Shira Lurie, University of Virginia | Newberry

Shira Lurie, University of Virginia

Thursday, March 28, 2019

5 to 6:30pm

Scholarly Seminars
American Political Thought Seminar

‘Wandering Apostles of Sedition’: Itinerant Republican Activists in Dedham and Hamilton

In 1798 and 1799, a cohort of grassroots Republican activists travelled through the northeast preaching opposition to the Adams administration. They argued that American democracy required a roughly equal distribution of wealth, ensuring that no class of people became too influential. This paper provides a window into this radical strain of Republican thought by focusing on two activists: David Brown, a Revolutionary War veteran, and Jacob Eÿermann, a Calvinist Minister from Germany. Together, their stories reveal an alternate economic vision advanced during the founding era in which political and economic equality would reinforce each other. They also show a class of Republican leadership that influenced people on the ground in ways both more intimate and radical than party elites.

Cost and Registration Information 

Newberry Scholarly Seminars papers are pre-circulated. For a copy of the paper, email Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.