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.
"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.
"The French ... thought it was an assassination, a war crime, that Washington was a murderer."
— Peter Stark
We speak with Peter Stark, author of Young Washington: How Wilderness and War Forged America’s Founding Father.
We discuss George Washington’s formative years and character traits, his travels into the Ohio country, and his relationship with lieutenant governor Robert Dinwiddie. We talk about how Washington’s involvement in the Battle of Jumonville Glen touched off the French and Indian War.
"I am a loyal, proud, cheerleading sort of North Dakotan."
— Clay S. Jenkinson
A listener in Texas admonishes Clay for offering to give up a North Dakota senate seat, and we take questions about the Fourteenth Amendment. Our constitutional discussions continue by reading additional correspondence from listeners.
"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.
"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.
We answer listener questions in response to episode #1277 Gerrymandering, and then turn to a discussion about an important discovery of an 1805 Lewis & Clark related map. It was found after being stored for 200 years in a French archive. The map and its background story appear in this month’s issue of We Proceeded On, published by the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation.
We speak with President Jefferson this week in our annual 4th of July Show. Jefferson shares his thoughts on why the holiday is so important to Americans and recalls how it was celebrated during his time. We also speak to Gaye Wilson, the Shannon Senior Historian at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies and Pat Brodowski, specialty gardener at Monticello who tell us about the celebrations being held at Monticello.
Joining us this week are two special guests: the independent filmmaker Steven Lewis Simpson and author Kent Nerburn. We talk about Simpson's recent film adaptation of Nerburn’s book, Neither Wolf nor Dog, and about Jefferson’s long shadow when it comes to the United States' conduct regarding American Indians.
"[Meriwether Lewis] kept promising copy and he never sent a single page. We don't know what, if anything, became of his manuscript. We have nothing. He wouldn't communicate with us."
— Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson
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.
Events of historic importance are slowly unfolding south of Mandan, North Dakota, near the boundary of another nation state, the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. The Dakota Access Pipeline protest has grown into something much larger and more important for the future of white-Indian relations. As we in the non-Indian community look on, it is essential that we try to shut up and just listen for a change.