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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  August 28, 2011 7:30pm-8:00pm EDT

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and he had done these interviews back in 1991 as part of his work on his master's degree at the university of kentucky. he had done these interviews and written papers and he was giving these old slideshow -- not old slideshow, these presentations to rotary groups, columbus clubs, you know, historic frankfurt had a presentation i remember. he was on the road and getting the strong beat if people knew that was the bad part of town, but it really was a good part of town and this is why. similes again come swinging too far in the other direction at times, saying they never locked their doors and i don't know what these people are talking about. that's where i became really interested in seeing the two sides of history being sort of battered about and curious as to
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not just the story of the neighborhood, but looking at how the process of creating history actually happened. and so, that's when i gravitated to the collection and well, this is a story that needs to be told. and we are back with more from frankfort, kentucky. next, brad asher recounts letters exchanged chewing sani ballard and cecilia, while accompanying this ballard on a trip to niagara falls. this is about 20 minutes. >> when did frankfurt and cecilia to meet? i guess they met when cecilia was purchased by fannie's father and that happened in 1831.
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and she was just an infant. it was really a purchase of the mother with the intent in her arms essentially and that is when they met. and at that time, fanny had to come a younger sister and younger brother and her younger sister very young. it's the most likely, mary, who was cecelia's mother was purchased as a nursemaid for the intent. and so that is when they would meet and when the hostel came together enough cash in. >> so they kind of grew up together? >> they did go out together. and the younger children, fanny's younger brother and sister died young in the mid-1830s, both one right after the other. so you can imagine this big family of four go to a family of
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six. it goes to a family of four and all of a sudden fanny is no longer the big sister. she's a little girl again. and the person nearest to her age is cecelia. so they do grow up as companions and probably something close to friends when they were younger. at that point, fanny would not have had a lot of slave mistress expectations on her. not yet. and cecelia would have had chores and tasks, but she wouldn't than a nonessential personnel in terms of running the household for mrs. thurston. so it was a law, loan relationship. really cecelia's whole life he can with fanny. >> when did the rules change?
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>> well, they started to change when cecelia came of age. she was what is known as the queen of night, which is the celebration of may day here in town and they would craft a may queen. it was a public celebration. it was done privately. he was kind of a big coming out for prominent doubters. so she would've been viewed as desirable, a marriage that and there was about that time that fanny's father gave cecelia as a gift directly to fanny as a coming-of-age gift and this kind of ace had no to your future as a slaveholding woman and you need to learn to manage slave property. so it would have been out that time that he would've moved from what i think is the horizontal companionship to a more vertical
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relationship mistresses slaves. >> what affected that have have on its relationship? >> is hard to tell from the archive. they don't comment directly. from other sources and other things we know, you know that would attenuate that relationship and make it -- it would change the tone. for one thing, it would separate cecelia more and more from her mother and as a household slave, she would've still been kind to under the control someone of her mother. once she becomes fanny's personal mate and this her way from her mother and into fanny found. it will derive an cecilia amore. she is who she wants. cecelia is not, but cecelia was going to have a role in getting
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fanny dressed and passing messages back and forth from different households about who is interested, who she likes, who she doesn't like, what such and such is wearing. so it's going to drive home the difference really profoundly between what the slaves life is like and what a free person's life is like. that will drive a wedge between any two people. and then there is always cecilia's uncertainty that is the married in the side of the house, that changes her life entirely, separate her mother. who knows if she has domestic service and going to sell her off. so it injects a lot of uncertainty and distressed into their relationship. >> wended the family take their trip to niagara falls? >> in 1846, fanny had spent the summer -- i'm sorry, the winter
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with relatives in washington d.c. since there was a wedding involved, a cousin of hers was getting married, it was a chance to see and be seen in washington society. so most likely, cecelia would've gone with her and then in april, her father, fanny's father, charles comes to d.c. and they take a trip up the coast to niagara. so sometime in late april, but made they are in niagara falls and that is where cecelia mixer bid for freedom. >> how does she do that? >> again, we don't really know because it's not in the records exactly. fanny's son says one fine morning they woke up and saw she was gone. she blames it until intentioned abolitionists and on the border.
