Podcast

The Thomas Jefferson Hour

The Thomas Jefferson Hour features conversations with Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, as portrayed by the award-winning humanities scholar and author, Clay Jenkinson. The weekly discussion features Mr. Jefferson’s views on events of his time, contemporary issues facing America and answers to questions submitted by his many listeners. To ask President Jefferson a question, visit our website at jeffersonhour.com

Episodes

  • #1360 To Cuba

    Oct 15 2019

    We are joined again this week by Catherine Jenkinson acting as guest host for a delightful conversation about Cuba, Clay’s upcoming cultural tour to Cuba, Thomas Jefferson’s connection to Cuba, and Theodore Roosevelt’s time there. Catherine questions Clay as to whether or not Roosevelt was really the “man in the arena” during his exploits on San Juan Hill. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jeffer...more

  • #1359 To Oxford

    Oct 08 2019

    Thomas Jefferson Hour creator Clay S. Jenkinson is joined by his daughter Catherine who serves as this week’s guest host. Among the many topics discussed is Catherine's upcoming trip to England where she will become a student this fall at the University of Oxford. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/...more

  • #1358 Robinson Crusoe

    Oct 01 2019

    "It’s a classic enlightenment story: a novel in the history of ideas about how civilization is created from nothing."  — Clay S. Jenkinson We present another installment of the Jefferson Hour Book Club this week, and the selection is Robinson Crusoe, written by Daniel Defoe and published in 1719. It is a book Thomas Jefferson had in his library and reportedly read twice. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to th...more

  • #1357 The Dempster Highway

    Sep 24 2019

    We are joined this week by David Nicandri, one of the most respected Lewis and Clark scholars in the country. His book, "River of Promise - Lewis & Clark on the Columbia" fills a significant gap in our understanding of Lewis and Clark’s legendary expedition. Nicandri joins us not so much to speak of that journey, but one of his own. In a fascinating conversation, Nicandri tells us about the journey he and his son took on the Dempster Highway all the way to the arctic ocean. Find this episode, al...more

  • #1356 Considering Exceptionalism

    Sep 17 2019

    Prompted by a letter from a listener, President Thomas Jefferson shares his views on American exceptionalism and his hope that America will stand as a strong and good example for the rest of the world to follow. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Check out our new merch. You can find Clay's p...more

  • #1355 Inventive Behavior

    Sep 10 2019

    President Thomas Jefferson speaks to us this week about inventions and scientific discoveries of his time including some he was responsible for. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Check out our new merch. You can find Clay's publications on our website, along with a list of his favorite books...more

  • #1354 In 1969

    Sep 03 2019

    This week we speak with Thomas Jefferson briefly about Alexander von Humbolt, and then bring Jefferson closer to our time by informing him that 50 years ago America landed men on the moon, which he has a bit of trouble believing. We also discuss Woodstock with Jefferson who says he hopes that if there were indeed women in attendance that they were all properly “escorted.” Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to t...more

  • #1353 Humboldt and Jefferson

    Aug 27 2019

    "He was iconic in the world's idea of what a nation could possibly be, and what an enlightened leader could possibly be." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson This week features another episode in the Jefferson Hour book club. We discuss Humboldt and Jefferson: A Transatlantic Friendship of the Enlightenment by Sandra Rebok, which explores the relationship between two fascinating personalities: the Prussian explorer, scientist, and geographer Alexander von Humboldt and Thomas Jefferso...more

  • #1352 Clunky Adjectives

    Aug 20 2019

    In this week’s episode, President Thomas Jefferson answers listener questions, as does Thomas Jefferson Hour creator Clay S. Jenkinson. Subjects discussed include where the name “United States of America” comes from, the poet Phillis Wheatley and slavery in the Northwest Territory. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at ...more

  • #1351 Eight Objects

    Aug 13 2019

    Clay Jenkinson has returned from his annual Lewis and Clark trip in Montana and Idaho, and he gives us a report on the 2019 tour. Clay also offers a list of eight items Lewis and Clark would have certainly wished for on their journey, could they have had them. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tour...more

  • #1350 Diamonds and Dunghills

    Aug 06 2019

    This week, Clay takes a deeper look at Jefferson and religion. Jefferson considered the teachings of Jesus as having "the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man," but he felt that the pure teachings of Jesus were inaccurately appropriated by some of the early followers of Jesus which led to a Bible that had both "diamonds" of wisdom and the "dung" of ancient political agendas. In Notes on the State of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson wrote, "Millions of innocent ...more

  • #1349 Jefferson's Soul

    Jul 30 2019

    On August 20th, 1814, Thomas Jefferson received a letter from Miles King expressing King’s concerns for Jefferson’s eternal soul. King wrote, “And now permit me to ask dear Sir, are you not an old man well stricken in years, and laden with the highest honors that a grateful country can bestow? But what will these avail you in a dying hour?” We speak with President Jefferson this week about that letter and Jefferson’s reply to it. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Su...more

  • #1348 Tulip Poplars

    Jul 23 2019

    We discuss the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo moon landing and then are joined by two special guests. Jeff Huss of the Huss and Dalton Guitar Company in Staunton, Virginia talks about a very special project: the Jefferson Edition 00-SP Custom guitar which is crafted in part with wood from Monticello. Later in the program, Monticello’s head gardener Pat Brodowski tells us about the trees the wood came from and why they had to be cut down. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the ...more

  • #1347 Chernow's Hamilton

    Jul 16 2019

    "Jefferson comes off as a Machiavellian figure in this book, as not all together reliable and not always truthful in his epic fight against Hamilton." — Clay S. Jenkinson This week, we present another installment in the Jefferson Hour Book Club and discuss Alexander Hamilton by author Ron Chernow. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tour...more

  • #1346 In Search of America

    Jul 09 2019

    "Mayor Pete of South Bend is saying that he would welcome certain erasures of Jefferson from our public discourse." — Clay S. Jenkinson Clay has returned from his recent travels and his search for America, and he updates us on that trip. We answer listener mail, including responses to the recent show, #1344 Baked In. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about ...more

  • #1345 Independence Day

    Jul 02 2019

    For our annual Jefferson Hour 4th of July show, we speak with President Jefferson (as portrayed by humanities scholar Clay S. Jenkinson) about the founding ideals of America and his participation in the writing of the Declaration of Independence. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Check out o...more

  • The Supreme Court

    Jun 28 2019

    "It is a necessary evil, and the more we rein it in, the happier and freer we shall be." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Check out our new merch. You can find Clay's publications on our website, along with a list of his favorite books on Jeff...more

  • #1344 Baked In

    Jun 25 2019

    This week we speak with humanities scholar Clay S. Jenkinson about how rigid people’s political thoughts have become during our time, George Will’s observations on citizen’s expectations of government and what a contemporary Jeffersonian political party might stand for. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhou...more

  • The Wealth of Nations

    Jun 21 2019

    "Every individual [is] led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention." — Adam Smith Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Check out our new merch. You can find Clay's publications on our website, along with a list of his favorite books on Jefferson, Lewis & Clark,...more

  • #1343 Forty Books

    Jun 18 2019

    "He's never happier than when he can recommend a course of reading to somebody else." — Clay S. Jenkinson President Jefferson tells us what books he might recommend to juvenile readers, and it turns out to be a fairly limited list. He does, however, recommend Don Quixote, Gulliver’s Travels and Robinson Crusoe. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about Clay's...more

  • Presidential Indictments

    Jun 14 2019

    "I refused to honor the subpoena but I did voluntarily supply some of the documents." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Check out our new merch. You can find Clay's publications on our website, along with a list of his favorite books on Jeffers...more

  • #1342 Dressing Down

    Jun 11 2019

    "He was drest, or rather undrest, with an old brown coat, red waistcoat, old corduroy small clothes, much soiled-woolen hose-and slippers without heels." — William Plumer, 1802 This week we talk about Thomas Jefferson’s talent for political theater, and the ways he used this talent to reinforce the public perception of his firm beliefs in republicanism and guard against what he saw as a threat of monarchy in the young nation. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Suppo...more

  • Clay in Search of America: Granby, CO

    Jun 07 2019

    Clay calls in to talk with David about his travels. Follow along as Clay searches for America on his Steinbeck-inspired journey across the country. Clay's travelogue and photographs, as well as 1776 Club exclusive audio dispatches, will be continuously updated at jeffersonhour.com/america and you can also get updates on our Facebook.

