tv Book Discussion on The Invisibles CSPAN April 9, 2016 8:00am-9:01am EDT
>> tyler perry at california state university on the 12 american presidents who were slave owners. eight of them while in office. for the complete american history tv weekend schedule go to c-span.org. you're watching book tv on c-span2 with top nonfiction authors every weekend. book tv, television for serious readers. ..
>> following us on twitter at booktv or facebook, facebook.com/booktv. booktv 48 hours of nonfiction books and authors, television for serious readers. now we're going to kick off this weekend with author jesse hollins talk about the lives of slaves in the white house. >> i'll begin by saying that i'm delighted to welcome jesse hollins as he presents his second book invisible young story of african-americans in the white house. hollins is a highly media authority who has contributed hundreds of articles of aron
american history, politics, news, and makes regular appearances on washington journal. abc news now, using egg exchange and political reporter for associated press and one of the supreme court correspondents and in his first black black men built the capitol he pointed out structure, monuments including capital statue u of freedom and latest offering he has his focus on extense and historically overlooked role of an african-american that played in the history the white house. of our first 12 presidents of our country ten were slave owners. each brought slaves with them to the call toll. here he represents experiences of these men and families and 1600 pennsylvania and profile early chief executive attitudes
towards race. bryson author of it's a black, white thing praises hollins for making visible, courage, expertise and fort tiewt calling them a contribution it a complete history of our complex nation, one that is worth savoring. and publishes for answering many hard historical questions and revealing how little tribute has been given for the contribution of enslaved person to the normal functioning of our early american institutions. without further pause i present jesse hollins. [applause] >> good evening everyone. >> say everybody about the snow -- [laughter] i'm so glad to actually be here
tonight. this is actually going to be my first time talking in public about this book. i made a couple of presentations to friends, and even it a group of peers. but this is first time i'm taking this film on the road basically, and a little nervous. but i'm glad everyone actually came out to sit and listen tonight. well as you already heard the tights of the book is the "invisibles untold story of african-americans in the white house and it's a project i've been working on since 2008, 2009. it actually started out as an idea i had while i was writing on the campaign bus of then senator barack obama. we had -- we were back if in chicago where he had gone for a weekend, a weekend stay at his housing.
and i remember sitting on the campaign bus and thinking what am i going to write next? i had just finished up my first bock called black men built the scoi african-american history in and around washington d.c. and i knew i wanted a follow-up. and everyone was talking about the historic barack obama campaign if he wins, he would be the first black president. he'd be the first african-american president to live inside the white house. and i knew there was something there but i couldn't put my hands on it. i sat there and thought an thought. and then it hit me. part of what had i did in any first book was talk about howive slays helped build u.s. capitol in the white house. and then my mind went a little further.
well if they helped build the white house, then may must have helped the white house run because those presidents slave holders in their home plantation they didn't stop when they moved to washington. they must have brought some of them with them. there had to be a sorry there. that meant that barack obama wouldn't be the first black man to live in the white house. he would just be the first president. but no one knew who these people were. and i -- i knew i had right then and there that's what i was going to write about the slaves who lived in the who i say. white house. after i had that -- i remember being so excited that i had this idea. i remember calling my ed or to and saying this is what i want to write. this is what i want to do.
she said calm down. make sure it is something that you think is worthy of spending time on. after i wrote my first book i knew i wanted to become better at writing book so i actually -- went back up to college and made this -- people here. yeah. and so the invisibles started out as my thesis so i've been working o on this since i entered in 2012 and came out in 2012, and the thesis is frankly the first part of the book and i kept writingen on it or for a couple of year. i would to acknowledge here one person by the way before i go any putt because all of the time i took wring this book would
have been imonl if not for the support of my wife carol is sit right there -- none of this -- none of this would exist without her. but what the book does, invisibles, i hope restores some of the dignity that these people lost through their circumstances. they were slaves of the u.s. president. but everyone though they lived at the most famous address in the united states, very little is known about their lives. and even to this day, motion -- most of what we learn about them coming from what other people thought. because to the people in their times, they were property.
