This special episode is all about the life and times of Abigail Smith Adams, the learned woman from Weymouth who became the second First Lady of the United States. Returning to the show to share her insight on Abigail is Presidential and First Lady historian Feather Schwartz Foster. Join us as we explore her fascinating life and discuss what legacy she leaves as First Lady and a historical figure in her own right. Sources used in this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.
Featured Image: “Abigail Adams” by Gilbert Stuart (c. 1810-1815), courtesy of Wikipedia
Transition Music: “String Concerto in G Major [RV 532]”, Antonio Vivaldi, courtesy of Wikipedia
As the Adams administration learns of the XYZ Affair and the President works to determine his next course of action, partisan bickering devolves to a fight on the floor of the House of Representatives while back in Paris, divisions start to form between the special envoys as Talleyrand increases his pressure on one of their number. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.
Featured Image: “Congressional Pugilists” by an unknown artist [15 Feb 1798], courtesy of Wikipedia
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Increasingly during the Washington administration, tensions were beginning to build between pro-administration and anti-administration factions which would ultimately culminate in the development of the First Party System. This episode looks at some of the structural and cultural reasons for these divisions as well as some of the early leaders of the two factions including, of course Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson. Source information for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.