57 episodes

Welcome to The History of the Americans Podcast. My name is Jack Henneman, and I'm telling the history of the people who live, and lived, in the lands now constituting the United States from the beginning, before Columbus, to the present.

The History of the Americans Jack Henneman

    • History
    • 4.9 • 168 Ratings

Welcome to The History of the Americans Podcast. My name is Jack Henneman, and I'm telling the history of the people who live, and lived, in the lands now constituting the United States from the beginning, before Columbus, to the present.

    Jamestown and the Powhatans Part 3

    Jamestown and the Powhatans Part 3

    It is late May, 1607, and Jamestown has survived the first organized attack against the settlement, this time from an alliance of five tribes from the Powhatan Confederacy. Captain Christopher Newport and John Smith don't know this yet, because they have taken twenty-two men in their boat and were exploring up the James River. There they hear about a "paramount chief" for the first time, and the large tribal confederacy that confronts them.







    As the summer and fall of 1607 grinds on, disease, starvation, and Indian attacks afflict the colonists, and more than half will die before the end of the year. John Ratcliffe replaces Edward-Maria Wingfield as president of the colony, but John Smith is its chief operating officer, rallying the men to build houses an clear fields, and trading with the local tribes for food. While exploring upriver, he is captured by the military leader of the Powhatans, Opechancanough. Smith eventually meets the paramount chief Powhatan. The episode closes with a first look at the famous scene in which Pocahontas either saved John Smith's life, or didn't!







    Twitter: @TheHistoryOfTh2







    Selected resources for this episode







    James Horn, A Land As God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America







    James Horn, A Brave and Cunning Prince: The Great Chief Opechancanough and the War for America







    David Price, Love and Hate in Jamestown: John Smith, Pocahontas, and the Start of a New Nation

    • 36 min
    Jamestown and the Powhatans Part 2

    Jamestown and the Powhatans Part 2

    This episode looks at the prophecy that animated Powhatan's consolidation of power in the region, the violent first encounters between the Virginia Company expedition and the indigenous peoples at the mouth of the Chesapeake, internal squabbles within the English leadership, and the bizarre decision by Jamestown's president Edward-Maria Wingfield to disarm unilaterally, in the fruitless hope of winning the favor of the locals. We also take a first look at the staggering body count that would pile up over the first eighteen years of the Jamestown settlement.







    Twitter: @TheHistoryOfTh2







    Selected resources for this episode







    Carl Bridenbaugh, Jamestown, 1544-1699







    James Horn, A Land As God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America







    David Price, Love and Hate in Jamestown: John Smith, Pocahontas, and the Start of a New Nation







    Karen Ordahl Kupperman, "Apathy and Death in Early Jamestown," The Journal of American History, June 1979.

    • 36 min
    Jamestown and the Powhatans Part 1

    Jamestown and the Powhatans Part 1

    In late December, 1606, in London’s River Thames, three small ships were anchored awaiting a voyage across the Atlantic. Those three ships were the Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery, and they would take 105 men and boys to the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay to establish the Virginia Company’s southern colony. They would plunge into a complex geopolitical morass that would very nearly destroy the venture. This episode looks at the context for the expedition that would become Jamestown, including especially the rise of the powerful Powhatan confederacy that would be waiting there when the English arrived, and prepared by a long-ago confrontation with the Spanish to confront the newcomers .







    Selected resources for this episode







    Carl Bridenbaugh, Jamestown, 1544-1699







    Charlotte M. Gradie, “Spanish Jesuits in Virginia: The Mission That Failed”







    James Horn, A Land As God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America







    James Horn, A Brave and Cunning Prince: The Great Chief Opechancanough and the War for America







    David Price, Love and Hate in Jamestown: John Smith, Pocahontas, and the Start of a New Nation







    John Smith (Wikipedia)

    • 33 min
    The Popham/Sagadahoc Colony and Other Adventures on the Coast of New England 1602-08 Part 2

    The Popham/Sagadahoc Colony and Other Adventures on the Coast of New England 1602-08 Part 2

    This week we continue and complete our story of the English adventures along the coast of New England in the first decade of the 17th century, including the fate, and the historical debate over the fate, of the Popham Colony, the Virginia Company's sister colony to Jamestown. Along the way we learn about the astonishing origin of the word "Iroquois," the first dog names in North America that come down to us, and the medicinal value, or not, of sassafras!







