Three Sessions: Wednesdays
October 21, November 4 & November 18
5:30-7:00 p.m. est
This seminar will consider the innovative contributions of John Dickinson to the creation of the United States Constitution through his work on the Articles of Confederation (1776), the Annapolis Convention (1786) that met to consider the shortcomings of the Articles, the ensuing Federal Convention (1787), and the debate over ratification (1788). As the only leading figure to contribute substantially to every phase of the American Founding beginning with the Stamp Act resistance, Dickinson also played a key role during the constitutional era. In a timely seminar led by Dr. Jane E. Calvert, chief editor of the John Dickinson Writings Project and Associate Professor of History at the University of Kentucky, participants will explore drafts, notes, and essays, along with selected secondary source readings, to understand Dickinson’s contributions to the U.S. Constitution, reflecting on both what he offered and what his colleagues rejected.
About Dr. Jane E. Calvert
Dr. Jane E. Calvert is founding director and chief editor of the John Dickinson Writings Project and Associate Professor of History at the University of Kentucky. Her publications on Dickinson include Quaker Constitutionalism and the Political Thought of John Dickinson and Volume One of The Complete Writings and Selected Correspondence of John Dickinson. She is currently writing a biography of him. Her work is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the State of Delaware, the Harry and Lynde Bradley Foundation, the William Nelson Cromwell Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, the Library Company of Philadelphia, among others.
- Liz Covart is the Digital Projects Editor for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture at the College of William & Mary, where she hosts the podcast Ben Franklin’s World. She is currently working on a book project entitled, America’s Forgotten Constitution: The Articles of Confederation.
- John Kaminski is the founding director of the Center for the Study of the American Constitution at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He co-edited 32 volumes of The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution (State Historical Society of Wisconsin).
- Jack N. Rakove is emeritus W. R. Coe Professor of History and American studies at Stanford University. His work Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution (Knopf, 1996) won the Pulitzer Prize in History.