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Year(s) Discussed: 1806-1807 Little did the Jefferson administration, while preparing to prosecute the former Vice President of the United States, Aaron Burr, for treason, that they would be faced at the same time with an external challenge that threatened to plunge the nation into war. In mid-1807, the President, his Cabinet, and the nation were a…
 
Tenure of Office: 26 September 1789 – 20 August 1795 Edmund Randolph served in not one but two positions in the Washington administration – as Attorney General then as Secretary of State. However, will that be enough to earn him a seat at the table of the Cabinet All-Stars? Listen to find out more about his life, career, and legacy! Thanks so much …
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1806-1807 Concurrent with the events of the Burr conspiracy, the Jefferson administration and its agents were engaged in other work on multiple fronts. Lt. Zebulon Pike was leading an expedition westward while Gen. James Wilkinson took questionable measures in the name of national security in New Orleans. In London, James Monroe …
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1806-1807 Aaron Burr’s plans were finally starting to come to fruition, but little did the former Vice President know that he had a turncoat in his midst. Meanwhile, as the Jefferson administration struggled to get a grasp of the scope of the conspiracy, it was forced to action, and the haphazard nature of it would have consequen…
 
Tenure of Office: 12 September 1789 – 31 December 1794 Henry Knox served the United States as a general and as the head of the War Department for ten years, but will his life and career earn him a seat at the table of the Cabinet All-Stars? Listen as we explore Knox’s legacy to find out! Thanks so much to my special guests for this episode – Rob an…
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1805-1806 With American and Spanish military forces amassing along the western US border and with the commanding general of the Army potentially involved in a secession and/or filibustering plot with the former Vice President, late 1806 was a time of trepidation for President Jefferson and his administration. Before long, though,…
 
Tenure of Office: 11 September 1789 – 31 January 1795 (Secretary of the Treasury) We begin our new special series with the first Cabinet member to assume office under the constitutional government – Alexander Hamilton! You may have seen the musical, but there are a few more parts of his history that didn’t make it into that production. Thanks so mu…
 
Introduction to a new special series of episodes titled “Seat at the Table” where I will be joined by special guests each episode to discuss a Cabinet member’s life and tenure in office and rank how they did before determining if they deserve a seat at the table of Cabinet All-Stars. Featured Images: “Alexander Hamilton” by John Trumbull [c. 1805],…
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1805-1806 As Jefferson reflects upon the unexpected death of his mentor, various situations at home and abroad in 1806 imperil the future of the nation. A British ship unintentionally kills an American sailor, threatening the peace negotiations being conducted in London. Around the same time, expeditions to explore the west provo…
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1804-1806 As tensions between the US and Spain increase over West Florida and the border with Tejas, Aaron Burr travels to the west and back again to meet with folks across the nation as his plot progresses. Meanwhile, supporters of Jefferson in Congress attempt to move against Rep. John Randolph of Roanoke, and a House Ways and …
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1804-1806 The Napoleonic Wars continue apace in Europe as Napoleon plots an invasion of Britain, and Admiral Horatio Nelson searches for the French fleet in the Mediterranean. As battles continue on land and sea across the continent, American diplomats in London, Paris, and Madrid continue their work. Meanwhile, the untimely deat…
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1804-1805 President Jefferson had much to celebrate in the latter half of 1805 as he finally secured a new Attorney General, envoys arrived from distant lands in the east and the west, and his daughter and her family joined him in the President’s House for the winter. Little did he know, though, that … Continue reading 3.29 – A W…
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1748-1836 Studies of Thomas Jefferson’s life often discuss the impact of the two Marthas – his wife, Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson, and his daughter, Martha Jefferson Randolph – on him, but few studies examine matters with the focus on the lives of the two women. While our knowledge of Martha Jefferson is limited, … Continue re…
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1803-1805 With the war with Tripoli continuing to drag on year after year, Jefferson and his administration had to determine whether the best course to bring it to a conclusion lay with opening up a new front by partnering with foreign agents or through engaging in a new round of diplomacy. Meanwhile, a … Continue reading 3.28 – …
 
