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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  August 13, 2011 2:30pm-3:45pm EDT

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was the entire planet. this moment is the foundation stone of astro biology. the theory that this planet is the only living planet. the others, or ever the be, a all dead. also he talks and the book about the atmosphere, the way the atmosphere works. often created by living things. important in regulating the climate system. it is an extraordinary lucid presenile work that underpins many aspects of particularly holistic science and so forth. and that, we learned.
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his work. evolutions may seem nasty, brutish, and short. these grow and a moral mechanisms have led to a world with extraordinary intricacy, interconnectedness' comment corporation. and just want to run through a few examples of that corporation this light just shows mitochondria. small organelles. packing for ourselves. realized in the last 30 years that they had nothing to do with us in terms of origin. free living bacteria into the engine the ocean, and they came to tell the heavens munched away elegy cohabit with the coal reef but i have become so close in
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with that sell. so intricate that they tied the existence without the cells of their body. and now they cannot survive without. that is just the beginning of the complexity of the thing we call a human being. >> you can watch this and other programs on line at book tv. next, marc stein examines the many people who shape state boundaries. the authors profile range from brigham young to jeremiah dixon and charles manson. the british surveyor's noted for lines that separated maryland, pennsylvania, and delaware. about an hour and ten minutes. [applause] [applause] >> thank you.
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when i wrote how the states cut their shapes i was dealing. during that i encountered people who were involved in . the book was unable to contain the stories. and so this book is a collection of people counted and to other to into that created the line. but one question, which is, how do we get from this to this? and in the second book some of the chapters deal with people, not with these particular lines, but trying to put more on the map but failed or people who
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have tried and in some cases are currently trying to change some of those lines. if you all got a handout, it should look very much like this, the names of people that i looked into. number of them have will be talking about tonight. i want you to have a copy seven we do questions it can help formulate questions or help others follow what you're talking about. what intrigues me about all of these people, though, was that none of them -- in fact, as far as i know no person ever said when they were a kid when i grow up of want to establish a state line. [laughter] well, all of these people have request. their own personal quest that somehow ended up impacting on where the line yesterday. if you look at these names, the
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names and air handout. you see some are famous, and some are not. some you have heard of but don't really know why, nor did i. make this point. there we go. daniel webster. what did he ever do? the base double. we don't -- most of us don't know. i didn't before i started. stephen douglass, he debated abraham lincoln. some of the people that we have heard of, but i just believe that what i heard was the whole story or in some cases simply wrong. look to rhode island. roger williams. the school that he founded to establish religious tolerance. true enough. what i did not know was that he did it for religious reasons. he was not kicked out of the
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massachusetts bay colony because he was some liberal guide. he was to purge in for the parents. a quick example. well, there are incidents in massachusetts. the colonial charter that created the colony begins with the words charles by the grace of god king of england, and roger williams said, how do we know he has the grace of god? we don't know. therefore to we will have the right to take this land? his fellow appeared since said, roger, he wouldn't keep quiet and eventually things like that got him kicked out. another name that is very misunderstood, and i want to take a few moments to talk about it because it is a springboard
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to the larger issue that i want to follow in the discussion tonight. mason and dixon. the famous line that they contributed to the map. the mason-dixon line, widely believed to be the separation of the free states from the slave states. absolutely incorrect. that is the mason-dixon line. not a line, but three. it was created or servite to have surveyed by and mason and dixon to as best they could mitigate conflicts in the colonial documents that created pennsylvania, maryland, delaware they don't quite know, but the phrase dixie comes from the named jeremiah, dixon. he was not a sevener. he was an american. based -- charles mason and jeremiah dixon or two very
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eminent british scientists. did mason and dixon to come over here to become surveyors of this line is the equivalent of giving mozart to play. they came here in 1763 before the revolution. in 1763 there was no prohibition of slavery in any of the colonies. in fact, this is most committed not all part of it. so the question becomes where do we get this phrase, mason-dixon line? referring to the free states. and the answer begins here. the louisiana purchase. president jefferson made this purchase, and very soon a question arose, what about slavery in this new region? it wasn't until 1820 that got resolved in what is called the missouri compromise.
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offered by henry clay and establishes a line. the key word is line. the missouri compromise is a line 36 degrees 30 minutes, an extension give or take for surveying of the boundary from the leveraging and and kentucky. it said that no new state or territory north of 36 degrees and 30 minutes can have slavery with the exception of missouri. after that was established, four years later -- and this is the earliest i can find. it may have been years before that. i found a reference by john randolph, a congressman, virginia. the earliest reference i confined to the mason-dixon line as a line dividing free states from slave states. he said on the floor of the congress, we who belong to that unfortunate portion of this
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confederacy, which is south mason-dixon line and these to the allegheny mountains have to make up our minds to perish or resort to the measures which we first proposed. so it is interesting that as early as 1824 and earlier already out in the open was the idea of southern independence from the union. so it was at that point that we started seeing the shorthand with the mason-dixon line. if you look closely, you will notice that parts of sleep on in areas and north of the mason-dixon line. delaware it goes up above. what is now west virginia. at that time still virginia. the panhandle sticking happen. you may be a will to see her out.
