The museum is closed to the public until further notice. We look forward to reopening once it is appropriate to do so.

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams: We Differ As Rational Friends

September 17, 2019 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
The Durham Museum
Stanley and Dorothy Truhlsen Lecture Hall
Included with Museum Admission (Free for Members!)
Reserve Your Seat Online (pay on arrival)

Bitter political rivals and close personal friends: Adams (Peyton Dixon) and Jefferson (Steve Edenbo) discuss, debate, and sometimes decry the revolutionary storms they weathered throughout a relationship spanning 50 years. They recall their bumpy collaboration on the Declaration of Independence in 1776, parting ways on its final content and even on the most appropriate date for commemorating American independence. They clash on Constitutional issues such as term limits, freedom of speech, Presidential powers, the Tenth Amendment, the First Amendment, as well as the virtues & vexations of a two-party system. By means of this dialogue between their differing visions for The United States, their contrasting views of human nature, and their political careers that interweaved collaboration & opposition, our 2nd and 3rd Presidents find the common ground that inspired Benjamin Rush to dub them “rival friends”.

This is a debate, but not one fueled by party animosity or reciprocal hatred. Rather it is fueled by a shared love of America, seasoned with passionate, diverging beliefs regarding how best to protect & foster the nation these two men helped to found.

“On the question, What is the best provision? you and I differ; but we differ as rational friends, using the free exercise of our own reason, and mutually indulging it’s errors.” —Thomas Jefferson to John Adams: October 28, 1813

Reservations are required and regular museum admission applies; free for members. Reserve your seat online, then pay when you arrive at the event. (Select the burgundy ticket icon above to register. Please note: your online reservation is not complete until you’ve clicked the “Check Out” button.)

Have questions? Call 402-444-5071 or email