#1190 Jefferson's Daughters

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

Download this week's episode.


"It's often easy to forget about how important his relationships with his family was."

"It's often easy to forget about how important his relationships with his family was."

"Although I loved my two surviving children greatly, to think at all about my life as a father brings me some return of sorrow."

"Although I loved my two surviving children greatly, to think at all about my life as a father brings me some return of sorrow."

"Frankly, the things I'm hearing you say about the way you spoke to your daughters — and your view of what their lives should be — are appalling."

"Frankly, the things I'm hearing you say about the way you spoke to your daughters — and your view of what their lives should be — are appalling."


Further Reading

Today's episode was inspired, in part, by Jon Kukla's 2007 book, Mr. Jefferson's Women, Virginia Scharff's 2010 book, The Women Jefferson Loved and Stephanie Dray's America's First Daughter, which was published earlier this year.


What Would Thomas Jefferson Do?

 
 
I would be skeptical of the idea that a single member can hold up the business of the central government of the United States by simply speaking.
— Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson

Tune in to your local public radio or join the 1776 Club to hear this episode of "What Would Thomas Jefferson Do?"


"Martha was nine at the time of her mother's death. She looked after me during this period of intense grief. When I would ride out recklessly on my horses in the blue ridge mountains, she would follow along on her mare half a mile behind just to make sure I returned safely. She had to grow up almost overnight."

"Martha was nine at the time of her mother's death. She looked after me during this period of intense grief. When I would ride out recklessly on my horses in the blue ridge mountains, she would follow along on her mare half a mile behind just to make sure I returned safely. She had to grow up almost overnight."

“I can think of nothing that would have been more problematic to me than my daughter, in the age of the Enlightenment, choosing to closet herself in a cloister as a Catholic nun.”

“I can think of nothing that would have been more problematic to me than my daughter, in the age of the Enlightenment, choosing to closet herself in a cloister as a Catholic nun.”


 
 

This week's 1776 Club broadcast is a follow-up to the regular episode, including more out-of-character conversation with Clay's daughter, Catherine. The bonus episode wraps up when we learn that Catherine's real reason for hosting was just so she could have her Frasier Crane moment.

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"Nothing disgusts the male sex more than young women who appear as slovens or sluts at the breakfast table. All of your hair should be carefully combed and brushed and pinned up."

"Nothing disgusts the male sex more than young women who appear as slovens or sluts at the breakfast table. All of your hair should be carefully combed and brushed and pinned up."

"Gender is destiny. The Creator designed the world with male and female — man and woman. He did not design a neuter. He designed distinct gender and he must have had something in mind when he did this."

"Gender is destiny. The Creator designed the world with male and female — man and woman. He did not design a neuter. He designed distinct gender and he must have had something in mind when he did this."

"I was stern. I wanted them to be accomplished. I didn't want them to be what Mary Wollstonecraft called 'ephemeron triflers'."

"I was stern. I wanted them to be accomplished. I didn't want them to be what Mary Wollstonecraft called 'ephemeron triflers'."

"I don't want women in the public sphere. I want women to be escorted by their fathers or uncles, their husbands or brothers, but not ever to have an independent, public existence of any sort. I saw a little of that in my time in France and I must say, it terrified me."

"I don't want women in the public sphere. I want women to be escorted by their fathers or uncles, their husbands or brothers, but not ever to have an independent, public existence of any sort. I saw a little of that in my time in France and I must say, it terrified me."

"It's very fun. I'd just like to say, for all your listeners, that I'm sitting across from you right now and you have taken off your shoes. Jefferson would have never been sitting merely in his socks."

"It's very fun. I'd just like to say, for all your listeners, that I'm sitting across from you right now and you have taken off your shoes. Jefferson would have never been sitting merely in his socks."


Author Virginia Scharff

Scharff's 2010 book, The Women Jefferson Loved, was a source of inspiration for this episode of the Jefferson Hour. Below, find an interview with (and then a lecture by) the author.


The tender breasts of ladies were not formed for political convulsion; and the French ladies miscalculate much their own happiness when they wander from the true field of their influence into that of politicks."


More from Clay S. Jenkinson