Witches, Patriots, and Partisanship: Early American History

Fri. March 24, 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM


100 5th Street NE, Charlottesville, VA 22902

Hosted by: VFH Fellows program


Robert McDonald (Confounding Father), John Ragosta (Patrick Henry), and Benjamin Ray (Satan & Salem) share the research and stories behind their current books.

Why should you attend?

“Confounding Father is an ambitious, impressively researched, and well-written study that shows how public perceptions of Jefferson were inextricably bound up with the young nation’s core values and controversies. A must-read for anyone seeking to understand the sweeping impact of Jefferson’s image on early national America and beyond. —Joanne Freeman, Yale University, author of  Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic

Patrick Henry is the best short biography we have of a much misunderstood patriot, too often overshadowed by the brilliance of his own electrifying oratory. John Ragosta’s elegant and judicious account of Henry’s career as a statesman and lawyer restores the great Revolutionary to his proper place in the American pantheon.” —Peter S. Onuf, Thomas Jefferson Professor of History Emeritus, University of Virginia

“By combining shrewd analysis of newly transcribed and discovered documents, a corrected timeline of events, and a truly broad consideration of the religious, social, and political context for the outbreak, Ray makes us sympathetic to not only the tragedy of Salem but the complex world that produced it.” —Gretchen A. Adams, author of The Specter of Salem: Remembering the Witch Trials in Nineteenth-Century America