American Revolutionary Era
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Date(s) - 11/09/2018 - 16/09/2018
All Day


American Revolutionary Era: Philadelphia/New York City History & Culture

Sample Private Tour

Essential History Expeditions is pleased to partner with your group to offer an exciting exploration of America’s founding ! This expedition will explore Philadelphia, New York City and the battle for freedom in towns and fields in between. We will begin in Philadelphia, the center of revolutionary ferment and the capital of the new United States from 1775-83 and, again, from 1790-1800! We will explore the numerous sites on and surrounding the historic Independence Mall as well as the famed Philadelphia Art Museum. Meanwhile, New Jersey saw more revolutionary battles and encampments than any other state. The Mid-Atlantic seaboard was the military focus for much of the war, with the British headquartered out of NYC and the Americans out of Philadelphia. Trenton, Princeton, and Monmouth are a few of the familiar battlefield names. It was here, also, that the ideas of the colonists first coalesced into the roots from which would burst forth the tree of American liberty. We will end our expedition exploring our country’s founding in the bustling financial, business and entertainment capital of the world: New York City! In each location, we will envision these Revolutionary era cities and battlefields as they were in the time of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin as well as enjoy the vibrancy, arts and culture of these thoroughly modern cities. Today, the Mid-Atlantic region remains a cultural touchstone for the nation and we will explore its impact on music, art, theater, sports and food, as well as its foundational events and people that shaped our great United States.

Essential History Expeditions Tours


While touring on your own in the mid-Atlantic is, of course, quite feasible, fully understanding the seminal events of the American Revolution, so large in scale and scope, requires months if not years of preparation. A professional, guided experience is essential in comprehending the complexities of the events and their timing, specific locations and personalities. Tours are available though many companies along the East Coast. What sets Essential History Expeditions and Dr. Brian DeToy apart is his unique experience with 14 years as a university professor including teaching history and strategic studies at West Point, 28 years as a US Army officer with combat experience, and 24 years of leading groups at numerous locations throughout the world. Brian’s combined experience as a scholar soldier brings the events on this hallowed ground to life.

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Philadelphia Essential History Expeditions

Day 1: Arrival, Art & Scene Setting

  • Meet in Philadelphia
  • Check in to downtown area hotel
  • Lunch on your own at Geno’s or Pat’s for your choice of Philly Cheese-Steaks (there are other nearby options as well)
  • Visit the famed Museum of Art, one of the best in the hemisphere
  • Dinner at City Tavern, which opened for business in 1773 and was favored by many of our country’s founders
  • Hotel night in Philadelphia

Day 2: Philadelphia in the Founding Days of America

  • Breakfast
  • Set out on the Mall in Philadelphia to several sites including the following:
  • Independence Hall
  • Carpenter’s Hall
  • The Liberty Bell
  • President Washington’s House
  • The US Constitution Center
  • Christ Church
  • Ben Franklin’s House and Gravesite
  • Betsy Ross House (colonial-era home)
  • Washington Square – Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
  • Declaration House – where Jefferson wrote the document (colonial-era home)
  • Thaddeus Kosciuszko House and National Memorial (colonial-era home)
  • Thomas Paine’s Common Sense marker
  • Lunch and dinner in Philadelphia
  • Hotel night in Philadelphia

Day 3: A Country Fights for its Freedom

  • Breakfast
  • From our base in Philadelphia we will visit nearby battle sites from the campaigns to capture Philadelphia, including the following:
  • The battles of Trenton (Dec 1776 and Jan 1777), called the “first turning point” of the Revolution with George Washington’s army crossing the Delaware at night
  • The battle of Princeton (Jan 1777), where Washington defeated Lord Cornwallis’ forces and the Americans made their escape
  • A visit to the Valley Forge Encampment (winter 1777-78), where Washington rebuilt the shattered American army, turning it into a formidable fighting force; visit the colonial-era Isaac Potts house where Washington had his headquarters
  • A visit to Cliveden, the house of Benjamin Chew, a colonial-era home and a key point in the battle of Germantown in October 1777
  • Lunch in New Jersey and dinner in Philadelphia
  • Hotel night in Philadelphia

Day 4: Revolutionary Era & Modern New York City

  • Breakfast
  • Departing Philadelphia, we will make our way to New York City, with a visit enroute to the battlefield at Monmouth Courthouse (Jul 1778). This battle proved the capabilities of the newly organized and trained American army that Washington led out of Valley Forge.
  • In New York City we will visit many revolutionary-era sites as this city was the scene of much fighting in 1776 and the British occupation till 1783.
  • Friday afternoon we will visit sites on northern and mid-Manhattan including:
  • The battle at Fort Washington
  • Alexander Hamilton’s Grange, the home of Hamilton at the time of his famous duel with Aaron Burr
  • The battle of Harlem
  • Central Park
  • Times Square
  • Lunch in New York City
  • Dinner on your own on the famed Restaurant Row if attending a Broadway play or at Yankee Stadium if going to the game
  • We will, of course, have time to see a phenomenal Broadway play or a major league baseball game at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees are playing Toronto at 7:05pm on September 14th at Yankee Stadium. The Mets have no home games during our time window. Essential History Expeditions can organize two groups if desired, one for the Yankees game and one for a Broadway play.
  • Hotel night in New York City
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Day 5: From George Washington to Today