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>> new hampshire did not officially abolished slavery until the civil war. shorthand came into our language, but i want to talk about it because livery is one of the two underlying elements that i want to follow up tonight. there are people that because of slavery and established -- all over the american map. also, to talk to run another underlying element that came to be intwined the slavery. that is the vision of this man, thomas jefferson. in 1784 congress assigned jefferson to task coming up the way to create new states. we needed some kind of method for doing so. this was the proposal for new states that jefferson handed then, probably the first to
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strike you is, that is what we have combat nor did we keep most of those names. two of them survived. but jefferson, intriguing to me. he had a quest as well. when he issued this report and made the suggestion he made a statement. you may not quite follow everything he is suggesting, and not get into that after. he will recognize the quest. but now with a question to stand simply in this form, how many ultramontane territory, at least the territory west of the allegheny mountains, is exposed to produce the greatest and most immediate benefit to the inhabitants of the maritime states, the darker green states along the east.
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the plan would be laying it off into two or more states only. good faith requires us to press the question in its just form. how mated territories of the union be disposed does so as to produce the greatest degree of happiness to its inhabitants. there is the quest. jefferson had two things in mind. one was much smaller states then we ended up with. he believed that if a state was too big it would end up being too diverse and would eventually crumble. he knew of what he was speaking. virginia at that point in time included what is now virginia, kentucky, and west virginia. it was not a happy state. in fact, it later broke up. kentucky was seated right around this time. west region and, not until the
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civil war. but the other thing jefferson was talking about was who controls the senate. all the maritime stays there were talking about, the green states on the map have rivers and waterways that flow to the atlantic. west of the appellation. directly into the gulf and find their way to the mississippi river. at that point in time the mississippi river was controlled. what is not tennessee, since it has not yet been made a state, they proclaimed themselves the state. they talked about proclaiming themselves a republic and opening negotiations in spain for navigation along the mississippi river. congress had to get its act in gear pronto. they also wanted to -- the issue would be, in terms of spain, who would control the river.
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the beast revision -- i guess the biggest, when did congress began to tinker with the founding fathers' vision? we hear a lot about tinkering with the founding fathers' vision. it began 18 days after jefferson. they started to tinker with it. but the biggest change can't three years later when congress passed the northwest ordinance. that divided the area in light green, which was called the northwest territory. they also started creating and laying out what became the future boundaries for kentucky, tennessee, alabama, and mississippi. as you can see, they did not follow his vision at all. as you can see, some of these are, in fact, lines that exist today for indiana and ohio.
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you can also see who controls the senate. if you add up those states that we have in this region today, they do not equal the numbers. this was probably the biggest gerrymander in the history of the united states. now, the next question is what happens if that horizontal line to lake michigan. this man. more state lines than any other person with the exception of stephen a. douglas. he did it from jail. he was of flour merchant in western new york and dependent upon the mohawk river to transport the flour to the markets in the east. at the time the river was not fully navigable, and the company of that control navigation on the shipping company had
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promised the merchants moving in , a promise they would improve navigation. they went bankrupt. when you go bankrupt in those years you could to his prison. while he was in debtors' prison he wrote a series of lengthy articles published in newspapers using a pseudonym. if wasn't really for the rise in may. he described an idea that he had. that was the a canal. at the first person to imagine such a canal, but by the way, number one. what did i do? lets go back. there we go. that is that eyrie canal. it begins in buffalo. it crosses through western new york where it meets the hudson
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river, and then it goes down. it turns all of the great lakes into highway of commerce from the midwest to the in atlantic ocean. that geography of western new york so well. in new the geology, the underground structures so well. he knew the hydrology sell well that he wrote these reports with so much detail. it ended up but link. that the governor of new york used his reports as his bible in getting the legislature of new york to find the erie canal, and it was expensive. they call it plans ditch. the erie canal altered the proposed boundaries with the existing boundaries of every state of future state around all of the great lakes. beginning first , sorry.
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pennsylvania was negotiating its boundaries. and when it concluded them it ended up with a little tab at the western end of pennsylvania. a port on lake erie. just below you will see that the red line is the line from the ordinance of 1787 that congress had established. then congress moved the northern border of indiana and north 10 miles to give it a. you will also see ohio's border move north. this is not a straight 10 miles. the answer is congress did not move it. ohio waited. we will come back to that in a moment. box five and six on the map, over in that box on the left.
