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TRUE HISTORY OF THE U.S., NATIVES, AND POLITICAL INFLUENCE

October 20, 2022

S03 - E05

Jack Henneman and RSnake discuss the issues with identifying the truth of history, presentism, intellectual dishonesty and the increase in politicalization of the history profession. They discuss the Columbian exchange, how people fail to think about Christopher Columbus in a broader context, how Drake's mission was wildly misreported, and much more. 


They also dig into some of the misconceptions about Native American culture, how cunning they tended to be in battle and how desperate life was for many Native Americans at the time. This is the American History that sadly an increasing minority of Professors are willing to teach (or are able to for that matter).

Photo of Jack Henneman
GUEST(S): 

Jack Henneman

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

Robert Hansen

Today is about American history with history buff and podcast host Jack Henneman. We talk about the issues with identifying the truth of history, presentism, intellectual dishonesty, and the increase in politicalization of the history profession.


We discuss the Columbian Exchange, how people fail to think about Christopher Columbus in a broader context, how Drake's mission was wildly misreported, and much more.


We also dig into some of the misconceptions around Native American culture, how cunning they tended to be in battle, and how desperate life was for many Native Americans at the time.


This is the American history that sadly, an increasing minority of professors aren’t willing to teach or are able to, for that matter. So with that, please enjoy my conversation with Jack Henneman.


Hello, and welcome to The RSnake Show. Today, I have with me Jack Henneman. How are you, sir?


Jack Henneman

Great. Thank you for having me.


Robert Hansen

Made the big drive down. Another fellow Austenite. I seem to have a lot of those on my podcast. Makes it easier.


Jack Henneman

Very nice. Timing’s a little rough. My pack was my pack.


Robert Hansen

It doesn't get any better. Yeah, I guess I could move it to late at night or something. Maybe that would make it a little better.


Jack Henneman

Not for me. I'll be fading soon after we’re done.


Robert Hansen

Early bedtime?


Jack Henneman

Yep.


Robert Hansen

We are here to talk about American history. Do you know anything about that?


Jack Henneman

I know a little bit about it.


Robert Hansen

Okay. Good. I picked the right guy then. You have a podcast, The History of the Americans.


Jack Henneman

Yes.


Robert Hansen

Yes, thehistoryoftheamericans.com.


Jack Henneman

That's the website.


Robert Hansen

That’s right.


Jack Henneman

thehistoryoftheamericans.com.


Robert Hansen

They can find all this information. Good. We're going to get into that and some of the details. But I wanted to start a little bit about your history, how you got to where you are.


When we first met, you were talking about your dad and your background in law and how you came to be interested in this topic. Would you tell us a little bit about that?


Jack Henneman

Yeah. I was a faculty brat in Iowa City. Go Hawks. It's almost a requirement to say that.


Robert Hansen

You’d get fined if you don't?


Jack Henneman

Pretty close, they’d pull your cred or something. Anyway, my father was a professor of history at the University of Iowa when I was growing up in my formative years. He was a medievalist, but he had loved history. He had wanted to be a professor of history since the age of nine.


In those days, it was a perfectly reasonable decision to proceed to go and just do that if you loved it and were well-educated and everything else. So he did. He landed at the University of Iowa in 1969 when I was seven, and my parents lived there through the year I graduated from college. So it was really the lion's share of my childhood.


Robert Hansen

You lived on campus?


Jack Henneman

I didn't go to the University of Iowa. But I would, of course, go home there. I went to Princeton as an undergraduate. That doesn't mean that I don't remain a loyal Hawkeye in my orientation. I sold souvenirs at the games and all the rest of that.


Anyway, he was always a huge supporter of history. He believed in reading popular history. He was friends with non-historians who wrote popular histories. Barbara Tuchman is an example.


Our house was lined with history books, and I picked up a fair amount along the way and gave some thought, even at the point when I was an undergraduate, to go into graduate school.


I wouldn't have become a historian per se, but I was very interested in diplomatic history and foreign affairs. I decided against that, went to law school in the brutal economy of the early ‘80s. That actually turned out to be a good move.


As things unfolded, I became a corporate and securities lawyer and worked very hard for a long time. Then I went into the medical device industry in 1994. And I did medical devices and biotech until I retired from that in 2018, actually.


Robert Hansen

Then you decided history. What got you back there?


Jack Henneman

I retired from, as I said, job in November of 2018 and spent the next 15 months or so putting together a fun little consulting practice helping first-time CEOs in medical devices and biotech and mentoring them. And I still do a little bit of that.


Then the pandemic hit. It was a lot more difficult to get to know people, obviously, remotely and all the rest. The networking just got a lot harder.


Robert Hansen

You could still do it.


Jack Henneman

You could still do it.


Robert Hansen

Just sneeze on their doors. Get to know them real fast.


Jack Henneman

I was doing it mostly for fun. The pandemic hit. I, of course, like a lot of people, knew how to read clinical papers and stuff. I spent six months doomscrolling from March to September 2020. But my wife was extremely busy.


She's a psychotherapist. I think it will come as no surprise to any American or maybe anyone in the world that the anxiety levels went through the roof. Although she had to go to telehealth herself, obviously, her practice was slammed.


I could be an annoying person around the house or come up with something to do. I was the annoying person around the house for about six months. And then I went on a three-week pandemic drive. I called it in September and October of 2020, took a test and bubbled up.


I wanted to visit my mom and brother in Charlottesville, and then I ended up all the way in the Adirondacks near the Canadian border hiking with a friend. Then I drove back and had outdoor socially-distanced dinners with friends along the way. So it was about four and a half thousand miles over three weeks, mostly solo driving.


I started listening to podcasts. I had before, but I really started listening to podcasts. A law school roommate of mine texted me and said I had to listen to The History of England podcast by David Crowther, which has been around for quite some time.


I think he's now been at it for about a dozen years, and he described himself as a guy in a shed telling the history of England. England's got a very long history. 12 years on, he's only in the 1600s himself.


Robert Hansen

You guys are relatively even now.


Jack Henneman

Of course, you get a much later start. Well, I've always wanted to read American history in detail. I had read a fair amount of it over the years, but I didn't have a really integrated view of it. I knew a lot about a certain things. I knew vague amounts about other things, but I wanted to pull it together.


I said, “I can make a project out of doing this. If I did a podcast, it would be a forcing function. It would keep me from quitting. The public shame of that might get in the way.”


I started looking around, and I really couldn't find any podcasts doing what David Crowder was doing for England. There are a ton of history podcasts. But really, there's nobody that’s chronologically going through what I call the history of the Americans in a fairly granular level, in essentially chronological order.


I got back in, let's see, almost exactly this time two years ago and taught myself how to do a podcast. First, I had a shitty microphone. And I had to teach myself how to use the digital audio workstation. Adobe software edition, I guess.


Well, you get better over time. Anyway, I started writing scripts and got into it. I realized in the first two or three months before I'd even recorded a single episode that I hadn't really thought through the whole thing well, so I rethought it and launched my first episode to no listeners because I didn't tell anyone at all on January 1, 2021.


I have now, just before I came over here, dropped my 92nd substantive episode. There's two introductions. There's an original introduction and a revised introduction, which I don't really count. So anyway, it's going pretty well. And it's a ton of fun.


Robert Hansen

So this has been still an homage to your dad, would you say? Or is this something you're entirely personally driven by?


Jack Henneman

Well, I'm not sure what my feelings are about an afterlife. He died in 1998. It's probably a demon. I wish very much and have on many occasions that he were alive. He was a French medievalist. But when he was in graduate school, his second discipline was actually American history.


For somebody who was not professionally an American historian, he knew a lot. I wish he could see me do this. But on the other hand, if he had lived, I don't know that I would have done it. So I don't know if it's an homage to him or just a desire to get closer to him in some way.


I have also taken up smoking cigars, which he did. So there's been some commentary about this around the family.


Robert Hansen

Wait, are you turning into him? He was an actual historian.


Jack Henneman

Yes.


Robert Hansen

But you are not.


Jack Henneman

No.


Robert Hansen

Can you please tell me what the difference between those two things are, from your perspective?


Jack Henneman

A historian is a profession. It's a real thing that involves years of training and how to do research in original documents, how to unearth new information, how to handle documents and archives, how to examine evidence with a historian's sensibility, a sense of history. And I'm not that.


I never went to graduate school in the field. I am an amateur popularizer. There's a lot of professions where people don't understand the difference between the pros and other people.


People throw around the title librarian for sometimes the person who stamps the book. I don't know if anyone stamps books anymore. It has been a while.


Robert Hansen

There's a person there. Can't just walk out.


Jack Henneman

The person who stamps the books sometimes people think they're the librarian. A librarian, you got to go to graduate school and learn how to do reference cataloging and all range of things. Anyway, it's the same idea. So I don't want to claim I'm a historian and have the few professional historians that may listen to this podcast or maybe the many rise up in indignation. No, I'm not saying that.


Robert Hansen

In my world, there are people who have some degree in cybersecurity or maybe even a PhD in cybersecurity. They've been doing cybersecurity less long than I have and maybe have significantly less experience than I do. So to me, I wouldn't discount that there is a literal profession called a historian similar to librarian similar to the profession of cybersecurity.


I would say that somebody with enough passion can bypass all of that and outclass the people who do have those things and be quite useful either as a teacher or on archiving brand new information or coming up with their own research.


One of the things that stood out to me that you said, this was a bit of a mistake, it sounded like at first, when you looked at NASA's database to try to backfill Drake's second voyage across.


