President Thomas Jefferson speaks to us this week about inventions and scientific discoveries of his time including some he was responsible for.
"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.
"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.
"I think that an ideal citizen is a bit grumpy, is always concerned that government is up to no good."
— Thomas Jefferson, Second Inaugural Address
We begin our conversation with President Thomas Jefferson asking about the actual location of his tombstone. We also discuss truthfulness, free speech, personal freedoms, upholding international agreements, and what Thomas Jefferson thinks about executive privilege and our current government.
"You could redistrict so that you could maximize competitiveness. That would be my suggestion: maximize competitiveness."
— Clay S. Jenkinson
On this week’s Thomas Jefferson Hour, we discuss gerrymandering, its origin, how it works in American politics today, and the potential effects it has on our democracy.
"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.
"You can object to anybody's politics, but I firmly believe that you can't object to President Obama's character."
— Beau Wright
President Thomas Jefferson speaks about the White House — during his time and ours — with this week's special guest, Beau Wright. Wright spent over five years serving in the White House, nearly two years of that time as Senior Deputy Director of White House Operations and Director for Finance.
Beau Wright is currently Director of Operations for United to Protect Democracy.
"I never like to be rude, but sometimes one has to set the precedent for a society that will shock the world."
— Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson
This week, we discuss diplomacy and presidential decorum. When the British Ambassador Anthony Merry came to the White House, Jefferson went out of his way to be rude: to make it clear that the Revolution was won by us, not them.