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tv   Lectures in History  CSPAN  September 27, 2015 1:50pm-2:01pm EDT

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lady and their influence on the presidency. from martha washington to michelle obama, tonight on american history tv on cspan3. c-span is touring cities across the country exploring american history. axt, a recent look at our -- look at our recent visit to cincinnati, ohio. cori: right now, we are in the "freedom to slavery" exhibition at the underground railroad freedom center. this exhibit chronicles the history of slavery in america from the transatlantic slave trade through the civil war and into the reconstruction era after slavery was abolished in the country.
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part of the exhibition is discussing several notable abolitionists. very important people to the time. here, we talk about frederick douglass. he was one of the most recognized african-americans in the country at this time. he was born a slave in maryland and escaped into freedom as a young adult. throughout his career as an abolitionist, he fought for the freedom of african-americans, for all the people who were enslaved in the country. even during the civil war, he lobbied with abraham lincoln for the recruitment of colored citizens in the war. here on display, we are very proud to have frederick douglass's beaver hat on loan. it is one of our treasures. we are so proud to have it on display. it is something that is recognizable from many of photos. douglass'
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harriet beecher stowe is another abolitionist. harriet beecher stowe was the woman who wrote the famous book titled "uncle tom's cabin." she gained her inspiration for the book while living in cincinnati, ohio, so we have a close local connection. president lincoln actually is quoted as saying that she was the little woman that wrote a book that started a great war. on display, we have a first edition copy of "uncle tom's cabin." it is owned by the national underground railroad freedom center. the book was published in 1852 and became a bestseller in the u.s. and europe. today, it is printed in tens of different languages. "uncle tom's cabin" had a huge impact on the country when it was published.
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for the first time, many americans were learning the horrors of slavery, something they had never heard before. as lincoln said, it was a book that started a war. this grave marker is one of the newest additions. it is the original grave marker for salmon p. chase. salmon chase was an influential abolitionist, anti-slavery lawyer, politician, judge throughout his career. he advocated for the rights of african-americans. salmon chase presided over the impeachment trial of andrew jackson. the story of how this grave marker came to us is an interesting one. it is one of my favorite stories at the museum. the grave marker was found as a construction company was digging for a retaining wall. they excavated it out of the
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ground. it was essentially deposited as trash, garbage. it was used as building material after salmon chase was moved to cincinnati from his original burial place in washington, d.c. three years ago now, the marker was found. it was graciously saved and preserved by the construction manager at the site, who contacted the national underground railroad freedom center with interest in donating it to us. it came to the freedom center, went directly on display, and will be permanently on display in the gallery. we have moved upstairs to our permanent collection storage at the freedom center. in the past several years, our collection has continued to grow and grow.
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we are able to display a lot of items that we own for visitors. i want to show you three specific items. the first item is an original advertisement for a slave sale. what is really interesting about this specific advertisement, a sale that happened in 1852 in charleston, south carolina, is that you can see their names, their age, and the jobs they would have been able to perform. you will notice at the bottom that some of these individuals do not have jobs they can perform because they are really young. hannah is two months old, margaret is four years old. this document reminds us that children were often part of
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slavery and the underground railroad. families were broken up. the underground railroad was a way that families may be able to stay together. children had to take the same risks their adult caretakers and parents would have to take. the next piece i would like to show you is an item on loan. it is a bible that was given by reverend john rankin. john rankin was an abolitionist in ripley, ohio. he helped hide slaves in his home and on his property as they escaped from the state of kentucky over the ohio river into the state of ohio. he would then move them farther north, ultimately, on their way to canada. this bible was given by john rankin to his daughter-in-law,
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mary a. rankin, on her wedding day to his son. what is special about bibles like this is that they have a lot of family photographs in the back. there is also family records written within this. as we research through the bible, we hope to discover more about their role in the underground railroad in cincinnati and the family lineage that began with john rankin. the last item i would like to show you is our first edition book of "12 years a slave" by solomon northup. this is an early printing of the first edition. the book was so popular when it was published a second printing was made. that is what we are looking at here. solomon northup was a free man
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in the city of new york that was kidnapped and brought into the south, sold several times as a slave. although, throughout his life as a slave, he never gave up. he always fought for freedom. solomon northup wrote his autobiography after he retained his freedom. he went on to speak about his experiences, nearly for the rest of his life, helping illustrate the horrors of slavery to others who may have had no idea up to that point. objects like these are extremely important to have in a museum. museums are able to preserve them for future generations. we are also able to exhibit them and share them with our visitors. objects like this book or bible
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or advertisements can be used as vehicles to tell stories. at the freedom center, we are revealing stories of freedom's heroes, those who were fighting for freedom and the freedom of others. >> find out where c-span's city doors is going next online. you are watching american history tv, all weekend, every .eekend on c-span3 >> you are watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. to join the conversation, like us on facebook. on saturday evening, american history tv was at gettysburg
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college for a conversation with president dwight d eisenhower's grandchildren. they talked about his military and political career, his relevance for us today, his legacy and the grandfather they remembered. this is part of the eisenhower 125 commemoration, commemorating the 125th anniversary of his earth. it's about two hours. >> ♪ anthem] national ♪ twilight's last gleaming? whose braod stripes and

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