Conversations at the Washington Library

Conversations at the Washington Library is the premier podcast about George Washington and his Early American world. Join host Jim Ambuske as he talks with scholars, digital humanists, librarians, and other guests about Washington's era and the way we tell stories about the past.

Eine durchschnittliche Folge dieses Podcasts dauert 45m. Bisher sind 220 Folge(n) erschienen. Jede Woche gibt es eine neue Folge dieses Podcasts.

Gesamtlänge aller Episoden: 7 days 20 minutes


episode 209: 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 of the past. It’s almost always the case that the quotation you read in a book is just one snippet of a much longer document...


 2021-09-01  1h5m

episode 208: 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?  And how did his new composition fit into a much longer history of music as a form of political persuasion in the Early Republic?

On today’s episode, Dr...


 2021-08-18  1h5m

episode 207: 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 States. Washington named the donkey Royal Gift in recognition of its royal origin, and the donkey became somewhat of a minor celebrity when he disembarked from his ship in 1785. As it turns out, Spanish jacks like Royal Gift were highly prized animals in the Atlantic world...


 2021-08-04  40m

episode 206: 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 state and federal constitutions.

But claiming religious freedom in a democracy was not the same as enjoying it...


 2021-07-22  45m

episode 205: 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 challenging. For the Virginia elite, death also created opportunities for widows and widowers alike to protect their interests, their property, and their social standing through advantageous re-marriages...


 2021-07-12  40m

episode 204: 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 Liberty Pole...


 2021-06-24  38m

episode 203: 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 of course the Mayflower Compact.

In the wake of the American Revolution, citizens of the new nation looked to the Compact for the origins of American Democracy. In Plymouth’s history, many Americans saw the history of the United States itself...


 2021-06-10  44m

episode 202: 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 property, and sometimes their lives.

But for other Maryland Loyalists, like enslaved people, loyalism was an opportunity to achieve a different kind of American independence, or to turn ideas about class and patriarchy on their heads...


 2021-05-27  49m

episode 201: 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 they called “the unnatural rebellion” and resisted Patriot forces as they tried to restore the king’s peace to British America...


 2021-05-13  50m

episode 200: 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 as so much of our normal work requires a physical presence.

One of our solutions at the Library was to use this time to transcribe the voluminous correspondence of Harrison Dodge, Mount Vernon’s superintendent in the late 19th century...


 2021-04-29  50m