Jack Henneman

Well, that was to identify the date of a lunar eclipse that had been predicted by an English mathematician named John Dee. The reason why that was important was to establish longitude.


Robert Hansen

Because it's very easy to do latitude, comparatively.


Jack Henneman

Yes, latitude is easy. They were able to do it long before Columbus. Longitude is a much more challenging problem because of the shape of the Earth really.


Robert Hansen

But if this person was able to predict accurately that there was going to be a lunar eclipse on such a day, then wherever they were in the world, it should occur at exactly this time. And it occurs sometime later. So you know you must be in this position on Earth.


Jack Henneman

You can measure your distance from a reference point. Yeah.


Robert Hansen

You'd found NASA's database to be an error at the time when you first took a look at it.


Jack Henneman

No, I made the error interpreting the database. NASA was correct. I just didn't know what I was looking at.


Robert Hansen

You put a positive number, and you should have put a negative number or something like that.


Jack Henneman

Yeah. There had been this reference. It was in the old documents. Some of the biographers mentioned it. In fact, in the Pacific, having crossed through the Strait of Magellan, the clouds parted, and Drake saw the eclipse on the day predicted by John Dee.


In the calendar changes, there's all these other things. So I went back to try and reconstruct from NASA's database of lunar eclipses, which goes back thousands of years, in fact, what happened on the predicted date.


The predicted date, I forget the exact issue, but it was essentially that it used a baseline or reference in that table that NASA had put up that was not the actual calendar year. Something about the calibration and the number of days.


I made the mistake, but then helpful listeners told me about it. And I was able to correct it.


Robert Hansen

An actual astrophysicist got in touch with you.


Jack Henneman

Yeah, an actual astrophysicist. That's the awesome thing about podcasting. You get out there, and it turned out one of my listeners was an astrophysicist in New Mexico. He shot me a note explaining the error. And I, of course, was able to confess to it and move on.


Robert Hansen

First of all, kudos to you for confessing to any mistakes. So many people are adamant that they're right at all times. And that's awesome. But secondly, I think you're the first person to confirm using NASA's data that that story is probably true.


Jack Henneman

It is absolutely true. John Dee was this brilliant scientist in Elizabeth's circle. Her Privy Council, as it was called, had this circle of brilliant intellectuals. He was one of them. He's known for coining the term the British Empire quite a long time before there could reasonably be said to be one. But he predicted this eclipse.


Drake used it, in fact, on the date to identify his location. So we know that the prediction matched Drake’s usage. What I was trying to do is center it, given the changes in the calendar and all the rest of it. When I couldn't, I naturally assumed NASA was wrong.


Robert Hansen

Of course, they are wrong. It must be NASA’s fault.


Jack Henneman

It must be NASA’s fault. But I got straightened out on that quickly. It was fun, though. It was a lot of fun.


Robert Hansen

I think there's totally room for amateur historians or whatever you would like to call yourself, an entertainer of history, whatever, to do things that maybe another historian would never even think to go look at because it's not their current task. It's not what they're working on.


Jack Henneman

I will say that there are respects in which I think academic historians are constrained by the experiences they've had in their lives which, occasionally, I think a little bit blind them to what's going on. I'll give you one little anecdote.


It's very fashionable these days to criticize Columbus. And there's all kinds of grounds on which that might be done. On history Twitter, one of the things you'll see pretty much every Columbus Day is he's criticized for having grossly miscalculated the distance to Japan, in effect, from the Iberian Peninsula.


The question was, was it possible to sail a caravel west and get to Asia? No one knew there was new world there. Well, the answer is you could sail a caravel a few 1000 miles, but you couldn't sail a caravel 8000 miles. So it really matters.


The reason you couldn't is, of course, it couldn't store enough water and food for the men. The ships were down and have to be beached.


Robert Hansen

Also the men, they'll mutiny.


Jack Henneman

If the captain believes that the men won't, there's all these reasons. This was critical to get the distance at a certain length. Columbus in his pitch deck, if you will. And it really was a pitch deck. It was a scientific proposal that this venture will pay off.


He went around and pitched the king of Portugal, obviously, Ferdinand and Isabella, king of England, king of France. He was willing to talk to anybody who might fund him.


When you go through it, he did make one mathematical error. But almost all of the aggregate amount of error that he made came from him always picking the rosiest assumptions. One question was, how wide is Asia?


They had the testimony of Marco Polo, and they could guess their way. They knew Japan was out there, they just had no idea where it was. There were a whole series of these assumptions.


In every case, Columbus picked the most advantageous for the outcome he wanted to sell, which is now you can get a caravel there. Historians are like, “Look at what a terrible navigator he was. He made all these mistakes.”


But if you've done as I have and spent a lot of time with venture capitalists, you go, “No, that’s what every pitch deck in the world does.” Every entrepreneur trying to raise money assumes-


Robert Hansen

Probably the market is enormous.


Jack Henneman

-ridiculous things.


Robert Hansen

Will definitely get 1% of the market.


Jack Henneman

In fact, the crowned heads of Europe reacted exactly the way VCs would react. The Portuguese looked at it and said, “Your math’s wrong, and we're going to go around to Africa.”


They were able to do it because they'd already turned the corner around the Cape of Africa, so they knew they could get into the Indian Ocean. They knew that Africa didn't connect to some southern continent that would block them. So they needed to find that out, and they had by 1588.


Ferdinand and Isabella commissioned not one but two scientific advisory boards to check out Columbus's math, and both times they said it isn't going to work. And they sent him packing.


They said, “All right, you're done. We've made our decision. We're not going to fund you.” So he saddles up his mule, and he's heading out of Seville to go to France because his brother’s still trying to get the king of France to buy the deal. He's 10 miles out of town. Ferdinand was the big skeptic. Isabella liked him.


Ferdinand's big advisor goes to Isabella and says, “What the hell are you doing? Everything he's asked for is on the come except for three caravels. Yeah, he's probably not going to make it. They're probably all going to die. But we can't afford to let the French get there first. If it's possible to get to Japan, if by some insane miracle, Columbus is right, you don't want to let this thing go because it's easy money bet.”


He literally said, as a noble Castilian, that. And so she said, “Yeah, that makes sense.” She sends off the messengers, brings them back, and then they spent three months negotiating a deal. And it's a venture deal. He has equity on the come.


He had no money at all. He had so little money that Isabella had to send him some money so he could buy proper clothes for court. He was out of money.


Robert Hansen

As every good venture financier is going to have to do there.


Jack Henneman

On the strength of the term sheet he gets from them, he goes and finances his own stake, which is either 10 or 20%. Can't remember. The whole thing's a venture deal. Silicon Valley's invented nothing.


Historians look at it and say, “Oh, look, he was wrong. Every estimate here was wrong.” I look at that and go, “No way. He had to construct his case. And he basically threw up everything he could think of that would pass the red face test.”


Robert Hansen

The other thing that he was very good about is he understood the trade winds or understood minimum where he would be blocked from crossing.


Jack Henneman

Columbus’s probably most celebrated biographer was an American historian named Samuel Eliot Morison. Samuel Eliot Morison was a professor at Harvard starting, I think, in the ‘20s.


He actually during World War Two went to work in the United States Navy and wrote something like a 12-volume history of US Navy activities in World War Two. But right before World War Two, actually, it had already started. About 1940, he organized something that I think was called the Harvard Columbus project or something like that.


They built a caravel in Spain on the specifications of the Niña and sail this thing on Columbus’s route using Columbus's instruments. They probably had some other stuff like a radio if they get in trouble. But basically, these historians recreated what Columbus did.


Robert Hansen

With the scurvy and everything?


Jack Henneman

I'm sure they brought some limes or vitamin C pills. But in any case, Columbus had to sail with dead reckoning. So you had to keep an hourglass. There was actually a 30-minute hourglass.


There was a boy charged, several of them, with just turning it every 30 minutes around the clock. So you had to know the time, you had to do that without fail.


They didn't have any clocks that worked on a rolling ship because the ship would roll and the mechanism would go off. They didn't know how to do that then. So you turn this hourglass, and that told you how fast time was moving.


Well, in 1492, the only way to know how fast you were going was to stare at stuff in the water as it went by; sea weed, bubbles, that stuff. And so you'd figure out your speed, you'd figure out the time, then you'd plot the distance you thought you had traveled.


Without a way to measure longitude if you're going from east to west, that's pretty challenging. You have to guess whether you're right. Morison, who went through all of this, one of the things he argues in his book which was written 80 years ago, is that Columbus must have been a genius at dead reckoning.


The record suggests, again and again, that he knew better where they had gone and how far they had gone than his actual pilots who were supposedly charged with doing this.


Robert Hansen

They were using knots as well.


Jack Henneman

They didn't get there. That didn't happen until later. I did talk about that in the episode as a future technological innovation. This is why speed on water is called knots. What they would do is pay out a rope, and that rope had knots at specified intervals.


At the end of it, there was essentially a blade that would catch the waters and generate some resistance. The idea is the knots would pay out at a certain rate. And you could calculate your speed based on the rate at which the knot went out.


That didn't become common until, I think, into the 1500s. So some point after Columbus. It might have been even into the early 1600s.


Robert Hansen

With that all in mind, we just passed Columbus Day a couple of days ago also known as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. What is your feeling on all of that? Is Columbus a man that should be celebrated? Or is this just a matter of, “This is an amazing point in history that should be understood by children, what's the point?” How do you feel about all that?


Jack Henneman

I'm quite fresh on this topic. I did an episode on Columbus Day a year ago. I sometimes do an episode that I call a Sidebar, which is off my timeline. It's the lawyer in me.


