28 episodes

Join history blogger Howard Dorre and his wife Jessica Dorre for a deep irreverent dive into lesser-known stories of the early American presidents. They dig into the myths, mysteries, scandals, and drama of the founders and their families.

Plodding Through The Presidents Howard & Jessica Dorre

    • History
    • 4.8 • 120 Ratings

Join history blogger Howard Dorre and his wife Jessica Dorre for a deep irreverent dive into lesser-known stories of the early American presidents. They dig into the myths, mysteries, scandals, and drama of the founders and their families.

    Thomas Jefferson's Killer Ram

    Thomas Jefferson's Killer Ram

    This episode is all about Thomas Jefferson's lust for wool and how it caused him to ignore the violence of a particular four-horned Shetland ram until it was too late. Come for the killer ram, stay for the sheep breeding and a quiz that could save you from getting rammed.
    Show notes and sources at plodpod.com
    Consider joining our Patreon family at https://www.patreon.com/ploddingthroughthepresidents
    Check out our brand new merch store at https://www.teepublic.com/stores/plodding-through-the-presidents?ref_id=24294

    • 59 min
    Potty-Mouthed Parrots

    Potty-Mouthed Parrots

    We continue the theme of naughty animals and dive into the stories of two parrots named Polly – Dolley Madison’s violently jealous macaw and Andrew Jackson’s purportedly potty-mouthed parrot.
    We dig into the plausibility of the popular story that Jackson’s parrot had to be removed from his funeral for swearing, and along the way we explore the burning of the White House and the history of profane parrots in the United States.

    Show notes and sources at plodpod.com
    Consider joining our Patreon family at https://www.patreon.com/ploddingthroughthepresidents
    Check out our merch store at https://www.teepublic.com/stores/plodding-through-the-presidents?ref_id=24294

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Lindsay Chervinsky & Washington's Cabinet of Personalities

    Lindsay Chervinsky & Washington's Cabinet of Personalities

    Our very first guest, Dr. Lindsay Chervinsky, joins Howard for a conversation about her book The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution and about the personalities and relationships of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and Hamilton. And of course we talk a bit about our mutual love for John Quincy Adams.
    Jess and Howard kick off the episode with a look at the most famous story of George Washington's profanity.
    Note: Our interview with Chervinsky was recorded in June 2021 and does not take into account any events that have transpired since.

    Show notes and sources at plodpod.com
    Consider joining our Patreon family at https://www.patreon.com/ploddingthroughthepresidents
    Check out our merch store at https://www.teepublic.com/stores/plodding-through-the-presidents?ref_id=24294

    • 1 hr 2 min
    The Mythology of Mary Ball Washington

    The Mythology of Mary Ball Washington

    George Washington's mother Mary Ball Washington has been unfairly portrayed as a greedy shrew for decades. This week, we dig into the truth of the most popular allegations levied against her by biographers. We also trace the origins of two legends about her – the deadly lightning bolt said to have changed her and her founding fetus forever and the story of a wild horse (you thought we were done with animals?) that inspired the legend of young George and the cherry tree. Along the way we look at two recent biographies of Mary that approach their subject with very different perspectives.
    Show notes and sources at plodpod.com
    Consider joining our Patreon family at https://www.patreon.com/ploddingthroughthepresidents
    Check out our merch store at https://www.teepublic.com/stores/plodding-through-the-presidents?ref_id=24294

    • 59 min
    Cara Finnegan & Photographic Presidents

    Cara Finnegan & Photographic Presidents

    Author Dr. Cara Finnegan (Photographic Presidents: Making History From Daguerreotype to Digital) joins Howard for a conversation about the early days of photography and some of the most intriguing presidential photographs, including a photo of a painting of William Henry Harrison that looks eerily lifelike and a "spirit photograph" of Mary Lincoln and the ghost of Abraham Lincoln. Before the interview, Jess and Howard tackle Jimmy Carter's brief but devastating encounter with a "killer" swamp rabbit, and the photographic proof.Show notes, photos, and sources at plodpod.comConsider joining our Patreon family at https://www.patreon.com/ploddingthroughthepresidentsCheck out our merch store at https://www.teepublic.com/stores/plodding-through-the-presidents?ref_id=24294

    • 54 min
    The Amistad, The Creole, and Madison Washington

    The Amistad, The Creole, and Madison Washington

    We explore the incredible story of the Amistad captives and the sensation sparked by their rebellion, along with the opportunities their situation offered to the abolitionist cause and the rabble-rousing John Quincy Adams. And we look at the impact of the Amistad rebellion on a man named Madison Washington who helped lead the most successful slave revolt in American history aboard a ship called The Creole.Show notes, photos, and sources at plodpod.comConsider joining our Patreon family at https://www.patreon.com/ploddingthroughthepresidentsCheck out our merch store at https://www.teepublic.com/stores/plodding-through-the-presidents?ref_id=24294

    • 57 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
120 Ratings

120 Ratings

Xtina8791 ,

I’m a plodder!

Love this podcast! Presidents? Good. History? Good. Puns? So bad they’re good! Informative and entertaining thanks to the dynamic of Howard and Jess. Can’t wait for the new season!

kmshrader ,

Love the format!

I am a big fan of history podcasts and have heard a few of these anecdotes in passing on Totalus Rankium or This Day in Esoteric Political History. But although I knew there were podcasts telling the larger narrative of early American history, I LOVE that there’s a whole podcast dedicated to the fun bits. And it’s in my favorite podcast format, with Jess asking important clarifying questions to open the context up for the audience while the historian shares his research and educated perspective. Sometimes history podcasts can get a little hard for a layperson with a foggy memory to follow, but I love the sections with Jess because I know she’ll say what I’m thinking.

VirgoPeg911 ,

I Love Jess!

I listen to a few history podcasts, but this one is the most fun! Howard does his research and knows his stuff, but he’s definitely not boring in his presentation. I always get a good laugh. But he’s not alone; his wife, Jess, might be the best part! She comes into each episode a blank slate, ready to learn with the rest of us. Her decidedly 21st century point of view is often at odds with the weird history of our early presidents, and the whole situation is hilarious. Keep it up, Howard and Jess. I’m looking forward to the new season!

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