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that is wisconsin. to changes made due to the erie canal. one was this boundary number five which was taken away from the future state of wisconsin and given to the future state that would be created to the west, which is in minnesota which provided minnesota. bin number six shows the upper peninsula which extends off of wisconsin and was removed and given to michigan because of that line down there between the ohio and michigan. an ohio bogus constitution for statehood in 18 of three suspected that this line to east , 1787. keep in mind, just because it is on paper don't mean people know what it is. they suspected he would cut off
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the western river in ohio from its port. late yuri at toledo. and so they described the northern border a little differently. it described as going from the northern end of the day to the bottom of point of lake michigan stopping when it reaches the indian a boundary. that is why ohio has a slightly angle. congress -- the thing that they were doing, then recognized. they did not see it is that big a deal until the 1830's when this man became the boy governor of michigan. nineteen years old when president jackson appointed him to be the secretary of the territory of michigan. in essence that made him the governor because the governor at that point had basically gone
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fishing. the people in michigan were outraged. they sent letters to the president saying, please, get rid of this kid and give us a man as the governor. mason had a request, and it was to show that he had the moxie to lead this state. when he became first this in effect cover and let it the actual territorial governor, the early 1830's. a lot more canals being built because of the eureka now. one in particular was called the wabash and the erie canal. it connected the circle on the matter to the river. what that did was create a waterway through the entire land of the united states.
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i will start at the bottom. this is looking at this map. if he started normans' you go up to mississippi to the ohio river, the robber-river through the erie canal. into lake erie, to lake erie to the erie canal, to the hudson and the ocean. that is an incredible highlight. the hub is toledo. the territory of michigan. the challenge, the adjustment that ohio made. the governor of ohio said, hey, you our territory. you cannot alter a state line without our consent. i am abbreviating enormously. but in effect, yakima and his army is going to stop us?
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miami will stop the. we had to malicious face-to-face. what is known as the toledo war which almost sparked a full-scale combat but didn't because congress quickly intervened and said, how about this. we will give you this peninsula. wisconsin. probably no one living there. and if we do that, they will have its way. to simplify, okay, will take the deal. robert lucas went on to become the territorial governor of ohio -- iowa, and in that capacity we begin to return to thomas jefferson. a lucas had a quest.
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he was quite a character. i would like to take a moment to read you three excerpts from the times of robert lucas. the first is from the cleveland harold in 1838. so this is after he has one dispute with michigan and then just been appointed to become the territorial governor. one of the most deserving men in the party, and we don't not. he is an old-fashioned and honest and intelligent western pioneer. nice. the second is a letter that lucas wrote many years earlier during the war of 1812 when he was a young officer. he wrote this letter to a fellow officer. what is important to keep in mind, the words you're hearing, he put them in writing. never was there in more patriotic climate.
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more completely in their power to accomplish every object of their desire and the present. it must now be signed in disgrace for want of a general. shamefully opposed by it and the soul of a treacherous commander. first of all, the grammar is not perfect because this man myself educated, but smart. secondly, to put that in writing you could get in a lot of trouble. this was a man, as we saw with michigan and ohio and as we see here in the war of 1812, a pioneer, which is to say he would go and get what he wanted. a sample number three is from an ohio paper in 1832. this is before the conflict of mich. altogether. the regimen and something member
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that he is now, seduced a young lady who sued him for breach of marriage contract and got judgment against. when he put all his property out of his hands and nothing could be got he was put in jail for the death and then issued his orders for his regiment to come and rescue him from the custody of the law. well, they did not come and rescue him. he had to make good on his debt. this is one widely bull headed by. by that time he became that guy, by the time he became the governor of ohio and now the territorial governor of iowa, he still had all of that, but he had learned to do it within the ground rules. when he began -- well, let me go
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back one. he became the governor of iowa. ironically he immediately encountered an identical boundary conflict that he had in ohio. this was between the southern border of viola and the northern border of missouri. the only difference was that he was now the territorial governor opposing the governor of the state. and opposing the way the boundaries had been surveyed compared to the way they might have been stipulated. i will go into the details. the point is, you won. he played his cards differently. he was much more. ultimately i will one that conflict. lucas also wanted a different northern border for iowa. these lines actually makes sense in a way.
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they follow the mississippi river to the minnesota river. then there is a straight line in the northwest taking it over to the sioux river following that to the missouri river. not illogical. in fact, in its day it made sense in comparison to other states in the northwest territory. it would not look all that different. but, when i what came up for state had with the proposed border a congressman from ohio, opposed it. he reminded congress about jefferson's original vision in 1784 and out congress in 1787 stray from that vision. he went on to say, what has been the effect of this change? the vast and fertile region between the ohio, legs, and the mississippi to those five states
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there, have been reduced from 12 to 14 states to five at the most that can never have the ten votes in the senate. as an equitable compensation for this flagrant injustice i would make a series of small states on the opposite bank of the mississippi river. he then proposed a straight line order for the northern border of iowa. iowa had the non-voting delegate who oppose this. what is interesting, he said, you know, that is just an arbitrary line. the question that i want to deal with now, was it an arbitrary line? the answer to that begins with this man, stephen douglas. more than any other person on
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the map. one of those people that we have heard of him. he debated lincoln. he also beat lincoln. 1858 senate race. douglas won the erection teeseven election. he had a request. it was to become the president of the united states. he tried to do that by convincing this nation from the fighting over slavery. so the issue of slavery and the vision of thomas jefferson begins to become intertwined. starts here. the united states won the mexican war in 1848. in doing so the treaty that ended the war, the united states acquired this land in yellow. very quickly the question came up for the louisiana purchase, slavery because seveners,
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probably you could. that compromise line was not going to work. it was not going to maintain parity between free states and slave states. many of the state lines that douglas affected dealt with at missouri compromise line, and it dealt with in this bill. 1854, which douglas wrote. in this map the red line is the missouri compromise line. ..
