Tag Archives: John Adams

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


2.06 – Scandals and Observations



Year(s) Discussed: 1792-1797

Adams is joined in Philadelphia by his wife Abigail as he tries to balance war and peace with the first of the original six frigates of the US Navy being launched around the time that he appoints peace commissioners to France. Meanwhile, the US Senate is rocked by a scandal involving one of its leaders while news of Hamilton’s extramarital affair becomes public. Source information for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Alexander Hamilton” [possibly by John Trumbull, c. 1790], courtesy of Wikipedia


2.05 – Et Tu, France?



Year(s) Discussed: 1796-1797

News arrives in Philadelphia of the French government refusing to accept Charles Cotesworth Pinckney as the US Minister to France, and various individuals both inside and outside the Adams administration spring into action to try to gain control of US foreign policy. Meanwhile, Adams works to cultivate sources independent of the State Department to keep him informed of affairs in Europe, and forces conspire to launch an attack on one of the leading figures of the American political landscape. Source information for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Portrait of William Vans Murray,” Mather Brown [c. 1787], courtesy of Wikipedia


2.04 – Hither and Yon: The News From Abroad



Year(s) Discussed: 1783-1797

In this episode, we get caught up on the international situation around the time of Adams’s inauguration and the various issues that conditions beyond its borders bring up for the United States. Britain is faced with attacks from both at home and abroad. The French Directory stumbles along as two leaders arise. Toussaint L’Ouverture contemplates the future of Saint-Domingue. Various European powers conspire to threaten American sovereignty west of the Appalachians. Source information for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Bataille gagnée par le Général Bonaparte le 14 Janvier 1797”, Henri Félix Emmanuel Philippoteaux [c. 1844], 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


1.36 – Washington Q&A



I asked for your questions, and you sent in some great ones! As a part of the transition into a new presidency, we send George Washington off by addressing some lingering issues about his life and tenure including whether he thought of the Federalists as a political party, whether Hamilton would have become president if not for his affair with Maria Reynolds, did Washington really want to be called “His Excellency,” and what was up with the president tallying how many women he saw during his Southern tour. The answers to these questions and more can be found in this special episode of Presidencies! Source information for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: Statue of George Washington at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, courtesy of Matthew G Bisanz and Wikipedia


2.02 – Adams Pre-Presidency Part Two



Year(s) Discussed: 1773-1797

As the Revolution against Great Britain kicks off, John Adams assumes office in the Continental Congress where he makes a name for himself with individuals from the various colonies before being sent to represent the United States in Europe. While dealing with family matters and tensions with new colleagues and contemporaries, Adams navigates through challenging diplomatic waters before finally landing in the Vice Presidency then being elected to succeed George Washington as chief executive. Source information for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “American Commissioners of the Preliminary Peace Agreement with Great Britain,” Benjamin West [c. 1783-1784], courtesy of Wikipedia


2.01 – Adams Pre-Presidency



Year(s) Discussed: 1638-1772

A new series starts here! From his beginnings on a farm in Braintree, Massachusetts, John Adams set off on a path of learning that would take him through Harvard College and into the practice of law. During his quest for fame and adequate fortune, he would wed his “Dearest Friend,” Abigail Smith, and start a family while getting swept up in larger movements that would change the British North American colonies and the world forever. Sources used in this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “John Adams,” Benjamin Blyth [c. 1766], courtesy of Wikipedia


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