This episode's called Considering Columbus Counterfactuals. I put it out again on Monday, which is the government holiday. A ton of people liked it and so forth. It was pretty popular. So I do express all my opinions in there. However, for the benefit of your listeners-


Robert Hansen

I’ll make them want to listen.


Jack Henneman

-I'm happy to declaim. I'd say a bunch of things. I'd say, first of all, the celebration of Columbus, the man, is really different from recognizing the historical importance of what Columbus did.


Columbus, the man, was a deeply flawed person. He accomplished a navigational miracle. And he was an extremely persuasive entrepreneur who could sell kings and queens on the merits of his ideas.


He was a visionary, so he had an idea that no one else had. So these are all things where we today venerate people in business and in nonprofits and other things. If they are persuasive visionaries who point the way towards something great, we celebrate them.


He was sailing for Spain. Spain and Portugal were the only two cultures in Europe with a slave population, slave markets, a culture of slaving. They picked it up from the Arabs across the Mediterranean. And they had deployed it in their conquest of the Canaries, which occupied most of the 1400s.


In the Canaries, there were native people called the Guanches. And when Spain conquered the Canaries over a long period of time, they enslaved the Guanches. They set up plantations there.


Basically, Spain generated the blueprint for what became the grinding system of slavery throughout the New World. And Columbus saw the potential of that.


Robert Hansen

Which he said in the most unapologetic and factual way is an economic model. It is not necessarily setting aside the horrible morality one way or another. It's economics. He and others saw it as a way to profit off of the New World.


Jack Henneman

Well, there would be no other reason. But it's such a complicated topic. There was a lot of resistance although not to slavery per se but to enslaving the Indians within the Spanish court that developed over time, not right away.


There's all sorts of reasons for that. But the big point is, Columbus did a lot of bad things. And he was a terrible colonial administrator. He set in motion a series of practices, especially in the Spanish new world that resulted in the deaths of a lot of people.


If somebody says, “Well, we should not celebrate Columbus, the man,” my answer would be, “Well, that's certainly within the realm of acceptable opinion.”


I have no problem if we as Americans decide not to do that. Now you can get a different answer in even some other cultures. For example, Columbus sailed for Spain. He is the foundational reason for Latino culture. Latin America only exists as Latin America because he sailed for Spain.


If Henry VII of England had bought his deal and he'd sailed with an English crew the Western Hemisphere would be totally different. If you were a Latino and said, "No, Columbus is important to me because he was the basis for Latino civilization in the Western Hemisphere."


I'm not saying a Latino should have that view, but one might. Occasionally you hear those that do. That's a very different kind of claim about Columbus and maybe very much worthy of putting up a statue. This is a topic about which very reasonable people can argue.


My own view is, I don't have a problem not celebrating Columbus the man myself. However, what Columbus did, poses a really classic moral quandary. In the words of one scholar, reknit the seams of Pangea. He tied together the continents of the world after they had been separated for millions of years.


Now, what did that mean? Well, one thing it meant is that there were 75 million, 100 million, nobody knows people in the Western Hemisphere who were completely without resistance to Eastern Hemisphere diseases.


There's a pretty good argument that somewhere between 85% and 95% of the Western Hemisphere population in the first instance, was going to die when there was a lasting first contact made with the old world.


That's in fact what happened. Pretty much anytime that population got a meaningful exposure to Eastern Hemisphere pathogens, it just tore them up. So, there was an inevitability around it. That's one thing.


The second thing is, it turns out that a lot of crops in the new world, especially those that have been cultivated by Aztecs, by essentially Central American agronomists turned out to be astonishingly important to human population growth.


It's easy to imagine that if Pangea had never split apart, if we had the same land mass, but it was all tied together... Everything had evolved in parallel and in competition. The whole carrying capacity of the planet never would've gotten over a billion and a half people.


But the crops of the new world planted in the old, drove an astonishing increase in the food supply. And you can see this in the change in the raid of population growth from essentially the birth of Christ to 1500.


The population growth of the planet at a compound rate of return of 0.06% from 1,508 years after Columbus to 1800 before there was an industrial revolution, before there was a green revolution. Keep all of that out of it, from 1500 to 1800, the population growth rate of the planet was four times that, 0.25% compounded.


Of course, once we had industrialization and Green Revolution, it massively increased after that. That growth rate, that quadrupling of the growth rate was caused by the Columbian exchange.


Corn, maize, potatoes, cassava, tomatoes thrived when planted in the Eastern Hemisphere and the impact on the human diet has been astonishing.


Robert Hansen

Yeah. One thing I remember you saying was capsicum.


Jack Henneman

Capsicum peppers.


Robert Hansen

Which is the foundation of effectively all of the different culinary things we like about Asian cuisine. It came from the new world. I mean, talk about cultural appropriation, if there ever was such a thing. This is all coming back to this plant that was actually found here in the new world.


Jack Henneman

That's right. My favorite such factoid is this. The tomato comes from a progenitor plant, and they're not exactly sure which one, but comes from a progenitor plant, somewhere in the Amazon, I believe.


Somehow it ends up in Mexico, couple thousand miles from where it was. Somehow it ends up there and essentially Central American Mexican agronomists turn it into this delicious fruit, essentially.


The tomato took a while to take off because it's so fragile. It only really went huge in the 19th century when it could be canned. But it is now estimated that the tomato accounts for more nutrients, not calories, but nutrients in the human diet than any other plant.


And for this, we owe probably a very small number of agricultural geniuses in the Indian population and Central America. The first recipe for eating tomatoes was found in Italy dating from the mid-1500. Maybe 50 years, 60 years after Columbus, and the recommendation is that be eaten with olive oil, salt and pepper.


Robert Hansen

Hasn't changed much, has it? I mean, that's pretty impressive. I mean, you wouldn't have what we call the Mediterranean diet or anything close to that without Columbus.


Jack Henneman

No. There are countries in Africa today with more than half their caloric consumption coming from maize. And there are other countries with huge proportions coming from cassava. These are all new world.


Robert Hansen

You wouldn't have had the potato famine, you just had a famine.


Jack Henneman

I mean, their estimates that the potato is responsible for more aggregate population growth, I think in the Northern Hemisphere than any other plant. Because it's so nutritious, can be grown in so many places.


Robert Hansen

In winter.


Jack Henneman

Yeah. You could store it a long time. It's fascinating. All of this was unleashed by what Columbus did. Now, what are some of the other things, sort of bore things, not the bad thing? What are other quibbles about Columbus?


The Vikings were here, maybe the Polynesians got here. All of that's true but there is no such thing as the Viking Exchange. There's no such thing as the Polynesian Exchange. It's called the Columbian Exchange.


A term coined, by the way, by University of Texas historian named Alfred Crosby. The Columbian exchange occurred not because of his first voyage. It wasn't that he was the first European to come to the Western hemisphere.


The Columbian exchange occurred because he went back and he sold the dual monarchs of Spain on a second voyage. The next year, in the second voyage, the Spanish came back with... I don't know. Can't remember now, but something like 17 ships and 1300 people, and the Spanish have never left.


That was what triggered all of these changes. Columbus was able to persuade them to fund that second voyage for really one reason, the chance sighting of gold jewelry on a couple of chief's daughters on the island of Hispaniola, which is now Haiti and the Dominican Republic.


They saw this gold, and they traded for it and came back with really a pretty small pile of gold jewelry and other things. And that's what got them interested.


Robert Hansen

I want to take a little bit of a step back. I think it's, I think it's worth kind of enumerating how I got to this conversation. When I was growing up my mother in particular, she was always saying the words, "I hate history." Or history would come up in any context, she's like, "Oh, I hate that."


She would just turn her back, literally turn her back and just walk away kind of thing. And so, I grew up kind of with that in mind. Like, "I guess I hate history too." There's no value in it to me personally. Why do I care what happens in the past?


I just couldn't understand why it would matter to me, and no one around me seemed to care so it just kind of fell between the cracks. I focused a lot more on technology. That was problem number one. Problem number two is, I had really not so great history teachers.


It was probably a mix of not caring and a mix of maybe they did care, but the books, just read these chapters. Just rote. And I'm not a great reader to begin with.


So, me reading a very dense book with a whole bunch of dates and names that I can't pronounce, and I don't know why I care about these things and nothing brought back to it. I want to talk about presentism. In the good sense of presentism, not in the bad sense, and then we'll talk about the bad sense, but that in a minute.


But one other thing about history always kind of pushed me away, which was, it always felt infinitely deep. It felt like it could just go on literally forever. Gradually, I figured out much and much later in life that it doesn't go on forever. Written history has a finite sort of end. Tens of thousands BCE, maybe.


It's not forever. And once I realized there was a beginning or somewhat of a beginning, despite the famous thing that people say, "History always starts in the middle." It doesn't. It actually has a beginning and a current. Maybe doesn't have an end yet.


That was very comforting to me. At least there's a place I could sort of ground myself. And I don't have to ground myself at the very beginning, but it opened my eyes that this wasn't an infinitely deep. Now, it's very wide. It's incredibly wide, and it affects every single person in every family has a history somewhere.


That's enormous, enormous topic. But I think one thing you've told me is that there's been something like a 70%, 75% drop in historians over the last handful of decades.


Jack Henneman

History majors.


Robert Hansen

History majors. So, what do you think is driving that? What is causing that drift away from history?


Jack Henneman

That's a question that academics seem to argue about a lot. Everybody should bear in mind that I don't work in a university. I'm not close to college students anymore. I'm not sure that I know all the answers.


