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


July 31, 2021

SATT 001 – Alexander Hamilton

Tenure of Office: 11 September 1789 – 31 January 1795 We begin our new special series with the first Cabinet member to assume office under the constitutional government – Alexander Hamilton! You may have seen the musical, but there are a few more parts of his history that didn’t make it into that production.

Seat At The Table

July 28, 2021

SATT – Intro to Ongoing Special Series

Introduction to a new special series of episodes titled “Seat at the Table” where I will be joined by special guests each episode to discuss a Cabinet member’s life and tenure in office and rank how they did before determining if they deserve a seat at...

Seat At The Table

July 11, 2021

3.32 – Time Draws Short

Year(s) Discussed: 1805-1806 As Jefferson reflects upon the unexpected death of his mentor, various situations at home and abroad in 1806 imperil the future of the nation. A British ship unintentionally kills an American sailor, threatening the peace negotiations being conducted in London. Around the same time, expeditions to explore the west provoke Spanish forces already gathered on the border. Meanwhile, the President receives word of a domestic plot involving not only the former Vice President but also the commanding general of the US Army.

03 - Thomas Jefferson

June 30, 2021

3.31 – Waves on the Horizon

Year(s) Discussed: 1804-1806 As tensions between the US and Spain increase over West Florida and the border with Tejas, Aaron Burr travels to the west and back again to meet with folks across the nation as his plot progresses. Meanwhile, supporters of Jefferson in Congress attempt to move against Rep. John Randolph of Roanoke, and a House Ways and Means Committee meeting gets so raucous that a duel seems to be in the making.

03 - Thomas Jefferson

May 30, 2021

3.30 – The Tide in Europe

Year(s) Discussed: 1804-1806 The Napoleonic Wars continue apace in Europe as Napoleon plots an invasion of Britain, and Admiral Horatio Nelson searches for the French fleet in the Mediterranean. As battles continue on land and sea across the continent, American diplomats in London, Paris, and Madrid continue their work. Meanwhile, the untimely death of a key leader opens up opportunities for the US to negotiate a treaty.

03 - Thomas Jefferson

May 03, 2021

3.29 – A Winter to Remember

Year(s) Discussed: 1804-1805 President Jefferson had much to celebrate in the latter half of 1805 as he finally secured a new Attorney General, envoys arrived from distant lands in the east and the west, and his daughter and her family joined him in the President’s House for the winter. Little did he know, though, that difficult negotiations in Madrid and the machinations of the former Vice President, Aaron Burr, would soon lead to difficulties for his administration.

03 - Thomas Jefferson

April 04, 2021

3.285 – The Two Marthas

Year(s) Discussed: 1748-1836 Studies of Thomas Jefferson’s life often discuss the impact of the two Marthas – his wife, Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson, and his daughter, Martha Jefferson Randolph – on him, but few studies examine matters with the focus on the lives of the two women. While our knowledge of Martha Jefferson is limited, in this episode, we sift through the fragments of what we know about her before shifting to her daughter, Martha Jefferson Randolph. In addition to the narrative, part of the episode features an interview with a special guest, Dr. Cynthia A. Kierner, whose biography of Martha is an invaluable resource for learning more about a person who was educated in Paris and mingled with presidents and political leaders but is far too often relegated to the background of history. Her life has much to tell us about the role of women and families in the early republic as well as in US presidential history.

03 - Thomas Jefferson

March 21, 2021

3.28 – The Calming Seas

Year(s) Discussed: 1803-1805 With the war with Tripoli continuing to drag on year after year, Jefferson and his administration had to determine whether the best course to bring it to a conclusion lay with opening up a new front by partnering with foreign agents or through engaging in a new round of diplomacy. Meanwhile, a change in the command of the US naval squadron in the Mediterranean took the wind out of the sails of what had been an energetic force.

03 - Thomas Jefferson

March 16, 2021

State of the Podcast Update

As there have been some recent developments here at Presidencies HQ, I just wanted to give everyone a quick update. Spoiler: The podcast is not going away, though there may be some delays in the next couple of months.

March 01, 2021

Intelligent Speech Conference 2021

I’m excited to share that I will be presenting at the Intelligent Speech Conference on Saturday, April 24th, 2021! If you would like to attend, please take a moment to listen to this quick trailer for more information, go to www.

February 27, 2021

3.27 – Second Term, Same as the Worst

Year(s) Discussed: 1803-1805 Jefferson’s second inauguration may have been a non-event, but on numerous fronts, various tensions were building in early 1805 that threatened to make his second term one to remember. Cabinet members plotted to further their own ambitions while Aaron Burr schemed with foreign powers and domestic discontents in order to return to prominence. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the president, one of his appointments would put a double agent in place to potentially break the recently acquired Louisiana Purchase away from the US.

03 - Thomas Jefferson

February 14, 2021

3.235 – A Western Interlude

Year(s) Discussed: 1804-1805 With the Lewis and Clark expedition underway to explore the upper reaches of the Missouri River, President Jefferson at the end of his first term turned his attention to gathering support and talent for expeditions in the southern portions of the Louisiana Purchase. Meanwhile, the Corps of Discovery arranged for Jefferson to get a first-hand account of life west of the Mississippi River.

