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The Thomas Jefferson Hour

The Thomas Jefferson Hour

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The Thomas Jefferson Hour features conversations with Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, as portrayed by the award-winning humanities scholar and author, Clay Jenkinson. The weekly discussion features Mr. Jefferson’s views on...Show More
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#1336 Brodowski and Wright

57:53 | Apr 30th

We speak with two of our favorite Jefferson Hour correspondents: Pat Brodowski, the head gardener at Monticello, and Beau Wright, a frequent contributor to the show and a city council member of Lynchburg, VA.
#1335 The Mustard Seed

58:48 | Apr 23rd

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.
#1334 Benjamin Rush with Stephen Fried

58:45 | Apr 16th

We speak with author Stephen Fried about his new book, Rush: Revolution, Madness, and Benjamin Rush, the Visionary Doctor Who Became a Founding Father.
#1333 The Constitution Today

1:01:04 | Apr 9th

We discuss Akhil Reed Amar's The Constitution Today, a selection for the Book Club, which contains essays written by Amar over the past two decades. Amar gives us a road map for thinking constitutionally about today’s America.
Let Us Read the Mueller Report

08:55 | Apr 4th

I confess that I did in fact think that more indictments were coming, perhaps even within the Trump family. I did think that Special Prosecutor Mueller would conclude that the Trump organization conspired with the Russians to influence the election. ...Show More
#1332 Smallpox

59:39 | Apr 2nd

"Having been among the early converts, in this part of the globe, to [the smallpox vaccine's] efficiency, I took an early part in recommending it to my countrymen." — Thomas Jefferson, 1806
Ne Plus Ultra

05:00 | Mar 29th

"I would have liked to have had Canada. Twice, we invaded Canada during my lifetime, and failed on both occasions." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson
#1331 Young Washington with Peter Stark

55:20 | Mar 26th

We speak with Peter Stark, author of Young Washington: How Wilderness and War Forged America’s Founding Father. We discuss George Washington’s travels into the Ohio country, and how Washington’s involvement in the Battle of Jumonville Glen touched of...Show More
#1330 Wilderness and War

57:44 | Mar 19th

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.
#1329 Laboratories of Democracy

58:03 | Mar 12th

"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 di...Show More
#1328 Constitutional Correspondence

1:02:02 | Mar 5th

We continue our current theme of constitutional discussions by reading and considering listener mail, including a number of specific suggestions for constitutional amendments. We also share a report from a listener who visited Monticello when Ivanka ...Show More
Appropriations

04:59 | Mar 1st

Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. You can learn more about our Cultural Tours & Retreats with Clay S. Jenkinson at jeffersonhour...Show More
#1327 Complex Compromises

55:28 | Feb 26th

Jefferson answers questions about the Constitution, including topics like presidential pardon power, natural-born citizen requirements, and the constitutionality of signing statements.
#1326 No Just Government Should Refuse

57:22 | Feb 19th

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.
#1325 Pax Americana

58:53 | Feb 12th

The most mail we received was about Robert Kagan's new book, The Jungle Grows Back, which Tom Friedman of The New York Times called "An incisive, elegantly written, new book about America’s unique role in the world."
#1324 Lochsa

1:00:20 | Feb 5th

Clay Jenkinson returns from his cultural retreat held at Lochsa Lodge in Idaho last week and reports in on this year's meetings.
#1323 The Only Security of All Is in a Free Press

1:00:57 | Jan 29th

This week we discuss the importance of a free press with President Jefferson. "were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the l...Show More
#1322 Roosevelt and Jefferson

1:01:08 | Jan 22nd

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.
Government Shutdowns

05:01 | Jan 18th

"There must be a better way for the political factions of your time to sort out their differences." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson
#1321 January First

1:02:58 | Jan 15th

January 1st was an important day to Thomas Jefferson for many reasons. This week, we speak with President Jefferson about notable New Year's Day occurrences during his life.
#1320 Looking Forward

56:35 | Jan 8th

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.
#1319 Looking Back

59:17 | Jan 1st

We look back at 2018 and wish everyone a happy New Year. This episode is our chance to revisit all of the great conversations we've had about Jefferson in 2018.
#1318 Was Thomas Jefferson a Christian?

