tv 19th Century Detectives CSPAN December 6, 2015 9:35pm-10:01pm EST
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radicalization, social media and the rise of terrorism. >> if you look at the world and if you look at the world of media worldwide and if you look at hollywood and madison avenue, there's to doubt that there's more of us than there are of them. if you look at the narrow space where people are searching for this type of stuff in this sub world, this sub culture. this niche, they radically outnumber everyone else sending a different message. we ought to have a robust discussion in the united states that these companies -- are really unnoticed with their platforms being abused. there have to be procedures in place that limit and demise the ability of terrorism. if they don't, we have to have a robust discussion. do these platforms, do they become material support.
>> watch the communicators monday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span 2. >> coming up next on american history tv, harvard university ph.d. candidate luke willert talks about detective work in the american west. he explains why detectives were needed in the west and described how many of work work undercover. we interviewed mr. willert in portland, oregon in okay. this is about 20 minutes. >> lancaster willert -- luke willert when did first decide to focus your studies on law in the the west? >> i started graduate school in colonial america. that was on. but then i was in wyoming looking at the 19th century. i found these detective papers sitting around in car -- archives. they were completely fascinating. i didn't know they were there.
at that point, i decided to switch to detective and wyoming and the mountain west. >> what did you find out about these detectives that really intrigued you? >> will, detectives seem to be everywhere in the 19th century west. the first one i saw was if a saloon and buying everybody drinks. some are sales men and some are travelers. they were posing as prospectors. one case one was posing as a doctor. >> why would contestants be in the west? who haired them? >> usually the railroad and the mines, ranchos these are
enormous corporations. ly. -- millions of dollars here. they had a bunch of workers and a bunch of world population spread out across about a million square miles in the northwest. they don't know who these people were and people going ton strike and demanding wages. for them to know who they were and they were trying to break them up or they need to control them. sending private detectives, they thought was are the best way to see that. >> was it -- it sounds like they were almost like size. was that the idea more so than prosecuting crimes? >> yes. a 19th century detective would find conspiracy wherever. they'll go into a center lane
and they were -- saloon spying on people and question who do you think is a thief. it's quite remarkable, whether they go if the west, pennsylvania or denver or san francisco, they're not always -- they always feeding criminals. not just these organized cms or operating behind the scenes. >> did they write their stories down to report back to the detective agency or something? >> what kind of record accounts were you looking at? >> the detective run down every conversation tech remember. they always taking notes or typing up up. this can be one or ten pages long. they have it whole secrecy of
mailboxes. the first principle of being an detective in the 19th century don't get caught. you have to really act. if you don't do that, it can be dangerous. you can be killed. one of the part of tear job is finding -- their job is to find a way to communicate. >> how was these individuals trained? what did you find out about the personal live of these detectives? >> let say we're a national detective agency if chicago. it was founded in 1850. it's the biggest one if world. say they need to find a mine owner. a main owner if montana contact the them saying, i have these mine workers stealing from me.
i have to find a way to stop them. in chicago or denver the agency will put out anonymous advertisement if the newspaper. they'll say any minors, they will interview a lot. they'll find one that is trustworthy. one he knows what he's doing. he's been a minor before. maybe have memberships through certain unions. once they settle on one, they'll send him in with the back story. you don't really learn too much about these detectives when they mostly just speak about their work and to get deactivated. a couple of of them turn on the agencies. decide these are nefarious evil corporations.
>> these detective, this is a widespread thing in the west at the time. >> it's hard to find exact numbers. lot of agencies destroyed their papers. it was or my path to find someone who clip clip -- slipped through cracks. people were terrified of detectives. constitution has an article that ban all detective agencies from come bag the state and spying on people. it still happens all the time. >> was a dangerous job and did it pay well? >> yes. the standard fees at tinkerson agency is about $8 a day.
the agency are take a cut of that -- their making dwight a bit -- quite a bit of money. the agents get some of that too. this is in the west. they'll strike attempt for cowboys to get $40 a month wedge. very dangerous in some of thesings that detective -- things that detective will have. the workers find out who they are and they have to escape with gunshots at their back. it was definitely if you found out be first year intelligence operation will be compromised. >> in the course of your research have you found one individual and his account that you find particularly interesting? can you elaborate on that
individual? >> good one is charlie he published about five books. he was called cowboy detective. he started working them to find these urban places in chicago. he started publishing pronunciation of the agency. from there remarkable string of operations where he's working. he's posing as a bandit and cowboy. he's gone to new mexico, alaska. the agency is chasing criminals down to australia or hawaii. >> what kind of criminal? >> welshing people that are robbing railroads.
