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
We spend this week answering listener questions, including one asking us to discuss Jack Jouett. On June 3, 1781, Jouett made a 40-mile "midnight ride" on horseback to Charlottesville, Virginia and gave advance warning to Thomas Jefferson and Virginia legislators that the British were coming. Jouett’s extraordinary ride that night enabled them to escape to safety.
Petrification with David Nicandri
Clay Jenkinson and David Nicandri discuss Thomas Jefferson’s fascination with the mammoth, and his hope that Lewis and Clark would find living specimens. As it turns out, Nicandri and Jenkinson have an equal fascination. Also discussed is the changing influence written history has on us.
This week, an in-depth and revealing conversation with Joseph Ellis about his new book, The Cause: The American Revolution and its Discontents, 1773-1783.
Circular to the Heads of Departments
We speak with President Jefferson about his "Circular to the Heads of Departments," a memo he wrote dated November 6, 1801 which provides insight into Jefferson's governing style. He refers to his cabinet as one of the most harmonious in history, and he closes his letter by writing, "If I had the Universe to choose from, I could not change one of my associates to my better satisfaction."
The Enlightenment with Lindsay Chervinsky
The noted author and historian Dr. Lindsay Chervinsky joins Clay Jenkinson this week for a discussion about the Enlightenment. Together they try to answer the question whether or not it is a self correcting mechanism that will lead us into greater human rights and progress, or is it now in jeopardy in the midst of the explosion of human knowledge.
Jefferson wrote, "it may be proved that no society can make a perpetual constitution, or even a perpetual law. The earth belongs always to the living generation."