Past Lecture Series

Video recordings of our past lecture series are available to view below.

Current Series: Traitors & Turncoats

A lecture series exploring the lives and motivations of men who traded their lives, liberty, and fortunes for a chance at glory and power. Hear the tales from the Ancient Greeks and Romans that influenced our Founders as well as the stories of the men who worked to undermine the cause of American liberty during the war for independence.

Benedict Arnold

Lecture by Dr. Christopher Hammons

Why would Benedict Arnold—considered by historians and his contemporaries to be one of the greatest soldiers of the American Revolution—betray his country when he had fought so successfully for its Independence?

Benjamin Church

Lecture by Dr. Anthony Joseph

Respected physician and a member of the Sons of Liberty, Dr. Benjamin Church ran in the same circles as Paul Revere, Sam Adams, and John Hancock. He professed dedication to the American cause and assumed important leadership roles on the patriot side. Yet he was in fact a British agent—until patriots intercepted his coded letter to the enemy. What led this trusted leader to serve the British and how was he able to fool so many Americans?

Forgotten Founders

HBU faculty share tales of patriots whose names are not well known in the pantheon of our nation’s founders. These founders sat quietly in the back of the room, but still had great influence in the founding of our nation.

Portrait of George Mason

George Mason

Lecture by Dr. John Tyler

George Mason was the most respected founder in his own time, but he is virtually invisible in our time. America was woven together by three magnificent documents: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. George Mason played a decisive role in shaping each of them.

Portrait of William Blount

William Blount

Lecture by Dr. Scott Robinson

The Old Southwest was a rough place. William Blount aspired to dominate the region and was impeached instead. In this lecture, you’ll discover what his experience has to teach us about Donald Trump’s impeachment.

Portrait of John Dickinson

John Dickinson

Lecture by Dr. Jodey Hinze, Dean

John Dickinson wanted to be a lawyer. Instead, he reluctantly became a revolutionary. He opposed American Independence and refused to sign the Declaration. But when war came, he joined the American cause and helped draft America’s first constitution. A man of great principle and integrity, he was respected by his fellow revolutionaries, even if they were frequently frustrated by his reluctance to throw off British rule.

Portrait of James Iredell

James Iredell

Lecture by Dr. Tony Joseph

James Iredell of North Carolina was one of the leading political and legal figures of the revolutionary era. He defended the American Revolution at great personal cost, as his wealthy uncle disinherited him for doing so. A lawyer and a judge who truly loved the law, Iredell helped organize North Carolina’s court system and laws. He later led North Carolina’s Federalists during the debate over the ratification of the Constitution and in 1789, he became one of President Washington’s first appointments to the Supreme Court.

Women of the American Republic

Learn more about the women of the American Republic. From the wives of our nation’s founders to women authors, these women had an undeniable impact on our nation’s history.

Portrait of Lady Washington

Martha Washington

Lecture by Dr. Tony Joseph

When she married George Washington in 1759, Martha Dandridge Custis was a young “agreeable widow” who brought into the union two children and her deceased husband’s vast estate. Martha’s life over the next three decades became more than a new life with George. It became a life intertwined with an American people rising to independence from Britain. Through her roles as wife and mother, Martha became a “founding mother” of a new American nation.

Portrait of Phyllis Wheatley

Phyllis Wheatley

Lecture by Dr. Emily Stelzer

Brought from West Africa to colonial Boston in 1761, a slender and sickly girl of seven or eight years was purchased by the prominent Wheatley family and given the “Christian name” of the slave ship that brought her here. Her aptitude and interest in reading the Bible, classical literature in translation, and British poetry led  to her own poetic efforts, through which she became an international sensation. Her poetry reflects a commitment to Christianity and support for American patriots in the Revolutionary War, and offers penetrating and provocative reflections on slavery, the value and fragility of all human life, and the great importance of freedom.

Portrait of Abigail Adams

Abigail Adams

Lecture by Dr. Doni Wilson

Abigail Adams was not only the wife of John Adams, but also well read, politically engaged, and the author of private letters to her husband that gave insight into the fraught political atmosphere of the American Revolution. By examining her writings, we can see her concerns and hopes for a new nation.

Portrait of Mercy Otis Warren

Mercy Otis Warren

Lecture by Dr. Sara Frear

In the heated political atmosphere of Massachusetts in the early 1770s, a series of “dramatic sketches” appeared in Boston newspapers lampooning local officials and delighting readers who supported the growing resistance movement. The anonymous author, remarkably, was a woman. Mercy Otis Warren’s political passion and satirical wit helped to galvanize the American Revolution.