Interview with Thomas Balcerski (Bosom Friends)



Year(s) Discussed: 1786-1868

Political partnerships are nothing new to American politics, but what happens when the domestic world and the political realm overlap? To examine that question and learn more about one of the most significant political partnerships in American history, I recently spoke with Thomas Balcerski, author of Bosom Friends: The Intimate World of James Buchanan and William Rufus King. In our conversation, Tom shared some great insights about the politics, ideologies, and society of antebellum America and not only how Buchanan and King fit in to all of that but what studying their lives and their relationship can tell us in turn about larger historical themes. Additional resources for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Images: Dr. Thomas Balcerski, courtesy of the author, and “James Buchanan” by George Peter Alexander Healy [c. 1859], courtesy of Wikipedia

 


3.15 – Source Notes



Special thanks to Shawn Warswick of the American History Podcast for providing the intro quote for this episode, and special thanks to Alex for providing audio editing assistance with this episode!

  • Anderson, Fred. Crucible of War: The Seven Years’ War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766. New York: Alfred A Knopf, 2000.
  • Calloway, Colin. The Indian World of George Washington: The First President, the First Americans, and the Birth of the Nation. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.
  • Cotterill, R S. The Southern Indians: The Story of the Civilized Tribes Before Removal. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1971 [1954].
  • Davis, Harold E. The Fledgling Province: Social and Cultural Life in Colonial Georgia, 1733-1776. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1976.
  • Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne. An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 2014.
  • Henri, Florette. The Southern Indians and Benjamin Hawkins 1796-1816. Norman, OK and London: University of Oklahoma Press, 1986.
  • Kay, Marvin L Michael; and Lorin Lee Cary. Slavery in North Carolina, 1748-1775. Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 1995.
  • Landry, Jerry. Presidencies Podcast. 2017-2020. http://presidencies.blubrry.com.
  • McGuiness, Colleen, ed. American Leaders 1789-1994: A Biographical Summary. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, 1994.
  • Ostler, Jeffrey. Surviving Genocide: Native Nations and the United States from the American Revolution to Bleeding Kansas. New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, 2019.
  • Treuer, Anton. Atlas of Indian Nations. Washington, DC: National Geographic, 2013.
  • Weir, Robert M. Colonial South Carolina: A History. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1997 [1983].
  • Wilson, James. The Earth Shall Weep: A History of Native America. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1999 [1998].

Featured Image: “Three Huron-Wyandot chiefs” by Edward Chatfield [c. 1825], courtesy of Wikipedia


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


Interview with Jon Finkel (Jocks in Chief)



Year(s) Discussed: 1789-2020

The term “fit for office” is often bandied about when talking about the US presidency, but how exactly does physical fitness relate to the office or to presidential campaigning? To explore that question, I recently spoke with Jon Finkel, author of Jocks in Chief. In our conversation, Jon shared the system that he came up with to rank the athleticism of the 44 individuals who thus far have served as president, and we discussed how various presidents approached exercise in their lives as well as how impressions of the vigor of some presidential candidates impacted their campaigns and historical legacies.

More information about Jon and his work can be found on his website at https://jonfinkel.com/.


From Me to All of You: A Quick Note



With the current global situation, I wanted to send out a quick note to express that my thoughts are with all of you out there and to assure you that Presidencies will continue (including with a new special episode coming out on Sunday, March 22nd!). Take care, everyone!


3.14 – Source Notes



Special thanks to Robin for providing the intro quote for this episode!

