Books Episodes

Animals Diplomacy Books Spain

207. Offering George Washington a Royal Gift with Professor José Emilio Yanes (Summer Repeat)

Aug. 4, 2021

In 1784, King Charles III of Spain sent George Washington a token of his esteem. Knowing that Washington had long sought a Spanish donkey for his Mount Vernon estate, the king permitted a jack to be exported to the new Unite…

Women Books Family Slavery

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…

George Washington Slavery Books

191. (Recast) The Only Unavoidable Subject of Regret with Mary Thompson: Part 2

Dec. 31, 2020

This is Part Two of Jim Ambuske's July 2019 chat with Washington Library Research Historian Mary V. Thompson. We’re recasting it in celebration of her 40th anniversary at Mount Vernon. If you missed Part One, please do give …

Guest: Mary Thompson
George Washington Slavery Books

190. (Recast) The Only Unavoidable Subject of Regret with Mary Thompson: Part 1

Dec. 31, 2020

Forty years ago, Mary V. Thompson began her career at Mount Vernon as a museum attendant and history interpreter. She was quickly promoted to Curatorial Assistant, and within a few short years was named Curatorial Registrar,…

Guest: Mary Thompson
Economy Slavery Books

185. Seeking a City of Refuge in the Great Dismal Swamp with Marcus P. Nevius

Nov. 19, 2020

The Great Dismal Swamp is a remarkable feature of the southern coastal plain. Spanning from Norfolk, Virginia to Elizabeth City, North Carolina, the Swamp is now a National Wildlife Refuge home to Bald cypress, black bears, …

Eighteenth Century Economy Books

183. Trading Spaces in the Colonial Marketplace with Emma Hart

Nov. 5, 2020

With another American presidential election behind us, talk will inevitably turn to the economy and how the president will handle it. That begs a series of questions as we turn our thoughts back to the eighteenth century: Ho…

Great Britain Religion Politics Scotland Books

176. Hunting Satan in Scotland and the Atlantic World with Michelle D. Brock

Sept. 17, 2020

The Prince of Darkness wrought havoc on the souls of seventeenth-century Christians living throughout the Atlantic world. Whether they called him Satan, the Devil, Beelzebub, or by any other name, Lucifer tempted men and wom…

American Revolution Religion Great Awakening Government Books

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…

American Revolution George Washington Military History Government Books

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…

Women Slavery Economy Law Books

172. Exploring White Women as Slave Owners in the American South with Stephanie Jones-Rogers

Aug. 20, 2020

It’s easy to think of slave holding as a male profession. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and countless other men are often the names that come to mind when we think about early Americans who held other p…

Books Women Family Virginia

171. Reinterpreting Mary Ball Washington with Karin Wulf, Martha Saxton, Craig Shirley, and Charlene Boyer Lewis

Aug. 13, 2020

On today's show, we bring you the audio from our annual Martha Washington Lecture. This year's topic was Mary Ball Washington, George's mother, and the recent work by historians to rethink what we know about her life. Dr. Ka…

George Washington Benjamin Franklin Books American Revolution

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…

Law Books Murder Virginia

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…

American Revolution Books Politics

166. Mobilizing the Will of the People with T. H. Breen

July 9, 2020

We're excited to bring you Season 5 of Conversations at the Washington Library in a few short weeks. But in the meantime we’ll keep you entertained as promised. Today, we bring you the audio version of Executive Director Kev…

American Revolution Books Politics

165. Facing the Long Year of Revolution with Mary Beth Norton

July 2, 2020

Summer has arrived and with it the end of Season 4 of Conversations at the Washington Library . But don't despair! While we're busy recording new episodes for Season 5, we'll keep the conversation going by bringing you the a…