58:42 | Dec 25th, 2018

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 na...Show More
Edmond-Charles Genêt

05:00 | Dec 21st, 2018

"We couldn't allow a French national to be here, stirring up anti-administration feeling in this country, or fitting out privateers in our wars." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson
#1317 Madison's Letters

57:13 | Dec 18th, 2018

"Jefferson yielded to Madison's stronger concern. He needed him and he trusted him." — Clay S. Jenkinson
Liberal Education

05:00 | Dec 14th, 2018

"You can have all the information in the world, but it doesn't mean anything unless you have a mental matrix with which to absorb it, evaluate it, analyze it, begin to synthesize it. That's why we go to college." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas...Show More
#1316 James Madison (Part Two)

58:58 | Dec 11th, 2018

"to the press alone, checkered as it is with abuses, the world is indebted for all the triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression." — James Madison
#1315 James Madison (Part One)

53:16 | Dec 4th, 2018

President Thomas Jefferson speaks about his good friend and adviser James Madison.
Poplar Forest

05:01 | Nov 30th, 2018

"All the rooms are octagonal or semi-octagonal, except the main dining room, which is a perfect cube." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson
#1314 Our Friend Beau

55:52 | Nov 27th, 2018

"Whatever your politics are, to think that the country is being taken seriously by young men and women who want us to be a Jeffersonian republic is just such a gratifying thing to me." — Clay S. Jenkinson We greet a special visitor, our friend Be...Show More
#1313 Gratitude and Thanks

53:08 | Nov 20th, 2018

We wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving from the Thomas Jefferson Hour. This week, we speak to four friends including Lisa Suhay, who tells us about her new book America the Grateful; Pat Brodowski, the head gardener at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello; l...Show More
#1312 Elections Matter

1:00:57 | Nov 13th, 2018

The results of the 2018 midterm elections are what we try to sort out this week: what it means, what it implies, and how it fits into Jefferson's view of the United States.
Jamal Khashoggi

05:01 | Nov 9th, 2018

"We need to protest firmly without any ambiguity whatsoever." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson
#1311 Jefferson's Views

56:28 | Nov 6th, 2018

"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 J...Show More
Voting

05:00 | Nov 2nd, 2018

"Everyone in that public place would know which candidate he voted for." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson
#1310 Valley Forge with Bob Drury and Tom Clavin

54:46 | Oct 30th, 2018

Valley Forge was the darkest moment of the revolutionary war. Twelve thousand American troops were stationed at a place 23 miles northwest of Philadelphia. If there could be suffering, they felt it at Valley Forge — nearly starving, mutiny, disease, ...Show More
Water

05:00 | Oct 26th, 2018

"I would hope the states would handle that and the government of the United States would only serve as a referee." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson
#1309 Water for a Dry Land with Char Miller

54:32 | Oct 23rd, 2018

Drop Jefferson into western Kansas or Oklahoma. What does he say about the Ogallala miracle? The Ogallala aquifer is a huge underground water resource which stretches from South Dakota all the way to Texas — an underground lake the size of Lake Huron...Show More
Ancient Rome's Influence

04:59 | Oct 19th, 2018

"If you study this, you'll know what can go wrong, and maybe you'll be able to prevent it" — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson
Book Club: Valley Forge on 10/30

02:03 | Oct 17th, 2018

On October 30th, we're going to have Bob Drury and Tom Clavin on the show. They're the authors of a new book, Valley Forge, which will be our next book club selection.
#1308 American Dialogue with Joseph Ellis

55:18 | Oct 16th, 2018

We welcome back Professor Joseph Ellis — the eminent historian, author and friend of the Jefferson Hour — to speak about his new book, American Dialogue: The Founders and Us, which is out now.
Emancipation

05:00 | Oct 12th, 2018

"I realized that this was so deeply rooted in the American social, economic, and political life, that it was going to take an extraordinary movement to rid ourselves of slavery." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson
#1307 Live in Pittsburg, KS

1:42:49 | Oct 9th, 2018

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 ...Show More
#1306 Ossian

58:00 | Oct 2nd, 2018

We speak with President Thomas Jefferson (as portrayed by humanities scholar Clay S. Jenkinson) about reading - one of his favorite pastimes. We also talk about the teachers who inspired his lifelong habit of reading and Jefferson’s fascination with ...Show More
#1305 Wine and Welshmen

1:01:27 | Sep 25th, 2018

"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...Show More
#1304 To France

1:01:39 | Sep 18th, 2018

"This period was, in some ways, the most satisfying period of Jefferson's life, and in some ways it was the most radical." — Clay S. Jenkinson This week, as promised, and in anticipation of Clay’s upcoming cultural tour of Jefferson’s France i...Show More
Other Explorations of the West

05:00 | Sep 14th, 2018

"Down in the southwest, two expeditions occurred during my presidency." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson
#1303 Can We Talk?

