Tag Archives: John Adams

Interview with Lindsay Chervinsky



Year(s) Discussed: 1789-1809

George Washington established many precedents during his tenure of office, but one that had arguably the greatest impact was his establishment, not by law but by practice, of what we now know of as the Cabinet. To examine the beginnings of this institution and what it meant for the Washington presidency, I am joined in this special episode by Lindsay Chervinsky, a historian with the White House Historical Association and author of The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution. In our conversation, Lindsay provided great insights into Washington’s thought process in turning to the Cabinet as an advisory body as well as how the events and culture of the 1790s influenced the development of the executive branch. Additional resources for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Images: Lindsay M. Chervinsky, Ph.D., courtesy of the author, and “Henry Knox” by Gilbert Stuart [c. 1806], courtesy of Wikipedia


S004 – Unprecedented Part I



Year(s) Discussed: 1800-1801, 1816-1825, 1860-1864

While some presidential elections function in much the same way as others of the time, there are those select few that reshape the process or are noteworthy for being unique in some way. In the next two episodes of the special series, I will be examining four presidential elections that stand out to me as unprecedented. In this episode, I start with the election of 1824 which saw a four way match up between Secretary of State John Adams, Secretary of the Treasury William Crawford, Speaker of the House Henry Clay, and Senator Andrew Jackson. The remainder of the episode is devoted to the election of 1864 which saw President Abraham Lincoln running for reelection against his challenger, General George McClellan. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Images: “Abraham Lincoln” by George Peter Alexander Healy [c. 1869], courtesy of Wikipedia and “George Brinton McClellan” by Julian Scott [c. 1888], courtesy of Wikipedia


3.09 – Yazoo to You Too



Year(s) Discussed: 1795-1802

While the Jefferson administration made a breakthrough in settling a long-standing dispute with the state of Georgia over its western land claims in 1802, the new US Minister to France, Robert Livingston, began his mission trying to get answers on the situation with the colony of Louisiana. Meanwhile, peace in Europe and a new phase of the conflict in Saint-Domingue threaten to upend Jefferson’s vision for the west. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Map of West Florida” [c. 1767], courtesy of Wikipedia

Intro and Outro Music: Selections from “Jefferson and Liberty” as performed by The Itinerant Band


3.04 – A Deadly Revenge



Year(s) Discussed: 1801

Literally and figuratively, the new President worked to get his house in order following his inauguration. With a limited number of positions available and plans to shrink the size of the federal government even further, Jefferson set ground rules for his new administration to determine whether to retain Federalist office holders or oust them in favor of Democratic-Republicans. Despite a nod towards non-partisanship, Jefferson’s decisions were criticized by members of both parties. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Elizur Goodrich,” printed in The Connecticut Quarterly, Jul/Aug/Sep 1898, courtesy of Wikipedia


3.02 – Jefferson Pre-Presidency Part Two



Year(s) Discussed: 1774-1801

Between the publication of “Summary View of the Rights of British America” and his assuming the presidency, Jefferson made a name for himself by drafting the Declaration of Independence, struggled to see his home state of Virginia through the Revolution as governor, experienced a devastating personal loss, and served the new nation at home and abroad. Though his rise in national prominence as the leader of the opposition would ultimately lead to him becoming the third President, not only his public record but also various facets of Jefferson’s personal life would pose challenges for the new administration before it even began. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Images: “Thomas Jefferson” by Mather Brown [c. 1786], courtesy of Wikipedia, and “Thomas Jefferson” by Rembrandt Peale [c. 1800], 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


2.25 – Adams Post-Presidency



Year(s) Discussed: 1801-1826

After leaving the presidency, John Adams searched for a path ahead. In the process, he dealt with emotions that had been building for years, rebuilt some bridges that had been burned in political battles, suffered numerous personal heartaches, and bore witness to a quarter century more of the nation’s history. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Portrait of John Adams” by Samuel Morse [c. 1816], courtesy of Wikipedia


2.24 – The 36th Ballot



Year(s) Discussed: 1800-1801

The nation had little time to process the news that Adams was defeated in his bid for reelection as a constitutional crisis developed regarding who would succeed him to the post. Meanwhile, the outgoing president only had a few weeks remaining to secure the ratification of the Convention of Mortefontaine, get several federal judges confirmed including a new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and get a new Treasury Secretary in place. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Front View of the President’s House, in the City of Washington” [c.1807], courtesy of Wikipedia


2.23 – The Double-Edged Sword



Year(s) Discussed: 1796-1800

As the new federal capital comes alive with government officials and newspaper publishers moving in to be on hand for the congressional session opening in November 1800, President Adams waits with the rest of the nation to learn the results of electors being chosen across the United States. His path to reelection however grows ever darker due to a dispute with his running mate’s brother and a pamphlet released by Alexander Hamilton. Sources used in this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “General Charles Cotesworth Pinckney” by James Earl [c. 1795], courtesy of Wikipedia


2.22 – Enter the Federal City



Year(s) Discussed: 1799-1801

As President Adams and the federal government transition to the new federal capital, the next presidential election looms, and both Federalist and Democratic-Republican leaders work on behalf of their favored candidates to meet challenges to their prospects. While Federalists cope with an internal debate over exactly which candidate to support, Democratic-Republicans in Virginia work to cover up the involvement of French agents in Gabriel’s Rebellion. All the while, the US commission to France scrambles to conclude their work with a treaty in time for Adams and the Federalists to claim credit for winning the peace. Source notes for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “A view of the Capitol of Washington before it was burnt down by the British” by William Russell Birch [c. 1800], courtesy of Wikipedia