they weren't worth recording their lives weren't worth recording outside of ledgers, letters, so hopefully what this does is bring the a little bit of that dignity back to them. there are a couple passages froe book i want to read to you tonight. and i'll start with this one. over the last few weeks there's been a curfuffle about a children's book in the publishing world about george washington's slaves there was a children's book that was going to be published called a birthday cake for george washington. this was a book that was going to talk about how happy two of george washington's slaves were for making a birthday cake for george washington. and as you might -- might not be surprised -- people weren't very happy about the fact that they were going to write the book about how happy
these people were to be enslaved and a birthday cake for george washington. well when i heard about this, i'm like wait a minute. i know that name. that person that they -- book ftion going to be about was a slave named hercules. hercules was one of these white house slaves that i write about. and i want to read you a little bit about him because as you can see from the reading hercules wasn't very happy to be a slave. to set this up, george washington never actually lived inside the white house. he live inside executive mansion in both new york and philadelphia. and this -- at this time period george washington is getting ready to end his second term of president. and he's -- hercules is with him in the executive mansion in the
president's house which is still will in philadelphia so i'll pick up there. hercules was a clear favorite of the washington family. who described him in glowing ternals for years afterward. quote, he was a dark brown man, little if any. on usual side yet possess of such muscular power to entitle him to be compared with his name sake of fabulous history. set upon him, upon the death, martha washington ordered that hercules be given three bottles of rum to bury his wife and skills and discipline in the kitchen were legendary. this quote, the chief cook gloried in the cleanliness and nicety of his kitchen under his iron discipline. woe to his underlean. respect, respond to be
discovered on the table or dressers or if utensils did not shine like polished silver. offended these particulars, there was no arrest or punishment for judge in execution went hand-in-hand he said. because of his skills hercules got privileges other slaves could only dream of. they were tickets to see a play in the southwest threat or or and spectacular acrobatics at the circus according to account bocks. herk lose allowed to on his own business in philadelphia and keep the money he made. slaves sold the kitchen slop, leftover foods like animal skins, used tea leave and rendered tallow not used in the president's meals to outsiders to make money of his own. apparently with the washington family's blessing. and for a slave who was unused
to having any money of his own, herk hercules side business was one or two hundred declares year. they reported, what did hercules do with his money? he decided that he was tired of the clothes that washington provided him and went out and purchased all new clothes of his own. his, quote, his linen was unexception whiteness and waistcoat shoes polished with large buck covering a part of the foot. velvet collar a long wap chain dangling from his fog, a cuffed hat an gold headed cane completed the grand costume of the celebrated dandies. for there were dandies if those days of the president's kitchen
he said. herk hercules became known or for his wardrobe and stroll proudly down the streets of philadelphia to see and be seen. many were not surprised on beholding such extraordinary a personage while others who knew him would make a formal and respectful bow. that they might receive and return the salute of one of the most polished gentleman ins various dandy of nearly 0 -- 60 years ago. they said, devolted him to the top of the slave society and in the eyes of the white american society. there's a portrait believed to be of hercules by stiewrk same art white house did the most famous painting of george washington. hercules gave it across history, quote, a large cinnamon colored man in e mac lack chef white and
a toke saying jessica harris author of the welcome table. african-american heritage cooking. but despite his fancy clothes, and woundous culinary creations for the president, with hiss family an their bests. hercules was still a slave one of the frequent back and forth trips to mowbt vernon required to ensure that its philadelphia slaves never became free. and then only judge escaped from the white house that changed washington's attitude toward his beloved slaves. they had loyalty to thaib master and hercules tried to quell any doubt that washington had about whether he was thinking about following judges example according to lear, washington's
secretary in 1791. quote, some day i presume somebody i presume insinuated to him that the motive for sending him home so long pfer you was expected there was to preskt has taking advantage of a six month resident many -- in this place. when he was possessed of this idea he appeared to be extremely unand and although he made not the least objection to going, yet he said he was mortified to the last degree that it could be entertained of his fidelity. so much he was touched that left no doubt his sincerity and to show him that there was no apprehension of that kind entertained of him knew that washington told him that he should not go to that time but remain into the expiration of six months and then go home to prepare for your arrival there. he's continued here till this time and tomorrow takes us us
departure for virginia. and then there was richmond hercules's son was clearly not a fan of washington. 14 when he cam to philadelphia richmond lasted one year and sent back to mount vernon in 1971 and washington got his first i inkling he might not bes content in captivity as he thought. richmond caught stealing money at mount vernon in november 1796 according to a letter washington september while the president was w apping up his affairs with pfltd. washington clearly hoped that hercules had nothing to do request it but decided to just incase slave cook was concocting something with its son, quote, i hope richmond would make an example of for robbery he committed on. i wish he may not have put upon it by his father although i had
