with humanities scholar  Clay S. Jenkinson     
                                Telephone 208-791-8721 ~ Fax 208-746-0625   email bek@odytours.net


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Humanities scholar

                              Clay S. Jenkinson

   Valerie Naylor Photo

Letter from Clay Jenkinson
" I am proud and a little surprised to be a Chautauquan"

When my professional life began, I never expected to spend a significant portion of it "in tights."  I am a shy man and I never dreamed of dressing up like dead historical figures.  Until I first donned a wig and spoke self-evident truths on behalf of Thomas Jefferson (1987).  I had never been in a theater production, except as the Chief Messenger in my 3rd grade's production of Cinderella.

I do love portraying historical figures, now that I have gotten used to it.  I've performed as more than a dozen great men over the years, in a dizzying range of settings, in kindergartens and maximum security prisons.  I am happy to confess that I touched off a prison riot once in southern California.  I've been arrested in costume mistaken for Ben Franklin, a golf pro, and the valet parking attendant, but I've also had the honor of performing for U.S. Presidents, 25 state legislatures, national judicial conferences, and the irrepressible miscreant Stephen Colbert.

My one iron commitment is to rigorous historical research and mastery of the material.  Beyond that, I like to play with ideas and bring history alive by treating it not like a sacred relic but as an unresolved narrative about that which is noble, that which is appalling, and that which is merely routine in human affairs.  Like my hero Jefferson, I believe in the leavening power of ideas, and the importance of a public conversation about the great issues of our experience.  Unlike Jefferson, I believe that humor is the lubricant.  Thank you for your interest in my work.                                                                        Clay S. Jenkinson

Clay is the creator of the Thomas Jefferson Hour at Makoche Studios in North Dakota. The program is produced by The Dakota Institute through The Lewis & Clark Fort  Mandan Foundation, and is dedicated to the furtherance of Thomas Jefferson's dream for America. Find an affiliate near you or listen to the program at Clay's website www.jeffersonhour.com. You can also download podcast from itunes.

 If you would like to watch a few of Clay's live performances on CD, you can order your own tape at fortmandan.com, call (701) 462-4535, or go to the website above.

Clay is the author of several books including, Becoming Jefferson's People: Re-Inventing the American Republic in the Twenty-first Century, Message on the Wind, A Spiritual Odyssey on the Northern Plains, his first book, a memoir to his early years in North Dakota, The Character of Meriwether Lewis, Completely Metamorphosed in the American West, A Vast and Open Plain, The Writings of the Lewis and Clark Expedition in North Dakota, 1804-1806. For The Love Of North Dakota.  If you would like to order one of his books contact:  Lewis & Clark Fort Mandan Foundation  at fortmandan.com or call (701) 462-4535.

Clay Jenkinson resides at his home in Bismarck, North Dakota. When he is not traveling on business he spends time with his daughter Catherine Missouri. Otherwise you can find Clay hosting a dinner party, hiking a North Dakota butte, reading a classic novel or a new bound book, writing a column for his local community newspaper, working in his "Situation Room",  or     ,,,, leading one of our Odyssey cultural tours.

Visit Clay Jenkinson's website at or listen to The Thomas Jefferson Hour at:

Listen to the Thomas Jefferson Hour at Jeffersonhour.com or :

Clay's latest book "The Character of Meriwether Lewis; Explorer in the Wilderness" along with his other books and CDs can be purchased at:

Find information on the next Clay Jenkinson public event:

Book Clay Jenkinson for an event:  Contact Nancy Franke:
nfranke@comcast.net or call her at (360) 805-0977.

                                                               with humanities scholar  Clay S. Jenkinson  
phone 208-791-8721 ~ Fax 208-746-06255  ~ email bek@odytours.net