Episode

#1360 To Cuba

#1360 To Cuba

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.

#1358 Robinson Crusoe

#1358 Robinson Crusoe

"It’s a classic enlightenment story: a novel in the history of ideas about how civilization is created from nothing."

— Clay S. Jenkinson

We present another installment of the Jefferson Hour Book Club this week, and the selection is Robinson Crusoe, written by Daniel Defoe and published in 1719. It is a book Thomas Jefferson had in his library and reportedly read twice.

#1357 The Dempster Highway

#1357 The Dempster Highway

We are joined this week by David Nicandri, one of the most respected Lewis and Clark scholars in the country. His book, "River of Promise: Lewis & Clark on the Columbia" fills a significant gap in our understanding of Lewis and Clark’s legendary expedition. Nicandri joins us not so much to speak of that journey, but one of his own. In a fascinating conversation, Nicandri tells us about the journey he and his son took on the Dempster Highway all the way to the arctic ocean.

#1356 Considering Exceptionalism

#1356 Considering Exceptionalism

"Our society should be a way of encouraging human possibility and human community."

— Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson

Prompted by a letter from a listener, President Thomas Jefferson shares his views on American exceptionalism and his hope that America will stand as a strong and good example for the rest of the world to follow.

#1354 In 1969

#1354 In 1969

This week we speak with Thomas Jefferson briefly about Alexander von Humbolt, and then bring Jefferson closer to our time by informing him that 50 years ago America landed men on the moon, which he has a bit of trouble believing. We also discuss Woodstock with Jefferson who says he hopes that if there were indeed women in attendance that they were all properly “escorted.”

#1353 Humboldt and Jefferson

#1353 Humboldt and Jefferson

"He was iconic in the world's idea of what a nation could possibly be, and what an enlightened leader could possibly be."

— Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson

We discuss Humboldt and Jefferson: A Transatlantic Friendship of the Enlightenment by Sandra Rebok, which explores the relationship between two fascinating personalities: the Prussian explorer, scientist, and geographer Alexander von Humboldt and Thomas Jefferson. They met in the spring of 1804 for just a few days, but their correspondence went on for decades.

#1351 Eight Objects

#1351 Eight Objects

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.

#1350 Diamonds and Dunghills

#1350 Diamonds and Dunghills

This week, Clay takes a deeper look at Jefferson and religion. Jefferson considered the teachings of Jesus as having "the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man," but he felt that the pure teachings of Jesus were inaccurately appropriated by some of the early followers of Jesus which led to a Bible that had both "diamonds" of wisdom and the "dung" of ancient political agendas.

#1349 Jefferson's Soul

#1349 Jefferson's Soul

On August 20th, 1814, Thomas Jefferson received a letter from Miles King expressing King’s concerns for Jefferson’s eternal soul. King wrote, “And now permit me to ask dear Sir, are you not an old man well stricken in years, and laden with the highest honors that a grateful country can bestow? But what will these avail you in a dying hour?” We speak with President Jefferson this week about that letter and Jefferson’s reply to it.

#1348 Tulip Poplars

#1348 Tulip Poplars

We discuss the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo moon landing and then are joined by two special guests. Jeff Huss of the Huss & Dalton Guitar Company in Staunton, Virginia talks about a very special project: the Jefferson Edition 00-SP Custom guitar which is crafted in part with wood from Monticello. Later in the program, Monticello’s head gardener Pat Brodowski tells us about the trees the wood came from and why they had to be cut down.

#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.

#1342 Dressing Down

#1342 Dressing Down

"He was drest, or rather undrest, with an old brown coat, red waistcoat, old corduroy small clothes, much soiled-woolen hose-and slippers without heels."

— William Plumer, 1802

This week we talk about Thomas Jefferson’s talent for political theater, and the ways he used this talent to reinforce the public perception of his firm beliefs in republicanism and guard against what he saw as a threat of monarchy in the young nation.

#1341 Dinner with Jefferson

#1341 Dinner with Jefferson

"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend."

— Thomas Jefferson, 1800

This week, we ask President Jefferson about his famous dinner parties and their extensive menus. It was important to Jefferson to not appear too regal, and the dinner parties were kept somewhat casual. In 1802, a Federalist senator from New Hampshire was meeting Jefferson at a dinner when “a tall high boned man” entered the room wearing “an old brown coat, red waistcoat, old corduroy small clothes, much soiled—woolen hose—& slippers without heels.” He added, “I thought this man was a servant; but was surprised by the announcement it was the President.”