Episode

#1351 Eight Objects

#1351 Eight Objects

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.

#1350 Diamonds and Dunghills

#1350 Diamonds and Dunghills

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.

#1349 Jefferson's Soul

#1349 Jefferson's Soul

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.

#1348 Tulip Poplars

#1348 Tulip Poplars

We discuss the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo moon landing and then are joined by two special guests. Jeff Huss of the Huss & 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.

#1346 In Search of America

#1346 In Search of America

"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.

#1343 Forty Books

#1343 Forty Books

"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.

#1342 Dressing Down

#1342 Dressing Down

"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.

#1341 Dinner with Jefferson

#1341 Dinner with Jefferson

"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend."

— Thomas Jefferson, 1800

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 wearing “an old brown coat, red waistcoat, old corduroy small clothes, much soiled—woolen hose—& slippers without heels.” He added, “I thought this man was a servant; but was surprised by the announcement it was the President.”

#1339 Questions and Answers

#1339 Questions and Answers

"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.

#1338 Notes on the State of Virginia

#1338 Notes on the State of Virginia

"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.

#1337 The Vaunted Scene

#1337 The Vaunted Scene

“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.

#1336 Brodowski and Wright

#1336 Brodowski and Wright

"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.

#1335 The Mustard Seed

#1335 The Mustard Seed

"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.

#1334 Benjamin Rush with Stephen Fried

#1334 Benjamin Rush with Stephen Fried

"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 Adams and Thomas Jefferson. This week we speak with the author Stephen Fried about his new book, Rush: Revolution, Madness, and Benjamin Rush, the Visionary Doctor Who Became a Founding Father.

#1333 The Constitution Today

#1333 The Constitution Today

"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.