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tv   Fords Theatre Lincoln Symposium  CSPAN  March 19, 2016 9:00am-12:31pm EDT

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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national able satellite corp. 2016] >> this is a live picture inside washington, d.c. where all day until about 5:00 p.m. eastern we'll bring you authors and historians discussing president lincoln's life career and legacy as well as his views on the emancipation of slaves and reconstruction. ford's theater and abraham lincoln instuse are cohosting. >>ford's theater, you recall,
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is the site where president lincoln was assassinated by john wilkes booth. as he sat in a theater with a play running. the play running at the time was "our american cousin." president lincoln died the next day across the street at the peterson boardling house. ford's is now a working theater as well as a national historic site. he current play running is 110 in the shade.
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while we wait, let's take a ook at today's speakers. lincoln, african americans, and the emancipation struggle. and :35 the book lincoln the problem of reconstruction. there will be a midday break for lunch at approximately 1:55 p.m. we'll hear stacy mcdormant on mary lincoln's life and legacy. at 3:05 thomas carson on incoln's ethics. at 3:55 all of today's speakers will participate in a closing panel.
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what you're looking at there is the box where abraham lincoln was sitting the night that he was shot. the president apparently enjoyed theater and was attending a performance of our american cousin at the time he was shot by actor john wilings booth. you can see one of the workers
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setting up the performance off to the side and a few of the staffers coming in and getting things set up. we will be starting shortly.
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>> we'll take a photo and then begin. so keep talking amongst ourself.
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>> good morning. oh, that was so weak. good morning. thank you. i knew you were all alive out there. my name is paul. i'm the director of ford's theater. and also a board member of the aim ham lincoln institute. i'm thrilled to have you all here this morning. this is the second year that we have hosted the ali symposium and we are thrilled to have you all here. i want to -- a couple of -- i get to do ault housekeeping things. we get those over and then turn
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you on to the wonderful program we have prepared for today. i want to thinchinge first and foremost starting off some of our underwriters who have made this possible. we have a generous gift from lockheed martin for their support of the day today and we would like to thank them. along with the illinois state society of washington, d.c. and to all of our presenters and speakers for mearking today possible. let's give everyone a round of applause. [applause] this is a classic american musical with an amazing cast and a really lovely musical
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score. in your program there is a 50% off coupon for tonight's performance which is at 7:30. but we also -- the show is running through may 14 and i really do hope you will come back to not only get a chance today to see some of our lincoln legacy and our lincoln historicle work but also you should get to see some of our theet atcal work as all of you know, abraham lincoln lod the theater and loved to come to ford's theater for relaxation and a respite from the daily grind of the president shi. so you all should take that respite as well and come see 1010 in the shade. just a few reminders. there's refreshments at the concession stand but there's no food or drink in the theater only bottled water. your wrist band will serve as your ticket to the full day's admission. it will also grant you u
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admission to the ford's theater museum in the basement which as you know contains art facts and other information about the lincoln presidency. and also for today only it h grant you admission to the peterson house and also to the ford's center for education leadership across the street. there will be a time for question after each presentation. c-span is filming today so we ask your question at the microphone located at the each of the heads of the aisle. and i want to give a special note, please make your questions questions about the topics that the speakers are talking about and please no tatements. after each presentation there will be a break. during the break the presenters
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will go out to the lobby and have book signings and you will be able to meet the speakers individually. books can be purchased throughout the day at the gift shop. one caveat. the last presenter thomas carson will sign books during the break prior to his speech. so if you want thomas carson's book and would like to have him sign it he will be signing his books before the presentation. there will be a lunch break please take 1:50, all of your belongings with you. do not leave them in the theater. and finally i want to make a plea as a board member of the ali that this is a program that we offer and this is now the 19th year we have been presenting this symposium. it is free. the only way that we can do that for free is we are pported as a nonprofit
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501(c)(3). we are supported by contributedions by folks like yourself. so anyone who feels moved today would like to give a contribution write a check to the abraham lincoln institute. we would greatly appreciate it. and you can see anyone out in the box office or any member of the ford's theater staff and they will be happy to take any thoughts or contributions you have to the abraham lincoln institute. we greatly appreciate your support. now, it is one of my great pleasures to introduce michelle, whose the president of the abraham lincoln institute. she holds a docket rat in history from the university of berkeley and is a civil war and reconstruction specialist at the library of congress and she is a great aset to the lincoln world. we are thrilled to have her. please give a warm welcome. [applause]
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>> well, thank you. this is quite a lovely view from this side of the theater. on behalf of the board of directors of the abraham lincoln institute, i welcome you to the sim pose yusm. the institute is celebrating its 19th year having been founded in 1997 on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of abraham lincoln's first arrival in the mid-atlantic as a representative from illinois in the 30th united states congress. pretty good to get a whole institute for one-term congressman. don't you think? but as we all know, abraham lincoln was so much more than a one-term congressman. and interpreting his life and times continues to both challenge and fascinate us more than 150 years after his assass nation in this very theater. over the past 19 years, the mission of the abraham lincoln institute has been to promote research on the live and legacy of abraham lincoln.
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we do this by sponsoring book and dissertation awards and by organizing annual symposiums that offer the latest in lincoln scholarships presented by the best scholars in the field and made available to the public free of charge. in 1837, abraham lincoln made the toast, all are friends. they are too numerous to be now named individually while there is no one of them whose not too dear to be forgotten or anything zected. like abraham lincoln the ali also has friends too numerous to mention individually but please indulge me while i do mention just a few. first, the ali is indebted to paul and the marvelous staff of the ford's theater society for making it possible for us to meet once again in this historic theater. the ford's staff have expertly handled the complicated logistics of hosting this event and i hope you will join me in giving the staff a hearty round of applause and appreciation.
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[applause] we are also forte to have good friends and other groups equally promoting the understanding of our 16th president. one of the organizations is aftering a unique lincoln focused travel opportunity in illinois this fall. information about this trip is available in the lobby and please see a lincoln group representative for further details. we would also like to welcome a new member to the ali family. our vice president who has been on this stage several times before is unable to be here today because he and his wife lauren just weathered a new baby. if they're watching on c-span i want to give special recognition new big sister charlotte. charlotte wanted to name her sister sara because abraham lincoln had a sister named
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sara. isn't that cute? it didn't work. because while the new baby instead received the good civil war era name clara we applaud charlotte's lincoln-related lobbying efforts. and finally to our friends in the audience whether you are a first-time attendee or a veteran of our symposiums, whether you have traveled just a few city blocks to be here in person or as far away as italy, because we have someone from imently to join us. whether you are joining us through c-span. we wrk you all and enjoy a day of enlightening score larship. now let's get this started. please welcome to the stage my dear friend and esteemed board member dr. terry alford who will introduce our first speaker. [applause] >> our first speaker is a
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native of chicago. earned a b.a. degree in sociology and began his career in boston. he moved to washington, d.c. in 1985 and has been here ever since. a journalist with the "washington post," republic, and new yorker, covering various presidents. he was washington, d.c. bureau egularly ontributed r columnist to the guardian and served as senior editor at new republic. served as assistant and senior adviser to bill clinton from 1997 to 2001. his jobs included advising the president on communications and public policy, researching information in the media about the white house. he was a senior adviser to the 2008 hillary clinton presidential campaign. after leaving the white house, he wrote the clinton wars, 2003, about his time in presidential service. the book has been praised for its keen insights into the
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nation's political process. our speaker was a political consultant for the award winning series tanner 88 and executive producer of the documentary taxi to the dark side which details the nation's torture and interrogation practices during the war in afghanistan that won an academy award for best documentary in 2007. as the son of illinois it might be hope that he would some point turn his attention to lincoln. he will. and his lincoln life will examine the origins of his personality, anti-slavery views, international dimensions, awkward efforts with the opposite sex, his fierce reading, other features of the extraordinary 16th president. the first volume has a publicication date of this year. i'm sure that's a coincidence that's john wilings booth's birthday.
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but like john he grew up in illinois, practiced journalism and put his hand to controlcal to history that he experienced. i'm not sure he can go one better. i don't recall ever playing lincoln on stage but he has played lincoln. last summer, as a matter of ct, i saw his lincoln at the amphitheater on stone hill farm at plint hill in virginia. i was president and can attest he was most presidential at stove pipe have to prove it. so you can see we have a very interesting and well rounded speaker. my lords, ladies and gentlemen, sydney blumenthal. [applause] >> thank you. i appreciate those kind comments. i especially appreciate terry's guidance in my scholarship.
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he's a wonderful scholar and has won an award, written an award winning book on john wilkes boods. i am honored to be here at the institute to be able to speak about my new book. i am honored to speak before you. i hope that there will be time for questions. if there aren't, you can always come up to me afterwards and there will be a panel in the afternoon and i will be happy to answer any questions. in an age of anti-politics, i am here to speak of a career politician, a party stallwart who conducted his own permanent campaign for elected office from the age of 23 onward when he was not visibly serving his corporate clients. and yet, after the founders was the greatest revolutionary figure in american history. perhaps it is a good thing abraham lincoln is not
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available to run for office this year, especially in the party he helped to found. though he was familiar with being the target of negative attacks, as a religious infidel, an aurist crat, corrupt, unpatriotic, tyrannical, possibly black, and proponent of misedge nation, abraham frinis the first during his reelection campaign of 1864 dove talede. but the perennial charge against him was that he was a vulgar village politician. as the new york herald described him in 1960. when lincoln was 28 years old he tried out the word politician as an accusation against his opponent. he arose on the floor of the illinois legislature in defense
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of the state bank which he proposed to fund vast public works. the politician, he said, by unholy means, is endeavoring to blow up the storm that he may ride upon or directed. mr. chairman, this movement is exclusively the work of politicians, a set of men who have interests aside from the i want rest of the people and who to say the most of them are taken as enmass at least one long step removed from honest men. and then he added. i say this with a greater freedom because being a politician myself, none can regard it as personal. a politician myself. this was one of young lincoln's earliest self-descriptions. after lincoln's assassination in this very place lincoln
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underwent a transfig ration. elevated into a saint and a martyr canonized, septmentized and romanticized. through his death he became unrecognizeable from how he was known in life. but as william henry sured, lincoln's secretary of state, among the most cunning politicians of his time, remarked about the framers of the constitution, the saints were not sages and the sages were not saints. steward had ab understanding of hamilton long before the musical. together, lincoln and sured layed by the rules of the game and by the rules vindicated their principle. it was how they got enacted the 13th amendment abolishing slavery. and that is not folk clore.
