Conversations at the Washington Library

Conversations at the Washington Library is the premier podcast about George Washington and his Early American world. Join host Jim Ambuske as he talks with scholars, digital humanists, librarians, and other guests about Washington's era and the way we tell stories about the past.

Conversations is a production of the Center for Digital History (CDH) at the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon. To learn more about the CDH, visit

Recent Episodes

Oct. 23, 2021

213. Sailing to Freedom with Dr. Timothy D. Walker

In May 1796, an enslaved woman named Ona Judge fled the presidential household in Philadelphia and escaped to freedom on a ship h…

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Oct. 6, 2021

212. Recruiting the Hero of Two Worlds with Mike Duncan

To kick off Season 6, we bring you the story of America’s Favorite Fighting Frenchmen. In 1777, the Marquis de Lafayette sailed f…

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Sept. 22, 2021

211. Revitalizing Myaamia Language and Culture with George Ironstrack…

In the eighteenth century, the Myaamia people inhabited what are now parts of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. More common…

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Sept. 15, 2021

210. Winning a Consolation Prize with Dr. Abby Mullen (Summer Repeat)

Consuls are essential to American foreign relations. Although they may not be as flashy or as powerful as an Ambassador like Thom…

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Sept. 1, 2021

209. Reading Letters by Early American Women with Kathryn Gehred (Sum…

If you pull any decent history book off your shelf right now, odds are that it’s filled with quotes from letters, diaries, or acc…

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Aug. 18, 2021

208. Harnessing Harmony in the Early Republic with Billy Coleman (Sum…

On September 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key began composing "The Star-Spangled Banner after witnessing the British attack on Fort Mc…

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Recent Blog Posts

Lafayette's Map Maker Depicts the Battle of Monmouth

The Washington Library at Mount Vernon holds a vast collection of Revolutionary War-era maps, including several carried by the Marquis de Lafayette while…

About the Hosts

Jim Ambuske

Host, Producer, Historian, Author

Jim Ambuske, Ph.D., leads the Center for Digital History at the Washington Library. A historian of the American Revolution, Scotland, and the British Atlantic World, Ambuske graduated from the University of Virginia in 2016. He is a former Farmer Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities at the University of Virginia Law Library. At UVA Law, Ambuske co-directed the 1828 Catalogue Project and the Scottish Court of Session Project. He is currently at work on a book about emigration from Scotland in the era of the American Revolution.

Jeanette Patrick

Co-Host, Co-Producer, Public Historian, Digital Humanist

Jeanette Patrick is the Digital Writer and Researcher in the Center for Digital History at the Washington Library. Among her many responsibilities, she serves as Associate Editor of the Digital Encyclopedia of George Washington, manages the history and preservation sections of the Mount Vernon website, and builds engaging digital content. She holds an MA in Public History from James Madison University. She is a former Program Manager at the National Women's History Museum.