Plodding Through The Presidents

Plodding Through The Presidents

Join history enthusiast and blogger Howard Dorre and his wife Jessica Dorre for an irreverent dive into lesser-known stories about the early American presidents. They explore myths, mysteries, scandals, and other oddities that shed light on the personalities of the founders and their families.... Show More

Episodes

In our Season 1 finale, we trace Andrew Jackson's feelings about women's honor from his early days as a rowdy outhouse-mover to his tragic relationship with his wife Rachel and finally to the Petticoat Affair – the scandal surrounding Margaret Eaton that nearly took down his entire administration.

We'll be back with more brand new episodes soon! Follow us on Facebook for updates.

Sources:

The Petticoat Affair: Manners, ...

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March 2, 2020 38 min

We dive into the truth behind four popular stories about John Quincy Adams, including the inspirational "if your actions inspire others" quote, the pet alligator in the White House, the skinny dipping interview with reporter Anne Royall, and the expedition to the center of the earth to visit the mole people.

Sources and more at the website.

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February 24, 2020 39 min

George Washington and James Madison never had any biological children, but they each had a problem child stepson. We explore the lives of the "voluptuous" Jacky Custis and the debauchery enthusiast John Payne Todd and how they affected their famous stepfathers and mothers.

 

Sources:

My original (and unfairly harsh) article about Jacky Custis: George Washington's Disappointing Stepson

Letters between Jonathan Boucher an...

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February 17, 2020 42 min

We dig into the rise and fall of James Thomson Callender, the pamphleteer who exposed the greatest sex scandals in early American history. His story is told through his attacks on Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson.

Sources:With the Hammer of Truth: James Thomson Callender and America's Early National Heroes by Michael DureyEliza Hamilton: The Extraordinary Life and Times of the Wife of Alexander Hamilton by ...

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February 11, 2020 49 min

We explore Thomas Jefferson's dangerous liaison in Paris with the talented artist Maria Cosway and her monkey-like husband Richard Cosway - a love story that resulted in two broken hearts, one permanently damaged wrist, and one epic 4000-word love letter written as a dialogue between Jefferson's head and heart.

Sources:Founders Online - Jefferson's Head and the Heart letter to Maria CoswayMr. Jefferson's Women by Jo...

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February 11, 2020 39 min

We dig into the separate smallpox inoculations of John and Abigail Adams and the heartfelt and hilarious love letters this supercouple exchanged during their quarantines, along with some background on Lady Mary Montagu's bold introduction of the smallpox inoculation from Turkey to England.

Sources:Founders Online - letters between John & Abigail AdamsTime Magazine: How One Daring Woman Introduced the Idea of Smallpox Inocul...

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January 27, 2020 1 min

Introducing Season 1 of Plodding Through The Presidents with presidential history blogger Howard Dorre and his wife Jessica Dorre.

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