I do have the opinion that history and a lot of historians have made a mistake to the extent that they are trying to use history to make sort of contemporaneous political arguments. Our politics has become, in my mind, and I think in the minds of an awful lot of very smart people, sort of unbelievably tedious and tribal.


If they see professors, and it's really professors of the recent rising generations that I think are more inclined to do this. If they see them trying to take some facts from history and construct a lesson that has some deeper meaning for today and today's politics, I think that actually undermines the credibility of the exercise.


There's all kinds of facts and factoids in the world that can support one's political talking points. College kids have seen enough of that in their lives already. I think if they see that that is what history is, at least some of them are going to wonder why they want to do it.


History, it should and can be incredibly interesting. It can be a fabulous exploration of how we got to here. But it has to be, in my mind, my opinion, one's own exploration. The journey of forming one's own conclusion is the essence of it.


When a teacher, whether in the seventh grade or at the University of Texas, your sophomore year, tells you the answer, this and this, and this happened, which is why we're so screwed up today. They're taking away the journey that you might have made that you might have found very interesting.


Robert Hansen

My one counterpoint to that, and actually mostly I do agree with it, but I think one of the problems with my education, which I think in some ways was very good. In other ways not so good. This is one of the ways I think it's not so good. They never did ground it with why I should care about it today.


Now, I'm not saying you could have had a political grounding, but at least some. That's why you see us growing this on the side of the road. Some way where I can go, "Oh, okay." This Columbian exchange thing is a great example. That's why we have these certain foods and these certain regions.


That's how the food has traveled all over the place and that's why you should care that this king said this one thing to this one guy at this one date, or why. And it couldn't have been before that because they didn't have this technology yet.


There's no way to make that accessible to me as, I would say, ultimately bright, but uninterested kid. How are you going to make that interesting?


Jack Henneman

Well, I'm not so sure how to make anything interesting to a seventh grader. It's not my field. I think I myself just got interested in things kind of at random. I'm not sure my teachers had much to do with it.


Occasionally, I had a couple of really good teachers that would get me excited about something, but remember them because they were so unusual. I don't think that happens very often in sort of primary or secondary school, my own opinion. Sometimes it does. It's great when it does.


But I think a lot of people find their own things that are interesting. I would say that learning history is incredibly valuable because it accelerates the maturation of how you think about the world.


If you know a lot of or a decent amount of American and European history, for example, you have a much more effective detector bullshit when somebody on TV or some journalist or somebody went make some assertion about something being unprecedented or new or whatever else, I don't know.


You actually can call up many counter examples. In a lot of ways that's calming. We've been through this before.


Robert Hansen

Or we've been through worse.


Jack Henneman

Or we've been through worse. You see these things. I was reading a couple years ago, well, more than that, about three or four years ago before I thought of this podcast, I reread the text that I was assigned in AP history in the 11th grade.


I went to a Tony boarding school, and we used essentially a college level text called Out of Our Past by a guy named Carl Degler. I thought I'd reread it, see how well it had held up. So, I got his last edition, which came out of five years after I graduated from high school, but 1984. Not that far along.


I read this sort of passage of a few pages about the reaction in official Washington to the arrival of Andrew Jackson and all the people around him.


An official Washington was just shocked by how uncouth all these people were. They didn't understand the norms and the whole thing. And I swear to God, Degler wrote this at the latest in the early 80s and you could have substituted Trump and Trump's followers and had it come out almost exactly right apart from coonskin hats.


But other than that, there was this just outpouring of snootiness about the people Jackson brought in. They were poorly educated. They had these sort of completely ridiculous views of how the world should work. And it was just the same.


The stakes are bigger. There were not a lot of people in the country then. Now, we globe straddling, we're the superpower. It's all very different and I don't mean to suggest that norm shattering is just fine, but it has happened before.


An official Washington has more than once displayed a revulsion at all the new people that have come in under a president from the Hinterland. That's a tiny example. I don't mean to suggest that history repeats itself or anything else, but it does, if you get a sense of it...


Robert Hansen

Gives you some context.


Jack Henneman

It gives you a ton of comfort. I'm a lot more relaxed about politics than most people I know.


Robert Hansen

And it gives you context.


Jack Henneman

Tons.


Robert Hansen

I've heard these words before. People do this a lot about Nazis. "This sounds an awful lot like what the Nazis said." "Well, the Nazis have said a lot of things."


It's useful to know which ones actually led to things, and that's useful, but also knowing how many things they said is also useful. You're like, "Well, they said a lot of things." And also we've said a lot of things, and also the friendship said a lot of things.


Jack Henneman

Well, it's interesting the use of the Nazis, Nazi imagery in our discourse, especially most shallow discourse, which has to be going on, on Twitter.


Robert Hansen

It's going on right now. I guarantee you. I haven't checked my phone in like 10 minutes, but I'm pretty sure.


Jack Henneman

Yeah, exactly. That's actually an example of the problem of trying to use history to make a political point. The analogy I usually construct is I get away from history and I get away from politics.


And I say, "Look, have you ever talked politics with a religious person who supported whatever their public policy position is by some reference to some line of scripture?" Well, I'm not a student of scripture, but I've read enough of it to know that there's a countervailing line of scripture somewhere in most if not all cases.


Robert Hansen

Or uncharitable reading.


Jack Henneman

Uncharitable reading. So, the exercise in cherry picking lines of scripture to support a contemporaneous political argument, is in my opinion, intellectually dishonest.


Well, I think the same is true in history. You can make a political point. It should stand on its own.


Robert Hansen

So, this is presentism?


Jack Henneman

It's a version. It's a relative of it. I think I call and others call weaponizing history. So, if I want to make a political point today, I can mine history and find nuggets that will support the point.


Anyone who knows enough can do that. It's a cheap trick. It's a treat trick. There are equally available counter-arguments at all times or at almost all times. But to do this as a sort of politically engaged person on Twitter for 87 followers is one thing.


To do this with the mantle of professor of history at a swanky college is very different thing. I think right now this argument is going on in the profession, and it's really by age overwhelmingly it's correlated to age.


The under and older 50 generations of really different views on this, and you see this in arguments that have gone on quite recently on this topic.


Robert Hansen

Whether there is something to be said about the banality of evil or going along with the flow, or not taking into account that there's got to be a moral barometer that we use throughout.


I mean, humans are humans, yes, things are different, clearly. But clearly murdering people and enslaving them, I think we can agree at any point in history, you could say, is it okay to subjugate another human being for economic reasons?


Jack Henneman

For most of history in most places, the answer was yes.


Robert Hansen

Yeah. But we also were okay with other kinds of public torture, for instance.


Jack Henneman

It was terrible.


Robert Hansen

It was terrible. I think they're taking a step back and saying, what would a truly moral person at the time, say if they saw someone getting beat or quartered or something in the public market or something.


Would they truly be like, "That's great. Get some popcorn kind of thing?" Or are they going to go, "No, that's probably not okay, we shouldn't be doing that, and we should probably revise how we're thinking about these things."


If you put the most woke person of that time, in that location how would they have reacted? There is something to be said about ethics or ethics they survive time or theoretically should anyway.


There's things that are enculturated or you sort of feel a certain way because society is okay with these things or isn't okay with these things.


But so, how would you sort of react to like... Well, it's okay for me not to weaponize the history itself, but shouldn't someone of decent morality have been looking at enslaving an entire race and saying, "Hey guys, maybe we should find another way." Like Drake, for instance, there were other people of the time who said there's another way.


Jack Henneman

Well, Drake had a bit of a conversion moment. And it came from proximity. He of course he's been canceled out in the West Coast with his schools and other things named after him for having as a young man served on his cousin's ship on slaving missions.


But by 1573, he'd had this redemptive moment when he teamed up with escape slaves in essentially in Panama to rob the Spanish blind.


In the course of that, he developed this great respect for them, became friends with the leaders and thereafter made it his business to release slaves that he caught.


His moment widely regarded as his most vengeful occurred in his mission to the West Indies in 1585 when he sent a young black boy with a message to the Spanish, essentially negotiation terms under a flag of truce. A Spanish soldier killed the kid.


Drake's response was to round up several of the Spanish monks who were in the city controlled, and to basically say he was going to hang one every hour until they executed the man who killed the little boy.


Now, you could unpack the morality of that however you want. But he was, he was redeemed. There's no doubt, always been lonely voices against these things.


I think in the moment it's extremely hard to understand which lonely voices are speaking a historical truth...


Robert Hansen

That will echo through time.


Jack Henneman

That will echo through time, and which are just cranks in that moment.


Robert Hansen

Especially cranks that are working against an economic model that has made a lot of money.


Jack Henneman

Slavery was ubiquitous in human culture. Virtually so.


Robert Hansen

Even in the Indian cultures as well.


Jack Henneman

And it had different forms and certainly it evolved in ways in various places, including the United States that shock our sensibilities today.


So, there's no defense for it, but it was close to ubiquitous and it took a long time for public opinion to swing around against it. I think if you want to swing it back to European settling North America, one of the counterfactuals that I talk about a little bit in the podcast episode, not that it's brilliant to do so.


But the other two cultures that had the technology to cross a blue ocean and perhaps settle the Western Hemisphere were the Arabs and the Chinese. Well, the Arabs and the Chinese both had far more developed slaving economies than the Europeans, certainly in the 1400.


If it had been the Chinese to cross, do we think that they wouldn't have deployed slaves in the silver mines of Bolivia? Of course they would've. They didn't even abolish slavery as a matter of law until the 20th century.


What about the Arabs? Well, the Arabs were conducting a robust trade in slaves, not only from Africa, but from throughout Europe.