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lincoln's life has been rediscovered in every era. when david donl wrote lincoln reconsidered in 1956, calling one chammer a lincoln politician describing his background as a wig party stal wart it was considered something of a revelation. in 1958, the lincoln nobody knows. entitling one chapter the master politician. since then, many distinguished historians have plumbed this area not to mention steve ven spielberg. but there is much more to be learned about america's greatest genius. and as the campaign of 2016 demonstrates, to use one of lincoln's famous words that he gained from his reading of euclid, a campaign of political
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party chaos, driven by an irre spessible conflict, revealing a house divided, the lincoln theme we learned against is never exhaust it. rom the start, i sought to use my own experience having living closely with a president in the white house, as a journalist in washington, and campaigns. to think anew about his home life and world from this angle and vision i have exflorid aspects of lincoln that i hope will enlarge and deepen the insing. lincoln lived in a time of self-made men. henry clay who rose from rags to nearly the presidency and coined the phrase a self-made man to apply to himself with lincoln's vote ideal.
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in the first half of the 19th century, possibilities opened up for men of humble origins to transform themselves into new people, asiming identity that were previously unimagined and which to find democracy. many men of lincoln's generation were self-made but lincoln was uniquely self-made. ip volved immersion into party politics as part of the first generation of professional politicians in america. his lecks of a socially prominent and unusually political wife and his engagement with the realities and politics of savery which summoned him forward as toms jefferson was like a fire belle in the night. lincoln cannot be understand apart from the whole background of party politics.
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it cannot be overstated that lincoln was a party politician. and that background could not be separated from the issue of slavery. his entire life is self-making from its beginning was shaped by the struggle over slavery. nor cazz his relincolnen and understanding of religion be part.d -- grasped a nor can his personal story be filtered from slavery. the first time abraham lincoln spoke openly about his origins is the year he assumed his new identity as a republican. until then he had been retiscent about his personal life. he was one of the best known political figure in illinois yet he kept an essential part of himself mysterious. he had been a professional
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politician on public view for 24 years more than half his lifetime and it time, a member of the whig party. it was as a wake he had climbed rapidly and it's blank's. at the age of 27, he was elected to his second term and legislature. the chieftain, head of the so-called springfield -- that directed the state party and a de facto co-editor of the leading whig writing many editorials anonymously. he was the manager of wig presidential campaigns in the state and a presidential elect or to the electoral college. he was the prime mover behind installing the convention system. selected candidates, and forced the party system.
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he didthe first time that when he did the phrase a house divided. he was referring to the whig party. on the whigigned platform for economic development, internal improvement, federal and state and the terrace to protect and encourage manufacturers. he emphasized he was one of the aristocracy, and felt hurt he was accused of being part of the upper-class because of his marriage to mary todd. she belonged to the edwards todd's family, the most on --.uished, living he wanted to be seen as rising from the common clay. leave hisermined to past behind, even to bury it, i
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live hiding his humiliation. his impulse was to protect himself from revelations about his origin. as for the details of his existence, he had been stone silent. it was at a campaign event in 1856, after he had become a he blurted outt a startling confession. i used to be a slave, said lincoln. he did not explain. why he branded himself as belonging to the most oppressed, stigmatized, and untouchable worse than being accused of being an abolitionist.
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why would lincoln announce he was a former slave? facts, he did not disclose to his audience, or these. 21, his father had rented him out to neighbors in 10ld indiana at a price of to $.31 a day, to labor as a rail splitter. lincoln was an indentured servant, in effect. a slave. comments lincoln -- thomas learnn wanted his son to and honest trade as a laborer. perhaps trained as a carpenter, considered formal education a waste of time.
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it was only when he identified himself as a republican that he felt free to reveal himself as a slave. completed his story. imc free that they let me practice law. i am so free that they let me practice law. he called himself a slave and it was not a slip of the tongue, hyperbole, or metaphor. it was not another of his funny stories. he made it into a joke. considered himself held in bondage and escaped. he rarely talked about his feelings, even to his friends,, who tried to discern the signs. .e hit his depths his authenticity was not deceptive, but a veneer, nonetheless.
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he was simple and his approach .nd a presence he was a man of infinite silences and was deeply secretive, uncommunicative and close minded as to his plans, wishes, and fears. herndon said he never open himself to mortal creature. his captivity of a -- as a boy he so was humiliating and grading, imprisonment in a world of neglect and poverty and ignorance. fierceat the root of his desire to rise. he knew his father had been reduced to a dirt farmer and had been compelled to escape kentucky to escape slavery.
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new free states are the places for poor people to go to and better their condition. lincoln had been impressed by a man who was himself oppressed. by crossing the ohio river, his father had made his own escape. son, andas a fugitive a fugitive himself. selfstartling than his description is his subsequent self identification as a particular slave. this one intended for his
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candidacy in 18 68. he offered this description of himself. if any personal description of , weighing onle average 100 80 pounds, dark complexion, coarse black hair, gray eyes, no other marks or brand. many, even at the time, might have missed lincoln's allusion in the end of his seemingly bland portrayal. what did it mean? no other marks or brands recollected. it was not another of his amusing jokes. language slaveowners used to describe runaway slaves in newspaper ads.
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himselfhad identified as one of the fugitives and mocked their owners. this was more than sympathetic projection. he believed he had his own andtive experience emancipated himself. he was not oppressed -- he was an oppressed and stunted boy who achieved his freedom. if he could do it, it could be done. identified himself as a slave, he began emerging as the abraham lincoln identifiable in history. he would be given another identity, the rail slur. the legendary ax wielding establishing one of the most in during icons of american history.
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it was the picture of himself, from the time when he thought of himself as a slave. like other runaways, he remade his identity and never took it for granted. despite his standing for years among the whigs, few people favorite things other than a provincial figure, except his wife. his marriage was indispensable to his rise. his sense of destiny and his equilibrium. comically awkward suitor who had a nervous breakdown over his inability to deal with the opposite sex. mary todd, daughter of his
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business partner, from , was a rareentucky woman of the southern upper-class who loved politics and was described as a violent little wahig. she did not hesitate to offer her opinions when women were supposed to remain silent and differential on the subject. she was more ambitious for her ambitious husband than he was. with her gave her more than the social standing he desired. she steadied him, pushed them forward, and never lost faith in his star. their union as our lincoln party. through high strong, ew temperntrums -- thr
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tantrums, but she also gave lincoln a family and passionately believed in him. herndon hated her, calling her a shewolf. she would never invite him into the lincoln home, calling him a dirty dog. lincoln's private separately -- secretaries refer to her as the hellcat. there would have been no lincoln without mary and he knew it. he remained smitten and wondered that she had selected a poor nobody. before the eyes of those that dismissed him, he was constantly transforming himself through self education and political aspirations. all were his heaven. lincoln was a new kind of man on the political scene.
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not just a self-made man, but the self-made man as a professional politician, a new profession. a newlyisan regular in -- partisan system. was not successful as a merchant. failure.dismal if being a successful necessary forre being in office, he would have been disqualified. politics was not a grudging necessity. if it were true, to begin with, he never would have become president.
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in the end, he never would have an active the amendment abolishing slavery. were not antithetical sides of the same person. or antithetical stages in the same life. lincoln theot for politician, lincoln the great emancipator would never have existed. experiencew from his that it required a thousand political acts, some difficult. a few grand, beginning in the illinois legislature. could betood defeats the father of victory. he knew in direction had a direction. men often heard what they wanted to hear.
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he knew little jokes could be and or rations could be jokes. his contemporaries learned it was often cover for political subtlety. his rhetoric had its own symphonic uses. though he was never an abolitionist, he was naturally anti-slavery. he grew up in an atmosphere far antislaveryd with sentiment that has been generally understood. cabin, the men he chose as his mentors, conversations and debates, he joined in country stores. ,n the politics of indiana pitching the party of the people against the virginia aristocrats.
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lincoln's deepening understanding of lavery is a moral, political, and constitutional dilemma, began in his childhood, among the primitive baptist anti-slavery dissidents, whose churches his parents attended. as a boy, he wrote down the mississippi river to new slaves were on gaudy display and it shocked him. his development was hardly a straight line. he was caught up in the currents of his time. it was the election will for his condemnation of southern christian proslavery theology that surface in his eulogy for
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henry clay and was shaped to diamond hardness in his inaugural. his 1830 seven springfield lyceum adjust protested the mob inby a proslavery illinois of elijah lovejoy. he did not mention him by name. lincoln was only one of two illinois state legislators who performed the unheard-of act of proposing a bill in favor of emancipation in the district of columbia. as a congressman, he lived in a boarding house across from the capital on the side of what is now the library of congress. that was known as abolition house. he experienced the invasion of slave catchers coming to seize one of the waiters.
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undoubtedly, he knew the secret of the house where he lived. it was a station in the underground oil your -- underground railroad. with the quiet assistance of the leading abolitionists in the congress, he drafted a bill for masturbation -- four in the district. the former vice president, u.s. while hend tribune reestablished himself in contemplating his political career, a writer of south sea tales began his writing of an ethnic work that
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would encompass an ocean. it was thought to define the new american generation to come. in one chapter of moby dick, ishmael uses his hands of a shuttle. it seems this were the loom of .ime was sometimes hitting the roof crookedly or weekly, as the case may be. by this difference, producing a corresponding contrast and a final aspect of the completed was finally -- the
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sword must be chance. i chance free will and necessity. the straight warp of necessity, not to be swerved from its ultimate course. free will, freed to apply her shuttle, and chance, though restrained, and sideways in its ,otion, directed by free will chance by terms rules either and has the last featuring blow at events. herman melville j k description as practical work on the whaling ship was a portrayal
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of the political life been predetermined scales of ideological evolution. who isn't a slave, asked ishmael . lincoln spoke in springfield --, declaring that blacks had no rights and that slavery could not be prohibited. in those days, our declaration of independence was held sacred includend thought to all. now, to aid in making the bondage of the negro universal and eternal, it is assailed and
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, if it could torn rise from their grave, they could not recognize it. then, he conjured terrifying images of a slave, with the world conspiring against him, bondage fastened through 100 keys by 100 men. all of the powers of earth seemed combining against him. follows, philosophy follows. day is fast of the joining. they have him in his present house. they have searched his person and lest no prying instrument with him. another, they have closed the heavy iron doors upon him. of 100 keys. lock
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the key is in the hands of 100 different men. they scattered to 100 distant places and they stand, musing as to what invention and all the dominions of mind and matter. from what source did lincoln fearful scene of a prisoner held behind bars locked with a hundred keys in the possession of 100 keepers. was it inspired by a tale of edgar allen poe? who were these oppressors bound to each other. what was the crime, who was the criminal? for which youime are to dutch.
