NCHC Partners in the Park


United States National Park Service  
Partners in the Park Program 
National Collegiate Honors Council 
Hosted at Fort Mifflin January 1st to 7th, 2017


National Collegiate Honors Council Partners in the Park Class of 2017 students at Independence Hall with Ranger Jay holding the September 1787, American Museum printing of the U.S. Constitution and Ranger Ed Welch holding John Dunlap's 1776 Journals of Congress opened, respectively to the U.S. Constitution of 1787 and Declaration of Independence. They are flanked by National Collegiate Honors Council Students and NCHC President, Dr. Naomi Yavneh Klos - – For more information visit our National Park and NCHC Partners in the Park Class of 2017 website


The Rights and Duties of University Honors Student Citizenship:
Preserving Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

The National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) is a 52 year-old professional association of undergraduate honors programs and colleges; honors directors and deans; and honors faculty, staff, and students of nearly 900 University Honors Programs and Colleges from all over the world. The NCHC mission includes providing support for these institutions, its faculty and over 250,000 students. NCHC produces, implements, and expands Honors education for its members through curriculum development, program assessment, teaching innovation, national and international study opportunities, internships, service and leadership development, and mentored research. 

The NCHC’s "Partners in the Parks" (PITP) Program with the U.S. National Park Service began in 2007, at Bryce Canyon National Park. Since then, NCHC has sponsored 55 projects at 37 different U.S. National parks and it is currently planning a U.S. Founding National Park program for Philadelphia and New York City. This will be the first urban PITP program (January 1 - 7th, 2016). 

NPS Ranger Pat Jones, Chief of Interpretation & Education at Independence National Historical Park put together a marvelous two day program in Philadelphia for our students, who stayed at the Revolutionary War barracks in Fort Mifflin on the Delaware. Ranger Jonathan Parker, Chief of Interpretation & Education at Valley Forge National Historical Park provided a full day of education and a behind the scenes look at Valley Forge including a visit to their historic artifact vault.


National Park Ranger Renee Albertoli is inspecting a repaired United Colonies Continental 2/3rds Dollar Bill from the NCHS Honors student exhibit on the second floor of Independence Hall. This note was printed in Philadelphia by Halls and Sellers with a sundial "Fugio" legend and a "Mind Your Business" motto appearing on the obverse’s left center. The reverse shows the thirteen linked rings representing the colonies and the legends "We Are One" and "American Congress". Issued on February 17, 1776, by order of Congress, this 2/3rds Dollar contains blue threads and mica flakes. This 2/3rds Dollar has been torn and then carefully hand stitched together with hemp rope from the Revolutionary War period making this an extremely rare and unusual issue of Continental Currency, which is numbered 391,499 and signed in red ink by William Aisquith.
During our week- long seminar the group addressed the historical development of ideas of freedom and citizenship in the United States, which provided students with a setting to critically examine American leadership & evaluate their rights and responsibilities in democratic governance. 

The PITP program was directed by NCHC President-Elect Naomi Yavneh Klos, Ph.D. and Loyola University visiting professor Stanley Yavneh Klos.

Utilizing the actual historic settings of Independence Hall, Congress Hall, the Benjamin Franklin Museum, the Second Bank of the United States, Carpenters Hall, Federal Hall and Valley Forge, students discovered that the founding mothers and fathers who established the United States of America were not detached intellectuals. They fought a war for political independence and, in framing their state and federal constitutions, these citizens followed the lead of the great political thinkers who came before them. 



National Collegiate Honors Council Partners in the Park Independence Hall Class of 2017 in front of Congress Hall with Rangers Ed, Jay and Renee holding a Third Congress of the United States... An Act making Appropriations for Certain Purposes therein expressed, Philadelphia. 1794, which funds the troops President Washington requires to put down the Whiskey Rebellion: “For the purposes of the act directing a detachment from the militia of the United States, two hundred thousand dollars.” The act is signed by Secretary of State Edmund Randolph– Primary Source Courtesy of www.Historic.us

Throughout the week the program addressed, What brings Regimes into existence and sustains them? 
  • Alexis de Tocqueville maintains that Regimes are embedded in the deep structures of human history that have determined over long centuries the shape of political institutions and what we think about them. 
  •  Plato and Niccolò Machiavelli argue that Regimes are best founded through the deliberative great acts of statesmen and founders like Moses, Cyrus, Romulus, Theseus, Washington, Jefferson, and Adams
  •  In Federalist One, Alexander Hamilton wrote: " It has been frequently remarked that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force." 
 In other words, Are Regimes created by reflection and choice or are they the products of accident, customs and history? 