  • Ammon, Harry. James Monroe: The Quest for National Identity. Charlottesville, VA and London: University Press of Virginia, 1999 [1971].
  • Dangerfield, George. Chancellor Robert R. Livingston of New York, 1746-1813. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co, 1960.
  • DuBois, Laurent. Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution. Cambridge, MA and London, England, UK: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005 [2004].
  • Ernst, Robert. Rufus King: American Federalist. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1968.
  • Esdaile, Charles. Napoleon’s Wars: An International History. New York: Penguin, 2009 [2007].
  • Hilt, Douglas. The Troubled Trinity: Goody and the Spanish Monarchs. Tuscaloosa, AL and London: University of Alabama Press, 1987.
  • Landry, Jerry. The Presidencies of the United States. 2018-2020. http://presidencies.blubrry.com.
  • Livingston, Robert R. “To James Madison, 20 May 1803,” Founders Online, National Archives, accessed September 29, 2019, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Madison/02-05-02-0019. [Original source: The Papers of James Madison, Secretary of State Series, vol. 5, 16 May–31 October 1803, ed. David B. Mattern, J. C. A. Stagg, Ellen J. Barber, Anne Mandeville Colony, and Bradley J. Daigle. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 2000, pp. 18–20.] [Last Accessed: 20 Feb 2020]
  • Lyon, E Wilson. Louisiana in French Diplomacy 1759-1804. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1934.
  • Malone, Dumas. Jefferson the President First Term, 1801-1805: Jefferson and His Time, Volume Four. Boston: Little, Brown and Co, 1970.
  • Monroe, James. “To James Madison, 9 April 1803,” Founders Online, National Archives, accessed September 29, 2019, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Madison/02-04-02-0601. [Original source: The Papers of James Madison, Secretary of State Series, vol. 4, 8 October 1802 – 15 May 1803, ed. Mary A. Hackett, J. C. A. Stagg, Jeanne Kerr Cross, Susan Holbrook Perdue, and Ellen J. Barber. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1998, pp. 497–498.] [Last Accessed: 9 Feb 2020]
  • Monroe, James. “To James Madison, 18 May 1803,” Founders Online, National Archives, accessed September 29, 2019, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Madison/02-05-02-0012. [Original source: The Papers of James Madison, Secretary of State Series, vol. 5, 16 May–31 October 1803, ed. David B. Mattern, J. C. A. Stagg, Ellen J. Barber, Anne Mandeville Colony, and Bradley J. Daigle. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 2000, pp. 12–13.] [Last Accessed: 20 Feb 2020]
  • Monroe, James. “To James Madison, 7 June 1803,” Founders Online, National Archives, accessed September 29, 2019, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Madison/02-05-02-0086. [Original source: The Papers of James Madison, Secretary of State Series, vol. 5, 16 May–31 October 1803, ed. David B. Mattern, J. C. A. Stagg, Ellen J. Barber, Anne Mandeville Colony, and Bradley J. Daigle. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 2000, pp. 72–77.] [Last Accessed: 20 Feb 2020]
  • Monroe, James. “To James Madison, 8 June 1803,” Founders Online, National Archives, accessed September 29, 2019, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Madison/02-05-02-0092. [Original source: The Papers of James Madison, Secretary of State Series, vol. 5, 16 May–31 October 1803, ed. David B. Mattern, J. C. A. Stagg, Ellen J. Barber, Anne Mandeville Colony, and Bradley J. Daigle. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 2000, p. 81.] [Last Accessed: 20 Feb 2020]
  • Schom, Alan. Napoleon Bonaparte. New York: HarperCollins, 1998 [1997].

Featured Image: “Portrait de François, marquis de Barbé-Marbois (1745-1837)” by Jean François Boisselat [c. 1835], courtesy of Wikipedia


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


S003 – Source Notes



Special thanks to Jessica and Howard from Plodding Through the Presidents, Peter from Badger State: A Wisconsin History Podcast, and Robin for providing the intro quotes for this episode!

  • Black, Christine M, and Thomas Oliphant. All by Myself: The Unmaking of a Presidential Campaign. Chester, CT: The Globe Pequot Press, 1989.
  • Brands, H W. Reagan: The Life. New York: Doubleday, 2015.
  • Busch, Andrew E. Reagan’s Victory: The Presidential Election of 1980 and the Rise of the Right. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2005.
  • Cannon, James. Gerald R. Ford: An Honorable Life. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2013.
  • Carter, Jimmy. White House Diary. New York: Picador, 2011 [2010].
  • CBS News Staff. “Super Tuesday At A Glance.” CBS News. 6 Mar 2000. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/super-tuesday-at-a-glance/ [Last Accessed: 12 Feb 2020]
  • Dole, Robert. “29 Feb 1988, Dole Presidential Campaign Speech.” C-SPAN. https://www.c-span.org/video/?1823-1/dole-presidential-campaign-speech [Last Accessed: 21 Feb 2020]
  • Edwards, Elizabeth. Saving Graces: Finding Solace and Strength From Friends and Strangers. New York: Broadway Books, 2006.
  • Germond, Jack W, and Jules Witcover. Blue Smoke and Mirrors: How Reagan Won and Why Carter Lost the Election of 1980. New York: Viking Press, 1981.
  • Germond, Jack W, and Jules Witcover. Whose Broad Stripes and Bright Stars? The Trivial Pursuit of the Presidency 1988. New York: Warner Books, 1989.
  • Glenn, John, and Nick Taylor. John Glenn: A Memoir. New York: Bantam Books, 1999.
  • Mayer, Jane, and Doyle McManus. Landslide: The Unmaking of the President 1984-1988. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Co, 1988.
  • Meacham, Jon. Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush. New York: Random House, 2015.
  • Mondale, Walter, and David Hage. The Good Fight: A Life in Liberal Politics. New York: Scribner, 2010.
  • Reagan, Nancy, and William Novak. My Turn: The Memoirs of Nancy Reagan. New York: Random House, 1989.
  • Reeves, Richard. President Reagan: The Triumph of Imagination. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005.
  • Tarr, David R, et al. Guide to U.S. Elections, Sixth Edition, Volume I. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2010.
  • United Press International. “Ford, Carter head into crucial Super Tuesday.” Lodi News-Sentinel. 3 Jun 1976. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=Oe1fAAAAIBAJ&sjid=YzIHAAAAIBAJ&dq=super-tuesday&pg=6816%2C3038734 [Last Accessed: 27 Jan 2020]
  • White, Theodore H. America in Search of Itself: The Making of the President, 1956-1980. New York: Harper & Row, 1982.
  • Witcover, Jules. Marathon: The Pursuit of the Presidency 1972-1976. New York: Viking Press, 1977.
  • Zelnick, Bob. Gore: A Political Life. Washington, DC: Regnery, 1999.

