tv [untitled] June 1, 2012 9:00pm-9:30pm EDT
the button holes along the one side and a rope still in the hand-sewn grommets on the ends, i realized it was actually a shelter half, very, very few of these were produced during the war. even more significantly were -- was how many had the sanitary stamp on those. and so it also shows you a little bit about clara barton's relationship with the sanitary commission because they gave this to her at some point during the war. and of course, being such a versatile object, she held onto that so she could use it over and over again. so i'm not really surprised that it was in the collection, but it is quite a find. general services administration with the sale of the building was able to put asigh some money to do some of the work, and what they have done is they have spent money on reconstruction or
renovation and conservation plans with a historic archit architectural firm, wallpaper studies done and sock studies done of some of the artifacts have been studied by professionals a little bit to give some clarification on those. and of course, they have been out there trying to promote more funding, which is where my museum comes in. we have an official partnership to gsa, and we're actually doing fund-raising because gsa has a limited amount of funds to do the restoration conservation work, and we hope to be able to fill in for whatever they can't do plus build the exhibits and cases for the artifacts and do artifact conservation. some of the artifacts we have are desperately in need of conservation work. i would say this is tremendous. it's almost a miraculous find.
certainly, it's a miracle it was able to survive and end up being preserved and is on its way to being in a museum. it's an extraordinary space. general services administration believes this is the only 19th century boarding house space that has been preserved like this in washington, d.c. so part of the museum process will be including interpretation about the boarding houses of washington, d.c. because many, many of the people who came to washington knew that their time here was probably temporary and didn't want to buy a house or anything, so they would even generals and congressman would actually live in boarding houses instead of renting a house or buying a place in the d.c. area. so these are really pretty. this is a really pretty significant find. we hope to have a welcome center open on the first floor by the end of this year, beginning december 2012, to january 1213.
and we hope that this will keep people's interests while the work takes place. just recently, the general services administration got in touch with my museum, the national museum of civil war medicine and we together proposed a partnership to make the space a museum so people everywhere could enjoy the historical significance of this and hopefully learn about humanitarianism and the importance of public service. so the building was originally scheduled for demolition. it was owned by gsa. they did end up selling it with a perpetual easement for the entire third floor which was ms. barton's space and half of the first floor where we hope to put in a welcome center. and have educational programs. gsa felt pretty strongly about
this and were waiting for the right kind of partner to come along, and the medical museum aspect of it, of course, clara barton contributed significantly to the medical efforts during the american civil war, so she's a natural part of our museum already. and we're very enthusiastic about being able to tell people more about her and use this space to help us do that. this is the space that she would have lived in. if you look up at the keceiling you can see where each of the support beams are, you can see this beam across here with the holes in it. those were the original walls. for the boarding rooms. and so this room would have been room number six, and when you cross here, it would be room number nine. and as you cross the other post, you're in room number 11. which is where clara divided up her space and used half for
storage and half for her own personal space. so it's right behind that wall. originally, there wall went all the way across and the door over here was the original door and she had another door added on on the other side. so the space, of course, as you see it right now, has not received any treatment whatsoever. because of safety regulations, fire suppression system has been put in, but other than that, you can see that the wiring is not exactly in place. it's more temporary, and down there is one of the gas pipes hanging down where that light would have been for that room. this was a very busy place. seventh street was pretty much one of the main streets in washington. the market was down at the end of the streets where the national archives is now. the big market for town.
this street was full of businesses on the first floor, was really kind of considered a business district. that's how it's described by her friends and colleagues when they talk about living space here. that, you know, it was in the business section. not exactly the most family atmosphere. one of the reasons i believe she took this space, took a room here was because her office, the patent office, is right down the street, just a block away. and so it was easy for her to walk down the stairs, out the building, and just go over one block, cross the street, and she was at her office. she got involved here because she moved to washington after a bad experience in public schooling. she founded a public school in new jersey, grew it from three students to over 600, and then when the town decided they wanted this to be a permanent fixture in their community, they hired a man to become the
principal. back in those days, women weren't considered competent to do things like that. and so even though clara had built the place from ground up, when she was replaced, she was, let's say, not very -- a little bit on the insulted side. she left quickly and decided to move down to washington, d.c., she said she wasn't sure why. but she did come down to washington. i guess a change of pace. she was very independent, didn't want to be considered a dependent of her family in massachusetts. so she was really trying to develop her own independent life. and washington was a good place to do that. she was such a good organizer and clerk, and she had fantastic handwriting for the day, that she was able to secure a position through another man from massachusetts, charles mason, who was the commissioner of pat nlts, to work as his
confidential clerk at the same rate men were paid, which is extremely unusual. in fact, she was the first woman who got a first permanent government position at a man's pay. they had women before that, but they were substituting for men. she was the first who got that. of course, that came back to bite her because there was an uproar over that from within the patent office. not only did she end up losing her jaup, but all of the other women in her office were literally thrown out of the office and were forced to go to the patent office to pick up work, take it home, to it at home, and take it back for much less pay. this upset her enough so that she eventually moved back to massachusetts for a couple of years where she kind of floundered. and the commissioner had left and when he came back in 1860, he wrote to clara and said, come work for me.
