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  • John Jay Homestead Founders Lecture with Eric Foner

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    Friends of John Jay Homestead to Inaugurate Founders Lecture Series with Pulitzer Prize Winner Eric Foner on Wednesday, November 5, at the 1787 Court House in Bedford Village.

    On Wednesday, November 5, Friends of John Jay Homestead will inaugurate their Founders Lecture series, with Eric Foner discussing his soon-to-be-published new work on the Underground Railroad in New York City. The Founders Lecture is made possible with the generous underwriting support of Michaela and Skip Beitzel, and is a continuation of the distinguished Goodhue Lecture series offered at the Homestead since 2004.

    The DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University , Mr. Foner will be speaking about his upcoming book, Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad, which will be published early in 2015. Focusing particularly on the Underground Railroad in New York City, he will offer new material and perspectives on John and William Jay, antislavery activists and grandson and son respectively of the Homestead’s own Founder.

    The Lecture will be held in the 1787 Court House in Bedford Village, Westchester’s oldest government building and one of three 18th century Court Houses in New York State. This locale is especially appropriate since William Jay served there as first judge of Westchester County from 1820 to 1843, when he was ousted because of his antislavery activism.

    Foner is one of the country’s most prominent and influential historians, specializing in the Civil War and Reconstruction, slavery, and 19th-century America. He is the author of an enormous number of praised and prize-winning books and articles; curator and advisor to television series and shows, and to history exhibits at Parks sites, public and private history organizations and museums, and Disney World and Disneyland. His most recent book, The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, won the Pulitzer, Bancroft, and Lincoln prizes for 2011.

    The Founders Lecture is an event for members of Friends of John Jay Homestead. Lecture tickets are $25 for Friends members; a $75 ticket for non-members includes a basic membership; members of the Bedford Historical Society will be admitted at the member rate; and there will be a limited number of free tickets for students. Reservations are strongly recommended. The 1787 Court House is located at 615 Old Post Road, Bedford. Registration begins at 6:00; the talk begins at 7:00; and is followed by a short reception and book-signing. The Bedford Museum on the second floor of the Court House will be open to visitors. The lecture will be followed by dinner at The Barn at the Bedford Post Inn, for an additional charge. For more information, to reserve tickets, or to inquire about membership, please contact the Friends of John Jay Homestead office at (914) 232-8119; email friends@johnjayhomestead.org; or visit www.johnjayhomestead.org.

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