Other questions addressed in this seminar included: 

What is a Regime? What are Regime politics? How many kinds are there? How are they defined? What holds them together and why do they fall apart? Is there a single best regime? What is the best form of government? How are people governed? How are public offices allocated (election, birth, by lot, outstanding abilities) in a Regime? What constitutes people's rights and responsibilities in the different types of Regimes (Totalitarian, Aristocracy, Oligarchy, Direct Democracy and Representative Democracy or Republic)? 

National Collegiate Honors Council Honors in the Park Class of 2017 students at Federal Hall National Historic Park with NPS Ranger holding the American Museum, or Repository of Ancient And Modern Fugitive Pieces, Prose and Poetica, For November 1787, Philadelphia: Mathew Carey, Vol. II Num. V, open to Alexander Hamilton's Federalist One. – Primary Source Courtesy of www.Historic.us
A question that became the central theme of the week was: What makes a good Statesman/woman? 
  • Plato believed a philosopher, versed in poetry, mathematics and metaphysics makes the best statesman. Aristotle maintained that statesmanship was purely practical skill requiring judgment based on deliberation and experience. 
  • Machiavelli argued that a streak of cruelty and a willingness to act immorally are necessary for good statecraft. Jean-Jacques Rousseau upheld that a great statesman is capable of transforming human nature. 
  • Thomas Hobbes stated that the best statesman is a more or less faceless bureaucrat like most modern CEOs. 
Throughout the readings and in discussions students were challenged to ask themselves, What were and are the qualities of statecraft?

Furthermore, the students tackled fundamental philosophical questions in relation to the founding of the U.S. Republic: 

  • Is it enough to uphold and defend the laws of your country simply because they are your own, despite good citizens of one Regime (Iran) being at odds with a good citizen of another (Saudi Arabia)? 
  • Is a good citizen not the same as the good human being or is a good citizen only relative to regime? 
  • Does this make it difficult for a good human being to be a good citizen of any actual regime? 
  • Does this struggle between good citizenship and good human beings, in part, explain the cultural divide between academics and businessmen?
  • A good philosopher, according to Aristotle, will never feel fully at home in any one particular society because he can never be truly loyal to anyone or anything but what is best. Is this inherent tension between the “Best Regime,” which does not exist and an “Actual Regime,” a cancer that ultimately implodes nations and threatens peaceful coexistence? 
  • Did the founders deliberately create the constitutional amendment process for future generations of American to continue their pursuit to create a more perfect Union? 


National Collegiate Honors Council students holding a Chief Justice John Jay Letter in the room where the United States Supreme Court held sessions on the first floor of Old City Hall, sharing space with the Mayor's Court from 1791 until 1800. – Primary Source Courtesy of www.Historic.us
Applying transformative learning theory to the questions above, the students were challenged, at these historic sites with the Rangers, to communicate ideas, information, and arguments orally and in writing on the notion and practice of citizenship and its relation to their own communities.


NPS & NCHC Partners in the Park Schedule

National Collegiate Honor’s Council Partners in the Park Class of 2017 students at Fort Mifflin holding up a printing of the  Declaration of Independence Goddard Broadside. On January 18th, 1777, after victories at Trenton and Princeton, John Hancock's Congress ordered a true copy of the Declaration of Independence printed complete with the names of all the sign­ers. Mary Katherine Goddard, a Baltimore Postmaster, Printer and publisher, was given the original engrossed copy of the Declaration to set the type in her shop. A copy of the Goddard printing was ordered to be sent to each state so the people would know the names of the signers.  – For more information visit our National Park and NCHC Partners in the Park Class of 2017 website

Sunday, January 1st, 2017: Arrive at Fort Mifflin 3pm; Set-up in barracks; Group Food shopping at 4:30pm; dinner at 7pm at Fort. Note: Fort Mifflin is approximately nine miles from Independence Hall.

