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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: 2020
Dec 29, 2020

This week, we take a look back at the many conversations we had during this past year. We hear from President Jefferson on a number of subjects, including whether or not representatives should follow their conscience or the wishes of the their constituents, his distaste for the royals, and the place of protest in American society. We also share thoughts on the pandemic, and hear from listeners who tell us how it is affecting them and their communities.

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 and 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 and Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Dec 22, 2020

In spite of the fact that President Jefferson didn’t really celebrate Christmas, this week we present our annual Thomas Jefferson Hour Christmas show. The program features conversations with Clay’s daughter Catherine, who will be spending the holiday in Great Britain, Beau Wright and Brad Crisler. Clay, by request, shares a special family-favorite Christmas reading.

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 and 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 and Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Dec 15, 2020

On the one hand, Jefferson wrote perhaps the most important American directive: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal," but he also believed that America could never become a truly bi-racial republic, and during his lifetime he owned over 200 enslaved people. This week, Clay Jenkinson and Joseph Ellis discuss this uncomfortable twin legacy of Thomas Jefferson that we still wrestle with today.

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 and 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 and Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Dec 8, 2020

We present a fascinating conversation with HannaLore Hein, who in 2019 became Idaho’s first woman state historian. Clay Jenkinson and Hein discuss her duties as a state historian and talk about an author from Idaho, Vardis Fisher. His first novel, Mountain Men, was used as the basis for the 1972 film Jeremiah Johnson. His book, Suicide or Murder: The Strange Death of Meriwether Lewis, published in 1962, is regarded as starting the longstanding controversy over the death of Meriwether Lewis.

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 and 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 and Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Dec 1, 2020

We begin this week with a discussion about Clay Jenkinson’s online public humanities course, The Future of Constitutional Democracy, and spend time responding to listener questions, including one on representation in the Senate. Clay also responds to many letters about the recent election and acknowledges how weary we all are with both the pandemic, and the divisive nature of today’s politics.

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 and 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 and Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Nov 24, 2020

Clay Jenkinson interviews the author David L. Nicandri about his new book, Captain Cook Rediscovered: Voyaging to the Icy Latitudes. Nicandri speaks about the immense influence and popularity Cook had during Jefferson’s time, and says that Jefferson borrowed heavily from Cook when he wrote instructions for the Lewis and Clark expedition. Nicandri also shares his view that Captain Cook was the first true polar ice scientist.

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 and 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 and Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Nov 17, 2020

Recorded on November 6, 2020, three days after the election, Clay Jenkinson and Joseph Ellis share their thoughts on the recent presidential election and predictions about what’s to come in the next presidency. The two scholars also offer historical context between the elections of Jefferson’s time and this election of 2020.

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 and 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 and Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Nov 10, 2020

On November 4, 2020, the day after the election, The Thomas Jefferson Hour held a Zoom "Town Hall" to hear our listeners share their thoughts on the Presidential election. For two hours we heard from supporters of both candidates, along with insight and analysis from Clay Jenkinson, the creator of the Jefferson Hour. This week's show presents an edited version of that conversation, including comments from 17 participants.

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 and 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 and Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Nov 3, 2020

This week on the Thomas Jefferson Hour, Jefferson speaks about his election to the Presidency and the delays in certification as the 3rd President, along with his feelings of the need to unite a divided electorate. On March 4, 1801 in his inaugural address he famously stated, "But every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all republicans. We are all federalists." 

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 and 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 and Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Oct 27, 2020

This week on the Thomas Jefferson Hour, along with some listener questions, we present a discussion with Clay Jenkinson and Joe Ellis about the upcoming presidential election and the strong divisions in our nation between the two major political parties.

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 and 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 and Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Oct 20, 2020

Thomas Jefferson practiced law from 1767 until early 1774. Much of his work involved land disputes, however one case in April of 1770 found him acting pro bono defending Samuel Howell, a mixed-race man being held as an indentured servant because his grandmother was white and his grandfather black. He lost the case, but argued that “under the law of nature, all men are born free.” This week Jefferson (as portrayed by humanities scholar Clay S. Jenkinson) answers questions submitted to him by an incarcerated person.

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 and 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 and Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Oct 13, 2020

We're joined by author Joseph Ellis to discuss his work chronicling the Founding Fathers. This week, we're focusing on his 2004 biography, His Excellency: George Washington. The historian Gordon Wood reviewed the book writing that “Ellis's portrait of Washington thus humanizes the man without knocking him off the pedestal where his contemporaries placed him. This Washington is all the greater because he is a real human being with both passions and principles.”

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 and 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 and Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Oct 6, 2020

This week we speak with President Thomas Jefferson (as portrayed by humanities scholar Clay S. Jenkinson) about the Supreme Court. Jefferson tells us that the Constitution in Article Three contemplates a court system, but that it is quite vague and general, so the first Congress passed the Judiciary Act of 1789 which was intended to create the infrastructure of the Judicial system. George Washington then filled every available seat through appointment.

