Seminar- Martha Elena Rojas

Lectures and performances
Thursday, December 13, 2012 - 5:00pm to Friday, December 14, 2012 - 4:45pm

‘Matters of Surprise’: John Adams and the Diplomatic Book,
by Martha Elena Rojas

Associate Professor of English, University of Rhode Island

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. 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.

American Antiquarian Society Seminar is in association with the history departments of Brown University, Clark University, and the University of Connecticut.

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