Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry stood at the center of America’s founding. Henry, the elder of the two, was idolized by a young Jefferson as the great orator who led Americans into a revolution against tyranny. In 1781, though, they had a falling-out over the investigation of Jefferson’s governorship, with the sage of Monticello believing that Henry had accused him of cowardice, incompetence, and dishonor; for forty-five years, Jefferson loathed his former idol.
Yet, Jefferson and Henry shared much in their political philosophy, both wishing to see the people controlling their own government, both with serious questions about the new Constitution and deeply suspicious of a powerful government distant from the people.
In this special livestream with Thomas Jefferson, interpreted by Bill Barker, and Patrick Henry, interpreted by Colonial Williamsburg’s Richard Schumann, these veteran historic interpreters will discuss their collaborations, conflicts, and respective visions for the nation’s future.