The Founding Fathers

This 1876 engraving by W.L. Ormsby shows a version of the painting "Declaration of Independence, July 4th, 1776" by John Trumbull. To many, the notion of white men being marginalized in the early 21st century is ludicrous, their history seemingly a study in power and privilege, from the Founding Fathers to the "Mad Men" era and up through their continued dominance in boardrooms and government. Yet, they have suffered some real losses, even as they maintain advantages. (W.L. Ormsby/Library of Congress via AP) Library of Congress

The 2023 Brigade Lecture Series continues with “The Founding Fathers: What Were They Thinking?” by professor Richard Hesse on Oct. 25 at 2 p.m.

The Brigade Lecture Series is produced by the Pierce Brigade and held May through October in Concord at the Pierce Manse — the historic home of President Franklin Pierce, the 14th President of the United States. Brigade Lecture Series programs are free and open to the public. The program is sponsored by NH Humanities.

In 1787 delegates gathered in Philadelphia to address a wide variety of crises facing the young United States of America and produced a charter for a new government. In modern times, competing political and legal claims are frequently based on what those delegates intended. Mythology about the founders and their work at the 1787 Convention has obscured both fact and legitimate analysis of the events leading to the agreement called the Constitution. Richard Hesse explores the cast of characters called “founders,” the problems they faced, and the solutions they fashioned.

Professor Emeritus at the UNH School of Law, Richard Hesse has published on a variety of legal and ethical topics. He served as a community lawyer in Philadelphia, heading a police community relations project before moving to Boston to head a national project focused on the rights of consumers. His academic concentration is on state and federal constitutional law and international human rights. Hesse has been an advocate for civil and human rights for more than 45 years and was twice awarded the Bill of Rights Award by the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union.

The Pierce Manse will be open for guided tours through Oct. 28 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. No reservations are required.

The Pierce Manse is located at 14 Horseshoe Pond Land in Concord. More information, including a complete calendar of events, can be found at

Author: Insider Staff

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