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The Thomas Jefferson Hour

The Thomas Jefferson Hour features conversations with Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, as portrayed by the award-winning humanities scholar and author, Clay Jenkinson. The weekly discussion features Mr. Jefferson’s views on events of his time, contemporary issues facing America and answers to questions submitted by his many listeners. To ask President Jefferson a question visit his website at www.jeffersonhour.com
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Jun 19, 2018

"The debate in American history is not between Hamilton and Jefferson, the debate is between Adams and Jefferson."

— Clay S. Jenkinson

This week, we answer listener questions on the Thomas Jefferson Hour, including a letter from a writer who wonders whether the Founding Fathers were geniuses who seized the moment, or simply average people living in extraordinary times. We also speak with our good friend Beau Wright.

Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog.

Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc.

Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Jun 12, 2018

"He's a bit of a Tea Party guy, he's a bit of a libertarian, he's certainly for small government."

— Clay S. Jenkinson

This week's episode is devoted to answering listener questions, and many of the questions are about the current administration. We anticipate and appreciate comments on the issues discussed during this episode. Thanks for listening.

Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog.

Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc.

Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Jun 5, 2018

"Lightly governed, lightly taxed, highly educated, isolationist, farmer's paradise."

— Clay S. Jenkinson

This week, President Thomas Jefferson explains his own vision for America.

Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog.

Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc.

Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

May 29, 2018

"I think that an ideal citizen is a bit grumpy, is always concerned that government is up to no good."

— Thomas Jefferson, Second Inaugural Address

We begin our conversation with President Thomas Jefferson asking about the actual location of his tombstone. We also discuss truthfulness, free speech, personal freedoms, upholding international agreements, and what Thomas Jefferson thinks about executive privilege and our current government.

Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog.

Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc.

Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

May 22, 2018

"I don't think that it's very useful to compare the burden of the presidency of 1803 … with the burden of the presidency in your time."

— Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson

We talk with President Jefferson about an article written by John Dickerson of CBS regarding how difficult the office of the president has become. The article is titled "The Hardest Job in the World" and was published in this month's Atlantic magazine.

Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog.

Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours.

Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc.

Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

May 15, 2018

“I’m just thinking of your career, here.”

— Joseph Ellis

We continue our conversation this week with the award-winning author Joseph Ellis, and we conclude our discussion about his book First Family: Abigail and John Adams as part of our first entry of the Thomas Jefferson Hour Book Club series.

Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog.

Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours.

Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc.

Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

May 8, 2018

Joining our conversation this week is the award-winning author Joseph Ellis. We discuss his book First Family: Abigail and John Adams in part one of two shows as our first entry for the Thomas Jefferson Hour Book Club series.

Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog.

Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours.

Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc.

Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

May 1, 2018

"peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none"

— Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address (March 4, 1801)

This week on the Jefferson Hour, we talk with President Jefferson about his struggles with foreign entanglements, and his disappointment with the American people's reactions to his decisions.

Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog.

Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours.

Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc.

Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Apr 24, 2018

"I would never consider [the Constitution] to be a sacred text."

— Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson

We present President Thomas Jefferson with a listener question about what the phrase "promote the general welfare," found in the Constitution, actually means.

We answer letters from Richard Tucker and Rich Nieves.

Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog.

Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours.

Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc.

Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Apr 17, 2018

We answer listener questions in response to episode #1277 Gerrymandering, and then turn to a discussion about an important discovery of an 1805 Lewis & Clark related map. It was found after being stored for 200 years in a French archive. The map and its background story appear in this month’s issue of We Proceeded On, published by the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation.

The letters discussed are from Stephen Mishkin, Joe Lovell, Kellen DeAlba, James Kenyon, and Sidney Sjoquist.

Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog.

Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours.

Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc.

Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Apr 10, 2018

"History is like a picture puzzle and half of the pieces or more are missing. There is something about Jefferson that makes us want to expose contradiction."

— Clay S. Jenkinson

Our show this week revolves around a question from listener Gino Cukale about the purported relationship between Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson. We discuss the historical record and look to first-hand accounts in an attempt to answer this question.

Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog.

Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours.

Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc.

Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Apr 3, 2018

"That is one of the most fun things that I try to do, reacquaint people with the joyous flavor of the tomato that they crave."

— Craig LeHoullier

Inspired by a letter from Alison Hagan, we talk with three tomato experts: Craig LeHoullier, author of Epic Tomatoes; Harry J. Klee, Ph.D. from the University of Florida; and Pat Brodowski, Head Gardener at Monticello. They speak about the best-tasting tomatoes, how to grow them, where to get seeds, why commercial varieties have lost their flavor, and how Jefferson is connected to all this.

Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog.

Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours.

Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc.

Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Mar 27, 2018

"Every letter has a basis and a purpose … I spent an enormous amount of time thinking about the recipient."

— Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson

We speak this week with President Jefferson about the art of letter writing. Prompted by a letter from a listener, Jefferson shares his insights on the process. The exact number of letters Jefferson wrote is not known, but it is safe to say he wrote in excess of 20,000.

Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog.

Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours.

Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc.

Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Mar 20, 2018

"I believe that we have the right to revolution."

— Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson

President Jefferson answers listener questions about his relationship with John Adams, replacing the Constitution once every generation, bees at Monticello, and the Second Amendment.

Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog.

Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours.

Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc.

Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Mar 13, 2018

"You could redistrict so that you could maximize competitiveness. That would be my suggestion: maximize competitiveness."

— Clay S. Jenkinson

On this week’s Thomas Jefferson Hour, we discuss gerrymandering, its origin, how it works in American politics today, and the potential effects it has on our democracy.

Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog.

Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours.

Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc.

Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Mar 6, 2018

"I feel an Awe upon my Mind, which is not easily described."

— John Adams

Clay and David discuss the book Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence, referred to as "a distinctive portrait of the crescendo moment in American history from the Pulitzer-winning American historian, Joseph Ellis." The book chronicles the events of the summer of 1776 as America’s war for independence began, and how America was nearly defeated by the British.

Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog.

Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours.

Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc.

Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Feb 27, 2018

"There's a perfect alignment between Jefferson's own contradictions and the rest of American history."

— Joseph J. Ellis

Clay speaks with Dr. Joseph J. Ellis, author of more than ten books, including American Sphinx, Passionate Sage, and Revolutionary Summer. His forthcoming book is American Dialogue: The Founders and Us.

Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog.

Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours.

Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc.

Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Feb 20, 2018

"You cannot understand the founding of this country without understanding the Founding Fathers’ obsession with classical languages and literature."

— Clay S. Jenkinson

Guest host Catherine Jenkinson has an extended conversation with President Jefferson about the classics, and Jefferson’s understanding and support of the classics.

Find this episode on the blog, along with 15 Greek and Latin Classics recommended by Clay and Catherine.

Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours.

Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc.

Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Feb 12, 2018

"I'm just thrilled to see that people can still have intelligent and thoughtful conversations and walk away still feeling friends."

— Rick Kennerly

We speak with three friends of the Jefferson Hour this week: Rick Kennerly, who talks tomatoes and why they don’t taste as good as they used to, Pat Brodowski, Head Gardener at Monticello who speaks about the gardens and upcoming events at Monticello, and Beau Wright, Director of Operations at Protect Democracy.

In this week's podcast intro, we discuss Keeping All the Pieces, the new documentary film from Badlands Conservation Alliance, produced with David Swenson at Makoche Studios. You can watch the film in its entirety at BadlandsConservationAlliance.org.

Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog.

Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours.

Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc.

Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Feb 6, 2018

Catherine Jenkinson returns as host this week for an extended conversation with President Jefferson about Sir Walter Raleigh.

Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog.

Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours.

Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc.

Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Jan 30, 2018

We speak with President Jefferson about current events including the government shutdown, philanthropy, and water shortages in Cape Town.

Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog.

Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours.

Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc.

Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Jan 22, 2018

"It really upsets me that Jefferson should be anti-canine, but there you are."

— Clay S. Jenkinson

This week, we answer listener questions about Jefferson’s personality traits, Thaddeus Kosciuszko, the State of Jefferson, the Hamilton Soundtrack, fashion during Jefferson’s time, touring Monticello, and Jefferson’s distaste for dogs.

Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog.

Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours.

Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc.

Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Jan 16, 2018

Margaret Bayard Smith was a friend of Thomas Jefferson. Her writings provided the content for the book The First Forty Years of Washington Society which includes first hand accounts of her interactions with Jefferson. This week we speak with Mister Jefferson about Mrs. Smith. He shares his recollections of their relationship.

Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog.

Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours.

Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc.

Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Jan 9, 2018

"Most revolutions end with the establishment of a dictatorship."

— Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson

We speak with President Jefferson this week about America’s tradition of the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to the next.

Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog.

Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours.

Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc.

Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Jan 3, 2018

"I had a canine appetite for reading."

— Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson

This week, President Jefferson shares his views on reading fiction versus non-fiction and recommends works of fiction from his time.

On this episode, Jefferson recommends five books: Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne, Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, and Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding.

Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog.

Learn about Clay's upcoming cultural tours and humanities retreats by visiting Odyssey Tours.

Support the show by joining the 1776 Club or by donating to the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Inc.

Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

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