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.

Season 2 premiered October 20, 2020!


Season 2:

Season 2 Episode 1 – Paranormal Presidents Part 1 (Show Notes)

In our Season 2 premiere, we dig into three stories where presidential history meets the paranormal. They include an apparition of John Adams spotted while he was alive and well, the medieval ritual of “bier right” that figured into a murder trial where John Adams was the defense attorney, and the nursery bogey of Rawhead and Bloody Bones who frightened founders like Thomas Jefferson as children.

 

Season 2 Episode 2 – Paranormal Presidents Part 2 (Show Notes)

In our paranormal conclusion we dive into the wild story of Andrew Jackson and the Bell Witch, who terrorized the Bell family of Tennessee from 1817-1821. Then we explore John Quincy Adams’s electrifying adventures in the hereafter via a bizarre spiritual autobiography written by the medium Joseph Stiles in 1859.

 

Season 2 Episode 3 – Alexander Hamilton & John Adams: A Superabundance of Hate (Show Notes)

We explore the glorious mutual hatred of Alexander Hamilton, two men who despised each other more than any other founders. Their loathing is traced from the Revolutionary War to their power struggles during the Quasi-War, and the torch of hate is even carried by Adams years after Hamilton’s untimely death.

 

Season 2 Episode 4 – Elizabeth Jefferson’s Earthquake Drowning (Show Notes)

We examine the lives and mysterious deaths of Elizabeth Jefferson and her enslaved body servant Little Sall, who drowned in the Rivanna River just days after the first recorded earthquake in Virginia’s history. We also dig into how Elizabeth’s apparent intellectual disabilities were handled by biographers over the years.

 

Season 2 Episode 5 – Died On The Fourth Of July (Show Notes)

We have a good time exploring the unbelievable “coincidence” of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both dying on the Fourth of July on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the uncomfortable fact that James Monroe also died on the Fourth of July five years later, and the circumstances surrounding James Madison’s deliberate choice to break with this weird tradition.


Season 2 Episode 6 – Finding Madison’s Funny Bone (Show Notes)

We have a good time exploring the unbelievable “coincidence” of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both dying on the Fourth of July on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the uncomfortable fact that James Monroe also died on the Fourth of July five years later, and the circumstances surrounding James Madison’s deliberate choice to break with this weird tradition.

 

Season 1:

Trailer:

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

 

Season 1 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.

 

Season 1 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.

 

Season 1 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.

 

Season 1 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.

 

Season 1 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.

 

Season 1 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
Spotify
Google Podcasts
Stitcher
TuneIn
IHeartRadio
Overcast
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!

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.

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.) and get some great behind-the-scenes extras and exclusive content like cut scenes, bonus podcasts and more, please join our Patreon community – we would truly appreciate it!

 

Thanks for plodding along with us!
–Howard and Jess