tv Daniel Sharfstein Discusses Thunder in the Mountains CSPAN April 23, 2017 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT
>> this so wonderful to be here. these kinds of places with a cultural institution and we remember very well of the dark days of 2011 when there was no bookstore in town. and now fast-forward through today the national endowment for the humanities is under the existential threat and i am taking a page from tucker who was here a couple weeks ago in she was talking about those public conversations the dollar supported by the
nih and the southern festival of books efforts would not exist without the nih fellowship by received that the independent scholar back in 2004 which took me on of the practice of law to give me the time in the space to begin work, first book to have a career as a professor here in asheville. to be one more lawyer in the world that is probably something we do need -- donee need. i have spent five full years working on thunder in the mountain. with the process like that with a marathon and the
sprint every day you just have to go back to read to give it your all. the friendship and the conversation and the excitement that we found from so many people here in nashville kdd energy and the inspiration i needed to get this done. i owe so much to the community we have here in asheville but we've think of this book as a national book but it actually takes place as far away as you can get from asheville and it takes place in the most in the west if you look at that cellular coverage that sliver of nothingness where
this takes place and i learned a the hard way when i know this the be a project that would be spending my time on the first call to the vanderbilt allergy contest to sea of they could eject me with something without having a horrible reaction. so thunder in the mountain takes place far away but the history hits close to home. for civil war and reconstruction are a crucial moment for america when the foundation was laid for the battle that we are still fighting over the concourse of liberty and equality in the relationship between race and citizenship the
proper size and scope and focus of government, think about it. in 1865 united states was liberty and equality to the world and fought a long and bloody struggle to abolish slavery and the government was devoting itself turning millions of people into citizens. congress created a new agency to redistribute the land to help those people get paying jobs with the schools and hospitals and orphanages and asylum the first big social welfare agency in american history.
but 1900 america was following a very different course instead of working to integrate all body of politics that higher purpose of government had shifted all of that policy making energy making the nation free with sifting and sorting of segregation and disenfranchisement was the rule of the south in the informal rule so every two or three days in african-american was lynched somewhere in the south. every two or three days over decades. 1900 it chinese immigrants were banned from the u.s.
places like ellis island were places of exclusion that would guard and secure and maintain the integrity it was defined as the racial and when negative racial purity. and messaging from san juan in to be a colonial subject so from 1865 from 1900 the emancipation to empire it is a stunning turn of the purpose and direction. with our current. >> there are a lot of
lessons we can draw from decades of reconstruction. the struggle and the idea is that this the abroad transformation in the years following reconstruction that is how real people would seek inexperienced that ethical transformation to focus on to important but underappreciated americans and the native american chief named justice -- joseph who is the leader of a small band in the far northeastern oregon. who was sea? a yankee and west point graduate with piercing blue
eyes and a beard that basically would put disease the top to shame. [laughter] grade writing about late 19th century soldiers and settlers there are some anyways to describe a huge beard. filling now while they were riding. but for me and had big beard. but the turning point in his life in 1857 when god started to speak to him he was 26 years old old, desperately lonely and
depressed while battling clouds of mosquitos in the worst most posting a mention. they call it a field for self denial. we'll come to tampa. [laughter] as he was about to resign from the army buddies stayed and he fought for bull run. he lost his right arm during the peninsular campaign almost to the shoulder reading bill letters of of a challenge before he write his - - lost his right arm that within a few months he
went right back to the front end was one of ash - - shermans commanders fighting for the union away to serve god of the kingdom on earth. >> as the civil war was ending he was tasked to have a bold new experiment and the agency's task was to give concrete meaning of meaning and the quality that was pulled they pronounced but not defined in the emancipation proclamation and the 13th and 14th amendment. and then right after the civil war how free is free?
and to be undeniably crucial . the histories of reconstruction has cast how word as a flawed hero. to a body those limitations to make the rebel south. and then the yankees stepfather. ended doesn't sound that great. and constantly to meet men and women along the union army lines in every and counter convince them all the of more of a crucial factor of african-american
equality. with a white supremacist views. to parse the meaning of a quality. and as they saw them as a unitary quality and with the bookie integrated his church in washington and channeled a tremendous amount and for blackmun and women is established in washington d.c. and 1860's seven? to be a theological school? and has to be a law school.
