Tag Archives: Martha Jefferson Randolph

3.29 – A Winter to Remember



Year(s) Discussed: 1804-1805

President Jefferson had much to celebrate in the latter half of 1805 as he finally secured a new Attorney General, envoys arrived from distant lands in the east and the west, and his daughter and her family joined him in the President’s House for the winter. Little did he know, though, that difficult negotiations in Madrid and the machinations of the former Vice President, Aaron Burr, would soon lead to difficulties for his administration. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Images: “Tchong-tas-sáb-bee, Black Dog, Second Chief” by George Catlin [c. 1834], courtesy of Wikipedia and “John Breckinridge” [c. 1891], courtesy of Wikipedia

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


3.285 – The Two Marthas



Year(s) Discussed: 1748-1836

Studies of Thomas Jefferson’s life often discuss the impact of the two Marthas – his wife, Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson, and his daughter, Martha Jefferson Randolph – on him, but few studies examine matters with the focus on the lives of the two women. While our knowledge of Martha Jefferson is limited, in this episode, we sift through the fragments of what we know about her before shifting to her daughter, Martha Jefferson Randolph. In addition to the narrative, part of the episode features an interview with a special guest, Dr. Cynthia A. Kierner, whose biography of Martha is an invaluable resource for learning more about a person who was educated in Paris and mingled with presidents and political leaders but is far too often relegated to the background of history. Her life has much to tell us about the role of women and families in the early republic as well as in US presidential history. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Images: “Martha Jefferson Randolph” by Thomas Sully, courtesy of Wikipedia, and “Silhouette of Martha Jefferson,” courtesy of Wikipedia

Transition Intro and Outro Music: Samples from “Bread,” prod. by LuKremBo


3.26 – Present but Absent: The Hemings Family of Monticello



Year(s) Discussed: 1735-1873

Throughout Jefferson’s life and career, he was surrounded and served by various enslaved individuals of three generations of the same family. In this episode, we examine the lives of the Hemings family as some worked to attain their freedom, other Hemingses disappeared from the historical record without a trace, and one became the most famous enslaved individual in the United States for bearing the third President’s children. Sources used for this episode can be found at https://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “View of the West Front of Monticello and Garden” by Jane Braddock [c. 1825], courtesy of Wikipedia

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


3.22 – A Death in the Family



Year(s) Discussed: 1803-1804

While Vice President Burr worked to secure his political future in his bid for the New York governorship and New England Federalists plotted to separate from the Union, the Jefferson family suffered the untimely loss of one of its members in the early months of 1804. Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, both the British and the French governments went through reorganizations that would impact their relations with the United States for years to come. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “US postage stamp commemorating Monticello, Issue of 1956, 20c” by US Post Office [1 Jan 1956], courtesy of Wikipedia

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


3.21 – A Plotting We Will Go



Year(s) Discussed: 1803-1804

In the wake of multiple political losses in the first few years of the 19th century, as the election of 1804 neared, numerous Federalist leaders from New England began to consider the possibility of whether their prospects and those of their home region would be better served by breaking away from the United States. In the meantime, Commodore Edward Preble arrived in the Mediterranean to prosecute war against Tripoli while back in Albemarle County, the life of one of Jefferson’s family members hung in the balance. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Uriah Tracy” by Ralph Earl [c. 1790], courtesy of Wikipedia

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


3.18 – The Boys Are Back in Town



Year(s) Discussed: 1801-1803

Though the Louisiana Purchase Treaty had been concluded, President Jefferson understood that didn’t mean it was a done deal, and he and his administration got to work in the latter half of 1803 on getting the treaty ratified by the Senate and in pushing through legislation to carry through the purchase. However, they also had to contend with increased criticism in the press and with a gnawing concern in many minds, including that of the President, that there was nothing in the Constitution that said the United States could in fact acquire new territory. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “William Plumer, head-and-shoulders portrait, right profile” by Charles Balthazar Julien Févret de Saint-Mémin [c. 1806], courtesy of Wikipedia

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


3.17 – Sailing in New Waters



Year(s) Discussed: 1802-1803

Despite some early successes, the US naval efforts against Tripoli languished in 1802 and early 1803, and with the cost of maintaining a squadron in the Mediterranean climbing, President Jefferson and his administration had to consider alternates in both leadership and approaches to tackle the situation. Meanwhile, various young men in Jefferson’s life moved into new roles in 1803, and the President’s personal and political realms began to overlap in new ways. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Dutch Ships off Tripoli” by Reinier Nooms [c. mid 17th century], courtesy of Wikipedia

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


3.11 – Making Plans for Monroe



Year(s) Discussed: 1801-1803

As continued resistance in Saint-Domingue threatens French First Consul Napoléon Bonaparte’s plans to take control of Louisiana, President Jefferson works to keep tempers cool on the domestic front while turning to a trusted ally, James Monroe, to find a permanent solution to the New Orleans situation. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Engraved BEP portrait of U.S. President James Monroe,” courtesy of Wikipedia

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


3.10 – We Need to Talk



Year(s) Discussed: 1801-1803

As French First Consul Napoléon Bonaparte begins to shift the balance of power in the Western Hemisphere in his favor, President Jefferson works to counter these ambitions through diplomatic efforts in both Washington and Paris. Meanwhile, a Mediterranean power declares war on the US, and Jefferson’s powers of persuasion are put to the test when dealing with family matters. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool” by Thomas Lawrence [c. 1790s], courtesy of Wikipedia

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


3.05 – Affairs, Foreign and Domestic



Year(s) Discussed: 1799-1801

The beginning of Jefferson’s administration coincided with changes in other parts of the world including France, Great Britain, Spain, and Saint-Domingue that would ultimately come to impact the United States. Meanwhile, as Jefferson continued to assemble his Cabinet, he and his administration also had to deal with a new round of negotiation with Napoléon’s government and appeasing an irate office seeker who threatened to expose the President to public scandal. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Le général Toussaint Louverture” [c. 19th century], courtesy of Wikipedia