Tag Archives: Henry Knox

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



Arthur St Clair by Charles Willson Peale (c. 1782), courtesy of Wikipedia

Year(s) Discussed: 1789-1792

While Congress deliberates on the course of the nation in New York, settlers in the frontier were forging ahead with their own future beyond the Appalachian mountains. In this episode, we look at the development of territories in the west and discuss how the Washington administration prioritized affairs in the region. The military’s role in the area is discussed at some length including the not-so-stellar outcomes of two campaigns against native peoples in the Northwest Territory and what impact this would have on the administration and the nation. Source information for this episode as well as supplementary maps can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.


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



Tench Coxe by Benson John Lossing (c. 1859), courtesy of Wikipedia

Year(s) Discussed: 1790

The new government of the United States comes grinding to a halt in the spring and summer of 1790 as Congress reaches an impasse on both Hamilton’s proposed public credit scheme and the decision of where the new government should be permanently located. Ultimately, a decision is reached on both, but how it came about is rather complicated. If you’ve ever heard of the Compromise of 1790, then you’ll want to listen to this episode as there’s more to the story than has been told over the years. Meanwhile, health concerns plague a couple of major American figures, bringing even more uncertainty to an already unstable time. All the big players are in this one – Jefferson, Hamilton, Madison, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Knox, and, of course, Mr. President. Source information for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.


1.04 – The Dream Team



The First Presidential Mansion by George Hayward, courtesy of Valentine’s Manual of Old New York [1853]
Year(s) Discussed: 1789

After a debate over how much authority Washington would exert over its officers, the executive branch begins to take shape. I examine both the original Cabinet members and the departments as they were at the beginning of the constitutional government. Then, as Washington leaves town to take a tour of the New England states, a personal scandal becomes the talk of the town in New York City. Romantic liaisons, conflicts of interest, and strong opinions over postal routes are all to be found in this episode. Source information can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.


1.03 – Year One



First Inauguration of George Washington (c. 1899), courtesy of Wikipedia

Year(s) Discussed: 1789

Washington’s inauguration, while starting up the wheels of the executive branch, leaves many questions to be answered by the first chief executive and the new government. What titles will be used to address the president? How will he make himself available to the public and to the other branches of government? What does seeking “the Advice and Consent of the Senate” really mean anyway? So much of what we take for granted with the presidency nowadays is established in Washington’s first few months on the job, and these precedents that he established in the early part of his administration are the focus of this episode. Source information for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.


1.02 – Washington Pre-Presidency Part Two



Washington Taking Control of the American Army, lithograph by Currier & Ives, 1876, courtesy of the NARA

Year(s) Discussed: 1764-1789

The colonies along the Atlantic seaboard declare independence and go to war with Great Britain, and George Washington is in the middle of all of the action. The lead up and the prosecution of the revolution would lift Washington from being just another Virginia planter to become “the Father of His Country” as he had to develop his skills as a politician, a military commander, a spymaster, and an administrator in order to ensure success for him and the colonial cause. In the midst of the social and political turmoil, personal tragedy struck the Washingtons at the beginning and the end of the Revolution, and the conclusion of the war would find Washington handing back all of the power that had been entrusted to him. His retirement would be short-lived as the new nation would soon find itself at a crisis point that only Washington could save them from. Sources used in this episode as well as other sources for more information on the Revolutionary War can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.