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>> initially, he proposed the southern border of kansas at 36 degrees. it made it adjacent to the top of texas which entered the union in 1845, it followed along the bottom of missouri. but then he entered an amendment, and he had raised that boundary by one-half of one degree. that left a gap. that gap is now the panhandle of oklahoma. why did he do it, and by the way, what does all that have to do with the northern border of iowa? [laughter] this. by creating this new baseline at 37 degrees whether intentionally or not, i can't tell you because stephen douglas never spoke directly to what his intentions are, but what evolved in the upcoming years were a tier of
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prairie states with exactly three degrees of height. kansas, nebraska, north dakota and south dakota. and just to their west using the same baseline a tier of mountainous states less good agriculture with four degrees of height; colorado, wyoming and montana. and if you look at iowa, it has almost exactly three degrees of height. but more to the point what we see here is that jefferson's vision of states being created from a mathematical prototype has finally emerged on the map. in fact, congress also started frequently making these new states with seven degrees of width; north dakota, south dakota, wyoming, colorado, washington and oregon all have seven degrees of width. washington and oregon, you know, give or take because of the coast.
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others come close to seven degrees of width. so we have this prototype of jefferson that emerge. so we go from jefferson to robert lucas to samuel vinton to steven douglas, and jefferson returns to the american map. well, here he is again. when you leave here today, you will know why stephen douglas was famous before he debated a one-term congressman who lost the election and two years later ran for president. um, the other piece of legislation that dealt with slavery that stephen a. douglas was a great participant in was the compromise of 1850. that was a package of five bills, and he was involved in two of them in particular, but the one i want to talk about is texas. texas went it entered the union, it had been a republic and was much larger than the texas we have today. it continued further north all the way to wyoming tapering it
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as it went. it relinquished all of its land north of 36 degrees, 30 minutes because the missouri compromise was still in effect, and they had slavery in texas, and they wanted to keep it, so they left the united states at that land. but it still included all the land east of the rio grande which is today the eastern half of new mexico that you see here. it also still included a whole lot of debt that it had incurred in it years as a republic. so in 1850 this texas bill paid texas enough money so it could get out of debt, and in return bought this land that is today part of new mexico. and of those two lines that define the land that we bought from texas were established by stephen a. douglas. now, it's no big trick to understand that horizontal line at the bottom of the purchase that leaves el paso, an important be pass through the
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mountains in the state of texas. but this horizontal line, why did he put this line where it is? that's 103 degrees west longitude. why the -- how about 105 or 100? that's a nice round number. what's with 103 degrees? well, the answer to that surfaced in 1861 when the new mexico territory was divided in order to create the arizona territory. the delegate from the new mexico territory was a man named john watts, and it was through watts that this line dividing the territory to create arizona was proposed. a congressman from new york, william wheeler, questioned this line. he said, you know, the only reason you put this line here is because it continues from the line separating colorado and utah so that you get this nifty little four corner thing going
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on. watts disagreed with that, and the first thing he pointed out was that it created almost exactly equal territories out of new mexico and arizona. but he also spoke to the issue of race, and that's, that's where it really gets interesting to me. let me explain who this man at the bottom is, francisco perea. he came from one of the old and wealthy families, mexican families in what had been the mexican province of new mexico. as the united states was approaching the civil war, francisco went up and down the rio grande valley which is where virtually all of that hispanic population was centered urging them to remain loyal to the union. when the civil war broke out, in fact, arizona did become a state, but it became a confederate state. and it didn't divide itself
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along this vertical line, it divided along a horizontal line through the middle. the southern half was arizona, the northern half was new mexico. the union sent troops in to reclaim that land from confederate troops from texas who were defending it, and there were several battles, all of which were won by the union troops. and so this area was reclaimed by the union. among those union troops was francisco perea. something else about the hispanic population along the rio grande is that they were many of them darker skinned. and so this is what john watts, when we come back to congress in 1861, also spoke to in terms of this horizontal -- i keep changing it -- this vertical boundary that he proposed. i find his words fascinating. there are many men in the territory of new mexico who by living constantly in the open
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air and exposed to the rays of the burning sun have become bronzed in complexion. [laughter] he's sidestepping race. whatever may be their color, the treaty stipulations between the united states and the republic of mexico have invested them with all the privileges and immunities of american citizens. the first duty which the government owes to its people is to give both military and civil protection. in this case the government is under a double obligation. mexico was compelled to relinquish her right to a portion of her territory and her right to protect a portion of her people endeared to her by 10,000 pleasant memories and hopes and doubly endeared by 10,000 painful forebodings for the future. what painful forebodings for the future? well, the forebodings can be described in what was a five-letter word, a very dirty word among the hispanic
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population along the rio grande. i'll just spell it, t-e-x-a-s. [laughter] texans were people who had come through mexico and, one, two, three, it was an independent republic, then it became a state in the union, and now they were beginning to migrate into this area of arizona, and people, the hispanic population was nervous for their culture, for their future. if you look at the geometry of this line that john watts proposed, it puts the rio grande as best as possible in the center of the new mexico territory and largest population center, santa fe, is three degrees from texas and three degrees from arizona. creating a state or a future state six degrees wide and at the same time arizona, roughly six degrees wide in the amount of area that it would entail. for this geometry to work, you
