A new episode of the Madison presidency series is now available!


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 https://www.presidenciespodcast.com.

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

March 20, 2022

SATT 008 – Charles Lee

Tenure of Office: December 10, 1795 – March 4, 1801 Charles Lee served as legal counsel during some of the most notable trials of the Early Republic, but does that mean that his tenure as Attorney General is equally remarkable? With my special guest, Kenny from [Abridged] Presidential Histories, we explore his life and career to determine what he contributed to the Washington and Adams administrations as well as to American history in general.

Seat At The Table

March 13, 2022

4.03 – The Call of My Country

Year(s) Discussed: 1809 Though James Madison was seen as being Thomas Jefferson’s successor, it became clear starting with his inauguration that his presidency would be different from his predecessor’s, for better or worse. While the public got to see a more festive social tone as set by Dolley Madison, behind the scenes, the president struggled to get political support for a key Cabinet nomination.

04 - James Madison

February 27, 2022

4.02 – Madison Pre-Presidency Part Two

Year(s) Discussed: 1785-1809 After scoring some key political victories in Virginia, Madison decided to lead an effort to reform the government of the United States. However, he would find that getting the Constitutional Convention to agree on a new federal structure was only half the battle, and he would soon acquire some powerful enemies in the ratification campaign.

04 - James Madison

February 20, 2022

SATT 007 – Oliver Wolcott Jr

Tenure of Office: February 3, 1795 – December 31, 1800 Oliver Wolcott, Jr had big shoes to fill when he assumed office as the second Secretary of the Treasury. With my special guests, Lucy and Michelle from Tudoriferous, we explore his life and career to determine whether this member of the Washington and Adams administrations was truly up to the task of running the largest Cabinet department in the early republic.

Seat At The Table

February 06, 2022

4.01 – Madison Pre-Presidency Part One

Year(s) Discussed: 1653-1785 As part of a family that had been on a steady rise in society since its earliest days in the Virginia colony, James Madison, Jr. was expected to do great things from the time of his birth, but his family could scarcely have imagined the heights to which he would rise. After an accelerated collegiate career and a few initial stumbles as a young man, Madison gradually worked his way into becoming a force in state and national politics. However, as someone not content with ignoring issues in the status quo, Madison would soon find his calling as a champion for innovation.

04 - James Madison

January 30, 2022

SATT 006 – Timothy Pickering

Tenure of Office: January 2, 1795 – December 10, 1795 (as Secretary of War); December 10, 1795 – May 12, 1800 (as Secretary of State) Timothy Pickering’s tenure in the Washington and Adams administrations is arguably one of the most notorious in the early republic. Thus, I had to call on Eric and Matt from the Ranking ’76: The American West podcast to join me in exploring the life of this infamous historical figure and determine what sort of a legacy he left behind.

Seat At The Table

January 23, 2022

3.41 – Jefferson Q&A

You asked, and I answered! As we wrap up our series on Thomas Jefferson’s presidency, listeners submitted questions ranging from Franco-American relations during Jefferson’s tenure to what pets he kept to how would I go about explaining Jefferson’s complex legacy to him. Listen in as I answer your final questions about the man from Monticello and his impact on American history.

03 - Thomas Jefferson

January 09, 2022

3.40 – Jefferson Post-Presidency

Year(s) Discussed: 1809-1826 After leaving the presidency, Thomas Jefferson found himself kept quite busy with both public business and personal matters. While striving to be a doting grandfather and fretting over his family’s life struggles, the former president worked in vain to escape the vicious cycle of debt in which he had become trapped. Meanwhile, he used his retirement to take on the task of improving public education in Virginia which inevitably landed him in the middle of political struggles once more.

03 - Thomas Jefferson

December 14, 2021

3.39 – Sunset and Sunrise

Year(s) Discussed: 1807-1809 As the end of Jefferson’s second term neared, the Embargo Act came under increasing criticism at home, Napoleon’s plans for conquest continued apace in Europe, and the nation chose the man who would become the fourth President of the United States. Though the clock had not struck on his presidency, his last months in office would find the man who had been a leader for decades take a step back as his thoughts turned increasingly to his life once he left the President’s House.