56:04 | Sep 11th, 2018

"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 rel...Show More
Honoring John McCain

05:00 | Sep 7th, 2018

"A statesman is one who always asks what is best for this country." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson
#1302 Alarm Poll

1:05:19 | Sep 4th, 2018

"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 asked listeners to rate, on a scale of 1 to 10, how alarmed they are about th...Show More
How to Handle Partisan Division

05:00 | Aug 31st, 2018

"I believe that each faction, each party, has a moral duty to reach over to the other and to try to find common ground, and that each party should take the lead in being civil and respectful and generous." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jef...Show More
#1301 Farewell Address

59:18 | Aug 28th, 2018

"George Washington ... was as close to a perfect human being as we believed existed on Earth." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson This week, we speak with President Jefferson about George Washington's farewell address which was fi...Show More
Civil Discourse

05:00 | Aug 24th, 2018

"I think the American people are overwhelmingly good and decent." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson
#1300 Better Arguments

57:35 | Aug 21st, 2018

"Can we talk? Can we try to argue about where we are and where we're going and use the founders as a source of wisdom that might allow us to have a safe place to meet and to talk about this with civility, but with fervor?" — Joseph J. Ellis C...Show More
Enemy of the People

05:00 | Aug 17th, 2018

"Whatever's wrong with the press, we must defend it, because the alternative is tyranny." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson
#1299 Jefferson's Mistakes

58:57 | Aug 14th, 2018

"He was part of the extension of slavery that made the Civil War inevitable, and that led to almost 800,000 deaths." — Clay S. Jenkinson This week President Thomas Jefferson speaks about the political mistakes he made.
Traveling West

04:59 | Aug 10th, 2018

"I would have been able to produce an account of that tour — and I mean no self-aggrandizement in saying this, but just from the sheer discipline of writing every day at great length — would have been one of the classics of the literature of explorat...Show More
#1298 As Requested

56:35 | Aug 7th, 2018

"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 re...Show More
#1297 While You Were Away

54:39 | Jul 31st, 2018

"Voltaire at the end of Candide says, just go home and cultivate your garden." — Clay S. Jenkinson This week, we catch up on our mail bag and also speak with a couple of Thomas Jefferson Hour listeners.
Defending America in the World Arena

05:00 | Jul 29th, 2018

"The duty of the President of the United States is to be the principal articulator of America's values." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson
#1296 Mil

54:19 | Jul 24th, 2018

"When you die, your legacy is the effect you've had on people, and boy did my mother have an effect on people." — Clay S. Jenkinson Clay Jenkinson speaks this week about the death of his mother, Mil, and discusses Jefferson’s thoughts and corre...Show More
Cartography

05:00 | Jul 20th, 2018

"I made a special devotion to collecting all of the maps that I could." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson
#1295 Too Né

56:10 | Jul 17th, 2018

"Too Né's data wound up in the journals and all of it is on the map, and the map deepens the journals, and the journals deepen the map." — Clay S. Jenkinson This week on the Thomas Jefferson Hour, we feature an extended conversation about the r...Show More
Supreme Court Appointments

05:00 | Jul 13th, 2018

"It is not a great privilege to name a Supreme Court justice." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson
#1294 Judicial Responsibility

1:01:00 | Jul 10th, 2018

"You want people who are moderates, who are not passionate zealots in any particular direction." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson Thomas Jefferson shares his thoughts about the workings of the Supreme Court, allows his per...Show More
The Declaration of Independence

05:00 | Jul 6th, 2018

"I played a small role. I was just the penman of this thing." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson
#1293 4th of July

1:00:18 | Jul 3rd, 2018

"Mythology begins to creep in, and as historians we like to question some of that." — Clay S. Jenkinson This week on our annual 4th of July show, Thomas Jefferson reads the Declaration of Independence in it’s entirety and speaks about one of hi...Show More
#1292 Common Sense

59:20 | Jun 26th, 2018

This week, we present another of our Jefferson Hour Book Club episodes and discuss Thomas Paine’s Common Sense.
#1291 Circumstances

1:05:03 | Jun 19th, 2018

"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 ...Show More
#1290 Adjustments

1:00:12 | Jun 12th, 2018

"He's a bit of Tea Party guy, he's a bit of libertarian, he's certainly for small government." — Clay S. Jenkinson This week's episode is devoted to answering listener questions, and many of the questions are about the current administration....Show More
#1289 Jefferson's Vision

58:21 | Jun 5th, 2018

"Lightly governed, lightly taxed, highly educated, isolationist, farmer's paradise." — Clay S. Jenkinson This week, President Thomas Jefferson explains his own vision for America.
#1288 Truth Matters

1:00:40 | May 29th, 2018

"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 hi...Show More
#1287 The Hardest Job

58:45 | May 22nd, 2018

"I don't think that it's very useful to compare the burden of the presidency of 1803 … with the burden of the presidency in your time." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson We talk with President Jefferson about an article wr...Show More
#1286 First Family (Part Two)

59:15 | May 15th, 2018

“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...Show More
#1285 First Family (Part One)

58:15 | May 8th, 2018

Joining our conversation this week is the award-winning author Joseph Ellis. We discuss his book First Family: Abigail and John Adams in part one of two shows as our first entry for the Thomas Jefferson Hour Book Club series.
#1284 Foreign Policy

1:01:40 | May 1st, 2018

"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 f...Show More
#1283 The General Welfare

