American Antiquarian Society Seminar in association with the history departments of Brown University, Clark University, and the University of Connecticut
‘Matters of Surprise’: John Adams and the Diplomatic Book
Martha Elena Rojas
Associate Professor of English, University of Rhode Island
Elmarion Room, Goddard Daniels House
American Antiquarian Society
190 Salisbury Street
Worcester, MA 01609
PRÉCIS: While serving as diplomats Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams each published books in Europe. Franklin's Constitutions des Treize États-Unis de L’Amerique (1783), Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia (1787), and Adams' Defence of the Constitutions of the Governments of the United States (1787-8), all answered questions and countered misinformation circulating about the new nation. Putatively written in response to French criticisms of the U.S. state constitutions, Adams’ book differed from those of Franklin and Jefferson in content, methodology, and dissemination in ways that reflect and anticipate varying priorities, diplomatic strategies, and visions for the future United States.
Refreshments will be provided after the paper, which will be followed by a dutch-treat dinner in Worcester. If you plan to attend, please notify Ann-Cathrine Rapp at AAS (at firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than Monday, December 10.