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but you have to think that cecilia made a decision they are and knew where she was. and it is a short little ferry ride from the river eight minutes for a man to the issue across the niagara river. we know there was an active african-american community and niagara falls that took an interest in slaves came to visit that often help them make their way to canada. so most likely she got in touch with some of the black waiters and the black status of the hotels and they guided her to a proper man and she just got in the boat across the river. and that was that. and somehow, according to see
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any sign -- fanny sound, they puzzled out how they could contact her nhra to send her clothes and money. so it doesn't appear that they make strenuous efforts to get her back. so rogers says they wanted to seize cecelia and they were kind of shut down the people that helped her because they didn't want them to grab her or persuade her to come back. so she was immediately across the border then he may probably. >> do we know what the reaction was of cecelia leaving? >> rogers clark, fanny's son wrote about it years later and says she was upset and that's about the extent of it. it seemed to me about it argue in the book is her father was more upset than fanny because fanny is 20, has had cecelia as
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personal property for five, six years. they've been companions. it's not like a real slaveowning relationship. whereas we know her father had several slaves, several escapes and did everything in his power to keep those slaves back. so would be called her father more than it be called her. they didn't understand it. they didn't understand why this growth be taken in, but they had felt remained very humane would've left them. that's a very common sentiment among slaveholders when their slaves escape yet they don't get it. they don't understand why they would leave the slave situation, why they would leave the family. >> do we know when cecelia had fanny contact him? >> we don't know exactly. the first letter they had. the archives is dated 1850 --
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not kerry member. 1855 i think. but it refers to several letters that come before. so early 1850s, fanny is writing -- or cecelia is writing from canada. she settled in toronto when she left niagara, almost to toronto directly within a year. so she is writing back to fanny from canada sending those letters. so it took a while, took several years for her to feel secure enough that she could venture for the right to fanny, to know where she was. so if you let them know where you are, they might send someone after you. >> she was writing -- she's
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really has a subtext of all cecelia's letters are as my mother still in your household? how wishy? she really wants to establish contact with her mother. and fanny is the vehicle through which she has to do that. and it is interesting because fanny is replying to cecelia's letters. you can get the gist of cecelia's letters from fanny. she said you ask about your mother and she tells her. but her letters are very chatty, talking about the different people in her life and then she finally says u.s. departure mother. she still in your house, et cetera, et cetera. she wants to see you and all this stuff. so she gets the information. you get the gist of cecelia's letters from fanny. she treats him like a regular correspondence, whereas they send us urgency or desperation
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is when she escaped, she had to leave her mother and brother behind. so that tears at her and she's trying to to use those letters, that friendship is the will to move through her to get back to her family and to maintain that connection. >> what was cecelia's lifelike in toronto? >> it seems to be pretty good. she moved pretty quickly through the conventional milestones that we associate with slaves who have gained their freedom. she adopts a name for herself. she had not had that e4. she gets married -- legally married to a man she meets in toronto. they buy property. she goes to work for herself, earning her own money and she has a child in freedom, who will
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never know the bonds of slavery. so in that way, her life in canada is pretty good. in a kind of issue rich? no, she works hard. they never feel entirely secure. we have the mortgage documents on the house, but you know they are borrowing money for various purposes. so by all normal measures, she is better off, but there's a hint of instability in their lives. and there's hands and i wouldn't push this too far, but there are hints that she might have been that good in and the antislavery cause. she is contact with abolition, people over the border. she's living in toronto, part of the african-american community. so it would seem odd if they had
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debates going on. >> what happened to fanny? >> fanny went back home. she with her father and married in 1848. really her life hasn't changed much from the loss of cecelia. she does not -- her dad doesn't give her another slave to replace her, but by that time, her mother has died and she is the leading white female in the household anyway. so she is already managing the household. in 1848, she marries him and named andrew ballard and ballard has a few slaves. he is kind of fun to struggling lawyer and of the bool full bar, so he is ambitious, use a few properties, but isn't anywhere near the social class of the thirst ends. her family is large the aware of the max. there is just a great material
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about their courtship and the problems they have an amateur professing undying love for her if she's questioning whether he might be after the money or after her family connection. you would say no, no. it's really germanic and romantic. all this stuff was preserved. so she eventually married him and in an unusual move, he moves into their house. so it is fanny and andrew and charles william, her father in a big house on walnuts tree, which may have been grown to the old man who is not losing his daughter. he is gaining a son-in-law. and then, she does like 19th century women do, start saving kids. they have five kids. one dies in infancy and so she has four sons and a daughter.
