Gardening

#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.

#1299 Jefferson's Mistakes

#1299 Jefferson's Mistakes

"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.

#1298 As Requested

#1298 As Requested

"You have to wait 14 years under the naturalization law before you can become a full citizen of the United States. These were palpable violations of the Bill of Rights."

— Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson

We spend this week, as requested, responding to submitted questions and correcting some factual errors pointed out by our listeners.

#1291 Circumstances

#1291 Circumstances

"The debate in American history is not between Hamilton and Jefferson, the debate is between Adams and Jefferson."

— Clay S. Jenkinson

This week, we answer listener questions on the Thomas Jefferson Hour, including a letter from a writer who wonders whether the Founding Fathers were geniuses who seized the moment, or simply average people living in extraordinary times. We also speak with our good friend Beau Wright.

#1289 Jefferson's Vision

#1289 Jefferson's Vision

"Lightly governed, lightly taxed, highly educated, isolationist, farmer's paradise."

— Clay S. Jenkinson

This week, President Thomas Jefferson explains his own vision for America.

#1287 The Hardest Job

#1287 The Hardest Job

"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.

#1284 Foreign Policy

#1284 Foreign Policy

"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.

#1280 Tomatoes

#1280 Tomatoes

"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.

#1278 Adams, Bees and Guns

#1278 Adams, Bees and Guns

"I believe that we have the right to revolution."

— Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson

President Jefferson answers listener questions about his relationship with John Adams, replacing the Constitution once every generation, bees at Monticello, and the Second Amendment.

#1273 Three Friends

#1273 Three Friends

"I'm just thrilled to see that people can still have intelligent and thoughtful conversations and walk away still feeling friends."

— Rick Kennerly

We speak with three friends of the Jefferson Hour this week: Rick Kennerly, who talks tomatoes and why they don’t taste as good as they used to, Pat Brodowski, Head Gardener at Monticello who speaks about the gardens and upcoming events at Monticello, and Beau Wright, Director of Operations at Protect Democracy.

#1266 Looking Back at 2017

#1266 Looking Back at 2017

This week on the Thomas Jefferson Hour, we look back at the conversations we had with President Jefferson and the many subjects we discussed during 2017.

#1260 The Final Years (Part Two)

#1260 The Final Years (Part Two)

"at best it is but the life of a mill-horse, who sees no end to his circle but in death. to such a life that of a cabbage is paradise."

— Thomas Jefferson, 27 June 1822

This week, we return with part two of the last three shows of the Jefferson 101 biography series, and continue our discussion of Jefferson’s final years in retirement at Monticello.

#1248 Private Thoughts

#1248 Private Thoughts

"I'm trying to explain to you and to your listeners what makes for a happy life."

— Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson

President Thomas Jefferson speaks about Monticello, his private and daily habits, his compulsiveness and how his Virginian hospitality cost him a personal fortune.

#1236 Listener Letters

#1236 Listener Letters

"Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God, if ever he had a chosen people, whose breasts he has made his peculiar deposit for substantial and genuine virtue. It is the focus in which he keeps alive that sacred fire, which otherwise might escape from the face of the earth."

— Thomas Jefferson

This week, the entire episode — well, almost the entire episode — is devoted to answering letters from listeners. Questions received include the story of Jefferson's many talents, whether or not Jefferson had a bust of Alexander Hamilton at Monticello, and how to re-create experiments from Jefferson's age.

#1235 American Character

#1235 American Character

Alexis de Tocqueville wrote that, “As one digs deeper into the national character of the Americans, one sees that they have sought the value of everything in this world only in the answer to this single question: how much money will it bring in?”

This week we discuss the American character with President Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson believed that the American character would be the best in the history of the world: because of our agrarianism, our distance from the havoc of the Old World, our public education, and our resourcefulness that we needed to develop because there were no outside experts. While Adams felt that without a strong American character, "the strongest Cords of our Constitution [would be broken] as a Whale goes through a Net." John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were dear friends; they disagreed about many things. One thing they agreed upon was that this experiment would only work if we had unique character.