Conversations at the Washington Library

Conversations at the Washington Library

Conversations at the Washington Library is the premier podcast about George Washington and his Early American world.

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

228. Editing the Adams Family Papers with Dr. Sara Georgini

Nov. 28, 2022

The Adams Family is one of the more prominent families in American history. They were at the center of the American Revolution, they helped create a new republic, shaped the young nation’s foreign policy, and later were cent…

227: Welcoming a Deserving Brother with Mark Tabbert

Nov. 14, 2022

In 1752, George Washington joined the Masonic Lodge in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He was just twenty years old. Despite his early interest in masonry, Washington was not as active in the organization as some might imagine, bu…

226. Cross-examining Washington's Heir with Prof. Gerard Magliocca

Oct. 31, 2022

When George Washington wrote his final will in the months before he died in December 1799, he named Bushrod Washington as heir to his papers and to Mount Vernon. He took possession of his uncle’s Virginia plantation when Mar…

225. Doing Public History with Dr. Anne Fertig

Oct. 17, 2022

Why is the way that we remember the past oftentimes different than historical reality? And how can we use public history to inform conversations in the present about events that took place centuries earlier? On today’s episo…

Guest: Anne Fertig

224. Unpacking the Slave Empire with Dr. Padraic Scanlan

June 24, 2022

In the early decades of the nineteenth century, the British Empire began dismantling the slave system that had helped to build it. Parliament banned the transatlantic slave trade in 1807, and in 1833 the government outlawed …

Women Politics

223. Attending a Lecture on Female Genius with Dr. Mary Sarah Bilder

May 19, 2022

In May 1787, George Washington arrived in Philadelphia to attend the Constitutional Convention. One afternoon, as he waited for the other delegates to show up so the convention could begin, Washington accompanied some ladies…

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 Host

Jim Ambuske

Host, Producer, Historian, Author

Jim Ambuske, Ph.D., is Historian and Senior Producer at R2 Studios, the podcast division of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. He formerly led 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.

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