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Author lecture planned for David Library

The next lecture in the series presented by the David Library of the American Revolution will be “The Usual Suspects: General Washington, His Critics, and the Conway Cabal by Mark Edward Lender.

The free program will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 13, at the Library, 1201 River Road, Washington Crossing.

In late 1777 and early 1778, dismayed by George Washington’s repeated defeats, senior patriot military officers and allied political figures launched an effort to limit Washington’s control of the Continental Army, or, possibly to replace him outright with Horatio Gates.

The episode is known as the “Conway Cabal.” Most modern scholarship, however, has discounted the existence of any serious “cabal,” dismissing the matter as unfounded fears of conspiracy among Washington’s inner circle.

Lender differs from this view, and will argue that the cabal was not only real, but that it posed a genuine threat to Washington’s command.

The eventual defeat of the cabal was a key step in Washington’s consolidation of his position in the army and his rise to iconic status in the Revolution itself.

Lender is professor emeritus of history at Kean University, from which he retired as vice president for Academic Affairs in 2011. He is the author or co-author of 11 books, most recently, “Cabal! The Plot Against General Washington.”

Reservations for the lecture are required; call 215-493-6776 x100, or email For information, visit