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had to have a line at 103 degrees west longitude, the line that stephen a. douglas originally to posed. -- proposed. in my opinion that line is the most brilliantly located line on the american map. now, douglas' efforts were very controversial, particularly the kansas-nebraska act and the scrapping of government regulation of slavery. and there was an enormous amount of suspicion in this country in this runup to the civil war about both efforts by northerners and efforts by southerners. and one of those people voicing such suspicion was senator thomas hart benton of missouri. senator thomas hart benton was the great uncle of thomas hart benton, the great painter. but senator thomas hart benton paymented a very different picture. and he thought stephen dough --
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douglas' kansas-nebraska act was part of a conspiracy. i want to read to you what he said on the floor of the senate when they were debating the conspiracy. i must now look for the real object, the particular purpose for which it was manufactured -- the kansas-nebraska act -- and the grand movement of which it is the basis. first, the mission of mr. gadson of santa ana, it must have been conceived about the time of this bill. $50 million for as much mexican territory on our southern border as would make five or six states. secondly, the mission of ambassador sule to madrid, $250 million for cuba. we'll talk about cuba in a minute. this nebraska bill is only an entering wedge to future enterprises, a thing
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manufactured for a particular purpose, a steppingstone to a grand movement which is to develop itself in this country of ours. so what senator benton was saying is that he saw a nightmare in the offing, and it was based on three bad dreams. bad dream number one was the gadson purpose. james gadson also had a quest, he was a southerner, and i would say that this particular quest in his adult life was to preserve the culture and the lifestyle of his country as he saw it which is euphemistic. he wanted to preserve slavery. as a young man he was an officer in the military, he repeatedly tried to ingratiate himself to people such as john c. calhoun. he may not have been the brightest bulb in the chandelier
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because calhoun didn't pick up on him, and though i won't get into it at least in this talk at this moment, his mission to mexico got a little fouled up because of some of the things he did. but when he was dispatched by the united states government to go to mexico, it was to buy land for a railroad to go, create a transcontinental railroad that would parallel the transcontinental railroad being planned through the middle of the country. we talk today about big business and its involvement with government and government bailing it out or the amount of money that big business has in campaigns. at this point in his life, james gadson was a railroad president. and in 1853 the taxpayers in this country spent millions of dollars to acquire land so that the railroads could build a railroad that they could draw great profits from. but that was not benton's
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nightmare. benton's nightmare was the fact that we didn't need that land to create a southern continental railroad, transcontinental railroad. the white line that you see is the route that benton showed the senate could be built without making this purchase. and be it ended at san francisco which was a great port. this one that gadson was talking about ended at san diego which was just, at that point in time, a military base. and it went through god awful land where there was no commerce, no agriculture, no future for agriculture. why were they making a purchase way down there? benton suspected that there was a hidden agenda. that suspicion was fed by the fact that gadsden tried to purchase all that land in orange. and it wasn't $50 million. benton said in his speech he was authorized to spend up to $65
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million. mexico didn't want to sell any land to the united states, but they were broke from the mexican war with the united states, so santa ana was able to persuade his people to sell just enough land to raise just enough money so that they could arm themselves and defend themselves against the people to whom they were selling the land. [laughter] so you can see the gadsden purchase again on this map, but he wanted a great deal more. then there was bad dream number two. that was the kansas-nebraska act. by letting people decide for themselves, benton feared -- as did most -- that kansas would choose to become a slave state, and nebraska would be a free state. turned out after a great deal of violence and bloodshed that kansas ultimately became a free state, but benton had no way of knowing that in 1854. california had been admitted to the union as a single great, big
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state that did not have slavery, but they had debated becoming two states, and there was still a movement afoot to divide california into two states. someone prominent in that movement, by the way, was james gadsden. the new mexico territory had not yet been divided, but there was in the wind the idea that it may divide author sontally. and -- horizontally. and as we mentioned that moment back during the civil war that effort was made so that benton had the fear that there was a whole thing going on in the west there regarding slave states and free states. this is benton's nightmare number three; cuba. he mentioned ambassador sule trying to buy it from spain which turned out didn't work out. but there was a movement, a secret plan widely discussed in the newspapers -- [laughter] to raise a private army and invade cuba and to reenslave those cubans who were colored,
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either black or mixed blood, and then to offer cuba to the united states. now, this wasn't the plan of some kook. this plan was being organized by the governor of mississippi, john whitman, and it was less secret than the bay of pigs. what you're seeing up there are news clippings from before the effort was launched. the one at the top says "general whitman's contemplated dissent upon cuba." on the right the cuba movement preparations for invasion of cuba. i mean, it was just widely discussed in the papers but delicate because officially the government didn't know about it or they should have to stop it. right before whitman launched his invasion, president franklin pearce told him it was a no go,
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don't do it because the kansas-nebraska act had just been passed, and there was such an uproar, pearce feared the added uproar that an invasion of cuba would bring. so taken together bad dreams number one, two and three created this nightmare for benton, that there could be a belt of slave states that was large enough to defend itself and to sustain itself as an independent nation. so, in fact, he wasn't crazy for having those fears. there are countless people who have contributed to state boundaries, and aside from be all the white men that i've been talking about, i want to just quickly mention that there were people from all walks of life, there were native americans such
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as chief green mccurtain who sought to create a native american state called sequoia which would have occupied what is now the eastern side of oklahoma. there was sequoia who was involved in the negotiations that established the boundary between what is today oklahoma and arkansas, ironically and fittingly enough, that is a bent line border. chief standing bear impacted on what is the northern border of nebraska. there were african-americans. this is edward p. mccabe who sought to make oklahoma an african majority state. benjamin banker along with andrew -- [inaudible] surveyed the boundary line for the district of columbia in 1791. that's quite a gig for a black man in 1791. he was a fascinating figure.
