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


November 28, 2022

SATT 015.2 - James Madison Part Two

Tenure of Office: May 2, 1801 - March 3, 1809 Picking up where we left off in Part One, join me and my special guest, Kenny Ryan from [Abridged] Presidential Histories, as we examine the remainder of James Madison's tenure as Secretary of State as well as touch on the highlights of his post-Cabinet career (Spoiler alert: He made it to an office even higher than Secretary of State) before bringing it all together with a discussion on his overall life, career, and legacy. Will Madison earn a seat at the table of the Cabinet All-Stars? Listen to find out!

04 - James Madison

November 21, 2022


How better to celebrate the upcoming holiday season than by getting together with some podcasting friends! I hope you'll take some time to check out this conversation that I had with Alycia from Civics & Coffee, Howard from P...

November 13, 2022

SATT 015.1 - James Madison Part One

Tenure of Office: May 2, 1801 - March 3, 1809 Regular listeners of the podcast may have heard of this guy a time or two thus far, but there's still so much more to know about the career of James Madison leading up to his becoming the fifth Secretary of State. In this episode, I and my special guest, Kenny Ryan of [Abridged] Presidential Histories, explore his life up to his taking charge of the State Department then examine how he established himself in that role and in the Jefferson administration.

Seat At The Table

October 30, 2022

4.13 - The Spanish Situations

Year(s) Discussed: 1810-1811 With the Spanish government on the Iberian peninsula in disarray, people in their colonial holdings in the Americas had to figure out what to do in the meantime. Some decided to stay the course with current leadership while others used the opportunity to try to bring about political change on the ground. While also feeling the impact of decisions being made in other parts of Spanish America, the Madison administration saw an opportunity in the chaos for a long-coveted territorial acquisition just across the border in West Florida. Sources used for this episode can be found at

04 - James Madison

October 16, 2022

SATT 014 - Levi Lincoln Sr

Tenure of Office: March 5, 1801 - March 3, 1805 For every figure in American history who is in the spotlight, there is someone who is behind the scenes making it happen. For Thomas Jefferson, one of those folks was Levi Lincoln Sr of Massachusetts. With my special guest, Steve of the Speakcies Show, we explore the life and legacy of the 4th US Attorney General in order to better understand his role in the Jefferson administration and in the politics of the Early Republic.

Seat At The Table

October 09, 2022

4.12 - The Two Shawnee Brothers

Year(s) Discussed: c. 1764-1810 In the latter decades of the 18th and the first decade of the 19th century, native peoples in the old Northwest found themselves under threat from a westward push from Europeans wishing to settle on their lands and being treated as pawns in conflicts between European powers and the US. Out of this chaotic time, two key leaders emerged - Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa - who would devote themselves to the cause of restoring native cultures and societal structures and rally support to push back against the near-constant demands by US officials for greater land cessions. Sources used in this episode can be found at

04 - James Madison

September 25, 2022

4.11 - Intrigue in Washington

Year(s) Discussed: 1809-1810 In the wake of the failed negotiations with British Minister to the US Francis James Jackson, the Madison administration and Congress had to determine next steps to address the tensions with both Great Britain and France. Meanwhile, a new diplomat arrived from Spain as some American officials began to consider ways to secure the Floridas for the US. Sources used for this episode can be found at

04 - James Madison

September 20, 2022

SATT 013 - Henry Dearborn

Tenure of Office: March 5, 1801 - March 4, 1809 Revolutionary War veteran, US Representative, Secretary of War, War of 1812 General, US Minister to Portugal - with that accumulation of offices, one would imagine that Henry Dearborn would be better remembered. With my special guest, Steve Guerra of the History of the Papacy and Beyond the Big Screen podcasts, we explore Dearborn's life and career to determine whether or not this key member of Jefferson's Cabinet is worthy of more extensive study.

