Congratulations to Annette Gordon-Reed, winner of the Founder’s Award, and Charles T. Cullen, winner of the Heritage Award! We were delighted to honor the accomplishments of these honorees on Friday, May 3, alongside so many of our friends and supporters.
Inspired by our awardees’ shared research interest in the life and legacy of Thomas Jefferson, the evening’s events took us back to Jefferson’s time, with collections from the founding of our nation and a Monticello-inspired menu. In a conversation with Kalela Williams, HSP’s Young Friends Board Chair, Annette Gordon-Reed shared thought-provoking insights into the resources available today’s scholars, the challenges of finding primary source material to reveal the voices of enslaved people, and the value of historical research in this divisive time.
The shining stars of the evening, though, were our collections—the irreplaceable treasures that we hold from the time of the nation’s founding and beyond. Guests had a chance to pose for a photo with the earliest surviving draft of the Constitution of the United States, peruse the diary of George Washington, and set eyes on the only known printer’s proof of the Declaration of Independence.
Thanks to enthusiastic support from our guests, this event raised funds to process and conserve HSP’s collections, and helped us secure matching support required by a recent grant from Pennsylvania Historical & Museums Commission. This grant funds the conservation of and improved access to 26 archival collections that document the African American experience throughout Philadelphia’s history.