When he was elected vice president in 1796, Jefferson said, in relief, "The second office of this government is honorable and easy, the first is but a splendid misery."
"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.
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.
"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.
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.
I get so tired of the Sally Hemings story. At almost every public presentation I give in the costume and character of Thomas Jefferson, someone sashays up to the microphone in the aisle and says, “Tell us about Sally Henning” or some other slight botching of her name.
"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 Hemmings and Thomas Jefferson. We discuss the historical record and look to first-hand accounts in an attempt to answer this question.
"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 how Jefferson is connected to all this.