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and even today eleanor holmes norton seeks to create voting rights to the district of columbia, but it's also proposed statement bill that would alter the boundaries by creating a federal enclave that would be separate of the district of columbia or what would then be called, i suppose, the state of new columbia. there were hispanics, i mentioned francisco perea. this is jose who was the leading voice for puerto rico becoming a state. they didn't follow his advice, but they did elect him the governor right after, so they had a great deal of admiration for jose vale. and there were some women. women were hard to get information on because they weren't given a seat at the table, so i'm not -- i think they had a great deal more impact and influence than i know of at least, but among them
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queen -- [inaudible] of hawaii, her efforts failed on behalf of the hawaiian nation but did change the boundaries of the united states. this is clarina nichols who was involved in the convention at -- the creation of kansas. and once again eleanor holmes norton. to me, all these people and quests create a mural of an ongoing progression of americans. why they did what they did and when and where they did it turns that mural when you step away from it into a portrait of who we are today. and that's what this book of mine is all about. thank you very much. [applause] >> we have time for some questions. >> [inaudible]
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[laughter] >> yeah. i wasn't speaking to the blurb. the blurb connects to new hampshire, ethan allen. and a lot of people go, ethan allen, that's vermont. green mountain boys. the green mountain boys came into existence because at the time there was no vermont. new hampshire always believed that the land west of, well, what is today vermont was part of new hampshire. but the king of england gave it in 1763, i believe, to new york. well, by that time new hampshire had already sold land in be what is today -- in what is today vermont and deeded it in new hampshire. then new york started selling in some cases the same land and deeding it in new york. some of that land was owned by ethan allen and his brothers, among others, and deeded in new
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hampshire. and they formed a vigilante group, truly a vigilante group called the green mountain boys that went after these new yorkers who were arriving and laying claim to the new hampshire lands. ethan allen never built furniture, by the way, never made furniture. [laughter] but he burned a good deal of it. [laughter] and he was, he was a tough character. when the revolution broke out, he was also a smart character, and he thought, i think i can play my cards differently with the green mountain boys. and those are the green mountain boys that we learned about in high school history. so there is the connection with new hampshire that was advertised. yes, ma'am. >> [inaudible] >> yeah. oklahoma was originally a territory called indian territory. it mainly was used when they ethnically-cleansed the indians
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from southeastern states. they were shipped out to reservations in the oklahoma. approaching the turn of the century, but the groundwork for this was laid earlier, it became a state. and doing that meant congress had to change the way land was titled in that territory. it was held by tribes, and the dawes act, i believe, around 1900, 1899 gave citizenship to indians in those tribes in return for the tribes redistributing the land so that it was titled by individual indians which then enabled it to be sold and broken up. sort of a complicated thing. what's fascinating, though, to me most about oklahoma's statehood because the lines were pretty much in place from the surrounding states is there were three movements that were taking place virtually simultaneously.
