Episode 3: The Scandalmonger’s Revenge

This Callender marks you.

In the third episode of the podcast, Jess and I trace the rise and fall of James Thomson Callender, the pamphleteer responsible for bringing to light the greatest sex scandals in early American history.

After escaping sedition charges in Scotland, Callender moved to the United States of America – the land of the free. He used the freedom of the press to its fullest extent to take down those he saw unfit to lead. That included Alexander Hamilton and John Adams. But Callender quickly found that freedom had limits, and he became the public face of prosecution under the Alien and Sedition Acts.

After serving his sentence he expected to be rewarded by his mentor and sponsor, Thomas Jefferson. Instead he found himself ghosted. That ghosting led to a spiteful revenge by Callender that haunts Jefferson’s legacy to this day.


With the Hammer of Truth: James Thomson Callender and America’s Early National Heroes by Michael Durey
Eliza Hamilton: The Extraordinary Life and Times of the Wife of Alexander Hamilton by Tilar J. Mazzeo
The Rise and Fall of Alexander Hamilton by Robert Hendrickson
The Reynolds Pamphlet – “The variety of shapes which this woman could assume was endless.”


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We’ll be back next week with some fortunate sons.


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