Tag Archives: fundraising

Meet the War of 1812 Autographed Books

We told you our exciting news earlier this week that we will have several copies of War of 1812 books available at the FGS 2016 Conference in Springfield for purchase. This fundraiser is made possible by the generosity of the historians and authors themselves.

We’ll be sharing more information about these texts in the coming days. We’re going to start with the four part series, Free Men and Dreamers by L.C. Lewis. If you are interested in making a donation to acquire these publications, stop by the Preserve the Pensions booth in the Expo Hall.

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Free Men and Dreamers – available at FGS2016!

Volume 1: Dark Sky at Dawn by L. C. Lewis (Covenant Communications, 2007)

Historical fiction allows the author to share an event or time period from a different perspective. Understanding an individual’s background, culture and lifestyle may give fresh ideas as to what would have driven them to act a certain way. It is a dangerous time for America. The years following the signing of the Constitution have been riddled with British aggressions aimed at breaking the will of the young government. Trade restrictions tear at its economy while British ships attack and kidnap Americans at sea, refusing to acknowledge thier American citizenship. Washington, Franklin, and Hamilton have died. Their inspired dream is now entrusted to their aged and war-weary peers and to the succeeding generations-men and women, born in liberty, who are prepared to sacrifice their lives in its defense. But the divisive evils of greed, slavery, and class distinction cast a dark cloud over the promise WE THE PEOPLE, even as war talk rattles the governing halls. American declars a war to reconfirm her independence. . .war to protect her more perfect union: The War of 1812. Dark Sky at Dawn, based in historical fiction, tells the fascinating story of people, events, history, and spiritual reawakening that precede the compelling moment in time before the guns blazed and the light of the Restoration dawned on a new day.

Volume 2: Twilight’s Last Gleaming by L. C. Lewis (Covenant Communications, 2008)

C. Lewis continues her engaging historical fiction with Twilight’s Last Gleaming. While the cannons roar and rockets ignite American skies, disease ravages the upper Connecticut Valley. Few notice the sufferings of the families. Attentions are forced elsewhere on the Chesapeake, which guards the entrance to the infant nation’s threatened capital. It is the height of the War of 1812. As the beleaguered American forces begin to rally, Britain’s military is divided between battlefronts on two continents. Until Napoleon can be toppled and all of the crown’s resources can be diverted to the American campaign, Britain needs a tactical diversion. They attack the Chesapeake Bay! Lieutenant Jed Pearson heads to war, leaving his beloved Willows estate in the care of powerless freed slaves. But soon circumstances will blur the line between adversary and friend, family and foe, British and American. In this second volume of the epic historical series Free Men and Dreamers, witness the saga of five families caught in the tumult of the oft-forgotten war that cemented American liberty and set the stage for the great work of the Restoration.

Volume 3: Dawn’s Early Light by L. C. Lewis (Brigham Distributing, 2009)

This third volume of L. C. Lewis’s War of 1812 historical fiction epic, Free Men and Dreamers, covers the British offensive against Washington D.C.  Once Napoleon is subdued, and despite the commencement of peace negotiations, Britain unleashes her triumphant European conquerors on America. And their primary target? Washington. While attentions turn to the defense of the Capital, mercenaries threaten the Winding Willows and White Oak plantations, forcing enemies to become allies, fighting side-by-side with freed slaves to defend their homes and families. Mere miles away, the Capital’s defense now rests predominantly upon citizen soldiers and a most unlikely naval force—a rag-tag fleet called the Chesapeake flotilla—and the men who built it. But Britain’s house is also divided over the war, as the cost mounts in blood and money. Experience the pain and passion of five families—American, slave and British—as they endure the three darkest days of American history—the week when Washington burned.

Volume 4: Oh, Say Can You See?  by L. C. Lewis (Brigham Distributing, 2010)

Though the capital smolders, the battered Constitution and the presidency have survived. But the British left the struggling government no home. Gone are the symbols of America – the Capitol Building and the President’s House, and nearly every relic of the infant nation.
Britain’s next target is the port city of Baltimore, but has the raid on Washington stiffened the Americans’ backs? As the Willows women mourn their absent men – gone to war, or wounded, or captured – they await the birth of a blessed child.  Miles away, attorney Francis Scott Key embarks on a diplomatic mission that will leave an everlasting mark on America. Proving that the pen can indeed by more powerful than the sword, Key records the fears and hopes of his embattled people. His epic poem soon set to music and titled “The Star-Spangled Banner,” rallies a shattered nation to rise from its knees to claim the dream of “one nation under God” during the closing hours of the War of 1812.

Don’t want to wait? We understand. Donate now to help save these incredibly fragile documents and digitally preserve American history.


War of 1812 Authors Support ‘Preserve the Pensions’

In honor of the War of 1812 and the Preserve the Pensions project, we are delighted to announce that the following authors have donated signed copies of their books that honor the history of the War of 1812.  These books will be available at the upcoming FGS Conference in Springfield, IL; look for the Preserve the Pensions area as you enter the Expo Hall! Proceeds from these will go toward the continued digitization of the unique soldier’s benefit pension records, currently housed at the National Archives.

