Topics & Discussions on the Life and Customs of Western Pennsylvania

The Bradford House Museum and Washington & Jefferson College present

The Symposium on Life and Customs in Western Pennsylvania

An Evening with John Adams


Friday April 6, 2018 The Chapel at Old Main, Washington & Jefferson College Washington PA


6:30 p.m. Doors and displays open

7:00 p.m. Speakers

9:00 p.m. Reception and displays

$20 per person at the door

Pre Register Online for $18 each or by calling 724.222.3604, by check mailed to the Bradford House, PO Box 537, Washington PA 15301

Preregistration closes on March 30th at noon.

John Adams, second President of the United States, was an imperfect, burdened, yet ever-striving man. In him we recognize the desire to be something more, the concerns about what others might see in us, the struggle for balance between our personal opinions and our public persona. Throughout his life, Adams faced many challenging situations, but perhaps what is even more impressive than how he tackled these issues, or his list of  accomplishments, is his humanity. While he did not necessarily believe in the innate goodness inside man, he did something remarkable, though sometimes unintentional – he strove for goodness.

It was President Adams who finally, in 1799, pardoned David Bradford for his role in the Whiskey Rebellion, in response to a letter sent to Adams by Bradford in 1798:

To all persons to whom these presents shall come, Greetings. Whereas David Bradford, late of the county of Washington in the State of Pennsylvania, attorney at law, has in his petition declared his contrition, and sincere repentance of all his errors and misdeeds in relation to the late insurrection in the western parts of the State aforesaid, committed or done against the United States of America, and has implored a pardon for the same, and whereas the sufferings of the said David Bradford an exile in a foreign land, and separated from his wife, his children and his former friends, during the space of more than four years, have already been great, and whereas the restoration of peace, order, and submission to the laws in the said Western parts of the said State render it necessary to make examples of those who may have been criminal, the principal and of heinous punishment being the reformation of offenders and the prevention of crimes in others, for these and other good cause, I—John Adams, President of the United States of America, have granted, and by these presents do grant unto the said David Bradford a full, free, absolute and entire pardon for all treasons, suspicions of treason, felony, misdemeanors and other crimes and offences by him committed or done against the United States, in relation to the Insurrection aforesaid hereby remitting and releasing all pains, and penalties by him incurred by reason of the promises.

In Testimony whereof. I have hereto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed this ninth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thou. and seven hundred and ninety-nine, and in the Twenty-third year of the Independence of the said “United States”

John Adams, By the President, Timothy Pickering, Secretary of State.

Adams will be portrayed by Peyton Dixon of the American Historical Theatre, an interpreter with over a decade’s experience.  In 2004 Dixon was captured by the spirit of both the well-known and  the everyday man of the eighteenth century – trying desperately to understand and make their place in new, exciting, and frightening world. He was particularly fascinated and impressed by the powerful yet (at the time) mostly unsung John Adams. His goal is to bring to light the accomplishments as well as the imperfections of John Adams, as well as our other founding fathers: to look beyond the statue, bring them off the pedestal, and see the everyman beneath.

2018 Symposium Sponsored by The Laurel Foundation, Washington & Jefferson College, and the Pittsburgh – Meadow Lands DoubleTree


Student Poster Session Contest

Online registration is open now through Feb. 28 for the annual Bradford House Museum Poster Contests, open to all middle and high school students (public, parochial, cyber and home-schooled) in Washington and Greene Counties, on a topic of Western Pennsylvania history, 1750 – 1850. Students are required to research and construct a presentation on a standard size trifold display board for delivery to the Bradford House in early March. For complete rules, hints for developing a project, and a list of possible topics, go to and look under the education tab.

Winning projects will be displayed at the Symposium on 18th Century Life and Customs in Western Pennsylvania, An Evening with John Adams, on April 6, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. The symposium is co-sponsored by Washington & Jefferson College and is held in the Chapel in Old Main. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $20 per person; preregister online for $18.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the top 5 entries in each division: Middle School (grades 5-8) and High School (grades 9-12). A special prize will be awarded this year for the entry best representing women of Western Pennsylvania between 1750 and 1850.

You can register for the poster contest by mailing the completed poster registration form (See link below) to the Bradford House, PO Box 537, Washington, PA 15301 or you can email it to


Poster Registration

Poster Rules

Poster Contest prizes generously provided by: