Episodes

December 02, 2021

215. Reading Thomas Paine's Rights of Man with Dr. Frances Chiu

For most Americans, Thomas Paine is the radical Englishman, and former tax collector, who published Common Sense in early 1776. His claim that hereditary monarchy was an absurdity and that the “cause of America was in great m...

November 17, 2021

Previewing Episode 1 of Intertwined: The Enslaved Community at George Washington's Mount Vernon

On this week's show, we bring you Episode 1 of Intertwined: The Enslaved Community at George Washington's Mount Vernon. Entitled "Passages," it features the life of Sambo Anderson, who was just a boy when he was captured in W...

November 10, 2021

Intertwined: The Enslaved Community at George Washington's Mount Vernon (Coming November 15, 2021)

Intertwined tells the story of the more than 577 people enslaved by George and Martha Washington at Mount Vernon. Told through the biographies of Sambo Anderson, Davy Gray, William Lee, Kate, Ona Judge, Nancy Carter Quander, ...

Slavery

November 04, 2021

214. Weaponizing Settlement in Nova Scotia with Dr. Alexandra Montgomery

Although you might not realize it, in the years before the American Revolution, Nova Scotia was all the rage. People concocted various schemes to settle it, and the British government saw it as one of the keys to its new visi...

Canada American Revolution Native America Great Britain

October 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 headed for New Hampshire. Judge’s successful flight was one of many such escapes by the sea in th...

Slavery Atlantic World Early Republic

October 06, 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 from France with a commission as a major general in the Continental Army. Unlike many other Europ...

American Revolution George Washington Slavery Lafayette Biography

September 22, 2021

211. Revitalizing Myaamia Language and Culture with George Ironstrack (Summer Repeat)

In the eighteenth century, the Myaamia people inhabited what are now parts of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. More commonly known in English as the Miami, the Myaamia figure prominently in the early history of the Uni...

Native America Society & Culture Digital History Early Republic

September 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 Thomas Jefferson or John Quincy Adams, they’re often the go-to people when an American gets in troub...

Diplomacy Government China Public History Podcast

September 01, 2021

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

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 o...

Women Public History Early America Podcast

August 18, 2021

208. Harnessing Harmony in the Early Republic with Billy Coleman (Summer Repeat)

On September 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key began composing "The Star-Spangled Banner after witnessing the British attack on Fort McHenry. Of all the things he could have done after seeing that flag, why did Key write a song? A...

Music Politics George Washington Early Republic

August 04, 2021

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

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 United...

Animals Diplomacy Books Spain

July 22, 2021

206. Promoting Joseph Smith for President with Dr. Spencer W. McBride

The American Revolution dismembered a protestant empire. In the years during and after the war, states disestablished their churches, old and new denominations flourished, and Americans enshrined religious freedom into their ...

Religion Presidency Politics Early Republic

July 12, 2021

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

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 chal...

Women Books Family Slavery

June 24, 2021

204. Raising Liberty Poles in the Early Republic with Dr. Shira Lurie

If you’ve taken part in a part in a protest recently, perhaps you carried a sign, waved a flag, or worn a special hat. But if you had grievances in the American Revolution or early Republic, you might have helped raise a Libe...

Early America Politics Material Culture American Revolution American

June 10, 2021

203. Planting the World of Plymouth Plantation with Dr. Carla Gardina Pestana

Plymouth Plantation occupies a powerful place in American national memory. Think of the First Thanksgiving in 1621; Englishmen escaping religious persecution; the rock marking the alleged spot where settlers first landed; and...

Colonial America Religion Public Memory Early America Native America

May 27, 2021

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

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 their...

Slavery Digital History American Revolution Women Maryland Loyalists

May 13, 2021

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

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 th...

Digital History Virginia American Revolution Politics Family Great Britain Law Atlantic World

April 29, 2021

200. Transcribing From The Page with Sara and Ben Brumfield

When the COVID pandemic stuck last spring, thousands of cultural heritage sites, including the Washington Library and Mount Vernon , had to find ways to help team members do work from home. That wasn’t always easy, especially...

Digital History Public History Mount Vernon Material Culture Mou

April 15, 2021

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

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 urba...

Virginia Education Scotland Politics Early Republic

April 02, 2021

198. Contesting Monuments and Memory in South Carolina with Dr. Lydia Brandt

The South Carolina State House Grounds is a landscape of monuments and memory. Since the capital moved from Charleston to Columbia in the 1780s, South Carolinians have been erecting, moving, and contesting monuments on the ca...

Public History Material Culture Historic Sites Public Memory Art

March 18, 2021

197. Stumbling Upon the Journal of Johann Peter Oettinger with Craig Koslofsky and Roberto Zaugg

Two weeks ago, we brought you the story of Johann Peter Oettinger, a seventeenth-century German-speaking barber-surgeon who in 1693 journeyed to Africa and the West Indies on behalf of the Brandenburg African Company. His jou...

Slavery Trade Germany Atlantic World

March 04, 2021

196. Reconstructing the Life of a German Barber-Surgeon in the Atlantic Slave Trade with Craig Koslofsky and Roberto Zaugg

In 1693, the young German barber-surgeon Johann Peter Oettinger joined a slave trading venture for the second time. In the employ of the Brandenburg African Company, Oettinger sailed with his shipmates from Europe to the Afri...

Atlantic World Economy Germany Slavery Trade

February 18, 2021

195b. [En Español] Ofreciendo a George Washington un regalo real con el profesor José Emilio Yanes

Bienvenido a Conversaciones en la Biblioteca de Washington. Hoy, Jim Ambuske habla con el profesor José Emilio Yanes de la Universidad de Salamanca en España. Yanes es el autor del libro El Regalo de Carlos III A George Washi...

Animals Diplomacy George Washington Spain Mount Vernon

February 18, 2021

195a. Offering George Washington a Royal Gift with Professor José Emilio Yanes

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 United...

Spain Animals Diplomacy George Washington Mount Vernon