National Collegiate Honors Council Partners in the Park Honors Student Sophia Semensky at the City Tavern holding a November 18, 1776 United States Lottery ticket, signed by George Campbell, as sitting Manager of the United States Lottery that was issued by Congress in hopes of funding the Revolutionary War effort. These lottery tickets were actually sold at the Tavern from 1776-1779. – Primary Source Courtesy of www.Historic.us


Monday, January 2nd, 2017: Breakfast at 8:30am; tour of Fort Mifflin on the Delaware 10:00am -12 noon; 1:30 pm: Lunch and Lecture at City Tavern , which is a Bicentennial Commission reconstruction of the historic 18th-century building located at 138 South 2nd Street, and part of Independence National Historical Park. It was here the Delegates Caucused in 1774 to determine where the First Continental Congress would convene and address the colonial challenges plaguing 12 of the original 13 British Colonies.

National Collegiate Honors Council Partners in the Park Honors Students Sara Sauer and Cintly Guzman at the National Constitution Center holding up a typed 19th Amendment: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation;” which is signed Fred H Gillet, June 1919, as Speaker of the House of Representatives paper. – For more information visit our National Park and NCHC Partners in the Park Class of 2017 website



Dinner at Fort Mifflin followed an American Four United Republics review and a ghost tour.




National Collegiate Honors Council Honors students Sydney Cannon and Rachel Watson holding the December 1787, American Museum printing of Federalist # 3 and 4 "Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence", authored by US Foreign Secretary John Jay. NCHC President-Elect Naomi Yavneh Klos holding a broadside next to the statue of Edmund Randolph at the National Constitution Center. The Broadside is the Third Congress of The United States: at the Second Session Act Extending The Privilege Of Franking, Travelling Expenses For Attendance In Congress to James White, The Delegate From The Territory Of The United States, South Of The River Ohio; And Making Provision For His Compensation. The Act is signed by Edmund Randolph, who became the second Secretary of State on January 2, 1794, succeeding Thomas Jefferson, who resigned at the end of 1793. – For more information visit our National Park and NCHC Partners in the Park Class of 2017 website

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017: Breakfast at 6:30am/fix lunches Arrive in NYC at 9:30am, drop off at the 911 Memorial, a visit to Trinity Church and Hamilton’s grave.

National Collegiate Honor’s Council Partners in the Park Independence Hall Class of 2017 students at Federal Hall National Historic Park with Ranger holding the 1789 Acts of Congress opened to the 12 Amendment Joint Resolution of Congress issued September 25th, 1789. The only amendment in the "Bill of Rights" that was not ratified is Article the First, which is still pending before Congress. Cintly is holding an Arthur St. Clair signed Northwest Territory document, Imani is holding the First Bicameral Congressional Act establishing the U.S. Department of State and Rachael is holding a 1788 John Jay letter sent to the Governor of North Carolina, Samuel Johnston, the only person to decline the office after being elected to the U.S. Presidency.  Secretary Jay was transmitting a treaty with France. – For more information visit our National Park and NCHC Partners in the Park Class of 2017 website


