Category Archives: 03 – Thomas Jefferson

3.15 – Of Wars and Pieces: The Indigenous Nations Up to 1803



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 nations that were often unique to one another as well as on the global stage. However, the course of these civilizations was forever changed as European explorers and settlers came from across the Atlantic in ever increasing numbers. In this episode, we’ll take some time to examine the indigenous nations present in what became the eastern and central portions of the United States leading up to the year 1803 and the Louisiana Purchase. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Portrait of Two Chitimacha Indians” by François Bernard [c. 1870], courtesy of Wikipedia

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


3.14 – Can I Make a Purchase?



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 States, an event known today as the Louisiana Purchase. Though swift, the diplomatic back and forth in April 1803 proved to be precarious from the first proposal until the signatures were on the final document. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Hoisting of American Colors over Louisiana” by Thure de Thulstrup [c. 1904], courtesy of Wikipedia

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


3.13 – Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes



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 abroad. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Rufus King” by Charles Willson Peale [c. 1818], courtesy of Wikipedia

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


3.12 – And the Beat Goes On



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 sought to wrest control of the judiciary from Federalists, the Supreme Court delivered a pivotal ruling. Source notes for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Charles Lee” by Cephas Giovanni Thompson [c. 19th century], courtesy of Wikipedia

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


3.10 – We Need to Talk



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 persuasion are put to the test when dealing with family matters. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool” by Thomas Lawrence [c. 1790s], courtesy of Wikipedia

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


3.09 – Yazoo to You Too



Year(s) Discussed: 1795-1802

While the Jefferson administration made a breakthrough in settling a long-standing dispute with the state of Georgia over its western land claims in 1802, the new US Minister to France, Robert Livingston, began his mission trying to get answers on the situation with the colony of Louisiana. Meanwhile, peace in Europe and a new phase of the conflict in Saint-Domingue threaten to upend Jefferson’s vision for the west. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Map of West Florida” [c. 1767], courtesy of Wikipedia

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


3.08 – The Enabler-in-Chief



Year(s) Discussed: 1801-1802

The Democratic-Republican reform agenda moved beyond appointments as the Seventh Congress began its session. From the federal judiciary to the organization of the west, Jefferson wielded the soft power of the presidency in order to move ideas along. However, he would not be the only one working to shape the future of the government and the nation, and there was no guarantee as to whose vision would prevail. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Map of the United States exhibiting post-roads, the situations, connections & distances of the post-offices, stage roads, counties, ports of entry and delivery for foreign vessels, and the principal rivers” by Abraham Bradley Jr [1796], courtesy of Wikipedia

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


3.07 – The Door to the West



Year(s) Discussed: 1798-1801

Jefferson and his administration early on focused their attention on the civilian and military operations in the western frontier of the US and worked through the year leading up to the convening of the first session of the Seventh Congress to determine who would stay and who would go. Meanwhile, despite his concerns about a standing army and navy, Jefferson also worked in his first year in office to establish two key supports for the US military establishment: a military academy and a dry dock. Sources used in this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: Portion of “The Treaty of Greenville” [c. late 18th century], courtesy of Wikipedia

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


3.06 – To Limited Arms



Year(s) Discussed: 1795-1801

Jefferson managed to get a permanent Secretary of the Navy just in time for Commodore Dale’s naval squadron to engage in combat in the Mediterranean. In addition to that key post being filled, the administration was able to make some additional structural decisions during the final months of 1801 in time for the new congressional session in December. Meanwhile, a new opposition was organized by a key Federalist leader to ensure that Jefferson’s first annual message would not go unquestioned. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “U.S. Schooner Enterprize Capturing the Tripolitan Corsair Tripoli, 1 August 1801” by William Bainbridge Hoff [1878], courtesy of Wikipedia

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


3.05 – Affairs, Foreign and Domestic



Year(s) Discussed: 1799-1801

The beginning of Jefferson’s administration coincided with changes in other parts of the world including France, Great Britain, Spain, and Saint-Domingue that would ultimately come to impact the United States. Meanwhile, as Jefferson continued to assemble his Cabinet, he and his administration also had to deal with a new round of negotiation with Napoléon’s government and appeasing an irate office seeker who threatened to expose the President to public scandal. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Le général Toussaint Louverture” [c. 19th century], courtesy of Wikipedia