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.
Clay will be performing as Thomas Jefferson at the Ferguson Center for the Arts in Newport News, VA on April 19th, 2017. "I love the area of Newport News, Virginia Beach — that whole world," Clay proclaims in this week's podcast episode. "It's one of the places I get the greatest satisfaction in performing as the third president of the United States."
Find more info and buy tickets here.
- The Character of Meriwether Lewis: Explorer in the Wilderness by Clay S. Jenkinson
- Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery by Ken Burns & Dayton Duncan
And So Once More to the Breach
The Jefferson Watch
The Lewis & Clark trail is thousands of miles long. It begins at Monticello, appropriately enough, and it ends at the mouth of the Columbia, at a place called Dismal Nitch. But without question 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. Best because it is most pristine. Best because it is the least damaged by industrial civilization. Best because on this section of the great journey you can actually stand where Lewis and Clark stood, camp where they camped, and walk precisely in their footsteps. It’s thrilling and moving and sometimes it gives you goosebumps.
Read Clay's Jefferson Watch essay, "And So Once More to the Breach".
Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay:
I was fascinated by these Mandan; the Mandan were legendary all the way into my world. I eventually met the great Coyote or Wolf — I think you call him Sheheke or Sheheke-shote — of the Mandan. I met him, he came to the White House at the end of 1806 and the beginnings of 1807. I sent some words back with him to Dakota. We had some difficulty getting him home, it turned out. He was one of the many Indian delegations that I was able to greet in my capacity as the President of the United States.