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Written Out of History

Evening Program with Book Signing

Wednesday, November 1, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Code: 1B0224

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Mrs. James Warren (Mercy Otis), ca. 1793, by John Singleton Copley

In the earliest days of our nation, a handful of unsung heroes—including women, slaves, and an Iroquois chief—made crucial contributions to the Republic. They pioneered the ideas that led to the Bill of Rights, the separation of powers, and the eventual abolition of slavery.

Yet their faces haven’t been printed on currency or carved into any cliffs. Instead, says Utah Senator Mike Lee, they were marginalized, silenced, or forgotten—sometimes by accidents of history, sometimes by design.

In his new book Written Out of History (Sentinel), Lee unearths the stories of four mostly forgotten Americans. They include Aaron Burr, depicted in the musical Hamilton and known by history as a villain, but who was a far more complicated figure; Mercy Otis Warren, one of the most prominent female writers in the Revolution and a protégé of John Adams, who engaged in vigorous debates against the encroachment of federal power; Canasatego, an Iroquois chief whose words taught Benjamin Franklin the basic principles behind the separation of powers; and Elbridge Gerry, who championed individual rights and greater power for the states over the new federal government—and without whom there would be no Bill of Rights.

Written Out of History is available for signing.


S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)