A new episode of the Madison presidency series is now available!
May 19, 2019

2.22 – Enter the Federal City

2.22 – Enter the Federal City

Year(s) Discussed: 1799-1801

As President Adams and the federal government transition to the new federal capital, the next presidential election looms, and both Federalist and Democratic-Republican leaders work on behalf of their favored candidates to meet challenges to their prospects. While Federalists cope with an internal debate over exactly which candidate to support, Democratic-Republicans in Virginia work to cover up the involvement of French agents in Gabriel’s Rebellion. All the while, the US commission to France scrambles to conclude their work with a treaty in time for Adams and the Federalists to claim credit for winning the peace.


Special thanks to Niall Cooper of the Assassinations Podcast for providing the intro quote for this episode!

  • Adams, John. “To John Marshall, 31 July 1800,” Founders Online, National Archives, accessed April 11, 2019, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Adams/99-02-02-4473. [Last Accessed: 24 Apr 2019]
  • Brown, Ralph Adams. The Presidency of John Adams. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1989 [1975].
  • Chernow, Ron. Alexander Hamilton. New York: Penguin Press, 2004.
  • Cunningham, Noble E, Jr. “Election of 1800.” History of American Presidential Elections 1789-1968, Volume I. Arthur M Schlesinger, Jr, ed. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1971. 101-134.
  • DeConde, Alexander. The Quasi-War: The Politics and Diplomacy of the Undeclared War with France, 1797-1801. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1966.
  • Egerton, Douglas R. Gabriel’s Rebellion: The Virginia Slave Conspiracies of 1800 & 1802. Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 1993.
  • Ellsworth, Oliver. “To John Adams, 16 October 1800,” Founders Online, National Archives, accessed April 11, 2019, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Adams/99-02-02-4663. [Last Accessed: 4 May 2019]
  • Esdaile, Charles. Napoleon’s Wars: An International History. New York: Penguin, 2009 [2007].
  • Ferling, John. John Adams: A Life. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2010 [1992].
  • Hamilton, Alexander. “To Oliver Wolcott, Junior, 1 July 1800,” Founders Online, National Archives, accessed April 11, 2019, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Hamilton/01-25-02-0004. [Original source: The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, vol. 25, July 1800 – April 1802, ed. Harold C. Syrett. New York: Columbia University Press, 1977, pp. 4–5.] [Last Accessed: 24 Apr 2019]
  • Hamilton, Alexander. “To Samuel Dexter, 2 July 1800,” Founders Online, National Archives, accessed April 11, 2019, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Hamilton/01-25-02-0005. [Original source: The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, vol. 25, July 1800 – April 1802, ed. Harold C. Syrett. New York: Columbia University Press, 1977, p. 6.] [Last Accessed: 23 Apr 2019]
  • Hamilton, Alexander. “To John Adams, 1 August 1800,” Founders Online, National Archives, accessed April 11, 2019, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Hamilton/01-25-02-0036. [Original source: The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, vol. 25, July 1800 – April 1802, ed. Harold C. Syrett. New York: Columbia University Press, 1977, pp. 51–52.] [Last Accessed: 24 Apr 2019]
  • Hamilton, Alexander. “To Oliver Wolcott, Junior, 3 August 1800,” Founders Online, National Archives, accessed April 11, 2019, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Hamilton/01-25-02-0039. [Original source: The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, vol. 25, July 1800 – April 1802, ed. Harold C. Syrett. New York: Columbia University Press, 1977, pp. 54–56.] [Last Accessed: 24 Apr 2019]
  • Hill, Peter P. William Vans Murray, Federalist Diplomat: The Shaping of Peace with France 1797-1801. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1971.
  • Lambert, Frank. The Barbary Wars: American Independence in the Atlantic World. New York: Hill and Wang, 2007 [2005].
  • Landry, Jerry. The Presidencies of the United States. 2018-2019. http://presidencies.blubrry.com.
  • Malone, Dumas. Jefferson and the Ordeal of Liberty: Jefferson and His Time, Volume Three. Boston: Little, Brown and Co, 1962.
  • McCullough, David. John Adams. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2001.
  • Monroe, James. “To Thomas Jefferson, 9 September 1800,” Founders Online, National Archives, version of January 18, 2019, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/01-32-02-0086. [Original source: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 32, 1 June 1800 – 16 February 1801, ed. Barbara B. Oberg. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005, pp. 131–132.] [Last Accessed: 11 Apr 2019]
  • The national intelligencer and Washington advertiser. (Washington City [D.C.]), 04 May 1801. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045242/1801-05-04/ed-1/seq-4/. [Last Accessed: 20 Apr 2019]
  • Schom, Alan. Napoleon Bonaparte. New York: HarperCollins, 1998 [1997].
  • Sharp, James Roger. The Deadlocked Election of 1800: Jefferson, Burr, and the Union in the Balance. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2010.
  • Smith, Jean Edward. John Marshall: Definer of a Nation. New York: Henry Holt & Co, 1996.
  • Smith, Page. John Adams, Volume II 1784-1826. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co, 1962.
  • Stone, Geoffrey R. Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime, From the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism. New York and London: W W Norton & Co, 2004.
  • Toth, Michael C. Founding Federalist: The Life of Oliver Ellsworth. Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 2018 [2011].
  • “Treaty of Alliance Between The United States and France; February 6, 1778.” The Avalon Project. Yale Law School, Lillian Goldman Law Library. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fr1788-2.asp. [Last Accessed: 4 May 2019]
  • “Treaty of Amity and Commerce Between The United States and France; February 6, 1778.” The Avalon Project. Yale Law School, Lillian Goldman Law Library. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fr1788-1.asp [Last Accessed: 4 May 2019]
  • Wolcott, Oliver, Jr. “To Alexander Hamilton, 7 July 1800,” Founders Online, National Archives, accessed April 11, 2019, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Hamilton/01-25-02-0018. Original source: The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, vol. 25, July 1800 – April 1802, ed. Harold C. Syrett. New York: Columbia University Press, 1977, pp. 15–17.] [Last Accessed: 24 Apr 2019]

Featured Image: “A view of the Capitol of Washington before it was burnt down by the British” by William Russell Birch [c. 1800], courtesy of Wikipedia