Featured Image: “Republican Debate with Ronald Reagan, Philip Crane, George Bush and John Anderson with moderator Eric Sevareid in Chicago, Illinois.” [13 Mar 1980], courtesy of Wikipedia


S003 – The Super Tuesday Spectacular



Year(s) Discussed: 1976-1988

Super Tuesday happens at least once every four years in the modern US presidential election cycle, but how much does anyone really know about this date on the campaign calendar? In this episode, I explore the history of Super Tuesday and how it impacted numerous presidential elections in the past. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Senator Edward Kennedy meets with Jimmy Carter.” [5 Dec 1977], courtesy of Wikipedia


3.13 – Source Notes



Special thanks to Alex for providing the intro quote for this episode, and be sure to check out my recent appearance on History’s What If – thanks to Phillip for inviting me on!

  • Ammon, Harry. James Monroe: The Quest for National Identity. Charlottesville, VA and London: University Press of Virginia, 1999 [1971].
  • Dangerfield, George. Chancellor Robert R. Livingston of New York, 1746-1813. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co, 1960.
  • Ernst, Robert. Rufus King: American Federalist. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1968.
  • Fedorak, Charles John. Henry Addington, Prime Minister, 1801-1804: Peace, War, and Parliamentary Politics. Akron, OH: University of Akron Press, 2002.
  • Feldman, Noah. The Three Lives of James Madison: Genius, Partisan, President. New York: Random House, 2017.
  • Green, Constance McLaughlin. Washington: Village and Capital, 1800-1878. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1962.
  • Hamilton, Alexander. “To Rufus King, 3 June 1802,” Founders Online, National Archives, accessed September 29, 2019, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Hamilton/01-26-02-0001-0011. [Original source: The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, vol. 26, 1 May 1802 – 23 October 1804, Additional Documents 1774–1799, Addenda and Errata, ed. Harold C. Syrett. New York: Columbia University Press, 1979, pp. 11–16.] [Last Accessed: 1 Feb 2020]
  • Jefferson, Thomas. “To the Senate, 11 January 1803,” Founders Online, National Archives, accessed September 29, 2019, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/01-39-02-0269. [Original source: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 39, 13 November 1802–3 March 1803, ed. Barbara B. Oberg. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012, pp. 312–313.] [Last Accessed: 7 Feb 2020]
  • Jefferson, Thomas. “To Lewis Harvie, 25 January 1803,” Founders Online, National Archives, accessed September 29, 2019, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/01-39-02-0341. [Original source: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 39, 13 November 1802–3 March 1803, ed. Barbara B. Oberg. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012, pp. 392–393.] [Last Accessed: 1 Feb 2020]
  • Jefferson, Thomas. “To Lewis Harvie, 28 February 1803,” Founders Online, National Archives, accessed September 29, 2019, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/01-39-02-0505. [Original source: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 39, 13 November 1802–3 March 1803, ed. Barbara B. Oberg. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012, pp. 597–598.] [Last Accessed: 1 Feb 2020]
  • Jefferson, Thomas. “To Benjamin H. Latrobe, 6 March 1803,” Founders Online, National Archives, accessed September 29, 2019, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/01-40-02-0021. [Original source: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 40, 4 March–10 July 1803, ed. Barbara B. Oberg. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013, pp. 16–17.] [Last Accessed: 1 Feb 2020]
  • Jefferson, Thomas. “To George Hay, 2 June 1807,” Founders Online, National Archives, accessed September 29, 2019, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/99-01-02-5683. [Last Accessed: 1 Feb 2020]
  • King, Rufus. “To James Madison, 8 October 1801,” Founders Online, National Archives, accessed September 29, 2019, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Madison/02-02-02-0240. [Original source: The Papers of James Madison, Secretary of State Series, vol. 2, 1 August 1801 – 28 February 1802, ed. Mary A. Hackett, J. C. A. Stagg, Jeanne Kerr Cross, and Susan Holbrook Perdue. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1993, pp. 163–164.] [Last Accessed: 1 Feb 2020]
