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

02 - John Adams Episodes

The intro and outro music for the John Adams 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.

December 16, 2018

2.11 – The Opposition Strikes Back

Year(s) Discussed: 1798 With yellow fever raging in Philadelphia, the federal government has to move once more, adding to the headaches of Secretary of War James McHenry who had his position in the Cabinet already being undermined by General Alexander Hamilton. In Quincy, John Adams meets with Elbridge Gerry to learn more about the latest offer for diplomatic talks with the French while in Virginia, Vice President Jefferson and former Rep. James Madison plot how to oppose the Alien and Sedition Acts.

02 - John Adams

December 02, 2018

2.10 – Checkmate: Hamilton

Year(s) Discussed: 1798 Adams quickly comes to regret his naming George Washington as commander-in-chief of the US Army when Washington decides to appoint Alexander Hamilton as his second in command. As the threat of war looms, the President and his commanding general end up in a back and forth that threatens the preparedness of the Army. Meanwhile, Elbridge Gerry’s mission to France makes little headway as Talleyrand and Napoleon focus on plans to reestablish France as a major colonial power.

02 - John Adams

November 25, 2018

2.095 – Abigail Adams

Year(s) Discussed: 1744-1818 This special episode is all about the life and times of Abigail Smith Adams, the learned woman from Weymouth who became the second First Lady of the United States. Returning to the show to share her insight on Abigail is Presidential and First Lady historian Feather Schwartz Foster. Join us as we explore her fascinating life and discuss what legacy she leaves as First Lady and a historical figure in her own right.

02 - John Adams

November 18, 2018

2.09 – All Around and Away They Go

Year(s) Discussed: 1797-1799 As the events of the Haitian Revolution start to involve the US and the Army works to secure control of the Mississippi Territory from the Spanish, Adams and the Federalists work to determine a response to the XYZ Affair. However, as their power begins to consolidate, some in the party plot ways to use the situation to their advantage. Oh, and Adams goes to see a play!

02 - John Adams

November 04, 2018

2.08 – Have At Thee! The Response to XYZ

Year(s) Discussed: 1797-1798 As the Adams administration learns of the XYZ Affair and the President works to determine his next course of action, partisan bickering devolves to a fight on the floor of the House of Representatives while back in Paris, divisions start to form between the special envoys as Talleyrand increases his pressure on one of their number.

02 - John Adams

October 21, 2018

2.07 – One Hand Washes the Other: The XYZ Affair

Year(s) Discussed: 1797-1798 The three commissioners sent by Adams arrive in France to begin negotiations but find themselves beset with new characters and new circumstances following French victories in the field and a coup in the government. One figure in particular stands between the envoys and peace, and he’ll gladly get out of the way…if, of course, the Americans are willing to pay.

02 - John Adams

October 07, 2018

2.06 – Scandals and Observations

Year(s) Discussed: 1792-1797 Adams is joined in Philadelphia by his wife Abigail as he tries to balance war and peace with the first of the original six frigates of the US Navy being launched around the time that he appoints peace commissioners to France. Meanwhile, the US Senate is rocked by a scandal involving one of its leaders while news of Hamilton’s extramarital affair becomes public.

02 - John Adams

September 23, 2018

2.05 – Et Tu, France?

Year(s) Discussed: 1796-1797 News arrives in Philadelphia of the French government refusing to accept Charles Cotesworth Pinckney as the US Minister to France, and various individuals both inside and outside the Adams administration spring into action to try to gain control of US foreign policy. Meanwhile, Adams works to cultivate sources independent of the State Department to keep him informed of affairs in Europe, and forces conspire to launch an attack on one of the leading figures of the American political landscape.

02 - John Adams

September 09, 2018

2.04 – Hither and Yon: The News From Abroad

Year(s) Discussed: 1783-1797 In this episode, we get caught up on the international situation around the time of Adams’s inauguration and the various issues that conditions beyond its borders bring up for the United States. Britain is faced with attacks from both at home and abroad. The French Directory stumbles along as two leaders arise. Toussaint L’Ouverture contemplates the future of Saint-Domingue. Various European powers conspire to threaten American sovereignty west of the Appalachians.

02 - John Adams

August 26, 2018

2.03 – The New Sheriff in Town

Year(s) Discussed: 1796-1797 The election of 1796 results in John Adams becoming the nation’s second chief executive, but he quickly finds more questions than answers awaiting him on the path to taking the oath of office. Adams is immediately faced with the need to make decisions about who to keep from the previous administration, what if any policy changes to make, and even where he and his family will live. It’s a transition unlike any other in American history to that point, and with various pressing issues waiting on the desk, the honeymoon for the new President promised to be short-lived.

02 - John Adams

July 22, 2018

2.02 – Adams Pre-Presidency Part Two

Year(s) Discussed: 1773-1797 As the Revolution against Great Britain kicks off, John Adams assumes office in the Continental Congress where he makes a name for himself with individuals from the various colonies before being sent to represent the United States in Europe. While dealing with family matters and tensions with new colleagues and contemporaries, Adams navigates through challenging diplomatic waters before finally landing in the Vice Presidency then being elected to succeed George Washington as chief executive.

02 - John Adams

July 04, 2018

2.01 – Adams Pre-Presidency

Year(s) Discussed: 1638-1772 A new series starts here! From his beginnings on a farm in Braintree, Massachusetts, John Adams set off on a path of learning that would take him through Harvard College and into the practice of law. During his quest for fame and adequate fortune, he would wed his “Dearest Friend,” Abigail Smith, and start a family while getting swept up in larger movements that would change the British North American colonies and the world forever.

02 - John Adams