Making Sense of the Burr Conspiracy. Presented by James E. Lewis, Jr.
Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 5:30 PM, VCU Cabell Library, Room 303

Making Sense of the Burr Conspiracy. Presented by James E. Lewis, Jr. Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 5:30 PM, VCU Cabell Library, Room 303

October 3, 2018

One of the most celebrated and controversial trials of the nineteenth century took place in Richmond in 1807. The defendant was Aaron Burr—Revolutionary War hero, slayer of Alexander Hamilton, and former vice president of the United States. The most important of the charges against him was treason. How had Burr come to that point? How had the conflicting rumors and reports of Burr’s sketchy activities in the American west in the two years before his trial produced a sense of crisis in the new nation? Why it did so many Americans fear that their government and country were in jeopardy? This talk highlights the various political and cultural forces that shaped the conspiracy, the broader sense of national crisis, and the dramatic trial that led to a surprising outcome.

James E. Lewis, Jr. is a leading historian of the American Revolution and early American republic, and a member of the faculty of Kalamazoo College in Michigan. He is the author of numerous books, most recently The Burr Conspiracy: Uncovering the Story of an Early American Crisis (Princeton University Press, 2017), as well as histories of John Quincy Adams, the Louisiana Purchase, the diplomatic history of the United States and the Spanish Empire, the fraught “Revolution of 1800” in the electoral hijinks between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, and many other subjects; two of his previous books have been named Choice Outstanding Academic Books.

The Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Virginia funds this annual lecture. The national organization was founded in 1783 by a group of Revolutionary officers, with George Washington as its first president.





VCU launches public history certificate program

VCU launches public history certificate program

March 19, 2018

Graduate Certificate in Public History

In the Fall 2018 semester, the Department of History at VCU will begin offering a new Graduate Certificate in Public History. This post-baccalaureate certificate can be pursued alone or in conjunction with the department’s current Master of Arts degree.

The purpose of the proposed graduate certificate program is to prepare students for professional work in the field of public history. This field can be defined as the practice of history outside the classroom, and it encompasses a wide range of careers including curators, interpreters, researchers, archivists, editors, administrators, and historic preservation specialists.

This is a relatively new and important historical field. The National Council on Public History, an affiliated society of the American Historical Association, is the field’s primary professional organization. Faculty in VCU’s Department of History have a record of expertise in the field, and students have the opportunity for unparalleled internship experience among the state capital’s cultural institutions.

The graduate certificate will help current public history professionals develop their skills and attain credentials. It will help educators redirect their teaching techniques for different audiences. And it will help those new to the field gain experience as well as an understanding of the enterprise as a whole. Students currently enrolled in the Master of Arts in History program may wish to earn the certificate as a supplement to their degree.

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree, with some prior experience in the humanities. Applications should consist of a statement of intent, undergraduate transcripts, and three letters of recommendation from references. The application deadline for Fall admission is July 1. Application instructions can be found at

The certificate requires fifteen credit hours. Accordingly, the program could be completed in as little as one year, though part-time options are available.