Tag Archives: James Madison

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


2.13 – 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


2.11 – The Opposition Strikes Back



Year(s) Discussed: 1798

With yellow fever raging in Philadelphia, the federal government has to move once more, adding to the headaches of Secretary of War James McHenry who had his position in the Cabinet already being undermined by General Alexander Hamilton. In Quincy, John Adams meets with Elbridge Gerry to learn more about the latest offer for diplomatic talks with the French while in Virginia, Vice President Jefferson and former Rep. James Madison plot how to oppose the Alien and Sedition Acts. Sources used in this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Images: “Seal of Virginia” [c. 1851] and “An impression from the first Kentucky State Seal” [c. 1800], courtesy of Wikipedia


2.07 – One Hand Washes the Other: The XYZ Affair



Year(s) Discussed: 1797-1798

The three commissioners sent by Adams arrive in France to begin negotiations but find themselves beset with new characters and new circumstances following French victories in the field and a coup in the government. One figure in particular stands between the envoys and peace, and he’ll gladly get out of the way…if, of course, the Americans are willing to pay. Sources used in this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Charles Maurice de Talleyrand Périgord” by François Gérard [c. 1808], courtesy of Wikipedia


2.03 – The New Sheriff in Town



Year(s) Discussed: 1796-1797

The election of 1796 results in John Adams becoming the nation’s second chief executive, but he quickly finds more questions than answers awaiting him on the path to taking the oath of office. Adams is immediately faced with the need to make decisions about who to keep from the previous administration, what if any policy changes to make, and even where he and his family will live. It’s a transition unlike any other in American history to that point, and with various pressing issues waiting on the desk, the honeymoon for the new President promised to be short-lived. Source information for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Congress Hall,” unknown artist, courtesy of the US Senate Historical Office


1.35 – Washington Post-Presidency



Year(s) Discussed: 1796-1799

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. Source information for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Life of George Washington: The Christian” lithograph by Claude Regnier, original painting by Junius Brutus Stearns [c. 1853], courtesy of Library of Congress


"Evacuation day" and Washington's triumphal entry in New York City, Nov. 25th, 1783

1.34 – The Final(ish) Curtain Call



Year(s) Discussed: 1794-1797

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. Meanwhile, the French plot to interfere with the election, the public attacks on Washington continue, and a military leader meets his untimely end. Source information for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “”Evacuation day” and Washington’s triumphal entry in New York City, Nov. 25th, 1783,” Edmund Restein and Ludwig Restein, c. 1879, courtesy of the Library of Congress


1.33 – Race to the Finish Line



Year(s) Discussed: 1790-1796

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 (aka the worst kept secret in the 18th century). Source information for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Portrait of Marie Adrienne Francoise de Noailles, Marquise de La Fayette (1759-1807)”, courtesy of Wikipedia


1.32 – Samsons and Solomons



Year(s) Discussed: 1795-1796

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. Source information for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “James McHenry” by H Pollock, courtesy of Wikipedia


1.30 – Under Pressure, Near and Far



Year(s) Discussed: c. 16th century-1795

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 throws the President a curve ball by rejecting one of Washington’s appointments. Source information for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “A Sea Fight with Barbary Corsairs,” Lorenzo A Castro [c. post-1681], courtesy of Wikipedia