Founding Fathers, Sexuality and Public Memory

The Alexandria Historical Society and the Office of Historic Alexandria present a lecture by Thomas Foster, Professor of History at Howard University and author of Sex and the Founding Fathers: The American Quest for a Relatable Past. Biographers, journalists, and satirists have long used the subject of sex to define the masculine character and political authority of America’s founding fathers. Dr. Foster’s work shows how continual attempts to reveal the true character of these men, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and others, reflect the desire to identify the core values and relatable traits that link the founders to subsequent generations of Americans. By assessing the varied public and private images of these generally idealized leaders, Foster illustrates how each generation uses them to reshape and reinforce American civic and national identity. The stories we tell about the founders say more about us than about our first celebrities.

Doors open at 7 pm and the program begins at 7:30 pm.

For registration and additional information, please visit the AHS website:

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