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The West Goshen Historic Commission is pleased to announce on December 7, 6:30pm we will be hosting ‘An Evening With Thomas Jefferson’ as portrayed by Speaker/Educator Steve Edenbo. Steve has studied Thomas Jefferson for over 20 years and has appeared throughout the Country presenting a lively, deeply researched and thoughtful characterization of the man and his work. Dressed in full Colonial period costume his striking portrayal and resemblance of Jefferson brings to life the Man and his work. This is work Steve deeply enjoys combining both scholarship and Theatre: “I’ve continued research, both on my own and as a Fellow at Monticello’s Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies, throughout my two decades of appearing as Jefferson across the United States and in England.” Among some of the institutions Steve has presented to include: The Constitution Center, The National Archives, The FBI, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, Independence National Historical Park, The Federal Executive Institute.
This is a not to be missed evening which will feature a monologue and Question / Answer session with the audience. There will also be an opportunity for the audience to have their photo taken with Thomas Jefferson.
You are welcome to learn more about his work on his website ‘YourThomasJefferson.com’ where you will find examples of his engagements and focus areas including keynote addresses, leadership development, court cases and even Weddings and Receptions. This program will be a refreshing and entertaining evening but one that draws out the powerful lessons of our Great traditions of self-Government and self-determination. On his website you’ll find a video (“Thomas Jefferson Introduces Himself” at the National Archives) highlighting his belief in Public education as one of his proudest achievements. He discusses the link between Unity of Purpose and Education among the People:
“We are all created equal but we cannot assert our equal rights and fulfill our equal responsibilities without equal access to education. It was this belief in the absolute necessity of an enlightened populace to the functioning of self-Government that led me soon after I returned to Virginia from Philadelphia in 1776 to begin work on establishing a system of public education in my State…culminating in a half century later in the commencement of classes at The University of Virginia in 1825.”
In forming the Statute of Virginia For Religious Freedom he emphasizes the guardrails between religious liberty, education and Governance:
“I wrote the Statute for Virginia of Religious Freedom…it said ‘a person’s opinion in matters of religion would not effect their civil capacities at all. It built a wall of separation between Church and State in Virginia and became a direct precedent for the first Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Liberty that defines the United States cannot exist in a meaningful way unless the citizenry possess a vigor of thought that must be cultivated by public education and protected by religious freedom. Ignorance and bigotry like other insanities are incapable of self-government. Yet there is another ingredient without which our liberty is but a frail thing. To successfully govern ourselves we must be able to talk with each other about our differences, to work through them, and to unite in common efforts for the common good. A Nation united can never be conquered.”
Mr. Jefferson’s emphasis on an educated populace is a prescient reminder that political discourse should be imbued with a sense of working toward the common good and respect for differences.
The event is Free but Registration is requested. Please click here to register.
Where: West Goshen Township Building 1040 Paoli Pike, West Chester, PA 19380
When: December 7, 2023 6:30pm
For more information about Steve Edenbo’s work as Thomas Jeffereson please visit: https://www.yourthomasjefferson.com/
Stephen LyonsWest Goshen Historic Commission