  • #1341 Dinner with Jefferson

    Jun 04 2019

    "I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend." — Thomas Jefferson, 1800 Get the mug here. This week, we ask President Jefferson about his famous dinner parties and their extensive menus. It was important to Jefferson to not appear too regal, and the dinner parties were kept somewhat casual. In 1802, a Federalist senator from New Hampshire was meeting Jefferson at a dinner when “a tall high boned man” entered the room ...more

  • #1340 A Gloom Unbrightened

    May 28 2019

    We speak with President Jefferson this week about death and suicide, specifically about the deaths of Meriwether Lewis, James Hemmings and Alexander Hamilton. After the death of his wife in 1782, Jefferson wrote, “All my plans of comfort and happiness reversed by a single event and nothing answering in prospect before me but a gloom un-brightened with one cheerful expectation. This miserable kind of existence is really too burdensome to be borne, and were it not for the infidelity of deserting t...more

  • #1339 Questions and Answers

    May 21 2019

    "Those forty books made a difference in his life, because he grew up in a house where there were books and book culture." — Clay S. Jenkinson This week on The Thomas Jefferson Hour, we answer listener questions including a query from a listener in Ireland asking about Jefferson’s thoughts on the Irish rebellion and constitution, Jefferson’s involvement in providing alcohol to troops, suggestions for a Jefferson library for children, and Jefferson’s advice for Americans traveling in Europe. Find ...more

  • #1338 Notes on the State of Virginia

    May 14 2019

    "But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." — Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia We discuss Jefferson’s only published book, Notes on the State of Virginia. Jefferson completed his first draft of the book in 1781 and first published it anonymously in Paris in 1785. It is widely considered the most important American book published before 1800. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on...more

  • #1337 The Vaunted Scene

    May 07 2019

    “Behold me at length on the vaunted scene of Europe! […] I find the general fate of humanity here, most deplorable. The truth of Voltaire's observation, offers itself perpetually, that every man here must be either the hammer or the anvil.” — Thomas Jefferson, 1785 We speak with President Jefferson about his time spent in France.  Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can lea...more

  • #1336 Brodowski and Wright

    Apr 30 2019

    "It's such a gift. Every day." — Pat Brodowski We speak with two of our favorite Jefferson Hour correspondents: Pat Brodowski, the head gardener at Monticello, and Beau Wright, a frequent contributor to the show and a city council member of Lynchburg, VA. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Ch...more

  • #1335 The Mustard Seed

    Apr 23 2019

    "You feel the wonderment of nature at its finest … it's a deep, deep, deep cultural memory of the miracle of the seed." — Clay S. Jenkinson We answer listener mail about John Wesley Powell, David Thompson, Daniel Flores, Jefferson’s theft of upland rice while he was in Italy, and suggestions for educating young people.  Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more abo...more

  • #1334 Benjamin Rush with Stephen Fried

    Apr 16 2019

    "He and Jefferson talked about everything." — Stephen Fried Benjamin Rush was a physician, politician, social reformer, humanitarian, educator, and a signer of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Rush was a leader of the American Enlightenment and an enthusiastic supporter of the American Revolution. Born the son of a Philadelphia blacksmith, Rush touched virtually every page in the story of the nation’s founding. It was Rush who was responsible for the late-in-life reconciliation between John...more

  • #1333 The Constitution Today

    Apr 09 2019

    "I don't think, from my point of view, you can think that the Constitution is sacred." — Clay S. Jenkinson We discuss Akhil Reed Amar's The Constitution Today, a selection for the Book Club, which contains essays written by Amar over the past two decades. Amar gives us a road map for thinking constitutionally about today’s America. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can le...more

  • Let Us Read the Mueller Report

    Apr 04 2019

    I confess that I did in fact think that more indictments were coming, perhaps even within the Trump family. I did think that Special Prosecutor Mueller would conclude that the Trump organization conspired with the Russians to influence the election. I was plainly wrong. We haven’t seen the Mueller report yet. I expect that it will simultaneously confirm everyone’s worst fears and yet in a technical-legal sense exonerate the President. It will simultaneously please and displease everyone. You can...more

  • #1332 Smallpox

    Apr 02 2019

    "Having been among the early converts, in this part of the globe, to [the smallpox vaccine's] efficiency, I took an early part in recommending it to my countrymen." — Thomas Jefferson, 1806 Jefferson talks about his own smallpox inoculation, as well as John Adams’ experience. Jefferson admired Dr. Edward Jenner, the physician and scientist who was a pioneer of smallpox vaccination. Smallpox killed millions of people during Jefferson’s time, and continued to do so until the 20th century. The Worl...more

  • Ne Plus Ultra

    Mar 29 2019

    "I would have liked to have had Canada. Twice, we invaded Canada during my lifetime, and failed on both occasions." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & Retreats with Clay S. Jenkinson at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1331 Young Washington with Peter Stark

    Mar 26 2019

    "The French ... thought it was an assassination, a war crime, that Washington was a murderer." — Peter Stark We speak with Peter Stark, author of Young Washington: How Wilderness and War Forged America’s Founding Father. We discuss George Washington’s formative years and character traits, his travels into the Ohio country, and his relationship with lieutenant governor Robert Dinwiddie. We talk about how Washington’s involvement in the Battle of Jumonville Glen touched off the French and Indian W...more

  • #1330 Wilderness and War

    Mar 19 2019

    "This book reveals [Washington] as a man of emotion, raw emotion." — Clay S. Jenkinson In anticipation of our conversation next week with Peter Stark, the author of Young Washington, we speak with Jefferson about our first president. Jefferson also comments on the time change, and the importance of using available daylight. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more...more

  • #1329 Laboratories of Democracy

    Mar 12 2019

    "I am a loyal, proud, cheerleading sort of North Dakotan." — Clay S. Jenkinson A listener in Texas admonishes Clay for offering to give up a North Dakota senate seat, and we take questions about the Fourteenth Amendment. Our constitutional discussions continue by reading additional correspondence from listeners. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our C...more

  • #1328 Constitutional Correspondence

    Mar 05 2019

    "What would fix this country? Almost the number one thing would be: take money out of politics." — Clay S. Jenkinson We continue our current theme of constitutional discussions by reading and considering listener mail, including a number of specific suggestions for constitutional amendments. We also share a report from a listener who visited Monticello when Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were there. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1...more

  • Appropriations

    Mar 01 2019

    Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & Retreats with Clay S. Jenkinson at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1327 Complex Compromises

    Feb 26 2019

    Jefferson answers questions about the Constitution, including topics like presidential pardon power, natural-born citizen requirements, and the constitutionality of signing statements. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & Retreats with Clay S. Jenkinson at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson....more

  • #1326 No Just Government Should Refuse

    Feb 19 2019

    "Let me add that a bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, & what no just government should refuse or rest on inference." — Thomas Jefferson, 1787 President Jefferson answers a number of listener questions about the United States Constitution. We discuss the meaning of Article V, how much of the document is open to interpretation, and the idea of amending the Constitution every generation. Find this episode, along with recommend...more

  • #1325 Pax Americana

    Feb 12 2019

    We answer listener questions this week, and we identify a specific melon seed that Pat Brodowski, the head gardener at Monticello, mentioned on a past episode. We also discuss Clay’s new ukulele. The most mail we received was about Robert Kagan's new book, The Jungle Grows Back, which Tom Friedman of The New York Times called "An incisive, elegantly written, new book about America’s unique role in the world." Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joi...more

  • #1324 Lochsa

    Feb 05 2019

    "nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free." — Thomas Jefferson, 1821 Clay Jenkinson returns from his cultural retreat held at Lochsa Lodge in Idaho last week and reports in on this year's meetings. Also, perhaps prompted by the 50th anniversary of the famous Beatles "rooftop concert," we wander into a short conversation about pop music, and discuss the recent extreme cold weather along with how Jefferson is co-opted by many of us without paying ...more

  • #1323 The Only Security of All Is in a Free Press

    Jan 29 2019

    "were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter." — Thomas Jefferson, 1787 This week we discuss the importance of a free press with President Jefferson. On November 4, 1823 Thomas Jefferson wrote to Marquis de Lafayette that "the only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted, when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it...more

  • #1322 Roosevelt and Jefferson

    Jan 22 2019

    "Few people grow in office; few people grow in life. Roosevelt grew in life. He became more interesting, more sensitive, more thoughtful ... [Roosevelt] became more enlightened as time went on." — Clay S. Jenkinson Prompted by a listener request, and recognizing the 100th anniversary Theodore Roosevelt’s death, this week Clay Jenkinson discusses the differences, and a few similarities, between Roosevelt and Jefferson.  Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the s...more

  • Government Shutdowns

    Jan 18 2019

    "There must be a better way for the political factions of your time to sort out their differences." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & Retreats with Clay S. Jenkinson at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1321 January First

    Jan 15 2019

    January 1st was an important day to Thomas Jefferson for many reasons. This week, we speak with President Jefferson about notable New Year's Day occurrences during his life, including his wedding, his famous "wall of separation between church and state" letter to the Danbury Baptists, and the beginning of his famous correspondence with John Adams during the last years of their lives. We also tell the story of "the world's largest cheese" that Jefferson received while President. Find this episode...more

  • #1320 Looking Forward

    Jan 08 2019

    "It's going to be a pivotal year in American history." - Clay S. Jenkinson We look forward to 2019 and discuss some of the episode topics that have been suggested to us by the Fans of the Thomas Jefferson Hour group on Facebook. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & Retreats with Clay S. Jenkinson at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Thomas Je...more

  • #1319 Looking Back

    Jan 01 2019

    "I really loved the year 2018, but I'm even more looking forward to the year 2019." — Clay S. Jenkinson We look back at 2018 and wish everyone a happy New Year. This episode is our chance to revisit all of the great conversations we've had about Jefferson in 2018. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & Retreats with Clay S. Jenkinson a...more

  • #1318 Was Thomas Jefferson a Christian?

