This has been a tremendously busy week for me, and I haven’t even had a chance to post about the new episode of Second Decade! It may already be old news to many of you who are die-hard fans, but Episode 6, “Jefferson in Winter,” went up on Sunday evening. This has proven to be an extraordinarily popular episode so far, racking up more views/downloads in a shorter time than any previous episode. Given that people are beginning to talk about the podcast on Facebook history groups and other fora, I think it’s safe to say that Second Decade is reaching a wider audience than ever!
Second Decade is on iTunes, here; it’s on TuneIn, here; you can access it directly on the Libsyn page for it, here; or, perhaps the easiest way, click this link for an embedded player that will open in your browser.
Episode 6: Jefferson in Winter is the story of Thomas Jefferson’s tumultuous and at times heartbreaking retirement at Monticello, in Virginia, during the 1810s after he returned home from two terms in the White House as the third President. I wrote about Jefferson’s environmental misfortunes on this blog back in 2014, which I was doing Jefferson-related research at the Huntington Library. The podcast episode increases the scope of that analysis, and I bring in a lengthy discussion of Jefferson’s tangled family relations as well as more detail on some of the challenges he faced including the War of 1812. What I hope emerges from this episode is a picture of Jefferson as a complex man, riven with human weaknesses and frailties, but also a kind of intellectual optimism that endured even in the midst of his darkest hours.
Incidentally, dealing with Jefferson on the podcast has offered me an opportunity to give a little extra to the supporters of my Patreon account. If you pledge to support me, you’ll get access to members-only videos and extras, which in this case consists of a separate video lecture with more detail about the famous relationship between Jefferson and Sally Hemings. That post is here, but you won’t be able to see the video unless you’re a Patreon supporter. Just a little added incentive in case you needed any!
I’m thrilled with how the podcast has been growing and resonating over the past six weeks. I’m really enjoying working on it, and I hope you’ve been enjoying it too. Keep tuning in to Second Decade for more history from the 1810s.