    Twitter: @TheHistoryOfTh2







    Selected references for this episode







    Henry Otis Thayer, The Sagadahoc Colony: Comprising the Relation of a Voyage Into New England







    Christopher J. Bilodeau, "The Paradox of Sagadahoc: The Popham Colony, 1607–1608," Early American Studies, Winter 2014.







    Alfred A. Cave, "Why Was the Sagadahoc Colony Abandoned? An Evaluation of the Evidence," The New England Quarterly, December 1995.







    "The Voyage of Martin Pring 1603," American Journeys Collection







    First Charter of Virginia

    • 43 min
    The Popham/Sagadahoc Colony and Other Adventures on the Coast of New England 1602-08 Part 1

    The Popham/Sagadahoc Colony and Other Adventures on the Coast of New England 1602-08 Part 1

    The English established a colony on the coast near today’s Phippsburg, Maine in 1607, only a couple of months after the founding of Jamestown. It would survive just over a year.  The Popham or Sagadahoc Colony was the culmination of several exploratory missions along the New England coast from approximately Cape Cod to Maine between 1602 and 1605.  In 1602, Bartholomew Gosnold, who would eventually die at Jamestown, led the first of those missions to the New England coast and gave several famous places names that we use today, including Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard.  His expedition would stay in the Elizabeth Islands, which shelter Buzzard's Bay in Massachusetts, for more than three weeks, and have extensive encounters with local indigenous peoples. The Gosnold narrative of those encounters has all sorts of interesting stuff!







    Twitter: @TheHistoryOfTh2







    Selected references for this episode







    Henry Otis Thayer, The Sagadahoc Colony: Comprising the Relation of a Voyage Into New England







    Warner F. Gookin, "Who was Bartholomew Gosnold?", The William and Mary Quarterly, July 1949.







    A briefe and true relation of the discouerie of the north part of Virginia being a most pleasant, fruitfull and commodious soile: made this present yeere 1602, by Captaine Bartholomew Gosnold, Captaine Bartholowmew [sic] Gilbert, and diuers other gentlemen their associats, by the permission of the honourable knight, Sir Walter Ralegh, &c. Written by M. Iohn Brereton one of the voyage. 

    • 36 min
    The Rediscovery of New Mexico and the Last Conquistadors 1580 - 1610

    The Rediscovery of New Mexico and the Last Conquistadors 1580 - 1610

    It is 1580. Virtually no Spaniards have returned to New Mexico or the American southwest since the return of the remnants of the Coronado and Soto expeditions in 1542.  Neither had found a third great indigenous civilization to conquer, or even more than scant evidence of precious metals.  By 1580 most of the survivors of those expeditions had died, and the narratives produced in their aftermath would have been known to very few people. The most durable legacy of those expeditions would have been the rumors of gold, which always persist long after the actual facts are gone from living memory.  So it was that circa 1580 various aspirational conquistadors set to scheming for a return to the region that some were now dreaming of as “New Mexico.”  These new Spanish probes into the American southwest were minor affairs and of relatively little consequence, except insofar as they stirred up the Indians living in the Pueblos of the region and generated a new round of propaganda that would lead to the colonization project of Juan de Oñate y Salazar in 1598.  That would be of surpassing significance, for Oñate would stay for twelve years, kill a lot of Indians, found Santa Fe just before he departed, and establish the foundation of Spanish society in the southwestern United States.







    Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheHistoryOfTh2







    Selected references for this episode







    George P. Hammond and Agapito Rey, The Rediscovery of New Mexico, 1580-1594 (Coronado cuarto centennial publications, 1540-1940)







    Stan Hoig, Came Men on Horses: The Conquistador Expeditions of Francisco Vásquez de Coronado and Don Juan de Oñate







    John L. Kessell, Pueblos, Spaniards, and the Kingdom of New Mexico







    J. Lloyd Mecham, "Antonio de Espejo and His Journey to New Mexico", The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, October 1926

    • 54 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
168 Ratings

168 Ratings

Big Fat Scott ,

Love this.

This has become my clear favorite podcast. I listen to every episode multiple times and consciously avoid catching up because I feel better knowing there are new episodes when I need them.

tpfqq ,

mr

absolutely addicying thank you for doing this

dbroward ,

Superb historical storytelling

Precisely achieves the ideal level of detail for a podcast; excellent presentation and production values; transparent historiography, welcome wry asides, and logical — but never overbearing — organization. Like having a new, smart, funny friend, who’s also a gifted teacher.

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