no -- i had any us pis of honesty of the lat for the purpose of a journey together, washington said in a letter to william pearce, on november 14th, 1796, quote, this will make a watch. with it being suspected by or of them, necessary, nor would i have suspicion to communicate to any other less it produce more harm than good. richmond was demoted to simple laborer. but now washington was worried about herk lose so during final months in pfltd when he sent his slaves back to mount vernon to ensure they stayed his property he ordered that herk hercules left behind when it took time back to philadelphia. this had to have come to a shock by now become accustomed to city life. herk hercules suddenly found
himself that november in the course linen and woven of a field slave. washington ordered him place out in the field with the other slaves digging clay for 100,000 bricks. spreading dung, grubbing bushes and smashing stones into sand to coat houses on the property. according to farm reports and a november memo from washington farm manager qoapt that will keep them out of idleness and mischief, washington wrote. by february hercules had had had enough. before dawn on february 22nd, 1797 slaves chef made its break of freedom from mount vernon. interestingly enough, hercules chose george washington 65th birthday as the day his escape. perhaps hoping that the
festivities around the president celebration would mask his disperns or perhaps thinking that anyone who saw him out in ohm roads would assume that well known chef was schismly out for curing an item for washington's party. regardless of reasoners herculessen play was successful. he simply vanished with no no one the wilder. there's not been found any evidence of a man hunt or even acknowledgment. weekly farm recover discovered recently by mount vernon historian mary b. thompson says hercules abskonded so maybe getting stuff for that birthday cake. thfsz what life was really luke
when people very trying to write a book saying that george washington slaves were happy to be there and glad to be bake him a birthday cake. well, you know, i don't think hercules is very happy to be there. there are stories like this all throughout the white house slaves. a lot of them were victims of circumstance and they were born into slavery. a lot of them didn't like it. and made the best of the circumstances as they could. that's not to say everyone who -- every slaift who worked in the white house wasn't happy. most of them weren't. there were exceptions, though. out of all of the slaves lives i've looked at in the white
house, there was at least one person i found who actually wouldn't escape even when given a chance. he decided that it was better to be a slave in the white house than to be free. and i want to read you a little bit about him. this is someone named a lyrics alias pope. because of his popularity after jane polk's death we know a little bit more about his life outside of the white house. he was born in north carolina in 1805 and moved to tennessee when he was just a baby. pope would brag for rest of his life that he encountered every president from john quincy adams through grover cleeferld include andrew jackson who made a great
impression on the young slave, quote, it was his delight all his life to tell how famous sol orier noticed him. general jackson thought that kernel pope live newspaper wrote in later life when he was ready to leave and around for his horse a great gray magnificent animal. reared back in his majestic way and putting his hand in his pocket pulled out a six and four pen that he gave the 7-year-old fellow. pope was given to the future president when he was a 12-year-old child and james polk was headed to college after serving as a valet and body servant he became a tradition of driving his master to washington, d.c. during his political career. and staying it in the capitol with him. having spent his had entire adult life with pope he became very attached and wouldn't leave even when given the chance. while on his way to washington
for the first time as president, they were riding onboard steam board china had it docked in sins gnat tree and a group of ab abolitionists and asked if e they have them onboard because their intent was to free them. a friend of polk went to the president elect to tell the president elect what was happening. and sent back this message wish you to know his coachman and coachman's wife are at present he thinks eating their dinner. he say that you're at perfect liberty to interview them and offer them whatever inducements you luke. he says further more that should his servants wish to go with you, they are free to go. but according to author aromo slaves were not ready to go
expecting to be hailed as delivering angel and thanked with shouts of hallelujah, praise the lord they were first bewildered and then irate. they could not persuade the pair to leave their master he said in the book the president and the anything and could have a complete ugg u uncle tom a black man more in love with captor than the idea freedom he he proved over and over where his loyalties were even with a chance given to be free. quote, television custom to drive his master in his carriage to washington. the first journey was made in 1826 when james k. polk elected member of congress on one of these trips after the tennessean had become president, a nooght was spent at wilkes bar pennsylvania, when had he was getting his horses ready, several white men approached him
and asked him if he didn't know he was free. they told him he was in a state where a man cannot be held a slave and all he had to do was leave and his master couldn't do a thing. quote do you think i want to go back on the president that way? no sir. you don't know me. i'd sooner die than run off. the president happened to be near and heard this. he was greatly pleased and the next day surprise his fateful valet by spag of him and told him wherever he wanted his freedom he could have it. polk wouldn't hear of it and stayed with the president for the president's entire life. quote he was always a trusted and faithful servant said polk. so as you can see there were at least one person -- [laughter] who at the white house slaves and wouldn't take freedom even when it was offered to him at least twice . [laughter] but the majority of these men
