History and Civil War buffs won’t want to miss this month’s meeting of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Historical Society, when local author William McClintock Jr. will present a fascinating educational program on his great-great-grandfather, Commodore Reigart Bolivar Lowry, a member of the first graduating class of the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis and a career naval officer who served in the U.S. Navy from 1840-1880.
The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 23, at the Shady Rest Country Club, 820 Jerusalem Rd. (at the corner of Plainfield Avenue) in Scotch Plains.
McClintock’s presentation, based on his 2021 book, Commodore Reigart Bolivar Lowry, will explore Lowry’s storied career, beginning when he joined the Navy at age 14, and including his active role in many key naval operations of the time. Lowry was on a ship off Fort Sumter when the first shots of the Civil War were fired. He fought in the Mexican-American War and accompanied Commodore Matthew C. Perry when he opened Japan to American trade in 1854. Based on family letters and other documents, McClintock’s thoroughly researched biography goes beyond Lowry’s life to examine the Navy in which he served and the politics and corruption that Lowry and his fellow naval officers encountered as they sought to prevent a captain with less seniority from being promoted ahead of them.
A resident of Scotch Plains since 1981, the author earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Oberlin College, where he began his research on Commodore Lowry and the Navy. He went on to complete a master’s degree in American history from New York University. Mr. McClintock previously served as township mayor and councilman, and is active in the Rotary Club, notably with the Frazee house Restoration Project. Career highlights include serving as an officer at Bankers Trust Company and as Chief Financial Officer at Corporate Annual Reports. In 1993, he formed William McClintock Associates, a political consulting firm that provides targeted consulting and direct mail services. Commodore Reigart Bolivar Lowry is his first book.
The upcoming meeting is free and all are welcome. Refreshments and fellowship will follow the presentation. For questions, please email Info@HistoricalSocietySPFNJ.org or call 908/322-6700 Extension 230.