Seat At The Table

September 04, 2022

4.10 - Yazoo v Yazoo

Year(s) Discussed: 1795-1810 For fifteen years, one controversy popped up time and again to disrupt the public arena - the Yazoo Land Controversy. From newspaper essays to debates in Congress, this issue involved some of the biggest leaders of the time including Alexander Hamilton, John Randolph of Roanoke, John Quincy Adams, and James Madison. Finally, in 1810, the Supreme Court took up a case that would look to settle the matter once and for all and, in the process, set an important constitutional precedent. Sources used for this episode can be found at

04 - James Madison

August 21, 2022

4.09 - Fear and Loathing in Napoleonic Europe

Year(s) Discussed: 1808-1810 Despite achieving a victory in the War of the Fifth Coalition, French Emperor Napoleon's hold on control over the European continent was looking increasingly shaky. This would make the reception received by the new US Minister to Russia John Quincy Adams a warm one as Russia was on the hunt for new allies. Meanwhile, wealthy American businessman and merchant John Jacob Astor set in motion plans to create a trading network across the globe that would also include trading posts across the North American continent including a key new settlement on the west coast. Sources used for this episode can be found at

04 - James Madison

August 14, 2022

SATT 012.2 - John Marshall Part Two

Year(s) Discussed: 1755-1835 As a follow-up episode focused more on John Marshall's lengthy tenure as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, I am joined by Ben Lovelace and Matthew Nichol of the John Marshall House for a discussion on his historical and legal legacy as well as to get a better sense of Marshall as an individual. Our conversation ranged across a variety of topics including his role in reshaping the Judicial branch of government, various key cases that set precedents being applied in the present day, and Marshall's influence, both personally and from the bench, on the expansion of slavery in the United States as well as the nation's relations with the native peoples of North America.

Seat At The Table

August 07, 2022

SATT 012.1 - John Marshall Part One

Tenure of Office: June 13, 1800 - March 4, 1801 John Marshall is a name much better known for where his career led him after serving in the administration of John Adams, but there was still much to discuss with my special guest, Alycia from Civics & Coffee, about his brief tenure as Secretary of State. Join us as we explore Marshall's life and legacy and determine whether his impact at the State Department was enough to earn him a seat at the table of the Cabinet All-Stars.

Seat At The Table

July 24, 2022

4.083 - Dolley Madison Part Three

Year(s) Discussed: 1817-1858 James and Dolley Madison left Washington, DC in 1817 anticipating a peaceful retirement in Montpelier. Little did they know what life had in store for them or that Dolley would end up returning to the social circles of the leading politicians in the nation's capital. Learn more about the triumphs and tribulations faced by the former Lady Presidentress in her later years and the legacy that she left by listening to this episode. Sources used for this episode can be found at

04 - James Madison

July 10, 2022

4.082 - Dolley Madison Part Two

Year(s) Discussed: 1768-1849 We continue our examination of the life and legacy of Dolley Madison with a discussion with Hilarie Hicks, Senior Research Historian at James Madison's Montpelier. In this episode, we talk about Dolley's role in the social circles of the nation's capital during James's presidency, her management of the household, her views on slavery, and whether she was responsible for saving the portrait of George Washington during the British invasion of Washington, DC. More information can be found on the website at

04 - James Madison

July 03, 2022

4.081 - Dolley Madison Part One

Year(s) Discussed: 1768-1809 Born in a Southern log cabin, the woman who would go on to be the center of social life in the nation's capital developed her skills of charm and entertainment through formative years filled with uncertainty, turmoil, and tragedy. Join me as I explore the early life of Dolley Payne Todd Madison up to her husband's election as the fourth President of the United States. Sources used for this episode can be found at

04 - James Madison

June 20, 2022

SATT 011 - Samuel Dexter

Tenure of Office: June 12, 1800 - March 4, 1801 (as Secretary of War); January 1, 1801 - May 13, 1801 (as Secretary of the Treasury) Samuel Dexter may have come into the Cabinet towards the end of John Adams's tenure as president, but there was still a good bit for my special guest, Shawn from the American History Podcast, and myself to discuss about his life and career. Join us as we determine just what sort of legacy this man from Massachusetts left for posterity.

