Thursday, February 26, 2015

Liberty Lecture Series: Friends and Rivals

The 2015 Liberty Lecture Series at Gunston Hall highlights the friendships and rivalries of Founding Fathers, exploring the dynamics of personal relationships and political differences that lead to the establishment of a more perfect union.

February 22: George Washington
The series kicked off on February 22 with Kathleen Bartoloni-Tuazon discussing her book, For Fear of an Elective King, George Washington and the Presidential Title Controversy of 1789

In the early days of George Washington’s presidency, a debate was sparked in the Senate and House of Representatives regarding how to address the president. Many, including John Adams and Richard Henry Lee, favored a grand title for the Presidency, suggesting options such as “Highness” or “Elected Majesty.” George Mason and others were opposed to a monarchial title for the president that would give the impression of the president being royalty. In discussing the title controversy, Bartoloni-Tuazon explores the views of both everyday citizens and the political elite and how finding a balance in the government’s power and the power of the people both affirmed and bolstered the legitimacy of the new republic.

March 1: Madison and Monroe
This weekend, historian, author, and political strategist Chris DeRose will share details of
the political rivalry between Madison and Monroe, as explored in his book, Founding Rivals, Madison vs. Monroe, The Bill of Rights and the Election That Saved a Nation

In 1789, James Madison and James Monroe ran against each other for a seat in Congress, the only time that two future presidents have done so. But what was at stake was more than personal ambition. This was a race that determined the future of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the very definition of the United States of America.

March 8: Adams and Jefferson

Author and historian Gerard W. Gawalt joins us to discuss the relationship of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson in the creation of the United States of America. 

In his book, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, Creating the American Republic, Gawalt reveals the thoughts and actions of two founding fathers who could hardly have been more dissimilar in background and personality. Both their friendship and rivalry were born in the cauldron of the American Revolution and nurtured by ambition and clashing political philosophies. Together they helped plan and plot a revolution and led its defining moment, the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Principle, ambition and pride were the mainstays of their successes and their failures.

We hope to see you at one (or both!) of the two final lectures in this series. Lectures are held in the Ann Mason Room at Gunston Hall, 10709 Gunston Road, Mason Neck, VA 22079. A light reception is offered at 2:30 pm and the program begins at 3:00 pm.

All three books are available for purchase in the Gunston Hall Museum Shop and authors will be available for signing after their lectures. This series is sponsored by the Kirkpatrick Family Fund. Up to six recertification points are available for teachers. For more information, email or call 703-550-9220.