We are joined again this week by Catherine Jenkinson acting as guest host for a delightful conversation about Cuba, Clay’s upcoming cultural tour to Cuba, Thomas Jefferson’s connection to Cuba, and Theodore Roosevelt’s time there. Catherine questions Clay as to whether or not Roosevelt was really the “man in the arena” during his exploits on San Juan Hill.
"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.
"This book reveals [Washington] as a man of emotion, raw emotion."
— Clay S. Jenkinson
In anticipation of our conversation next week with Peter Stark, the author of Young Washington, we speak with Jefferson about our first president. Jefferson also comments on the time change, and the importance of using available daylight.
"Let me add that a bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, & what no just government should refuse or rest on inference."
— Thomas Jefferson, 1787
President Jefferson answers a number of listener questions about the United States Constitution. We discuss the meaning of Article V, how much of the document is open to interpretation, and the idea of amending the Constitution every generation.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"I feel an Awe upon my Mind, which is not easily described."
— John Adams
Clay and David discuss the book Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence, referred to as "a distinctive portrait of the crescendo moment in American history from the Pulitzer-winning American historian, Joseph Ellis." The book chronicles the events of the summer of 1776 as America’s war for independence began, and how America was nearly defeated by the British.
This week, we discuss listener questions about architecture, Sally Hemings, revolutionary war, Jefferson as a scientist, recommended books and how Clay's life has been affected by performing as Thomas Jefferson.
"What I discovered was that Jefferson embodies — in many respects, not in all of them — the world that I want to live in. I want to live in Thomas Jefferson's America." — Clay
"Jefferson regarded the national debt as a national disgrace." Clay
This week, President Jefferson (as portrayed by humanities scholar Clay S. Jenkinson) explains his reasoning behind his federal budget and why he felt it was essential to pay down the national debt that he inherited. We also learn about some of the people who helped Jefferson develop the budget, including Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin.
Jefferson dedicated his administration to reducing the national debt as severely as possible. As always, there are parallels between Jefferson's time and ours. He wanted to cut taxes and the size of the federal government, but he also wanted to cut the size of the Army and Navy; you don't hear that kind of talk much in our time. In this case, Jefferson was an idealogue about fiscal responsibility.
On episode #1200 Our Republic, President Thomas Jefferson spoke about the differences between a true democracy and a republic. In the podcast introduction, Clay S. Jenkinson asked Jefferson Hour listeners what their suggestions would be to improve or “save” our republic. Those many responses are discussed this and next week.