  • 10:30am to 12 Noon – Ranger tour of Federal Hall National Historic Park. Here on Wall Street, George Washington took the oath of office as our first President under the current constitution, and this site was home to the last Articles of Confederation Congress and the First Federal Bicameral Congress, Supreme Court, and Executive Branch offices. The current structure, a Customs House, later served as part of the US Sub-Treasury. Now, the building serves as a museum and memorial to our first President and the beginnings of the United States of America.
National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) Partners in the Park Federal Hall Class of 2017 in front of Fraunces Tavern, which is a national historic landmark, museum, and restaurant in New York City, situated at 54 Pearl Street at the corner of Broad Street. The location played a prominent role in pre-Revolution, American Revolution and post-Revolution history, serving as a headquarters for George Washington, a venue for peace negotiations with the British, and housing federal offices in the Early Republic. The picture is flanked with Andrew Cuevas in the Tavern holding an April 1, 1786, USCA Secretary Charles Thomson letter transmitting the USCA Journals and legislation to Governor Samuel Huntington in Connecticut. - For more information visit our National Park and NCHC Partners in the Park Class of 2017 website.
  • Afternoon -- Lunch on the run with a visit to Fraunces Tavern, which is a national historic landmark, museum, and restaurant in New York City, situated at 54 Pearl Street at the corner of Broad Street. The location played a prominent role in pre-Revolution, American Revolution and post-Revolution history, serving as a headquarters for George Washington, a venue for peace negotiations with the British, and housing federal offices in the Early Republic. Photo opportunity at the Elizabeth Anne Seton Shrine as we head to Battery Park to catch the 1:00pm ferry to Liberty and Ellis Islands. 
  • Dinner at 7pm will be in Chinatown. Leave for Fort Mifflin at 9:30pm with a drive through Little Italy.
National Collegiate Honors Council Honors Partners in the Park Class of 2017 in front of Congress Hall with Ranger Ed Welch and Alex holding a the 1789 Acts of Congress open to "An Act for Establishing the Temporary and Permanent Seat of the Government of the United States," was passed on July 16, 1790, and selected a site on the Potomac River as the permanent capital (Washington, D.C.), in ten years times. Also, this act designated Philadelphia as the temporary capital for a period of ten years. The Residence Act was the result of a compromise reached between Thomas Jefferson,Alexander Hamilton and James Madison concerning the permanent location of the Federal capital. In exchange for locating the new capital on the Potomac River, Madison agreed not to block legislation mandating the assumption of the states' debts by the Federal government. – Primary Source Courtesy of www.Historic.us

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017: Breakfast at 7:00am/fix lunches 9:00-10:30am - Tour Congress Hall with National Park Rangers, including a second floor facilitated dialogue program. This tour will cover what happened on site during the early republic and formative years since the ratification of the US Constitution and the role of citizens in the new democracy.


National Collegiate Honors Council Partners in the Park Class of 2017 at the Benjamin Franklin Museum. Sophia Semensky is holding an American Museum Magazine or Repository of Ancient and Modern Fugitive Pieces, &c., No. 5 May, 1787, Published by Mathew Carey, Philadelphia. The issue is open to the full printing of The Constitution of the Pennsylvania Society, for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, and the Relief of Free Negroes, Unlawfully Held in Bondage: begun in the year 1774, and enlarged on the twenty-third of April, 1787. The Constitution is signed in type Benjamin Franklin, President. This Pamphlet was gifted to Independence Hall National Historic Park by Stanley and Naomi Yavneh Klos in memory fo Eilleen Klos and Kuni Yavneh. – For more information visit our National Park and NCHC Partners in the Park Class of 2017 website

Neil Ronk, Senior Guide and Historian of the Christ Church Preservation Trust holds up John Dunlap's 1777 York-Town printing of the 1776 Journals of Congress flanked by NCHC Honors Students. The Journals have been opened to July 2nd 1776, marking the passage of the Resolution for Independency. - For more information visit our National Park and NCHC Partners in the Park Class of 2017 website
Thursday, January 5th, 2017: Breakfast at 7:00am/fix lunches 9:00-10:30am - National Park Ranger Tour Independence Hall including a second floor facilitated dialogue program with the rangers.

