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Mary Tanner Lecture

In 2003, Lawrence Historical Society established the Mary Tanner Lecture Series in honor of one of Lawrence Township’s most active community organizers. 

The lecture is normally given in mid-October. The focus of the lecture is on local history – either Lawrence Township or New Jersey.

Mary Tanner

As a member of the Society’s Board of Trustees, Mary Tanner was instrumental in the effort to raise money and public support for the restoration of the 1761 Brearley House. 

A dedicated lifelong learner, Mrs. Tanner earned a Ph.D. in American History from Radcliffe College, an M.A. in American History from Mills College and a B.A. from the University of Vermont.  She taught history at various locations before settling in Lawrence, where she taught at Mercer County Community College and began her lengthy term of community service.


Mrs. Tanner was the first woman elected to Lawrence Township Council, serving from 1976-1981.  She was also active in many Lawrence Township charities.

Previous Lectures


Speaker: Melissa Ziobro
Topic: "Hello Girls Get the Message Through"


Speaker: Richard Veit, PhD

Topic: " Archaeology and the Delaware Indians, a 12,000-Year Odyssey"


Not held


Speaker: Brian Armstrong

Topic: "The History of US Presidential Elections and New Jersey"


Speaker: Rita King, PhD

Topic: "The Influenza Pandemic of 1918: Its Story and Lasting Impact"


Not held


Speaker: Mary Walton

Topic: "Shaming Woodrow Wilson: Alice Paul's Battle for Democracy In A World At War"


Speaker: Ian Burrow

Topic: "Three Houses, Three Thousand Years: Archaeological Discoveries at the Brearley House"


Speaker: Brooke Hunter

Topic: “The Rise and Fall of Prohibition in Lawrence”


Speaker: Dan Druckenbrod

Topic: “Aldo Leopold’s Big Woods: 100 Years of Environmental History in Lawrenceville”


Speaker: John Fea

Topic: “New Jersey Presbyterians and the American Revolution”


Speaker: Larry Kidder

Topic: “Maidenhead Patriots in the First Hunterdon Militia Regiment: 1775-1783”


Speakers: Brooke Hunter and Roderick A. McDonald

Topic: “Contesting Slavery, Confronting Freedom: Slavery and Emancipation in New Jersey”


Speakers: Maxine N. Lurie and Michael Siegel

Topic: “Mapping New Jersey”


Speakers: Richard W. Hunter and Howard L. Green

Topic: “The Curious Career and Fateful Future of the Delaware and Raritan Canal”


Speaker: Harold M. Tanner

Topic: “The United States, China, Taiwan: The Historical Background of a Potential Conflict”


Speaker: Gordon Wood

Topic: “Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founding Fathers Different”


Speaker: Adm. Paul Edward Tobin Jr.

Topic: “Victory from Defeat”


Speaker: Tom Kindre

Topic: “The Boys from New Jersey”


Speaker: James M. McPherson

Topic" “The Global Effects of the American Civil War”

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