  • Breakfast
  • New York City is an amazing world-class city and we will visit sites on the southern end of Manhattan including:
  • The World Trade Center Memorial and Freedom Tower
  • Fraunces Tavern, still a current tavern and restaurant and where Washington made his famed Farewell to the army in 1783
  • St Paul’s Church, where Washington and others attended service
  • City Hall Park, where Washington first had the Declaration of Independence read to NY public
  • Federal Hall, where we had our national capitol from 1785-90
  • The Battery with views of the Statue of Liberty
  • Wall Street
  • Greenwich Village
  • Dinner at a wonderful New York City restaurant
  • Hotel in New York City

Day 6: New York Squares, Terminals & Departures

  • Breakfast
  • Visit one of New York’s most iconic and beautiful buildings – Grand Central Terminal (including Nathan Hale’s execution marker nearby)
  • Visit the famed Broadway parks of Herald Square (Macy’s), Madison Square (Flatiron Building) and Union Square (statues of Washington, Lincoln and Lafayette)
  • Depart for the airport
  • Expedition complete by noon (lunch excluded)
  • Departure from NYC; schedule flights for late afternoon or early evening

Day 6: West Point Optional Extension

  • The US Military Academy at West Point is located approximately 45 minutes up the Hudson Valley. Dr. Brian DeToy served as a professor of History at West Point from 1994-1997 and 2005-2007 and then as Director of the Defense and Strategic Studies Program from 2007-2013. He has led hundreds of tours of West Point, including for numerous military and civilian VIPs.
  • Battle of Fort Montgomery (Oct 1777, a part of the turning point Saratoga Campaign)
  • Lunch at the Grant Hall, the former cadet mess hall, centrally located on campus
  • Tour West Point including: Revolutionary War Fort Putnam, Trophy Point (Fort Arnold) and the Chain across the Hudson (to block British shipping), the Cadet Parade Ground and West Point Cemetery (hallowed American ground and home to so many famed soldiers and leaders from the Revolutionary War to today)
  • Dinner at the Hotel Thayer, the historic lodgings and a marvelous restaurant on campus with views overlooking the Hudson at night
  • Hotel night in Fort Montgomery

Day 7: West Point Extension and Onward Journeys

  • Breakfast
  • Battle of Stony Point (July 1779) an important American raid and victory led by General “Mad Anthony” Wayne
  • Return to New York City airport for return flight home (schedule flights for late afternoon)
  • Lunch on your own at the airport
Dr Brian DeToy
Dr Brian DeToy


Essential History Expeditions’ president, expert historian and guide, Lt Col (Ret) Brian DeToy, PhD served as Director of the Defense & Strategic Studies program at the United States Military Academy, West Point from 2007-13. His previous assignments include Assistant Professor in the Academy’s History department, Chief of Research and Publications in the Combat Studies Institute at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and Professor of Military Science at the University of Kansas. DeToy graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BA in History and earned a PhD from Florida State University in European History. He has appeared in numerous documentaries for programming such as History, Discovery, A&E and Military channels. He is also an accomplished author and presenter at international history conferences. He has led tours of the Mid-Atlantic region for 24 years.

Sheryl Rankin Shafer serves as full-time expedition director, committed to meeting the unique needs of each group. She is also a freelance writer, researcher and editor focusing on educational leadership and business marketing communications. She has leadership experience in the start-up phase of multiple corporate and nonprofit businesses, including roles as president, consultant and board of directors member. Her published work focuses on the education and travel fields. She is passionate about exploring worldwide cultures through travel. She holds a BA in English from Texas A&M, an MA in in Education Leadership, Policy and Politics from Columbia University’s Teachers College and a Master of Nonprofit Management from Regis University. Sheryl’s parents, Jim and Nancy Rankin, live in Sun City in Georgetown.

Brian DeToy Sheryl Shafer


  • Six days, five nights of in-depth guided tours with Dr. Brian DeToy
  • Personalized tour support with expedition director Sheryl Rankin Shafer
  • An optional opportunity to role-play an important character of the Revolutionary War era
  • Accommodations for three nights in downtown Philadelphia and two nights in New York City
  • Airfare if traveling with the group (airfare can be deducted if guests choose to make their own arrangements)
  • All meals as indicated on the itinerary
  • All entrance fees
  • All transportation
  • Optional travel insurance through Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection
  • This Expedition Excludes
  • Alcohol with meals
  • Broadway play or Yankees game will be additional at the pass-through cost of the event


  • Contact to customize a trip for your group!
  • Contact for information on travel insurance through TravelEx.
American Revolutionary Era 11/09/2018 - 16/09/2018 All Day American Revolutionary Era American Revolutionary Era Create a private tour for your group for an exciting exploration of America’s founding! This expedition will explore Philadelphia, New York City and the battle for freedom in towns and fields in between. We will envision these Revolutionary era cities and battlefields as Mission Critical Systems 11-09-2018T00:00 11-09-2018T23:59 Active Active 11-09-2018 Active $0.00 11-09-2018
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