Announcements

Our Red Barn Discovery Center will be open on Saturdays from 9am to 4pm through October. It is also available for private reservations on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Check our Calendar of Events for availability.

 





What to do Today
Guided Tours
While Tours of the Historic House are suspended, we invite you to take a Virtual Tour.
Upcoming Events

Virtual Lecture with Jeff Shesol: Mercury Rising

  • February 3, 2022
    7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Jeff ShesolMercury Rising: John Glenn, John Kennedy, and the New Battleground of the Cold War

Mercury Rising is a propulsive narrative of the early space race at the time of Sputnik and JFK’s young Presidency, embedded in Cold War politics domestic and international, and a very different American culture of heroes. It also an exploration of the terrors of new technologies – both space and nuclear weapons – and how they intersected in fears of the militarization of space.

A Rhodes Scholar, creator of the nationally syndicated comic strip Thatch, former Fellow at Princeton and the University of California, frequent commentator in print and on TV and radio, Presidential speechwriter and founding partner of West Wing Writers, Shesol is also author of Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt v. The Supreme Court, about which he spoke at the Homestead in 2011.

Tickets to this virtual lecture are free but must be reserved in advance. Only registered guests will receive a link to the Zoom webinar the day before the lecture.

Support the Lecture Series by making a donation here.

Donate $250 or more to join the Lecture Committee.


  • February 3, 2022
    7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Virtual Lecture with Deborah Willis: The Black Civil War Soldier

  • March 9, 2022
    7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Deborah WillisThe Black Civil War Soldier: A Visual History of Conflict and Citizenship

Though both Union and Confederate armies excluded African American men from their initial calls to arms, many of the men who eventually served were black. With over seventy images, supplemented with handwritten captions, letters, and other personal materials, Willis depicts the lives of black Union soldiers and other African Americans involved with the struggle, and the importance of African American communities in the development and prosecution of the war.

Willis is University Professor and Chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. An art photographer as well, she is one of the nation’s leading historians of African American photography and curators of African diasporic cultures. She is a recipient of (among others) MacArthur, Cohen, Guggenheim and Alphonse Fletcher Fellowships; a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and recipient of the Outstanding Service Award from the Royal Photographic Society in the UK.

Tickets to this virtual lecture are free but must be reserved in advance. Only registered guests will receive a link to the Zoom webinar the day before the lecture.

Support the Lecture Series by making a donation here.

Donate $250 or more to join the Lecture Committee.


  • March 9, 2022
    7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Virtual Lecture with David Gellman: Liberty’s Chain

  • April 28, 2022
    7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

David GellmanLiberty’s Chain: Slavery, Abolition and the Jay Family of New York

Liberty’s Chain explores the contradictions of the Jay family’s attitudes and actions toward slavery over multiple generations. Enslaved and formerly enslaved people living at Bedford experienced isolation, even as members of the Jay family took increasingly radical approaches to law, policy, politics, and advocacy. Gellman is Professor of History at DePauw University, author or co-author of three other books, as well as essays on such disparate cultural icons as James Fenimore Cooper and Bruce Springsteen.

Tickets to this virtual lecture are free but must be reserved in advance. Only registered guests will receive a link to the Zoom webinar the day before the lecture.

Support the Lecture Series by making a donation here.

Donate $250 or more to join the Lecture Committee.


  • April 28, 2022
    7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Object of the Week
News
Jay Family Stories: “The face of the Madonna and the eyes of a child”

“The face of the Madonna and the eyes of a child”, is how artist John Singer Sargent described Elizabeth Chanler when he first met her in London in June 1893. Elizabeth was the oldest surviving daughter of U.S. Representative John Winthrop Chanler (1826–1877) and Margaret Astor Chanler (1838–1875).  By the time she was eleven both…

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Jay Family Stories: William Jay and the Gag Rule

As a key figure in the anti-slavery movement in America, William Jay (1789-1858) found himself in the middle of one of the most heated political battles of the era, known as the petitioner movement in Congress. In the months leading up to May 1836, Congress was getting flooded with tens of thousands of petitions, letters,…

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Jay Family Stories: A Visit from St. Nicholas

For many American families, A Visit from St. Nicholas is part of their yearly Christmas celebration. For descendants of John (1745-1829) and Sarah Jay (1756-1802), the poem is more than a holiday tradition. It is a family story. Whether it is a family story for all Jay descendants, or only for some, depends on who…

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