I’m excited to share that I will be presenting at the Intelligent Speech Conference on Saturday, April 24th, 2021! If you would like to attend, please take a moment to listen to this quick trailer for more information, go to www.intelligentspeechconference.com, and use the promo code “presi” to get 10% off your ticket to 24 … Continue reading Intel…
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1803-1805 Jefferson’s second inauguration may have been a non-event, but on numerous fronts, various tensions were building in early 1805 that threatened to make his second term one to remember. Cabinet members plotted to further their own ambitions while Aaron Burr schemed with foreign powers and domestic discontents in order to…
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1804-1805 With the Lewis and Clark expedition underway to explore the upper reaches of the Missouri River, President Jefferson at the end of his first term turned his attention to gathering support and talent for expeditions in the southern portions of the Louisiana Purchase. Meanwhile, the Corps of Discovery arranged for Jeffers…
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1735-1873 Throughout Jefferson’s life and career, he was surrounded and served by various enslaved individuals of three generations of the same family. In this episode, we examine the lives of the Hemings family as some worked to attain their freedom, other Hemingses disappeared from the historical record without a trace, and one…
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1875-1877 Though the US takes pride in the regular practice of peaceful transitions of power from one presidency to the next, sometimes the transition is not quite so peaceful, especially when the results are in dispute. Such was the case in the aftermath of the presidential election of 1876 where, for months, allegations … Conti…
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1801-1805 As James Monroe set off for his new special mission to Spain, a new congressional session began with Democratic-Republicans aiming to settle a long-standing issue as well as put their mark on the judiciary branch. However, they would find that their plans quickly went awry, and the events of early 1805 would … Continue …
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1803-1805 With a presidential election looming, the Jefferson administration had to consider how to wrap up the first term and transition to the second. For some, that meant moving into new positions. For others, retirement was in their future. As the campaign worked to rally the public, the decisions of 1804 made at … Continue r…
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1907-1968 In a year of domestic unrest, social strife, and uncertainty at home and abroad, the United States prepared for a presidential election in 1968. Little did they know that it would be a contest unlike any other. In the midst of a turbulent campaign, political norms were challenged, rivalries were intensified, and … Conti…
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1803-1804 While diplomatic disagreements occupied the attention of the Jefferson administration, Vice President Aaron Burr was occupied with a dispute of a more personal matter in the aftermath of his failed gubernatorial bid. Alexander Hamilton’s opposition to his campaign did not go unnoticed, and Burr was determined to have Ha…
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1803-1804 While Vice President Burr worked to secure his political future in his bid for the New York governorship and New England Federalists plotted to separate from the Union, the Jefferson family suffered the untimely loss of one of its members in the early months of 1804. Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, both the … Continue r…
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1803-1804 In the wake of multiple political losses in the first few years of the 19th century, as the election of 1804 neared, numerous Federalist leaders from New England began to consider the possibility of whether their prospects and those of their home region would be better served by breaking away from the … Continue reading…
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1776-1863 Interactions between people from various parts of the globe are a common occurrence in the 21st century, but though more infrequent in the late 18th and early 19th century, cross-cultural interactions in that time had a decisive impact. To explore this topic in the context of the life and presidency of Thomas … Continue…
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1824-1992 Since the first national party convention in the United States in September 1831, party conventions have played a key role in American politics. In this episode, we explore the role of these gatherings in determining presidential nominees as well as setting agendas through the party platform and examine a few notable co…
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1801-1804 As Jefferson’s first term entered its final year, numerous developments at home and abroad would start chains of reactions with long-reaching consequences. In the Caribbean, a nation declared its independence that would prove to be of particular concern to white Americans in the southern US. Meanwhile, Congress debated …
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1802-1803 The new British Minister to the US, Anthony Merry, arrived in Washington, DC in late 1803, and though his arrival was initially seen as a strengthening of British-American relations, it would soon prove to be quite the opposite. Meanwhile, the end of the year saw representatives of the Jefferson administration on both ……
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1936-1944 With increasing uncertainty in the global situation and continued instability in the domestic economy, candidates lined up on both the Democratic and Republican sides to succeed Franklin Roosevelt at the end of his second term. However, 1940 found the President considering what was previously unthinkable: running for a …
 
