Tag Archives: Oliver Wolcott Jr

2.10 – Checkmate: Hamilton



Year(s) Discussed: 1798

Adams quickly comes to regret his naming George Washington as commander-in-chief of the US Army when Washington decides to appoint Alexander Hamilton as his second in command. As the threat of war looms, the President and his commanding general end up in a back and forth that threatens the preparedness of the Army. Meanwhile, Elbridge Gerry’s mission to France makes little headway as Talleyrand and Napoleon focus on plans to reestablish France as a major colonial power. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Alexander Hamilton” by William J Weaver, courtesy of Wikipedia


2.08 – Have At Thee! The Response to XYZ



Year(s) Discussed: 1797-1798

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


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


2.03 – 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


"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


1.32 – Samsons and Solomons



Year(s) Discussed: 1795-1796

Though finally managing to resolve his personnel issues, Washington and his Cabinet find themselves faced with a host of new problems including a new round of debate over the Jay Treaty and political maneuverings by the Democratic-Republicans as the next presidential election draws ever closer. Source information for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “James McHenry” by H Pollock, courtesy of Wikipedia


Newspaper advertisement asking for return of Oney Judge

1.31 – Runaway



Year(s) Discussed: 1773-1848

On May 21st, 1796, Ona/Oney Judge slips out of the President’s House in Philadelphia, PA in a bid to obtain her freedom from enslavement. The story of her being born into slavery at Mount Vernon, her being brought to work in the Washingtons’ household, and the Washingtons’ attempts at bringing Ona back into captivity is a narrative that brings much insight into the institution of slavery in the United States in the mid-1790s as well as a more complete view of George Washington’s legacy. Source information can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: Newspaper advertisement of the escape of Oney Judge with a reward for her return, 24 May 1796, Philadelphia Gazette, courtesy of Wikipedia


1.29 – The Not So Dream Team



Year(s) Discussed: 1792-1796

With positions in his Cabinet to fill, Washington is finding it difficult to convince anyone to join his administration. Meanwhile, the son of his Revolutionary War comrade the Marquis de Lafayette shows up in the US and places the President in a difficult position as he’s forced to choose between personal loyalty and public duty. Around the same time, the disgraced Edmund Randolph makes his way up and down the east coast gathering evidence to clear his name. Source information for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: Timothy Pickering by Charles Willson Peale, courtesy of Wikipedia


1.28 – A Caesar, a Cromwell, and a Washington: The Betrayals of 1795



Year(s) Discussed: 1794-1795

Despite achieving a major diplomatic victory in the Northwest Territory, the administration is rocked by controversy as Secretary of State Randolph is confronted about allegations of collusion with the French while Washington himself is accused of improper use of public finances. Scandals and controversies abound in this episode! Source information can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com

Featured images:

  • Bust of Gaius Julius Caesar, courtesy of Wikipedia
  • “Oliver Cromwell” by Samuel Cooper [c. 1656], courtesy of Wikipedia
  • “George Washington” by Gilbert Stuart [c. 1797], courtesy of Wikipedia

1.27 – The Light of Burning Effigies



Year(s) Discussed: 1789-1799

While the construction of the nation’s new capital proceeds, the public battle against the Jay Treaty begins in earnest upon its publication by Benjamin Franklin Bache. Demonstrations and meetings go on up and down the Eastern seaboard, and even Alexander Hamilton has difficulty determining how to respond. Meanwhile, Washington has to fill John Jay’s position as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and deal with the last remaining member of his first Cabinet now looking to find a way out of his post. Source information for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: Burning of Stamp Act [c.1903], courtesy of Wikipedia