>> you talked a little bit about the disguise that these detectives, the characteristics that they -- characters that they took on to stay under cover. you mentioned a doctor that for a long period of time, -- well, posed a doctor. can you talk more about that story? >> there was a small town in the northern part of the state these ranchers were very wealthiest americans. they did their branches up around there and, they decide all their cattle has been stroll.
stolen. to hire an army of people to invade wyoming with a death list. they only kill a custom and people fight back and get them. after that the peep are alert. the in a brilliant, the they send a doctor into position. there was only one in the town and maybe a thousand one. he was medically trained.
people trust our doctor while he's giving them check up and operations. he's talking to them and asking them questions, what do you think of the ranchers, has going it happen next. do you carry a gun with you. all of these intelligence questions. he recorded one girl in the hotel, are you actually a doctor? >> where kid you find those records? >> those are at the huntington library. there's hundreds of pages that have been in private hands of one of these so called cattle bear for about 100 years. >> many people have these stereotypes of the west. based on the seeing western movies and books.
do you find that people also kind of a view of effective. if you had to deal that and talking about your subject at all. >> there's a couple of decades worth of history and know forcing -- they were doing other stuff too. if you look at the early modern world, like a lot of government have to idea what's going on far away. detectives are a major develop to find out who these people are. i question when i come across a
lot be they got one quote texas been in all of these balloons. he would say every damner. is a beef. there was a and there was crime. jesse james was abandoned. >> when the detectives fed the information back to whoever hired them, what happens next? how did these companies daily with what the detectives will uncover? >> it's really interesting by the 19th industry. most places, there aren't police forces that we see today and we will would with -- at the
extreme what happens next, we'll see an invasion. that's not common however. we do see a lot of vigilantism about the wild west that does happen a lot. the west, most studies today say that there was a lot of homicide and kills. maybe it's not in our gig. >> you say it would be rare that this evidence will be executiv -- collect and someone will be brought to justice before a judge >> what detectives trying to do, they will try to say get a confession. once they get a confession then you can bring them to court.
it's not clear today where these people were actually criminal. they were irish but it's a topped debated sum sum. people role don't like going to court. >> how do you see your work studying this subject? exhibiting to the over all sore of understanding of history. it sounds like wyoming has been an area focus for you. >> wyoming and hid. they were in this balloon another great example a i like at the university of idaho in 1955. there's an arthur and that's the
runner on the track field. >> do you see that fitting into the larger picture of the west? >> sure. the question was physical government in the rom. we used to thank the -- federal government has a key role taking if the region and making it part of the region. the question is how do they exercise that power. they are arming out that pour to governance punish to the copses and their detectives rather than forcing it themselves with soldiers in the 18-80.
>> when did this use of detectives in this way? did it begin to phase out? where do you see sort of trajectory going. >> at this point when the agency destroyed all of the old paper. which made my life harder. we'll talk about the surveillance today. that's always what you want on this test. in a lot of ways, -- we take it for granted now that the sustains would know everybody about us. that's in an earlier world
everywhere for most of human history. >> you're working on your dissertation at harvard. what's the timetable for finishing and he hope to push beneficiary any of and -- what's the plan. >> they kind of push you out the door. i would love to finish on the shorter end. i like to dissertation to become a book. hopefully a one that appeals to a wider audience not just academic. >> thank you very much for talking about your subject with us. >> thank you very much very something me on. >> you're watching american
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which devalues, reduces their right to vote to about 1/20 to the value of the vote. >> by the early 20th century population shift in states like pennsylvania had major of voters move in the city. those rural districts helped power equal to the larger urban districts. group of voters challenged the disparity. took their indicate to the supreme court. the case that baker beat carr becames a major milestone and continue rill haven't today as the term one person one vote is still being debated. douglas smith author of "on democracy's doorstep" the inside story of how the the supreme court brought one person vote.
s that live on monday on c-span 3 and c-span radio. >> next on american artifacts, we tour the governor's palace in colonial williamsburg. a historical interpreter brings us through the house and gives us the story of the governor and his family who fled on the eve of the american revolution. >> i am one of the curators here at colonial williamsburg foundation. i work with not only our textile collection but with furnishing
the exhibition sites at the foundation. right now, we are at the governor's palace. it would have been the symbol of power and authority for the british crown and it would have represented power to the colonists of virginia. it was the home of seven royal governors including alexander spotswood, the first governor in 1710. it would also have been the home to our first state governors patrick henry and thomas jefferson. the house was an important part of that is them design of the town of williamsburg. it had a very orderly design. the house would have been part of that design. it was the third largest building in town. it consisted of not only the building we are standing in, but also extensive