So, under any scenario, when the Western Hemisphere came in contact with the Eastern, it was almost certainly going to come into contact with a culture that had some exposure to slaving and maybe a robust market in them.


Now, if Henry the seventh of England had hired Columbus and he'd had an English crew, there wasn't actually slavery in England, per se, in the late 1400.


It might have unfolded somewhat differently, but again, the English embraced slavery rather effectively and emphatically once they saw what the Spanish were doing and said, "Hey, that looks like a pretty good business model." Who knows.


Robert Hansen

What would you say to the 1619 project that kind of puts everything through the lens of the first slaves? Which I actually am a little confused why they say that since the first slaves in the United States were actually much earlier. It's in the 1500.


Jack Henneman

Well, this is an example of it. So, I don't want to get in a fight with a 1619 project and it's boosters.


Robert Hansen

Ponce de Leon grabbing slaves 100 years earlier,


Jack Henneman

Correct. But there were black Africans brought as slaves to today's United States by the Spanish in particular, long before the 20 and odd, they were called arrived in Jamestown late in the fall of 1619.


So whether one gets into a debate about the nature of the servitude, under which these 20 and odd were I happen to believe they were fundamentally enslaved. Some of them were able to buy their freedom, which would not be possible 100 years later, or be much less possible.


But yes, the Spanish had been doing it already. And the reason for picking 1619 is that the author was pretty openly making a political argument.


In so doing, made a political argument that certainly many esteemed historians of 17th century America, some of the giants in their field, including some people are manifestly on the political left like Sean Whelan's at Princeton they have challenged the argument made that this was some sort of foundational moment.


Some of the subsidiary arguments that were made in that such as that defense of slavery, the original framing of it was the defense of slavery was the motivating factor behind the American Revolution, for example, that was then subsequently qualified.


People should forgive me, I'm maybe using the language a little imprecisely. But the thrust of it was, they sort of retreated off of that claim once they confronted academic criticism of it. But both the framing of the American Revolution and the choice of 1619 is the, quote, true founding were simply arguments to make a contemporaneous political point.


They're an exact example in my mind of cherry picking a fact to make an argument today. Why not pick Lucas Vazquez de Ayllon apologies for my Spanish pronunciation, who brought slaves to the coast of South Carolina in 1526. At the failed settlement of San Miguel de Gualdape was the site of the first slave revolt in today's United States.


Why wasn't that the case? Because the Spanish didn't go on to shape the American United States as we know today to the same degree as the English.


Robert Hansen

Absolutely. So what makes you proud of the United States? We've talked a lot about the naysayers. But clearly, you wouldn't be doing this if you had the same negative opinion. You seem to actually really like this country, and like its history, or at least like talking about its history. What makes you proud of being an American and taking on this kind of project?


Jack Henneman

We invented individualism.


Robert Hansen

That's it?


Jack Henneman

There are there are many things one could go on about the contributions of Americans to the world, which I think are legion. It's certainly the case and I have covered it, and we'll cover. We did a lot of, I'll say, bad shit, our ancestors did, certainly, and probably we continue to do it today, in the development of this country, no question.


Robert Hansen

The atomization of the person is you think the biggest contribution the United States has made in the world.


Jack Henneman

Atomization seems like a term of a program. I would say that we recognized, and it was a failed effort, it was an incomplete effort at first, but we took early philosophical notions of individualism, and turned it into a political system.


Did we do it perfectly? No, we were still enslaving people. Did we view the natives of the continent as foreign nations subject to conquest? More often than not. There's a long list of things about which we shouldn't be proud.


But I would turn it around. Every country in the world has a pretty tough story of its founding and a bloody history. Every, I'll say real country.


Robert Hansen

You get in trouble for that. You did so well.


Jack Henneman

The United States is one of the few large substantial countries where we know everything about its origin. Canada and Australia as well, but I don't want to get caught saying they're not real countries, they're real countries.


But if you look at the big civilization moving countries in the world we don't know nearly so much about what their original founders were doing, saying, arguing for and everything else. With the United States, we're young enough that so much was written down, that it's very accessible.


Nobody twists their hanky over the stuff Charlemagne did to Paul France together, nobody worries about that.


Robert Hansen

So it's not things like the fact we have a republic, the first long lasting republic of the modern age?


Jack Henneman

Well, no, that I think, is inherently derivative of individualism. Republic is a function of individuals owning the sovereignty and getting to decide who's going to work for them. You don't care about individuals if you're a monarchy, sovereignty resides in the king.


Certainly don't care about individuals if you're communist, sovereignty relies in the class, in principle, and so forth. Our system, which I like, notwithstanding its shortcomings, turns on the recognition that individuals, each and every one of them have irreducible rights.


One of those is that they get to participate in selecting the people that will govern them. But that's only one of them, any others are irreducible. Those notions were floating around in political theory by the time Americans got around to organizing their government.


But it was men like Jefferson, Adams, Madison, and so forth, Hamilton, who framed the arguments, with no small disagreement among them, for setting up this system. And nobody had done that before.


Robert Hansen

Not a democracy.


Jack Henneman

Well, the United States has moved from having less to more democracy over time, and inherent in any system that protects the individual are anti-democratic components. So democracy would say, half the people plus one ought to be able to dictate what may and may not be said, by the entire population.


While our system says no, our system says, actually, all the people can't dictate what someone may say. Now that may be wearing a bit thin at the moment, that's its own point of controversy in today's politics.


Robert Hansen

Absolutely is.


Jack Henneman

But our democracy has inherent limits and they are designed to protect the rights of individuals. Then argument over exactly where those limits are and how they obtain as obviously very passionate, but that's something we work through.


Robert Hansen

I want to talk about your podcast a little bit and some of the things that I thought was pretty remarkable and surprising. So one thing for instance was how the different tribes had different viewpoints about the foreigners that are coming in.


Some were wildly accommodating and immediately ready to trade and very open and please come in, we'll give you food and whatever it takes, and we'll take care of you and if you're sick, we'll heal your people or rolling out the red carpet as much as is possible.


The most Midwestern come in and you look cold and put a blanket on you, very ingratiating, and then there was others that would eat them on site. That is such a wild distinction between two groups of people who are both indigenous to each other.


They were right next to each other effectively in some of these cases. Some are incredibly hostile to all outsiders and others were extremely passive and relatively peaceful otherwise.


Jack Henneman

I'm far from expert on pre European Indian societies. I know what I've read and an awful lot of what we know, comes from early European accounts and I've read some of those. But I do think that it's one of the areas in which I think an awful lot of Americans who are not themselves self-consciously indigenous.


One of the mistakes I think that it's easy to slip into is assuming that the Indians were sort of this undifferentiated body of people. Fact there was, for example, more diversity of languages in pre Columbian North America than any place on Earth.


I've read anyway that linguists estimate that 25% of all the languages on Earth were spoken by the well under 20 million North American Indians. So what did that mean? I'm venturing into an area where I really don't know very much.


So experts out there please cut me some slack. But to me, what that means is that if these relatively small tribes have substantially different languages, they may have had similar roots. We say there’s Algonquin languages and Iroquoian languages, excuse me, Shawnee languages and so forth.


They had similar roots, but they were very hard to understand. Tisquantum Squanto grew up in Patuxent, which is where Plymouth, Massachusetts is, spoke the Algonquin from that region. In the English side he might be useful speaking to the Algonquin tribes on Newfoundland.


So it took him to Newfoundland, thought he'd be a translator, and he didn't really know what they were saying. So you have this huge cacophony of languages, that almost automatically implies really different cultures emerging in these tribes.


Some of which are bound to be more peaceful than others, some are reliant on hunting and gathering and are very mobile. Others are highly agricultural, depending on the geography, their region, they form actual urban, quasi urban environments. It was remarkable.


Robert Hansen

Some of them, they were just barely hanging on at all. They couldn't even make fire.


Jack Henneman

Yes, the Cabeza de Vaca’s narrative that story, which is known to almost everyone who went to school in Texas, and almost nobody who didn't. He lands with these other Spaniards after this harrowing journey, they land on the Texas Gulf Coast, and most of them were killed or die of starvation or lapse into cannibalism themselves.


Cabeza de Vaca, and three other guys survive and then spend sort of six years living among the indigenous people mostly in South Texas in northern Mexico. And he writes a whole sort of narrative about this after he gets back to Spain.


That's almost anthropological in its tone for the early 1500s. It's very non-judgy, describes all sorts of interesting things. Indian males who dress as females and do the work of females and so forth things that today you look at it with a modern perspective and you wonder, what was that?


Robert Hansen

I've got an idea.


Jack Henneman

That's right. These cultures, these tribes were desperately poor. South Texas was not the land of milk and honey. And they would roam around and sort of eat one food for six weeks and then they'd have to go somewhere else.


So the prickly pears would come into season and they'd go for six weeks they do nothing but eat prickly pear and they pounds them into flour to carry around. Then pecan trees with the nuts would ripen and they'd go to the Brazos River and other places and they’d all gather and eat nuts for weeks.


Then they'd go somewhere else and fish, would run somewhere and they'd go do that. So they were always in the scramble for calories, never settled down and planted. And that's really poor and tough living. It's not a civilization, per se.


Then elsewhere, you had these big permanent towns of hundreds or even 1000s of people.


Robert Hansen

And crops.


Jack Henneman

Yes, towns facilitated by agriculture, you’ve got to stay in one place.


Robert Hansen

Yes, I thought that was interesting in general about the Indians is really, they were survivalists. I think the Disney sort of perspective of being one with nature is nonsense. Once I started looking into what's really going on, it seems more like, imagine you were thrust back in time and you had to survive.


