Category Archives: 03 – Thomas Jefferson

3.35 – And Everything Else



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 and William Pinkney worked against all odds to finalize a treaty with Great Britain. Meanwhile, the President had to decide upon a new Attorney General as well as not one but two Supreme Court justices. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Zebulon Pike” by Charles Willson Peale [c. 1808], courtesy of Wikipedia

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


3.34 – Conspiracy



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 consequences on down the line. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Blennerhassett Island Home,” courtesy of Wikipedia

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


3.33 – Glimmers of Hope



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, a few hopeful prospects started to appear including the return of Jefferson’s protege turned continental explorer, Meriwether Lewis. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “James Wilkinson” by Charles Willson Peale [c. 1797], courtesy of Wikipedia

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


3.32 – Time Draws Short



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 provoke Spanish forces already gathered on the border. Meanwhile, the President receives word of a domestic plot involving not only the former Vice President but also the commanding general of the US Army. Sources used in this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Map of the 1806 Red River Expedition” by Nich. King [c. 1806], courtesy of Wikipedia

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


3.31 – Waves on the Horizon



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 Means Committee meeting gets so raucous that a duel seems to be in the making. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “A new chart of the Atlantic or Western Ocean” by William Heather [c. 1797], courtesy of Wikipedia

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


3.30 – The Tide in Europe



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 death of a key leader opens up opportunities for the US to negotiate a treaty. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “The Battle of Trafalgar” by J M W Turner [c. 1822-1824], courtesy of Wikipedia

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


3.29 – A Winter to Remember



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 difficult negotiations in Madrid and the machinations of the former Vice President, Aaron Burr, would soon lead to difficulties for his administration. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Images: “Tchong-tas-sáb-bee, Black Dog, Second Chief” by George Catlin [c. 1834], courtesy of Wikipedia and “John Breckinridge” [c. 1891], courtesy of Wikipedia

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


3.285 – The Two Marthas



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, in this episode, we sift through the fragments of what we know about her before shifting to her daughter, Martha Jefferson Randolph. In addition to the narrative, part of the episode features an interview with a special guest, Dr. Cynthia A. Kierner, whose biography of Martha is an invaluable resource for learning more about a person who was educated in Paris and mingled with presidents and political leaders but is far too often relegated to the background of history. Her life has much to tell us about the role of women and families in the early republic as well as in US presidential history. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Images: “Martha Jefferson Randolph” by Thomas Sully, courtesy of Wikipedia, and “Silhouette of Martha Jefferson,” courtesy of Wikipedia

Transition Intro and Outro Music: Samples from “Bread,” prod. by LuKremBo


3.28 – The Calming Seas



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 change in the command of the US naval squadron in the Mediterranean took the wind out of the sails of what had been an energetic force. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Attack on Derna” by Charles Waterhouse, courtesy of Wikipedia

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


3.27 – Second Term, Same as the Worst



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 return to prominence. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the president, one of his appointments would put a double agent in place to potentially break the recently acquired Louisiana Purchase away from the US. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Thomas Jefferson” by Matthew Harris Jouett, courtesy of Wikipedia

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