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. Dieser Podcast erscheint wöchentlich.

Gesamtlänge aller Episoden: 7 days 20 minutes


episode 139: 139. Harnessing the Power of Washington's Genealogy with Karin Wulf

Early Americans like George Washington obsessed over genealogy. Much was at stake. One's place on the family tree could mean the difference between inheriting a plantation like Mount Vernon and its enslaved community, or working a patch of hardscrabble. Genealogy was very much a matter of custom, culture, and law, which explains in part why Washington composed a long-ignored document tracing his own lineage...


 2020-01-02  48m

episode 140: 140. (Repeat) Republican Laws and Monarchical Education with Mark Boonshoft

This episode originally aired in June 2019. 

Once the United States achieved its independence, how did white Americans expect to educate the new republic's youth? How did questions about education become a flash point in the battle between Federalists and Republicans over the meaning of the American Revolution and the nation's soul?

On today's episode, Dr...


 2020-01-09  32m

episode 141: 141. Accounting for Women in the Business of Slavery with Alexi Garrett

When George Washington died in December 1799, it changed Martha Washington’s legal status. Just as she did when she was widowed for the first time in 1757, Martha once again became an independent person in the eyes of the law. She was no longer in the shadow of her husband’s legal identity...


 2020-01-16  52m

episode 142: 142. Plotting against General Washington with Mark Edward Lender

In late 1777, George Washington’s disappointing performance as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army was a source of growing concern among some army officers and members of Congress. While he had won important victories at Princeton and Trenton months earlier, he had lost New York City, and Philadelphia, and suffered defeats at Brandywine and Germantown. Patriots intended to win the war, not lose it...


 2020-01-23  57m

episode 143: 143. Finding Ona Judge's Voice with Sheila Arnold

In May 1796, Ona Judge, Martha Washington’s enslaved maidservant, freed herself by walking out of the Washington’s Philadelphia home. She had learned that Martha intended to give her away as a wedding present to Elizabeth Parke Custis, her eldest granddaughter. Judge quietly slipped out of the house one evening, boarded a ship, and fled to New Hampshire. She lived there for the rest of her life. Despite their best efforts, the Washingtons were never able to recapture her...


 2020-01-30  1h0m

episode 144: 144. Sizing Up the Thigh Men of Dad History with Alexis Coe

The modern biography as we know it dates to the eighteenth century when Scottish author and lawyer James Boswell published The Life of Samuel Johnson. Boswell produced an account of the rascally Englishman, a friend of his for more than twenty years, that became a kind of template that future biographers have followed.

We've all read our fair share of biographies, especially presidential biographies, to know that they follow a similar structure...


 2020-02-06  55m

episode 145: 145. Creating the New Map of Empire with Max Edelson

When the British defeated the French and their allies in the Seven Years’ War, they acquired vast new territories that expanded British America. Britain’s North America Empire grew to include New Brunswick in Canada, Florida on the southern mainland, and Caribbean Islands like Dominica, among many other places...


 2020-02-13  42m

episode 146: 146. Doing Public History at Mount Vernon with Jeanette Patrick

Like many folks around the country, you might have spent the last three evenings watching Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Washington documentary series on the History Channel.

Documentaries are a form of public history, which we might define loosely as making historical knowledge available and accessible for the public’s benefit.

At Mount Vernon, we think about how to do this work a great deal...


 2020-02-20  36m

episode 147: 147. Setting the Table for the American Cincinnatus with Ron Fuchs

In 1784, Revolutionary War veteran Samuel Shaw set sail on the Empress of China destined for the city of Canton, or Guangzhou, in southern China.

Shaw was a Boston native who served under Major General Henry Knox during the War for Independence.

He also became one of the founding members of the Society of the Cincinnati, a hereditary, and at times controversial, organization made up of American and French officers who served in the Continental Army during the war...


 2020-02-27  49m

episode 148: 148. Inventing Disaster with Cindy Kierner

On the morning of November 1, 1755, a devastating earthquake struck the Portuguese capital of Lisbon. The quake leveled buildings, triggered fires, and caused a tsunami that laid waste to the urban landscape. When it was all over, thousands were dead. 

The Lisbon earthquake was a disaster of epic proportions, so much so that it became the subject of the first major international disaster relief effort...


 2020-03-05  49m