i'm back in washington. so she did. she came back in the late 1860 and got her job back at the patent office. during the beginning of the civil war, the thing after ft. sumpter that set it off was what were called the baltimore riots. lincoln called 75,000 troops up, the first to answer his call were the six massachusetts. they happened to be former school children of clara's when she was a school teacher in massachusetts very early on. when she heard they were the fellows that were wounded and being held or cared for at the senate chambers, she made a mad dash over there to visit them because she knew that those were former students and friends of hers. and she saw that they had absolutely nothing. they had lost all of the things they brought on the train with them in baltimore, and the u.s. government was unprepared to have to treat wounded this way.
so they're sitting in the senate chambers on marble floor. so she came home, gathered everything she could spare, started asking her friends for supplies. wrote home to her friends in new england for supplies and now she's in the humanitarian relief supply business. so she very quickly realized what a large job this was and something that she was very, very well suited for, so basically, after years of kind of floundering and not knowing what she really wanted to do with her life, she found it in washington, d.c. in the senate chambers. so she started gathering up supplies and started lobbying the u.s. war department to be able to take her supplies out to the field. and deliver them to the soldiers herself. and of course, that was a tremendous service because although they thought a woman at the time couldn't handle going to the battlefield, not only did
she goy to the battlefield and help the wounded, she would move forward on the battlefield and help wounded soldiers being pulled off of the field instead of waiting back at the field hospital for people to come to her. shy always wanted to -- she said she wanted to fill the voids and need where they were out there. and that's really how she became the humanitarian relief organizer that she is known for today. and developed american red cross. so it's really a tremendous story. so here are some of the things that we have found in the space. since we came in here, a big chunk of wallpaper, and you can see, again, several layers. here's a layer right there. this top layer, of course, was the last layer that was put on before 1910. one of my favorite things is that the building was made -- the walls were all made from horse hair blaster, and as you can see, there's a big chunk of
horse hair in this plaster. so this is definitely original. and a very interesting way, very, very good, solid walls from horse hair plaster. so these are some of the things that we're saving in order to assist us in the restoration and conservation process. we found a lot of wallpaper hanging everywhere. so wallpaper is -- and that's a great source for trying to re-create the way the space looked when clara barton and edward shaw and their friends and colleagues were living in here. some of the other really cool things that we have found are these -- these are box locks. they're made out of brass. they're originals from the doors, and of course, it wasn't really very socially acceptable for a single woman to have men visiting, so she would definitely -- clara would definitely want her privacy protected, although she did have
quite a few collars that included senators, congressman, high level military officials, and the only person of significance that she never got to meet was abraham lincoln. she sat at the white house many, many hours trying to see him and never got an appointment to see him. so i think she regretted that after she was assassinated, that she had a lot of admiration for lincoln. this contraption right here, i pulled when i went up to the attic, i pulled anything within reach that i thought looked like old wood or formed wood, and so this was one of the items that i had to get out from underneath a bunch of construction trash from the removal or the replacement of the roof. and this we had realized is the top frame for a canopy that went on an ambulance, and my boss, george wonderlic, actually was
able to identify it probably mostly because we're in the medical museum business, and ambulances from the civil war wer very, very important. so for transporting the wounded as well as supplies, so we were very excited to be able to find this. there's not many of these in existence left. and barrel tops, a lot of signs, clara, of course, tried to reuse everything and so she had a lot of crepe pieces she could put back together, i'll be showing -- i'll show you a couple of those later. one has very interesting writing on it that is confusing and confounding us at this point. we don't know that this belonged to clara because there's so many other people involved in living or working here on the floor. but you'll see this sign says the souls of the vinch ws departed, money no object, cash
paid to satan. and you know, it's very, very curious and intrieging to think why this was in the attic. it's a very unusual kind of sign. this item that we found in the attic is the envelopes for a stationary set. a military portfolio as it's called on here. clara used these as a fund-raising product while the civil war was going on. you can see how nice and fancy the engraving work is done on this. it also lists what was in the kit to include 30 or 40 sheets of paper, a pen nib, a pen set, a blotting paper, pocket calendar, just quite a few things in here. in fact, i'm not sure how all of
that could possibly fit in one of these, but she had tied this together to hang up for when she was out trying to sell these. so if she had a booth at the market, she could hang this up and then people could come by where she was and take a look at what she had there. so of course, she produced many, many of these, and some of the things that we found in the attic were the boxes and containers that she purchased to fill these portfolios up with. we found several of these in the attic, adhesive boxes. she also of course collected a lot of things to use in the field. one of the really bags i like is the salt bag from the period. salt was very, very important to the diet, many of the foods were preserved in salt. of course, people liked to use salt as a spice.
