The Princeton Battlefield Society will present the 2022 Mercer Oak Award to Roger S. Williams at a Nassau Inn reception on Thursday, June 16, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
“The Mercer Oak Award represents a love for American history and especially the Battle of Princeton and our War for Independence,” explained Michael Russell, president of the Princeton Battlefield Society. “This year’s recipient is an outstanding public historian and an enthusiastic historical interpreter dedicated to telling the Battle of Princeton’s human and military story.” With these words he announced the 2022 Mercer Oak Award recipient, Roger S. Williams.
Williams will receive his award at a June 16 reception at The Nassau Inn.
“Roger has been a dedicated friend of the battlefield and a long-time interpreter of American history. He eagerly shares his love for this historic location and its significance to the American Revolution,” stated Russell. “Roger’s sense of history and his vivid interpretation of this national event and the Ten Crucial Days of 1776, bring a greater awareness to life for visitors as they walk through and tour Princeton’s landmark park.”
“Growing up in Princeton, I can remember my Father bringing me to the battlefield,” Williams recalled. “I have fond memories of walking where history happened. I’ve always felt a sense of witness to the events and experiences of people and what happened on this field on January 3, 1777. It is an honor to share their stories.”
This dedication to the battlefield and the Battle of Princeton have been hallmarks in Williams’ career as a book publishing professional. He served as a trustee of the Princeton Battlefield Society and developed its current logo, re-developed its website, developed the Battlefield Tour Program, and contributed to the creation of new educational materials. He continues to serve as an Historical Battlefield Interpreter and tour guide. As State Historian for the New Jersey Society, Sons of the American Revolution, Williams recently chaired the wreath laying ceremony at the Colonnade during the Princeton Battlefield Society’s Experience the Battle of Princeton. The ceremony brought together color guard units from heredity societies from various states and representatives of military units with heritage lines back to the Battle of Princeton, including a British Army officer representing the 17th Regiment of Foot which fought here.
In addition to his years of service to the Princeton Battlefield, Williams is the co-founder of TenCrucialDays.org, an organized affiliation of organizations committed to the promotion of ten days in 1776-77, from Washington’s crossing of the Delaware to his victory at Princeton, that “turned the tide of American fortunes toward independence.” He also developed the tour program for the Washington Crossing Historic Park, published local historic authors, Larry Kidder, Jerry Hurwitz, and David Price, and created the successful online program, HistoryAuthorsTalk.org, which brings American Revolution historians to national prominence. He serves as president of the Princeton chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution and is active on several national SAR committees. “In his spare time,” Russell noted, “he serves on the Spirit of Princeton Committee, is a member of numerous historic, academic, and preservation organizations, and is executive producer of a musical, currently in development, about Washington’s Crossing and the Ten Crucial Days.”
Past recipients of the Mercer Oak Award have included Jerry Hurwitz, Raoul Momo, Peter J. Travers, and Mark & Rachel Herr.
Roger S. Williams has asked that proceeds from his Mercer Oak Award be used to expand battlefield interpretation as well as the cultural landscape of the site as it was during the Battle of Princeton. Ways you can help:
- Attend the Reception – Join us at the June 16 Reception at The Nassau Inn and help us honor Roger Williams.
Tickets are $100 per person.
- Send Your Congratulations with a Message or Ad in our Program – You can add a Congratulatory Message to Roger Williams or advertise your company or organization in the reception’s Program.
- Send a donation – A donation of any amount in Roger Williams’ name will be listed in the Program.
- Participate in the Silent Auction – Your donation of a Silent Auction item is most welcomed. It will be acknowledged in a separate “Silent Auction Bid Book.”