Listener Questions

#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.

#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.

#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.

#1328 Constitutional Correspondence

#1328 Constitutional Correspondence

"What would fix this country? Almost the number one thing would be: take money out of politics."

— Clay S. Jenkinson

We continue our current theme of constitutional discussions by reading and considering listener mail, including a number of specific suggestions for constitutional amendments.

#1327 Complex Compromises

#1327 Complex Compromises

Jefferson answers questions about the Constitution, including topics like presidential pardon power, natural-born citizen requirements, and the constitutionality of signing statements.

#1322 Roosevelt and Jefferson

#1322 Roosevelt and Jefferson

"Few people grow in office; few people grow in life. Roosevelt grew in life. He became more interesting, more sensitive, more thoughtful ... [Roosevelt] became more enlightened as time went on."

— Clay S. Jenkinson

Prompted by a listener request, and recognizing the 100th anniversary Theodore Roosevelt’s death, this week Clay Jenkinson discusses the differences, and a few similarities, between Roosevelt and Jefferson.

#1320 Looking Forward

#1320 Looking Forward

"It's going to be a pivotal year in American history."

— Clay S. Jenkinson

We look forward to 2019 and discuss some of the episode topics that have been suggested to us by the Fans of the Thomas Jefferson Hour group on Facebook.

#1318 Was Thomas Jefferson a Christian?

#1318 Was Thomas Jefferson a Christian?

"I believe so strongly that Jefferson was right about separation of church and state."

— Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson

We wish all a Merry Christmas from The Thomas Jefferson Hour, which, as it turns out, is perhaps more than Thomas Jefferson would have done. Jefferson was not a believer in celebrating Christmas in a traditional fashion and felt it should not be a national holiday.

#1311 Jefferson's Views

#1311 Jefferson's Views

"This is a French school of economics and social thinking that I subscribed to, at least in part, that says that wealth comes from the soil"

— Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson

President Jefferson answers listener questions about Jefferson as a guide for our troubled times, Jefferson’s views on slavery, and his thoughts on J. Hector St. John de Crèvecœur's Letters from an American Farmer, published in 1782.

#1307 Live in Pittsburg, KS

#1307 Live in Pittsburg, KS

"You think I'm joking, but I wanted a square America."

— Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson goes on the road this week to Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas. The performance was taped live at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts on September 15, 2018 in front of an audience of over 500 people. The event was hosted by Dustin Treiber, the program director of Four States Public Radio station KRPS.

The subject of this episode was the Louisiana Purchase. Jefferson, to begin the conversation, pointed out to the citizens of Kansas that he bought the state for three cents per acre from Napoleon Bonaparte.

#1305 Wine and Welshmen

#1305 Wine and Welshmen

"We should always listen to science. Science is not political. Science is rational."

— Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson

President Thomas Jefferson answers listener questions this week, including inquiries about Jefferson and wine, Welsh “Indians” in the Dakotas, repairing friendships, and the idea that “the rain followed the plow” during Jefferson’s time.

#1303 Can We Talk?

#1303 Can We Talk?

"He saw a nation that collapsed right in front of him and he thought, 'well, I wonder why nations collapse,' and I think that really led to some great thinking."

— Clay S. Jenkinson

We respond to listener mail this week, including questions related to the principle of one-person one-vote, and we discuss replies to Clay’s request for some thoughtful conservative perspectives from listeners who support the Trump administration.

#1302 Alarm Poll

#1302 Alarm Poll

"I'm like everyone else, I'm in the middle. I see some benefits on both edges of the spectrum, but I don't want either of them to prevail."

— Clay S. Jenkinson

Clay S. Jenkinson asked listeners to rate, on a scale of 1 to 10, how alarmed they are about the current state of political affairs in the United States. Rather than just giving a number, many listeners responded with many thoughtful letters. This week we share and read portions from 17 of those letters.

#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.

#1286 First Family (Part Two)

#1286 First Family (Part Two)

“I’m just thinking of your career, here.”

— Joseph Ellis

We continue our conversation this week with the award-winning author Joseph Ellis, and we conclude our discussion about his book First Family: Abigail and John Adams as part of our first entry of the Thomas Jefferson Hour Book Club series.