Alpha Delta Phi began life as a literary society on the Hamilton College campus in 1832. Building on that tradition, four members of the Hamilton Chapter of Alpha Delta Phi initiated the AHI’s public lecture lectures series on the evening of 13 November by presenting on “The Growth of an Empire: American Domestic and International Expansion in the 19th Century.” About 40 persons–students, professors, village fathers, and informed citizens–attended the event at the AHI’s headquarters–a building that also dates to 1832. The four young gentlemen provided a seamless presentation that underscored one of the central concerns of the AHI: the nature of republics, democracies, and empires. Nicolas Drohojowski spoke on “Manifest Destiny”; Ned Gilliss on “American Private Interests and International Expansionism,” Reid Snyder on “19th Century Political Ideology,” and Patrick Van Grinsven on “Racial Imperialism.”
Each presentation was well delivered; their responses to numerous questions proved substantive and articulate. Each presenter received from the founders of the AHI an inscribed copy of The Many Faces of Alexander Hamilton and a pocket Constitution.
The AHI’s special guests included “Hercules Mulligan” (a pseudonym) and her father. Ms. Mulligan, a supporter of the AHI from the beginning and an obvious beneficiary of home schooling, commented to the founders on the usefulness of the AHI’s website in locating important primary sources in American history. We thank her and her father for their attendance since public outreach to promote civic literacy is a central goal of the AHI.