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Joseph Ellis, Professor Emeritus of History, Mount Holyoke College


We will focus on the letters between Abigail and John Adams, attempting to understand their role in shaping the American Revolution and its role in shaping them. We will be most interested in the interaction between their private lives and the more public events that became the benchmarks of a successful war for American independence and the creation of the world’s oldest enduring republic.


Readings are sent by the Institute to seminar participants. Readings may include:

Hogan, Margaret, and James Taylor. My Dearest Friend: Letters of Abigail and John Adams. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2007.

McCullough, David. John Adams. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2008.

Travel & Accommodations

Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts, is approximately two hours from downtown Boston, two and a half hours from Logan Airport, and three hours north of New York City. For travel information and driving directions, visit the Amherst College website.

Workshop participants will be housed in an on-campus dormitory. Participants will be placed in private rooms, but may share bathroom facilities. The college provides bedding and towels only. Please note that participants should plan to bring fans, alarm clocks, shampoo, hangers, irons, hair dryers, etc. Participants will have access to computer clusters, but many choose to bring laptops. Housekeeping services are provided throughout the week.


Meals will be served in a university cafeteria in space shared by other programs. All on-campus meals will be paid for by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Travel Reimbursement

Each summer seminar participant will receive reimbursement of travel expenses up to $400. Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to and from the seminar.

Participants traveling internationally or from Alaska and Hawaii receive a $500 stipend in lieu of reimbursement upon completion of the seminar. Applicants to seminars should note that supplements will not be given in cases where the $400 allowance is insufficient to cover all travel expenses. Our reimbursement policy has changed from previous years. For more information on our policy click here.

Graduate Credit

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is proud to announce its agreement with Adams State University to offer three hours of graduate credit in American history to participating seminar teachers. For more information click here.


Email the Teacher Seminars department or call 646-366-9666.

July 21st, 2013 5:00 PM   through   July 27th, 2013 9:00 AM
Amherst College
Amherst, MA
United States

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Seminar Fee
Attending $50.00
Not Attending $0.00

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