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between 1848 and 1858. so she's busy. and she's just becomes a kind of of -- established, stable member of the lead louisville society. >> how long to fanny and cecelia write to each other? >> about five years. it was from 18521859. through the course of that course on it, you can see fanny's ideas about slavery kind of change. in the first level, she said your mom is still with us. she likes to see you. if you never get to see her again, maybe it's each other and having your towards the middle of the correspondence she starts to say you don't have anything to fear for me if you want to come back and see your mom, i
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would never reinflate you. i've always viewed slavery is a diabolical institution. that doesn't mean we are going to for your mother, but i understand your situation. by the last few letters, she has kind of work a deal where she free us ilha's mother if cecelia can raise the money to compensate them for the purchase and i'm not $100 off for each year of service. so it $600 it would expire sometime after the civil war actually starts. 186218. 1856 is not letter comes. it says it will cost you -- it became a $600, we will for your mom and not $100 off each year until 1862 and that we will free her. cecelia was never able to raise the money.
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one of the mortgages i talked to was you wonder if they mortgage the house to raise a bit of money. $600 when you are making a monthly salary is maybe 50 is a lot of money. and so, they were never able to raise money. toward the end of cecelia's stay in canada, which she leaves in 1860, her house and inside. so she is a widow, was the second coming of a much given up hope. and the last letter we have is fanny saying, you know come the speaker raising money to buy your mother's freedom. tell us how much you have in maybe we can advance a few years. but there's no record -- i mean, i kept wishing for some kind of happy ending, or mary, her mother is a silly with the
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united. there is no record of her finding cecelia again hard than ever reuniting. we really don't know what happened. >> you said that fanny -- the tone of her letter change. what you think changed her view on slavery? >> you know, i don't know. you know, could be several factors. one is you've got an increasingly fearless debate in kentucky, and the nation about slavery. it is possible she was just persuaded by the religious arguments because her reservations about slavery seem to be somewhat religious. so maybe she was touched by the evangelical appeal that the abolitionists appeal than it's a violation of god. certainly what she's hearing from the pulpit where she
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worships does not support that at all. the guy who is director of the episcopal church is strong, true slavery. and so he is not going to give her that. the other thing is she suffered a lot. she suffered a lot of lost her life. she lost her mom, loses her daughter's or she loses her brother and sister. in the 1850s, her brother is struck by lightning than killed in a freakish accident. so i think there might be -- she may be sympathizing with cecelia. so it may be this personal connection. that may explain the change in tone. and again, i i speculate on a few recent, but i don't really know. it's not clear. >> how did you come across the letters? >> left. i was at the sofa and club -- the pilsen historical society working on a different project
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and i had asked and archivists to retrieves the mother materials totally unrelated. when they were and that's that, i was browsing through the camelot and i happen to see this collection of letters from fanny thurston ballard to her slave living in canada. from that moment i thought, well, when i finish this first project, come back and look at the letters. i wanted to come back and look at the letters and not in the house on the chase to map out both their lives. >> how long did it take to put the book together? the mac way too long. i started when my son was in preschool. he's entering the eighth grade. so probably eat for nine years. now, i wrote another book in between there. they took a two-year break, but of his feet or nine years i was plugging away at it.