1:00:29 | Apr 24th, 2018

"I would never consider [the Constitution] to be a sacred text." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson We present President Thomas Jefferson with a listener question about what the phrase "promote the general welfare," found i...Show More
#1282 The Map

56:56 | Apr 17th, 2018

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 ...Show More
#1281 Unanswered Questions

58:05 | Apr 10th, 2018

"History is like a picture puzzle and half of the pieces or more are missing. There is something about Jefferson that makes us want to expose contradiction." — Clay S. Jenkinson Our show this week revolves around a question from listener Gino...Show More
#1280 Tomatoes

58:03 | Apr 3rd, 2018

"That is one of the most fun things that I try to do, reacquaint people with the joyous flavor of the tomato that they crave." — Craig LeHoullier Inspired by a letter from Alison Hagan, we talk with three tomato experts: Craig LeHoullier, autho...Show More
#1279 The Art of the Letter

56:23 | Mar 27th, 2018

"Every letter has a basis and a purpose … I spent an enormous amount of time thinking about the recipient." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson We speak this week with President Jefferson about the art of letter writing. Prom...Show More
#1278 Adams, Bees and Guns

59:49 | Mar 20th, 2018

"I believe that we have the right to revolution." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson President Jefferson answers listener questions about his relationship with John Adams, replacing the Constitution once every generation, b...Show More
#1277 Gerrymandering

57:53 | Mar 13th, 2018

"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 America...Show More
#1276 Revolutionary Summer

55:58 | Mar 6th, 2018

"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 his...Show More
#1275 Joseph Ellis

54:44 | Feb 27th, 2018

"There's a perfect alignment between Jefferson's own contradictions and the rest of American history." — Joseph J. Ellis Clay speaks with Dr. Joseph J. Ellis, author of more than ten books, including American Sphinx, Passionate Sage, and Revo...Show More
#1274 The Classics

59:01 | Feb 20th, 2018

"You cannot understand the founding of this country without understanding the Founding Fathers’ obsession with classical languages and literature." — Clay S. Jenkinson Guest host Catherine Jenkinson has an extended conversation with President J...Show More
#1273 Three Friends

1:01:42 | Feb 12th, 2018

"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 a...Show More
#1272 Raleigh

57:02 | Feb 6th, 2018

Catherine Jenkinson returns as host this week for an extended conversation with President Jefferson about Sir Walter Raleigh.
#1271 Current Events

58:20 | Jan 30th, 2018

We speak with President Jefferson about current events including the government shutdown, philanthropy, and water shortages in Cape Town.
#1270 Total Extirpation

56:48 | Jan 22nd, 2018

"It really upsets me that Jefferson should be anti-canine, but there you are." — Clay S. Jenkinson This week, we answer listener questions about Jefferson’s personality traits, Thaddeus Kosciuszko, the State of Jefferson, the Hamilton Soundtrac...Show More
#1269 Mrs. Smith

59:55 | Jan 16th, 2018

Margaret Bayard Smith was a friend of Thomas Jefferson. Her writings provided the content for the book The First Forty Years of Washington Society which includes first hand accounts of her interactions with Jefferson. This week we speak with Mister J...Show More
#1268 Peaceful Transition

57:35 | Jan 9th, 2018

"Most revolutions end with the establishment of a dictatorship." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson We speak with President Jefferson this week about America’s tradition of the peaceful transfer of power from one administrati...Show More
#1267 Fiction or Non

59:33 | Jan 3rd, 2018

"I had a canine appetite for reading." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson This week, President Jefferson shares his views on reading fiction versus non-fiction and recommends works of fiction from his time. On this episode...Show More
#1266 Looking Back at 2017

59:55 | Dec 26th, 2017

This week on the Thomas Jefferson Hour, we look back at the conversations we had with President Jefferson and the many subjects we discussed during 2017.
#1265 Christmas 2017

58:52 | Dec 19th, 2017

Special guest host Catherine Jenkinson speaks with President Jefferson about Christmas during Jefferson’s time.
#1264 Representation

58:13 | Dec 8th, 2017

"It's so hard for me to think that one citizen, for whatever reason, would commit such mayhem." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson President Jefferson answers listener questions this week. He is asked about District of Columbia...Show More
#1263 Jefferson's Travels

1:00:21 | Dec 5th, 2017

"I saw the future of the American experiment in the West." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson Catherine Jenkinson returns to host a conversation with President Jefferson about his travels in France, Europe and the United States...Show More
#1262 The Final Years (Part Three)

1:00:20 | Nov 28th, 2017

"Two seraphs await me long shrouded in death; I will bear them your love on my last parting breath." — Thomas Jefferson, July 1826 We conclude our Jefferson 101 biographical series by discussing his final days at Monticello, his legacy, and the...Show More
#1261 Jefferson's Table

