Values Through History

About Us

Values Through History’s mission is to immerse upper elementary students in an exciting, multi-disciplinary learning experience set in the Revolutionary War and Founding periods that will instill knowledge of the nation’s founding and the essential civic principles and behavior upon which its government and society depend as it unifies them as Americans, so they are equipped and inspired to go on together to become responsible citizens.

Because American students nationwide were not learning this HISTORY, GOVERNMENTAL PRINCIPLES, and CITIZENSHIP SKILLS in any way that they retained, identified with, and put to use, Values Through History’s founding directors developed Why America Is Free to achieve this depth of learning with outstanding and lasting results.

Values Through History (VTH) is a 501(c)3 organization that was founded in 1994.

4899 Montrose Blvd. #1814, Houston, TX 77006
Phone: (713) 533-1776
Email Us


DONNA PASSMORE and JAN SMULCER are the founding directors of Values Through History and the creators of the highly successful Why America Is Free curriculum. The product of ten years of research, writing and testing, educator reviews, and working with history scholars, major museums, libraries, educators, and historical societies, this non-partisan curriculum was designed to be affordable and accessible. Public, private, and charter schools across 15 states now teach this critically acclaimed enrichment course of study.

Together, Donna Passmore and Jan Smulcer, also researched, wrote, and illustrated the book, Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route and the Franco-American Alliance

Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route

Research In The Field

This article describes how thoroughly we research and prepare anything that is going to be part of the Why America Is Free curriculum.

Background of the Founding Directors

Donna Passmore

Criminal and constitutional law, education, curriculum development, history, dramatics, research, script writing, negotiation, and multimedia production.

Jan Smulcer

Business management, historic preservation, restoration, curriculum development, research and writing, graphic design, and multi-media productions.


Donna Passmore

President and Secretary of the corporation

Ron Smulcer

Chief Operating Officer, creating inventory controls, audit, financial planning, income and expense recording, and regulatory reporting

Helen Taylor

Past NSCDA-SC Gunston Hall Regent; NSCDA-SC member

Jan Smulcer

Vice President and Treasurer of the corporation

Martha Erwin

Past Chairman, Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, MFAH; past Trustee, MFAH




Independent Director; Director and Chairman of the Human Resources and Remuneration Committee, Kasikornbank Public Company Limited; Chairman of International Advisory Committee; National City Bank Director; World Risk Consultant PLC; member, The Society of the Cincinnati



MD Anesthesiologist; past General Society Education Chair and present History Chair, The Society of the Cincinnati; Author of Crescent Moon over Carolina; William Moultrie and American Liberty; Distinction in Every Service: Brigadier General Marcellus A. Stovall, C.S.A.; and coauthor of the critically praised Never for Want of Powder: The Confederate Powder Works in Augusta, Georgia, also published by the University of South Carolina Press.

Maine and Texas


Mr. Griscom is a member of The Society of the Cincinnati



Chairman of the education committee of the Society of the Cincinnati of the state of Virginia

North Carolina


Founders, Tocqueville Program, Furman University



Historian; former member Board of Directors, Winterthur Museum and Country Estate


President Emeritus of the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia; former President & CEO Montpelier Foundation of James Madison’s Montpelier; former Deputy Director, Mount Vernon’s Ladies Association

South Carolina


Director, Institute for Southern Studies; Carolina Trustee Professor; Claude H. Neuffer Professor of Southern Studies; George Washington Professor of History; and Louise Fry Scudder Professor; author of numerous South Carolina history books including Partisans and Redcoats: The Southern Conflict that Turned the Tide of the American Revolutions, and The Corolina Encyclopedia; radio host


President, South Carolina Historical Society; Trustee, Upcountry History Museum, Furman University; Trustee, Greenville Museum of Art



Harriet C. Latimer & Associates – field of philanthropy focusing primarily on capital campaigns, endowment funds, and special projects, working with leading nonprofits. Board memberships include Armand Bayou Nature Center Foundation, Bayou Bend Docent Organization, Friends of the Fondren Library (Rice University), Harris County Heritage Society, Houston Public Library Foundation. She was the founding Chairman for the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission.



President and CEO of the Mount Vernon Ladies Association; former Founding Director, George W. Smith Library for the Study of George Washington, Mount Vernon; former professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the History Department at Binghamton University, State University of New York; PhD in History, University of Chicago; BA in History and Economics, University of Virginia; author, Citizenship Revolution: Politics and the Creation of the American Union, 1774-1804 (UVA Press 2009)


Director, SAR Annual Conference on the American Revolution; former President General, National Society, Sons of the American Revolution; Board member, US Capitol Historical Society; past President General, Treasurer General, and Genealogist General, National Society, Sons of the American Revolution; past VA SAR President; contributor to NSSAR-Harvard University Black Patriots of the American Revolution Research Project; recipient of US Presidential Volunteer Service Award for lifetime community service; Kentucky Colonel; Texas Navy Admiral

Special Endorsements, Partnerships and Research

  • American Philosophical Society (APS), PA
  • Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, TX
  • Boston Public Library, MA
  • Colonial Williamsburg, VA
  • Walter B. Edgar, SC
  • Fort Ligonier, PA
  • George Washington’s Mount Vernon, VA
  • Gilder Lehrmann, NY
  • Society of the Cincinnati
  • Society of the Cincinnati-France, France
  • Sudbury Fife & Drum Corps, MA
  • Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello Research Department, VA
  • W3R (Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route)
  • Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library

Research and Consultation with Curator

  • Adams National Historical Park, MA

  • American Independence Museum, NH

Site Visits and Research Assistance

  • Buckman Tavern, MA
  • Carlyle House, VA
  • Carpenters’ Hall, PA
  • Cowpens National Battlefield, SC
  • Fairmont Park, PA
  • Fairmont Water Works, PA
  • Faneuil Hall, MA
  • Franklin Institute, PA
  • Gatsby’s Tavern, VA
  • Gunston Hall, Mason Neck, VA
  • Harrison Gray Otis House, MA
  • Hartwell Tavern, MA
  • Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site, SC
  • Independence Hall, PA
  • Jeremiah Lee House, MA
  • Kenmore, VA
  • Marblehead Historical Museum, MA
  • Minuteman Historical Park, MA
  • Museum Fine Arts, Boston, MA
  • National Constitution Center, PA
  • National Parks Service, USA
  • Old South Church, MA
  • Old State House, MA
  • Peabody Essex Museum, MA
  • Powel House, PA
  • Stratford Hall, VA
  • The Physick House, PA
  • Valley Forge National Historic Site, PA
  • Yorktown, Battlefield, VA
  • Wayside Inn, Sudbury, MA

Images and Documents

  • College of William and Mary, VA

Use of Collection Items

  • Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, PA US Senate Collection, DC
  • Museum of Versailles, FR
  • Duc de Choiseul, FR