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Listening to America with Clay Jenkinson

Listening to America aims to “light out for the territories,” traveling less visited byways and taking time to see this immense, extraordinary country with fresh eyes while listening to the many voices of America’s past, present, and future. Led by noted historian and humanities scholar Clay Jenkinson, Listening to America travels the country’s less visited byways, from national parks and forests to historic sites to countless under-recognized rural and urban places. Through this exploration, Clay and team find and tell the overlooked historical and contemporary stories that shape America’s people and places.
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Listening to America with Clay Jenkinson
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Now displaying: 2019
Dec 24, 2019

We speak with President Thomas Jefferson about the impeachments that took place during his presidency. There were two impeachments of federal judges, Thomas Pickering and Samuel Chase. In the out-of-character segment, Jenkinson shares the story of Aaron Burr, who had recently killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel, presiding over the trial of Chase.

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. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Check out our new merch. You can find Clay's publications on our website, along with a list of his favorite books on Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Dec 20, 2019

"That’s the point of a constitutional revision: to clarify." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson

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. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Check out our new merch. You can find Clay's publications on our website, along with a list of his favorite books on Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Dec 17, 2019

"I take absolutely no joy in any of this. This is a national catastrophe, a tragedy." — Clay S. Jenkinson

On December 4, 2019, four constitutional scholars gathered to testify before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee in public hearings. This week in an out of character program we listen to selected portions of that testimony. Clay Jenkinson responds and provides his unique insight. He notes how often the founders are referred to during the hearings and says that the scholars “gave us an unbelievably important civics lesson on the intention of the founding fathers.”

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. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Check out our new merch. You can find Clay's publications on our website, along with a list of his favorite books on Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Dec 10, 2019

"What's the use of a newborn baby?"

Benjamin Franklin was considered "the grand old man" of the American Revolution, and when questioned about what the men of the Constitutional Convention had delivered, he answered, "A republic, if you can keep it." This week, in an out-of-character program, we talk more about Benjamin Franklin.

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. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Check out our new merch. You can find Clay's publications on our website, along with a list of his favorite books on Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Dec 9, 2019

"So he records in a barn? Where'd he get that?"

jeffersonhour.bandcamp.com/album/working-with-ken-burns

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. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Check out our new merch. You can find Clay's publications on our website, along with a list of his favorite books on Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Dec 3, 2019

"For Franklin, knowledge was important, but application of knowledge ... mattered to him as much as any pure science." — Clay S. Jenkinson

Thomas Jefferson had an immense respect for Benjamin Franklin, who was nearly 37 years his senior. Franklin became one of the most respected Americans during the revolution and was, in a sense, pushed there by British arrogance.

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. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Check out our new merch. You can find Clay's publications on our website, along with a list of his favorite books on Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Nov 26, 2019

"Understand him for his flaws as well as for his greatness." — Joe Ellis 

We welcome historian Joseph Ellis to the program this week to talk about his book American Creation. In the book, Ellis notes a series of five contributions the founding fathers made and Clay Jenkinson asks how those contributions are holding up during our time.

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. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Check out our new merch. You can find Clay's publications on our website, along with a list of his favorite books on Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Nov 22, 2019

You can hear this 1776 Club episode here: https://jeffersonhour.bandcamp.com/album/storytelling

Clay and David discuss storytelling, documentary film-making, and Clay's experiences being interviewed by Ken Burns.

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. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Check out our new merch. You can find Clay's publications on our website, along with a list of his favorite books on Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Nov 19, 2019

"Jefferson admits [to John] Adams, you were right and I was wrong about the French Revolution." — Joseph J. Ellis

We welcome Clay Jenkinson back from his recent cultural tour to France, and speak with author Joseph Ellis about what Jefferson learned in France, and how it changed his outlook of the American dream.

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. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Check out our new merch. You can find Clay's publications on our website, along with a list of his favorite books on Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Nov 12, 2019

In this week's out-of-character program, our conversation is spent answering and responding to listener questions. Subjects included are Catherine Jenkinson’s recent hosting of the show, hot air balloons during Jefferson’s time, Theodore Roosevelt, and the rights of women, the LGBTQ community, and people of color.

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. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Check out our new merch. You can find Clay's publications on our website, along with a list of his favorite books on Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Nov 5, 2019

President Thomas Jefferson speaks about the formation of the government of the United States. Jefferson explains the social contract theory that when you are alone, you are sovereign, and when you join with others you have to negotiate what is for the commonwealth, and negotiate what natural rights you get to keep after adjustment by the 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. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Check out our new merch. You can find Clay's publications on our website, along with a list of his favorite books on Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Oct 29, 2019

We are joined this week on the Thomas Jefferson Hour by three of our favorite friends: Pat Brodowski, Beau Wright, and Brad Crisler. Pat Brodowski is Monticello’s Head Gardener. Beau Wright is a council member at large for the city of Lynchburg, Virginia. Brad Crisler is an award-winning Nashville-based songwriter, who now operates Truman B. Crisler Fine Portrait Miniatures.

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. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Check out our new merch. You can find Clay's publications on our website, along with a list of his favorite books on Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Oct 22, 2019

We speak with President Jefferson about the role of government in the oversight of elected officials. He tells us that because of the times they lived in, the founding fathers had great concerns about foreign involvement and influence on our government, and accordingly provided a mechanism to protect against it: impeachment.