    Dec 25 2018

    "I believe so strongly that Jefferson was right about separation of church and state." — Clay S. Jenkinson   We wish all a Merry Christmas from The Thomas Jefferson Hour, which, as it turns out, is perhaps more than Thomas Jefferson would have done. Jefferson was not a believer in celebrating Christmas in a traditional fashion and felt it should not be a national holiday.   This episode features questions from Billie Rose Paxton Einselen, Paul South, Jacob Clark, Jeff Chun, Joe Gotchy, Ian Adams...more

  • Edmond-Charles Genêt

    Dec 21 2018

    "We couldn't allow a French national to be here, stirring up anti-administration feeling in this country, or fitting out privateers in our wars." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson  Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & Retreats with Clay S. Jenkinson at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. ...more

  • #1317 Madison's Letters

    Dec 18 2018

    "Jefferson yielded to Madison's stronger concern. He needed him and he trusted him." — Clay S. Jenkinson Clay and David discuss a number of letters between Thomas Jefferson and James Madison that reveal their working relationship, their friendship, and how Madison protected Jefferson politically. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & ...more

  • Liberal Education

    Dec 14 2018

    "You can have all the information in the world, but it doesn't mean anything unless you have a mental matrix with which to absorb it, evaluate it, analyze it, begin to synthesize it. That's why we go to college." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & Retreats with Clay S. Jenkinson at je...more

  • #1316 James Madison (Part Two)

    Dec 11 2018

    "to the press alone, checkered as it is with abuses, the world is indebted for all the triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression." — James Madison We discuss James Madison again this week, President Jefferson's good friend and ally. Madison was the de facto father of the American Constitution. We look at his preparation, his advocacy of the Virginia Plan, and his work to try to ratify this somewhat imperfect instrument. We talked a great deal with President...more

  • #1315 James Madison (Part One)

    Dec 04 2018

    "Mr. Madison made me look like a slacker.""Mr. Madison made me look like a slacker." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson President Thomas Jefferson speaks about his good friend and adviser James Madison. Together, Jefferson and Madison made it possible for the Virginians to rule this country for 24 years at the beginning of the 19th century. It's a great example of two very different men combining their talents to make a stronger yin and yang, or put another way, Mutt and Jeff: a tal...more

  • Poplar Forest

    Nov 30 2018

    "All the rooms are octagonal or semi-octagonal, except the main dining room, which is a perfect cube." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & Retreats with Clay S. Jenkinson at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1314 Our Friend Beau

    Nov 27 2018

    "Whatever your politics are, to think that the country is being taken seriously by young men and women who want us to be a Jeffersonian republic is just such a gratifying thing to me." — Clay S. Jenkinson We greet a special visitor, our friend Beau Wright. Beau traveled from Lynchburg, Virginia to join us at the studio for a fruitful and interesting conversation about American ideals. Beau is a 3rd generation Lynchburg native and an 8th generation Central Virginian, and is currently the Director...more

  • #1313 Gratitude and Thanks

    Nov 20 2018

    We wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving from the Thomas Jefferson Hour. This week, we speak to four friends including Lisa Suhay, who tells us about her new book America the Grateful; Pat Brodowski, the head gardener at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello; luthier Kevin Muiderman, who gives us an update on the ukulele he is building for Clay; and Nashville-based songwriter Brad Crisler, who tells us about his plans for Thanksgiving in Alabama. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the bl...more

  • #1312 Elections Matter

    Nov 13 2018

    "You have a population of 330 million. This is a way that the whole system is designed to distill their will." — Clay S. Jenkinson The results of the 2018 midterm elections are what we try to sort out this week: what it means, what it implies, and how it fits into Jefferson's view of the United States. Jefferson said it is necessary to give, as well as take, in a government like ours, and we wonder if if we do a good enough job at that. Both parties claimed victory after the November 6th electio...more

  • Jamal Khashoggi

    Nov 09 2018

    "We need to protest firmly without any ambiguity whatsoever." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog.  Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc.  You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & Retreats with Clay S. Jenkinson at jeffersonhour.com/tours.  Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson. 

  • #1311 Jefferson's Views

    Nov 06 2018

    "This is a French school of economics and social thinking that I subscribed to, at least in part, that says that wealth comes from the soil" — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson President Jefferson answers listener questions about Jefferson as a guide for our troubled times, Jefferson’s views on slavery, and his thoughts on J. Hector St. John de Crèvecœur's Letters from an American Farmer, published in 1782. Crèvecœur, the French physiocrat, wrote a beautiful book about agrarianism th...more

  • Voting

    Nov 02 2018

    "Everyone in that public place would know which candidate he voted for." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & Retreats with Clay S. Jenkinson at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1310 Valley Forge with Bob Drury and Tom Clavin

    Oct 30 2018

    "It's a very patriotic story in the best sense of the word … these were people who were fighting for a cause." — Tom Clavin Clay and David are joined by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin, the #1 New York Times bestselling authors, to discuss their newest book, Valley Forge. In December of 1777, the American Continental Army struggled to survive the coming winter. Valley Forge tells the story of how this army, after a string of demoralizing defeats, not only survived, but regrouped to take advantage of th...more

  • Water

    Oct 26 2018

    "I would hope the states would handle that and the government of the United States would only serve as a referee." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & Retreats with Clay S. Jenkinson at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1309 Water for a Dry Land with Char Miller

    Oct 23 2018

    "Our technology that has unleashed such creativity has also unleashed the capacity for us to destroy the very things that we were creating." — Char Miller Clay and David speak with Char Miller, one of the three authors of the 3rd edition of Ogallala: Water for a Dry Land. Char Miller is Director of Environmental Analysis, and W.M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis and History at Pomona College. Drop Jefferson into western Kansas or Oklahoma. What does he say about the Ogallala miracle? Th...more

  • Ancient Rome's Influence

    Oct 19 2018

    "If you study this, you'll know what can go wrong, and maybe you'll be able to prevent it" — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & Retreats with Clay S. Jenkinson at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1308 American Dialogue with Joseph Ellis

    Oct 16 2018

    "Indeed, if I read the founders right, their greatest legacy is the recognition that argument itself is the answer." — Joseph J. Ellis We welcome back Professor Joseph Ellis — the eminent historian, author and friend of the Jefferson Hour — to speak about his new book, American Dialogue: The Founders and Us, which is out now. No historian of the early national period of American life has done more than Joseph Ellis to give us a sense of what it was like then: what were the challenges, what were ...more

  • Emancipation

    Oct 12 2018

    "I realized that this was so deeply rooted in the American social, economic, and political life, that it was going to take an extraordinary movement to rid ourselves of slavery." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & Retreats with Clay S. Jenkinson at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Thomas Jeff...more

  • #1307 Live in Pittsburg, KS

    Oct 09 2018

    "You think I'm joking, but I wanted a square America." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson goes on the road this week to Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas. The performance was taped live at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts on September 15, 2018 in front of an audience of over 500 people. The event was hosted by Dustin Treiber, the program director of Four States Public Radio station KRPS. The subject of this episode was the Louisiana Purchase. Je...more

  • #1306 Ossian

    Oct 02 2018

    We speak with President Thomas Jefferson (as portrayed by humanities scholar Clay S. Jenkinson) about reading - one of his favorite pastimes. We also talk about the teachers who inspired his lifelong habit of reading and Jefferson’s fascination with the Ossian, first published by the Scottish poet James Macpherson in 1760. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more ...more

  • #1305 Wine and Welshmen

    Sep 25 2018

    "We should always listen to science. Science is not political. Science is rational." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson President Thomas Jefferson answers listener questions this week, including inquiries about Jefferson and wine, Welsh “Indians” in the Dakotas, repairing friendships, and the idea that “the rain followed the plow” during Jefferson’s time. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the T...more

  • #1304 To France

    Sep 18 2018

    "This period was, in some ways, the most satisfying period of Jefferson's life, and in some ways it was the most radical." — Clay S. Jenkinson This week, as promised, and in anticipation of Clay’s upcoming cultural tour of Jefferson’s France in October 2019, we devote an entire show to discussion of Jefferson’s time as Minister to France from 1784 to 1789. Jefferson spent five of the most extraordinary years of his life in France. He fell in love with French people and French culture, but he als...more

  • Other Explorations of the West

    Sep 14 2018

    "Down in the southwest, two expeditions occurred during my presidency." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & Retreats with Clay S. Jenkinson at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1303 Can We Talk?

