Parsons Newman Lecture Series

Heritage Frederick proudly offers annual lectures, free of charge to the public, featuring diverse topics, historical figures, and experiences from the significant history of Frederick County and the surrounding region. In 2024, we are excited to announce the following Parsons Newman Lecture Series presentations:

Local Authors Book Talk

Thursday, April 25, 2024 • Lecture begins at 6:00 pm, doors open at 5:30 pm

Please join us for a conversation with two local authors who will introduce their new books and answer questions. Howard Cox, of Frederick, recently published American Traitor about General James Wilkinson, the highest ranking federal official to be charged as a spy. Pete Michael, of Adamstown, will discuss his new book, First Explorer, which tells the story of Francis Michael, who in 1704 became the first European to explore beyond the Atlantic coast and into the Appalachians.

Howard W. Cox is a former federal prosecutor, criminal investigator, and Senior Intelligence Service officer. After almost 40 years of federal service, he retired as the Assistant Inspector General for Investigations of the Central Intelligence Agency. In this capacity, Mr. Cox supervised criminal, civil and administrative investigations conducted by the Office of Inspector General (OIG). Mr. Cox is a recipient of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Intelligence Medal of Merit.

Mr. Cox is the author of American Traitor: General James Wilkinson’s Betrayal of the Republic and Escape From Justice, a biography of the highest ranking federal official ever to be charged with being a spy.

Peter Michael’s latest book, First Explorer, was awarded the 2023 eLit Prize in Biography. First Explorer tells of the life of the author’s ancestor, Francis Michael, who in 1704 became the first European to explore beyond the Atlantic coast and into the Appalachians. This exploration, which opened the Atlantic piedmont and Appalachia to settlement, took him directly through Frederick County. The explorer then spent the rest of his career rescuing thousands of European religious and war refugees and relocating them to six colonies that he created for them in America. Many of them helped to settle Frederick and Frederick County.

Peter Michael is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Berkeley, and Princeton. He and his wife live at Cooling Springs, a Frederick County historic site founded in 1768 by a son of the explorer.

About the Parsons Newman Lecture Series

Founded by Mr. and Mrs. John D. Hendrickson II for grants to Heritage Frederick to host historical lectures in Mr. Newman’s name.

Born in the City of Frederick on January 10, 1897, Parsons Newman was the son of John Shaw Newman and Amy Rebecca Parsons. After graduating from Boys High School in Frederick on 1914, Mr. Newman attended University of Virginia, where he earned both undergraduate and law degrees. In between his degrees, he served in World War I. After earning his law degree, Mr. Newman returned to Frederick, where he practiced law for more than 50 years, concentrating in real estate property, trust and estate matters, and financial and general corporation work. He was chair of one of the Frederick County Draft Boards and a member of the Maryland State Board of Bar Examiners, evaluating applicants for admission to the bar. He served as President of the Frederick County Bar Association and as a member of the Maryland and American Bar Associations. In 1922, he ran for and was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates for a four-year term.

In addition to a successful legal profession, Mr. Newman married Margaret Frances Besant, his wife of 37 years. He was active in the Frederick County community as president of the Frederick Kiwanis Club, the Historical Society of Frederick County, and the Community Chest, now known as United Way. He was a trustee of St. James School, Hood College, Home for the Aged (Record Street Home), and the C. Burr Artz Library. Moreover, Mr. Newman was an involved lifelong member of All Saints Episcopal Church. Among his personal passions, Mr. Newman enjoyed attending the Great Frederick Fair, cheering for the New York Yankees, collecting stamps, and studying history. He passed away on September 10, 1984 at the age of 87. To honor his memory and to remember his life, friends Mr. and Mrs. John D. Hendrickson II turned to the Community Foundation to establish The Parsons Newman Memorial Fund to provide funds to Heritage Frederick (formerly known as Historical Society of Frederick County) for a series of lectures known as the P. Newman Lecture Series.