56:00 | Nov 21st, 2017

"Literally everyone in Washington, D.C. wanted invitations to my White House dinners." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson Catherine Jenkinson returns as guest host this week to speak with President Jefferson about all things fo...Show More
#1260 The Final Years (Part Two)

1:00:01 | Nov 14th, 2017

"at best it is but the life of a mill-horse, who sees no end to his circle but in death. to such a life that of a cabbage is paradise." — Thomas Jefferson, 27 June 1822 This week, we return with part two of the last three shows of the Jefferson...Show More
#1259 The Final Years (Part One)

1:04:07 | Nov 7th, 2017

"The last years of his life were increasingly characterized by debt and disillusionment." — Clay We return to Jefferson 101 with part one of the final three shows of the Jefferson biography series to discuss Jefferson’s years in retirement at Mon...Show More
#1258 Dissent is Essential

57:13 | Oct 31st, 2017

Anything that is non-violent is an acceptable form of protest in a Republic." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson President Jefferson shares his view on what he calls an essential need for citizens to speak out about issues th...Show More
#1257 Down from the Mountain

56:13 | Oct 24th, 2017

"Jefferson was a gentleman. Mountains weren't climbed in his time." — Clay This week, we speak with Clay about his recent mountain climbing experience and answer listener questions.
#1256 Last Refuge

56:47 | Oct 17th, 2017

"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." — Samuel Johnson We speak with President Thomas Jefferson about patriotism and Jefferson’s concept of what it is to be truly free.
#1255 Show Mister Jefferson

59:03 | Oct 10th, 2017

Prompted by a listener letter, Clay answers the question, “If Thomas Jefferson appeared before you today, what would you want to show him from our time?”
#1254 Magic of the Word

56:25 | Oct 3rd, 2017

"Nobody ever used the English language to greater effect than William Shakespeare." — Clay Clay discusses his new show, "Clay Jenkinson's Shakespeare the Magic of the Word" — which held its world premiere in Norfolk, VA in September — and share...Show More
#1253 Second Term

58:41 | Sep 26th, 2017

"Nature intended me for the tranquil pursuits of science by rendering them my supreme delight." — Thomas Jefferson We return to the Jefferson 101 biographical series and explore Jefferson’s second term as President. We discuss the many difficul...Show More
#1252 Mildness & Amenity

56:37 | Sep 19th, 2017

"I am more candid in your era than I ever would have been in mine." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson This week, we speak with President Jefferson about his hospitality and good manners. In her book, The First Forty Years of...Show More
#1251 Checks & Balances

1:01:10 | Sep 12th, 2017

"If the three federal branches can't stop themselves from doing appalling things, a fourth entity exists, and that's the states." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson We discuss the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, states' rights,...Show More
#1250 Totality

58:01 | Sep 6th, 2017

"How can you call yourself a Jeffersonian if you don't go see [the eclipse]?" — Clay Clay takes us on a road trip to Wyoming to witness the eclipse. Later in the episode, David Nicandri phones in to report on his experience.
#1249 Amor Patriae

59:38 | Aug 29th, 2017

Responding to a flood of emails from listeners, this week an out-of-character program discussing the recent events at Charlottesville. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinso...Show More
#1248 Private Thoughts

59:50 | Aug 22nd, 2017

"I'm trying to explain to you and to your listeners what makes for a happy life." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson President Thomas Jefferson speaks about Monticello, his private and daily habits, his compulsiveness and how his V...Show More
#1247 On My Doorstep

57:36 | Aug 14th, 2017

"Of all of the people of this era, there is one and only one huge paradox, and it's Thomas Jefferson." — Clay S. Jenkinson Clay shares his first impressions of John B. Boles' new book, Jefferson: Architect of American Liberty. Find this episode, alon...Show More
#1246 Special Places

57:20 | Aug 7th, 2017

"The bureaucracy can actually serve a really valuable purpose." — Beau Wright, Director of Operations at United to Protect Democracy In an out-of-character program, Clay reports on this year's Lewis & Clark cultural tour. Later, we're joined by Beau ...Show More
#1245 This Thing of Darkness

55:36 | Jul 31st, 2017

“This thing of darkness, I acknowledge mine.” — Prospero, The Tempest This week Clay Jenkinson speaks about Thomas Jefferson and slavery. Find this episode, along with further recommended reading, on the blog. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay ...Show More
#1244 A Free Nation

57:55 | Jul 24th, 2017

"The Founding Fathers intended a free nation in which you could choose your religion." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson After a short discussion about weather, President Jefferson addresses a question about his ownership of a cop...Show More
#1243 Mister President

57:56 | Jul 18th, 2017

"Really? You don't think Jefferson has a geopolitical plan here?" — Clay S. Jenkinson This week, we return to the Jefferson 101 series and discuss Jefferson’s first term as President. In particular, we discuss the Barbary pirates, the Louisiana Purch...Show More
#1242 Inside the White House