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rising to deliver his speech for the crime against kansas on may 19, 1856. the criminal also must be .ragged in today from no common source could it proceed. neededperpetration was ambition, which would hesitate at nothing. a heartiness of purpose, which was insensible to the judgment of mankind area a madness for slavery, which would disregard the constitution, the laws, and all of the great examples of our history. also, a consciousness, a power that comes from the habit of power. charles sumner described this .ower with an image a combination of energies found only in 100 arms, directed by
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100 eyes. through these hundred arms, directed by these 100 eyes, the power exercise, a control of public opinion. subsidize clock -- crowds in every location of life. the lawyer with his subtle tong and the authority of the judge on the bench. all of these things and more were needed and they were found in the slave power of our republic. days later, as charles sumner sat writing at his desk on the floor of the senate,
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preston brooks of south carolina, feeling on her bound to punish charles sumner's insulting remarks, entered the over thend beat sumner and, the proper beating for inferior, until he was left lying in a pool of blood running across the senate floor. brooks was hailed throughout the south as an avenger. sumner was transfigured into a martyr. eight days after sumner was bludgeoned nearly to death, lincoln stood on the stage at bloomington illinois to found the illinois republican party. sumner'sransformed metaphor of the slave's power.
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he kept the number in his drumbeat repetition, but changed more than the objects. more than arms to keys and eyes to men. he shifted the point of view. he assumed the vision of the slave himself. slave, asked ishmael. he identified with the captive, who could not find the key to his freedom. lincoln discovered the keys to his own escape. that is what he understood the captivity and would become a new shortlyl man, he would,
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after creating the illinois republican party, stand before a crowd to issue his personal proclamation. to be aed to -- i used slave." [applause] thank you. i believe there is still time for questions. please. >> some people like to refer to --e of lincoln's will as lincoln's quotes as racist. do you believe that was lincoln being a politician and pandering to the public or do you believe
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those were his true feelings? >> the lincoln douglas debates are endlessly fascinating subjects. rival ran fortant the senate against each other, in 1858 and held a series of debates. douglas use the issue of race waytantly in every possible he could to take the issue away from lincoln. it was race against slavery. atcoln made his statement the southernmost part of .llinois he defended the rights of blacks
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as human beings under the declaration of independence, but said he could not accept them as socially equal. that was more than a commonly held view. heldof the abolitionists that view at the time. we are dealing with a different world than our world. maybe we don't appreciate how much progress we have made. lincoln did that as a way to deal with the relentless racist arguments of douglas in those debates, and at the same time try and make the argument that lacks also -- blacks also were human. >> two questions. where was the abolition house, boarding house, lincoln resided at when he was in congress? could you expand more on, did lincoln have conversations
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potentially with his father about treating him like a slave whereto his 21st birthday he was no longer being hired out by his father as a slave? sidney blumenthal: thank you. on the first question, the boarding house was run by a widow named mrs. sprague. boarding house was on a row of boarding houses where congress now exists. the jefferson building, the big building. not the madison building where you do research, but the main building. that was a whole row of boarding houses. lincoln lived in one of those boarding houses. it was originally a boarding house where theater well lived. he had been the assistant to john quincy adams and was one of the brilliant organizers of the abolition movement.
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, thea giddings lived there leading abolitionist in congress. there were a number of others there. sprague was a virginian. clear tot was very people what on in that house in terms of people buying their freedom and people coming and going who were black. but it was a kind of station of the underground railroad. later, mrs. sprague fell on hard times and it came to the attention of president lincoln and he gave her a federal job. the second question was? if you could remind me again. >> when he was feeling like a slave because of his father hiring him out, did he express that in any way or talk to his father or others about it while
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he was under that condition of oppression? sidney blumenthal: his relationship was obviously strained with his father. when he became a successful lawyer in springfield, he purchased a farm for his father and stepmother. he was very closely attached to partly because she protected him against his father, especially in his habit of reading, which is father regarded as a complete waste of time. , poor boy whod liked to read. his father did not understand how you could advance yourself through reading. he bought his father a home. when his father was dying, lincoln's stepbrother and other members of his family urged him to come to the farm to see him. and lincoln refused.
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so there was never a final reconciliation. lincoln was, as i said, very closed about his emotional life and did not talk about it. think he did not ever want to talk about that particular wound he had. thank you. >> good morning, sir. i want to thank you for pointing out abraham lincoln weighed 180 pounds. sidney blumenthal: thank you, mr. lincoln. >> as someone who likes to dress up like lincoln, that tells many to get on a treadmill or split a number of rails to get down to that weight. [laughter] >> i'm going to work on that. my question to you is as an advisor of presidents and in this time of the presidential campaign in which secret communications have become an issue, has there been any scholarship regarding the lincoln era, the wartime?
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i saw the lincoln movie in which he walked over to the telegraph department or department of war. obviously, there were secret communications happening. there was the story about the confederacy where there was a secret message wrapped around cigars that was mishandled. my question is, are there any lessons? i always think there are lessons in lincoln's life. are there any lessons in lincoln's history that can be carried over to this issue of communications and the need to have communications be private and confidential? sidney blumenthal: well, lincoln did not have e-mails. [laughter] sidney blumenthal: but he had telegrams. that was the internet of its day. he would go, as anyone who has seen the lincoln movie recalls, to the telegraph office located in the department of war right across from the white house where the old executive office
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building is today. he would spend a good deal of his time there with secretary stanton and receive the latest communiques. it was in that office he wrote the first draft of the emancipation proclamation. i don't believe there was much of a classification system then. example,heard of, for that there would be government agents who would reclassify lincoln's telegrams after he left office. [laughter] [applause] i think weenthal: are dealing with another era rather than the euro of today with its own complexities and
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vast government bureaucracy and its own tangled rules dealing with new technology that has not really worked out. thank you. i believe that is the last question. i want to thank you all. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, we will take a 20-minute break. the museum is open. there are materials in the lobby about sidney blumenthal's book humming out in the next month or so. you can check that out and we will be back at 10:25. thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its
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caption content and accuracy. visit] >> the lincoln symposium is taking a break before the next speaker who will be edna green medford talking about undeclared partners for freedom, lincoln, african americans, and the emancipation struggle. we will be back with more live coverage from ford's theater when it resumes. c-span's cities tour is featuring montgomery, alabama, this weekend. here is a look at one of the stops. >> today we are here at the alabama department of archives, the state archival institution located in montgomery, alabama. today, we are going to be looking at material from the george wallace collection and other collections related to george wallace and the larger timeframe of 1960's three or the 1960's in alabama. george wallace was probably the
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most influential and well-known and politician that comes out of the state. terms,overnor for four two consecutive terms and two additional terms, and is involved in a lot of what is happening in the early 1960's. he also makes it a very influential runs for president in 1968 and 1972. he makes additional runs in 1964 and 1976. but the two that shape american politics are the 1968 and 1972 campaigns. the first thing i would like to show you is governor wallace's inaugural address. this is his first inaugural address that he presented on generally 14, 1963. this is the moment where we really see his first stance as a hard-line segregationists and where we star to see this rhetoric that will make him a notable theater in alabama politics and national politics.
