Category Archives: 01 – George Washington

The episodes related to the presidency of George Washington

1.20 – Go West, Young Men



William Bradford by William E Winner [c. 1872], courtesy of the US Department of Justice
Year(s) Discussed: 1792-1794

Washington and his administration adjusts to the shake-up following Jefferson’s departure from the Cabinet. Meanwhile, attention is turned west due to General Wayne making steps to take his Legion of the United States into action as an attempt at negotiation with native forces fails in part because of British interference. The federal government must also decide how to approach an increased uproar coming from western Pennsylvania over the whiskey excise tax. Though Secretary of the Treasury Hamilton has to devote a good portion of his time in the first part of 1794 to defending his record, this doesn’t stop him from meddling in affairs with other parts of the government. Source information for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.


1.19 – Rebellion



William Findley by Rembrandt Peale [c. 1805], courtesy of Wikipedia
Year(s) Discussed: 1791-1794

As Washington sets wheels in motion for some rather radical changes to his personal way of life, others at home and abroad start working towards some changes of their own. In western Pennsylvania, small-scale distillers and farmers begin to organize against a new federal tax that would impact them more detrimentally than it would larger operations. In France, as the new French Republic faces food shortages and military setbacks, crowds start agitating for new, more effective leadership. Back in Philadelphia, Secretary of State Jefferson begins packing his bags and wrapping up his work as he counts down to the day set for his departure from the Washington administration. The old status quo seems forever gone as the year 1794 comes roaring in like a lion. Source information for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.


1.18 – Pestilence



The Arch Street Wharf by William Birch [c. 1800] (courtesy of Wikipedia)
Year(s) Discussed: 1786-1793

Washington, his household, and his administration struggle to deal with an epidemic of yellow fever as it makes its way through the city of Philadelphia, indiscriminately infecting people from all walks of life including a resident at the President’s House. In addition to the loss of life, the epidemic brings up questions about how best to utilize medical knowledge to the public good, the role of the press, the relationship of individuals to their environment, and the ability and role of the government in a crisis management situation. Source information for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.


1.17 – Source Notes



The National Gazette (14 Nov 1791), courtesy of Wikipedia

Audio editing for this episode done by Andrew Pfannkuche.

For more information on John Marshall, as referenced in the episode, check out the American Biography podcast.

  • Bemis, Samuel Flagg. Jay’s Treaty: A Study in Commerce and Diplomacy. New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, 1962.
  • “Cabinet Meeting. Proposed Rules Governing Belligerents, [3 August 1793],” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified June 29, 2017, http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Hamilton/01-15-02-0134. [Original source: The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, vol. 15, June 1793 – January 1794, ed. Harold C. Syrett. New York: Columbia University Press, 1969, pp. 168–169.] [Last Accessed: 27 Aug 2017]
  • “Cabinet Meetings. Proposals Concerning the Conduct of the French Minister, [1–23 August 1793],” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified June 29, 2017, http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Hamilton/01-15-02-0125. [Original source: The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, vol. 15, June 1793 – January 1794, ed. Harold C. Syrett. New York: Columbia University Press, 1969, pp. 157–158.] [Last Accessed: 27 Aug 2017]
  • Chernow, Ron. Alexander Hamilton. New York: Penguin Press, 2004.
  • Chernow, Ron. Washington: A Life. New York: Penguin Press, 2010.
  • “Enclosure Questions for the Supreme Court, 18 July 1793,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified June 29, 2017, http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/05-13-02-0164-0002. [Original source: The Papers of George Washington, Presidential Series, vol. 13, 1 June–31 August 1793, ed. Christine Sternberg Patrick. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2007, pp. 243–247.] [Last Accessed: 24 Aug 2017]
  • Ernst, Robert. Rufus King: American Federalist. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1968.
  • Flexner, James Thomas. George Washington: Anguish and Farewell (1793-1799). Boston and Toronto: Little, Brown and Co, 1972 [1969].
  • Jefferson, Thomas. “To Edmond Charles Genet and George Hammond, 12 July 1793,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified June 29, 2017, http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/01-26-02-0433. [Original source: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 26, 11 May–31 August 1793, ed. John Catanzariti. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995, pp. 487–488.] [Last Accessed: 22 Aug 2017]
  • Kaminski, John P. George Clinton: Yeoman Politician of the New Republic. Madison, WI: Madison House, 1993.
  • Ketcham, Ralph. James Madison: A Biography. Charlottesville, VA and London: University Press of Virginia, 1994 [1971].
  • Knox, Henry. “To George Washington, 5 August 1793,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified June 29, 2017, http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/05-13-02-0239. [Original source: The Papers of George Washington, Presidential Series, vol. 13, 1 June–31 August 1793, ed. Christine Sternberg Patrick. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2007, pp. 355–356.] [Last Accessed: 27 Aug 2017]
  • Malone, Dumas. Jefferson and the Ordeal of Liberty: Jefferson and His Time, Volume Three. Boston: Little, Brown and Co, 1962.
  • Rappleye, Charles. Robert Morris: Financier of the American Revolution. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010.
  • Reardon, John J. Edmund Randolph: A Biography. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co, 1974.
  • Shalhope, Robert E. John Taylor of Caroline: Pastoral Republican. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1980.
  • Stahr, Walter. John Jay. New York: Hambledon & Continuum, 2006 [2005].
  • Supreme Court Justices. “To George Washington, 20 July 1793,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified June 29, 2017, http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/05-13-02-0173. [Original source: The Papers of George Washington, Presidential Series, vol. 13, 1 June–31 August 1793, ed. Christine Sternberg Patrick. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2007, pp. 256–257.] [Last Accessed: 24 Aug 2017]
  • Supreme Court Justices. ““To George Washington, 8 August 1793,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified June 29, 2017, http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/05-13-02-0263. [Original source: The Papers of George Washington, Presidential Series, vol. 13, 1 June–31 August 1793, ed. Christine Sternberg Patrick. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2007, pp. 392–393.] [Last Accessed: 24 Aug 2017]
  • Washington, George. “To Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Henry Knox, and Edmund Randolph, [3 August 1793],” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified June 29, 2017, http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Hamilton/01-15-02-0139. [Original source: The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, vol. 15, June 1793 – January 1794, ed. Harold C. Syrett. New York: Columbia University Press, 1969, p. 175.] [Last Accessed: 27 Aug 2017]

1.17 – Genet Must Go



PA Gov. Thomas Mifflin, courtesy of Wikipedia

Year(s) Discussed: 1793

Washington returns to Philadelphia to deal with the continued agitations of French Minister Genêt. Meanwhile, Attorney General Randolph goes south on a fact-finding mission, Philip Freneau continues his attacks against Washington and his administration in the pages of the National Gazette, and events continue to unfold in Europe which have ramifications across the pond. Through all of this, the President has to decide what to do with his partisan Cabinet and how to preserve neutrality without offending either Britain or France. Source information can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.


1.16 – Source Notes



“Residence of Washington in High Street, Philada.” by William L Breton [c. 1828-1830], courtesy of Wikipedia
Audio editing for this episode done by Andrew Pfannkuche.

  • Chernow, Ron. Alexander Hamilton. New York: Penguin Press, 2004.
  • Chernow, Ron. Washington: A Life. New York: Penguin Press, 2010.
  • Flexner, James Thomas. George Washington: Anguish and Farewell (1793-1799). Boston and Toronto: Little, Brown and Co, 1972 [1969].
  • Forman, Samuel E. The Political Activities of Philip Freneau. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Press, 1902.
  • Genet, Edmund Charles. “To Thomas Jefferson, 22 June 1793,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified June 29, 2017, http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/01-26-02-0312. [Original source: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 26, 11 May–31 August 1793, ed. John Catanzariti. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995, pp. 339–342.] [Last Accessed: 19 Aug 2017]
  • Hamilton, Alexander. ““Memorandum, 15 May 1793,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified June 29, 2017, http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/05-12-02-0461. [Original source: The Papers of George Washington, Presidential Series, vol. 12, 16 January 1793 – 31 May 1793, ed. Christine Sternberg Patrick and John C. Pinheiro. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2005, pp. 577–584.] [Last Accessed: 16 Aug 2017]
  • Hamilton, Alexander. “To George Washington, 21 June 1793,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified June 29, 2017, http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Hamilton/01-15-02-0012. [Original source: The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, vol. 15, June 1793 – January 1794, ed. Harold C. Syrett. New York: Columbia University Press, 1969, p. 13.] [Last Accessed: 19 Aug 2017]
  • Jefferson, Thomas. “Memorandum, 16 May 1793,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified June 29, 2017, http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/05-12-02-0467. [Original source: The Papers of George Washington, Presidential Series, vol. 12, 16 January 1793 – 31 May 1793, ed. Christine Sternberg Patrick and John C. Pinheiro. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2005, pp. 592–595.] [Last Accessed: 16 Aug 2017]
  • Jefferson, Thomas. “To James Madison, 9 June 1793,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified June 29, 2017, http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Madison/01-15-02-0027. [Original source: The Papers of James Madison, vol. 15, 24 March 1793 – 20 April 1795, ed. Thomas A. Mason, Robert A. Rutland, and Jeanne K. Sisson. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1985, pp. 26–28.] [Last Accessed: 19 Aug 2017]
  • Jefferson, Thomas. “To George Washington, 31 July 1793,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified June 29, 2017, http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/05-13-02-0212. [Original source: The Papers of George Washington, Presidential Series, vol. 13, 1 June–31 August 1793, Christine Sternberg Patrick. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2007, pp. 311–312.] [Last Accessed: 10 Aug 2017]
  • “Jurisdiction: Admirality and Maritime.” Federal Judicial Center. https://www.fjc.gov/history/courts/jurisdiction-admiralty-and-maritime. [Last Accessed: 16 Aug 2017]
  • Malone, Dumas. Jefferson and the Ordeal of Liberty: Jefferson and His Time, Volume Three. Boston: Little, Brown and Co, 1962.
  • Newton, Thomas Jr; and William Lindsay. ““To George, 5 May 1793,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified June 29, 2017, http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/05-12-02-0423. [Original source: The Papers of George Washington, Presidential Series, vol. 12, 16 January 1793 – 31 May 1793, ed. Christine Sternberg Patrick and John C. Pinheiro. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2005, pp. 521–522.] [Last Accessed: 16 Aug 2017]
  • Randolph, Edmund. “Memorandum, 17 May 1793,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified June 29, 2017, http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/05-12-02-0474. [Original source: The Papers of George Washington, Presidential Series, vol. 12, 16 January 1793 – 31 May 1793, ed. Christine Sternberg Patrick and John C. Pinheiro. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2005, pp. 602–605.] [Last Accessed: 16 Aug 2017]
  • Randolph, Edmund. “To George Washington, 18 May 1793,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified June 29, 2017, http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/05-12-02-0482. [Original source: The Papers of George Washington, Presidential Series, vol. 12, 16 January 1793 – 31 May 1793, ed. Christine Sternberg Patrick and John C. Pinheiro. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2005, pp. 608–610.] [Last Accessed: 17 Aug 2017]
  • Reardon, John J. Edmund Randolph: A Biography. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co, 1974.
  • Smith, Jean Edward. John Marshall: Definer of a Nation. New York: Henry Holt & Co, 1996.

1.16 – Don’t Mess With Washington



Edmond-Charles Genêt, courtesy of Wikipedia

Year(s) Discussed: 1793

The new French Minister to the US arrives in Philadelphia and begins causing a stir both within the Washington administration and out in the streets. Meanwhile, Washington has another bout of ill health but recovers just in time to have to rush back to Mount Vernon despite being in the midst of diplomatic tensions. Party politics are taken to the next level with partisans beginning to organize their efforts just as both Jefferson and Hamilton contemplate their respective exits from the Cabinet to be free to pursue their own aims. Source information for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.


1.15 – It’s Not Easy Being Neutral



Combat Between the Frigate ‘L’Embuscade’ and the ‘Boston’ in the Port of New York in 1793 by Jean Antoine Théodore de Gudin, courtesy of Wikipedia

Year(s) Discussed: 1791-1793

The British and French are at war, and the Washington administration is caught in the middle. Though the US government had established a Treaty of Alliance with the French back in the Revolutionary War, the administration had to question whether the new French republican government was in fact valid and whether the US was still bound by the treaty made with the government of the recently executed Louis XVI. However, they are given little time to consider the situation as French ships start capturing British vessels off the coast of North America and bringing them into Philadelphia harbor. Washington wants to stay out of it, but will the European powers force his hand? Source information for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.


1.14 – The Second Inaugural



Washington’s Inauguration at Philadelphia by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, courtesy of Wikipedia

Year(s) Discussed: 1791-1793

The lead up to Washington’s second inaugural ended up being much more dramatic than anyone could have imagined as personal conflicts threatened the construction of the Federal City, Hamilton’s affair with Maria Reynolds threatened to be made public knowledge, and Representative William Branch Giles filed resolutions against Hamilton accusing him of official misconduct and calling for his dismissal. In the middle of all this, a reluctant president turns to his family for support as he prepares himself for what already appears will be a more turbulent four years ahead than his first term had been. Source information can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.


1.13 – Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?



George Washington, Esq, by Edward Savage [c. 1793], courtesy of the Library of Congress
Year(s) Discussed: 1792

Washington has an important decision to make as the Election of 1792 looms. Should he accede to the wishes of many and stand for reelection or should he take his weary bones back to Mount Vernon for the remainder of his days? The growing factional agitations that were exacerbated by Hamilton’s submitting his Report on Manufactures as well as a financial panic in 1792 do little to make the situation better. Meanwhile, Hamilton’s affair with Maria Reynolds gets ever more complicated. And did the Attorney General just say something about a potential civil war? Washington’s action-packed first term hits some bumpy roads in this episode. Source information can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.