  • King, Rufus. “To Alexander Hamilton, 8 April 1802,” Founders Online, National Archives, accessed September 29, 2019, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Hamilton/01-25-02-0317. [Original source: The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, vol. 25, July 1800 – April 1802, ed. Harold C. Syrett. New York: Columbia University Press, 1977, pp. 598–599.] [Last Accessed: 1 Feb 2020]
  • King, Rufus. “To James Madison, 5 August 1802 (Abstract),” Founders Online, National Archives, accessed September 29, 2019, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Madison/02-03-02-0576. [Original source: The Papers of James Madison, Secretary of State Series, vol. 3, 1 March–6 October 1802, ed. David B. Mattern, J. C. A. Stagg, Jeanne Kerr Cross, and Susan Holbrook Perdue. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1995, pp. 457–458.] [Last Accessed: 2 Feb 2020]
  • Landry, Jerry. The Presidencies of the United States. 2017-2020. http://presidencies.blubrry.com.
  • Livingston, Robert R. “To James Madison, 1 September 1802,” Founders Online, National Archives, accessed September 29, 2019, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Madison/02-03-02-0673. [Original source: The Papers of James Madison, Secretary of State Series, vol. 3, 1 March–6 October 1802, ed. David B. Mattern, J. C. A. Stagg, Jeanne Kerr Cross, and Susan Holbrook Perdue. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1995, pp. 536–537.] [Last Accessed: 8 Feb 2020]
  • Livingston, Robert R. “To James Madison, 18 February 1803,” Founders Online, National Archives, accessed September 29, 2019, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Madison/02-04-02-0405. [Original source: The Papers of James Madison, Secretary of State Series, vol. 4, 8 October 1802 – 15 May 1803, ed. Mary A. Hackett, J. C. A. Stagg, Jeanne Kerr Cross, Susan Holbrook Perdue, and Ellen J. Barber. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1998, pp. 328–333.] [Last Accessed: 8 Feb 2020]
  • Lyon, E Wilson. Louisiana in French Diplomacy 1759-1804. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1934.
  • Madison, James. “To Rufus King, 16 December 1802,” Founders Online, National Archives, accessed September 29, 2019, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Madison/02-04-02-0210. [Original source: The Papers of James Madison, Secretary of State Series, vol. 4, 8 October 1802 – 15 May 1803, ed. Mary A. Hackett, J. C. A. Stagg, Jeanne Kerr Cross, Susan Holbrook Perdue, and Ellen J. Barber. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1998, pp. 192–194.] [Last Accessed: 2 Feb 2020]
  • Madison, James. “To Robert R. Livingston, 18 January 1803,” Founders Online, National Archives, accessed September 29, 2019, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Madison/02-04-02-0304. [Original source: The Papers of James Madison, Secretary of State Series, vol. 4, 8 October 1802 – 15 May 1803, ed. Mary A. Hackett, J. C. A. Stagg, Jeanne Kerr Cross, Susan Holbrook Perdue, and Ellen J. Barber. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1998, pp. 259–261.] [Last Accessed: 8 Feb 2020]
  • Madison, James. “To James Monroe, 2 March 1803,” Founders Online, National Archives, accessed September 29, 2019, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Madison/02-04-02-0449. [Original source: The Papers of James Madison, Secretary of State Series, vol. 4, 8 October 1802 – 15 May 1803, ed. Mary A. Hackett, J. C. A. Stagg, Jeanne Kerr Cross, Susan Holbrook Perdue, and Ellen J. Barber. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1998, pp. 379–381.] [Last Accessed: 7 Feb 2020]
  • Malone, Dumas. Jefferson the President First Term, 1801-1805: Jefferson and His Time, Volume Four. Boston: Little, Brown and Co, 1970.
  • Schom, Alan. Napoleon Bonaparte. New York: HarperCollins, 1998 [1997].
  • Smith, Jean Edward. John Marshall: Definer of a Nation. New York: Henry Holt & Co, 1996.

Featured Image: “Meriwether Lewis” by Charles Willson Peale [c. 1807], courtesy of Wikipedia