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the report is: disgusting and revealing. we will not sacrifice our systemn to this school and you can write that down. >> when we look at george wallace's 1958 in andhra campaign,-- inaugural we see an interesting shift happens after 1958. in 1958, he runs for governor against john patterson. in his first gubernatorial election, george wallace runs as a racial moderate. he is still supporting segregation, but he is arguing against klan violence. he is arguing against this hard, entrenched segregation holding the state back. he actually says in one of his campaign speeches in 1958, to paraphrase, he says if i am not
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a man that can treat a man fairly regardless of his color, i am not the man that should be the governor of this fair state. that is very different rhetoric from what we see later on in wallace's campaign. what happens in the 1958 campaign is wallace really does try to reach this racial moderate and try to campaign for the poor and working-class alabamians to campaign for progressive improvements. he gets the support of the naacp in the initial campaign. unfortunately, he loses by a significant margin to john patterson. he is devastated by this loss. wallace, all he wants to be is governor, and he is really upset by this loss. he considers it a failing. what thele ask him takeaway is from the 1958 says i tried to
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talk about progressive improvements, good roads and good schools, and no one would listen. but when i started talking about segregation, everybody stopped and started listening to me. what you see is he decides he's going to become this hard-line segregationists. we see that come out in his inaugural speech presented on january 14, 1963. what happens in the inaugural speech, george wallace hires a new speechwriter named asa carter. asa carter is a hard-line segregationist. ties toman that has very violent organizations. and heties to the klan, is very extreme and hard-line when it comes to segregation. this is the moment where george wallace makes his statement that is probably -- he is probably most well-known for. george wallace: let us rise and
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send our answer to the tyranny in the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth. i draw the line in the dirt and toss the garment before the feet of tyranny. and i say segregation now. segregation tomorrow. and segregation forever. [applause] >> just a few months after wallace gives his influential inaugural address, things begin to heat up as far as civil in the springama of 1963 and moving into the summer. george wallace finds sort of a natural person to have this states rights/national rights debate with in the form of john f. kennedy and robert kennedy. the is happening is
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communities become involved in conversations with george wallace beginning in april 1963. they are very concerned about what will happen with the integration of schools in alabama because they are trying to reinvent what happened earlier in mississippi from happening again. they are trying to avoid another powder keg and mob scene happening at a southern university. they know students are applying to alabama. there are challenges happening in alabama. they have already seen from conditions decaying in birmingham in the spring of 1963 that there is potential for violence if integration of schools does not go successfully. what we see here are a selection of telegrams that were exchanged between kennedy and wallace and also between others interested in what was happening in birmingham in april and may
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1960's three. -- 1963. the conversation between kennedy and wallace is often contentious. wallace is looking for a way to set himself up as a national political figure. he uses the integration of the university of alabama as a way to bring himself to the national cable. makes the statement he will go and physically stand in the schoolhouse door and bar students seeking admission to the university of alabama. telegram on in this june 10, 1963, wallace argues he is the candidate of maintaining peace in alabama. that is his sole purpose for going down to the university. in his telegram, john f. kennedy says the only announced threat to orderly compliance with the law is your plan to bar physically the admission of negro students in defiance of the order of the alabama federal district court and in violation
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of accepted standards of public conduct. wallace's response is he is still determined to make this public stand at the university of alabama. presumably for law and order, but also to advance his candidacy as potentially a national political figure. >> the university of alabama campus is under a state security guard of state police as governor wallace appeals for calm and prepares to confront a deputy u.s. attorney. federal officers are armed with a proclamation from president kennedy urging the governor to end his efforts to prevent two negro students from registering at the university. the governor is adamant. he made a campaign promise to stand in the doorway himself to prevent the integration of the last all-white state university. seen this photograph, you the assistant attorney general for the united states. he is kennedy's representative
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sent to birmingham to make the federal government's argument for integration at the university. standing in the door as he promised, you see governor wallace, who stands here and makes a statement. he says he will physically bar admission of james the and vivian lohan, two african students there to integrate the university of alabama. nicholas reads his statement saying the governor needs to comply with the federal regulations set forth for integration. george wallace makes the statement he is defined this intrusion -- defying this intrusion of federal government into state law and the integration of state universities. what you see here is wallace's reading copy that he read from -- that he read his statement
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from that day in 1963. in the speech, wallace sets up this debate between states rights and federal rights. as we see on the second page, he makes a very powerful stance against federal involvement. he says i stand here today as governor of this sovereign state and refused to willingly submit to illegal usurpation of power by the central government. the lasting impact of this speech is not necessarily that he made a successful stance against desegregation of the university. it is actually that he sets himself up to become a national political figure that is thising the desires of population feels like they have not been heard, this group of white southerners but also
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middle-class working americans who feel their views have been overshadowed by the federal government. once the state troops arrive, about two hours later, about 12:00, wallace sees the federal troops arrive. he steps down and walks away. that is the end of the confrontation. it is interesting to note the contrast between what happens on june 11 when george wallace arrives in tuscaloosa to make his stand in the schoolhouse door and what happens just two days later on june 13, 1963, when dana first of alabama's huntsville campus is desegregated with little fanfare and fast. is ayou see here mathematics student, graduate nasa whoan employee at is walking into this open door to successfully desegregate the university of alabama at
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huntsville. with very little media attention, very little police presence. it is a very stark contrast between what happened a few days before in tuscaloosa. once the school is successfully desegregated, he sort of moves on into the national political sphere. he is using it as a political launching board. george wallace: i am pleased to announce this morning that more than 100,000 californians have registered as members of the american independent party in order to give us assistance in gaining a place on the california ballot and next year's general election. makes hiswallace first initial run in national politics in 1964 where he enters a few key primaries and does very well. but his first major national run comes in 1968 where he has really set himself up through these public appearances he makes during the desegregation
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debate and during the stand in the schoolhouse door, he sets himself up to be this voice of conservatism standing against all of these changes the federal government is making. he takes the segregation argument he has been making and broadens it for a national audience. instead of talking specifically about segregation, he talks about federal power and how it is overtaking the will and desires of everyday americans. that is a debate that really resonates with a lot of people that feel like their concerns are not being heard, that feel they are living in a turbulent moment of american history and feel the federal government is moving too fast with their theirons and feel like voices are not being heard. george wallace in 1968 sets
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himself up as a very successful candidate for president. he wins five southern states and receives over 10 million votes, so he really speaks to a minority that a lot of politicians did not realize was out there that was willing to vote. 1972 and makesn a good showing. but unfortunately what happens may 15, 1972, he is speaking at a campaign stop in maryland when firesnamed arthur bremmer five shots and paralyzes governor wallace. the items you see here were the items george wallace was carrying in his pockets on the day he was shot. what is really remarkable about these is it really humanizes wallace because these are items
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we would have in our pockets or purses today. it is so simple. he is always carrying around a pack of cinnamon gum. he has his chapstick and his book of matches from one of the hotels he stays at. what happens after the shooting in wallace's political career is that he has this moment where he is in constant pain. he is coming to the realization he is never going to walk again, but he is still very interested in running and campaigning. he makes one more presidential run in 1976, which is very short-lived and unsuccessful. a lot of the reason for that is because people have questions about whether he is physical capable -- physically capable of serving as president. after the 76 campaign and defeat, he moves back to alabama and starts making a run for governor again. painse he is in constant and because he is dealing with the realities of his life now,
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he becomes reflective on all of the political events that happened before that. in the 1970's, you start seeing him calling up the african american people like he is wrong and asking for forgiveness. in his last gubernatorial campaign in 1982 making a very emotional reach out to the african american community asking for forgiveness and asking for a chance to redeem his political career. george wallace lived for several more years after he retired from politics. but he was in constant pain and had very poor physical health. he finally died in 1998. alabama and the nation is still trying to come to terms with the legacy of george wallace because as a national politician, even though george wallace was never
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elected, his presidential campaigns were influential and changed the conservative movement. they changed the way future politicians phrase certain debates. you see after wallace a greater focus on especially republican candidates talking about federal government and federal abuse of federald the fear the government has gotten too large and is making my changes -- large changes. they catch it in language very similar to what governor wallace is using. it is still a debate going on today in national politics. we arestate itself, dealt with the two wallaces. we have the wallace that supported improvements to public education. we have technical colleges across the state that there -- bear the name of george and lerl
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ean wallace that have educated generations of students. that stands as his legacy of someone interested in alabama's people. but we are also still dealing with the painful legacy of segregationist rhetoric. i think one of the most wonderful examples of that is some of the speeches george wallace's family have made recently. what you are looking at now is a speech given by peggy wallace kennedy in montgomery, alabama. this was a speech given in 2015, the day after the bloody sunday 50th anniversary celebration was held in selma. she is speaking to a group of en coming down with john lewis to speak with her. i think one of the most powerful parts of the speech is the moment where she directly addresses congressman john lewis.
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she talks about this moment in march 2009 where they walk across the bridge together, and they hold hands. and she realizes this is such a wonderful gift she has been given to be able to have this moment with john lewis where they have moved beyond the pain of the past and are looking towards the alabama of the future. in the final line of her speech, , "today is stored wallace's daughter and a person of my own, i want to do what my father should have done and recognize you for your humanity and dignity as a child of god, as a person of good will and character, and as a fellow alabamian. and say, welcome home." we are back live at ford's theater in washington, d.c., as the abraham lincoln symposium continues. >> 1864, our greatest victory.
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i'm here today for a very important function. i have the honor of introducing edna green medford. dr. medford is the author of lincoln and emancipation. she isto begin by saying receiving an award this afternoon and will be unable to participate in the panel discussion during the afternoon session. therefore, it is important to get your questions in early because she is going off to receive the women's history award from the northern virginia district of columbia maryland affiliate of the national association of negro business and professional women. [applause] >> i came to know dr. medford through a predecessor of hers at howard, lorraine williams, who wrote a book about -- wrote an article about intellectuals who campaigned for lincoln.
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among the people she mentioned was my great uncle, general thomas osborne. through searching that out, i got to know dr. mitford -- medford. and she has been a friend and admired person. she is the chair of the department of history at howard university. she teaches 19th century history. she has lectured widely and has been actively involved in many activities. i have read her book and i strongly urge that all of you do, too. she has brought to the fore the story of those who had the most pressing interest and who worked tirelessly, although largely unrecognized, in achieving emancipation. thee were the slaves, people have the most vital interest.
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in her book, lincoln and emancipation, fills a gap left in the story of emancipation by bringing to the four the important role so many blacks played in changing the face of our nation and bringing about emancipation. i have been counseled to be brief. and so with that, i would like to introduce dr. edna green medford. [applause] dr. medford: good morning. thank ali ando ford's theater society for the opportunity to speak with you this morning. i would like to thank you for being here before that massive storm we are supposed to be having this evening. i love weather folks.
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they sometimes exaggerate what is going to happen. let's hope they are right this time. they are playing it down now unless you live in the mountains or somewhere. in the brief time, nearly two decades for me that i have studied lincoln and emancipation seriously, i have been struck by how often the enslaved people are placed at the periphery of the story. because they were enslaved, we think they were powerless to contribute anything of significance to the cause of union or their own freedom. with notable exception, there is too little effort to understand their motivations and actions beyond some general understanding that they did not like slavery. although even that is questioned on the neo-confederate websites that seem to be proliferating
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these days. but i'm sure none of you in the audience have bothered to go and look at them. my goal in writing "lincoln and emancipation" was to broaden the narrative so to speak, to attempt to restore african americans, especially the enslaved, to their rightful place in the emancipation drama and the war itself. i wanted to place them beside lincoln to make them perhaps undeclared but not so silent partners in the events that altered the american way of life that had stood for nearly two and a half centuries. i hopei get you said -- you get some sense of their efforts this morning. that social revolution was occurring in the midst of war became obvious to a northern correspondent in his travels through the deep south. as he traversed the countryside, he observed a very peculiar thing. feels abandoned.
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kitchens empty of cooks. slave quarters shattered and plantation mattress is taking care of household chores themselves. the slaveholders boast their bondsman and women were contented and devoted servants who would never leave their side had been silenced by war's disturbances. it is singular how totally devoid the negroes of mississippi, louisiana, and every other cotton state are of fealty to the masters, the correspondent wrote. the blacks seem to have compassionate -- a passionate love for liberty and are constantly incurring risks on its behalf that prove their attachment to it most indubitably. this madness affected not only field hands but house servants as well. with a strange ingratitude, they
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run away at the first weaning themselves at once and forever from the charms of slavery. [laughter] significantly, those observations were recorded in spring of 1863, just weeks after president reagan issued the emancipation reclamation. the report joined many others in confirmation that the proclamation was working just as lincoln had intended. it emboldened the bondsmen and women, giving them an irresistible reason to chance flight. for many, in the words of one newspaper editor, the proclamation was like a pillar of flame beckoning enslaved men and women to seek freedom. in issuing his emancipating tikrit, lincoln linked his aim of saving the union to the african american question of freedom. it was neither an easy decision nor a hasty one.