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. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Check out our new merch. You can find Clay's publications on our website, along with a list of his favorite books on Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Oct 15, 2019

We are joined again this week by Catherine Jenkinson acting as guest host for a delightful conversation about Cuba, Clay’s upcoming cultural tour to Cuba, Thomas Jefferson’s connection to Cuba, and Theodore Roosevelt’s time there. Catherine questions Clay as to whether or not Roosevelt was really the “man in the arena” during his exploits on San Juan Hill.

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. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Check out our new merch. You can find Clay's publications on our website, along with a list of his favorite books on Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Oct 8, 2019

Thomas Jefferson Hour creator Clay S. Jenkinson is joined by his daughter Catherine who serves as this week’s guest host. Among the many topics discussed is Catherine's upcoming trip to England where she will become a student this fall at the University of Oxford.

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. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Check out our new merch. You can find Clay's publications on our website, along with a list of his favorite books on Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Oct 1, 2019

"It’s a classic enlightenment story: a novel in the history of ideas about how civilization is created from nothing." 

— Clay S. Jenkinson

We present another installment of the Jefferson Hour Book Club this week, and the selection is Robinson Crusoe, written by Daniel Defoe and published in 1719. It is a book Thomas Jefferson had in his library and reportedly read twice.

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. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Check out our new merch. You can find Clay's publications on our website, along with a list of his favorite books on Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Sep 24, 2019

We are joined this week by David Nicandri, one of the most respected Lewis and Clark scholars in the country. His book, "River of Promise - Lewis & Clark on the Columbia" fills a significant gap in our understanding of Lewis and Clark’s legendary expedition. Nicandri joins us not so much to speak of that journey, but one of his own. In a fascinating conversation, Nicandri tells us about the journey he and his son took on the Dempster Highway all the way to the arctic ocean.

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. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Check out our new merch. You can find Clay's publications on our website, along with a list of his favorite books on Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Sep 17, 2019

Prompted by a letter from a listener, President Thomas Jefferson shares his views on American exceptionalism and his hope that America will stand as a strong and good example for the rest of the world to follow.

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. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Check out our new merch. You can find Clay's publications on our website, along with a list of his favorite books on Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Sep 10, 2019

President Thomas Jefferson speaks to us this week about inventions and scientific discoveries of his time including some he was responsible for.

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. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Check out our new merch. You can find Clay's publications on our website, along with a list of his favorite books on Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Sep 3, 2019

This week we speak with Thomas Jefferson briefly about Alexander von Humbolt, and then bring Jefferson closer to our time by informing him that 50 years ago America landed men on the moon, which he has a bit of trouble believing. We also discuss Woodstock with Jefferson who says he hopes that if there were indeed women in attendance that they were all properly “escorted.”

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. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Check out our new merch. You can find Clay's publications on our website, along with a list of his favorite books on Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Aug 27, 2019

"He was iconic in the world's idea of what a nation could possibly be, and what an enlightened leader could possibly be."

— Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson

This week features another episode in the Jefferson Hour book club. We discuss Humboldt and Jefferson: A Transatlantic Friendship of the Enlightenment by Sandra Rebok, which explores the relationship between two fascinating personalities: the Prussian explorer, scientist, and geographer Alexander von Humboldt and Thomas Jefferson. They met in the spring of 1804 for just a few days, but their correspondence went on for decades.

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. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Check out our new merch. You can find Clay's publications on our website, along with a list of his favorite books on Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Aug 20, 2019

In this week’s episode, President Thomas Jefferson answers listener questions, as does Thomas Jefferson Hour creator Clay S. Jenkinson. Subjects discussed include where the name “United States of America” comes from, the poet Phillis Wheatley and slavery in the Northwest Territory.

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. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Check out our new merch. You can find Clay's publications on our website, along with a list of his favorite books on Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Aug 13, 2019

Clay Jenkinson has returned from his annual Lewis and Clark trip in Montana and Idaho, and he gives us a report on the 2019 tour. Clay also offers a list of eight items Lewis and Clark would have certainly wished for on their journey, could they have had them.

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. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Check out our new merch. You can find Clay's publications on our website, along with a list of his favorite books on Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Aug 6, 2019

This week, Clay takes a deeper look at Jefferson and religion. Jefferson considered the teachings of Jesus as having "the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man," but he felt that the pure teachings of Jesus were inaccurately appropriated by some of the early followers of Jesus which led to a Bible that had both "diamonds" of wisdom and the "dung" of ancient political agendas.

In Notes on the State of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson wrote, "Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burned, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth.”

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. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Check out our new merch. You can find Clay's publications on our website, along with a list of his favorite books on Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Jul 30, 2019

On August 20th, 1814, Thomas Jefferson received a letter from Miles King expressing King’s concerns for Jefferson’s eternal soul. King wrote, “And now permit me to ask dear Sir, are you not an old man well stricken in years, and laden with the highest honors that a grateful country can bestow? But what will these avail you in a dying hour?” We speak with President Jefferson this week about that letter and Jefferson’s reply to it.

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. You can learn more about Clay's cultural tours & retreats at jeffersonhour.com/tours. Check out our new merch. You can find Clay's publications on our website, along with a list of his favorite books on Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

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