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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 our website at jeffersonhour.com
 
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In this episode we speak with President Jefferson about American immigration policy during his time and ours, as well as the requirements to gain citizenship. Jefferson describes the discriminatory policies of his time, and then agrees to answer some of the 100 test questions immigrants must correctly answer to gain citizenship in 2021. Find this e…
 
We are joined this week by the author and historian Professor Joseph Ellis. He and Clay have an in-depth discussion about the Founding Fathers and their willing participation in the enslavement of people. Read about Clay's upcoming online courses here: https://jeffersonhour.com/onlinecourse Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the …
 
This week we talk with President Jefferson about the British point of view of rebellion in America which eventually led to the Revolutionary War. The conversation begins and ends with Jefferson's thoughts on Benjamin Franklin, who had been an anglophile hoping for peace between the two nations, but ended up as a leading voice for American independe…
 
Clay Jenkinson is joined this week by author Joseph Ellis for a lively discussion about popular American conspiracy theories and gun rights in America. In 1785, Thomas Jefferson wrote to his fifteen-year-old nephew, Peter Carr, about what he considered the best form of exercise, "I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the body, i…
 
We wish President Thomas Jefferson a happy 278th birthday this week and discuss possible gifts for him: books and wine. Jefferson also speaks about his vision for America. Read about Clay's upcoming online courses here: https://jeffersonhour.com/onlinecourse Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by joining…
 
We speak with President Thomas Jefferson this week about his cabinet, particularly about his Secretary of the Treasury, Albert Gallatin. President Jefferson, as portrayed by humanities scholar Clay S. Jenkinson, gives credit to Mr. Gallatin for retiring the national debt during his administration, for running the federal government while Jefferson …
 
This week Clay responds to listener mail, including many comments regarding a previous show about Shays' Rebellion, and what Jefferson's reaction would be to the insurrection that occurred on January 6, 2021. Read about Clay's upcoming online courses here: https://jeffersonhour.com/onlinecourse Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on …
 
This week Clay Jenkinson, the creator of the Thomas Jefferson Hour, and the author Joseph Ellis answer questions from listeners about the make up of the Senate, British loyalists during the Revolution, and how Jefferson would fare on a citizenship test, to which Ellis says that, “The Constitution isn’t a collection of truths, it’s a framework in wh…
 
We speak with President Thomas Jefferson this week about the Sedition Act of 1798. Jefferson points out the importance of free speech and says that "its value comes in times of crisis. We don’t need to protect what is comfortable, responsible and harmonious. If we’re a free society, we need to protect speech that is critical, offensive, obnoxious, …
 
For this Thomas Jefferson Hour Zoom Town Hall, we're discussing presidential leadership and character. We take questions directly from attendees, including queries about presidents who can sing the song of America, as well as divisive and consequential presidents, and the fear that our elections may never be normal again. Read about Clay's upcoming…
 
We speak with President Jefferson about an armed uprising that occurred in Massachusetts in 1787 known as Shays' Rebellion. We ask Jefferson about an often quoted letter from January of that same year in which he wrote, "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…
 
We are joined this week on the Thomas Jefferson Hour by the respected author Joseph Ellis in a robust discussion about the Constitution, beginning with an agreement that it is time to retire the electoral college. Ellis says that, “Argument is the answer, and the willingness to recognize the legitimacy of different sides in an argument is the cruci…
 
Clay S. Jenkinson answers listener questions and speaks about the Wall Street Journal's erroneous reporting of Jefferson’s impeachment (he was not impeached), and also talks about Jefferson’s literary tastes and writing. Questions presented include a request for a good biography on Abigail Adams, Jefferson’s daily cold water foot baths and reliable…
 
President Jefferson speaks about the challenges he encountered during his first term as president, and offers his guiding principle that he views government as "a few plain duties" performed by a few honest men. He also offers some private advice to our new president on division and building consensus. Find this episode, along with recommended read…
 
President Thomas Jefferson joins us this week to discuss the formation of his first cabinet. He had a great deal of experience having attended nearly 60 cabinet meetings serving as Secretary of State during the Washington administration. Jefferson chose his cabinet carefully, wanting to avoid the conflict he experienced in the Washington administra…
 
President Thomas Jefferson was sworn in as our third President on March 4, 1801. He was dressed simply, wearing nothing that would distinguish him from the crowd gathered at noon as he entered the Capitol and then the Senate Gallery to give his speech. The theme of his speech was reconciliation after his bitterly partisan election. This week, Miste…
 
The events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 dominated the thoughts of most citizens last week. Clay Jenkinson offers his own thoughts and historical perspective along with comments from Jefferson Hour contributors Beau Wright, David Nicandri and Joseph Ellis. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support the show by …
 
This week, we present an edited audio version of a Zoom town hall meeting recorded on December 15, 2020, the 229th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights. Humanities scholar and author Clay S. Jenkinson provides context and answers questions from the attendees. Find this episode, along with recommended reading, on the blog. Support t…
 
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 tho…
 
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 …
 
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…
 
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: T…
 
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…
 
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 a…
 
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, alon…
 
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