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his position of long-standing was that emancipation should be gradual, compensated, and carried out with the consent of the people. this union and war forced him to abandon this position in favor of the more immediate, military solution. the supportthat won ingratitude of the slaves and their allies with some reservations. lincoln's concerns about constitutional constraints and public will, especially within the border states, shaped the timing of his actions. since slaves were property protected by constitutional guarantees, he believed neither president nor congress had the authority to touch it where it already existed. but diplomatic considerations, desire to place a session is at a disadvantage, and union military needs motivated him to deal with the issue of slavery
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sooner rather than later. incurreduietly the--encouraged slaveholding states to pursue gradual abolition believing in so doing they would signal the confederacy they would never join their cause. when no state of veiled itself of the opportunity, even with promises of compensation for their financial loss and assurance they would be assisted monetarily in the colonization of those freak, lincoln took action under his own authority as commander in chief in a time of rebellion to suppress such activity. it was a huge temple since -- gamble since many white americans and more were not generally inclined towards abolition and in certain circles were bitterly opposed to it. while they resisted the expansion of the institution, they were not prepared for the anticipated disruptions in their own lives that would come from liberated african americans, who
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it was argued would travel to the north and compete for jobs and demand the rights of other americans. the border states whose sentiment was shaped either own slaveholding interests were even more strident in their objections to emancipation. even in areas where slaveholding was a negligible factor in the economy, resistance persisted because of the social and political implications of freedom. yet lincoln had eventually calculated military emancipation would do more good than harm for the union cause. in issuing the proclamation, he anticipated those promised freedom would come boldly over from the rebel side to the union. their flight would deprive the confederacy of a powerful labor force and strengthen the position of the union militarily. of course, enslaved people had fled their bondage long before
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lincoln's decree was even a thought. the war's disruptions offered opportunities for flight heretofore unavailable to them. even as the president pledged non-interference with slavery and his intention to enforce the fugitive slave act of 1850, black men and women assessed or situations and determines their best course of action. some of those who ran away early in the war joined union forces, sometimes voluntarily and at other times by compulsion as military laborers. their insistence on reaching campsary in the union created serious problems for the army and for an administration determined not to make the war anween wightman -- white men avenue for black freedom. reports of union commanders, frustrated slaveholders, and local officials confirmed it
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gained momentum after january of 1863. two days after the decree took effect, black slaves in mississippi were in great numbers coming into general grant's line bringing horses and wagons. within one month, they were flying away in every direction. in monroe, virginia, fugitives from the surrounding countryside and nearby towns had been arriving since union occupation of the area in may of 18 city one. two years later in may of 18 city three, captain charles wilder, superintendent of the contraband noted there are a great number of courageous fellows who have come from long distances in rebeldom, sometimes from up to 200 miles away. those who travel the distance is new about the proclamation and work persuaded -- were persuaded to flee because of it. it was reported 10,000 have come under union control in the
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fortress monroe area alone. flee earlier efforts to slavery had involved mostly men, the post proclamation freedom seekers were more diverse and in larger units. in certain parts of tennessee, a state exempted from the proclamation, brigadier general william smith reported in march of 1863 that whole families were stampeding and leaving their masters. their flight caused serious slaveholders petitioned for the return of their laborers. union commanders could do little if anything to address their grievances since by this time it was the policy of the government not to compel the return of fugitives to their owners. many of the fugitives from slavery left families behind but ed to go back to the
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plantations to retrieve them once they had assurances they would not be as treated or sold to cuba. in certain areas, there was an organized effort devoted to liberation. in mississippi, black men were armed and sent back to their homes as missionaries, an act that could result in the forfeiture of one's life. within days of the issuing of the proclamation, black men in eastern north carolina who had aligned themselves with union forces had liberated a black family in the town of edenton and touched off a frenzy protest from the local slaveholders. this kind of activity is occurring over and over again throughout the war. maryland presented an even greater problem for local officials tasked with managing the torrent of fugitive slaves from the state. when the war began, fugitives sought sanctuary in the district of columbia, still a sleep holding steady at the time, but whose urban environment allowed
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them to blend into the population that had expanded significantly because of wartime activities. district emancipation was enacted by congress in the spring of 1862, the city became even more attractive to maryland runaways. planters in the state's southern counties where slavery had maintained its strength even as the institution declined elsewhere petitioned lincoln to intervene on their behalf with abolitionist commanders who were not inclined to honor the president's's pledge to enforce the fugitive slave act. but when there was no district of columbia to run to, even when there was no district of columbia to run to, enslaved men and women in the border states behaved as if the decree applied to them and often acted accordingly, especially if there was a union military presence nearby. it is difficult to estimate the number of people who actually
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fled during the war. the general consensus is approximately 500,000 of the total population absconded at some point. most were gathered into contraband camps organized for their release and where they were required to labor. the more substantial camps reedman'sriedman -- f village and one in mississippi housed thousands of residents and maintained a school, hospital, and church. but many were squalid places that challenged the ability of the contrabands to survive. others were placed on government farms, lands confiscated from secessionists fleeing the union advanced. d under the supervision often of men who had little intention of facilitating
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the transition from slavery to freedom and were more interested in continuing their exploitation. these were men from the north actually. those who maintained -- who remained at home did so less out of any sense of loyalty than from the degree of difficulty they would experience in attempting to reach union lines and from uncertainty regarding how they would be received once they got there. this did not mean, however, that they acquiesced to continued explication and abuse from those who claimed ownership of their bodies. many who chose to remain at home supported the union cause in their own way by laboring byrequently or not at all, insolence and insubordination, and a few by marauding through the countryside. northerners shared the fear held by many southerners that violence would erupt with the
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emancipation of the enslaved. when lincoln issued the preliminary proclamation, demographic -- democratic governor of new york criticized his actions as a bloody, revolutionary, and unconstitutional scheme. his gubernatorial campaign in late 1862 revealed -- appealed to voters by embracing a platform that consider the proclamation a proposal for the butchery of women and children with scenes of lost -- lust, arson, and murder. similarly in illinois, democrats assailed the proclamation as encouraging a means of warfare, the inhumanity without example and civilized warfare, and which the civilized world will denounce as a disgrace to the
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american people. and perhaps in the greatest example of hypocrisy known in history, the editor of a "weucky newspaper wrote, scarcely know how to express our indignation at the flagrant outrage of constitutional law or humanjustice -- all justice or christian feeling to think we who have been the foremost in the grand march of civilization would be so disgraced by an imbecile president as to be made to appear before the world as the encourager of insurrection, lust, arson, and murder." how, indeed. lincoln acknowledged their fears in his instructions to the freed people that they abstain from all violence except in necessary self-defense. for the most part, they followed this directive. but it did not allay the fears
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of secessionists that retaliation would accompany black freedom. just three weeks into the year of jubilee, alarmed authorities in cold county, virginia, rounded up suspects in an alleged conspiracy to lead a general insurrection of the entire colored population. it seemed the 17 men, most of whom were free, had in their position when apprehended copies of newspapers in which the proclamation appeared. it was believed that knowledge of the decree had been widespread among black people, and the local citizens were in great fear for their lives because of it. concerned the region was about to experience terror remission revolt,te turner's 1831 the locals quickly executed the alleged conspirators.
