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To celebrate the three-year anniversary of the opening of the Washington Library, we are joining forces with the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia to host an old-fashioned debate entitled Hamilton v. Jefferson on Executive Power: What Would Washington Say?The Founding Debates are sponsored by The Ammerman Family Foundation to honor James C. Rees, whose vision lives on with the Washington Library.

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Date and Time




Robert H. and Clarice Smith Theater
Located in the Ford Orientation Center
George Washington's Mount Vernon
3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy.
Mount Vernon, VA, 22121

Preeminent scholars in the study of America’s Founding Era will defend their positions. Richard Brookhiser and Alan Taylor will represent Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson respectively, while Douglas Bradburn will defend George Washington, as Jeffrey Rosen moderates a Charlie Rose-style conversation with the panelists. Join us for lively and informative conversation, with ample opportunity for questions from the audience, followed by a cocktail reception in the Vaughan Lobby.

Header Image: Alexander Hamilton, by John Trumball, c. 1806, courtesy of the National Gallery of Art; George Washington, by Gilbert Stuart, c. 1798, (MVLA); and Thomas Jefferson, by Gilbert Stuart, c. 1821, courtesy of the National Gallery of Art

Richard Brookhiser is a journalist, biographer and historian. He is a senior editor at National Review. He is most widely known for a series of biographies of America's founders, including Alexander Hamilton, Gouverneur Morris, and George Washington.  In 2008, President George W. Bush awarded Brookhiser the National Humanities Medal in a White House ceremony.

Douglas M. Bradburn is Founding Director of The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington, and author of the Citizenship Revolution: Politics and the Creation of the American Union.

Alan Shaw Taylor is an historian specializing in early United States history. He is the author of a number of books about the colonial history of the United States, the American Revolution and the early American republic. Since 1995, he has won two Pulitzer Prizes, the Bancroft Prize, and the National Book Award for non-fiction for his work.

Jeffrey Rosen is an academic and commentator on legal affairs. Legal historian David Garrow has called him "the nation's most widely read and influential legal commentator" He is a professor of law at the George Washington University, and since 2013, he has served as the President and CEO of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.