Tag Archives: Timothy Pickering

SATT 001 – Alexander Hamilton



Tenure of Office: 11 September 1789 – 31 January 1795 (Secretary of the Treasury)

We begin our new special series with the first Cabinet member to assume office under the constitutional government – Alexander Hamilton! You may have seen the musical, but there are a few more parts of his history that didn’t make it into that production.

Thanks so much to my special guest for this episode – Alycia from the Civics & Coffee Podcast!

Featured Image: “Alexander Hamilton” by John Trumbull [c. 1805], courtesy of Wikipedia


3.28 – The Calming Seas



Year(s) Discussed: 1803-1805

With the war with Tripoli continuing to drag on year after year, Jefferson and his administration had to determine whether the best course to bring it to a conclusion lay with opening up a new front by partnering with foreign agents or through engaging in a new round of diplomacy. Meanwhile, a change in the command of the US naval squadron in the Mediterranean took the wind out of the sails of what had been an energetic force. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Attack on Derna” by Charles Waterhouse, 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


3.20 – Action and Reaction



Year(s) Discussed: 1801-1804

As Jefferson’s first term entered its final year, numerous developments at home and abroad would start chains of reactions with long-reaching consequences. In the Caribbean, a nation declared its independence that would prove to be of particular concern to white Americans in the southern US. Meanwhile, Congress debated what kind of government to establish for the new lands west of the Mississippi River, and the Senate convened in the first impeachment trial in American history. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://presidencies.blubrry.com.

Featured Image: “Représentation épique de Jean-Jacques Dessalines lors de la Révolution haïtienne de 1804,” 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


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


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


2.22 – 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