NCHC Partners in the Park Student primary source exhibit on the second floor of Independence Hall flanked by the National Collegiate Honor’s Council Partners in the Park Independence Hall Class of 2017. The primary sources exhibited include an original 1781 Journals of Congress open to the Articles of Confederation, Owen Biddle's 1779 resignation as United States Lottery Manager, U.S. National Lottery ticket 3rd Class, Henry Laurens signed Military Commission as President, USCA President Elias Boudinot letter to General Arthur St. Clair regarding the Army mutiny that forced Congress to flee Philadelphia to Princeton, Pennsylvania vs Connecticut 1782 Decree at Trenton manuscript, 1774 Journals of Congress and a 1781 USCA President Thomas McKean letter signed. – For more information visit our National Park and NCHC Partners in the Park Class of 2017 website
  • 10:30 am -12 noon: Tour of the Second Bank of the United States, that currently houses the park's extensive collection of historical portraits by Charles Willson Peale, Thomas Sully and others. Students will meet with park curator, Karie Diethorn, who will lead the tour. The exhibit is organized around the theme of enlightenment thought and we will discuss the role of citizens in society through the lives of the people represented in the portraits.
Karie Diethorn, Chief Curator of Independence National Historical Park with the NCHC Students at the 2nd Bank of the United States under the portrait of USCA President Elias Boudinot. Karie, Ranger Ray and Sydney Cannon are holding-up historic documents issued by Elias Boudinot as United States in Congress Assembled President regarding the decision to move the Seat of Government to Princeton. This marked the last time the Confederation Congress would convene in Pennsylvania. –– Primary Source Courtesy of www.Historic.us
  • Afternoon: Free time in Philadelphia with your partner, assemble at 6:30pm. 
  • Dinner at Fort Mifflin and reflections on the program.


National Collegiate Honors Council Partners in the Park Independence Hall Class of 2017 Regulations For The Order And Discipline Of The Troops Of The United States - Revolutionary War Inspector General Continental Army Military Manual Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin, Baron von Steuben. During the winter of 1778–1779, General Steuben prepared the regulations, commonly known as the "Blue Book". As he could not speak or write English, Steuben originally wrote the drills that he had devised at Valley Forge in French, the military language of Europe at the time. His secretary, Du Ponceau, then translated the drills from French into English. Colonel Alexander Hamilton and General Nathanael Greene were of great help in assisting Steuben in drafting a training program for the Army. First published in 1779 with an introduction Continental Congress resolution signed by President John Jay, the work became the standard text for the Continental Army and the United States Army into the early 19th century. – Primary Source Courtesy of www.Historic.us 
Friday, January 6th, 2017: Breakfast at 8:00am/fix lunches - Full Day at Valley Forge, which was the site of the 1777-78 winter encampment of the Continental Army.

Dona M. McDermott, Archivist Valley Forge National Historical Park holding the American Museum, or Repository Of Ancient And Modern Fugitive Pieces, Prose And Poetica, No. 4 April, 1787, second edition [1789], which has a full printing of George Washington’s March 15th, 1783 “Farewell Address to the American Army,” and a 1787 petition: To the Honorable Delegates of the United States in Congress assembled by young ladies of Portsmouth. Boston, Newport, New London , Amboy, New-Castle, Williamsburgh, Wilmington, Charleston and Savannah, most ardently sheweth .... The Pamphlet also records the entire proceedings of The Annapolis Convention that proposed a convention to revise the Articles of Confederation, which led to the 1787 Philadelphia Convention where George Washington was elected President producing the current U.S. Constitution. . This Pamphlet was gifted to Valley Forge National Historic Park from Stanley and Naomi Yavneh Klos in memory of National Collegiate Honor’s Council Partners in the Park Class of 2017 – For more information visit our National Park and NCHC Partners in the Park Class of 2017 website
National Collegiate Honors Council Partners in the Park Independence Hall Class of 2017 students with Dona M. McDermott, Archivist Valley Forge National Historical Park in the “vault” learning firsthand about artifacts and the interpretative complexities of historic sites

Valley Forge park commemorates the sacrifices and perseverance of the Revolutionary War generation and honors the ability of citizens to pull together and overcome adversity during extraordinary times!


Dinner is at Fort Mifflin and final reflections.




Saturday, January 7th, 2017:   Students depart Fort Mifflin via shuttle to airport at 10am


Articles of Confederation:  A Constitution or Treaty?

Jeffrey Rosen, President & CEO
National Constitution Center
525 Arch Street/Independence Mall
Philadelphia, PA 19106                                                                                  January 19, 2017

Dear President Rosen:

Thank you for the introduction to Kerry Sautner, who arranged our exceptional National Collegiate Honors Council tour with Mark Kehres at the National Constitution Center.  Mark is a charismatic speaker possessing an excellent grasp of the center and its interpretation of constitutional history.      

