On Sunday, December 8 at 3:00, the David Library of the American Revolution in Washington Crossing will present a lecture, Agrarian Founders: Shays’, Whiskey, and Fries’ Rebels and the Future of the Republic. The speaker will be Paul Douglas Newman, Jeffrey L. Pasley, Professor of History and Assistant Vice-President for Academic Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.
David Library lectures are admission free, but reservations are required. Call (215)493-6776 ext. 100 or email email@example.com. The lecture will be held in Stone Hall in the Feinstone Conference Center on the David Library campus, which is located at 1201 River Road (Rt. 32) in Washington Crossing, PA, 1.3 mi. from the Washington Crossing Bridge. The David Library’s Fall Lecture Series is being underwritten by a generous grant made by the Bucks County Commissioners.
Professor Newman is author of Fries Rebellion: The Enduring Struggle for the American Revolution published by the University of Pennsylvania Press. His essay, “The Other Guys: Agrarian Rebels Fight for Their American Future,” will appear in a forthcoming anthology entitled Revolutionary Prophecies: The Founders on the Future. He was the winner of the 2008 History Channel “Teacher of the Year Award,” and served on the Editorial Staff, and as Editor of Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies from 2000-2010. He lives in Johnstown, PA with his wife Bethany, and sons Forrest and Leo.
Regarding his lecture at the David Library, Professor Newman explains, “In the aftermath of the American Revolution, three very different groups of American agrarians–Yankee Yeomen, Ohio Valley Scots-Irish, and Lehigh Valley Pennsylvania Dutch–continued the struggle to define the Revolution and their future in the American republican experiment. Shays’ Rebellion of 1786-87, the Whiskey Rebellion of 1791-1794, and Fries’ Rebellion of 1798-99 have their differences for sure, but the striking similarities in grievances, tactics, and goals in spite of those differences reveal an agrarian intention for the founding of republican governments in America and their own futures as citizen-farmers.”
Although American Agrarianism has long since faded from prominence, the ideals and arguments espoused by these so-called rebels continue to dominate our political discourse more than two centuries later. Professor Newman says, “We owe it to ourselves to listen to them and to understand their role in our founding.”