    Sep 11 2018

    "He saw a nation that collapsed right in front of him and he thought, 'well, I wonder why nations collapse,' and I think that really led to some great thinking." — Clay S. Jenkinson We respond to listener mail this week, including questions related to the principle of one-person one-vote, and we discuss replies to Clay’s request for some thoughtful conservative perspectives from listeners who support the Trump administration. We love questions, comments, and small essays from our listeners from ...more

  • Honoring John McCain

    Sep 07 2018

    "A statesman is one who always asks what is best for this country." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & Retreats with Clay S. Jenkinson at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1302 Alarm Poll

    Sep 04 2018

    "I'm like everyone else, I'm in the middle. I see some benefits on both edges of the spectrum, but I don't want either of them to prevail." — Clay S. Jenkinson Clay asked listeners to rate, on a scale of 1 to 10, how alarmed they are about the current state of political affairs in the United States. Rather than just giving a number, many listeners responded with many thoughtful letters. This week we share and read portions from 17 of those letters. Find this episode, along with recommended readi...more

  • How to Handle Partisan Division

    Aug 31 2018

    "I believe that each faction, each party, has a moral duty to reach over to the other and to try to find common ground, and that each party should take the lead in being civil and respectful and generous." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & Retreats with Clay S. Jenkinson at jefferson...more

  • #1301 Farewell Address

    Aug 28 2018

    "George Washington ... was as close to a perfect human being as we believed existed on Earth." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson This week, we speak with President Jefferson about George Washington's farewell address which was first published in Philadelphia's American Daily Advertiser on September 19, 1796, 222 years ago. Presidents leave a little note in the desk for their successor, and the public always wants to know what's in those notes. We seldom learn that, but the traditio...more

  • Civil Discourse

    Aug 24 2018

    "I think the American people are overwhelmingly good and decent." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & Retreats with Clay S. Jenkinson at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1300 Better Arguments

    Aug 21 2018

    "Can we talk? Can we try to argue about where we are and where we're going and use the founders as a source of wisdom that might allow us to have a safe place to meet and to talk about this with civility, but with fervor?" — Joseph J. Ellis Clay and David discuss how to conduct better arguments, and also speak with author Joseph Ellis to talk about his new book American Dialogue, which will be released this fall. Professor Joseph Ellis is the author of a great number of books about the founding ...more

  • Enemy of the People

    Aug 17 2018

    "Whatever's wrong with the press, we must defend it, because the alternative is tyranny." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & Retreats with Clay S. Jenkinson at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1299 Jefferson's Mistakes

    Aug 14 2018

    "He was part of the extension of slavery that made the Civil War inevitable, and that led to almost 800,000 deaths." — Clay S. Jenkinson This week President Thomas Jefferson speaks about the political mistakes he made. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & Retreats with Clay S. Jenkinson at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Thomas Jefferson is...more

  • Traveling West

    Aug 10 2018

    "I would have been able to produce an account of that tour — and I mean no self-aggrandizement in saying this, but just from the sheer discipline of writing every day at great length — would have been one of the classics of the literature of exploration." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural To...more

  • #1298 As Requested

    Aug 07 2018

    "You have to wait 14 years under the naturalization law before you can become a full citizen of the United States. These were palpable violations of the Bill of Rights." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson We spend this week, as requested, responding to submitted questions and correcting some factual errors pointed out by our listeners. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour...more

  • #1297 While You Were Away

    Jul 31 2018

    "Voltaire at the end of Candide says, just go home and cultivate your garden." — Clay S. Jenkinson This week, we catch up on our mail bag and also speak with a couple of Thomas Jefferson Hour listeners. We're kind of all over the place on this episode, but we had great fun: Paul McCartney, a documentary on John McCain, audio listener responses to this program — particularly with respect to music, and a man who drove from Sioux Falls, South Dakota to Bismarck, a distance of six hours, just to say...more

  • Defending America in the World Arena

    Jul 29 2018

    "The duty of the President of the United States is to be the principal articulator of America's values." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & Retreats with Clay S. Jenkinson at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1296 Mil

    Jul 24 2018

    "When you die, your legacy is the effect you've had on people, and boy did my mother have an effect on people." — Clay S. Jenkinson Clay Jenkinson speaks this week about the death of his mother, Mil, and discusses Jefferson’s thoughts and correspondence about death. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & Retreats with Clay S. Jenkinson...more

  • Cartography

    Jul 20 2018

    "I made a special devotion to collecting all of the maps that I could." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & Retreats with Clay S. Jenkinson at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1295 Too Né

    Jul 17 2018

    "Too Né's data wound up in the journals and all of it is on the map, and the map deepens the journals, and the journals deepen the map." — Clay S. Jenkinson This week on the Thomas Jefferson Hour, we feature an extended conversation about the recently discovered map from the Lewis and Clark Expedition drawn by an Indigenous guide named Too Né. The map was found in the Bibliothèque nationale de France, and it's the subject of an entire issue of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation’s jour...more

  • Supreme Court Appointments

    Jul 13 2018

    "It is not a great privilege to name a Supreme Court justice." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & Retreats with Clay S. Jenkinson at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1294 Judicial Responsibility

    Jul 10 2018

    "You want people who are moderates, who are not passionate zealots in any particular direction." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson Thomas Jefferson shares his thoughts about the workings of the Supreme Court, allows his personal irritations with the court to show, and explains how he feels the court has drifted from its rightful place in America today. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to t...more

  • The Declaration of Independence

    Jul 06 2018

    "I played a small role. I was just the penman of this thing." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & Retreats with Clay S. Jenkinson at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1293 4th of July

    Jul 03 2018

    "Mythology begins to creep in, and as historians we like to question some of that." — Clay S. Jenkinson This week on our annual 4th of July show, Thomas Jefferson reads the Declaration of Independence in it’s entirety and speaks about one of his favorite holidays. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & Retreats with Clay S. Jenkinson a...more

  • #1292 Common Sense

    Jun 26 2018

    This week, we present another of our Jefferson Hour Book Club episodes and discuss Thomas Paine’s Common Sense. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & Retreats with Clay S. Jenkinson at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1291 Circumstances

    Jun 19 2018

    "The debate in American history is not between Hamilton and Jefferson, the debate is between Adams and Jefferson." — Clay S. Jenkinson This week, we answer listener questions on the Thomas Jefferson Hour, including a letter from a writer who wonders whether the Founding Fathers were geniuses who seized the moment, or simply average people living in extraordinary times. We also speak with our good friend Beau Wright. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show...more

  • #1290 Adjustments

    Jun 12 2018

    "He's a bit of a Tea Party guy, he's a bit of a libertarian, he's certainly for small government." — Clay S. Jenkinson This week's episode is devoted to answering listener questions, and many of the questions are about the current administration. We anticipate and appreciate comments on the issues discussed during this episode. Thanks for listening. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hou...more

  • #1289 Jefferson's Vision

    Jun 05 2018

    "Lightly governed, lightly taxed, highly educated, isolationist, farmer's paradise." — Clay S. Jenkinson This week, President Thomas Jefferson explains his own vision for America. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1288 Truth Matters

    May 29 2018

    "I think that an ideal citizen is a bit grumpy, is always concerned that government is up to no good." — Thomas Jefferson, Second Inaugural Address We begin our conversation with President Thomas Jefferson asking about the actual location of his tombstone. We also discuss truthfulness, free speech, personal freedoms, upholding international agreements, and what Thomas Jefferson thinks about executive privilege and our current government. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the ...more

  • #1287 The Hardest Job

    May 22 2018

    "I don't think that it's very useful to compare the burden of the presidency of 1803 … with the burden of the presidency in your time." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson We talk with President Jefferson about an article written by John Dickerson of CBS regarding how difficult the office of the president has become. The article is titled "The Hardest Job in the World" and was published in this month's Atlantic magazine. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on th...more

  • #1286 First Family (Part Two)

