Tag Archives: John Marshall

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


3.12 – And the Beat Goes On



Year(s) Discussed: 1801-1803

As a new state joined the Union, state and federal leaders in the US worked to redefine the nation’s governmental institutions and its approach to foreign affairs. Jefferson put some plans into motion to stretch American influence through an expedition across western North America. Meanwhile, as Democratic-Republicans sought to wrest control of the judiciary from Federalists, the Supreme Court delivered a pivotal ruling. Source notes for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Charles Lee” by Cephas Giovanni Thompson [c. 19th century], courtesy of Wikipedia

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


3.08 – The Enabler-in-Chief



Year(s) Discussed: 1801-1802

The Democratic-Republican reform agenda moved beyond appointments as the Seventh Congress began its session. From the federal judiciary to the organization of the west, Jefferson wielded the soft power of the presidency in order to move ideas along. However, he would not be the only one working to shape the future of the government and the nation, and there was no guarantee as to whose vision would prevail. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Map of the United States exhibiting post-roads, the situations, connections & distances of the post-offices, stage roads, counties, ports of entry and delivery for foreign vessels, and the principal rivers” by Abraham Bradley Jr [1796], courtesy of Wikipedia

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


3.03 – The Revolution of 1800



Year(s) Discussed: 1800-1801

As Jefferson assumed office and Democratic-Republicans took control of the federal government in March 1801, new leaders emerged while others exited the stage or moved to the periphery. The new administration would get its start still dealing with the aftermath of the recent contentious election, and the new President had to weigh, with his words and his first decisions, how to balance his obligations to his party and the best interests of the nation. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Election Day in Philadelphia” by John Lewis Krimmel [c. 1815], 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


2.20 – A Proper Sense of Their Duty



Year(s) Discussed: 1799-1800

With the new members of the Adams Cabinet coming on board, the President travels south to inspect the work on the new Federal Capital as the US government begins its move from Philadelphia to Washington, DC. Meanwhile, Adams makes a decision on the fates of those convicted of crimes for their participation in Fries’s Rebellion while federal prosecutions under the Sedition Act continue and Democratic-Republicans gear up for the upcoming presidential election. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Samuel Dexter”, courtesy of Wikipedia


2.19 – Don’t Let the Door Hit You



Year(s) Discussed: 1799-1800

As the presidential election of 1800 looms and party leaders begin weighing their options, President Adams decides that the time is right to make a few changes in his administration. To the President’s detriment, though, Arch Federalists are scheming at the same time to remove him from his office. Meanwhile, new congressmen are making a name for themselves, and Toussaint L’Ouverture works to consolidate his power in Hispanola. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Timothy Pickering” by Charles Willson Peale, 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