The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI) is pleased to announce that it is partnering with the Thomas Jefferson Foundation for a special event at Monticello, November 15-17, 2018: “Hamilton v. Jefferson: On History, Freedom, and Republican Government.” AHI Executive Director Robert Paquette and Dr. Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy, Vice President of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, are organizing the event, which will bring more than a dozen Hamilton and Jefferson scholars to Monticello for two days and five sessions of conversation and debate. A special dinner will be held Thursday evening with a keynote address by a major scholar chosen by Paquette and O’Shaughnessy.
“We are deeply grateful to Dr. O’Shaughnessy for opening the door to what promises to be a sumptuous intellectual feast,” said Paquette. “We are hoping to live stream the event nationally. It will form part of the AHI’s Eleventh Annual Carl B. Menges Colloquium. Almost twenty years ago Mr. Menges and I had a fateful conversation about Alexander Hamilton in a building that became our headquarters. Out of that conversation emerged the AHI. What a run we have had! The AHI intends to honor Mr. Menges, without whom the AHI would not exist, by making this colloquium very special.”
The annual Menges Colloquium focuses on a theme that comports with the AHI’s core mission. After the Thursday night dinner and keynote address, a Liberty-Fund style colloquium follows on Friday and Saturday. During sessions, conferees of various backgrounds, working from a prescribed set of readings, engage in an intensive, wide-ranging conversation under the direction of a discussion leader. The AHI has modified the Liberty-Fund model to include an audience, especially of undergraduates, who at the end of each session will be given time to ask questions of the panelists.
“I have asked Dr. Steve Ealy, a senior fellow at Liberty Fund, to direct the Hamilton v. Jefferson colloquium,” Paquette added. “Steve, himself a political theorist, is a master at getting the most out of panelists in this kind of event.” We will also be partnering with affiliates and kindred-spirit organizations, including RIT, Colgate University, Skidmore, Trinity, Dartmouth, and Baylor, to bring gifted undergraduates to the event. We also hope to integrate tours of Monticello into the schedule. If we obtain the funding we need, Dr. O’Shaughnessy and I also intend to commission original essays on Hamilton and Jefferson from participating scholars and perhaps others for a special volume that Andrew and I will edit. It is truly an exciting project, and I could not be more pleased that the AHI and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation are working together on it. We are in the process of working out details. Stay tuned for additional announcements.”