    May 15 2018

    “I’m just thinking of your career, here.” — Joseph Ellis We continue our conversation this week with the award-winning author Joseph Ellis, and we conclude our discussion about his book First Family: Abigail and John Adams as part of our first entry of the Thomas Jefferson Hour Book Club series. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or ...more

  • #1285 First Family (Part One)

    May 08 2018

    Joining our conversation this week is the award-winning author Joseph Ellis. We discuss his book First Family: Abigail and John Adams in part one of two shows as our first entry for the Thomas Jefferson Hour Book Club series. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. Thomas Jefferson is inte...more

  • #1284 Foreign Policy

    May 01 2018

    "peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none" — Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address (March 4, 1801) This week on the Jefferson Hour, we talk with President Jefferson about his struggles with foreign entanglements, and his disappointment with the American people's reactions to his decisions. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours. ...more

  • #1283 The General Welfare

    Apr 24 2018

    "I would never consider [the Constitution] to be a sacred text." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson We present President Thomas Jefferson with a listener question about what the phrase "promote the general welfare," found in the Constitution, actually means. We answer letters from Richard Tucker and Rich Nieves. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours. Support t...more

  • #1282 The Map

    Apr 17 2018

    We answer listener questions in response to episode #1277 Gerrymandering, and then turn to a discussion about an important discovery of an 1805 Lewis & Clark related map. It was found after being stored for 200 years in a French archive. The map and its background story appear in this month’s issue of We Proceeded On, published by the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation. The letters discussed are from Stephen Mishkin, Joe Lovell, Kellen DeAlba, James Kenyon, and Sidney Sjoquist. Find this ep...more

  • #1281 Unanswered Questions

    Apr 10 2018

    "History is like a picture puzzle and half of the pieces or more are missing. There is something about Jefferson that makes us want to expose contradiction." — Clay S. Jenkinson Our show this week revolves around a question from listener Gino Cukale about the purported relationship between Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson. We discuss the historical record and look to first-hand accounts in an attempt to answer this question. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Learn...more

  • #1280 Tomatoes

    Apr 03 2018

    "That is one of the most fun things that I try to do, reacquaint people with the joyous flavor of the tomato that they crave." — Craig LeHoullier Inspired by a letter from Alison Hagan, we talk with three tomato experts: Craig LeHoullier, author of Epic Tomatoes; Harry J. Klee, Ph.D. from the University of Florida; and Pat Brodowski, Head Gardener at Monticello. They speak about the best-tasting tomatoes, how to grow them, where to get seeds, why commercial varieties have lost their flavor, and ...more

  • #1279 The Art of the Letter

    Mar 27 2018

    "Every letter has a basis and a purpose … I spent an enormous amount of time thinking about the recipient." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson We speak this week with President Jefferson about the art of letter writing. Prompted by a letter from a listener, Jefferson shares his insights on the process. The exact number of letters Jefferson wrote is not known, but it is safe to say he wrote in excess of 20,000. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Lea...more

  • #1278 Adams, Bees and Guns

    Mar 20 2018

    "I believe that we have the right to revolution." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson President Jefferson answers listener questions about his relationship with John Adams, replacing the Constitution once every generation, bees at Monticello, and the Second Amendment. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donatin...more

  • #1277 Gerrymandering

    Mar 13 2018

    "You could redistrict so that you could maximize competitiveness. That would be my suggestion: maximize competitiveness." — Clay S. Jenkinson On this week’s Thomas Jefferson Hour, we discuss gerrymandering, its origin, how it works in American politics today, and the potential effects it has on our democracy. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours. Support the show by joining the...more

  • #1276 Revolutionary Summer

    Mar 06 2018

    "I feel an Awe upon my Mind, which is not easily described." — John Adams Clay and David discuss the book Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence, referred to as "a distinctive portrait of the crescendo moment in American history from the Pulitzer-winning American historian, Joseph Ellis." The book chronicles the events of the summer of 1776 as America’s war for independence began, and how America was nearly defeated by the British. Find this episode, along with recommended read...more

  • #1275 Joseph Ellis

    Feb 27 2018

    "There's a perfect alignment between Jefferson's own contradictions and the rest of American history." — Joseph J. Ellis Clay speaks with Dr. Joseph J. Ellis, author of more than ten books, including American Sphinx, Passionate Sage, and Revolutionary Summer. His forthcoming book is American Dialogue: The Founders and Us. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours. Support the show b...more

  • #1274 The Classics

    Feb 20 2018

    "You cannot understand the founding of this country without understanding the Founding Fathers’ obsession with classical languages and literature." — Clay S. Jenkinson Guest host Catherine Jenkinson has an extended conversation with President Jefferson about the classics, and Jefferson’s understanding and support of the classics. Find this episode on the blog, along with 15 Greek and Latin Classics recommended by Clay and Catherine. Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retre...more

  • #1273 Three Friends

    Feb 12 2018

    "I'm just thrilled to see that people can still have intelligent and thoughtful conversations and walk away still feeling friends." — Rick Kennerly We speak with three friends of the Jefferson Hour this week: Rick Kennerly, who talks tomatoes and why they don’t taste as good as they used to, Pat Brodowski, Head Gardener at Monticello who speaks about the gardens and upcoming events at Monticello, and Beau Wright, Director of Operations at Protect Democracy. In this week's podcast intro, we discu...more

  • #1272 Raleigh

    Feb 06 2018

    Catherine Jenkinson returns as host this week for an extended conversation with President Jefferson about Sir Walter Raleigh. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1271 Current Events

    Jan 30 2018

    We speak with President Jefferson about current events including the government shutdown, philanthropy, and water shortages in Cape Town. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1270 Total Extirpation

    Jan 22 2018

    "It really upsets me that Jefferson should be anti-canine, but there you are." — Clay S. Jenkinson This week, we answer listener questions about Jefferson’s personality traits, Thaddeus Kosciuszko, the State of Jefferson, the Hamilton Soundtrack, fashion during Jefferson’s time, touring Monticello, and Jefferson’s distaste for dogs. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours. Support...more

  • #1269 Mrs. Smith

    Jan 16 2018

    Margaret Bayard Smith was a friend of Thomas Jefferson. Her writings provided the content for the book The First Forty Years of Washington Society which includes first hand accounts of her interactions with Jefferson. This week we speak with Mister Jefferson about Mrs. Smith. He shares his recollections of their relationship. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours. Support the sh...more

  • #1268 Peaceful Transition

    Jan 09 2018

    "Most revolutions end with the establishment of a dictatorship." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson We speak with President Jefferson this week about America’s tradition of the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to the next. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson H...more

  • #1267 Fiction or Non

    Jan 03 2018

    "I had a canine appetite for reading." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson This week, President Jefferson shares his views on reading fiction versus non-fiction and recommends works of fiction from his time. On this episode, Jefferson recommends five books: Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne, Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, and Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding. Find this episode, along with recommended r...more

  • #1266 Looking Back at 2017

    Dec 26 2017

    This week on the Thomas Jefferson Hour, we look back at the conversations we had with President Jefferson and the many subjects we discussed during 2017. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1265 Christmas 2017

    Dec 19 2017

    Special guest host Catherine Jenkinson speaks with President Jefferson about Christmas during Jefferson’s time. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1264 Representation

    Dec 08 2017

    "It's so hard for me to think that one citizen, for whatever reason, would commit such mayhem." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson President Jefferson answers listener questions this week. He is asked about District of Columbia citizens being deprived of the right to vote, the future of the American experiment of self rule, and the Second Amendment. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreat...more

  • #1263 Jefferson's Travels

    Dec 05 2017

    "I saw the future of the American experiment in the West." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson Catherine Jenkinson returns to host a conversation with President Jefferson about his travels in France, Europe and the United States. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. Th...more

  • #1262 The Final Years (Part Three)

    Nov 28 2017

    "Two seraphs await me long shrouded in death; I will bear them your love on my last parting breath." — Thomas Jefferson, July 1826 We conclude our Jefferson 101 biographical series by discussing his final days at Monticello, his legacy, and the deaths of both Jefferson and John Adams on July 4th, 1826 — the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visi...more

  • #1261 Jefferson's Table

    Nov 21 2017

    "Literally everyone in Washington, D.C. wanted invitations to my White House dinners." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson Catherine Jenkinson returns as guest host this week to speak with President Jefferson about all things food and to wish all our listeners a happy Thanksgiving. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club...more

  • #1260 The Final Years (Part Two)

    Nov 14 2017

    "at best it is but the life of a mill-horse, who sees no end to his circle but in death. to such a life that of a cabbage is paradise." — Thomas Jefferson, 27 June 1822 This week, we return with part two of the last three shows of the Jefferson 101 biography series, and continue our discussion of Jefferson’s final years in retirement at Monticello. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odysse...more