Seat At The Table

June 12, 2022

4.08 - Fussin', Fightin', and Carryin' On

Content Note: This episode mentions the topic of suicide. Year(s) Discussed: 1807-1810 The Madison administration experienced numerous setbacks and embarrassments in the latter part of 1809. The President's private secretary, Isaac Coles, committed an egregious breach of privilege while on official business. Around the same time, Dolley Madison's brother-in-law, Rep. John Jackson, got into an altercation with one of his colleagues in the House. Meanwhile, the administration had to find a new governor of the Louisiana Territory after the untimely demise of Meriwether Lewis. Sources used for this episode can be found at

04 - James Madison

June 05, 2022

Interview with Peter Shea, In the Arena

Year(s) Discussed: 1812-2016 We often examine the lives and legacies of those select few who win the US presidential elections every four years, but what about their opponents? What might we learn from their unsuccessful campaigns as well as their overall careers? In this episode, I am joined by Peter Shea to discuss his book, In the Arena: A History of American Presidential Hopefuls. In our conversation, we examined candidates ranging from DeWitt Clinton to Michael Dukakis and the legacies of some of the also-rans in the larger scheme of American culture and history as well as considered how losing has the potential to make individuals stronger. Additional information can be found at


May 22, 2022

SATT 010 - Benjamin Stoddert

Tenure of Office: June 18, 1798 - March 31, 1801 A merchant and land speculator by trade, Benjamin Stoddert's path to becoming the first Secretary of the Navy was an unconventional one. However, did this unique background contribute to success while in office? With my special guest, Stacey Roberts of the History's Trainwrecks podcast, we explore the life and legacy of this Marylander to better understand his role in presidential history.

Seat At The Table

May 15, 2022

4.07 - Dissension and Discord

Year(s) Discussed: 1808-1809 The arrival of the new British Minister to the US, Francis James Jackson, was not necessarily seen as a good omen by the Madison administration for the prospect of healing the rift between the United States and Great Britain, and the negotiations once they started proved to be quite contentious. Meanwhile, in Europe, US Minister to France John Armstrong grew ever more frustrated with the Napoleonic government, and a new Prime Minister took office in London under less than auspicious circumstances. Sources used for this episode can be found at

04 - James Madison

April 24, 2022

4.06 – Peace Interrupted

Year(s) Discussed: 1809 When the British government learned of the Erskine Agreement, it was not best pleased. In the summer of 1809, the Madison administration scrambled to deal with the ramifications of the British response while at the same time, two members of the Cabinet found themselves in opposition due to political infighting. Meanwhile, a similar row in the British ministry threatened to throw that government into turmoil.

04 - James Madison

April 18, 2022

SATT 009 – James McHenry

Tenure of Office: January 27, 1796 – June 2, 1800 James McHenry was the last individual appointed to the Cabinet of George Washington, but would being tapped to head the War Department by the esteemed first President lead to his tenure being viewed favorably by his contemporaries and by the annals of history? With my special guest, Kyle Väth of the Just Cincinnati podcast, we explore McHenry’s entire life and career along with the role he played in the Washington and Adams administrations to determine just what this signer of the Constitution brought to the table.

Seat At The Table

April 10, 2022

4.05 – In the Arena

Year(s) Discussed: 1808-1809 A new congressional session provided an opportunity for the President and his wife to make their mark on the Washington political and social scene as they invited guests into the refurbished President’s House. Meanwhile, General James Wilkinson continued with his intrigues down in New Orleans, but rather than establishing a pseudo-dictatorship again, his affairs were more of a personal nature. Over in Europe, Austria rose up once more against the French Empire, and Napoleon had to scramble to avoid defeat.

04 - James Madison

March 27, 2022

4.04 – East and West

Year(s) Discussed: 1808-1809 In the first couple of months of his presidency, Madison not only dealt with a domestic political dispute but also managed to negotiate an agreement with the British Minister to the US to resolve issues with Great Britain. Unbeknownst to him, however, the continued instability in Europe would keep peace and prosperity just out of reach for his administration.

04 - James Madison