. He asked for no fee for this monograph, only that the publisher pick up his expenses while writing the essay.

Donald Londahl-Smidt, a retired Air Force and commercial bank officer, lives in Montvale. He holds an MA degree in history from the University of Delaware. A Fellow of The Company of Military Historians, he has been awarded that organization’s Distinguished Service Award. Lt. Col. Londahl-Smidt is a member of the board of directors and editorial committee and the director of military research for the Johannes Schwalm Historical Association, a society dedicated to researching the history of the Hessian and other German troops which fought on the British side during the Revolutionary War. He has co-authored one book, written numerous published articles and given many lectures to various audiences on Revolutionary War history.

Barbara Z. Marchant is a member of the Leonia Historic Preservation Commission and the Brooklyn Historical Society. She was the Leonia liaison on the Retreat to Victory Committee in 2001 and she also served on The Grand Forage Committee in 2003 (both 225th commemorative events of the Revolutionary War in Bergen County, New Jersey).  She is also on the Board of Directors for the Ridgewood Historical Society.  She dedicates her essay on Charles Lee to another Englishman, her late husband, Peter, who made twenty-one years of her life jolly good fun.

Thomas Meyers is the Administrator of Cultural Affairs for the Borough of Fort Lee and Executive Director of the Fort Lee Film Commission.  He is a fourth-generation resident of the borough of Fort Lee and founder of the Fort Lee Museum and Fort Lee Film Commission. Tom served three terms as a Councilman for the borough of Fort Lee and has been an active member of the Fort Lee Historical Society for eighteen years.  Presently Tom is Vice Chair of the Common Sense  Society of Fort Lee which is at work on the placement of a statue of Tom Paine in Fort Lee's Monument Park for that park's centennial in 2008. 

Edmund A. Moderacki is the municipal historian for the Township of River Vale. He is the former Adjutant General of the Brigade of the American Revolution and lectures on the Baylor Massacre and Art & Music in Colonial America throughout the metropolitan region. His "Images of America:  River Vale" has been published by Arcadia Press. He is a music teacher in the River Vale schools and conducts the popular Waldwick Band.

Eric Nelsen has served as a historical interpreter for the New Jersey Section of the Palisades Interstate Park since 1992 and as the director of the park’s historic Kearney House at Alpine Landing since 1998. He is the co-author of Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America: Palisades Interstate Park, published in 2007. 

John Rees’s work, focusing primarily on the common soldiers' experience during the War for Independence, and North American soldiers’ food, 1755 to the present, has appeared in the ALHFAM Bulletin (Association of Living History, Farm, and Agricultural Museums), The Brigade Dispatch (Journal of the Brigade of the American Revolution), The Continental Soldier (Journal of the Continental Line), Journal of the Johannes Schwalm Historical Association, Military Collector & Historian, Minerva: Quarterly Report on Women and the Military, Muzzleloader Magazine, and Percussive Notes (Journal of the Percussive Arts Society). He is a regular columnist for Food History News, and has contributed entries to the Oxford Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, as well as the revised Thomson Gale edition of Boatner’s Encyclopedia of the American Revolution. A partial article list plus many complete works are available online at www.revwar75.com/library/rees. Additional articles, including a monograph on the 23 March 1780 Paramus action, may be found at http://www.continentalline.org/en/newsletter.html 

John Spring has researched, lectured on, and photographed Bergen County history for almost half a century. His findings in the 1960s proved that even Adrian Leiby, author of The Revolutionary War in the Hackensack Valley, had erred in locating the site of the British 1776 invasion. But he didn’t stop there. Working with hikers, he persuaded Palisades Interstate Park authorities to blaze and clear the invasion road so anyone can use it year-round. He became a leader of the Bergen County Historical Society and was President from 1983-86. He played a leading role in the County Bicentennial doing the British invasion the right way. He wrote about Skunk Hollow and did a series of slide talks, hikes and visits to historic sites in the Northern Valley for the McGuire Senior Center in Northvale. In 1988 he was given the New Jersey Local Historian’s Award as Cresskill’s Town Historian. He is responsible for five historic markers in his hometown.

Kevin Tremble is a preservation/conservationist who is President of the Crossroads of the American Revolution Association; former Nat'l Park Service Planner; founding member Tenafly, NJ Historic Preservation Commission; chair, Palisades Interstate Park Citizens Advisory Council; member, Bergen County Historic Preservation Advisory Board; former Board member and Treasurer, Preservation New Jersey; founding member and Advisor, Nat'l  Alliance of Preservation Commissions; Representative, New Jersey Historical Commission; Owner, Nat'l Register listed pre-Revolutionary War Dutch sandstone house. 

Kevin Wright is a Regional Resource Interpretive Specialist for the NJ Division of Parks and Forestry. He is a past President of the Bergen County Historical Society, a past member of the Bergen County Historic Preservation Advisory Board, a past trustee of both the Bergen and Sussex County Historical Societies and the Borough of River Edge Historian. He has served as secretary to the Historic New Bridge Landing Park Commission since 1995. He’s written numerous essays on New Jersey and Bergen County history. He has a unique perspective on the Steuben House, for as past curator, he lived there with his family for over sixteen years. His wife, Deborah Powell, current President of the Bergen County Historical Society, designed and maintains the BCHS website.

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