Historian John P. Kaminski at New Dominion


Update: Rescheduled from February 10 to February 17 due to the weather.

John P. Kaminski, founder and director of the Center for the Study of the American Constitution at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, presents selections from his new biography The Great Virginia Triumvirate: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison in the Eyes of Their Contemporaries at the New Dominion Bookshop on Wednesday, February 10 at 12:15pm.

Taken from letters, speeches, diaries, and memoirs, the quotations and vignettes included here shed light on the actual person behind each public image. George Washington offering a bowl of hot tea at night to a guest at Mount Vernon who has a cold; Thomas Jefferson extending condolences to John Adams on the death of his wife, Abigail; and James Madison bequeathing the silver-hilted walking cane, left him by Jefferson, in turn to the third president’s grandson, Thomas Jefferson Randolph–such moments reveal personality and character in a way that no official act ever could.

“Much is known to one which is not known to the other,” Jefferson wrote, “and no one knows everything.” The cumulative effect of many voices, however, can create a portrait of invaluable insight.

“Kaminski is an extremely well informed guide through the tangled tale of our political origins.... This book, clearly a labor of love, represents his distilled wisdom of the three great Virginians–Washington, Jefferson, and Madison.”–Joseph J. Ellis, Mount Holyoke College, author of Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation