Category Archives: 02 – John Adams

2.13 – Destiny Written in the Stars



Year(s) Discussed: 1797-1799

Despite the wealth of evidence coming in of the sincerity of the French Directory in seeking peace, President Adams found himself at odds with his Secretary of State Timothy Pickering at the beginning of 1799 with Pickering continuing the push for war. Meanwhile, the US Navy proved its worth in protecting American shipping in the Caribbean just as relations with the British began a downward spiral once more. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “USS Constellation vs L’Insurgente,” Rear Admiral John William Schmidt [c. 1981], courtesy of Wikipedia


2.11 – The Opposition Strikes Back



Year(s) Discussed: 1798

With yellow fever raging in Philadelphia, the federal government has to move once more, adding to the headaches of Secretary of War James McHenry who had his position in the Cabinet already being undermined by General Alexander Hamilton. In Quincy, John Adams meets with Elbridge Gerry to learn more about the latest offer for diplomatic talks with the French while in Virginia, Vice President Jefferson and former Rep. James Madison plot how to oppose the Alien and Sedition Acts. Sources used in this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Images: “Seal of Virginia” [c. 1851] and “An impression from the first Kentucky State Seal” [c. 1800], courtesy of Wikipedia


2.10 – Checkmate: Hamilton



Year(s) Discussed: 1798

Adams quickly comes to regret his naming George Washington as commander-in-chief of the US Army when Washington decides to appoint Alexander Hamilton as his second in command. As the threat of war looms, the President and his commanding general end up in a back and forth that threatens the preparedness of the Army. Meanwhile, Elbridge Gerry’s mission to France makes little headway as Talleyrand and Napoleon focus on plans to reestablish France as a major colonial power. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Alexander Hamilton” by William J Weaver, courtesy of Wikipedia


2.095 – Abigail Adams



Year(s) Discussed: 1744-1818

This special episode is all about the life and times of Abigail Smith Adams, the learned woman from Weymouth who became the second First Lady of the United States. Returning to the show to share her insight on Abigail is Presidential and First Lady historian Feather Schwartz Foster. Join us as we explore her fascinating life and discuss what legacy she leaves as First Lady and a historical figure in her own right. Sources used in this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Abigail Adams” by Gilbert Stuart (c. 1810-1815), courtesy of Wikipedia

Transition Music: “String Concerto in G Major [RV 532]”, Antonio Vivaldi, courtesy of Wikipedia


2.09 – All Around and Away They Go



Year(s) Discussed: 1797-1799

As the events of the Haitian Revolution start to involve the US and the Army works to secure control of the Mississippi Territory from the Spanish, Adams and the Federalists work to determine a response to the XYZ Affair. However, as their power begins to consolidate, some in the party plot ways to use the situation to their advantage. Oh, and Adams goes to see a play! Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Toussaint Louverture and General Thomas Maitland,” unknown artist [c. 1790s?], courtesy of Wikipedia


2.08 – Have At Thee! The Response to XYZ



Year(s) Discussed: 1797-1798

As the Adams administration learns of the XYZ Affair and the President works to determine his next course of action, partisan bickering devolves to a fight on the floor of the House of Representatives while back in Paris, divisions start to form between the special envoys as Talleyrand increases his pressure on one of their number. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Congressional Pugilists” by an unknown artist [15 Feb 1798], courtesy of Wikipedia


2.07 – One Hand Washes the Other: The XYZ Affair



Year(s) Discussed: 1797-1798

The three commissioners sent by Adams arrive in France to begin negotiations but find themselves beset with new characters and new circumstances following French victories in the field and a coup in the government. One figure in particular stands between the envoys and peace, and he’ll gladly get out of the way…if, of course, the Americans are willing to pay. Sources used in this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Charles Maurice de Talleyrand Périgord” by François Gérard [c. 1808], courtesy of Wikipedia


2.06 – Scandals and Observations



Year(s) Discussed: 1792-1797

Adams is joined in Philadelphia by his wife Abigail as he tries to balance war and peace with the first of the original six frigates of the US Navy being launched around the time that he appoints peace commissioners to France. Meanwhile, the US Senate is rocked by a scandal involving one of its leaders while news of Hamilton’s extramarital affair becomes public. Source information for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Alexander Hamilton” [possibly by John Trumbull, c. 1790], courtesy of Wikipedia


2.05 – Et Tu, France?



Year(s) Discussed: 1796-1797

News arrives in Philadelphia of the French government refusing to accept Charles Cotesworth Pinckney as the US Minister to France, and various individuals both inside and outside the Adams administration spring into action to try to gain control of US foreign policy. Meanwhile, Adams works to cultivate sources independent of the State Department to keep him informed of affairs in Europe, and forces conspire to launch an attack on one of the leading figures of the American political landscape. Source information for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Portrait of William Vans Murray,” Mather Brown [c. 1787], courtesy of Wikipedia


2.04 – Hither and Yon: The News From Abroad



Year(s) Discussed: 1783-1797

In this episode, we get caught up on the international situation around the time of Adams’s inauguration and the various issues that conditions beyond its borders bring up for the United States. Britain is faced with attacks from both at home and abroad. The French Directory stumbles along as two leaders arise. Toussaint L’Ouverture contemplates the future of Saint-Domingue. Various European powers conspire to threaten American sovereignty west of the Appalachians. Source information for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Bataille gagnée par le Général Bonaparte le 14 Janvier 1797”, Henri Félix Emmanuel Philippoteaux [c. 1844], courtesy of Wikipedia