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the first was this attempt by the native american tribes to create their own state to join together. and they had a convention to do this, and at the same time they were doing that -- that would have been, the tribal lands is when edward mccabe and others were urging through advertisements and brochures african-americans to migrate to the newly-opened lands in western oklahoma so that it could become an african-american majority state. to escape the persecution mainly in the south. and theodore roosevelt, the president, told both sides neither one of these is going to happen. i'm going to veto it, so stop. and then there was a third convention which was, basically, well, it included native americans and whites, but blacks were not welcome that created
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the state of oklahoma which wanted to embed in their constitution white supremacy. and to do that, they had to define a white person, and they did it in a way that indian were white people. [laughter] but other delegates there said teddy roosevelt is never going to sign a law with that in the constitution, so they backed away from that and simply created oklahoma. and then the first act of the oklahoma legislature was to segregate the railway cars of oklahoma. >> will you, please, discuss the relationship between thomas hart benton and john fremont in california and also maybe brigham young in utah and the mormons? >> fremont was a real, i think it was a son-in-law of fremont. so benton was a backer of fremont who was a general in the
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united states army in the mexican war and a bit of a loose cannon. and without benton he probably wouldn't be, i guess, in history books at all because there were efforts to court-martial him. i don't pursue them much in this book because they don't ultimately affect a boundary. you asked about someone else? >> brigham young. >> brigham young. he was a mormon leader. he led the largest contingent of mormons from illinois to utah in the 1847-'48. he envisioned a creation of a state called desiree which would have filled pretty much everything but california. congress was not going to let a state like that be created. they weren't happy about the size of california or texas. but texas and california created themselves. i don't have time to go into each one of those, but they're
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in the books. but i'll tell you an interesting thing about brigham young and desiree. he dispatched a more man elder named anson kaul to form a port at the furthest navigable point on the colorado river. the colorado river empties into the gulf of california. that's between if you look at your maps that long spit that comes down from california, that water between that and mexico is the gulf of california. that's where the colorado river ends. today there's not much there because of irrigation and things draining in the river, but back then it was navigable all the way up to a certain point, and that's where anson kaul created a port, and that was very important to commerce in the mormons in what they hoped would be desiree but even utah. it was in arizona, as it turned out, once congress created the lines. after the civil war, payback
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time to arizona for trying to become a confederate state, and this triangle at the western end of the arizona colony got given to north dakota and became the triangle at the bottom of nevada, and one of the reasons was kaulville, this important landing on the colorado river, navigable point. you can see kaulville today but you have to go under 3-400 feet of water because the hoover dam on the colorado river created lake mead, and kaulville, being right at that channel, is on the bottom of lake mead. yes, sir. >> your book talks about the retrosession back to virginia of alexandria, and it also talks about the effort for statehood of the district. has retro session back to maryland been considered instead, and why has it not been
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undertaken this same manner in which it was done in virginia? >> yeah. it's one of the things that people talk about. it's interesting, just today in "the washington post" i was reading letters to the editor about a piece, i guess, appeared a few days ago where someone was suggesting retrosession to maryland, and today they were writing letters saying, no, no, not for this reason or that. so the direct answer to your question is, it is on the table today. please don't ask me to answer that discussion -- enter that discussion that was going on in the post about if is it a good idea or not because there were so many things that were absent or wrong in that. one of them was that maryland by virtue of the constitution would have to agree no one seemed to be kind of recognizing that, i'm trying to remember -- oh, the other was that one person was
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saying, you know this keeps getting blocked by the republicans because they don't want 300 and some thousand registered democrats in the district of columbia becoming voters in congressional elections. the reality is it is not the democrats who support d.c. voting rights, and the republicans who oppose it. there have been times when the house and senate have been controlled by democrats, a democratic president, and they still haven't acted on d.c. voting rights or statehood. also there are some surprisingly prominent republicans who have supported voting rights for the district of columbia. one of the most interesting that i encountered was a rather narrow issue. it was kenneth starr who headed the investigation into whitewater and clinton's, you know, pick dill lows who testified before congress on this more narrow issue of would a constitutional amendment be required for voting statehood
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and he said no and based it on supreme court precedents. so, therefore, when i read these letters today i thought, you know, chiming in on this would be like arguing whether or not you can steal third base in football. [laughter] the discussion just gets wild and crazy. let me go to the back for one. just to keep this guy on his toes. >> apart from the d.c. issue, are the other state boundaries settled at this point, or are there still debates going on over state boundaries? >> in 2008 the georgia legislature passed a resolution seeking to relocate it boundary with tennessee which had been incorrectly surveyed and wanting it correctly surveyed. actually, they didn't even want the whole correction, just one mile of correction which would give them access to the tennessee river. they needed water, still do
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really, desperately in georgia. now, no state line can be altered, this is in the constitution, without the consent of both states that are involved and congress. tennessee said, no. [laughter] so, you know, it's still -- i think it's still an issue in georgia. i don't think it's an issue in tennessee, so it probably won't happen. there are a number of disputes that go on regarding very technical things. there was one just resolved between maryland and virginia regarding the potomac river which theoretically is entirely part of maryland and up to the virginia shore, and virginia had intake pipe for their water, and whether or not they were taking water from maryland or not. so there are a number of things like that. yes, sir. >> either during or shortly after the civil war, supposedly there was a map done to redivide the confederate states to make
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them entirely new states, different borders. a friend of mine year ago said he saw that map. i've never been able to find it. have you heard this story? have you ever seen that map? >> never heard anything about it, but eu8 -- i'll google around. [laughter] i will tell you though where you can, i bet, get the answer. and i imagine there's some contact on e-mail or through the internet to do it, and that is the geography and map division of the library of congress. they're fantastic, the staff over there. and maybe you could contact a reference librarian through -- do you know where i mean? we have here a librarian from the newspaper and current periodical division who was fantastic help to me in this and who is also my wife. [laughter] yes, sir. >> what -- [inaudible] bethel, maine, and that was once known as qanta.