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secessionists were especially suspicious of freed black men who they believed endeavored to poison the minds of the slaves and lead them in revolt, as if the enslaved people could not lead themselves. as white men were constricted into the confederate army and plantations were left without overseers, letters reached local commanders and the central government that urged the compelling a free black men to fight. this would permit overseers to return to their civilian employment while neutralizing the influence of freed black men over the enslaved. armys even suggested -enslaved laborers as a way to counter the vantage the north had enjoyed since the proclamation. tens of thousands of free black men and slaves were pressed into service as military laborers, teamsters, nurses, builders, etc. a few thousand may have
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shouldered arms in an unofficial capacity before the confederacy adopted an official policy of recruitment of slaves to help forestall defeat near the end of the war. of course by that time, it was too late. whether there was any real threat of revolt from enslaved laborers and their free allies or conspiracy frenzy that were the result of the wild imaginations of white men who recognized the enslaved had legitimate grievances against those who would make property of human beings, there were enough instances of proven violence to keep the confederacy climbed. black men emboldened by the absence of white male authority on the plantations exercise freedom of movement and independent thought and expressed long pent up resentments. mississippi residents complained of marauding bands of freed
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negroes desolating neighborhoods . in one parish of louisiana, black men got possession of horses and mules and bargains and road through the countryside supposedly threatening local lights. in other disobedience to the authority of their owners, slaves in tennessee plantations to work for themselves and returned at night to finally asserting their right to do it. enter von parish, louisiana, locals complained, to union general nathaniel banks that goinglabors quit work, come when they see fit, and write off at night with mules that had been at work all day. fences were pulled down, gates left open, and livestock killed or carried off and sold. ofortedly, large numbers
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slave laborers traveled from one plantation to another at all hours night and day where they gathered in large numbers on plantations deserted by fleeing confederates. in a word one exasperated observer reported, we are in a state of anarchy. the presence of the union soldiers occasionally afforded black men and women who had spent their lives under the lash the opportunity to find justice from past misdeeds and ill-treatment on the part of their owners. to his misfortune, virginia secessionists william clarkin became a central character in one of these incidents. the elderly planter and family friend of the deceased former president, john tyler, was well known for his cruelty to his enslaved laborers and for his secessionist activities as well. he fell into the hands of general wild and his african
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brigade, the unit consisting largely of recruits drawn from southern virginia and north carolina. southern virginia is where clarkin lived. as fate would have it, several of his former laborers found sanctuary with wild's soldiers. the sympathetic general allowed three of the women and a man whose backs for the scars from lashes administered by the planter to dispense what wild called political justice. george hatton who witnessed the events did not miss the irony of the former slaves of bending the master -- upending the master-slave relationship. the days are clear, the fields of grain are beautiful, and the birds are singing sweet songs, he wrote, while he is crying to servants for mercy. julia gardiner tyler, john
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tyler's widow, was so outraged by the incident that she wrote to president ligon in protest. general wild was later court-martialed and convicted for his role in the incident, but the ruling was eventually overturned. if such examples of changing racial relations concerned them, confederates became rose at the site of black men like those in wild's african regained wearing the union blue. lincoln's proclamation called for the use of black men to andison forts and positions to manned vessels of all sorts in service to the union. black men had been recruited for military service earlier, but the president's authorization hastened the effort to bring them officially into the federal forces. for confederates, it was incontrovertible proof of lincoln's disregard for their rights and lives. freeman pressed the president and congress to be allowed to
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into the fight from its beginning. believing valor on the battlefield would earn them the freedom and rights that have not come to black people by virtue of their birth. they had even offered to provision units of volunteers at their own expense. but like many white americans of the day, lincoln initially doubted the fighting resolve and ability of black men. it is really strange because black men have fought in all of america's wars and have done so courageously. so why this resistance? we certainly know why. it had nothing to do with the black man's ability. when pressed by chicago on armingleaders black men, he expressed his fear that in a few weeks, the arms would be in the hands of the rebels. his reluctance also reflected concern northerners were not prepared for such a radical policy and that the border
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states especially might withdraw their allegiance to the union. just as war altered his views of emancipation, the changed his perspective on the use of black soldiers as well. 1863, there were approximately 100,000 strong. by the end of the war, at least 186,000 had shouldered arms for the union, comprising 10% of the union army's strength. thousands more served in the navy from the beginning of the war, so there was no resistance to them being used in the navy. but there rank was at the level of "boy." that did not seem to offend anyone. lincoln had come to believe black soldiers were crucial to winning the war and saving the unit was evident in a letter he wrote to general grant after the vicksburg campaign. mostding to general thomas'
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recent effort to raise troops in the mississippi valley, lincoln encouraged grant to do the same. it --eve, he wrote, meaning black soldiers -- is a resource if vigorously applied now will soon close this contest. while friends and adversaries criticized his emancipation policies, when they criticized his emancipation policies, lincoln pointed to the indispensable services these black men rendered in defense of the union. on one of those occasions, he penned a letter to his good friend james conklin which he attended to be read in the assemblage of fellow republicans in springfield. some of the men who would hear his letter suggested the proclamation was a mistake and should be rescinded. lincoln assured his critics his policies as concerned the black
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population had been in the interest of preserving the union. some of the commanders of our armies in the field who have given us our most important successes believe the emancipation proclamation and use of the colored troops constitute the heaviest blow yet dealt to the rebellion, he wrote. and at least one of these important successes could not have been achieved when it was but for the aid of black soldiers. black men were holding up their end of the deal, and the promise of freedom having been made must be kept. calmat was not enough to their criticism, lincoln added that one piece returned there will be some black men who can remember that with silent tongue and clinched teeth and steady eyes and well poised bayonets, they have helped mankind onto this great consummation.
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while i fear there will be some white ones and able to forget that with malignant heart and deceitful speech they have strove to hinder it. in a drafted response a year later to criticism leveled by charles robinson, a wisconsin war democrat, lincoln reiterated the necessity for continued support from black soldiers, suggesting that to betray the promise of freedom would ruin the union cause itself. in lincoln's estimation, all recording of colored men would instantly cease. and all colored men now in our service would instantly desert us. without the assistance of black soldiers and laborers, the union could no longer maintain the contest. although recruitment had centered on the southern states where it emancipation had been proclaimed and in the north, the
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border states eventually felt the effects of the new policy as well. although in slave were required to get permission from their owners, recruitment officers routinely ignored this and eventually enlistment was thrown open to all. since the wives, children, and mothers of these soldiers were freed by an act of congress, the policy you wrote it slavery in those states where recruitment was most intense. lincoln and white and northerners and southerners had no illusion about why black men were willing and eager to fight. negroes act on motive, he told conklin, and indeed they did. formerly enslaved men went to war to steer freedom. their freed counterparts did so to secure rights. their patriotism was shaped by the expectation that when the war was over they would share not just in the union victory
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but the advantages of a freed america. maney, a member of the virginia 20th volunteers, spoke for the men when he tried to explain to his frightened wife refused to why he use his recent illness to escape the war. do you know or think what the end of this work is to decide? if our government succeeds, our race will be free. when slavery passes away, the prejudices that belong to it must follow. slaveholders are my enemies. the flag i was born under has have suffered so much under, they tore that flag from its staff and in its place put the rebel rag and swore by it that freedom should die. but they shall find it cannot die.
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it's black sons and loyal white sense are faithful and will shed the last drop of blood in defense of the starry banner that is to be the emblem of edna: if he should die in this not let me, he will rest on the battlefield with my face to the slaveholders. a continual reproach and curse unto him as long as the world shall stand. remained loyal to the union at the hands of -- even if they had been born free. they had been assured by some other recruiters that they would be treated equally in respect to pay, equipment, bounty, or aid
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and protection. they were the soldiers of the union, nothing less and nothing different. thathey soon discovered the racial antagonism that permeated the north would follow them into military service. lincolnk douglas visit at the white house in august 1863 to discuss the disparate treatment that black men received. lincoln council patients an understanding of the sensitivity of the border states and many northerners of the use of black soldiers. the men affected courageously board their objections to such in justin sees -- in such injustices and petition lincoln. enlistment had permitted them to be men. they had no intention of
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accepting an inferior status from the government. rather than accept an equal pay, some units chose to accept no. hazard.this was a real from their soldier husbands. provided ammunition to those back home. the black men who were endangering their lives, it was argued header of the right that equal to fair and treatment, but purchased with their lives, the life of every black woman, man, and child to be treated like any other citizen.
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the folks at home pressed for voting rights, equal access to public accommodations and services for their children. suggested touietly the governor that the state, then undergoing reconstruction, might want to consider granting the vote to let veterans and others seeking politically quality. shortly before he was assassinated, he was going to speak openly about political rights, at least for the minarets of the union well and for those who he deemed prepared to take on responsibilities of citizenship. his growth in such a short period of time was remarkable.
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african americans have grown as well. ,heir experiences as soldiers as the nation's or's, and liberators of their people, crushing slavery from within had confirmed their value not in a slaveholders plantation journal, but as americans who had earned the right to be thought of as such. by the end of the war, they had championed a definition of freedom that reflected their expectations and their understanding of what they had done for the nation. both the president and the enslaved had acted on self interests, more with lincoln, of course, it is a national interest. of course, with the enslaved, to secure the freedom. because they were able to find common cause, those interests
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theded and i will end with last statement in the introduction of my book, together they achieved the liberty that american adhere to force a champion. thank you. [applause] i think we have a few minutes for questions. >> i was fascinated about what you said early on about how many of the slave owners that their slaves were happy. how widespread was that delusion? there was a fugitive slave law. they must have known that slaves wanted to get out, or whether individuals that thought they were good slave masters?
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was a systematic? aremedford: when you denying people human rights, you have to justify some way. you have to convince yourself that you are doing them a favor. the 1830's,, before the 1830's, you have slaves -- slaveholders saying that we need the laborers. 1830's went abolitionism was becoming more militant, yet slaveholders saying slavery is a positive good. has this onsociety which to build. so african-americans provide that foundation. but these people are talking couldin kentucky how lincoln do this? we are the most civilized people in the world and how could he do this to the people? , but totally ridiculous
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they really believed that stuff. certainly the understood that there were some enslaved people who would have taken any opportunity to actually free themselves and do damage to themselves. survive inable to that kind of environment, to be able to sleep at night, they had to convince themselves that they were folks who loved them daily. -- who loved them dearly. there were some people who did not be because they were afraid to leave. they had never known anything but slavery and they were natural how they would make it. if you look at the slave records,s, plantar's you will see how frequently people are fleeing. if some areas of the country where everybody on the plantation leaves. it is not just the people out in the field. it is the folks in the houses,
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the people who are the tradesmen, the blacksmiths come the carpenters, every group of enslaved people are running away. is not justery about exploitation of labor. that is bad enough. it is about denying people the right to protect their families, having the possibility that your wife is going to be sold away, your children are going to be sold away, your daughter is going to be raped, you are going to be beaten to death, that is what slavery meant in america. it wasn't just exploitation, it was much more than that. it was a means of social control. one of the reasons why you see what you see a the end of the war when people are supposedly freed, you have the black coats implemented. there are various concerns that these people still want to control the black population in the way they think they need to be controlled.
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>> i have always had the that theof the fact emancipation proclamation freed the slaves in the confederacy by virtue of him being commander in chief. it was an assigned into the memo to the constitution that the ones in the union in the north were freed. it seems to me there was a period of time where slavery was still legal in the northern states. i never heard anyone talk about transpiredm and what because of that dichotomy. dr. medford: that is my next book. i am actually writing that now. [laughter] by that as well, certainly in the border states. they don't get their freedom until the 13th amendment, or if the state has actually declared
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freedom. 1865,missouri, in missouri freeze its enslaved population. freed its- missouri enslaved population. kentucky does not. said, kentucky was a problem, yes, they definitely were. kentucky would not do it. in fact, kentucky did not actually ratify the 13th amendment until 1976, i believe. it was ridiculous. free itsdoes not enslaved laborers, although there are so few there. when lincoln asked them to be the test case for emancipation of the border states, delaware says no although they had fewer
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than 1800 enslaved people. by the war, they had 900 left. they are not free anybody. they are waiting till the 13th amendment. what we don't ever talk about is the 13th after amendment, there were people still enslaved. they are in indian territory. there are native american tribes in that territory that have not freed their slave laborers and they do it as a consequence, a treaty with the united states. the one time that treaties worked for somebody other than the government. [laughter] -- what is going on during the war is, even in kentucky, there are people getting their freedom because they are joining the army. those men are freed and their wives and children and mothers are freed as well.
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slavery is the story throughout the south before the 13th amendment was ratified. what the 13th amendment does is, it just doesn't into slavery in those other areas, it forbids slavery to be reestablished and that was very important. with the emancipation proclamation, there was no guarantee that after the war, the south when a try to reestablish the institution. the 13th amendment was critical as well. >> good morning. i wonder how you handle the dilemma of the statue. the one is called emancipation on lincoln park. --coln stands over a shackle meals at his feet. ls at his feet. it was paid for the freed black itizens up washington d.c.
