Kinder Institute: When the Devil Beat Daniel Webster

Daniel Webster statue

Kinder Institute: “The Time the Devil Beat Daniel Webster”


The Kinder Institute at the University of Missouri, a JMC partner program, will host JMC fellow Rodolfo (Rudy) Hernandez for a lecture on his recent work on the 1844 Supreme Court Case of Vidal v. Girard’s Executors.

2018-2020 Postdoctoral Fellow in American Political Thought & Constitutionalism Rodolfo Hernandez will examine the Supreme Court Case of Vidal v. Girard’s Executors (1844) where Daniel Webster challenged a large bequest to the City of Philadelphia to establish an orphanage that explicitly forbade clergy from ever entering the campus. The talk will specifically explore the tension between the notion that Christianity is a part of the common law and the free exercise of religion, along with Justice Story’s resolution of this issue.

Friday, May 3, 2019 • 3:30 PM
Jesse Hall, Room 410 • University of Missouri

Free and open to the public

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Rodolfo HernandezRodolfo Hernandez earned his B.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD, and his Ph.D. in Political Science from Louisiana State University. His work focuses on political theory and American political development, and his dissertation considers the political economy of Abraham Lincoln’s thought, especially as it relates to the principle of equality expressed by the Declaration of Independence. As a graduate student, he was awarded the Huel D. Perkins Fellowship by Louisiana State University and the Richard M. Weaver Fellowship by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. Rudy previously taught as a Visiting Instructor at Louisiana Tech University and as a Senior Lecturer at Texas State University. He also has prior government experience including service in Americorps, work as a tax examiner in the U.S. Treasury Department, and eight years in the U.S. Army Reserve. He joins the Kinder Institute as a 2018-2020 Postdoctoral Fellow in Political Thought & Constitutionalism.

Hernandez is a JMC fellow.

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The Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy at the University of Missouri is an interdisciplinary, signature academic center on the Columbia campus, jointly operated by faculty from the Political Science and History Departments, in cooperation with other scholars across campus. It is dedicated to excellence in research, teaching, and community engagement on the subjects of American political thought, history, and institutions, with a particular emphasis on the ideas and events of the American Founding and their continued global impact and relevance today. It was created in 2015 by a generous gift from the Kinder Foundation, a family philanthropic foundation started by Rich and Nancy Kinder of Houston, Texas.

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