  • #1259 The Final Years (Part One)

    Nov 07 2017

    "The last years of his life were increasingly characterized by debt and disillusionment." — Clay We return to Jefferson 101 with part one of the final three shows of the Jefferson biography series to discuss Jefferson’s years in retirement at Monticello. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, ...more

  • #1258 Dissent is Essential

    Oct 31 2017

    Anything that is non-violent is an acceptable form of protest in a Republic." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson President Jefferson shares his view on what he calls an essential need for citizens to speak out about issues they disagree with and he explains why dissent is necessary for the health of American democracy. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours. Su...more

  • #1257 Down from the Mountain

    Oct 24 2017

    "Jefferson was a gentleman. Mountains weren't climbed in his time." — Clay This week, we speak with Clay about his recent mountain climbing experience and answer listener questions. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1256 Last Refuge

    Oct 17 2017

    "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." — Samuel Johnson We speak with President Thomas Jefferson about patriotism and Jefferson’s concept of what it is to be truly free. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1255 Show Mister Jefferson

    Oct 10 2017

    Prompted by a listener letter, Clay answers the question, “If Thomas Jefferson appeared before you today, what would you want to show him from our time?” Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1254 Magic of the Word

    Oct 03 2017

    "Nobody ever used the English language to greater effect than William Shakespeare." — Clay Clay discusses his new show, "Clay Jenkinson's Shakespeare the Magic of the Word" — which held its world premiere in Norfolk, VA in September — and shares Jefferson's thoughts and regard for the work of William Shakespeare. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1253 Second Term

    Sep 26 2017

    "Nature intended me for the tranquil pursuits of science by rendering them my supreme delight." — Thomas Jefferson We return to the Jefferson 101 biographical series and explore Jefferson’s second term as President. We discuss the many difficulties he had, including the Burr conspiracy and the Embargo Act of 1807 to 1809. This is Jefferson 121. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jen...more

  • #1252 Mildness & Amenity

    Sep 19 2017

    "I am more candid in your era than I ever would have been in mine." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson This week, we speak with President Jefferson about his hospitality and good manners. In her book, The First Forty Years of Washington Society Margaret Bayard Smith quotes federalist Supreme Court Justice William Paterson’s opinion of Thomas Jefferson. Of Jefferson he said,  “No man can be personally acquainted with Mr. Jefferson and remain his personal enemy." Clay Jenkinson’...more

  • #1251 Checks & Balances

    Sep 12 2017

    "If the three federal branches can't stop themselves from doing appalling things, a fourth entity exists, and that's the states." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson We discuss the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, states' rights, and the need for checks and balances within the federal government. Clay Jenkinson’s "Shakespeare the Magic of the Word" will premiere in Norfolk, VA, Friday, September 22 at 8 PM. You can purchase tickets at the TCC Roper Performing Arts Center one hour ...more

  • #1250 Totality

    Sep 06 2017

    "How can you call yourself a Jeffersonian if you don't go see [the eclipse]?" — Clay Clay takes us on a road trip to Wyoming to witness the eclipse. Later in the episode, David Nicandri phones in to report on his experience. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1249 Amor Patriae

    Aug 29 2017

    Responding to a flood of emails from listeners, this week an out-of-character program discussing the recent events at Charlottesville. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1248 Private Thoughts

    Aug 22 2017

    "I'm trying to explain to you and to your listeners what makes for a happy life." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson President Thomas Jefferson speaks about Monticello, his private and daily habits, his compulsiveness and how his Virginian hospitality cost him a personal fortune. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1247 On My Doorstep

    Aug 14 2017

    "Of all of the people of this era, there is one and only one huge paradox, and it's Thomas Jefferson." — Clay S. Jenkinson Clay shares his first impressions of John B. Boles' new book, Jefferson: Architect of American Liberty. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1246 Special Places

    Aug 07 2017

    "The bureaucracy can actually serve a really valuable purpose." — Beau Wright, Director of Operations at United to Protect Democracy In an out-of-character program, Clay reports on this year's Lewis & Clark cultural tour. Later, we're joined by Beau Wright who reports on his recent visits to Jefferson’s Poplar Forest home and the Natural Bridge in Rockbridge County, Virginia. Find this episode, along with further recommended reading, on the blog. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkin...more

  • #1245 This Thing of Darkness

    Jul 31 2017

    “This thing of darkness, I acknowledge mine.” — Prospero, The Tempest This week Clay Jenkinson speaks about Thomas Jefferson and slavery. Find this episode, along with further recommended reading, on the blog. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1244 A Free Nation

    Jul 24 2017

    "The Founding Fathers intended a free nation in which you could choose your religion." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson After a short discussion about weather, President Jefferson addresses a question about his ownership of a copy of the Quran. Jefferson goes on to explain his views on the importance of religious freedom. In the out-of-character portion of the show, Clay and David are joined by Brad Crisler. Find this episode, along with further recommended reading, on the b...more

  • #1243 Mister President

    Jul 18 2017

    "Really? You don't think Jefferson has a geopolitical plan here?" — Clay S. Jenkinson This week, we return to the Jefferson 101 series and discuss Jefferson’s first term as President. In particular, we discuss the Barbary pirates, the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis & Clark expedition. Find this episode, along with further recommended reading, on the blog. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1242 Inside the White House

    Jul 11 2017

    "You can object to anybody's politics, but I firmly believe that you can't object to President Obama's character." — Beau Wright President Thomas Jefferson speaks about the White House — during his time and ours — with this week's special guest, Beau Wright. Wright spent over five years serving in the White House, nearly two years of that time as Senior Deputy Director of White House Operations and Director for Finance. Beau Wright is currently Director of Operations for United to Protect Democr...more

  • #1241 4th of July

    Jul 03 2017

    We speak with President Jefferson this week in our annual 4th of July Show. Jefferson shares his thoughts on why the holiday is so important to Americans and recalls how it was celebrated during his time. We also speak to Gaye Wilson, the Shannon Senior Historian at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies and Pat Brodowski, specialty gardener at Monticello who tell us about the celebrations being held at Monticello. Find this episode, along with further recommended reading...more

  • #1240 Becoming President

    Jun 27 2017

    "I think that's what Jefferson's attitude was: 'I'd rather not, but I'm probably the best person to do it.'" — Clay We return to our Jefferson 101 series this week with an episode about Jefferson’s road to the White House. Over the past few months, we've carried Jefferson from his birth in Virginia in 1743 right up to the brink of the time when he became the third president of the United States. We take for granted how our elections work. Back then, they didn't really have a blueprint: no conven...more

  • #1239 Original Argument

    Jun 20 2017

    "The question then became: Is a national bank constitutional? Did the Founding Fathers contemplate a national bank?" — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson This week, we discuss the argument between Alexander Hamilton and Jefferson over the creation of a national bank of the United States. Hamilton believed a central banking system was essential to America's standing in the world. Jefferson disagreed, arguing that to take a single step beyond the powers of the constitution is to e...more

  • #1238 Presidential Decorum

    Jun 13 2017

    "I never like to be rude, but sometimes one has to set the precedent for a society that will shock the world." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson This week, we discuss diplomacy and presidential decorum. When the British Ambassador Anthony Merry came to the White House, Jefferson went out of his way to be rude: to make it clear that the Revolution was won by us, not them. In 1792, Jefferson wrote to George Washington: "No government ought to be without censors: and where the p...more

  • #1237 More Listener Letters

    Jun 06 2017

    "I was always happiest when I could direct the reading of a promising young man." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson Here at the Jefferson Hour, we love our listener mail. We try to answer as many letters as possible because they help us to open up new avenues of discourse. This week, we devote another episode to answering listener questions. Subjects covered include civil discourse, the virtues of France, Jefferson’s suggested reading of the classics and John Adam’s midnight ...more

  • #1236 Listener Letters

    May 30 2017

    "Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God, if ever he had a chosen people, whose breasts he has made his peculiar deposit for substantial and genuine virtue. It is the focus in which he keeps alive that sacred fire, which otherwise might escape from the face of the earth." — Thomas Jefferson This week, the entire episode — well, almost the entire episode — is devoted to answering letters from listeners. Questions received include the story of Jefferson’s many talents, whether o...more

  • #1235 American Character

    May 23 2017

    "We have now a goodly field before us, & I have no wish superior to that of seeing it judiciously cultivated; that every Man, especially those who have labored to prepare it, may reap a fruitful Harvest” — George Washington, 1784 Nearly 50 years later, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote that, “As one digs deeper into the national character of the Americans, one sees that they have sought the value of everything in this world only in the answer to this single question: how much money will it bring in?” ...more

