New episode of the Seat at the Table special series now available!
Presidencies of the United States

01 - George Washington Episodes

The intro and outro music for the Washington episodes unless otherwise stated is from “Hail, Columbia” as performed by the US Navy Band. The full recording can be found at Wikipedia. The song was originally called “The President’s March” and was composed for Washington’s first inaugural. More information about the history of “Hail, Columbia” can be found at Wikipedia.

May 28, 2017

1.09 – Agitations

Year(s) Discussed: 1789-1791 Increasingly during the Washington administration, tensions were beginning to build between pro-administration and anti-administration factions which would ultimately culminate in the development of the First Party System. This episode looks at some of the structural and cultural reasons for these divisions as well as some of the early leaders of the two factions including, of course Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson.

01 - George Washington

May 14, 2017

1.08 – Banking and Drinking

Year(s) Discussed: 1789-1791 The government is on the move! As the federal government transitions to its new temporary capitol while Washington selects a site for the permanent capitol along the Potomac, it is also forced to deal with the most controversial proposal put forward to date: the creation of a National Bank. Meanwhile, Hamilton’s proposal of an excise tax on whiskey sails through and a new state is added to the Union.

01 - George Washington

April 30, 2017

1.07 – Arthur St Clair: Worst. General. Ever.

Year(s) Discussed: 1789-1792 While Congress deliberates on the course of the nation in New York, settlers in the frontier were forging ahead with their own future beyond the Appalachian mountains. In this episode, we look at the development of territories in the west and discuss how the Washington administration prioritized affairs in the region. The military’s role in the area is discussed at some length including the not-so-stellar outcomes of two campaigns against native peoples in the Northwest Territory and what impact this would have on the administration and the nation.

01 - George Washington

April 16, 2017

1.06 – Assumption, Presumption, Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

Year(s) Discussed: 1790 The new government of the United States comes grinding to a halt in the spring and summer of 1790 as Congress reaches an impasse on both Hamilton’s proposed public credit scheme and the decision of where the new government should be permanently located. Ultimately, a decision is reached on both, but how it came about is rather complicated. If you’ve ever heard of the Compromise of 1790, then you’ll want to listen to this episode as there’s more to the story than has been told over the years. Meanwhile, health concerns plague a couple of major American figures, bringing even more uncertainty to an already unstable time. All the big players are in this one – Jefferson, Hamilton, Madison, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Knox, and, of course, Mr. President.

01 - George Washington

April 02, 2017

1.05 – Take This Report and File It

Year(s) Discussed: 1790 Hamilton’s Report on the Public Credit is sent to Congress in January 1790 and immediately causes an uproar. As congressmen divide into pro and anti-administration factions on this issue, I take a closer look in this episode at the report and Hamilton’s proposals on how to deal with the public credit in order to ensure “the honor and prosperity of the United States” as well as what James Madison thought of Hamilton’s ideas.

01 - George Washington

March 19, 2017

1.04 – The Dream Team

Year(s) Discussed: 1789 After a debate over how much authority Washington would exert over its officers, the executive branch begins to take shape. I examine both the original Cabinet members and the departments as they were at the beginning of the constitutional government. Then, as Washington leaves town to take a tour of the New England states, a personal scandal becomes the talk of the town in New York City. Romantic liaisons, conflicts of interest, and strong opinions over postal routes are all to be found in this episode.

01 - George Washington

March 05, 2017

1.03 – Year One

Year(s) Discussed: 1789 Washington’s inauguration, while starting up the wheels of the executive branch, leaves many questions to be answered by the first chief executive and the new government. What titles will be used to address the president? How will he make himself available to the public and to the other branches of government? What does seeking “the Advice and Consent of the Senate” really mean anyway? So much of what we take for granted with the presidency nowadays is established in Washington’s first few months on the job, and these precedents that he established in the early part of his administration are the focus of this episode.

01 - George Washington

February 20, 2017

1.025 – Hamilton

Year(s) Discussed: c. 1755-1787 In honor of Presidents’ Day, I am releasing this special mini-episode on the life of Alexander Hamilton leading up to the Constitutional Convention. As I am not Lin-Manuel Miranda and would likely drive listeners off if I attempted to sing, this is a spoken summation of Hamilton’s life including the challenges of his childhood, his early involvement in politics, his tenure in the Army during the Revolutionary War, and his career progression following the war.

01 - George Washington

February 19, 2017

1.02 – Washington Pre-Presidency Part Two

Year(s) Discussed: 1764-1789 The colonies along the Atlantic seaboard declare independence and go to war with Great Britain, and George Washington is in the middle of all of the action. The lead up and the prosecution of the revolution would lift Washington from being just another Virginia planter to become “the Father of His Country” as he had to develop his skills as a politician, a military commander, a spymaster, and an administrator in order to ensure success for him and the colonial cause. In the midst of the social and political turmoil, personal tragedy struck the Washingtons at the beginning and the end of the Revolution, and the conclusion of the war would find Washington handing back all of the power that had been entrusted to him. His retirement would be short-lived as the new nation would soon find itself at a crisis point that only Washington could save them from.

01 - George Washington

February 05, 2017

1.01 – Washington Pre-Presidency Part One

Year(s) Discussed: 1732-1764 Our examination of George Washington begins with his early life in Virginia. Washington has to cope with personal loss and self-improvement as he works to make his way in the world. The coming of the French and Indian War takes his life in a new direction and sets the stage for the Revolution to come. We also look at his marriage to Martha Dandridge Custis and his establishment of industries based on slavery at Mount Vernon.

01 - George Washington