Biography Episodes

Biography American Revolution War

212. Recruiting the Hero of Two Worlds with Mike Duncan

Oct. 6, 2021

To kick off Season 6, we bring you the story of America’s Favorite Fighting Frenchmen. In 1777, the Marquis de Lafayette sailed from France with a commission as a major general in the Continental Army. Unlike many other Euro…

Guest: Mike Duncan
Biography Women Early United States

209. Reading Letters by Early American Women with Kathryn Gehred (Summer Repeat)

Sept. 1, 2021

If you pull any decent history book off your shelf right now, odds are that it’s filled with quotes from letters, diaries, or account books that help the author tell her story and provide the evidence for her interpretation …

Biography Women The Washingtons

205. Grieving with the Widow Washington with Dr. Martha Saxton

July 12, 2021

In the eighteenth century, death stalked early Americans like a predator hunting its prey. In Virginia, as in other colonies, death made children orphans and wives widows, making a precarious existence all that much more cha…

Biography American Revolution Digital History

202. Digitizing the Maryland Loyalist Experience with Dr. Kyle Roberts and Dr. Benjamin Bankhurst

May 27, 2021

Maryland wasn’t so merry for some Americans during the Revolutionary War, especially if you happened to side with the king. Professing fealty to the Crown, for whatever reason or motivation, cost many Maryland colonists thei…

Biography American Revolution Digital History Washington Library Fellows

201. Uncovering the Virginia Loyalists with Drs. Stephanie Seal Walters and Alexi Garrett

May 13, 2021

Virginia was home to many of the most famous rebels like George Washington during the American Revolution, but it was also a den of Tories who remained loyal to the British king. Loyalists in all the colonies rejected what t…

Biography Early United States Washington Library Fellows

199. Unravelling the Strange Genius of Mr. O. with Dr. Carolyn Eastman

April 15, 2021

In the early years of the nineteenth century, former Virginia schoolteacher James Ogilvie embarked on a lecture tour that took the United States by storm. Born Scotland, Ogilvie became a renowned orator, packing rooms in urb…

Biography Women Digital History

180. Reading Letters by Early American Women with Kathryn Gehred

Oct. 15, 2020

If you pull any decent history book off your shelf right now, odds are that it’s filled with quotes from letters, diaries, or account books that help the author tell her story and provide the evidence for her interpretation …

Biography American Revolution Early United States

175. Finding Redemption from Tyranny with Bruce Stewart

Sept. 10, 2020

Conversations at the Washington Library kicks off Season 5 by exploring the life of a radical populist who never met a revolution he didn’t like. Almost unbelievably, Herman Husband participated in some of the most significa…

Biography American Revolution War Early United States

174. (Recast) Tracing the Rise and Fall of Light-Horse Harry Lee with Ryan Cole

Sept. 3, 2020

This episode originally aired in September 2019. You may know him as Robert E. Lee’s father, but Henry “Light-Horse Harry” Lee was so much more. Born into a Virginia dynasty, the man who would become one of George Washington…

Biography American Revolution Washington Library Fellows

170. Forging a Founding Partnership with Edward J. Larson

Aug. 6, 2020

Season 5 of the podcast drops in a few weeks. In the meantime, we're pleased to offer you Library Executive Director Kevin Butterfield’s recent live stream conversation with Edward J. Larson. Larson is the author of many boo…

Biography Politics Early United States

169. Re-investigating an Early American Murder with Jessica Lowe

July 30, 2020

Season 5 of Conversations at the Washington Library is just around the corner. Until then, we're happy to bring you Jim Ambuske's recent live stream chat with Dr. Jessica Lowe of the University of Virginia School of Law. Lon…

Biography American Revolution Indigenous History

167. Reconstructing the Indian World of George Washington with Colin Calloway

July 16, 2020

Week 3 of our summer hiatus is another opportunity to bring you a fascinating look at early America courtesy of some of our recent live stream programming. On today’s show, we bring you Library Executive Director Kevin Butte…

Biography Early United States The Washingtons

162. Ending Washington's Life with Jonathan Horn

June 11, 2020

In March 1797, newly-inaugurated president John Adams thought he detected a glint of joy in George Washington’s eyes as the aging Virginian stepped off the world stage. Adams told his wife Abigail it was as if Washington was…

Biography Religion Early United States

158. Praying to the Adams Family Gods with Sara Georgini

May 14, 2020

In November 1800, President John Adams composed a letter to his wife, Abigail, just after he moved into the new White House. He concluded his letter to his “dearest friend” this way: “I pray Heaven to bestow the best of Bles…

Biography Colonial America

155. Painting Portraits of Colonial Virginia with Janine Yorimoto Boldt

April 23, 2020

In 1757, Martha Dandridge Custis paid the artist John Wollaston the handsome sum of 56 pistoles for portraits of her, her husband Daniel Parke Custis , and their children , John and Martha. A pistole was a Spanish gold coin …