The League of Most Interesting Gentlemen

History Makers

President Madison also "makes history" with a group of like-minded historical interpreters known as the League of Most Interesting Gentlemen. The League's goal is to redefine the scope and approach to interpretive historical education.

The Gentlemen seek to “inform as well as entertain” discerning audiences and can tailor appearances to serve the needs of a site and its guests. The Gentlemen appear as President Thomas Jefferson; Fourth Secretary of the Treasury, Albert Gallatin; Dr. Benjamin Franklin; and the Natural Philosopher.

Together and individually, they bring the early years of our country's growth to life in an engaging manner that draws their constituents into their life and times. To further enliven these gatherings, colleagues and friends who are also interpretive historians joing them when appropriate. It is hoped that the short film below produced by Dean Howarth will give you an hint of the Gentlemen in action.

Members of the League have appeared on Virginia Time Travels to discuss the role of living history in fostering understanding of the people and events involved. The footage is shared with you courtesy of Fairfax County Channel 21.

If like what you have seen here, please contact Mr. Gallatin for more information.

Photograph of Mr. Pitz as President Jefferson was taken by Steve Whysall of Whysall Photography. Copyright 2015 by Steve Whysall and used with permission. All rights reserved.

Portraying President Thomas Jefferson

Tom Pitz

Thomas Jefferson, the “American Sphinx”, as he has been called, enlightens 21st century Americans with his potent words to explain the motives for our forefathers to fight for a government based upon reason rather than force, a novel concept. At the same time he fails to “first take the log out of [his] own eye” because slaves are forced to serve this new country he helped to form. Question him.

Long an aficionado of Revolutionary Era history, Tom Pitz has been performing as Mr. Jefferson since 1987. He considers it an honor and a privilege to bring one of America’s greatest historical figures back to life for audiences. His performance sites include Michie Tavern, Denver Museum of Natural Science, the College of William and Mary, Keswick Hall, the United States Treasury, University of Virginia, Virginia Genealogical Society, Hampden Sydney College, Carthage College, and the National Geographic Society. As a graduate of Mr. Jefferson’s University, he is well aware that John Adams’ dying statement, “Jefferson Lives” is as true today as it was on July 4th, 1826.

To engage or for more information about President Jefferson, please email Mr. Pitz.

Photograph of Mr. Stevens as Dr. Franklin was taken by Steve Whysall of Whysall Photography. Copyright 2015 by Steve Whysall and used with permission. All rights reserved.

Portraying Benjamin Franklin

Barry Stevens

Barry Stevens has been presenting Benjamin Franklin since 2005. Prior to this, he participated as a Revolutionary War soldier with the First Virginia Regiment. His education on the life and times of Dr. Franklin has led him to read and travel extensively to locations throughout the Colonies and even to Paris, France. His audiences have been found in Michie Tavern, the Treasury Executive Institute, the National Fire Heritage Center, the City Tavern in Philadelphia, the National Institutes of Health, Proprietary House in Perth Amboy, NJ, the National Science and Engineering Festival, and a variety of schools and business conventions.

For Mr. Stevens, it is both a challenge and an honor to portray Benjamin Franklin. To engage Mr. Franklin or learn more, please email Mr. Stevens

Photograph of Mr. Duquette as Albert Gallatin was taken by Steve Whysall of Whysall Photography. Copyright 2015 by Steve Whysall and used with permission. All rights reserved.

Portraying Albert Gallatin

Fourth Secretary of the Treasury

Money may be of interest to some of your visitors or members. No one in American history knew more about that, and the influence it had on government, than Alexander Hamilton and Albert Gallatin.

The former is known to all, if for no other reason than he was shot and killed by a Vice President of the United States, and therefore is unavailable to The League. The unknown Mr. Gallatin, however, should be introduced to all Americans today, and The League is happy to oblige. He knows more about the issues of an expanding nation and its government,indebtedness, and republican values than any caucus of 21st century politicians.

While Ron Duquette has been portraying Albert Gallatin, America’s longest serving Secretary of the Treasury, since 2011, he has prior experience in historical interpretation as Harry Truman and the Marquis de La Fayette. Mr. Duquette has been bringing to life this little-known, but important, personage in our young Republic’s history in matters of law, diplomacy, finance, ethnology, and linguistics at many sites, including Gadsby’s Tavern, the National Constitution Center, the Swiss Embassy and Consulate-General, NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, Ft. Ligonier, the State Department, Dumbarton House and the Gallatin Estate at Friendship Hill, Pennsylvania.

In January 2018, Mr. Gallatin quietly celebrated the 257th anniversary of his birth with his friends, Mr. and Mrs. Ron Duquette at their home near Mount Vernon, Virginia.

To contact Mr. Gallatin, please send your correspondence via email to Mr. Duquette.

Dean Howarth as Charles Willson Peale on a formal occasion. Taken at the 2016 Sweethearts and Patriots Gala. Furnished courtesy of Dean Howarth.

The Natural Philosopher

Itinerant Lecturer

Can you locate your longitude and latitude without your smart phone or computer? Can you hold a mammoth tooth in your hand or cast a hypnotic spell on someone?

Alexander Ellicott, Count Rumford, and Dr. Franz Mesmer can.  They would be happy to teach children about the science of the Enlightenment so that their elders, who wish to appear too sophisticated to reveal their genuine curiosity, can also learn. The role of the Natural Philosopher in the Age of Enlightenment (seventeenth, eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries) was a combination of the roles played by today's scientists, educators, and philosophers.

Dean Howarth is a veteran science teacher and living history instructor, who specializes in interpretations based on the Sciences. He has portrayed dozens of scientific personae, such as Isaac Newton, Count Rumford, William Herschel, David Rittenhouse, Ebenezer Kinnersley, Alessandro Volta, and Franz Anton Mesmer. Presentations on early physics, astronomy, natural science, paleontology, electricity, chemistry and medical quackery are accompanied by his extensive collection of replica instruments. Mr Howarth has appeared at Gadsby’s Tavern, Mount Vernon, Montpelier, Rippon Lodge, Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary, Wren Hall, Rumford House (MA), Priestly House (PA), Carlyle House, The White House, Sully Plantation, Claude Moore Colonial Farm, St. Mary City (MD), Wye Oak Church (MD), Arlington Planetarium, and the Smithsonian Institution.

The Natural Philosopher and Mr. Howarth may be reached via email to discuss topics of interest to you and your venue.