Its Official! We are doing a
Jeffersonian Dinner at Fort Mifflin.
Saturday, February 22, 2020
6 p.m. Casual Conversation
7 p.m. Dinner & Program
Tickets limited to assure a meaningful experience. Must be purchased in advance.
What is a Jeffersonian Dinner?
The tradition of Jeffersonian Dinners began at Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, in the 1700s. Jefferson thrived on surrounding himself with a host of thought leaders and used his dinner table as a venue for the free-flowing exchange of ideas. Dinner at Monticello was an occasion for lively, lingering conversation, not the stifled small talk that is common at most dinner parties. At Jefferson’s table, everyone engaged in a single conversation, often on a controversial or philosophical topic. In an age where information traveled slowly, Jefferson sought to bring into his home (both at Monticello and the White House) diverse opinions, keen observation, and discerning thoughts on issues of the day.
Perhaps the most salient of these dinner gatherings occurred on June 20, 1790 when Thomas Jefferson, then Secretary of State, invited Alexander Hamilton and James Madison to dinner to discuss how to pay off the Revolutionary War debts of the various states. Hamilton, Madison, and Jefferson all had radically different ideas of how the United States should be structured and what the balance between the role of the Federal and State Governments should be. Over the course of several hours and many glasses of wine, these men hammered out the Compromise of 1790. This resulted in moving the capital from New York City to Philadelphia for ten years while a new national capital was built in the South and the creation of a new national bank that would assume the war debts of all the states.
In the spirit of Thomas Jefferson’s own open, frank, and challenging conversations, we invite you to join us for a controversial discussion over a nice meal and a glass of wine. Our moderator and special guests from the 18th and 21st centuries will provide background, context and some initial thoughts. Then, conversation will move to the individual dinner tables.