We, however, were quite distressed that the National Constitution Center refers to the Articles of Confederation as a treaty in its exceptional stage performance and in the Annapolis Convention display, which states:  “We fought a war under atreaty called the Articles of Confederation.”  Moreover, the Articles of Confederation were enacted on March 1, 1781, and the last major war campaign ended with the British surrender at Yorktown on October 19th, 1781.  The war was primarily fought under the acts and resolutions of the United Colonies and United States Continental Congresses and not the Articles of Confederation.     




We do not understand why the National Constitution Center would purport such a position when your own online educational resource states otherwise (http://constitutioncenter.org/learn/educational-resources/historical-documents/articles-of-confederation) and the United States in Congress Assembled (USCA) resolution calling for the Philadelphia Convention states that the Articles of Confederation is a “Federal Constitution”:
Resolved that in the opinion of Congress it is expedient that on the second Monday in May next a Convention of delegates who shall have been appointed by the several States be held at Philadelphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation and reporting to Congress and the several legislatures such alterations and provisions therein as shall when agreed to in Congress and confirmed by the States render thefederal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of Government and the preservation of the Union.[1]



The Articles of Confederation was recognized as a federal constitution by the states, including, for example, Maryland, the last state to ratify, when, its “Act of Appointment of, And Conferring Powers in, Deputies from this State to the Federal Convention” affirmed that Maryland would join with other states “… in considering such alterations, and further provisions, as may be necessary to render the federal constitution adequate to the exigencies of the union” (emphasis added).



The term “federal constitution” was also utilized repeatedly by the U.S. government, in resolutions,[i] treaties (“That these United States be considered in all such treaties, and in every case arising under them, as one nation, upon the principles of the federal constitution”),[ii] in reference to  finances (“The federal constitution authorizes the United States to obtain money by three means; 1st. by requisition; 2d., by loan; and 3d., by emitting bills of credit”)[iii] and in the debates of the congressional delegates:

A requisition of Congress on the States for money is as much a law to them as their revenue Acts when passed are laws to their respective Citizens. If, for want of the faculty or means of enforcing a requisition, the law of Congress proves inefficient, does it not follow that in order to fulfill the views of the federal constitution, such a change sd. Be made as will render it efficient? Without such efficiency the end of this Constitution, which is to preserve order and justice among the members of the Union, must fail; as without a like efficiency would the end of State Constitutions, which is to preserve like order & justice among its members. [iv]

Indeed, the U.S. founding acts and laws include a resolution empowering the USCA President to reconvene the federal government in New Jersey after he and the Congress fled Independence Hall from mutinous United States soldiers:

There is not a satisfactory ground for expecting adequate and prompt exertions of this State for supporting the dignity of the federal government, the President … be authorized and directed to summon the members of Congress to meet on Thursday next at Trenton or Princeton, in New Jersey[v]

These recurrent references clearly indicate that the United States in Congress Assembled, created by the Articles of Confederation, considered itself a federal congress, operating a federal government, which was empowered by a federal constitution and not a treaty.  We, therefore, respectfully request that you replace any references to the Articles of Confederation as “a treaty” to “a federal constitution.”  If you believe you cannot make this change to your verbiage clearly supported by primary source documents, please explain why your scholars have determined this U.S. Founding document to be a Treaty rather than the first constitution of the United States of America.  It does not render the Constitution of 1787 any less magnificent to recognize that its creation was prompted in part as a response to a very flawed federal constitution.

Sincerely,

Naomi Yavneh Klos
Professor Naomi Yavneh Klos, Ph.D.
Director, University Honors Program, Loyola University New Orleans
Chair, AJCU Honors Consortium
President-Elect, National Collegiate Honors Council


NCHC Honors Students at the National Constitution Center with Mark Keres holding a 1787 printing of the Annapolis Convention report to the USCA. Imani is holding the 1789 Acts of Congress, Naomi is holding a September 1787 printing of the United States Constitution and Carly is holding a Samuel Huntington March 11th, 1781 signed document as USCA President under the Articles of Confederation.