  • #1234 Jefferson's Talents

    May 16 2017

    "[Thomas Jefferson] could calculate an eclipse, survey an estate, tie an artery, plan an edifice, try a cause, break a horse, dance a minuet, and play a violin." — James Parton, 1874 This week, we ask President Jefferson to confirm or deny these reported talents. Find this episode, along with further recommended reading, on the blog. Learn more about Odyssey Tours and the summer 2017 Lewis & Clark adventure on odytours.net. There, you can also find the Lochsa Lodge retreats: one on Walden and an...more

  • #1233 Neither Wolf nor Dog

    May 09 2017

    "Somewhere in Jefferson, something happened where the European mindset turned and started looking to the west. He started looking toward possibility in a different way." — Kent Nerburn We welcome two special guests to the Thomas Jefferson Hour this week for an out-of-character discussion about Jefferson’s policies towards Native Americans. Joining us are the independent filmmaker Steven Lewis Simpson and author Kent Nerburn. We talk about Simpson's recent film adaptation of Nerburn’s book, “Neit...more

  • #1232 Listener Questions

    May 02 2017

    "Jefferson embodies — in many respects, not in all of them — the world that I want to live in. I want to live in Thomas Jefferson's America." — Clay This week, we discuss listener questions about architecture, Sally Hemings, revolutionary war, Jefferson as a scientist, recommended books and how Clay's life has been affected by performing as Thomas Jefferson. Find this episode, along with further recommended reading, on the blog. Clay will be taking part in a Conversation at Bismarck State Colleg...more

  • #1231 Jefferson's Garden

    Apr 25 2017

    This week, we speak with Pat Brodowski, head gardener at Jefferson’s Monticello. Pat shares her knowledge about how and why Jefferson grew the plants he did, the experimental nature of the household gardens and what is being done to maintain the gardens during our time. It’s a fascinating conversation which provides some real insight on Jefferson the gardener. Find this episode, along with photos of Pat Brodowski and the gardens of Monticello, on the blog. Clay will be taking part in a Conversat...more

  • #1230 Judgment

    Apr 18 2017

    "The constitution ... is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist, and shape into any form they please." — Thomas Jefferson to Spencer Roane, 1819 Thomas Jefferson had a unique and slightly odd view of the proper place of the judicial branch in America. He thought of judicial independence as both a strength and a weakness of our system: you want judges that are independent of popular factionalism but you want them to be accountable to the sovereign, to the American...more

  • #1229 Vice President

    Apr 11 2017

    "The Vice Presidency turned out to be just what Jefferson had predicted: 'philosophic evenings in winter' and summers at his beloved Monticello." — Clay This week on the Thomas Jefferson Hour, we return to "Jefferson 101", our biographical series. Reluctantly, Jefferson came out of retirement to serve as vice president for four years under his old friend John Adams. They were of different political persuasions and they, in a sense, became the heads of different political parties. Adams & Jeffers...more

  • #1228 Budgets

    Apr 04 2017

    "Jefferson regarded the national debt as a national disgrace." This week, President Jefferson (as portrayed by humanities scholar Clay S. Jenkinson) explains his reasoning behind his federal budget and why he felt it was essential to pay down the national debt that he inherited. We also learn about some of the people who helped Jefferson develop the budget, including Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin. Jefferson dedicated his administration to reducing the national debt as severely as pos...more

  • #1227 The Missing Book

    Mar 28 2017

    "[Meriwether Lewis] kept promising copy and he never sent a single page. We don't know what, if anything, became of his manuscript. We have nothing. He wouldn't communicate with us." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson President Jefferson talks about the Lewis & Clark expedition and America's role as an “Empire of liberty". Jefferson, that Type A keeper of records, was disappointed that Meriwether Lewis failed to complete his book about the journey. Lewis was Jefferson's neighb...more

  • #1226 American Happiness

    Mar 21 2017

    "You can't understand Jefferson without understanding slavery; you can't understand the paradox of his life and the words that he wrote in the Declaration of Independence without understanding this historical connection with Sally Hemings and with the enslaved people in general at Monticello." — Niya Bates, Public Historian of Slavery and African American Life at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation A variety of subjects are covered on the Thomas Jefferson Hour this week, including a discussion about...more

  • #1225 Liberty's First Crisis

    Mar 14 2017

    Our conversation this week is with the scholar, Charles Slack. Slack is the author of Liberty's First Crisis: Adams, Jefferson, and the Misfits Who Saved Free Speech. His book chronicles the tumultuous early years of the United States when dissent was so feared that those who dared to criticize the government were put in prison or deported through the Alien and Sedition Acts. Our discussion focuses on three individuals: Matthew Lyon, the congressman from Vermont; Benjamin Franklin Bache, the gra...more

  • #1224 Friends of the Hour

    Mar 07 2017

      Today, listeners call us and ask questions directly to President Jefferson. The inquiries cover a broad collection of topics: Jefferson's relationship with the press, postage costs during his time, President Andrew Jackson, patents, banking, and a request for advice on getting involved with local government. Interested in appearing on a future call-in episode? Please submit your questions! Find this episode, and further recommended reading, on the blog. Learn more about Odyssey Tours and the s...more

  • #1223 The Logan Act

    Feb 28 2017

    President Thomas Jefferson explains the Logan Act's origin, its possible uses and its connection to Alexander Hamilton. George Logan was a Quaker, doctor, farmer and state legislator from Pennsylvania who undertook, as a private citizen and at his own expense, a diplomatic mission to France in 1798 — and what was his reward? The Federalists and the Congress of the United States passed the Logan Act, prohibiting that from ever happening again. Despite Logan's good intentions, and his good results...more

  • #1222 First Retirement (Part Two)

    Feb 21 2017

    We return to our “Jefferson 101” series with a continued discussion about Jefferson’s period of retirement after his term as Secretary of State ended in 1793 and he returned to Monticello. Subjects include Jefferson’s reasons for leaving Washington, the Jay treaty, slavery and a revealing letter Jefferson wrote to his daughter Maria. Find this episode, along with further recommended reading, on the blog.  

  • #1221 The First 100 Days

    Feb 17 2017

    Clay S. Jenkinson discusses Thomas Jefferson’s election as President in 1801, his first 100 days in office, and notes the sometimes-uncanny parallels with our time. Find this episode, along with further recommended reading, on the blog. Learn more about "John Steinbeck’s California", the Spring 2017 Tour & Retreat hosted by Odyssey Tours, a division of Bek, Inc. For more information, visit Odyssey Tours online or contact Becky Cawley: (208) 791-8721 or bek@odytours.net

  • #1220 First Retirement (Part One)

    Feb 10 2017

    In this 16th installment of the Jefferson 101 Series, we discuss the period from 1794 to 1797 and Jefferson’s return to Monticello after his tenure as Secretary of State. Find this episode, along with further recommended reading, on the blog. Learn more about "John Steinbeck’s California" Spring Book Retreat/Tour 2017, hosted by Odyssey Tours, a div. of Bek, Inc. For more information, visit Odyssey Tours online or contact Becky Cawley: (208) 791-8721 or bek@odytours.net

  • #1219 Inauguration, Then & Now

    Feb 03 2017

    President Thomas Jefferson is asked to provide context for presidential inaugurations. Clay & David discuss our third president's inaugural address — its content & its tone — while comparing it to the address of our forty-fifth president, Donald Trump. Find this episode, along with further recommended reading, on the blog. From “The People’s Friend”, which was written & composed for the inaugural celebration of March 4th, 1801: What joyful prospects rise before Peace, Arts and Science hail our S...more

  • #1218 Two Parties

    Jan 27 2017

    We speak with President Thomas Jefferson this week about the unexpected emergence of the two-party political system during his time. Find this episode, along with further recommended reading, on the blog. Learn more about "John Steinbeck’s California" Spring Book Retreat/Tour 2017, hosted by Odyssey Tours, a div. of Bek, Inc. For more information, visit Odyssey Tours online or contact Becky Cawley: (208) 791-8721 or bek@odytours.net

  • The Jefferson Watch: The Inauguration

    Jan 26 2017

    In the first of a new series of essays, Clay draws comparisons between the inaugurations of Presidents Donald Trump and Thomas Jefferson. The full essay can also be found on the blog. "By not acknowledging the fact of the opposition—and making some gesture of his desire to represent them too, to find a way to win their approval—Trump spoke about 'the People' in a way that is merely demagogic and symbolic but without any fundamental truth or reality. ... Had he been a Jeffersonian, Trump would ha...more

  • Thomas Jefferson's Inauguration

    Jan 20 2017

    This bonus episode is an excerpt from #752 Inaugural, originally published in January of 2009. Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson, discusses his inaugural address of March 4th, 1801. You can hear the original episode in full on the blog. Yale provides the full text of Jefferson's First Inaugural Address.

