Mike Weis

Professor W. Michael Weis

Lecture Part of ‘John Adams Unbound’ Exhibit

September 24, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Illinois Wesleyan University Professor of History W. Michael Weis will present “John Adams and the Origins of American Diplomacy” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, September 29, in Beckman Auditorium in The Ames Library (1 Ames Plaza, Bloomington). The event is free and open to the public.

Weis will speak on the significance of Adams as a founder of the U.S. diplomatic efforts across the Atlantic, including his work developing treaties and keeping the country out of war in the aftermath of the French Revolution. A specialist in U.S. foreign relations, Weis has been a member of the Illinois Wesleyan faculty since 1988.

Adams, the second President of the United States, is celebrated as one of the founding fathers of the nation. Though often eclipsed by his counterparts – such as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin – the public has had the chance to rediscover Adams through recent books and television movies. 

John Adams

President John Adams

The lecture is part of the national traveling exhibit John Adams Unbound, appearing at Milner Library at Illinois State University. Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and organized by the American Library Association and the Boston Public Library, the exhibit examines how Adams was shaped by his great collection of books and his life-long dedication to reading. “The exhibit highlights Adams’ intellectual engagement with people and ideas found in the books he owned,” said Meg Miner, archivist and special collections librarian for The Ames Library. The exhibit is organized into themes from Adams’ life: Fame, Fortune, Power, God, Country, Clients and Fellow Men. Weis’ lecture will concentrate on the Power and Country segments of Adams’ career. The Ames Library will have the Power segment of the exhibit on display the day of Weis’ lecture.

Miner noted only 20 national sites were chosen for the exhibit, even though more than 400 applications were submitted. Events to celebrate the exhibit are being held at libraries throughout the area.  Community events can be viewed at the Milner Library Web site .

For further information, or those who in need of special accommodations for the event, contact Meg Miner at mminer@iwu.edu or (309) 556-1538.

Contact: Rachel Hatch, (309) 556-3960