The Podcast

What people are saying:

“Fun historical podcast…  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I’ve been reading Plodding Through the Presidents’ blog for a long time, and I love how he tackles interesting—often little-known—topics in a thorough and often humorous way. The podcast is no different! Great topics, and I love the interaction between Howard and his wife. The two of them are hilarious together!”

“A winner right out of the gate… ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Smart and funny – Howard and Jess are the perfect duo to make this podcast.

I enjoyed every minute – I usually listen to podcasts to fall asleep but this one kept me awake and thoroughly entertained. Three cheers for this plodcast!”

“Plod (and Laugh) Along!… ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I have been reading and chuckling at the blog for years, so I was thrilled when I heard that Howard and Jess had a podcast in the works… Whether you’re a presidential history fanatic or just have a general interest in history, I highly recommend that you check out Plodding Through the Presidents to hear some lesser known (& often hilarious) stories of presidential history!”

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.

After six years of sharing stories here and on Facebook, Howard and Jess are bringing some of their favorite stories from the blog’s past – and some brand new ones – to a Plodding through the Presidents podcast!

The first season covers some dramatic relationships between the early presidents with healthy doses of romance, scandal, and revenge – all with the same irreverent focus on the truth the blog is known for.

Stay tuned for the second season coming this summer!

Season 1:


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


Episode 1 – John & Abigail & Smallpox (Show Notes)

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.


Episode 2 – Jefferson’s Broken Heart and Wrist (Show Notes)

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.


Episode 3 – The Scandalmonger’s Revenge (Show Notes)

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.


Episode 4 – A Tale of Two Stepsons (Show Notes)

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.


Episode 5 – John Quincy Adams vs. The Internet (Show Notes)

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.


Episode 6 – Andrew Jackson’s Slut-Shaming Evolution (Show Notes)

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.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Where can I listen?
You can find us almost anywhere you listen to podcasts, including:
Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
and more!

How can I support your efforts?
Subscribe on Apple Podcasts!
Share with your friends!
If you like what you hear, please, please write a review!

How can I support your efforts financially? (My uncle died and I’m set to inherit $300 million but only if I can spend $30 million in 30 days with nothing to show for it.)
It sounds like you’re stuck in the underrated 1985 Richard Pryor film Brewster’s Millions. If I recall, you can only donate up to 5% or else you’ll be disqualified. The podcast is 100% free, but if you really want to use some of your uncle’s money to support our efforts (books for research, recording equipment, hosting, etc.) you can click this button:

Your podcast is listed as “explicit” – what’s up with that?
We talk about some of the private lives of the founders, which can include some adult themes. And sometimes, when discussing the past conversationally, it’s difficult not to swear if you’re me or my wife. I recommend listening and then deciding for yourself whether to expose the podcast to your parents.

Are you still going to update the blog?
Yes. I still plan to plod at least as ploddingly as ever here and share things on the Facebook page almost every single day.