Newport Public Library Hosts “Handwritten History”
The Newport Public Library is currently hosting the Newport Historical Society’s traveling panel exhibit, Handwritten History: Correspondence of Great Americans, which is on display in the library’s lobby. Handwritten History highlights selections from the Society’s world-renowned collections and features large-scale reproductions of 11 letters and documents from the Society’s collections—all by or about famous individuals or events in American history.
Authors in Handwritten History include George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams as well as documents signed by Abraham Lincoln, James Monroe and John Quincy Adams. A notable letter in the NHS collections, which is showcased, is a 1787 letter from Thomas Jefferson to his nephew Peter Carr which offers a rare and surprising glimpse into his views on religion. Most of the correspondence, though not all, have a Newport connection. One is a letter from President John Adams to the inhabitants of Newport dated May 28th, 1798. Another is a first-hand account of the events leading up to the Boston Tea Party written by Newport resident Peleg Clarke.
“The letters in the Society’s collections provide fascinating and intimate behind-the-scenes glimpses into American history,” explains Newport Historical Society intern Sarah Vickery who curated the exhibit. “As Jefferson wrote, they have ‘all the advantages of Conversation, with the Additional ones of searching deeper into subjects.’” The letters allow readers to see the interconnectedness of people and places in American history as well as gain insight into who these legendary figures were as real people.
Handwritten History is open now through July 5th at the Newport Public Library, 300 Spring Street, Newport, RI. The library is open Monday, 12:30pm to 9pm, Tuesday through Thursday 9:30am to 9pm, and Friday and Saturday 9:30am to 6pm. Handwritten History is generously sponsored by BankNewport.