Sunday, March 24th, 2024 at 11am join the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello and the Virginia Festival of the Book for a presentation by historian Lindsay M. Chervinsky. 

This Event is Free and offered as part of the 2024 Virginia Festival of the Book. Registration is required to attend in person, held at the Howard and Abby Milstein Theater at Monticello's David M. Rubenstein Visitor Center. 

Register Here ➔

Unable to join us in person? This presentation will be livestreamed on our websiteFacebook and YouTube

About the Book

On November 26, 1791, George Washington convened his department secretaries – Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Henry Knox, and Edmund Randolph – for the first cabinet meeting. Why did he wait two and a half years into his presidency to call his cabinet? Because the US Constitution did not create or provide for such a body.

Washington was on his own. 

Join presidential historian, Dr. Lindsay M. Chervinsky, in conversation with Dr. John Ragosta, historian at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello, as they discuss how, when faced with crises and instability, George Washington created a cabinet of advisors and a structure of how it would guide him. They will also explore how Washington’s decision has shaped politics and the role of the branches of government then and now. 




Jefferson and Washington's Cabinet

Interested in learning more about Washington's Cabinet? Jefferson's role as Secretary of State? Or perhaps the development of party politics? You can find out about all of those topics and more, here.

About the Author

Dr. Lindsay M. Chervinsky is a presidential historian. She is the author of the award-winning book, The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution, co-editor of Mourning the Presidents: Loss and Legacy in American Culture, and the forthcoming book, Making the Presidency: John Adams and the Precedents That Forged the Republic. She regularly writes for public audiences in the Wall Street Journal, Ms. Magazine, The Daily Beast, The Bulwark, Time Magazine, USA Today, CNN, and the Washington Post.