so salt was really a premium during the war. a little more socially, we found up there in the attic one of these carpet slippers. actually, we found more than one of them, but we just have one out here. believe it or not, this is a carpet slipper that you would lounge around with in the house, probably belonged to edward shaw. men at that time wore very fancy things, especially when they were at home, smoking jackets and smoking caps and carpet slippers, that kind of thing. so it's really not very unusual. down on the end here, we have an oil habbersack, it has a small booklet in it that i don't want to pull out from 1857 that we believe belonged to edward shaw. another interesting thing is we're going through thecatalog,
piece right here, labeled as a sack, when in reality, when you see the buttle holes and compare the sizes, this is a habbersack liner that was used in the civil war. it would have been -- it wouldn't have been very unusual at all for -- to find something like this up in the attic. i can't say that it belonged to that aabhabbersack, but it's quite possible it did. one last thing that intrigues many people is this item right here. this is a military bayonet, and it was also found in the attic. and several people have asked me why. why would clara barton who was angel of the battlefield, be carrying a bayonet around with her? i don't think she used it for protection. these were somewhat of a leat r leatherman of the 18th century, an all-purpose field. rather than using this in
battle, you could use this like stick it in the ground, it's a candle holder. you could use it for digging things. if you can see, this is bent. they probably used it to pry things open with, maybe crate boxes. anything like that. you could use it as a tent stake. bury it in the ground and tie your tent to that. really, it has 101 uses at least, and people really appreciated having these not as a weapon as much as for as a tool to use in camp. and such. a lot of guys would wrap dough around it or stick meat on it and use it as a skewer when they were cooking. so there were a lot of really neat things you could do with a bayonet that made it a very, very handy tool at that time. and if you want to come across the hall here, another fabulous artifact that we have, another one of my favorites is up here
on the ceiling. one of the things that clara wrote up in her diary is you see this wide, wide and kind of light blue wallpaper on the ceiling. that is the wallpaper that clara describes putting up in the middle of the night during her time here. she had insomnia and because of that, she writes in her diary that one night she couldn't seep so she got up and started wallpapering. she describes white on white satin stripe wallpaper, and that's the paper you see that she describes in her dierary. we don't have this listed as her boarding room, so we're wondering if she now was in this -- if she lived in this space for a period of time. those are some of the mysteries of the clues that we find in the building that make this place so interesting and fascinating because there's a kind of
contradicting picture right now. first looking into it. i think this was a higher scale boarding house. i don't think it was for middle class people. clara came from a family that was fairly well to do. the other borders in here were professionals. and she received such high level people visiting her that i think that it would have been a very nice place to come to. although she does talk about it being cheerless wherever she came back to recover from her jaunts out into the battlefield from time to time during the civil war. she had -- she tended towards depression. and if, you know, just like with other depressed people, i think when things didn't go the way she had hoped for a period of time, she could get depressed. plus, many times when she went out to the field, if she wasn't sick when she left, she was sick
while she was there. at the battle of the an teedm, she only stayed for three days bah she got what she thought was typhoi typhoid, fever, which is potentially fatal, and she was so sick that after three days, she the h to leave the area. that was the first place she was able to actually get to the battlefield while the battle was going on, and it's really an extraordinary feat when you consider how sick she was and the fact she still went all the way out to sharpsburg, maryland and participated in helping the wounded get off the field and feeding them and providing the humanitarian relief not only for the wounded but their care takers, surgeons, ambulance drivers she could bring supplies to. the u.s. army was doing the best they can and actually did make very good strides medically and logistically during the war, but