Ready, set, go. You’re not communing with nature and playing with butterflies, you're trying to get food quickly and survive torrential rain and hail and whatever's coming at you, and fires and all kinds of things.


Jack Henneman

The popular book, broadly on this topic, is Charles Mann's book “1491”, which I'm guessing an awful lot of your readers have had exposure to, if they haven't read it, they've had somebody tell him to read it. It's fantastically well written, it's extremely interesting.


It's about the essentially indigenous people, the Indians, he has a whole appendix that describes, says why he uses the word Indians. But he makes the point more than once, that in a lot of places, the tribes had a huge impact on their environment.


For example, in a lot of the forested areas of the country, the Indians engaged in regular controlled burning, and they would clear the forest of undergrowth and they could plant between the trees. So when Europeans got here, they saw these forests that we don't see anymore.


Not only were the trees themselves, huge, because the Indians weren't chopping down the big trees, they didn't have steel tools. But they had systematically burned out the undergrowth on a regular basis. So you could ride a horse through the woods and see an incredibly long distance.


It's fantastic to think about, it would be beautiful to see. Entirely unnatural. It was a garden. So the Indians, gardened huge parts of the country.


Robert Hansen

That’s man over nature right there.


Jack Henneman

It was very much so. Then he goes through similar kinds of things, are much bigger populations, much more advanced civilization south of the Rio Grande, and they did much more.


Robert Hansen

Also, I think there was a lot of belief that the Indians in general and Native Americans, I should probably use the correct terminology.


Jack Henneman

Mann would say Indians is fine. It's a point of argument, actually.


Robert Hansen

But they were not exactly uniformly spiritual and many of them were barely spiritual. They kind of had some Gods maybe, but they didn't spend much time thinking about it, because they were probably too busy with a bunch of other stuff.


Others were extremely ritualistic and had enormous ceremonies and whatever. It just depended, it wasn't uniform. It wasn't like everyone out there was praying and chanting and whatever. 24/7.


Jack Henneman

So this is a topic I know very little about. What I can say is that there were a bunch of early European observers of this and to some degree, they saw what they wanted to see. In some early European narratives of Indian practices, they'd be really kind of anthropological about it.


They say they do these things. Others would see, partly because conversion of the Indians was an important part of a number of the European early efforts here. They wanted to convert them to Christianity. The Spanish wanted to do it, the English absolutely did as well, although a different version of Christianity.


This was really important to the populations in Europe who were funding these expeditions. What that meant is that there were a lot of people who were writing about what they saw who had their own axe to grind. They wanted to show the potential for the Indians to convert.


That meant that they saw what they wanted to see. That's about all I have on the point.


Robert Hansen

One of the things I thought was interesting is they lead de Soto, Coronado, and Esteban, specifically, astray on various different occasions. So they were pretty cunning.


Jack Henneman

Yes, one of the things that one of the things that is clearly the case is that there were countless examples of Indian translators or interlocutors who were setting up the Europeans for a fall in one way or the other and playing a double game.


I think to the average American, the most famous such person who has become an almost mythological figure is in fact, Squanto. Who was in fact just when the Pilgrims landed in December of 1620, hadn't seen any Indians because that region where they landed, had been decimated by disease.


They struggle through the first three months in the Massachusetts winter, half the Mayflower passenger list dies. And they think things are rough, when all of a sudden, Indian walks up to them out of nowhere, big tall guy who's Sagem, from actually the coast of Maine, and says, “Welcome Englishmen.”


He was the first Indian with which they'd had any real exchange. They'd been shot out on Cape Cod a couple of times, they'd seen a few sort of darting through the woods at one time or another.


But this guy, his name was Samoset shows up, and he'd been sent there by Masssasoit, who is one of the great chiefs of all time.


Well, anyway, not long after Tisquantum shows up. Tisquantum has lived in both Spain and England, we know that he spoke pretty good English. He almost certainly also spoke some decent Spanish.


But the Pilgrims never record that. I don't know if they had any Spanish speakers among them.


He wouldn't have had a reason to speak Spanish to them. And he in fact, the story a lot of kids learned in school, he in fact, teaches them how to grow corn, beans and squash the Indian way.


Although it might not be the Indian way, but he teaches them how to do it. He teaches them how to catch eels in the mud and the creek, how to fish. And he basically teaches the Pilgrims how to feed themselves in the new world. But he also plays a really devious double game.


He tries to displace Masssasoit, he runs around, who has become the true ally of the pilgrims. So he runs around, and tells all the local tribes that basically the pilgrims can wipe them out anytime they want. And he Squanto as the only guy can prevent it.


He's trying to make himself the big man and this triggers a big crisis. Now that's slightly different version of this tendency than some of the others. Most of the others, rather than trying to elevate themselves as he was doing, most of the others who were famous, were trying to expel Europeans from their land.


Among those examples are this Indian in the Southwest known as the Turk, who led Coronado on what can only be described as a wild goose chase from New Mexico to the center of Kansas to try and get him out of his territory.


There was a very well regarded translator in Cuba who'd come from Florida, she'd been captured, woman named Magdalena, who dressed like a Spanish woman, spoke English, her Spanish very well.


She was the translator that went along with these group of monks, Friar Cancer and a bunch of these other guys. They land in Tampa Bay and she defects to the local tribes and arranges for all these monks to be gruesomely murdered.


There are a bunch of other examples and probably the most astonishing is this guy named Don Luis Silva Lascaux, who was a Indian from the James River, named originally Paco Plinio. And he is captured by the Spanish in the 1560s, maybe the late 1550s, I can't remember.


He's taken back to Spain, turns out to be kind of a language savant, learns Spanish, is incredibly charismatic. Talks Philip the Second the most powerful monarch on the planet, that he really ought to be sent home, which is no mean feat.


You got to organize a ship to sail across the Atlantic, it wasn't like call me an Uber.


Robert Hansen

Which even that I probably wouldn't try.


Jack Henneman

So he talks him into this, and he is sent to Mexico first and it takes several years to get him back to Virginia. And there's some backing and filling. But he finally goes back with again, some friars who want to Christianize, a bunch of Paquiquino tribal members.


After all these years among the Spanish speak Spanish fluently or very persuasively by the accounts, he lands there hangs, around for a few days and then takes off. And a couple months later, personally comes back with a couple other warriors and they kill all the friars.


There's this very intriguing mystery that he became really, the greatest chief of the Palatine Confederacy, a guy named Opechancanough and that Opechancanough and Don Luis and Paquiquino we're all the same guy. This is a argued about.


There's some very big historians who have thought that that was the case, it's starting with a guy named Carl Bridenbaugh, who is probably in his time, 40 years ago, the leading historian of that period.


Robert Hansen

So another thing that really kind of surprised me is you think after maybe one or two or three storms, they would have got the hint that there's a lot of storms in the Pacific region there around Cuba


Jack Henneman

Yes. The Caribbean.


Robert Hansen

Yet, it seems like they're always like, completely shocked, like, what is this weather? I thought it was going to be beautiful down here and they were constantly getting shipwrecked and running afoul of whatever, and their ships getting lost at sea.


This is practically every single mission, and not just one or two boats, but 10s of boats, and 90% of losses to the storm again. Then it would be the same group of people, they get a ship together, and then and then a storm hit and like, what's happening? Yeah, it’s no memory at all.


Jack Henneman

It's sort of acute for me a few years ago, my wife and I, we got a second home in New Orleans. So I pay a lot of attention now to the Hurricane situation in the Gulf. But yes, it boggles my mind.


There's one account after another of some expedition being either entirely destroyed or scattered by a hurricane. They do always seem not to have planned for this.


Robert Hansen

Always. It’s so weird.


Jack Henneman

The weather down there is so nice, really official hurricane season goes to November 30. But it's really, after about mid-October, the risks go way down. I would have thought that they would have figured that out more quickly than they did.


Robert Hansen

Within maybe 100 years?


Jack Henneman

I don't know. Yes it was astonishing. But they seem to sort of embark on these big expeditions and sort of late August or something, just you expect some huge storm to come through and hammer them. And some of them are astonishing how violent storms were.


Robert Hansen

The only way I can think that it might make sense is there was a lot of attempts to get through the northwestern passage, which obviously did not ever exist. So maybe they were thinking I want to get there before it's started icing over or?


Jack Henneman

Yeah, but they didn't get hit by hurricanes.


Robert Hansen

That's the only thing I can think of, everything else is just doesn't make sense.


Jack Henneman

Like Tristan de Luna’s expedition tried to set up this base in Pensacola in 1559, and they don't get right to work unloading the ships then our hurricane comes through and sinks them all. A couple of them were only discovered in the last 15 years. It's pretty cool.


And so forth. This is in 1559. Spanish have been in the region for 67 years, no one's like, come up with a pattern here? So they'd land and no one's like, “We got to get all this stuff to shore as fast as humanly possible, because who knows what might come our way?” Yes, they just don't do this. And I find it bizarre.


Robert Hansen

So another one that I thought was interesting was how ineffectual guns really were back then. Like actual guns.


Jack Henneman

They were pretty much Star Wars blasters.


Robert Hansen

Yes, almost guaranteed to never kill anybody. And the Indians could fire way more rapidly and at distances over 100 yards easily and go through a person very easily with these arrows, even with armor still doing some pretty gnarly damage.


Jack Henneman

They would have been really, really dangerous if they'd had metal arrowheads.


Robert Hansen

Can you imagine?


Jack Henneman

That actually came up in 1623, Opechancanough, who might have been Don Louis, Paquiquino launches this surprise attack, in March 22 1622, on the English on the James River. And it's just a massive ambush, essentially, Indians living among the English.


