01 – George Washington

The intro and outro music for the Washington episodes unless otherwise stated is from “Hail, Columbia” as performed by the US Navy Band. The full recording can be found at Wikipedia. The song was originally called “The President’s March” and was composed for Washington’s first inaugural. More information about the history of “Hail, Columbia” can be found at Wikipedia.

To listen to all of the episodes in order through Spotify, check out this playlist I created for the series.

Cover Art and Link to Episode


Years Discussed

Source Notes Link

1.01 – Washington Pre-Presidency Part One

Washington’s life from 1732 to 1764


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1.02 – Washington Pre-Presidency Part Two

Washington’s life from 1764 to 1789


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1.025 – Hamilton

 The life of Alexander Hamilton leading up to the Constitutional Convention

c. 1755-1787

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1.03 – Year One

The beginning of Washington’s administration and the establishment of the federal executive 1789

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1.04 – The Dream Team

 Washington’s choices for his first Cabinet and the state of the executive departments 1789

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1.045 – A Proclamation of Thanksgiving

 Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789 1789

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1.05 – Take This Report and File It Hamilton sends his First Report on the Public Credit to Congress, and partisan division ensues 1790

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1.06 – Assumption, Presumption, Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off!

The First Congress debates Hamilton’s Assumption Plan as well as the location of the new capital 1790

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1.07 – Arthur St Clair: Worst. General. Ever.

 The failures of the Harmar and St. Clair campaigns to force Native Americans in the Northwest Territory to submit to government demands 1789-1792

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1.08 – Banking and Drinking

The establishment of the federal district on the Potomac, the move of the federal government to the temporary capital of Philadelphia, and the debate over the Bank of the United States 1789-1791

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1.09 – Agitations

The rumblings of factionalism and sectionalism in the federal government, the growing divide between Jefferson and Hamilton, and the National Gazette is established 1789-1791

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1.10 – Agitations 2: Foreign Intrigues

The administration copes with the Anglo-American trade imbalance, the French revolution, Spanish plots in the lands west of the Appalachians, and the Haitian Revolution 1789-1792

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1.11 – Mad Anthony and His Legion

Washington and Knox reorganize the US Army and Gen. Anthony Wayne is chosen to take command following St. Clair’s defeat while James Wilkinson makes a ‘Hail Mary’ run at glory 1792-1793

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1.12 – Slavery in America

The development of the institution of slavery by European settlers in what would become the United States during colonial times through Washington’s first term of office 1490s-1792

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1.13 – Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?

The Panic of 1792 threatens the future of the nation while Washington has to determine whether to run for reelection and Hamilton’s affair with Maria Reynolds takes an interesting turn 1792

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1.14 – The Second Inaugural

Pierre Charles L’Enfant designs the new federal capital while proving irksome to many in the government while Hamilton’s affair with Maria Reynolds threatens to be made public knowledge and a reluctant Washington takes his second oath of office 1791-1793

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1.15 – It’s Not Easy Being Neutral

France and Britain are at war, and the Washington administration is desperately attempting to maintain a neutral course to avoid getting drawn into a war that the US could ill afford. Unfortunately, the new French minister is going to do all he can to complicate matters. 1791-1793

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1.16 – Don’t Mess With Washington: The Fall of Edmond-Charles Genet

Problems with the new French minister fuel an increase in party agitations and coincide with Washington’s personal issues and Hamilton and Jefferson announcing their intentions to leave the Cabinet 1793

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1.17 – Genet Must Go

Washington returns to Philadelphia to deal with his quarrelsome Cabinet, the intrigues of the French minister, and “that rascal Freneau” while working to preserve neutrality without offending Britain or France in the process 1793

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1.18 – Pestilence

The administration struggles to deal with an epidemic of yellow fever as it makes its way through the city of Philadelphia, and the crisis brings up questions about how best to utilize medical knowledge to the public good and the ability and role of the government in a crisis management situation. 1786-1793

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1.19 – Rebellion

New headaches abound for Washington due to agitations both at home and abroad as 1793 draws to a close while his Cabinet undergoes a change of the guard and the president begins to plan for his post-presidency behind the scenes. 1791-1794

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1.20 – Go West, Young Men

Washington and his Cabinet adjust to a new member in their ranks as the Whiskey Rebellion heats up in western PA, Hamilton defends himself against ethics charges, and Gen. Anthony Wayne prepares for battle. 1792-1794

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1.205 – Randolph

The life of Edmund Randolph, the first Attorney General and second Secretary of State, leading up to his joining the Washington administration. 1753-1789

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1.21 – The Bigger They Are

The British threaten American shipping interests in the West Indies, General “Mad” Anthony Wayne and the Legion begins marching north to engage native forces in battle, and Washington prepares to lead troops into western Pennsylvania to take down the Whiskey Rebellion. 1792-1794

