The Sachem Public Library will host John Adams Unbound from December 14-February 17 and offer many free programs to associate with the festivities:
Wednesday, December 21, 2011: Opening Reception:
A Colonial Christmas, 6:00 p.m.: Traditional 18th century holiday fare prepared and served in costume by Living Historian Diane Fish.
7:00 p.m.: Colonial holiday music performed by historical musical group Sampawams Creek.
6:00-9:00 p.m.: Colonial-style portraits drawn by artist Kevin O’Malley, specialist in Early American Painting.
Wednesday, January 4, 2012, 7:00 p.m.: A Conversation with Abigail Adams: Accomplished actor, playwright, storyteller, and historic researcher Janet Emily Demarest will bring a young Abigail Adams to life. Hear about the future first lady’s growing love for John Adams in the 1760s, and discover how she deals with the horrors of British occupation without her partner and dearest friend. Don’t miss this exciting costumed performance that provides genuine insight into the strength and resilience of a surprisingly “modern” woman.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012, 7:00 p.m.: Mr. & Mrs. President: John & Abigail Adams: From the time that he graduated from Harvard College and decided to study law, John Adams drove himself relentlessly to become, in his words, “a lawyer of distinguished Genius, Learning, and Virtue.” When he was very young, he wrote in his diary: “I want to do something that will surprize (sic) the world.” This talk by historian Natalie Bober will demonstrate how he and his wife, Abigail, helped make that happen – and how, ultimately, they became “Mr. and Mrs. President.” Natalie Bober is the author of nine biographies, among them: Abigail Adams: Witness to a Revolution; Thomas Jefferson: Draftsman of a Nation; and Countdown to Independence: A Revolution of Ideas in England and Her Colonies: 1760-1776. She served as consultant to and “talking head” in the Ken Burns documentary Thomas Jefferson.
Saturday, January 21, 2012, 2:00 p.m.: Thomas Paine and the Flame of Revolution: John Adams’s copy of Common Sense, one of the most influential essays of the revolutionary era, was purchased in 1776 during his ride on horseback from his farm in Quincy, Massachusetts, to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia. He was so impressed with Common Sense that he bought a copy to send to his wife, Abigail. This talk by Dr. J. Ward Regan is an examination of the life and writings of Thomas Paine at the end of the 18th century, exploring the integral role of Paine in not only the American Revolution, but also in the creation of a "democratic political ideology." J. Ward Regan has a Ph.D. in Labor and Cultural History from SUNY Stony Brook. He teaches history and philosophy at New York University. This event is made possible through Speakers in the Humanities, a program of the New York Council for the Humanities.
Daily Life in Colonial America: A Colonial Village Reenactment: Saturday, January 28, 2012, 2:00 p.m.: The Order of the Ancient and Honorable Huntington Militia will present daily life in the 18th century just before the start of the American Revolution. See a musket up close, and watch Men-At-Arms drill. You might even be "recruited" to join! Enjoy demonstrations of colonial trades and skills, and hear period music played on 18th century instruments. Discuss the politics of the day, or just gossip with the local colonists. Fun for all ages.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012, 7:00 p.m.: Gold on Your Bookshelf: John Adams had one of the finest private book collections in early America. Judi Culbertson, used-and-rare bookseller, will explain how you can identify valuable books in your own collection. Ms. Culbertson will also read a chapter from her new mystery, A Novel Death, set in the world of bookselling. Each participant may bring in one book for a free appraisal!
Wednesday, February 15, 2012, 7:00 p.m.: Libraries of the Founding Fathers: The United States was blessed with founding presidents who led an immature nation into an enduring if sometimes fractious democracy. Washington was a Virginia plantation owner with little formal education. John Adams studied at Harvard and became a lawyer. Jefferson, also a plantation owner, studied at William and Mary College and like Adams became a lawyer. How did they acquire books? Which books sat on their shelves? This talk by Chris Filstrup, Instruction Librarian at Stony Brook University, will explore the role of books and reading in forming these early leaders.
On View in the Display Case: December 21 – February 17: Revolutionary War Documents: Stony Brook University Special Collections: See facsimiles of two exciting American Revolutionary War-era letters authored by George Washington, documenting the activities of a local spy ring. The Culper Spy ring, which operated on Long Island, was assembled in 1778 by Major Benjamin Tallmadge (alias: John Bolton) at Washington’s request. These missives to Major Tallmadge focus on the activities of Robert Townsend, a secret agent known only by his code name, Culper Jr., referencing techniques employed to collect and transmit intelligence, including the use of invisible ink.
For more information about any of these programs, contact Lauren Gilbert, Head of Community Services, at 631-588-5024 x247.