“In a sense, my career as a historian has been reading other peoples' mail. For the past 15 years I have been reading Thomas Jefferson's--both the letters he wrote and those he received. He corresponded over the years with long-time Virginia friends, men and women whom he met in France when serving there as American minister in the 1780s and stayed in touch with for the rest of his life -- individuals who sought jobs when as president he had the power of patronage, members of Congress and his Cabinet and, of enormous importance to him, his daughters and grandchildren. This body of documents helps us to understand not just Thomas Jefferson but early American politics, business, and society. If we understand Jefferson's world, we are better equipped to understand our own."
Join us as Dr. Oberg shares her insights into the life and character of Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States. Jefferson was president of the American Philosophical Society from 1797 to 1814 -- both before, during and after his presidential term. This talk is one of the many events over the next two years that will add to our historical understanding of Jefferson and how his multi-faceted legacy continues to be relevant today.
Barbara Oberg is a Research Scholar in the History Department at Princeton University and Editor Emerita of The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, a comprehensive edition of Jefferson's writings and correspondence (a project begun by the late Jefferson scholar and Member of the Society, Julian P. Boyd) published by Princeton University Press. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and received her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where her primary fields of study were eighteenth-century British intellectual history and American history of the early republic.
She has served as the president of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, the Society for Textual Scholarship and the Association for Documentary Editing. She is currently on the Board of Trustees of Colonial Williamsburg and Chair of the Executive Committee of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture at the College of William and Mary. Dr. Oberg was elected to membership in the American Philosophical Society in 1998.
This event is free and open to the public.
Closest Parking: Bourse Garage, 400 Ranstead Street (entrance on 4th next to Ritz Movie Theater)