They had been quiet for eight years pretending peace. And they killed a third of the English on the James in one day. This caused the English to lose their minds. And when word finally got back, it took four months.


But when the English finally found out about it back in London, James, the first says, “Well, you can have all this obsolete equipment in my armory.” So the 30 years’ war is going on. And he's got all of these obsolete weapons that aren't going to be useful because during the 30 years’ war, England wasn't in the war at that point.


But military technology was evolving super-fast at that time. Because you essentially had this continent-wide war going on in Europe. So he unloads all this stuff in his armory. A bunch of it is useful. But among them were 800 sheaves of English arrows which had steel tips. The Virginia Company was like, we can't send this to Virginia because if it gets captured, we're all dead. Because the Indians were such proficient archers. They could hit anything.


They could shoot birds out of the sky. If you handed them steel tipped arrows, that would have been all she wrote. What if they get captured? But they can't tell the king, no, no. We're going to just take some of this. We're going to turn down your gift. They took the arrows. They shipped them to Bermuda where there was no risk of any of that. There they stayed. I love that story.


But that's an example. As I said in that episode, that James was handing over all his obsolete weapons because they might be useful in this context. It was just like all the Eastern European NATO countries going through and getting all their old Warsaw Pact weapons that they still had and handing them to Ukraine in the first couple of months of the war. That’s exact same thing


Robert Hansen

Absolutely. Good point. Another thing was, I thought it was interesting how spiritual, truly spiritual, not just pretend spiritual, the Spanish were. I thought that was actually a little strange by today's standards. I was not expecting them.


It seem like when I think of that era, I think people as casually religious. Yes, they might go to church or they might wear a cross. But they don't really believe. But quite often, they had massive amounts of prayer before they did things. They truly believed that there was consequences to what they were doing.


Jack Henneman

Protestants did too.


Robert Hansen

Then also bound by law. This law thing, it seemed like it would stop at their border. At that point, they're basically on their own. But they had these things called patents. By today's standards that sounds like a weird word because it means something different to.


Jack Henneman

It really means the same thing. It's a monopoly.


Robert Hansen

A monopoly on something. Not necessarily on an idea.


Jack Henneman

Right. But a patent on an invention is a monopoly to use that invention for a period of time.


Robert Hansen

In this case, the invention is, I just found a bunch of land.


Jack Henneman

Well, it's not an invention. It's the right to use or settle a chunk of land per the crown for a specified period of time. But it's a monopoly. No one else can do it.


Robert Hansen

The monarch basically could bestow upon them. This is the thing you get to go do. It's yours. I thought that was really interesting. By today's standards that seems a little odd. But I have heard much more recently letters of marque being put out. That would be fairly similar. It's like you're allowed to do whatever you want as long as it fits this exact mold. You almost have a monopoly.


It's not quite like a patent. You're allowed to do whatever you want, keep a certain percentage of it as long as it's within the boundaries of this specific task I'm trying to get you to go accomplish on behalf of the crown or the state.


Jack Henneman

Letters of marque in history were licenses to privateer. What's the difference between a pirate and a privateer?


Robert Hansen

One is state sponsored.


Jack Henneman

Pirates were breaking everybody's law. If you were an English pirate. You stole from the Spanish. In principle, if you brought that treasure home the English would execute you and send back what you stole. Would they in fact do that? Not so often. But in principle, in rough terms, if you're a pirate, you're violating everybody's law.


If you're a privateer, you're treated as a pirate by the guys you're stealing from. But your own country thinks of you as an agent of its will abroad. A letter of marque is that authorization. Anyone who goes to law school, or at least has a constitutional law professor as interesting as mine, has a secret fantasy that there'll be some context in which we can issue letters of marque again.


Robert Hansen

It’s coming back. It's literally coming back.


Jack Henneman

I had heard a reference that you made in the introduction to one of your podcasts. But I didn't get deep enough in to hear about it. I don't mean to ask the question. To turn it around. What's the letter of marque in the cyber syntax?


Robert Hansen

It would be very similar. A country says, here, Robert. Here RSnake. Here's this letter of marque that says, on behalf of the government. They're going to be very cagey about what government agency is doing this. But they're going to say, go do this thing. Here's your very limited expectations and what we're going to put boundaries around this box.


Basically, go hack. Go find as many vulnerabilities as you can in whatever targets are on this manifest or meet this requirement. Whatever you make you basically keep it. We’ll ask you to pay a little bit to us as tribute. But effectively, you're robbing from the bad guys. That sounds awfully familiar, doesn't it?


Jack Henneman

Yes. That's exactly. That's awesome.


Robert Hansen

It's coming back. It's coming back.


Jack Henneman

That is awesome. Because there had been a proposal just within the last six months. I think he might have been a Texas Congressman. But somebody in the House of Representatives proposed the issuance of letters of marque to go against oligarch yachts. Russian oligarch yachts. I of course thought this was a fantastic idea as a matter of historical fun. I'm not sure it was good policy. But as a matter of, oh, that's cool.


This is another example of somebody points. I've made some comment about the Constitution defines this and we could do it. Then somebody points out that letters of marque were outlawed by international treaty in Paris. I think 1883 or some general convention on conduct of war that outlawed them.


But it is the case that the United States never signed it. We agreed in the abstract to abide by it. But we're actually not bound by the Convention against the use of letters of marque, privateers and war. Which I find as a weird historical factoid. That's amusing.


Robert Hansen

There's a show that I don't think is on the air anymore, Airplane Repo. It could easily be turned into Boat Repo. You hear that Chris? There’s a new show for you. Make something happen here.


I think Esteban's story is another one of those, just a fantastic story of this guy. Former black slave. Not exactly released. Basically put back into slavery but on the Indian side. Then suddenly becomes this cultist or a missionary. Just travels the United States. What’s his story?


Jack Henneman

It all derives from this Narváez expedition which went from 1528 to 1536. Pánfilo de Narváez was, apologies again for the pronunciation, a rival of Hernán Cortés who had of course conquered the Aztecs. They hated each other. Narváez was very politically connected. He had this idea, well, we're going to cut Cortés off in the north. We're going to get a colony and build it up between essentially Cortés’ region in Mexico and the Rio Grande.


He organizes this big expedition. They're going to sail to that region of the Mexican Gulf Coast. They go to Cuba. They organize the whole thing. They set sail. They've got an idiot for a pilot. They don't understand the Gulf Stream. It's cloudy in the Gulf of Mexico. They get out in the Gulf Stream. They're doing dead reckoning. They're watching seaweed go by. They think, oh, we're moving pretty fast. They get blown. Again, all these people seem to end up in Tampa Bay. But they get blown into Tampa Bay where the Indians are already very aware of the Spanish because of so many refugees who’ve come from the Caribbean.


Narváez makes the extremely unwise decision to separate the expedition from the ships. He's like, we'll meet you up there somewhere. He starts marching through Florida which was part of his patent actually. His patent extended essentially in a line. If you draw a line east west through Mobile, Alabama. From the Pacific to the Atlantic, all the way down until you hit the upper reaches of Cortez’s territory in Mexico. That was his patent. Actually Florida was included weirdly enough.


He starts marching through this. Indians either snipe at him from wherever or send him on wild goose chases looking for gold. You can always get the Spanish to go off anywhere if you told them that was gold there. The Indians figured this out very, very early on. Anyway, 300 gets down to 250. They end up on the Gulf Coast off Tallahassee essentially. They're running out of food. They've raided some villages and have few hundred pounds of corn. They've got these horses. They’ve got to get out of there. They're completely disconnected from their ships. They can't see ships anyway because there's barrier islands. Just unbelievable story.


They build these rafts each of which holds 50 people. The way they do this is too long for this episode. Let me just say it is astonishing. They sail the rafts out past the barrier islands, see no ships and say, “Well, we're going to sail to Mexico.” So they do. They have all these episodes. They go ashore to get water. They have to do all these things. Every time they land, Indians along the Gulf Coast shoot at them. All the rest of it. Some of them would trade but mostly it's ugly. Then they get off shore of the Mississippi River Delta.


It's a relief in one sense. Because a mile off shore, the flood of the Mississippi is such that you could drink the water right off the side of the raft. They were able to drink the river water. Less problematic than now I suspect. But they get all separated. These five rafts get dispersed. They all land a bit later on the Texas Gulf Coast. Of the 250 Spanish, most of them die very fast. Within a few months, there's probably 15 left. They're all disconnected right. These rafts land in different places.


Eventually it gets down to four. Three of them are together. A guy named Castillo, a guy named Dorantes, and Esteban who is Dorantes’ slave. So his name is Esteban Dorantes. Then the fourth is Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca who is the number two guy on the expedition after Narváez. He is enslaved by tribes that happen to be on Galveston Island at the time. He spends years living with this tribe in a state of servitude of some sort.


Four or five years long, he meets the other three who were all together with another tribe. They're all gathered to eat pecans. They frame this plan to escape. Turns out they can't escape the next year. Another year goes by. But about the time they're going to make their way, try to head south into Mexico and get into Spanish territory, they have rather a series of miraculous faith healing moments. Castillo actually was the son of a doctor. But they treat a couple of important Indians. I say treat, I mean they say prayers over them and they recover. One Indian in a coma recovers.


All of a sudden, the power of their strange religion is seen as miraculous by these tribes. They go from being enslaved to being leaders of the first mass religious movement in North America. They're very smart. They're brought food and garments and all these other things too as tribute. They redistribute it all except for what they eat in the moment. They're very careful to be beneficent cult leaders. They learn to varying degrees languages of these tribes that are all in this hunter gatherer civilization. It turns out Esteban is really good at it. Picks up languages super-fast. He takes on the whole attitude, dress of a medicine man. Shaman.