of course with the sheer amount of numbers they had, it was very, very difficult for them to keep up. and of course, so missing soldiers naturally fell into a category that was somewhat neglected. so she was very happy to add that, you know, to keep herself moving and involved at times when she didn't have a whole lot of other work to be doing. and then that naturally fell into anytime before when you have missing soldiers, but clara barton was actually the person after getting a u.s. charter for the american association of the international red cross, she's the one who suggested to them and had an amendment made for the international red cross to include natural disasters, not just war. i would like the think that of course she didn't want to be working during a war, but if there was no war, what was she
going to do. so she was very happy to be able to add natural disaster and really expand the amount of service that she could provide to not just include the military but include everyday citizens first in the united states and eventually internationally. so the missing persons area is very important to that as well as supplying whatever kinds of supplies they had. her early work in the united states, she actually built motels in the natural disaster area for her to give people a place to live. when they had lost everything. so, she just didn't want to limit it to military functions. she really wanted to be able to touch as many people as she possibly can. i work for the natural museum of
civil war medicine. we're a nonprofit museum, privately ouned where we specialize in telling the story and kind of enlightening people on the medical innovations that took place in the civil war. civil war medicine through the movies especially has been depicted as beuchers and they didn't have an sheesa and to be a soldier in the civil war area meant death and dying and misery. while some of that is true, some of the medical innovations that took place during the war still affect people today. some of the leadership that was developed during the war because of their situation is leadership that we can still use today. in fact, my museum trains most of the medical administrative managers going over with the u.s. army overseas to places like iraq and afghanistan. and they get these management
and leadership lessons from my museum using jonathan letterman, the fellow who founded emergency medicine for the u.s. army, learning his lessons and how not to have to reinvent the wheel and how important support people are to the process, instead of just focusing on the surgeon who actually does the surgery, she has a whole crew of logistical people and supply people behind him. if they didn't do their job, he couldn't do his. so we want to make sure that that message gets out that even though people think history is, you know, gone by and not important to us, it's very important because it's still affecting our lives today. i mean, i could tell you a great story about a fellow who came and took the class and thought, oh, there's nothing i could learn from this and later on, she was involved in hurricane katrina. he called my boss and said, oh,
my, i'm in 1862. i'm calling to apologize because now i don't have running water. i don't have electricity. i don't have transportation. i'm in 1862. and so he said he got it because he could use letterman's plan of how to cope with this without all of these things he was used to. and still get the job done and save lives. so i think our mission is very exciting and i feel very privileged to be able to work for the organization. after clara left in 1868, we're not really sure at this time what the space was used for other than it continued to be a boarding house. and edward shaw lived here until 1911. we're still in the process of going through all of the thousands of pages of paperwork to really nail down who lived
here when, you know, how they might have been involved in the missing soldiers office. i believe from what i have seen that some of the clerks who actually worked in the office lived in this space also. i'm not necessarily in the office space, but we know that it appears that some of them boarded here office, which made work very easy. in answering all of the letters and doing all of that paperwork. they must have worked very, very long hours. and they were paid. she paid them and had a lead clerk who managed the office for her in her absence, and they were very successful in that few short years they were doing the work. this room is the one that is most associated with edward shaw. it's room 12. and one of the very, very interesting things about this room is the graffiti that we found on the walls. according to the wallpaper
historians, it's not civil war era wallpaper. therefore, it's not civil war era graffiti, but it's still interesting nonetheless. you can see on here it has the names and addresses of people, so right up here is my favorite. it's birch's cigar store, and the address of it in washington. and here's the address and name of a george harris. there's a lot of hash mark going on. there's lists by days of the week, numbers. so it looks like somebody was adding and subtracting. so it's just a very, very interesting wall. this one over here also has quite a bit of writing on it. mr. shaw was