Press Releases

April 29, 2013


Philadelphia, PA (April 29, 2013) – Join National Constitution Center Trustee and University of Pennsylvania Professor Richard Beeman on Monday, May 13, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. as he unveils his newest book Our Lives, Our Fortunes and Our Sacred HonorThe Forging of American Independence, 1774 – 1776, a lively account of how a group of men from different backgrounds and political beliefs came together to dedicate their lives to a common cause ─ America’s independence from Britain. Admission is $7 for members, students and teachers; $10 for non-members; and FREE for 1787 Society members. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 215.409.6700 or visiting This program is presented in partnership with the Museum of the American Revolution.

A prequel to his award-winning Plain Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution, Richard Beeman’s newest book chronicles the 22 transformative months that lead to America’s founding ─ September 5, 1774 to July 4, 1776. Its pages are full of larger-than life characters like John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington as well as fascinating details, like the Sons of Liberty footing the bill for a pack of tailors to dress up the “notoriously” scruffy Samuel Adams. Beeman also profiles lesser-known figures like Charles Thomson, secretary of the Continental Congress, who burned all of his secret notes on the Revolution in order to preserve the myth of the “supposed wisdom and valor” of America’s foremost liberators.

“The biggest accomplishment in all of American politics was the first,” said historian and author Richard Brookhiser. “Richard Beeman tells the intricate, grinding, suspenseful story of how thirteen contentious colonies agreed to leave an empire and form a nation.”

A book sale and signing will follow the discussion.

About Richard R. Beeman

Richard R. Beeman, Ph.D., is the John Welsh Centennial Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been a member of the Penn faculty for more than 40 years, serving in several positions, including dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He is a historian of the American Revolutionary era and has written seven books and several dozen articles on aspects of America’s political and constitutional history in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

He has received numerous other awards, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Rockefeller Foundation. Dr. Beeman has appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and is featured in the upcoming PBS series CONSTITUTION USA with Peter Sagal. He has served as a Fulbright Professor in the United Kingdom and Vyvian Harmsworth Distinguished Professor of American History at Oxford University. Dr. Beeman earned a B.A. from U.C. Berkeley in 1964, an M.A. from the College of William and Mary in 1965, and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1968.

About the Museum of the American Revolution

The Museum of the American Revolution will be the nation's premier museum dedicated to the complete story of the American Revolution. To be built in historic Philadelphia, just steps from the National Constitution Center, Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, the museum will feature a distinguished collection of objects, artifacts, artwork, and manuscripts from the period of the American Revolution that will bring to life the original "greatest generation" and engage people in the history and continuing relevance of the American Revolution. For more information, visit or call toll free, 877.740.1776.

About the National Constitution Center

The National Constitution Center is the first and only nonprofit, nonpartisan institution devoted to the most powerful vision of freedom ever expressed: the U.S. Constitution. Located on Independence Mall in Historic Philadelphia, the birthplace of American freedom, the Center illuminates constitutional ideals and inspires active citizenship through a state-of-the-art museum experience, including hundreds of interactive exhibits, films and rare artifacts; must-see feature exhibitions; the internationally acclaimed, 360-degree theatrical production Freedom Rising; and the iconic Signers' Hall, where visitors can sign the Constitution alongside 42 life-size, bronze statues of the Founding Fathers. As America's town hall, the Center engages diverse, distinguished leaders of government, public policy, journalism and scholarship in timely public discussions and debates. The Center also houses the Annenberg Center for Education and Outreach, the national hub for constitutional education, which offers cutting-edge civic learning resources both onsite and online. Join us at the museum of “We the People” as we celebrate our 10-year anniversary in 2013. For more information, call 215.409.6700 or visit