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Autographed books will be available at the 2016 FGS Conference in Springfield, IL.

Now, to introduce our generous authors:

Donald R. Hickey, Ph.D., is “Mr. 1812.”  He is a professor of history at Wayne State College in Nebraska.  Called “the dean of 1812 scholarship” by the New Yorker, Don is an award-winning author who has written eleven books and a hundred articles, mainly on the War of 1812 and its causes.  He is best known for The War of 1812:  A Forgotten Conflict (Bicentennial edition, 2012). For promoting public understanding of the War of 1812, Don received the Samuel Eliot Morison Award from the USS Constitution Museum in 2013.

Bert J. Hubinger was born in New Jersey and raised in Florida, traveled the sea in search of adventures in sailing, diving on shipwrecks, and maritime history. Bert is a teacher, editor, photographer, and frequent contributor to a variety of publications. He is Director of the Annapolis Writing Center and former editor of The Journal of the War of 1812, author of Sea Drums and Other Poems, 1812: Rights of Passage, 1813: Reprisal, and the newly released 1814: Raze of Glory, the third and final published novel in his trilogy on the War of 1812.

Laurie C. Lewis is a Marylander through and through. Surrounded by the rich local history of Maryland, D.C., and famous War of 1812 treasures like Fort McHenry, Laurie has found much inspiration.  God, family, and country are her anchors and the themes of her books, designed to lift and inspire readers.  The Free Men and Dreamers, a five-volume series of historical fiction novels, begins with Dark Sky at Dawn to introduce the history of the nation and its people in the uncertain years just before the War of 1812.  Laurie continues her tremendously powerful stories of a country unsettled by war in Twilight’s Last Gleaming, Dawn’s Early Light, Oh, Say Can You See?, and In God Is Our Trust.  More information on Laurie can be found at http://www.laurielclewis.com/.

Can’t wait to make a donation to save the incredibly important pension files from the War of 1812? Click here to donate online!



War of 1812 Veterans Meet Modern Day Active Duty Soldiers

David Rencher, Ed Donakey, and Rick and Pam Sayre staffed a Preserve the Pensions booth at the annual Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Institute of Land Warfare Global Force Symposium and Exposition in the Von Braun Conference Center in Huntsville, Alabama, 15-17 March.

Huntsville is home to several major Army activities—the U.S. Army Materiel Command, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, U.S. Army Contracting Command, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, U.S. Missile Defense Agency, Marshall Space Center, and supporting activities. On display were a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, numerous tactical equipment displays, new weapons, and many other life-size versions of Tonka toys for soldiers. Plenty of generals, from one-star to four, wandered the exhibit hall with purpose. Retired U.S. Army Colonel Rick Sayre renewed old acquaintances and made new ones as he explained the purpose of our booth. We were, as the manager of exhibits and sponsorships for the show said, “Probably the most unique booth here, with no weapons” or Army support services to sell.

So, why were we there? We introduced our War of 1812 soldiers to their counterparts of 204 years later. We explained the importance of honoring past soldiers by raising funds to preserve and digitize the records of their service and soldiers’ or widows’ pensions. Everyone from generals to high school ROTC students politely listened and learned, and most reached into their pockets to contribute. Several came back the second or third days of the exposition to report they had looked at our website overnight. Others said they would help because their spouses or their parents are genealogists and would expect them to donate.

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Our patriotic booth at the AUSA Global Force Symposium.

These historical documents illicit an emotional response – from all of us. 

One attendee offhandedly remarked that she had no American military ancestors because her grandparents had come over from maybe Hungary, but she knew absolutely nothing about them. In a slow moment at the booth, Pam asked her mother’s name, a rather unusual one, and quickly did a search of the 1940 census online at Ancestry. We gave her the names of her grandparents, their places of birth in Romania, and their address in 1940 Chicago. At first she was skeptical that it was the right family. When told that the man had been a gardener, she paused, then said, “That’s right. That IS them. My mother said her father was a gardener and he brought flowers home when they needed food.” With tears in her eyes, she walked away.

She came back the next day, though, and wanted to know more, mistakenly believing we had found her 1940 family on the Fold3 website with the 1812 pensions. We sat patiently then, and helped her meet her family online at Ancestry.com. She told everyone she worked with to come by and donate to Preserve the Pensions.

We weren’t able to help anyone find a War of 1812 ancestor, because it requires working back in time from yourself, and most people didn’t have the requisite knowledge of their own family tree to do so. But almost everyone who stopped by the booth was thoroughly touched and impressed with this project.

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Two civilian employees of the Army went home to check out the Preserve the Pensions site.


We took in $1,310. Matched by FGS, that became $2,620, and doubled again by Ancestry, the grand total was $5,240. We’d say the soldiers of 2016 really “get” what we’re doing for the soldiers of 1812. And they truly “get” Preserve the Pensions. Our thanks to the AUSA community.

Report submitted by Pam Sayre.