56:34 | Jul 11th, 2017

"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...Show More
#1241 4th of July

57:11 | Jul 3rd, 2017

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 Sen...Show More
#1240 Becoming President

58:51 | Jun 27th, 2017

"I think that's what Jefferson's attitude was: 'I'd rather not, but I'm probably the best person to do it.'" — Clay We return to our Jefferson 101 series this week with an episode about Jefferson’s road to the White House. Over the past few months, w...Show More
#1239 Original Argument

56:26 | Jun 20th, 2017

"The question then became: Is a national bank constitutional? Did the Founding Fathers contemplate a national bank?" — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson This week, we discuss the argument between Alexander Hamilton and Jefferson ove...Show More
#1238 Presidential Decorum

59:24 | Jun 13th, 2017

"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...Show More
#1237 More Listener Letters

1:00:50 | Jun 6th, 2017

"I was always happiest when I could direct the reading of a promising young man." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson Here at the Jefferson Hour, we love our listener mail. We try to answer as many letters as possible because they h...Show More
#1236 Listener Letters

58:43 | May 30th, 2017

"Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God, if ever he had a chosen people, whose breasts he has made his peculiar deposit for substantial and genuine virtue. It is the focus in which he keeps alive that sacred fire, which otherwise ...Show More
#1235 American Character

1:00:13 | May 23rd, 2017

"We have now a goodly field before us, & I have no wish superior to that of seeing it judiciously cultivated; that every Man, especially those who have labored to prepare it, may reap a fruitful Harvest” — George Washington, 1784 Nearly 50 years late...Show More
#1234 Jefferson's Talents

1:02:54 | May 16th, 2017

"[Thomas Jefferson] could calculate an eclipse, survey an estate, tie an artery, plan an edifice, try a cause, break a horse, dance a minuet, and play a violin." — James Parton, 1874 This week, we ask President Jefferson to confirm or deny these repo...Show More
#1233 Neither Wolf nor Dog

54:52 | May 9th, 2017

"Somewhere in Jefferson, something happened where the European mindset turned and started looking to the west. He started looking toward possibility in a different way." — Kent Nerburn We welcome two special guests to the Thomas Jefferson Hour this w...Show More
#1232 Listener Questions

57:45 | May 2nd, 2017

"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 This week, we discuss listener questions about architecture, Sally Hemings, revolutionary war, Jeffer...Show More
#1231 Jefferson's Garden

57:49 | Apr 25th, 2017

This week, we speak with Pat Brodowski, head gardener at Jefferson’s Monticello. Pat shares her knowledge about how and why Jefferson grew the plants he did, the experimental nature of the household gardens and what is being done to maintain the gard...Show More
#1230 Judgment

58:47 | Apr 18th, 2017

"The constitution ... is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist, and shape into any form they please." — Thomas Jefferson to Spencer Roane, 1819 Thomas Jefferson had a unique and slightly odd view of the proper place ...Show More
#1229 Vice President

1:00:48 | Apr 11th, 2017

"The Vice Presidency turned out to be just what Jefferson had predicted: 'philosophic evenings in winter' and summers at his beloved Monticello." — Clay This week on the Thomas Jefferson Hour, we return to "Jefferson 101", our biographical series. Re...Show More
#1228 Budgets

55:47 | Apr 4th, 2017

"Jefferson regarded the national debt as a national disgrace." 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 nat...Show More
#1227 The Missing Book

1:01:28 | Mar 28th, 2017

"[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 Jef...Show More
#1226 American Happiness

1:04:51 | Mar 21st, 2017

"You can't understand Jefferson without understanding slavery; you can't understand the paradox of his life and the words that he wrote in the Declaration of Independence without understanding this historical connection with Sally Hemings and with th...Show More
#1225 Liberty's First Crisis

55:44 | Mar 14th, 2017

Our conversation this week is with the scholar, Charles Slack. Slack is the author of Liberty's First Crisis: Adams, Jefferson, and the Misfits Who Saved Free Speech. His book chronicles the tumultuous early years of the United States when dissent wa...Show More
#1224 Friends of the Hour

56:36 | Mar 7th, 2017

Today, listeners call us and ask questions directly to President Jefferson. The inquiries cover a broad collection of topics: Jefferson's relationship with the press, postage costs during his time, President Andrew Jackson, patents, banking, and a re...Show More
#1223 The Logan Act

56:17 | Feb 28th, 2017

President Thomas Jefferson explains the Logan Act's origin, its possible uses and its connection to Alexander Hamilton. George Logan was a Quaker, doctor, farmer and state legislator from Pennsylvania who undertook, as a private citizen and at his ow...Show More
#1222 First Retirement (Part Two)