Anyway, they end up leading this massive procession through West Texas, across the Rio Grande, northern Mexico. In 1536, eight years later, a Spanish slaving mission on horseback ranging up the west coast of Mexico into territory that they hadn't explored yet come across these Castilians who have beards down to their belly buttons. They're wearing loincloths, leading 600 Indians who are not running from the Spanish but in fact lead them. It is an amazing story of survival.


They get back to Mexico City eventually and Esteban is essentially freed by Dorantes. I mean, he had been effectively freed for years. They were partners in survival. Dorantes is sort of, here you go. Dorantes refused to sell him to the governor of Mexico. He was very interested in using him as a translator. Dorantes refused to sell him. Released him. Said you do what you want. Well Esteban had been talking a lot about his own exploits in the bars in Mexico City. Ended up leading an advance expedition with a drunken Friar named Niza, and a couple other guys into New Mexico. The idea being to find the rumored Seven Cities of Gold. Esteban runs ahead.


But somewhere along the way, there's some suggestion that he was trying to involve himself sexually with the wrong woman. But in any case, he is not only killed in some Southwestern pueblo, but hacked to bits and scattered. He met an untimely end. But the monk who was trailing behind him heard all these stories. This guy named Niza. He came back and basically, greatly inflated what he'd seen. The inflated report of Niza led to the Coronado expedition which I think a lot of people in the southwest have heard. Sorry, that was very long story.


Robert Hansen

No. It is good. I'll tell you the one thing that really bothers me about history to wind this down. Because I think this story is something that you first told me about. I've heard it from you first. Was the tail end of the first or maybe second Drake expedition, I guess, when he landed supposedly in San Francisco.


Can you tell that story? Because I think this is useful for the audience to know how historians have to battle with the reports that are brought into them.


Jack Henneman

Sure thing. I got into Drake mostly because he touched the lands that are now the United States a couple times. He spent six weeks or so on the Pacific Northwest during a circumnavigation. Claimed at wherever he was for England. Called it Novo Albion, New England. Put up a brass plate claiming it for Elizabeth. He also landed at St. Augustine in 1585 on his way to relieve the Roanoke Colony. Burned St. Augustine to the ground, stole everything, and went to Roanoke which was on the Outer Banks in North Carolina. They were the first colony there. He basically took them all back to England. That was not the Lost Colony of Roanoke.


Anyway there was a long standing view, certainly into the early 20th century, that Drake had landed in Northern California somewhere in the Bay Area. This became very important to, call it California identity, in its founding. Not founding really because it was founded 50 years before. But California identity and it's relatively early years. Certainly into the early 20th century. The other important element of this apparently was that Drake needed to be a pirate.


Well, there was an anthropologist, a woman named Zelia Nuttall, who had actually grown up in San Francisco. Her mother had been Spanish from Mexico City. Her father was wealthy. I forget his background. Zelia Nuttall became, in the late 19th century, an anthropologist. She might have been the first true female anthropologist in the United States. I can't remember. She was primarily interested in Indians in Mexico and Central America. One day, she's in the National Archives in Mexico City. This is I think 1908 or there about.


She finds at random the journal of a Portuguese navigator who had sailed with Drake on the circumnavigation. He had been released by Drake. He had been captured by Drake in the Atlantic and was released by Drake on the west coast of Mexico before Drake went on to California. This find completely changed her research focus for a couple of years. She travelled around Europe and found all this new stuff on Francis Drake in the years before World War One. She wrote a book called New Light on Drake. Which essentially published translations of all these documents.


One of the things that her work discovered. It discovered two critical things that were really offensive to California patriots. One was that Drake wasn't a pirate. That he actually had a letter of marque. He had letters of reprisal which are akin to that. That was upsetting. The other was that he probably didn't land in California. That is the fair and good Bay where he stopped for six weeks. Was probably on the Oregon coast or maybe the Washington coast.


The reason for the confusion in this is that when he'd gotten back, Elizabeth was very concerned that Drake had robbed the Spanish blind on the west coast of South America. Just literally tons and tons. His ship, The Golden Hind, was low in the water. It was so weighed down with the Spanish riches. She was worried that this would provoke a war that she did not want to fight yet anyway. She threw this cloak of secrecy over the whole thing.


She denounces Drake in public, knights him in private. To the Spanish says she doesn't want anything with him. In fact, he becomes a close advisor. But one of the things that they do is they alter key details in Drake's logs, the map that he presented and all the rest by about three or four degrees of latitude. The Californians for years had been right. The records had shown that his northernmost point had been roughly the California-Oregon line. By his logs, he'd gone Southaways. That's where he careened his ship. You have to unload it, beach it, and scrape all this stuff off. That's what is called careening.


They'd been correct. But they'd been reading falsified documents on purpose. Zelia Nuttall figures all this out. This deeply offends the very patriotic historians at Berkeley, for example, who go on and basically blackball Zelia Nuttall. She can't get her paper published. They go to some lengths including perpetrating a fraud to sustain this story that Drake landed in California. This is all detailed in a book written in just 2019 by an anthropologist named Melissa Darby. The book is called Thunder Go North.


It's actually a great historical mystery. It's not that long a book. If people like this kind of thing, Thunder Go North by Melissa Darby. It's worth a read. I've corresponded with her on a number of things. I sent her the script of a couple of podcasts I did. She has been very helpful in making sure I didn't stand afoul.


But I think the way to think about it, then I'll let you go to the next thing, is that Drake landing in California, Drake the pirate landing in California is like the Alamo to Texans. Very similar analogy. There was that book that came out a year or so ago called I think, Forget the Alamo that challenged the whole history around the Alamo. Texas went nuts over that.


Robert Hansen

This is my point actually. I mean, I would love to go read history. You can give me 10 books and I would definitely go read them despite how slowly I read things. It might take me a while. But I am always worried about these historical details being so wildly misrepresented at the time for maybe very important political, geopolitical reasons. Trying to prevent a war or at least delay a war. Or maybe just somebody putting up a plaque in San Francisco claiming Drake was here. Just so they can prove he was there even though that was obviously a fake.


These are the things where I just don't know how the public reconciles this push and pull. Actually, this I think lends some credence to the argument where people are trying to say history is defined by the victors. I get to write whatever I want about whatever happened. Or in this case, the explorers. I get to write that I was here when I was really over here. Or there really was tons of gold there when there wasn't tons of gold there.


That makes it incredibly difficult to know what is true and not true. How do you navigate that minefield of obvious fakes, forgeries, lies, or misrepresentations throughout history?


Jack Henneman

Well, I can say how historians do it right. The historical narratives that are written hundreds of years ago, and maybe sustained by people with a view of the world, are very legitimately challenged by new scholarship. That's okay. There has been in the last 50 years an absolute explosion in what we know about the true conditions of slavery in this country. That new scholarship has been very threatening to people who want to characterize the history of slavery in this country as somehow benign. Somehow identical to stuff everyone else was doing.


But that process of revising history is essential and ongoing. It over corrects sometimes. It also can happen with the spirit I would challenge. But that doesn't mean that it isn't incredibly important and useful. The practice of history is self-correcting. It happens as time goes by. I'll make an observation. Journalists who are not historians. Journalists love to say that journalism is the first draft of history. I think that's a huge conceit.


Journalism is not the first draft of history. It's the raw material of history. What's other raw material of history? Diaries. What's another raw material of history? Bureaucratic records. Pay receipts. Court house documents recording divorces, land transactions, births and christenings. The raw material of history is vast. Journalism is among it. It's not a first draft of history. It's not even close. It's just what one guy thought in that moment on the basis of almost no useful information. My dad told me something which has been with me a long time. It has helped me deal with press coverage in my own way. I think this is right.


He argued that we don't get any good histories of an American Presidency. Takes about 50 years. The reason why it takes about 50 years is first, a lot of stuff has to surface. People have to die. Their diaries come out. When people kept diaries. Now it's documents. Things need to be classified. Other people tell the stories. They're going to die. They're 92. Now, I'm going to tell this story. But more critically, the point he made was that, you can't write good history if you were politically aware at the time.


By this rationale, the first good history of the Trump presidency will probably be written by somebody who's about nine years old right now. Since historians do their best work as they age, mathematicians do their best work when they're young, historians do their best work as they age. It’s probably 40 or 50 years.


Robert Hansen

Interesting.


Jack Henneman

You might live to see it. I doubt I will.


Robert Hansen

You never know. You might live forever the way modern medicine is going. Let's hope that. How do people find you, your podcast? We already mentioned the URL. Where are you?


Jack Henneman

It’s called The History of the Americans. If you Google History of the Americans Henneman, you'll find it. Henneman History podcast. My website is thehistoryoftheamericans.com. You can email me at thehistoryoftheamericans@gmail.com.


Robert Hansen

You're on all the social platforms?


Jack Henneman

I don’t do YouTube. But the podcasting apps all have me. You can listen on the website if you'd like doing that. You can find me on Twitter by all the usual means. There's a Facebook page for the podcast as well. But the podcast itself is pretty easy to find.


Robert Hansen

Well, I want to congratulate you. It's a great show. I really appreciate you coming.


Jack Henneman

Well, thank you so much for having me and allowing me to ramble on. I very much appreciate it. Maybe we'll get to do it again sometime.


Robert Hansen

I love that. Thank you.


Jack Henneman

Thank you.


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