Thomas Jefferson & Patrick Henry: Cooperation & Conflicts Shaped the Nation


May 1


03:00 pm - 04:00 pm

Event Category:

Online Events

Click to Register: Click to Register

UVA Lifetime Learning

Website: Organizer's Website

Online Event

Speakers: Andrew O’Shaughnessy, John Ragosta

Virtual Event with Captions, Free and Open to All


Lifetime Learning will host two scholars of the Revolution, Andrew O’Shaughnessy and John Ragosta, to discuss Thomas Jefferson’s and Patrick Henry’s successes and conflicts and how their relationship helped to shape the young nation.

At the outbreak of the American Revolution, Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry were part of the young cabal of Virginia legislators who rallied support for the coming conflict; Henry, the senior of the two, was idolized by Jefferson, who rhapsodized that Henry seemed to “speak as Homer wrote.”

How times change. By the mid-1780s, Jefferson wrote to his friend and colleague James Madison, “What we have to do…is devoutly pray for his [Henry’s] death.” In the 1790s, Jefferson called Henry’s political efforts in opposition to the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions “apostasy.”

Speaker Biographies

Andrew O’Shaughnessy, Professor of History, Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia

Andrew O’Shaughnessy is Professor of History at the University of Virginia. Between 2003 and 2022, he served as Vice President of The Thomas Jefferson Foundation (Monticello) and the Saunders Director of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies. He is a dual citizen of Britain and the United States. After completing his undergraduate and doctoral degrees at Oxford University, he taught at Eton College before becoming a visiting professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and a professor of American history at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where he was chair of the History department between 1998 and 2003.

His book The Men Who Lost America. British Leadership, the American Revolution and the Fate of the Empire (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013) received eight national awards, including the New York Historical Society American History Book Prize, the George Washington Book Prize, The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Excellence in American History Book Award and The Society of Military History Book Prize. He is also the author of An Empire Divided: The American Revolution and the British Caribbean (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000), the alternate designate selection of the History Book Club. His most recent book is The Illimitable Freedom of the Human Mind: Thomas Jefferson’s Idea of a University (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2021).

A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, he is an editor of the Jeffersonian America series published by the University of Virginia Press. He coedited Old World, New World: America and Europe in the Age of Jefferson (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010) and The Founding of Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press: 2019), and The European Friends of the American Revolution (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2023).

John Ragosta, Historian at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello

John Ragosta, a historian at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello, has taught law and history at the University of Virginia, George Washington University, and Hamilton, Oberlin, and Randolph Colleges. Ragosta’s newest book – For the People, For the Country: Patrick Henry’s Final Political Battle – was released in August of 2023 by the University of Virginia Press. He is also the author of Religious Freedom: Jefferson’s Legacy, America’s Creed (UVA Press, 2013), and Wellspring of Liberty: How Virginia’s Religious Dissenters Helped to Win the American Revolution & Secured Religious Liberty (Oxford University Press, 2010). He is co-editor of European Friends of the American Revolution (UVA, 2023) and The Founding of Thomas Jefferson’s University (UVA, 2019).

An award-winning author and frequent commentator, Ragosta holds both a Ph.D. and a JD from the University of Virginia. Before returning to academia, Ragosta was a partner at Dewey Ballantine LLP. He is also a beekeeper. He can be found at

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