Adams and His Atlases
September 28, 2010; 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Dr. Michael J. Mullin, Professor of History, Augustana College, will present an evening with John Adams. (His first presentation was awesome!)
Eighteenth century atlases, although sold as "scientific" works, often served as exercises in fictional imagination. How do you display an area you have never seen, nor has anyone else in Europe? This is the problem that confronted the cartographer and mapmaker Thomas Jeffreys. When John Adams purchased two Jeffreys atlases for his collection, he was only interested in portions of the each atlas, so he combined the portions he wanted into a single work. This work, currently a part of the traveling exhibit "John Adams Unbound," had a surprisingly important role in the formulation of Adams' thoughts regarding the future expansion of the United States. This presentation looks at how the Adams Atlas shaped the political understanding of our second president.