[i] USCA Journals, , March 15, 1787
[ii] USCA Journals, March 26, 1784
[iii] USCA Journals , February 3, 1786
[iv] USCA Journals, January 28, 1783
[v] USCA Journals,  June 21, 1783


[1] United States in Congress Assembled Journals Manuscript (USCA), February 21, 1787, Resolution calling for a Philadelphia Convention to “render the federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of Government and the preservation of the Union.” –– United States National Archives.


From: Jeffrey Rosen [mailto:jrosen@constitutioncenter.org]
Sent: Thursday, January 26, 2017 8:47 AM
To: stan@historic.us
Cc: roberttualaulelei@unl.edu; cdigiacomo@uschs.org; yavneh@loyno.edu; bickford@gwu.edu; kbowling@gwu.edu; Kerry Sautner; emn2109@columbia.edu; rkh2125@columbia.edu; Mark Kehres; Gerhardt, Michael J
Subject: Re: Attachment treatment of the Articles of Confederation as a TREATY

Dear Professor Klos,

Thank you for your letter, and for visiting the National Constitution Center. I’ve asked Michael Gerhardt, our scholar in residence, to respond to your thoughts about our characterization of the Articles of Confederation and his response is attached. Thank you again sharing your suggestions and for visiting the NCC; if we can continue to assist you during future visits, please let us know.

Jeffrey Rosen
President & CEO
National Constitution Center
525 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
T: 215 409 6610


January 24, 2017



Professor Stanley Yavneh Klos
University Honors Program
Loyola University New Orleans
6363 St. Charles Ave.
Campus Box 75
New Orleans, LA 70118-6195

Dear Professor Klos:

            As the Scholar in Residence, I wanted to respond to your January 19th letter to our President and CEO, Jeff Rosen.  We are glad that you enjoyed your National College Honors Council tour of the NCC with Mark Kehres.  We agree with your high praise of Mark.  We are lucky to have him.

We also greatly appreciate your sharing your concerns about our statement that, “We fought a war under a treaty called the Articles of Confederation.”  We’ve closely read your letter and its attachments and taken your concerns seriously.  Historical accuracy is fundamental to the National Constitution Center’s mission to enriching understanding and dialogue about the Constitution and its history. 

Our review of your documents and other materials relating to the Articles of Confederation confirm our understanding that, in a technical sense, they were a treaty.  The Articles refer to themselves, in Article III, as a “firm league of friendship,” and a league was understood in both classical and the framers’ political thought as a type of treaty.  Indeed, in Federalist Number 43, this is how James Madison refers to the articles.

The language that you have quoted was initially reviewed and approved by several prominent constitutional historians, including Gordon Wood, Akhil Amar, and the late Richard Beeman.  In each of their highly respected studies of the origins of the Constitution, they refer to the Articles of Confederation as a treaty.  For example, Professor Wood, in his seminal work, refers to the articles as “less than a national constitution than a treaty among independent states.”  We understand that in other documents at the time the articles were sometimes referred to as a “constitution,” but, as we noted above, the articles do not call themselves a “constitution” but rather a “league” (which, unlike a constitution, is a subspecies of treaty).  Even if the articles were a constitution (which, we think, could be disputed), we think the point remains the same -- they were still a kind of treaty.  As Professor Beeman wrote, “The Articles of Confederation amounted to nothing more than a treaty among individual, sovereign states, and any such treaty, so long as the states retained their sovereignty, could never be the basis for a proper and durable union.”

We agree that the articles were not formally ratified until 1781.  But, that does not take away their status as a treaty.  Indeed, in Federalist 43, Madison refers to the articles as a “compact” and later writes, “A compact between independent sovereigns, founded on ordinary acts of legislative authority, can pretend to no higher validity than a league or a treaty between the parties.”  We further mention in our materials, as you note, that the articles were formally ratified in 1781.  Therefore, we think we have made its status clear in our presentations.

            Please let me know if you have other questions or wish to talk further about this.  Like Jeff Rosen, Mark, and everyone else who works at the National Constitution Center, I am thrilled any time to talk with and learn from others who are as passionate about the Constitution as we are.