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that does not fit the narrative you are describing. was that unknown to them? dr. medford: it was interesting. when frederick douglass bought the memorial, he said it was not befitting of the role black people play. it would have been better if the enslaved man, the black man depicted had been standing beside lincoln. i agree with that totally. what it does is it reinforces the great emancipator image. that lincoln did it alone. with a stroke of his pen, he ended slavery and freed every slave in america and that is not what happened. there were many people who work midwives at the birth of black freedom. lincoln was central to that birth, but african-americans were there as well as were abolitionists as were many other
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groups of people. that the bulk of the money came from a formally from blackople veterans as well. i don't think all of the good, but the bulk of it did. the first person though who supposedly gave the first five dollars was a woman named charlotte scott who actually had not been freed by the emancipation proclamation, but freed by her owner before the proclamation was issued. her owner was being pressured by his abolitionist neighbors. he freed her. he went with her to ohio. i always wondered why she did that. but she was a 61-year-old who spent her whole life in slavery she hadbly felt
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connections to these people, were elsewhere she going to go? but it is problematic. it has always been problematic, even from the very beginning. they did not decide, african-americans did not decide what the design was going to be. kneeling,h he is not richard brown has a larger role. dr. medford: right. americans want to believe at one time that african-americans were passive in the own liberation and that was not the case. ladies and gentlemen, i apologize, we have to end the session right now. dr. medford will be out in the lobby to sign her book. thank you. [applause]
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the abraham lincoln symposium -- we will be back with more live coverage from the four theater when we presume. >> rosa parks was an ordinary citizen. she was anybody's neighbor, whond, sister, mother
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started a movement here in montgomery that would change the city, the nation end of the world. mrs. parks was secretary of her local in the lacy peach chapter. there was a plan in place -- of caap chapter. arrests before and with mrs. parks comes with a person,woman, a working she was kind of pettitte, who in the world would want to believe such a nice person? i think that is kind of the aap forhat the nc media purposes, they knew it was going to get a lot of attention, hadink her persona may have
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an effect in their decision to do this, but i think that it had been building up. the way that life in montgomery was a life of jim crow segregation, meaning that everything you could possibly think of was separated. not necessarily equal, but separated. that irks experience regular basis. that on a regular basis. when she got on a bus to go home from work like everyone else, she sat in a seat that was designated for so-called colored ders. had policing powers and
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determined what sections of the bus were regulated for white passengers and so-called colored passengers. they did this by moving a sign forward or backward on the bus designating each section. mrs. parks, when she got on the in this section designated for colored passengers, when the front of the bus does it made for white passengers filled, the parks andn asked mrs. about three or four other passengers to relinquish their seats to white passengers. the other passengers did as they were asked by the driver and is is an parks refused. the brown versus board decision had passed in 1954 and that is what integrated public schools. it did not integrate public transportation or other public facilities. they were using what was
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essentially a be sure segregation by law that they had separate spaces on the buses for passengers, however, when the driver made the decision to ask the african-american passengers to relinquish their seats, that became a personal decision, a private decision. is erecting de facto segregation. that is when you do something that is not necessarily the law, but doing it because it is the social moray and the way things are. since mrs. parks refused, he asked her to get off the bus. he calls the city police to have mrs. parks arrested.
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a 381arks arrest began day boycott, involve a grassroots effort of the african-american community strategizing, pulling together there resources for what would over a year of sacrifice. we are at the rosa parks museum on the campus of tour university at the montgomery campus. we are at the spot where rosa parks was arrested at. outsidearrested right here at the empire theater. at the rosa parks museum, we take people on a journey where communities came together. we are going to do this by original document and traveling through those time periods through the footsteps of the actual ones who did it.
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this is a photograph of the bus the day of the boycott. the bus went from not having anywhere to sit, with one person be on the bus in three short days. this is a very important because people thought it was only blacks that stayed off the bus. eight today the buses ran empty, as you can see, the bus company lost $3000 a day. andre talking about 1955 $3000 was the average yearly salary of most people in this area and it speaks to the amount of people who stayed off the buses because remember, the bus fare was only $.10. demandsve a list of the that the protesters were asking for.
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as you can see, the first demand riders be treated with respect and courtesy. a lot of times they were asked to get in the front of the bus and asked to get off the bus and get on at the back of the bus. they asked for respect and courtesy first. the second man was first-come, first-served seating. they stated they were only load from theey back to the front. but once they set down, they were not asked to get out of their seat for any reason. the third demand asked that the company hire black drivers, but
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not for all the routes, only the routes that came through the black neighborhoods. they did not asked for total integration, but reasonable segregation. still, they were still not able to reach an agreement with the city. the mayor was negotiating on behalf of the city and he was negotiating with dr. martin luther king, who was the spokesperson. even though they were not asking for total integration, the city felt they were. if they gave them an inch, they would take a mile. they were only asking for so little to get their foot in the door to desegregate the buses totally. after a short time, a little over a month, they ended negotiations. after many attempts to run dr. king out of town, such as threatening phone calls,
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kentually, someone called dr. and explained to him that in three days, if he did not the montgomery and stop the bus boycott, he would be killed and his house would be bombed. afraidg said he was so that he prayed out loud to the lord. he said he prayed a special prayer that night basically saying, lord, i think what i am doing is right and i think the cause we represent is right, but i must admit, i am beginning to get weak and losing my current and i cannot let people see me this way because they will get weak also. dr. king said at that moment it happened, a voice was telling cam, stand up for righteousness, stand up for justice and stand up for the truth. dr. king said that is what gave him the strength to continue on
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, so he didycott continue and three days later, his home was bombed, but fortunately, no one was injured. was at the back of the house when the bomb went off. a $500 reward,d which eventually grew to $1000, but no one was ever found for bombing of the kings'home. large crowds had gathered at his home, a group of 300 angry protesters, who were seeking revenge. they wanted to fight back for dr. king and fight fire with fire, but dr. king knowing that it would be a mistake, stepped onto his front port and decided to plea for peace. he told all of them to go home
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and put away their weapons. he reminded them that even if receive violence, they would not return it no matter what. doing was right and that god was with them. the focus shifted. instead of running dr. king out alone, it was attempted to run people. other these are some of the individuals indicted on the anti-boycott law. you will see a lot of faces that you will recognize like dr. king, enid's in -- e.d. nixon.
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because they were not using the buses, they still needed a method of transportation. this is a replica of the cars they used, which is a 1955 station wagon. purchased and some were donated. they use these cards to get back and fourth to work. -- they use these cars to get back-and-forth to work. surveillancet up a trying to stop these cars because they wanted to show they were operating like a taxi service and not return organization and that was want ablee boycotters to get a business license to operate the cars. through surveillance, he gained enough evidence to file a
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lawsuit against all the churches that had cars in their name. eventually, they won their lawsuit gaining an injunction stopping the cars from operating. day, the busesct were desegregated. this case made it to the federal supreme court. the final ruling came down in november, but they had to wait until december the or they could load back on the buses because they needed to wait for the mandate to make it to montgomery and that happened on december 21 of 1956. rosa parks was not a plaintiff on the case because when she went to court, she was found guilty of disorderly conduct and not violating segregation laws, so she could not be a part of that court case even though it was poignant for her to be on .hat court case this was a victory ride that
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took place on december 21, 1956. firstaders wanted to ride to make sure it was ok to ride in the front. a lot of people were nervous. no one knew what would happen, but there were no incidences the first day. gray --attorney freddie fred gray. is practicing law today in tuskegee, alabama with the sun. is a pastor, but told everyone he was a news reporter to interview dr. kane. he was sent by the fellowship of reconciliation to teach dr. king nonviolent tactics. on the inside is dr. martin isher king and beside him
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reverend abernathy, one of dr. king's closest friends. with the protest when he had to be away on other business. there were no incidences the first day, seven days after this , a lady by the name of rosa jordan were shot in both of her legs while sitting on the back of the bus. killed, but they eventually suspended the night route until it went away. they wanted everything to go back to normal, so people eventually started riding the buses. some elderly said in the first time in their lives, they were called ma'am or serve.
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they took with a did here in -- used it in freedom -- whatreedom counters, you begin to see is a new revolution in the united states. >> every weekend on american history tv, future programs that showcase the american story. this evening at 8:00 p.m. eastern, on lectures in history, university discusses presidential legacies and the factors that contribute to a successful term. september 1960 3, 2 months prior to his death, president kennedy child across the united states to promote conservation of natural resources for future generations.
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sunday morning at 10:00, wrote to the white house rewind, in 1984 democratic debate in atlanta includes former vice president walter mondale, senators gary hart of colorado ohio, georgeh of mcgovern and reverend jesse jackson. for the complete american tv weekend schedule, go to ♪ as the director of veteran affairs in ohio, many of our veterans have come into my office but we're going to vote for. regardless of how they are going to vote, it is her civic duty to go out an vote. many things are at stake with and election, so get out vote. ohio, and i toledo, am here supporting bernie
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sanders. he's one of the most important candidates right now. ideas most aggressive that are most important to the country and i encourage everyone to go out and support voting if possible. [laughter] issue inst important this election will because tuition as well as jobs. in college kids go to school, they need to do how to afford it. as president of the college democrats, those of the biggest issues. >> i was originally going to ite for bernie sanders, but will end up voting for hillary because she seems more knowledgeable and has been in the political environment before. she is the secretary of state
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and is a racing the inter-workings of the white house and have a game goes. ♪ back live in washington d.c. at the abraham lincoln symposium continues.
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>> on a rainy night of april 11 1865, president lincoln addressed a crowd for the last time. the speech was remarkably less for his oratorical qualities, stylistically, it was far from his best. then for the fact with the conflict all but behind him, lincoln was looking forward in more ways than one to human a war-torn nation. three days later, the human -- the president would fall to an assassin's bullet and the promise of a gentler reconstruction would go unfulfilled. titled,urrent work "lincoln's last speech: wartime reconstruction and the crisis of dr. lewis mazer
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analyzes reconstruction in all of its iterations from the earliest days of the war to the end of lincoln's presidency and his life. then, in his epilogue, he cites, no less a person than frederick douglass frederick stating how reconstruction would have evolved if lincoln lived. this morning, i was remembering when the late professor william lee miller, who was never a fan 's, talked about
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the time during the civil rights a student approached him and said, professor miller, what you think lincoln would have had to say about busing? bill miller look at him and said, i believe mr. lincoln would have said, what is a bus? [laughter] nonetheless, dr. mazer does it right and he has the credentials to support his hypotheses. ,e is the author of eight books professor at rutgers, and elected member of the society of historians and the massachusetts historical society. he is the recipient of fellowships from the mellon foundation and the national endowment for humanities.