59:41 | Feb 21st, 2017

We return to our “Jefferson 101” series with a continued discussion about Jefferson’s period of retirement after his term as Secretary of State ended in 1793 and he returned to Monticello. Subjects include Jefferson’s reasons for leaving Washington, ...Show More
#1221 The First 100 Days

58:31 | Feb 17th, 2017

Clay S. Jenkinson discusses Thomas Jefferson’s election as President in 1801, his first 100 days in office, and notes the sometimes-uncanny parallels with our time. Find this episode, along with further recommended reading, on the blog. Learn more ab...Show More
#1220 First Retirement (Part One)

58:25 | Feb 10th, 2017

In this 16th installment of the Jefferson 101 Series, we discuss the period from 1794 to 1797 and Jefferson’s return to Monticello after his tenure as Secretary of State. Find this episode, along with further recommended reading, on the blog. Learn m...Show More
#1219 Inauguration, Then & Now

1:01:24 | Feb 3rd, 2017

President Thomas Jefferson is asked to provide context for presidential inaugurations. Clay & David discuss our third president's inaugural address — its content & its tone — while comparing it to the address of our forty-fifth president, Donald Trum...Show More
#1218 Two Parties

59:36 | Jan 27th, 2017

We speak with President Thomas Jefferson this week about the unexpected emergence of the two-party political system during his time. Find this episode, along with further recommended reading, on the blog. Learn more about "John Steinbeck’s California...Show More
The Jefferson Watch: The Inauguration

12:22 | Jan 26th, 2017

In the first of a new series of essays, Clay draws comparisons between the inaugurations of Presidents Donald Trump and Thomas Jefferson. The full essay can also be found on the blog. "By not acknowledging the fact of the opposition—and making some g...Show More
Thomas Jefferson's Inauguration

09:50 | Jan 20th, 2017

This bonus episode is an excerpt from #752 Inaugural, originally published in January of 2009. Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson, discusses his inaugural address of March 4th, 1801. You can hear the original episode in full on the b...Show More
#1217 Secretary of State (Part Two)

1:03:33 | Jan 20th, 2017

This week, we return with the 15th installment of the “Jefferson 101” series. In this second of two shows discussing Jefferson’s time as the first Secretary of State, we learn more about Jefferson’s vision of America and the strong disagreements he h...Show More
#1216 Secretary of State (Part One)

58:00 | Jan 13th, 2017

This week, we return with the 14th installment of the “Jefferson 101” series. The program is the first of two shows discussing Jefferson’s time as the first Secretary of State. It begins with the story of Jefferson’s return from Europe and the effect...Show More
#1215 When in Rome

1:00:51 | Jan 6th, 2017

Clay S. Jenkinson, the creator of the Thomas Jefferson Hour, shares stories about his 2016 trip to Rome. Clay talks about the effect Rome had on Jefferson, despite the fact that Jefferson never visited the city. Read more on the blog, where you can f...Show More
#1214 Remembering 2016

1:00:56 | Dec 30th, 2016

Clay & David recall and re-listen to some of the more memorable moments on the Thomas Jefferson Hour during the past year.
#1213 Jefferson Christmas 2016

56:39 | Dec 23rd, 2016

Attempting to move President Jefferson into the Christmas Spirit is always a challenge, and this year is no different. This year, we present excerpts from past Jefferson Hour shows discussing Jefferson’s feelings about the holiday and memories of his...Show More
Show 1212 Questions From Maryland

59:42 | Dec 16th, 2016

In last week’s show, we heard President Thomas Jefferson speak to an audience in Abingdon, Maryland, but many of the submitted questions were left unanswered. We attend to that this week by providing answers to the overflow of questions for President...Show More
Show 1211 Constitution Day in Maryland

57:42 | Dec 8th, 2016

This week's show comes from a recording made by WAMD 970 in Abingdon, Maryland for the Harford County Library Foundation. The program was recorded as part of a Constitution Day program and was hosted by Dr. William Allen. You can support the show by ...Show More
Becoming Jefferson's People (Excerpt)

23:09 | Dec 6th, 2016

Donate to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc. and receive a gift: a signed, hardback copy of Becoming Jefferson's People — plus a three-CD audiobook read by Clay S. Jenkinson. We're giving away three copies of Becoming Jefferson's People! A signed book, ...Show More
Show 1210 Optimistic Revolution

1:08:32 | Dec 2nd, 2016

This week, special guest host Joe Lovell of Amarillo, Texas returns to speak with President Thomas Jefferson about revolution, public education and the need for true leadership. You can support the show by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc.,...Show More
Show 1209 Trial by Jury

56:02 | Nov 25th, 2016

This week special quest host Joe L. Lovell of Amarillo, Texas speaks with President Jefferson about the workings of America’s legal system and the importance of each citizens right to a fair judicial system.
Show 1208 We Have Voted