Very truly yours,

           
Michael J. Gerhardt
Scholar in Residence, National
Constitution Center, & Samuel Ashe
Distinguished Professor of Constitutional
Law, UNC-Chapel Hill
(919) 843-5600
gerhardt@email.unc.edu 



From: Naomi Yavneh [mailto:yavneh@loyno.edu]

Sent: Tuesday, January 31, 2017 8:22 PM

To: Jeffrey Rosen

Cc: roberttualaulelei@unl.edu; cdigiacomo@uschs.org; bickford@gwu.edu; kbowling@gwu.edu; Kerry Sautner; emn2109@columbia.edu; rkh2125@columbia.edu; Mark Kehres; Michael J Gerhardt; stan@historic.us

Subject: Re: Attachment treatment of the Articles of Confederation as a TREATY


Dear Mr. Rosen and Professor Gerhardt,



Thank you for taking the time to respond to our concerns so thoughtfully.  In addition to its erudite content, your letter, Professor Gerhardt, is impressive to our students as a model of respectful and engaged scholarly discourse.  I will leave aside, for now, my own thoughts, and let you know that we are using your evidence and counter-arguments as an opportunity for further historical research and close textual analysis by the students from our NCHC "Partners" Group.  Our plan is that these Honors students will then present the evidence from both sides to their Honors communities to facilitate engaged discourse and debate on these important founding documents.



As President-Elect of the National Collegiate Honors Council, I am in charge of organizing our national conference in Atlanta this November, where the students will present on their efforts and conversations.  We hope that you will not only remain in touch with us as this project progresses, but will be able to participate in a panel and dialogue with these bright and highly-motivated undergraduates.



The conference is scheduled for November 8-12.  Please let me know if this might be of interest, and thank you again for your response.  The National Constitution Center is an outstanding resource, and we are honored by our conversation with you.



Best wishes,
Naomi Yavneh
Professor Naomi Yavneh Klos, Ph.D.
Director, University Honors Program, Loyola University New Orleans
 President-Elect, National Collegiate Honors Council
Chair, AJCU Honors Consortium
Board Member, Society for the Study of Early Modern Women

Loyola University
6363 St. Charles Avenue, Campus Box 75
New Orleans, LA 70118
(504) 864-7330


The Loyola University Honors Community: Scholars for Justice in the Heart of New Orleans





Additional Photographs from the PITP January 2017 Program

 




Broadside of the Declaration of Independence that he just printed for the NCHC students. Not on parchment, but in print. Not in July of 1776, but in January of 1777. Congress, then meeting in Baltimore, ordered “That an authenticated Copy of the DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCY, with the Names of the MEMBERS of CONGRESS, subscribing the same, be sent to each of the UNITED STATES…” The job of printing this new copy of the Declaration, the first to list the signers, went to a woman named Mary Katherine Goddard. Publicizing the signers’ names was a bold step considering that they were endorsing treason.   
Stanley and Naomi Yavneh Klos preparing documents at Fort Mifflin for primary source lectures during the NCHC Partners in the Park program.



National Collegiate Honors Council Partners in the Park Class of 2017 Students at the 2nd Bank of the United States under the portrait of USCA President Samuel Huntington. Sydney is holding-up a Revolutionary War–dated manuscript document signed as President of the Continental Congress, “Sam. Huntington,” May 16, 1780. This is a $6,000 pay order issued to Joseph Borden, commissioner of the Continental Loan Office of New Jersey for clothing. Chris is holding-up a document signed by James Lawrence, and cancelled by Oliver Ellsworth, Jr. for monies owed by the State of Connecticut to Huntington for his service as a delegate to congress and the nation. The note is dated March 11, 1781, which was the 11th day of the Huntington’s service as the first USCA President under the Articles of Confederation. On the verso is of this document is written "Number 1424 Certificate, Saml Huntington Dat 1 Feby, 1781, £ 11-9-4" with a second signature “Saml Huntington.” President Samuel Huntington was the first President to serve under the Articles of Confederation, not John Hanson. – For more information visit our National Park and NCHC Partners in the Park Class of 2017 website


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