Monticello Podcasts

Jefferson and the Early Diplomatic Corps

The recent controversy over release of U.S. diplomatic cables via Wikileaks got us thinking about how Jefferson, the U.S.'s first Secretary of State under the Constitution, and his successors communicated with their ambassadors and consuls abroad.

Luckily, we knew just who to turn to: Jean Bauer, creator of "The Early American Foreign Service Database . . .  

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Thomas Jefferson, a Personal View by Alan Alda

In 1995, Alan Alda was the featured speaker at a special dinner on Monticello's West Lawn. Fresh from a filming trip to China for PBS's Scientific American Frontiers, the award-winning actor related his efforts to look for "clues into [Jefferson's] character" and made connections between efforts by a Chinese scientist to produce a high-yield strain of rice and Jefferson's commitment to the sciences and freedom of thought. (Added to Monticello Podcasts on Jan. 28, 2010. Approx. 22 min. )

 

"In conversation he was quite unrestrained:" Visitor accounts of Thomas Jefferson

Contemporary visitor accounts of Thomas Jefferson and Monticello offer interesting insights on the former president in his retirement years. Ellen Hickman, assistant editor at the Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series, outlines a project underway to gather and publish visitor accounts, shares some amusing anecdotes from the collection, and discusses how studying visitor descriptions alters our understanding of Jefferson.

 

The Brother Gardeners

Writer and historian Andrea Wulf talks about her recent book, The Brother Gardeners: Botany, Empire and the Birth of an Obsession, that traces the origin of the English country garden through the collaborative effort between two men and two countries: American farmer, John Bartram, and London cloth merchant, Peter Collinson. (Added to Monticello Podcasts on Aug 6, 2009. Approx. 44 min. )

 

 

Jefferson and the Megalonyx

Rick Britton, author of Jefferson: A Monticello Sampler and part-time Monticello interpreter, details Jefferson's involvment in the identification of Megalonyx jeffersonii, an extinct ground sloth whose bones were discovered in a cave in Virginia.

(Added to Monticello Podcasts on Jun 18, 2009. Approx. 50 min. )

 

 

Vegetables and Seasoning in Early American Southern Cuisine

Nancy Carter Crump, a culinary historian and author of Hearthside Cooking: Early American Southern Cuisine, dispels the myth that overcooking vegetables was uniformly a part of early southern cooking and highlights some surprising uses of herbs and spices in the early Nineteenth Century.
(Added to Monticello Podcasts on April 30, 2009. Approx. 7 min. Excerpt and talk © 2009 Nancy Carter Crump)

Discussion

says

Alan Alda was great.

Here is a podcast from another site with Monticello Curator Susan Stein.

http://antiqueauctionforum.com/monticello_thomas_jefferson_susan_stein

says

Looking for something different to do on your lunchbreak? Stop here and select any one of our podcasts. You can choose from a discussion about early American southern cuisine, or hear Andrea Wulf talk about the evolution of the English country garden and the role that 18th-century American farmers and gardeners played in it, or listen to editor Jeff Looney talk about three of Jefferson's 1787 letters on the Constitution. One of my favorites is the visit with Thomas Jefferson, portrayed by Bill Barker, internationally known interpreter from Colonial Williamsburg, while he discusses some of the most frequently asked questions he receives from adults and children who meet him. Podcasts range from several minutes to about an hour, so you can listen to several or just one if you like.

says

Since so many of these podcasts are outstanding, it's difficult to highlight just a few. Some of my favorites include the series on music and the ones in which Bill Barker, our esteemed friend who portrays Thomas Jefferson at Colonial Williamsburg, reads Jefferson's letters.

says

One of the best speeches I've heard at Monticello. Alda was funny, charming, and earnest. He'd done his homework, but kept it personal.

says

Monticello's podcasts are a great way to get succinct stories about topics relative to Jefferson and the plantation. Some of the podcasts reflect work done by Monticello's Department of Archaeology, including a podcast about Site 8, and one about the restoration work on the North Dependency, which was preceeded by one of Monticello's largest excavations in recent years.

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