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 Alexander Hamilton


Friday March 29th, 2019 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

Tickets still available for purchase at the door. Online sales have closed.

The Bradford House Historical Association preserves the Bradford House Museum, a National Historic Landmark, while educating the public on American 18th century history and David Bradford’s role in the Whiskey Rebellion.

The 2019 Symposium will feature Alexander Hamilton.  The Whiskey Rebellion was a response to the excise tax on distilled spirits, proposed by Alexander Hamilton, who was George Washington’s Secretary of the Treasury, and enacted by Congress in 1791. This tax was vehemently opposed by the farmers living on the southwestern Pennsylvania frontier. By 1794, the Whiskey Rebellion threatened the stability of the young United States and, at Hamilton’s urging, caused President Washington to personally lead the federal militia westward to stop the rebels.

When it was assured that there would be no armed resistance, Washington returned to his presidential duties in Philadelphia, leaving Virginia Governor Henry Lee and Hamilton in command of the federal troops as they marched into the western counties. Despite the fact that the rebellion was essentially over, Hamilton gave orders for the search and arrest of about 150 rebels on “the dreadful night” of November 13, 1794. President Washington pardoned all, except David Bradford, in 1795.

In his 1796 book, Congressman William Findley argued that Alexander Hamilton had deliberately provoked the Whiskey Rebellion to help establish the power of the Federal Government. The Whiskey Rebellion was a victory for Hamilton and the Federalists, but opposition to the tax remained until its repeal in 1802.

Previous speakers have included George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Gallatin, Abigail Adams and John Adams.  We invite the entire community to learn from our speakers, educating varying ages in the audience.

More information can be found at


Alexander Hamilton
Portrayed by Eben Kuhns

Confidante and Chief of Staff to George Washington, astute lawyer and co-author of the Federalist Papers, first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton was a self-made man who identified as a soldier and preferred to be addressed by his military rank. There may be no documentation for Hamilton studying the sword, but we can be sure he learned to load and fire a musket in St. Croix, where he was born, as well as marching and drilling. Training to be an artillery officer, Hamilton pays for the privilege and becomes Captain of New York’s artillery during the Revolutionary War. Hamilton called for the creation of the Coast Guard, was active in the New York Society for the Manumission of Slavery, and established a firm fiscal foundation for our fledgling country.

Eben Kuhns is a Graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. When not portraying Alexander Hamilton, he may be found at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate portraying George Washington “Washy” Parke Custis and John Anderson, Distillery Manager. As Alexander Hamilton he has appeared at Hamilton Grange National Memorial, Independence National Historical Park, The National Archives NYC, the NY Historical Society, and the Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society, as well as Schools and Historical
Associations across the Nation.


2019 Symposium Sponsored by Washington & Jefferson College.


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, Greene, Allegheny, Fayette and Westmoreland 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 the Marquis de Lafayette, on March 27, 2020 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).

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: