Yesterday I gave a book talk at my local historical society–the Mechanicsburg Museum Association. I spoke at a nineteenth-century railroad passenger station in middle of downtown Mechanicsburg to a group of about twenty history buffs.
My topic was the love affair between Philip Vickers Fithian and Elizabeth Beatty. I continue to be blown away with how many people are captivated by this story. Perhaps it is the fact that the relationship between Betsy and Philip is so “real.” They had their ups and downs, but they managed to turn their topsy-turvy relationship into a devoted marriage. I told the story of their relationship and tried to suggest some things that their relationship teaches us about gender relations, courtship, and marriage in the age of the American Revolution.