Tag Archives: George Washington

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/.


3.01 – Jefferson Pre-Presidency Part One



Year(s) Discussed: 1612-1774

From his birth in Albemarle County, VA, Thomas Jefferson’s personality and public career began to take shape through his education at William and Mary, and his introduction to the world of politics in colonial Virginia. Along the way, he would be influenced by family members and mentors and would in turn start to impact his own young family, his neighbors, those individuals he enslaved, and the course of events in British North America. Sources used in this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Rebuilt Wren building with Italianate towers c. 1859” [1875], courtesy of Wikipedia


2.26 – Adams Q&A



Year(s) Discussed: 1735-1848

I asked for your questions to wrap up our series on the second POTUS, and you sent in some great ones! In this episode, we discuss everything from Adams’s tenure as US Minister to the Netherlands to his relationship with his family members to his and JQA’s legacies to what kind of food he liked. Thanks to everyone who sent in questions! For those listening through a podcatcher, my apologies for the audio quality – I recorded it as a video and had to add in alternate audio later as I referenced what would be shown on the screen. If you’d like to watch the video instead, it’s available at https://vimeo.com/presidencies/2-26-adams-qa.

Sources used for this episode as well as other resources referenced can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Bust of John Adams from the Senate Vice Presidential Bust Collection” by Daniel Chester French [c. 1890], courtesy of Wikipedia


V002 – The Washington Presidency in Five (or So) Minutes



Year(s) Discussed: 1789-1797

In response to a question from Les, I attempt to do a summation of the Washington presidency from memory in five minutes. Though the full series is recommended for more detail, I think the result is rather entertaining.

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

002 – The Washington Presidency in Five (or So) Minutes from Presidencies Podcast on Vimeo.

Featured Image: “George Washington (The Constable-Hamilton Portrait)” by Gilbert Stuart [c. 1797], courtesy of Wikipedia


2.17 – Some Awful Crisis



Year(s) Discussed: 1798-1799

In Trenton, Adams confronted his Cabinet as well as Gen. Alexander Hamilton over the peace mission to France before the government moved back to Philadelphia for one last winter. After the new session of Congress began in December 1799, news arrived which was described as a national tragedy and had many wondering what lay in store for the US as a new century dawned. Source information for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Representation of the great fire at New York” by Franz Xaver Habermann [c. 1776], courtesy of Wikipedia


2.15 – Hot Time, Summer in the Country



Year(s) Discussed: 1797-1799

John Adams makes a fateful decision that threatens his administration and its ability to react quickly to developing events. Meanwhile, General James Wilkinson’s past collusion with the Spanish is discovered by a government agent in the Mississippi Territory. Closer to home, Fries’s Rebellion comes to a close as harassment of Democratic-Republican newspaper editors ramps up. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Watercolor of Peacefield Before the 1800 Addition” by E Malcom [c. 1798], courtesy of Wikipedia


2.14 – The Plausible Probability of Preserving the Peace



Year(s) Discussed: 1798-1799

Adams throws the American political landscape into a frenzy with a special message to Congress announcing that he was appointing a new Minister to France to negotiate peace. While exploring what this all means for Adams, his administration, and the nation, we also take a step back in this episode to look at the influence of American policy in Saint-Domingue and South America on the realities and future of Franco-American relations in 1799. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Atlantic or Western Ocean” by John Thomson [c. 1814], courtesy of Wikipedia


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


2.12 – Ready, Aim, Fire!



Year(s) Covered: 1798

As the nation gears up for the possibility of war with France, President Adams is increasingly focused on the possibility of peace as he prepares his annual message to Congress. Meanwhile, a rising star in the French military suffers a major setback that imperils the French Republic’s position on the global landscape. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “The Destruction of “L’Orient” at the Battle of the Nile, 1 August 1798″ by George Arnald [c. 1825-1827], courtesy of Wikipedia