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Symposium on 18th Century Living and Customs

Symposium on 18th Century Living and Customs

An Evening with the Marquis de Lafayette

Friday, March 31, 2023 • 6:30 p.m.


The Chapel at Old Main

Washington & Jefferson College
Washington, PA



  • 6:30 p.m. — Doors and displays open
  • 7 p.m. — Speakers begin
  • 9 p.m. — Reception and displays


$20 per person, purchase tickets online or at the door.

Event Overview

This is an annual spring event presented by the Bradford House Museum and Washington & Jefferson College; Interpreters are hired from the AHT (American Historic Theater) and are chosen based on their relevance to Western PA history and some connection to David Bradford or the Whiskey Rebellion. This year we will be learning about the Marquis de Lafayette.

Why did we select this year's speaker to be Lafayette?

He arrived in the US on August 15, 1824, accompanied by his son, George Washington de Lafayette. For the next 15 months, he toured the country, celebrated by large crowds everywhere he went. While in Louisiana, he visited with Elizabeth Bradford, David's widow. His travels brought him through Washington on the National Road, where he stayed at the Globe Inn on South Main Street (just a few doors from the Bradford House) on May 25, 1825. The next morning, he had breakfast at the Century Inn, Scenery Hill, before traveling on to Uniontown in the county named for him. There, Lafayette met with his old friend, Albert Gallatin, before completing his cross-country journey.

Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roche Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, was invited by President James Monroe to the United States for a triumphant tour of the nation he had helped to gain independence. Lafayette was the last surviving general from the Revolutionary War.

Photo Gallery of Past Symposiums

Student Poster Contest

For intermediate/middle and high school students. Registration is open Jan. 1 to Feb. 28.

The Bradford House Historical Association annually sponsors two Poster Contests, open to all intermediate/middle and high school students (public, parochial, cyber, and home-schooled) on a topic of Western Pennsylvania history, 1750 – 1850. The contest is open to students who reside in Washington, Greene, Allegheny, Fayette, and Westmoreland Counties.

Students must construct a presentation on a standard-size trifold display board, register online during January and February, and deliver the project to the Bradford House, 175 South Main Street, Washington, Pennsylvania, in early March. See the Poster Rules link below for complete rules, hints for developing a project, and a list of possible topics.

Online registration is open from January 1 through February 28. You can register for the poster contest by mailing the completed poster registration form (See the Poster Registration link below) to the Bradford House, PO Box 537, Washington, PA 15301, or emailing it to

Cash prizes will be awarded to the top 5 entries in each division: Middle School (grades 5-8) and High School (grades 9-12).

Contest prizes are generously provided by Betsy and Bill West - Berkshire Hathaway Home Services.

Betsy and Bill West - Berkshire Hathaway Home Services