Interview with Jeffrey Einboden, Jefferson’s Muslim Fugitives

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 Jefferson, I am joined in this special episode by Jeffrey Einboden, Presidential Research, Scholarship and Artistry Professor at Northern Illinois University and author of Jefferson’s Muslim Fugitives: The Lost Story of Enslaved Africans, their Arabic Letters, and an American President. In our conversation, Jeff explains how Jefferson interacted with Muslim individuals, both enslaved and free, as well as aspects of Muslim culture and scholarship in his lifetime and provides great insight on American interactions with the Middle East in the Early Republic. Additional resources for this episode can be found at

Featured Images: Jeffrey Einboden and cover of Jefferson’s Muslim Fugitives, courtesy of the author

Intro and Outro Music: Selections from “Jefferson and Liberty” as performed by The Itinerant Band