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1.215 – Martha Washington

The life and legacy of Martha Washington, the first First Lady, as explored both in narrative and in an interview with historian Feather Schwartz Foster. 1731-1802

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1.22 – My, What Big Treaties You Have

Gen. Wayne and the Legion wrap up their campaign, two envoys are appointed to seek peace in Europe, and Washington and Hamilton organize military forces and head west to put an end to the Whiskey Rebellion. 1793-1794

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1.23 – Effigies and Efficacies

Washington and Hamilton lead troops through western Pennsylvania to put down the Whiskey Rebellion while James Monroe heads to Paris as the new US Minister and immediately stirs up controversy. 1793-1794

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1.24 – The Mvskoke and Mathews

The Washington administration faces various threats to peace in the southern US as white settlers push into Native American lands while the increased threat of slave uprisings causes slaveowners across the continent to reconsider their approach to the institution of slavery. 1783-1793

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1.25 – The Happy Course

Hamilton prepares to leave the administration as various domestic and foreign issues including the development of political factions, the French Revolutionary wars, and the Haitian Revolution impact Washington and his government as they move into the final two years of the second term. 1772-1795

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1.26 – A Monument of Folly and Venality

The Jay Treaty arrives in Philadelphia, and the administration scrambles to determine what to do about it. Meanwhile, the opposition makes preparations for a full-on attack on this treaty with the British while Washington and his Cabinet deal with other foreign relations matters. 1794-1795

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1.27 – The Light of Burning Effigies

As construction continues on the new national capital, the Jay Treaty is published, and the public goes into an uproar. Meanwhile, Washington seeks the counsel of public officials and private advisers on what to do about it while also choosing a new Chief Justice. 1789-1799

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1.28 – A Caesar, a Cromwell, and a Washington

Despite achieving a diplomatic victory in the Northwest Territory, the administration is rocked by controversy as Secretary of State Randolph is confronted with allegations of collusion with the French while Washington himself is accused of improper use of public funds. 1794-1795

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1.29 – The Not So Dream Team

With positions in his Cabinet to fill, Washington finds it difficult to convince anyone to join his administration. The Marquis de Lafayette’s son arrives in the US and places the President in a difficult position. Meanwhile, the disgraced Edmund Randolph gathers evidence to clear his name. 1792-1796

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Cover art for episode 1.30 with two tall ships in battle

1.30 – Under Pressure, Near and Far

Diplomatic representatives of the Washington administration navigate new waters as they seek a peaceful resolution to conflicts with the Barbary States and Spain while the President continues his frustrating search to find candidates willing to fill his vacant Cabinet offices. Meanwhile, the Senate rejects one of Washington’s appointments. c. 16th century-1795

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Cover art for episode 1.31 - old newspaper advertisement for runaway slave Ona Judge

1.31 – Runaway

On May 21st, 1796, Ona/Oney Judge slips out of the President’s House in Philadelphia, PA in a bid to obtain her freedom from enslavement. This is the story of her being born into slavery at Mount Vernon, her being brought to work in the Washingtons’ household, and the Washingtons’ attempts at bringing Ona back into captivity. 1773-1848

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1.32 – Samsons and Solomons

Though finally managing to resolve his personnel issues, Washington and his Cabinet find themselves faced with a host of new problems including a new round of debate over the Jay Treaty and political maneuverings by the Democratic-Republicans as the next presidential election draws ever closer. 1795-1796

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Cover Art for Episode 1.33 - portrait of Washington and other contenders in the 1796 election including Burr, Adams, Jefferson, Henry, Jay, Pinckney, and Clinton

1.33 – Race to the Finish Line

Relations between the US and France deteriorate after the Jay Treaty goes into effect while Washington gets involved in the campaign to secure Lafayette’s release from his imprisonment in the Habsburg Monarchy, the administration takes care of business as the end of Washington’s second term draws closer, and the parties position themselves to launch into the 1796 presidential campaign as soon as Washington finally makes official his plans to retire. 1790-1796

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1.34 – The Final(ish) Curtain Call

After President Washington releases his Farewell Address, informing the nation that he would not seek another term, the 1796 election is carried out though, both domestically and abroad, there is much confusion about how exactly the United States would decide upon its next president. 1794-1797

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1.35 – Washington Post-Presidency

Washington envisioned a relaxing retirement at Mount Vernon with his family after leaving the presidency in March 1797, but it was not to be. Between personal issues and a return to public service, the last couple of years of Washington’s life prior to his sudden demise would be filled with business and breaches of trust and friendship. 1796-1799

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1.36 – Washington Q&A

My answers to questions from listeners about George Washington’s life, times, presidency, and legacy. n/a

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Some other sources for learning more about our first president available online include:

Featured Image: The Constable-Hamilton Portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart [1797] courtesy of Wikipedia



01: George Washington

02: John Adams