03 - Thomas Jefferson

December 05, 2021

SATT 005 – William Bradford

Tenure of Office: January 27, 1794 – August 23, 1795 Though William Bradford wasn’t Attorney General for long, he did have an impact on some key events in the Washington administration. With my special guest for this episode, we examine his life and career to understand what sort of a legacy Bradford left.

Seat At The Table

November 21, 2021

3.38 – Electioneering

Year(s) Discussed: 1806-1808 As the 1808 presidential election neared, the infighting in the Democratic-Republican faction was exacerbated by not one but two challengers to Secretary of State James Madison’s candidacy – Vice President George Clinton and former US Minister to Britain James Monroe. Meanwhile, Napoleon’s constant wars in Europe continued to impact US foreign policy, and the Jefferson administration began a new round of negotiations with British envoy George Rose to seek a resolution to the crisis precipitated by the Chesapeake-Leopard incident while working out how to effectively enforce the Embargo Act.

03 - Thomas Jefferson

November 07, 2021

SATT 004 – Thomas Jefferson

Tenure of Office: March 22, 1790 – December 31, 1793 We’ve spent a good amount of time in the narrative talking about Jefferson as the third US president, but in this episode, while also exploring his life and career as a whole, we focus in a bit on Jefferson’s tenure as Secretary of State in the Washington administration.

Seat At The Table

October 24, 2021

3.37 – O Grab Me

Year(s) Discussed: 1806-1808 With a diplomatic resolution to the Chesapeake/Leopard affair looking increasingly unlikely and the threat of war looming, President Jefferson and his administration worked in late 1807 to devise an alternative to war while also preparing for the nation’s defense. Meanwhile, James Monroe’s frustrations continued in London while there was a shift in power in Congress.

03 - Thomas Jefferson

October 03, 2021

3.36 – Trial

Year(s) Discussed: 1806-1807 Little did the Jefferson administration, while preparing to prosecute the former Vice President of the United States, Aaron Burr, for treason, that they would be faced at the same time with an external challenge that threatened to plunge the nation into war. In mid-1807, the President, his Cabinet, and the nation were all anxious for the latest information from the Burr trial in Richmond as well as whether Great Britain was truly declaring war on the US following the attack on an American naval vessel off the coast of Virginia.

03 - Thomas Jefferson

September 26, 2021

SATT 003 – Edmund Randolph

Tenure of Office: 26 September 1789 – 20 August 1795 Edmund Randolph served in not one but two positions in the Washington administration – as Attorney General then as Secretary of State. However, will that be enough to earn him a seat at the table of the Cabinet All-Stars? Listen to find out more about his life, career, and legacy!

Seat At The Table

September 19, 2021

3.35 – And Everything Else

Year(s) Discussed: 1806-1807 Concurrent with the events of the Burr conspiracy, the Jefferson administration and its agents were engaged in other work on multiple fronts. Lt. Zebulon Pike was leading an expedition westward while Gen. James Wilkinson took questionable measures in the name of national security in New Orleans. In London, James Monroe and William Pinkney worked against all odds to finalize a treaty with Great Britain. Meanwhile, the President had to decide upon a new Attorney General as well as not one but two Supreme Court justices.

03 - Thomas Jefferson

September 05, 2021

3.34 – Conspiracy

Year(s) Discussed: 1806-1807 Aaron Burr’s plans were finally starting to come to fruition, but little did the former Vice President know that he had a turncoat in his midst. Meanwhile, as the Jefferson administration struggled to get a grasp of the scope of the conspiracy, it was forced to action, and the haphazard nature of it would have consequences on down the line.

03 - Thomas Jefferson

August 29, 2021

SATT 002 – Henry Knox

Tenure of Office: 12 September 1789 – 31 December 1794 Henry Knox served the United States as a general and as the head of the War Department for ten years, but will his life and career earn him a seat at the table of the Cabinet All-Stars? Listen as we explore Knox’s legacy to find out!

Seat At The Table

August 08, 2021

3.33 – Glimmers of Hope

Year(s) Discussed: 1805-1806 With American and Spanish military forces amassing along the western US border and with the commanding general of the Army potentially involved in a secession and/or filibustering plot with the former Vice President, late 1806 was a time of trepidation for President Jefferson and his administration. Before long, though, a few hopeful prospects started to appear including the return of Jefferson’s protege turned continental explorer, Meriwether Lewis.

03 - Thomas Jefferson