and then also was named for howard university but he thought his role in reconstruction was god's providence and was convinced this would be the cause of the rest of his life. so was wondering are my best days? then this happened. but then it all fell apart. but the bureau's mission was compressed and with the politics of the nation to fundamentally shift. to be a lightning rod for the reconstruction. in the bureau lost all types of credibility that would
cause his wife to miscarry the eighth child and howard nearly went broke defending themselves from corruption. so what do you do when your life's work that to see the meaning is destroyed. searching for redemption he thought he could find that not by leaving government by protesting what it was turning into tuesday answer. with a familiar dilemma serving one demonstration. after being exonerated to rejoin that active duty military and the department
of the of columbia? they assume him and his friends to me n a merciful exile. the break from his life and washington. and as with so many other americans. and then struggled to make sense of the new american order. what did he do to the west? and with the reservation policy was a fantasy every construction connecting them and how with the audit could be done peacefully over a few years. but in the summer of 1877 he
led a military campaign and then brief used to leave the territory. and then to go from oregon and idaho and a one tena hot creating yellowstone national park. and then to cut straight north through montana threw the buffalo plains trying to reach canada with close to 1400 miles with the roughest terrain in the country. but then early october 1877 just one day away from the border they were starving and freezing and devastated.
the surviving leader was the chief nemesis. the my book under the mountain to be translated and as much as this is about how word, but in the current time there is discussion of the nature to move our politicians will list the chief justice he met and negotiated with him. someone who has emerged as a spokesman in the early
1870's about 30 years old. outranks by many of their chiefs mendez the blackfoot lakota. it to make an immediate impression if for one thing over 6 feet and towered over how word. and rabbi to think is a little shorter than me. and was strikingly handsome and people negotiated with him with those mesmerizing encounters. you could clutching a hand with strength and immense
confidence and also communicated a certain vulnerability. he wrote that joseph had looked into his soul while revealing his motives in turn. and the all manner of romantic description and when joseph argued to be their ancestral territory being has the universal liberty and equality to change america. to even live as other men live. to free to stop and trade
where i choose to follow the religion of my father's and to obey every law. we recognize this the modern american right but howard would immediately recognize the rhetoric the vision of what it means to be an american citizen. that the time they first met howard bill one thing that's surprising with my research is how often does this have argued the case in the five years leading up to the war in 1872 that the valley was
put into the public domain and they have divided data. and that was a real challenge that we could think that was the and it was just the beginning. to figure out how to move the federal government to change official policy and from that incredible isolated mountain valley 2500 miles from washington and when i say isolated mountain valley what does that mean? i got this sense of that riding into the valley it was so right knuckle of the drive with a hairpin turns and then you think survive that over the next 14 miles
but then trying to move into the valley as they roll along abilities mountains then take apart their wagon climb to the top of the of white and then they put them back together and tied as an anchor to their wagon and roller-coaster their way into the valley this was a remote place from washington d.c. and to make matters more difficult he did not even speak english and the original trade language so what did he do if david feller retreated into the mountains to plead his case
that every federal official he could possibly find with going to the regional supervisor then he pressed his claim that joseph was right and convinced many of them and what is amazing is almost immediately that every single meeting that he had just one guy 2500 miles from washington what can i do? but after he began advocating president grant signed executive order reserving a substantial portion of the of what to the pneumatic first band. given back to indian tribe was no small achievement in
the end no congressional delegation led immediately appealed and and ultimately by 1875 that led to the second executive order to open the settlement once again. bisbee easily could have been the ending of this that an order from the president was just a final statement of what would be the he did not see that second executive order but convinced multiple army officers and also asked repeatedly if they were allowed to go washington to
meet face-to-face and joseph intuitively understood how the american state worked to have many faces with many competing authorities the power in america was but in so many different ways among federal, state, and local government and legislative executives in the judicial branches between civilian and military authorities overlapping agencies that compete with each other all the time. the call that a lab for procedures similar league choreograph america after the civil war was increasingly governed from the executive branch the way that we live now.