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 and 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 and Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Sep 29, 2020

Clay recently joined Monticello Senior Historian Ann Lucas for "Getting Noticed on the Lewis and Clark Trail," a public Zoom conference during which Clay answered questions from attendees. Time did not allow for all the questions to be answered, and this week we remedy that. Additionally, we are joined by Joe Ellis who helps to answer questions.

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 and 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 and Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Sep 22, 2020

Joseph Ellis joins us this week in the first of a series of conversations discussing his work as a historian chronicling the Founding Fathers. We begin by discussing his book, American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson, published in 1996 and winner of The National Book Award. In the conversation, Ellis calls the Founders the “greatest generation in American political history in terms of creativity [but] if you want to come to terms with the real historical forces moving American history, perfection is not in the cards.”

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 and 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 and Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Sep 15, 2020

This week our guest Laura Gordon of Seattle, Washington speaks with Thomas Jefferson about Aaron Burr, who served as Jefferson’s Vice President from March 4, 1801 to March 4, 1805. Laura asks President Jefferson about Burr’s involvement in the election of 1800, his duel with Alexander Hamilton and his treason trial in 1807.

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 and 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 and Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Sep 8, 2020

We speak with Thomas Jefferson about a letter he wrote to John Adams in October of 1813 in which Jefferson argues against Adam’s support of aristocracy, writing, "It is probable that our difference of opinion may in some measure be produced by a difference of character in those among whom we live." Adams believed that aristocracy was inevitable, while Jefferson argued that it was merely a remnant of the "old world," and one which should be excluded from our new nation.

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 and 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 and Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Sep 1, 2020

This week on the Thomas Jefferson Hour Clay Jenkinson and Professor Joseph Ellis discuss what Ellis calls the “dirtiest election in American history; the presidential race between Jefferson and Adams in 1800. The election, sometimes referred to as the "Revolution of 1800”, was the fourth presidential election held. Voting lasted from April to October, with the final outcome decided on December 3, 1800.

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 and 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 and Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Aug 25, 2020

In an earlier program, the Thomas Jefferson Hour presented a discussion between Clay Jenkinson and Professor Joseph Ellis about monuments and the potential removal of some, and how we as citizens can come to better understand this issue. This week we present thoughts on this subject received from our listeners.

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 and 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 and Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Aug 18, 2020

Thomas Jefferson Hour creator Clay S. Jenkinson has returned from his annual Lewis and Clark tour, and gives us a report on the trip along with updates on his other projects. Also discussed is the poor state of humor and jokes during Jefferson’s time and a discussion about whether or not Jefferson had a sense of humor.

Listen to Talking out of Tights: https://jeffersonhour.com/tights

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 and 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 and Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Aug 11, 2020

We speak with President Thomas Jefferson (as portrayed by humanities scholar Clay S. Jenkinson) this week about public dissent and the powers of the presidency. Jefferson has a great deal to say about the right to dissent and to protest. He is famous for saying, "I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical." In 1785, in his Notes of the State of Virginia, Jefferson wrote, "The time to guard against corruption and tyranny, is before they shall have gotten hold of us. It is better to keep the wolf out of the fold, than to trust to drawing his teeth and talons after he shall have entered."

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 and 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 and Clark, and other topics. Thomas Jefferson is interpreted by Clay S. Jenkinson.

Aug 4, 2020

This week, as Clay Jenkinson puts it, “a really difficult conversation about an essential subject.” Jenkinson and Professor Joseph Ellis discuss their thoughts about which memorials, statues, place names, etc., should be taken down, which should be kept and, hopefully, how we can come to better understand this issue.

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 28, 2020

Joseph Ellis and Clay Jenkinson revisit their debate about who the "Indispensable Man" of the American Revolution truly was. We share listener comments about the debate and answer additional questions sent in, including a request for discussion about the history of the women’s rights movement, Jefferson’s subpoena during the Burr trial and how slavery affected the economy of the southern states.

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 21, 2020

We enjoy three conversations this week with friends of the Jefferson Hour: luthier Kevin Muiderman, who announces a special guitar auction for the benefit of the Jefferson Hour, Virginia General Assembly member Jason S. Miyares, on the House Joint Resolution 663 recognizing Clay Jenkinson, and songwriter/artist Brad Crisler from Nashville who ends the program with some very insightful observances on the times we now live in.

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 14, 2020

This week author and White House historian Lindsay M. Chervinsky discusses her new book, The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution. The US Constitution never established a presidential cabinet—the delegates to the Constitutional Convention explicitly rejected the idea. The book explores why George Washington created one. Author Jon Meacham calls the book an “important and illuminating study,” one that “has given us an original angle of vision on the foundations and development of something we all take for granted: the president’s Cabinet.”

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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