Colonial Research Associates, Inc.

Colonial Research Associates, Inc., is a company dedicated to bringing history to life. We believe that too many exciting historical discoveries and revisions are held at arm’s length from the general public through boring writing styles and the seemingly intentional over-usage of pretentious words. As historian Bob Weible stated so clearly, “Face it. For as long as archivists tend only to their archives, for as long as curators preoccupy themselves with their collections, for as long as scholars write only for their peers, and for as long local historians fail to address the larger context in which their history unfolds, the history community will never realize its untapped potential for making a real difference in people’s lives.” Our goal is to breathe life back into learning about history and make it fun without insulting our audiences by “dumbing it down” or withholding valuable new information. Whether it is through our publications, speaking engagements, school visits, or professional research for television programs, documentary appearances, and individual family histories, our mission is to take information that has been gathered at the highest level of academic research and offer it to anyone who has an interest.

Current Projects:

  • We are writing and publishing of a series of supplemental texts  that will bring new and exciting Revolutionary War history out of the nether-regions and into the classrooms. This series is based on over five years of academic research, at the Ph.D. level, in the British National Archives, the Library of Congress, and the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History and Special Collections at the University of Florida. Return to the “Home” page on this site for more information on how to order these books as they become available.
  • We are proud to have been called upon to offer our perspective and expertise on the British era of St. Augustine history, from 1763 – 1784, for the City of St. Augustine’s exhibition entitled “Tapestry.” This wonderful exhibit will showcase the 450 year journey of St. Augustine through art and historical exhibits. .
  • Every month of the year we are on the road nationally, speaking to historical societies, museum programs, school groups – any group who has an interest in unique Revolutionary War history. For more information on speaking engagement opportunities click on the “Speaking Engagements” menu on the Home page of this website. For 501(c)(3) organizations, the Florida Humanities Council offers small matching grants that can provide the funds needed for such speaking engagements. Further information on that program is also available on our “Speaking Engagements” link.
  • Dr. Smith serves on the Military Officers Organization of America’s committee for the celebration of St. Augustine’s 450th anniversary as a consultant and frequent speaker.
  • You can see Dr. Smith on the PBS documentary, “Secrets of the Dead: Secrets of Spanish Florida.” This documentary is the fascinating story of St. Augustine, the nation’s oldest continuously settled European city, and her long history of struggles, successes, and growth from 1565 – 2015. Dr. Smith joins the state of Florida’s most prominent historians as one of the few experts on the region’s British history.
  • Colonial Research Associates has been involved in the AMC Television series, Turn, the true account of the spy ring on Long Island during the American Revolution that proved so valuable to Washington’s struggle against the British in that theater of the war. Dr. Smith has been called upon by the music production company working with AMC to assist with research involved in the music and instruments used during this era.

Recent Projects:

Recent past projects include working with the University of West Florida’s “Next Exit History” project, an effort dedicated to bringing heritage tourism to Florida’s smaller towns. We have also worked closely with the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (L.A.M.P.) to bring clarity to shipwrecks from the Revolutionary era they have recently recovered. Several museum projects have kept us busy, including research for the exhibit “Tapestry,” produced for the City of St. Augustine’s 450th anniversary celebration, curating a traveling exhibit for the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum called “Patriots and the Sea,” and working with the opening team for the Colonial Quarter Living History Museum.

Professional Affiliations:

Colonial Research Associates, Inc. is closely affiliated with the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Sons of the American Revolution, the Woman’s Exchange of St. Augustine, the St. Augustine Maritime Heritage Foundation, the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum, the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (L.A.M.P.), the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, the Florida Humanities Council, the St. Johns County Schools’ History Fair, the Marion County School System, the St. Augustine Archaeological Association, Military Officers Organization of America (St, Johns County), and the University of West Florida.