03 - Thomas Jefferson

February 01, 2021

3.26 – Present but Absent: The Hemings Family of Monticello

Year(s) Discussed: 1735-1873 Throughout Jefferson’s life and career, he was surrounded and served by various enslaved individuals of three generations of the same family. In this episode, we examine the lives of the Hemings family as some worked to attain their freedom, other Hemingses disappeared from the historical record without a trace, and one became the most famous enslaved individual in the United States for bearing the third President’s children.

03 - Thomas Jefferson

December 31, 2020

S008 – Transition Gone Wrong

Year(s) Discussed: 1875-1877 Though the US takes pride in the regular practice of peaceful transitions of power from one presidency to the next, sometimes the transition is not quite so peaceful, especially when the results are in dispute. Such was the case in the aftermath of the presidential election of 1876 where, for months, allegations flew back and forth, political leaders across the nation exerted their influence in favor of their chosen candidate, members of both parties prepared for armed confrontation, and no one could predict whether Samuel J Tilden or Rutherford B Hayes would end up being the nineteenth president of the United States.

US Presidential Elections Series

December 06, 2020

3.25 – What’s Next

Year(s) Discussed: 1801-1805 As James Monroe set off for his new special mission to Spain, a new congressional session began with Democratic-Republicans aiming to settle a long-standing issue as well as put their mark on the judiciary branch. However, they would find that their plans quickly went awry, and the events of early 1805 would have impacts on Jefferson’s second term and beyond.

03 - Thomas Jefferson

November 15, 2020

3.24 – Truth and Consequences

Year(s) Discussed: 1803-1805 With a presidential election looming, the Jefferson administration had to consider how to wrap up the first term and transition to the second. For some, that meant moving into new positions. For others, retirement was in their future. As the campaign worked to rally the public, the decisions of 1804 made at home and abroad would have far-reaching consequences.

03 - Thomas Jefferson

November 02, 2020

S007 – Unprecedented Part III: 1968

Year(s) Discussed: 1907-1968 In a year of domestic unrest, social strife, and uncertainty at home and abroad, the United States prepared for a presidential election in 1968. Little did they know that it would be a contest unlike any other. In the midst of a turbulent campaign, political norms were challenged, rivalries were intensified, and the only guarantee was that a new chapter in American history would emerge after all the votes were in.

US Presidential Elections Series

September 27, 2020

3.23 – One Man Left Standing

Year(s) Discussed: 1803-1804 While diplomatic disagreements occupied the attention of the Jefferson administration, Vice President Aaron Burr was occupied with a dispute of a more personal matter in the aftermath of his failed gubernatorial bid. Alexander Hamilton’s opposition to his campaign did not go unnoticed, and Burr was determined to have Hamilton answer for his words, one way or another.

03 - Thomas Jefferson

September 13, 2020

3.22 – A Death in the Family

Year(s) Discussed: 1803-1804 While Vice President Burr worked to secure his political future in his bid for the New York governorship and New England Federalists plotted to separate from the Union, the Jefferson family suffered the untimely loss of one of its members in the early months of 1804. Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, both the British and the French governments went through reorganizations that would impact their relations with the United States for years to come.

03 - Thomas Jefferson

August 30, 2020

3.21 – A Plotting We Will Go

Year(s) Discussed: 1803-1804 In the wake of multiple political losses in the first few years of the 19th century, as the election of 1804 neared, numerous Federalist leaders from New England began to consider the possibility of whether their prospects and those of their home region would be better served by breaking away from the United States. In the meantime, Commodore Edward Preble arrived in the Mediterranean to prosecute war against Tripoli while back in Albemarle County, the life of one of Jefferson’s family members hung in the balance.

03 - Thomas Jefferson

August 16, 2020

Interview with Jeffrey Einboden, Jefferson’s Muslim Fugitives

Year(s) Discussed: 1776-1863 Interactions between people from various parts of the globe are a common occurrence in the 21st century, but though more infrequent in the late 18th and early 19th century, cross-cultural interactions in that time had a dec...


August 13, 2020

From Me to All of You 2: A Quick Note

As we continue to face many challenges around the world, I wanted to send a quick note to all of you to hopefully provide some comfort as well as share a couple of updates about what’s coming with Presidencies. Take care, everyone!

August 02, 2020

S006 – It’s Convention Time!

Year(s) Discussed: 1824-1992 Since the first national party convention in the United States in September 1831, party conventions have played a key role in American politics. In this episode, we explore the role of these gatherings in determining presidential nominees as well as setting agendas through the party platform and examine a few notable conventions in detail.

US Presidential Elections Series

July 19, 2020

3.20 – Action and Reaction

Year(s) Discussed: 1801-1804 As Jefferson’s first term entered its final year, numerous developments at home and abroad would start chains of reactions with long-reaching consequences. In the Caribbean, a nation declared its independence that would prove to be of particular concern to white Americans in the southern US. Meanwhile, Congress debated what kind of government to establish for the new lands west of the Mississippi River, and the Senate convened in the first impeachment trial in American history.

03 - Thomas Jefferson