"He was part of the extension of slavery that made the Civil War inevitable, and that led to almost 800,000 deaths."
— Clay S. Jenkinson
This week President Thomas Jefferson speaks about the political mistakes he made.
I confess that I did in fact think that more indictments were coming, perhaps even within the Trump family. I did think that Special Prosecutor Mueller would conclude that the Trump organization conspired with the Russians to influence the election. I was plainly wrong.
The American people regard the US Constitution as a sacred document—even though Jefferson specifically asked us not to—and historically we have been very reluctant to tamper with it. Too bad, because it is badly in need of fundamental revision. Our Constitutional order has broken down. After years of thinking about this, I offer the following amendments.
It’s an exceedingly important book. And it explains a lot of things that may seem puzzling to you, as they do to me.
I’m going to be alone this Christmas for the first time in twenty years—so do feel free to send presents—cognac, figs, books, music, frankincense and myrrh, whatever they are.
Jefferson left office on March 4, 1809, exhausted and somewhat disillusioned.
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.
"If the three federal branches can't stop themselves from doing appalling things, a fourth entity exists, and that's the states."
— Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson
We discuss the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, states' rights, and the need for checks and balances within the federal government.
"I think that's what Jefferson's attitude was: 'I'd rather not, but I'm probably the best person to do it.'"
We return to our Jefferson 101 series this week with an episode about Jefferson’s road to the White House. Over the past few months, we've carried Jefferson from his birth in Virginia in 1743 right up to the brink of the time when he became the third president of the United States. We take for granted how our elections work. Back then, they didn't really have a blueprint: no conventions, no caucuses, no primaries, no debates. It was an informal system and we try to sort out how a reluctant person like Jefferson winds up being the president.