and women didn't want to be there. this was their life. this is what life handed them and they maded best out of the life they could have had. part of the reason why i got into this project is because these people's lives were truly invisible. we didn't know anything about them. we didn't know where they came from or finished their time at the white house with the president. most of the presidents it would their slaves that they would be freed after the presidents died. and many of them kept those promises. some did not. some presidents even said that we'll free you after i die or
after my wife dies. now, while that may seem to be altruistic. many of the first ladies who outlived their husbands had a little problem here. the people who were cooking their food, flifs their mouse who they depended on for their day-to-day lives all they had between them and freedom was one person's life. so quite a few first ladies freed the -- their household slaves before -- they died. and a couple of them even mention it in their letters that they thought it was prudent not to quite wait to long. to keep -- to keep to free their slaves. u now --
i've had a couple of people ask me since the bock has been published, why? why is the book called the invisibles? part of the reason why i'm dock doing this is a lot of these stories were not readily available. because these people were enslaved, their lives were literally invid e-visible to find their stories we had to go back and look at ledge rs and read between lines of presidential memoirs. read between lines of presidential letters to try to piece together some of their stories to give their name and dignity back. a lot of the work is here.
but one of the things i continually say is this is still just the first step. because despite this being history we're still finding out new things every day. i actually have someone e-mail me just what's the day? two days ago with a painting she thought she found that could be our first time finding a true painting of hercules when she found in italy so we're still finding out new things every day. and so by collecting these stories, by talking about these people, we're giving these men and women, these slave who is lived inside the white house a little bit back of what was taken from them l. we're giving them a little bit of their history back.
we're giving them a little bit of their loof back. we're giving them a little bit of their dignity back and hopefully the more we talk about this, and more people read this, this will be a new chapter in our country's history when we look and when we talk about the white house we don't see just the president and we don't see just the first lady and furs family but we see the people who made the white house work. in the earliest day of this country. thank you. [applause] >> question and answer session -- if you have a question please raise your hand and i'll be right there. >> hi, i find this really fascinating, i have two questions. one, it's not clear from your
presentation when slaves thought at the white house. your reference to washington was that it was new york and pennsylvania , and hercules wasn't in the white house yet so unclear to me that adam or jefferson or when and then the second question is who owned the slaves? was this owned by the united states government? >> good questions. good questions. >> well george washington as i said earlier lived in executive mansions in both new york and philadelphia. now, the only two of the first -- only o two of the first presidents to not own slaves were john adams and this is son john quincy a.d. adams they were quakers so because of their religion they didn't believe in slavery so first slaves to actually live inside the white
house belonged to thomas jefferson. john a.d. adams moved into the white house first but thomas jefferson was a president who started the tradition of white house slaves. john adams complained that the white house, a southern mansion by the way was a huge putlace b at that point congress didn't provide funding for a white house staff. so unlike george washington who was able to just bring in slaves from mount vernon to philadelphia and to new york john adams had to go out and hire people to work in the white house at domestics there so he was spending money out of his own pocket for -- for a way for maids, for cooks for the white house. so when thomas jefferson moved in, he basically fires all of
those workers that john adams has brought in to work in the white house and brings up -- brings in hi own slaves because for him it's cheaper. cheaper to bring someone you don't have to pay than it is to go out and hire someone. that's a thread that i found looking at the book looking at almost all of the presidents. many of them frankly most of them at spoipt in their life said said slavely was morally wrong. thomas jefferson defended and worked against the idea of permanent slave is rei in virginia before before he started buying slaves. but the reason they kept slaves is because that was how they made money. the slaves worked the farm. the slaves brought free lab labor for their farmer. the only way they could stay
rich are frankly was to keep slaves. this is why i think many of them wanted to free their slaves after they died. because then -- they would need the money anymore. so e-yeah you can be free now that i don't need you anymore but most presidents knew that slavery was wrong. james madison u knew it. ep pretty much all the of the signs of the declaration of independence knew it was whereon, but to stay part of the wealthier class, they decided that they would rather be a slave owner than not it mountain to a difference between being rich and being poor. i'm sorry. slaves were actually owned the president personally. u now, as far as we can tell so far -- only a couple of presidents bought slaves while living in the white house.
