As the world rings in a new year, I bring you this episode originally released on New Year’s Day 2017 for a look back on early American traditions with a focus on a New Year’s tradition from days gone by: the Presidential New Year’s Day Reception. From the very beginning to the last one in the 20th century, I examine how different presidents both before and after Harrison approached the event and what it meant for a nation working to develop its own identity after independence. For source notes and additional information, please visit http://whhpodcast.blubrry.com.
Though never personal, throughout the course of the early 19th century, Andrew Jackson and William Henry Harrison found their lives intertwined for decades, through war and peace. Though they often found themselves in competition, there were also some rare instances where they could be found on the same side, and the story of their relationship over time provides much insight about the antebellum period of American history. Source information for this episode can be found at http://whhpodcast.blubrry.com.
Join me on a tour of Fort Hill, the home of John C Calhoun who served as the 7th vice president. Even more so than many of Harrison and Clay’s other contemporaries, Calhoun leaves a difficult legacy for students of history to consider as his concepts of nullification, states’ rights, and slavery as a ‘positive good’ were key justifications to lead the Southern states to secede and form the Confederacy just over a decade after Calhoun’s death, and Calhoun’s ideas and the events that they inspired continue to have an impact on the present day. The historic site provides great insight into Calhoun’s domestic situation and about the enslaved people whose lives Calhoun held in his hands, both as a slave owner and as a national leader.