1:00:31 | Nov 19th, 2016

Prompted by requests from many Jefferson Hour listeners, this week Clay Jenkinson discusses the outcome of the 2016 election.
Show 1207 1800 and 2016

1:00:40 | Nov 11th, 2016

This week on the Thomas Jefferson Hour, President Jefferson (as portrayed by humanities scholar Clay S. Jenkinson) discusses the election of 1800, which he referred to as the Second American Revolution — and he helps us to see some of the parallels w...Show More
Save the Republic Part Two

1:00:49 | Nov 4th, 2016

This week part two of a discussion of suggestions sent in by listeners in response to Clay Jenkinson’s request as to their ideas on how to improve or “save” our republic.
Show 1205 Save the Republic Part One

59:43 | Oct 28th, 2016

In a previous program (Show 1200 Our Republic) President Jefferson spoke about the differences between a true democracy and a republic. In the podcast introduction Clay Jenkinson asked TJH listeners what their suggestions would be to improve or “save...Show More
Show 1204 The Minimum

1:00:03 | Oct 21st, 2016

In a previous show (Jefferson 113), Clay asked listeners to write in with their thoughts and personal experiences about living on minimum wages. During this show he shares and discusses the responses received.
Show 1203 Franklin’s Visit

59:01 | Oct 14th, 2016

In this week’s show President Jefferson (as portrayed by humanities scholar Clay S. Jenkinson) is joined in conversation by Benjamin Franklin (as portrayed by GregRobin Smith).
Show 1202 Income Inequality (Live in Fargo)

57:54 | Oct 3rd, 2016

Bill Thomas of Prairie Public Radio is this week’s host of a live performance of the Thomas Jefferson Hour in Fargo North Dakota. Bill speaks to President Jefferson (as portrayed by humanities scholar Clay S. Jenkinson) about income inequality.
Show 1201 Religion (Live in Fargo)

55:15 | Sep 30th, 2016

Bill Thomas of Prairie Public Radio is this week’s host of a live performance of the Thomas Jefferson Hour in Fargo North Dakota. The subject Bill chose to speak with President Jefferson about (as portrayed by humanities scholar Clay S. Jenkinson) is...Show More
Show 1200 Our Republic

57:51 | Sep 23rd, 2016

In this week’s show President Jefferson is asked to discuss the differences between a democracy and a republic. Clay asks listeners to send in a list of 5 things America could to do to become more of a republic again. Learn more on the blog.
Show 1199 America First

1:00:30 | Sep 17th, 2016

This week President Jefferson shares his positions about immigration, isolationism, nationalism and when it’s appropriate to keep America first.
Show 1198 Winners and Losers

1:01:27 | Sep 9th, 2016

This week President Jefferson answers listener mail including questions about civil disobedience, the dark side of Jefferson, political correctness and how the majority rules over the minority in our democracy.
Show 1197 Load the Pipes

55:13 | Sep 2nd, 2016

This week in an out of character program, Thomas Jefferson Hour creator Clay S. Jenkinson discusses the protests occurring at the Standing Rock Reservation in in North Dakota over the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Show 1196 Jefferson 113

58:44 | Aug 27th, 2016

This week Thomas Jefferson Hour creator Clay S. Jenkinson returns to the "Jefferson 101" biographical series with the final of three shows devoted to Jefferson's time in Paris from 1784 to 1789.
Show 1195 Jefferson 112

59:59 | Aug 19th, 2016

This week Thomas Jefferson Hour creator Clay S. Jenkinson returns to the "Jefferson 101" biographical series with the second of three shows devoted to Jefferson's time in Paris from 1784 to 1789.
Show 1194 Jefferson 111

1:00:13 | Aug 12th, 2016

This week Thomas Jefferson Hour creator Clay S. Jenkinson returns to the "Jefferson 101" biographical series with the first of three shows devoted to Jefferson's time in Paris from 1784 to 1789.
Show 1193 What They Said

1:01:19 | Aug 6th, 2016

This week President Thomas Jefferson (as portrayed by humanities scholar Clay S. Jenkinson) is presented with excerpts of speeches given at both Republican and Democratic conventions and asked to share his thoughts.
Show 1192 Catherine and the Classics

1:01:30 | Jul 29th, 2016

Clay Jenkinson is joined by his daughter Catherine to discuss their recent trip to Greece, her plans to study the classics and, of course, Thomas Jefferson.
#1191 A Bleak Moment

59:22 | Jul 23rd, 2016

As Clay says, “This is a tough one.” This week in a special out-of-character program, Clay discusses the recent episodes of violence occurring in America, and how Thomas Jefferson may have reacted to it.
#1190 Jefferson's Daughters

58:54 | Jul 15th, 2016

This week, a very special guest host — one who is quite qualified to speak with President Thomas Jefferson about his daughters and how he regarded them. We are pleased to welcome this week's host, Catherine Jenkinson. Thomas Jefferson is interpret...Show More