  • #1217 Secretary of State (Part Two)

    Jan 20 2017

    This week, we return with the 15th installment of the “Jefferson 101” series. In this second of two shows discussing Jefferson’s time as the first Secretary of State, we learn more about Jefferson’s vision of America and the strong disagreements he had with Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. Find this episode, along with further recommended reading, on the blog.

  • #1216 Secretary of State (Part One)

    Jan 13 2017

    This week, we return with the 14th installment of the “Jefferson 101” series. The program is the first of two shows discussing Jefferson’s time as the first Secretary of State. It begins with the story of Jefferson’s return from Europe and the effect his time in France had on his own political sentiments. Find this episode, along with further recommended reading, on the blog.

  • #1215 When in Rome

    Jan 06 2017

    Clay S. Jenkinson, the creator of the Thomas Jefferson Hour, shares stories about his 2016 trip to Rome. Clay talks about the effect Rome had on Jefferson, despite the fact that Jefferson never visited the city. Read more on the blog, where you can find images of the art and architecture discussed on this episode, along with additional recommended reading. "I think [Jefferson] would have been a little offended, aesthetically, by the bulk and the weight and the density of the Pantheon. I think he...more

  • #1214 Remembering 2016

    Dec 30 2016

    Clay & David recall and re-listen to some of the more memorable moments on the Thomas Jefferson Hour during the past year. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & Retreats with Clay S. Jenkinson at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.  

  • #1213 Jefferson Christmas 2016

    Dec 23 2016

    Attempting to move President Jefferson into the Christmas Spirit is always a challenge, and this year is no different. This year, we present excerpts from past Jefferson Hour shows discussing Jefferson’s feelings about the holiday and memories of his own Christmas experiences. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & Retreats with Clay S...more

  • Show 1212 Questions From Maryland

    Dec 16 2016

    In last week’s show, we heard President Thomas Jefferson speak to an audience in Abingdon, Maryland, but many of the submitted questions were left unanswered. We attend to that this week by providing answers to the overflow of questions for President Jefferson. You can support the show by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc., a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization under tax ID #46-5726534. This January, join Clay S. Jenkinson for a Winter Retreat at Lochsa Lodge: "The American Wes...more

  • Show 1211 Constitution Day in Maryland

    Dec 08 2016

    This week's show comes from a recording made by WAMD 970 in Abingdon, Maryland for the Harford County Library Foundation. The program was recorded as part of a Constitution Day program and was hosted by Dr. William Allen. You can support the show by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc., a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization under tax ID #46-5726534. We're giving away three signed copies of Becoming Jefferson's People! Each hardback book will come bundled with a three-CD audiobook...more

  • Becoming Jefferson's People (Excerpt)

    Dec 06 2016

    Donate to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. and receive a gift: a signed, hardback copy of Becoming Jefferson's People — plus a three-CD audiobook read by Clay S. Jenkinson. We're giving away three copies of Becoming Jefferson's People! A signed book, bundled with the audiobook version, will be awarded to three 1776 Club members. Join the Club by December 13th to be eligible for the drawing. Learn more & donate to the Thomas Jefferson Hour. Become a member of the 1776 Club.

  • Show 1210 Optimistic Revolution

    Dec 02 2016

    This week, special guest host Joe Lovell of Amarillo, Texas returns to speak with President Thomas Jefferson about revolution, public education and the need for true leadership. You can support the show by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc., a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization under tax ID #46-5726534. We're giving away three signed copies of Becoming Jefferson's People! Each hardback book will come bundled with a three-CD audiobook version, read by Clay S. Jenkinson. All new...more

  • Show 1209 Trial by Jury

    Nov 25 2016

    This week special quest host Joe L. Lovell of Amarillo, Texas speaks with President Jefferson about the workings of America’s legal system and the importance of each citizens right to a fair judicial system.

  • Show 1208 We Have Voted

    Nov 19 2016

    Prompted by requests from many Jefferson Hour listeners, this week Clay Jenkinson discusses the outcome of the 2016 election.

  • Show 1207 1800 and 2016

    Nov 11 2016

    This week on the Thomas Jefferson Hour, President Jefferson (as portrayed by humanities scholar Clay S. Jenkinson) discusses the election of 1800, which he referred to as the Second American Revolution — and he helps us to see some of the parallels with the election of 2016. This episode was recorded on November 7th, 2016. Read more on the blog. Listen to this week's 1776 Club episode.

  • Save the Republic Part Two

    Nov 04 2016

    This week part two of a discussion of suggestions sent in by listeners in response to Clay Jenkinson’s request as to their ideas on how to improve or “save” our republic. 

  • Show 1205 Save the Republic Part One

    Oct 28 2016

    In a previous program (Show 1200 Our Republic) President Jefferson spoke about the differences between a true democracy and a republic. In the podcast introduction Clay Jenkinson asked TJH listeners what their suggestions would be to improve or “save” our republic. Those many responses are discussed this and next week.

  • Show 1204 The Minimum

    Oct 21 2016

    In a previous show (Jefferson 113), Clay asked listeners to write in with their thoughts and personal experiences about living on minimum wages. During this show he shares and discusses the responses received.

  • Show 1203 Franklin’s Visit

    Oct 14 2016

    In this week’s show President Jefferson (as portrayed by humanities scholar Clay S. Jenkinson) is joined in conversation by Benjamin Franklin (as portrayed by GregRobin Smith).

  • Show 1202 Income Inequality (Live in Fargo)

    Oct 03 2016

    Bill Thomas of Prairie Public Radio is this week’s host of a live performance of the Thomas Jefferson Hour in Fargo North Dakota. Bill speaks to President Jefferson (as portrayed by humanities scholar Clay S. Jenkinson) about income inequality.  

  • Show 1201 Religion (Live in Fargo)

    Sep 30 2016

    Bill Thomas of Prairie Public Radio is this week’s host of a live performance of the Thomas Jefferson Hour in Fargo North Dakota. The subject Bill chose to speak with President Jefferson about (as portrayed by humanities scholar Clay S. Jenkinson) is religion.

  • Show 1200 Our Republic

    Sep 23 2016

    In this week’s show President Jefferson is asked to discuss the differences between a democracy and a republic. Clay asks listeners to send in a list of 5 things America could to do to become more of a republic again. Learn more on the blog.

  • Show 1199 America First

    Sep 17 2016

    This week President Jefferson shares his positions about immigration, isolationism, nationalism and when it’s appropriate to keep America first.

  • Show 1198 Winners and Losers

    Sep 09 2016

    This week President Jefferson answers listener mail including questions about civil disobedience, the dark side of Jefferson, political correctness and how the majority rules over the minority in our democracy.  

  • Show 1197 Load the Pipes

    Sep 02 2016

    This week in an out of character program, Thomas Jefferson Hour creator Clay S. Jenkinson discusses the protests occurring at the Standing Rock Reservation in in North Dakota over the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

  • Show 1196 Jefferson 113

    Aug 27 2016

    This week Thomas Jefferson Hour creator Clay S. Jenkinson returns to the "Jefferson 101" biographical series with the final of three shows devoted to Jefferson's time in Paris from 1784 to 1789.

  • Show 1195 Jefferson 112

    Aug 19 2016

    This week Thomas Jefferson Hour creator Clay S. Jenkinson returns to the "Jefferson 101" biographical series with the second of three shows devoted to Jefferson's time in Paris from 1784 to 1789.  

  • Show 1194 Jefferson 111

    Aug 12 2016

    This week Thomas Jefferson Hour creator Clay S. Jenkinson returns to the "Jefferson 101" biographical series with the first of three shows devoted to Jefferson's time in Paris from 1784 to 1789.

  • Show 1193 What They Said

    Aug 06 2016

    This week President Thomas Jefferson (as portrayed by humanities scholar Clay S. Jenkinson) is presented with excerpts of speeches given at both Republican and Democratic conventions and asked to share his thoughts.

  • Show 1192 Catherine and the Classics

    Jul 29 2016

    Clay Jenkinson is joined by his daughter Catherine to discuss their recent trip to Greece, her plans to study the classics and, of course, Thomas Jefferson.

  • #1191 A Bleak Moment

    Jul 23 2016

    As Clay says, “This is a tough one.” This week in a special out-of-character program, Clay discusses the recent episodes of violence occurring in America, and how Thomas Jefferson may have reacted to it. Find this episode on the blog. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

  • #1190 Jefferson's Daughters

    Jul 15 2016

    This week, a very special guest host — one who is quite qualified to speak with President Thomas Jefferson about his daughters and how he regarded them. We are pleased to welcome this week's host, Catherine Jenkinson. Find this episode on the blog. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.