andrew jackson actually purchased slaves with his money while working in the white house. another president who did as well was james polk but he did it secretly because by the time polk becomes president the civil war is getting closer and country is being divided over the idea of slavery. so polk didn't want people to know that he was buying slaves. so he would pay a middle man to go down south, buy a slave, and then transfer the slave to polk's custody. and polk made sure that he never used any of his money that he got as president to bite slave. he used only his personal person thinking that there would be a -- if people found out they would see a difference between polk the person buy sleighs and polk the president buying sleighs people by the way never found out. but the slaves were all
personally owned by the president. as far as we can tell. i dealt with part of black men built the capitol as far as we can tell so far u.s. government itself never owned slaves. the presidents personally did. >> my name is deborah i work with tf for change clarify that government profited off people who were slave, government made taxes of course -- but i wanted to mention two things i'm grad you mentioned hercules so book was published and interesting to know that scholastic released birthday cake for george washington on january 5th and received very negative and legitimately negative reviews and scholastic defended it to the hilt. it was not until a widespread
protest was launched by early childhood educators, black lives matter movement activists, librarian that after four days they recalled it now people will probably see discussion still geng going on and reported it in the post that i saying they're didn't recall it because of the protest. they didn't recall it because of the critique they recalled it because of their own high starpdz which is -- [laughter] the thing is, the reason it's important to mention to folks here is that fewer than 10% of published is by thoatdz of color. the reason it was successful was led by women of color is a big teal and for scholastic like your book title making a history from a week ago history and from
hundreds of years ago. glad to see your book out and started with story hercules also comment on black history of the white house. >> he did a great book. clarence's book i raid his book. i loved it. it's a really good book. he's actually one of the people that i wanted to meet and haven't had a chance to. there's been some great books written about the white house and ed did a lot of good work on finding frankly the first receipt that we've seen from the slave who is actually built the capitol but there's been -- i actually felt -- feel sort of unfair me for me to deal with this type of subject because people have working on so many different parts of this history. i actually didn't --
get to meet will haygood back in summer time. he wrote the butler. so it's great now to see a lot of attention being brought to these time periods inside the white house. actually i was just reading today about the movie coming out that should be coming out, birth of the nation this is going to be a great movie. like i said i'm so glad to see that these stories are now being told. i actually -- asked by an interviewer the other day that when i talk about these stories, he said -- the interviewerrer said it sounds like you're smiling. you're happy. you're talking about all of these stories of slaves, but people like randall robinson when they talk they're angry, they're mad but you're smiling, you're happy.