I will be presenting on the Rebellions of the Early Presidencies at the Intelligent Speech Conference on Saturday, June 27th, 2020. If you’d like to attend and hear from numerous educational podcasters and historians, be sure to go to www.intelligentspeechconference.com and select “Book Now” to get your online ticket. It should be a great conferenc…
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1801-1803 Though the Louisiana Purchase Treaty had been concluded, President Jefferson understood that didn’t mean it was a done deal, and he and his administration got to work in the latter half of 1803 on getting the treaty ratified by the Senate and in pushing through legislation to carry through the purchase. However, … Conti…
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1802-1803 Despite some early successes, the US naval efforts against Tripoli languished in 1802 and early 1803, and with the cost of maintaining a squadron in the Mediterranean climbing, President Jefferson and his administration had to consider alternates in both leadership and approaches to tackle the situation. Meanwhile, vari…
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1789-1809 George Washington established many precedents during his tenure of office, but one that had arguably the greatest impact was his establishment, not by law but by practice, of what we now know of as the Cabinet. To examine the beginnings of this institution and what it meant for the Washington presidency, I … Continue re…
 
Content Note: This episode mentions the topic of suicide. Year(s) Discussed: 1802-1803 As the Jefferson administration awaited word on the outcome of Monroe’s mission to France, the territorial governors and government agents in the western US dealt with various issues including labor shortages, troubled relations with neighboring indigenous nation…
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1800-1801, 1816-1825, 1860-1864 While some presidential elections function in much the same way as others of the time, there are those select few that reshape the process or are noteworthy for being unique in some way. In the next two episodes of the special series, I will be examining four presidential elections that … Continue …
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1786-1868 Political partnerships are nothing new to American politics, but what happens when the domestic world and the political realm overlap? To examine that question and learn more about one of the most significant political partnerships in American history, I recently spoke with Thomas Balcerski, author of Bosom Friends: The…
 
Content Note: This episode discusses the epidemics that spread through indigenous populations in the Americas upon the increased and sustained contact with Europeans starting at the end of the 15th century. Year(s) Discussed: approx. 9000 BCE-1803 Over the course of millennia, the peoples of the Americas developed rich cultures and prosperous natio…
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1789-2020 The term “fit for office” is often bandied about when talking about the US presidency, but how exactly does physical fitness relate to the office or to presidential campaigning? To explore that question, I recently spoke with Jon Finkel, author of Jocks in Chief. In our conversation, Jon shared the system that … Continu…
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1803 Despite US Minister to France Robert R Livingston’s best efforts to conclude a treaty with France on his own, the arrival of Special Envoy James Monroe in Paris marked the beginning of a new phase of negotiations which soon led to the acquisition of a large swath of territory for the United … Continue reading 3.14 – Can I Ma…
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1976-1988 Super Tuesday happens at least once every four years in the modern US presidential election cycle, but how much does anyone really know about this date on the campaign calendar? In this episode, I explore the history of Super Tuesday and how it impacted numerous presidential elections in the past. Sources used … Continu…
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1801-1803, 1807 As James Monroe began his special mission to Europe in early 1803, he would come to find that the situation on the continent was rapidly changing as the Peace of Amiens was proving to be a shaky one. Meanwhile, President Jefferson had to deal with some staffing changes at home and … Continue reading 3.13 – Ch-Ch-C…
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1801-1803 As a new state joined the Union, state and federal leaders in the US worked to redefine the nation’s governmental institutions and its approach to foreign affairs. Jefferson put some plans into motion to stretch American influence through an expedition across western North America. Meanwhile, as Democratic-Republicans s…
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1901-2008 What is the difference between a primary and a caucus anyway? Listen as I explore that question and discuss the various permutations of both as well as how the presidential primary calendar came to have Iowa and New Hampshire as the first contests in this episode. Sources used for this episode can … Continue reading S00…
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1801-1803 As continued resistance in Saint-Domingue threatens French First Consul Napoléon Bonaparte’s plans to take control of Louisiana, President Jefferson works to keep tempers cool on the domestic front while turning to a trusted ally, James Monroe, to find a permanent solution to the New Orleans situation. Sources used for …
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1816-1976 Did you know that presidential primaries in the United States are a rather modern innovation and that for a long time, presidential primary winners often didn’t end up as the party’s nominee? Learn how the primary system came to be what it is today, the varying impacts it has had on presidential … Continue reading S001 …
 
Year(s) Discussed: 1801-1803 As French First Consul Napoléon Bonaparte begins to shift the balance of power in the Western Hemisphere in his favor, President Jefferson works to counter these ambitions through diplomatic efforts in both Washington and Paris. Meanwhile, a Mediterranean power declares war on the US, and Jefferson’s powers of persuasio…
 
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