The Gilder-Lehrman 2017 Princeton Seminar on colonial America is underway!
Last night we held our opening dinner with the teachers. A few teachers had some difficulties with flights, but everyone is now here and settled into their rooms on the Princeton University campus. This year we have 35 history teachers representing 20 states: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhoda Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
My partner-in-crime Nate McAlister (did I mention he was National History of the Year in 2010?) got the teachers started on a gargoyle scavenger hunt on the Princeton campus. We also took a brief tour of the eighteenth-century campus. All of the attendees read The Way of Improvement Leads Home and seem eager to see sites related to Philip VIckers Fithian.
The teachers will be busy this week. In addition to morning lectures on colonial America and afternoon sessions on interpreting primary sources, we will be spending the entire day on Wednesday touring colonial Philadelphia with LaSalle University public historian and tour guide extraordinaire George Boudreau.
On Monday afternoon we will be teaming-up with the Historical Society of Princeton for a tour of early American Princeton. On Thursday afternoon we will spend a couple of hours with a rare book librarian from Princeton University’s Firestone Library. I have asked the librarian to pull first editions of every book Fithian read during his short life and most of the books I will discuss in morning lectures. This is always one the highlights of the week. Finally, we are hoping to spend some time at the Princeton cemetery where the teachers will get a chance to visit the grace of Aaron Burr Jr., Jonathan Edwards, John Witherspoon, and others.
It is going to be a great week! Stay tuned for updates. Check out pics at @princetonsemnr