why? well, and my answer so that is -- i'm happy because these stories are finally being told. yeah, i'm mad at the situation that these people had to live through. but you don't know how many people have worked, how hard so many people have worked to get these stories out. i'm smiling and i'm excited because -- and xooted because i'm getting to tell the stories i wanted to read my entire life. i'm excited because these are the type of stories that people not only want to reads but should read. i'm not mad while i'm telling a story that i want people to hear -- [laughter] >> jetion see thank you so much for your work it's so important. i wanted to know about your process but how you decided when
you had enough materials to start writing, if you research right, was it in parallel subsequently to speak your process please. >> my training was as a journalist so i've been a journalist with the associated press now for almost 24 years. so i started out my research as i would researching any story i was writing for ap. i started out by calling the people i thought knew the most. and talking to them. one of the things that i had to learn and to me -- for me this was biggest difference between being a journalist and author is that as a journalist, i can write a
story in my head. because i'm usually writing arranged 700, l 00 words i can cope that organized and i know where i'm gong from beginning to end. but as an author i had to relearn how to outline, and i wasted frankly about six months before i realized that i had to sit dun and plan out where i wanted to go, and it's really sort of -- going to say funny but sort of sad. my mother taught me 7th and 8th grade english and she taught me outlining. so i remembered that phone call i made back home and i said you know, mom. remember when you said to me about outlining when i was in the 8th grade. can you repeat that to me again? [laughter] she just laughed. one of the first thingings i did
was frankly just make a timeline. this is what i want to say, this is where it goes and then research, research, research. i spent about a year just doing it nothing but research. frankly, my first year at college and started with my thesis and i spent that first year researching involved or hours and hours at the national archives, hours and hours in the library of congress phone calls between me and historians at sherwood forest at the hermon, mount vernon and i have to say here that -- people will help you. even when you don't expect them. i truly didn't expect researches
at presidential plantations to want to talk about slavery. to want to rehash what for them had to be an uncomfortable part of their president's history. but everywhere i turned, no matter what had question i had, i always found that people were willing to help. so after the research came, getting the research then came the writing. and frankly for me that writing part was the most difficult. because as a journalist i'm so used to just dealing with straight facts. this is what happened. today this is what happened. but this story deserved more than just a factual retelling so i had to create a narrative or for each slave and then figure out u how all of these stories
fit together into a whole. and that is where -- that's where i will admit i had the most help and greatest help from my mentor at the college. they were fabulous and they herped me piece this together. into an acceptable whole. in there is your answer. a scattered shot but frankly if i had to give anybody was advicd frankly this was given to me by another friend of mine who is also an author your book is only as good as your outis line. because if you don't know where you are going i promise you in a project that is 0, 80,000 words if you don't know where you're going by 100 words you're already lost. work on your outline as hard as you work on your book, and
you'll be fine. >> hi. so iftion i was wondering what most significant difficulties you found in records, and also what were largest questions that you had that were unanswered after finishing the book. >> of the biggest challenges of doing this is that it's going to be difficult to find t the information that you want. when i originally proposed doing this project i was hoping to find a family who -- work in the white white house as slaves hopefully then continue the tradition aside freed men and worked in the white house as butler as a butler so find a
family who bridged both of those time periods. i couldn't find that. what i ended up doing was looking at each president and finding, trying to finding someone who disturb was enslaved by that president who represented the time period and what i wanted to say. it's very difficult i will admit it's difficult because quite a few of the people i feature in the book didn't write anything about themselves° that are lifetime u now there were some look paul who was a slave of james madison who actually wrote the first tell all book about life in the white house. so i actually had a book to look at at that point. and only judge famous for escaping george washington she was actually interviewed by newspapers later on in her life that gave me a little bit to work with.
but a lot of what i had too deal were lines of ledger or mention in a presidential letter to someone and piecing those bits and pieces together into a coherent storyline that wasn't easy and frankly it took a long time. but hopefully if you can put little piece of the story, a little piece of the story together, you get to a -- to a large or cohesive narrative which is what i hopefully have done here. now your second question is what had the biggest unanswered questions i had at the end of this project. do i remember that rought? if i had my way, i wish i would have been able to find more about the relatives and the people who were related to the slaves i feature in the story now.
i wish i could find the facets children and grandchildren an great grandchildren now. e i wish -- reason i say et is because joseph fawcett first slave who had escaped and was caught on a white house ground. he escaped and ran to white house because thomas jefferson was using his wife as a cook and he had gotten word that she was success. so he ran away from there to get to the white house. to see about his wife and he was captured at the white house and sent back. i wish i had -- i i could connect these stories to a lot of people and to people in the families today.
that's -- one of the things that i wasn't able to do because a lot of record of where these slaves went after their presidents who owned them dieded, it's very hard to trace them through to today. some of them we can. i think there's been at least one slave family. one family of descendent of a slave invited back to the white house. paul people invited back to the qhows. but they're the only family of a slave that's actually been able to foot back and place where their ancestors was enslaved so i really wish i could find more of the people who were related to the people i feature in this book. that's one of the things i wish i had time and resources to do. >> last question.