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>> the book is out now? >> it's not out yet. it comes out in october. it is available for pre-order, but is not published yet. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. i enjoyed it. >> up next on booktv, adam goodheart from the civil war columnist for "the new york times" recounts the worst year the civil war in 1861. he examines the revolutionary fervor that ran to the nation prior to the start of the war and the momentum that led to the early clashes. april 12, 2011 marked the 120th anniversary of the mark
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of the civil war. this is just over an hour. [applause] >> thank you. much, steve. i am a great love for this wonderful institution at the national constitution center. i also want to remind you we have an exhibit upstairs and prosperity hall between diners hall and the main exhibit area on link and then i hope you're okay to take a look at some time in the coming weeks. it is obligatory for persons again in this chair to praise the author and to praise his book. unethically, i think anyone who agrees to perform my role as
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intraocular hefty genuinely believe that on the other occasions in which i done that, i've done this. but this really is an occasion in which i want to go a little bit over the top because they do think adam is a very special is your hand and this is a very, very national book. as he described adam's career, he really has been at a remarkably early age, a very important public intellectual, speaking to a wide audience about a wide variety of subjects, i think since he graduated from harvard not that long ago. and now, he is undertaken -- it's hard to believe -- by the way, either really ratty copy of the book in my hand because this is the publishers bound galley proof. >> that's what an author likes to see, a really ragged document.
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>> thought i read it. >> i hope you read it. last night >> this is a very, very important vote. and it's his first. he's in a lot of writing before this time, but this is the kind of look you would expect from a scholar who had written fibers xers of his touch books. it really does give a remarkable picture of his first year leading up to and family coming about in the civil war. adam hasner style in in which he makes very important general points about the american nature and nation in about the of the civil war. but he does so by just telling some absolutely compelling anecdotes about individuals, many of whom you'll be familiar with, but many of whom you will not until a year fred allen's
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book. so i must say somewhat shameless, by this book. okay, so i'm going to get to business. now, adam has been a very busy man in the past cup of days with all sorts of public appearances. maybe some of you saw the interview with him in the "philadelphia inquirer." he was on fresh air with terry gross yesterday. he was on radio times this morning and of course as steve frank mentioned, yesterday was the 150th anniversary of the firing on fort sumter, the anniversary of the surrender of fort sumter. and we will eventually catch those moments because i know adam wants to get to those moments. but i want to begin at the beginning of adam spoke by asking about december 1860. abraham lincoln a 10 alleged
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that the president. i think it is fair to say a few southern politicians are pretty grumpy about this outcome. i see a few south carolinians are more than grumpy. they are enraged by his neocon. and you introduced as to the relatively unknown, at least unique, and unheralded man, nature by bert andrus and who has been given command of the federal garrison at fort moultrie, also when harbor. in particular, help us understand what is going on in anderson's mind as he is giving the command of what might be a hopeless task. >> guest: well, i do want to thank you for your introduction and also the part about being young. i've gotten us a couple times. it just sort of thought, only in the context of civil war historians to someone who is 40 years old get to be called this kid all the time. anyway, as a kid.
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but anyhow, i am glad you brought up this character of robert andersen because he is one of my favorite characters in all the book. he is the first year of of the union cause, largely forgotten today by most people except for the real sort of civil war that. and he is fascinating to me because he is a very well at ichiro. he is sort of an accidental euro, which to me is the most interesting kind. he's a southerner, from kentucky. he comes from a slaveholding background and in fact, his wife was the daughter of a wealthy planter and sold off the slaves that she had inherited. and he has a career officer in the u.s. army who finds himself tatian at this sort of sleepy little post in charleston

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