The Lewis & Clark trail begins at Monticello and ends at the mouth of the Columbia. But the best part of the whole transcontinental trail lies between the confluence of the Judith and Missouri Rivers in eastern Montana, and Orofino, Idaho, on the Clearwater River on the other side of the Bitterroot Mountains.
"[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 neighbor, his protégé, his private secretary in the White House, and he led the most successful expedition in American history — a voyage Clay & David have spent many years discussing, and one that Clay revisits by foot and by canoe each summer with Odyssey Tours.
"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
A variety of subjects are covered on the Thomas Jefferson Hour this week, including a discussion about Benjamin Franklin Bache's newspaper the Philadelphia Aurora, the effect negative press had on politicians during Jefferson’s time and an interview with Niya Bates about restoration work ongoing at Monticello.
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.