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do these -- canada. do these same people affect the international borders? >> that border was, actually, it was described in the treaty ending the revolution which makes sense. you would describe what is this country that we're now becoming and everyone's recognizing. but england said, no, no, you misunderstood our wording. [laughter] maybe yes, maybe no. but after the war of 1812 there was a long and at times violent dispute between the united states and i'll say canada, it's really england, but that's the country in control, something called the -- [inaudible] war and things. ultimately, it was negotiated by daniel webster who was the secretary of state at that point, and they came up with the line in the treaty known as the webster-ashburton treaty. what's fascinating to me about the treaty is you would probably think, well, webster sat down opposite ashburton and they
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negotiated. they chatted, they knew each other from before. webster was really negotiating with maine. and he went through a very clever -- he was a courtroom lawyer and a fabulous magician in the courtroom. and he just had a brilliant strategy to force maine step by step by step to accept that it's not going to get the boundary that, in fact, it's probably legally entitled to. and i imagine that's where the town you're talking about officially became important to the united states, it may have been at times considered part of canada. yes. >> for those of us who came in from virginia, what are the stories about lord fairfax? you've got him listed -- >> yes. lord fairfax through inheritances had a title to an enormous portion of virginia along the potomac river. and he had it surveyed. this is, we're going back to
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colonial times. so he could begin to sell parts of it, title it. and the surveyors, the colonial boundaries separating maryland and virginia was the source of the potomac river. well, the potomac river is made up of different branches, and when you get out west, there's the north potomac and can the south potomac. this happens lots of times, there's a protocol for that. either the deeper branch or the branch that extends further is the branch that is referred to in such a boundary. the north branch of the potomac river does both, hence it's the boundary. but it's not the boundary his surveyors surveyed -- i'm sorry, the southern branch. i just reversed that. the southern branch is the longer and the deeper, that should be the boundary. but his surveyors surveyed the northern branch, they made virginia bigger than the charter really stipulated.
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one of those -- and maryland challenged it. lord baltimore heard about this, challenged it. number of things delayed the challenge, and then we come to after the revolution, and now it's states going back and forth. but maryland face add problem after the revolution -- faced a problem after the revolution with challenging it because one of the surveyors many years back was a teenager really named george washington. [laughter] and george washington was the one mediating the dispute. [laughter] other things were disputed too, and so maryland said let's not do this part of the dispute right now. and so they didn't bring it up in front of george washington. then they tried bringing it up later, but, you know, by then it was too late because land had been deeded and sold by virginia along the north branch of the potomac. and once that starts happening, it's very difficult to get the supreme court to say, no, you're right, you know? all you people, you're in
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maryland now. so that in a nutshell is lord fairfax. yes, sir. yes, ma'am. >> [inaudible] and the fact that the rivers tend to be boundaries. does that end up -- [inaudible] something in the original book about an island in the midst of illinois, and i just was curious as to whether those kinds of disputes are apt to begin to surface in our current day because of how the water is rearranging itself. >> right. the answer is, yes, it caused disputes, and the answer is, no, not in our current day. and here's why. you know, when you look at the map east to west, you'll see that the lines get straighter and straighter. one of the reasons for that that i didn't go into today is the development of railroads. with railroads rivers were no
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longer as vital. they were vital for agriculture and water distribution, but they were no longer as vital as boundaries because railroads could transport goods. rivers have a problem. some of them shift their channels. the mississippi is notorious for doing it, the missouri has done it and the ohio has filled in between islands and mainland. so if you go down, in fact, i was doing a radio show a while back, and a man called in and he said, i was hunting in southern illinois with my brother, and the sheriff came up and said, you can't hunt here. and we said, here's our license. he said, that's an illinois license, this is missouri. we said, what are you talking about, the river's over here. he said it was over there, but it's over here, and you're still in missouri, and you can't hunt here. [laughter] the supreme court has consistently held that when a river changes its course, the boundary does not. so there are lots of places,
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downtown omaha, nebraska, has an area that's really iowa, and it is iowa, technically iowa, because of a flood on the missouri river that changed the course and left the little lake back there. but the river's over here. it did cause disputes, but over the years the consistency of the court in saying that the boundary does not change has resulted in no longer being something that creates disputes. there's a little tension right now between indiana and kentucky because of a slightly different thing, an island in the ohio river, and the entire river -- ohio river, some rivers are divided down the middle, some are not. the ohio is entirely part of kentucky up to the indiana shore. so there's an island very near indiana that has filled in between indiana and the island,
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and it's kentucky. and it's enough land that they're thinking maybe a race track, maybe a casino, what can we do here? [laughter] and indiana's not too wild about that. but, you know, conflict but not much i think they can do. >> great. well, i want to thank mark stein for sharing your extraordinarily meticulous details. [applause] i thank all of you for coming again, and we'll see you outside. don't forget your takeaway on the way out. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> this event was hosted by the smithsonian institution here in washington d.c. the to

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