and to get more adept at in - - implementing policies policy-making executive lovell with a tremendous amount of discretionary. and then beg the subjects and only someone else to turn to. and then to figure it out. and to live through that kind of governing and saw chief justice joseph not as bridges the bidding in the process someone who killed
baby covered by approved force. and how this would work with the tribe. to take that conciliatory path and he gave them 30 days with the herds of thousands of forces of cattle and those rivers that were to be crossed and the salmon. these were perverse that you could cross that howard himself described filled with mountain banks. i'll the single-minded but
the military victory does not mean redemption for howard unless he was looking for it. but to surrender power word was no longer the hero of his own story. and yen he publicized to discuss the chief that way if largely because of how word because of his statement that he declared will fight no more. but in the end was chief justice and not general howard the was the inspiration to general
rights activists. in my book i explore how they met joseph at the surrender and also how the nephew had that story alive. and then to enable the celebrity to out with his own. and to make him a leading figure at the end of the 19th century. but howard agreed that trade deal the abolition when he played his part to copper the west to build the new regime but with those old
values to a new power to which changing nation. it is so poignant and soul moving it is easy to overlook. a full package of rights as an american and more specifically trying to define the citizenship in the age of big government. to participate in the contentious struggle until we are heard. if they represent a set of ideas is arguably we need more than ever. thank you. [applause]
part because the chief justice became such a celebrity right around with the chief justice died lots of people the most prominent was eight she printer - - sheep rancher but he sold his farm in ohio move to the valley to be near the native americans but they wound up in exile in north-central washington and there was of longstanding to be a migrant
young warrior to get the conflict and to find an interpreter lost his arm in the philippines and the movie when negative in the army and started to tell story and then he realized what america needed was from that point the view and it became the cause of the rest of his life. over the next 35 years as they could possibly find to put wild west shows as
wanted to be a writer. why don't know. maybe it is fun to join in the french foreign legion mumbai novels. then received a letter back that said i have never been more ashamed when i receive that letter from you. from a very strict presbyterian family could not even whistle on the sabbath. if he made enough money to retire from the practice of law and then went from a bohemian poet t.s. letters and diaries and journals
there and spending lot of time there is a wonderful travel guide that is the route you could take with the winnebago or the for by for you are a boulder person then i am. and it is amazing to see the valley and to get the sense of the mountains there are these moments with david described the battle and those that our shooting so
how can you actually detect the face of somebody who wish shooting at you? and then go to the battlefields basically the size of this room of those different elevations in you can see everyone who shooting at you so to get a sense that is a deeper than the grand canyon the looks like chanting'' gentle rolling prairie. and then the earth falls away its other vivid dated reference it is the end of the earth so litmus be the
boundary that you cannot get past this. what is amazing sending this to the east these families live their lives going up and down the canyons and away it taught me something that we will see a mountain is a miracle and the flatland is everyday. but you get a sense of what this says stake in the war but amazon almost to the ever averse every day you go up and down and it was flat
>> so i should say that i had a very wonderful teacher with a great place to ride enforce and i went to the allergy clinic and they tested me what your mother has been telling you all your life is wrong you're not allergic to forces. [laughter] very convenient but it is the best - - the dust that irritates your eye is so take clarity and and where the most horrible pair of goggles anyone had ever seen so i was led to a wonderful riding instructor just south of the city.
it was neat - - meat and 15 years of that -- 15, 11 year-old girls douglas so were impressed with the writing skills and then holding on for dear life but by the end of the summer what i will say it is in this amazing thinking and wanted to ride the somewhere along the trail that this would not just beat me on a horse but i figured yellowstone that would be easier to find for many of other places along the trail
it was addressed to oliver otis howard important organ that says with that political movement with the negro exodus raising money to build relocate and would that be a good place? >> a washington insider would he be doing in portland oregon? and chief joseph when a the first books ever read was a children's biography.
. >> and don't think it is wrong to expect the members of the house that is part of the reality of the politics. and what i find offensive but raising money to be in leadership but there has to be a merit pay system in place to decide to get someone committee. if you have been there 30 years in show up to congress you have expertise that is needed on the energy and commerce committee. it is not if you can pay