thank you i wanted to clarify when you said federal government didn't own any slaves was that just in the white house or o -- like were there any slaves in congress, you said they were building capitol were those not federal slaves? >> no, they weren't they were rented by the federal government. they department boy any slaves at all. with the capitol frankly if you think back to washington, d.c. basically it was a swamp. and no workers wanted to come live in a swamp. so what the federal government did is rented out slaves from slave owners virginia and maryland. and they brought them here to work on the qhows and white house and capitol but the federal government never actually purchased them. they only rented them for that
time period. so the federal government was responsible for feeding them and give them a blanket and the work that the slaves did, all of the municipal money went to the slave owner but they never were actual property of the federal government at that time. [inaudible] [applause] signing portion of our evening was very much incaptivated and want to find out more about this important history. signing over here. feel free to get a free book signing and get the booked a bookstore. thank you for coming out. [applause]
[inaudible] you're watching booktv on c-span2 television for serious readsers here's a look at prime time tonight. kick off the evening at 8:30 p.m. eastern with a report on how the well paish system has failed the poor. on afterwards at 10 p.m. eastern former congressman jaycee recalls from public office. at 11 steve olson recalling volcanic eruption and midnight eastern time a reair of our first day of coverage from 21st annual los angeles tiles peflt of book that happens tonight on
c-span2's booktv. >> his routine in terms of showing arbitrariness of being able to regulate what is called indecent speech could not be -- >> not obscene but a new category of speech that had been created indecent speech that he was proud of that. [laughter] >> well going to ask about that. how do we feel about the fact that his routine and technically i guess in some ways you can say it proved his point. but in another way, i mean, the free speech side lost. and -- ngt they did. >> how did your father feel about that decision? well you know he called it an a accident of history that he was involved in the kas. he wasn't -- you know he didn't play the album. wba in new york played the album and it was in the middle of the around.
the way my dad describes the moment is a professional moralist played seven dirty words look this 17-year-old son had never heard these words an my dad's argument was there are two buttons on a radio offswitch and one that changes the station. if you don't like the speech choose dircht speech but this man complained to fcc that ended up to in the supreme court. my dad's greatest joy is that all nine justices had to listen -- [laughter] to the album to the piece that was play the seven dirty words and that the actual routine is in -- is in the book. to the supreme court. [laughter] right now you can bo to local law library and look up the case
and routine is typed out for everyone to see forever. he took great, great pride in that but he feels it was an act of history. so at 25 i went become to ucla to get my bachelor and bake a communication major and wufer one of the classes required to take was first amendment class my favorite class loved it. almost became look a first amendment lawyer. very close and then law school. oh -- but my professor i'm in a classroom of 100, 150 maybe a little bigger than this size of a classroom and my professor first u day of class talking about class and how he loved teaching and he ran a school and first amendment guy, and he said my favorite thing about teaching this class is that we'll study the pacific case and i'll get to do george seven dirty words for you. now this become like a regular occurrence in my life like somewhere innocently minding my own business, an my father
intrudes on my life. an it was really one of those moments where i saw so this was in -- 80 -- 0 i saw like my tad really had this incredible impact on the culture at large. and the part was get getting up to the professor and going hi, i just want to let you know -- ofso professor said to me, oh, could your dad come. would he come? and do the seven dire tear words for us. so i went to my dad so i'm taking this class and explain the whole thing and said we're studying pacific disand profess would love for you to come and my dad was so cute and interesting husband -- reaction he was like i don't know nothing about case. it's an a accident of history that it was me. and a going on and on about it. i go dad, i don't think they're
asking you to know the law. i think they want you to come and be george and say the seven dirty words with and he was so articling about it and that shows my father's humility a lot about his place in the culture and what he can. >> you said watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. here's a look at some upcoming bock fairs and festivalling happening around the country this weekend live from university of southern california for the 21st annual los angeles times festival of books, visit our website for the full event schedule. then on saturday april 16 st lye from maryland capitol for annapolis book festival include npr diane and pulitzer prize winner jim winer and look for our coverage of book expo america publishing industry annual gathering features hundreds of books and authors.
later in the month live from maryland for annual book festival featuring fox news host juan williams and washington post columnist aj dion for more information about the book fairs and festival booktv will be covering and watch preeftion festival coverage click the book fair tab on our website booktv .org. katherine ross is next on booktv lpszs and censorship takes look at the way schools have limited the free speech of students. ...