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he has earned the trustees award for faculty excellence from trinity, the john prize for excellence in teaching from harvard, and the outstanding teacher award from the city university of new york. he is very tall. [laughter] and three years ago, i was honored to present him with our annual abraham lincoln book award for his excellent "lincoln: 100 days." pleas welcome lewis mazer. [laughter] [applause] my thanks to ron for that wonderful introduction. evening, not in sorrow, but in gladness of
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heart. whichs aligned with lincoln opened what would turn out to be his last speech. it had taken him a couple of days to write that line and in many ways, it was a classic lincoln line, not in sorrow. he had known so much sorrow, personal sorrow, the death of his son in the white house. had melancholic tendencies. what is not emphasized the other side of his personality, the gladness of heart. the sense of joy, sense of hopelessness, an attitude, as he said when he left springfield, let us hope that all will yet be well. he always looked ahead that way. i thing often of the letter defending mccullough he voted december, -- a letter he wrote
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to mccullough in december. he stopped to write the grieving daughter of his friends, you are sure to be happy again. thatth, lincoln delivers line to open. he had only just returned to washington two days earlier. he needed to get away from d.c.. his health had always been up-and-down. the war was now the over. on that trip, he did something he loved to do, read shakespeare out loud. no doubt, he recited mcbeth's speech that includes the line, fever, the season
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has done it is worst -- the season has done its worst. treasonrds malice and registered with the group. the idea of a sound, untroubled sleep must've appeal to lincoln at that moment. on passing mount vernon, one of the newspaper reporters on the boat remarked that one day, springfield would carry special meaning for america. answered, how happy i shall be in four years hence to return there in peace endotracheal he. -- tourns to washington andrn there in peace -- tranquility.
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he sees a band and calls for the dead to play a song and i think you will know this. he said, strike of dixie. that is one of my favorite songs. was dixie his favorite song? i don't know. be in calling for dixie to played, certainly, he was signaling something important. a conciliatory gesture. the speech then goes on for pages after page to talk about reconstruction and specifically, the problem of louisiana. what i want to argue this morning is that reconstruction does not begin anything 55. in 1855.ot begin i want to go back even further.
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reconstruction begins when the war begins. sectionthe word because is used at the beginning of the work, but it is used differently. it is used not only to mean remaking the nation, restoring the nation, redefine the nation, the state in succession begin to use the word reconstruction to discuss reconstructing the constitution so as to accommodate their concerns and their needs. who carried at cane with a hidden soared in net in the event he was attacked -- event he wasin the attacked, declared in 1861, we hear much talk about reconstruction. he wrote, to go to hell is easy,
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but to come back again, that is labor. that is toil.' once the war begins, from the very start, lincoln is concerned with the question of how the union is going to be restored. how the states are going to be brought back in again? governorss military to five different states. he appoints andrew johnson in tennessee. north carolina, he appoints someone, edward stanley, who signedesign when lincoln the application proclamation. sean phelps in arkansas. andrew jackson hamilton in texas. most importantly, george shepley in louisiana. louisiana and new orleans is key for lincoln from the very start.
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there is going to be very little traction in texas. andrew jackson hamilton barely hangs out in texas and spends most of his time in new york and boston and washington. andennessee, arkansas, louisiana, lincoln hinges his hopes. he penned his hopes that those states during the war can be restored. this is critical to understanding lincoln and the construction. for lincoln, reconstruction is both a means toward an end as well as an end in itself. the eventual hope is to win the reunify the nation. how are we going to do that? one of the way to do that was to pick off whatever confederate states we could and have them adopt new constitutions and readmit representatives to congress. you would be weakening the power of the confederacy and
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evidencing the war effort. along those lines, lincoln focuses. he focuses on having elections held in those states, particularly in louisiana d it would be worth more to us in a battle game. he writes to andrew johnson and says get a into your state constitution and there is no such word as "fail" in your case. this becomes critical after january 1, 1863. emancipation is the one requirement that the states have to abide i. they have to write new state constitutions that provide for emancipation and then they can begin the process as outlined under his proclamation of amnesty in reconstruction issued
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in 1863 to rejoin the union. fairly mild, almost benevolent process, 10% of those who voted need to hold a convention to elect delegates, disfranchised certain confederate leaders, require the inclusion of emancipation in these new constitutions and basically left things to proceed. lincoln throughout his presidency, was pushing and pressing for this to be accomplished, especially in louisiana. it begins to make progress. there were all kinds of progress -- they're all kinds of problems. oteri governors were unheard of. what is the proper relationship between the military governor and the military commander? what happens when civil and military authority come into conflict with one another? had not beenstions worked through and would continue to be worked through reconstruction
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comes into play. issue thatother huge lincoln has very little patience for. what is the status of the states in the union? there were endless amounts of conversation about this. lincoln was there from the very start. succession was absurd. it did not exist. succession, he said, was an there could be no constitutional right to succession. you could say you succeeded, but guess what? you have not. you are still entitled to your rights as citizens of the united states. that is going to create all kinds of mental gymnastics throughout the war. lincoln holds fast to that. it was a rebellion.
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he worked the rebellion. he believed it was a small group of traders responsible for that to put down the rebellion and figure out a way to get those states that can as soon as possible. had other discussions of the nature of the status of the confederacy. some conservatives, such as montgomery blair, gives a speech in rockville on october third, 1863. again, all of this is kicking off in 1863 months before the proclamation and reconstruction. blair gives a speech in which he says that lincoln's ideas of reconstruction are part of an abolitionist program to further abolish slavery and entrench african-americans into society. he calls opposition to it and opposition to abolition. he begins to articulate what
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northern democrats and others see as an idea of the terms under which the union will be restored. he goes crazy. betty's stevens calls it a vile stevens callsdeus it a vile speech. lincoln tries his best to ignore it. it is not accidental that uncovering blair would be replaced in his cabinet. that's montgomery blair would be replaced in his cabinet. they called it state suicide. when they succeeded, they died and therefore, we can do whatever we want to do in order to manipulate them, restructure them, reconstruct them to the needs that we have at the time. about territorial reality. to the statusback of the territorial government.
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these conversations filled the ,ewspapers, field editorials and lincoln has had enough. in that final speech, he calls it a pernicious abstraction. that is his phrase. it does not so much matter from whatstitutional standpoint their relationship is to the union, the key he says, and he times,is phrase of five he uses proper, practical relationships. we just have to get them back alive. like a good chiropractor, just straighten it off. [laughter] indeed, lincoln will continue along those lines throughout the war.
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there is a battle with congress, we all know that. congress has her own ideas of who should be responsible for reconstruction and the terms in which those should be readmitted. feltthough the way davis was not as radical as the north was per trade as being. at the time, people felt it was quite modest requiring an ironclad oath. still, lincoln decides to pocket veto and takes extraordinary measure. from wadea response and davis. in 1864, you have this public dispute about reconstruction overappears to be a battle presidential versus congressional authority, but in lots of ways it was not because lincoln always accepted the idea, the reality that it was
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congress ultimately have the power to see elective representatives. they would go about the business of helping the states organize governments, but congress would review the credentials of those elected and decide whether or not to seek them. tremendous progress had been louisiana,ially in which adopted a new state constitution that abolish slavery. representatives to congress. -- 1865,ry of 1965 congress decides not to seek those representatives and lincoln is disappointed. that the key representatives would be critical to the process of restoring the union that would bring louisiana back in. in other ways, he is not that troubled.
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congress is about to go into recess. they are not coming back until december. on an 11th, what does he do? to thes a case directly people. so you be this last speech and he is going on and on about louisiana and asking the people in a common sense kind of way, should we abandon the progress that has been made? would it be better to take the experiment they had made and proceed with it rather than to a band it and crush it. beuses a metaphor, we should -- we should preserve it as the egg to the fowl. i trace of responses to this metaphor. people say, what if it is a rotten egg of them a it is ok. lincoln is prepared with congress out of session to do what has to be done from april
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through december to begin the work of reconstruction. there is a bigger problem and he knows it and the nation knows it. the problem is not emancipation. that is done. that is settled here. that thinkemocrats that slavery will survive the war. it will not. some think that lincoln is only partial one way or the other about it. he has been determined for a long time. the question is not emancipation. the question is the transition to freedom. this is an issue that doesn't get enough attention because it is the issue that society is debating. editorial after editorial talks in terms of what is to be done about the slaves. that is the way the question is
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presented. an august 5, 1863, he says, i would be glad of heart to make a new institution, recognizing the wherepation proclamation the proclamation does not apply. behink it would not for her to adopt some practical system by which the two races could gradually lift themselves out of their old relationship to each other and both come out better prepared for the new. lift themselves out of their old relationship with the other. what does that mean? head, he a time in his thought maybe an apprenticeship,
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but that would not be acceptable. dilemmathe fundamental facing america and the problem of reconstruction circa 1864/1865. it is not emancipation, it is a transition to freedom. how do we give meaning to freedom? what can we do? lots of people were at a loss. radical republicans had an idea. confiscating the states, restricting the land. conservatives on the other side but nothing should be done. lincoln wrangles all over the place on this issue. at the hampton roads pease conference, he tells us a story when this issue comes up about what to do about freedom. it is a story he tells.
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-- here is the story he tells. it reminds me of a man in to raise a few herds of hogs. how to get around this was a puzzle to him. when there was sufficiently grown, he charts the whole herd into the field. along, this iss all very fine, the hogs are doing very well, but out here in alinois, the ground freezes foot deep, what are you going to do? matter mr. case had not considered. it may come pretty hard on their snouts, but i don't think they will die.
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it was a harsh judgment. even alexander stevens later wrote that the tail was hard to replace. [laughter] it expresses so much about the confusion. . what can be done? what are the possibilities? , heith everything lincoln evolved over time. he changed his mind. he considered, contemplated. in february of 65, signing was one concrete step toward doing some about the transition from slavery to freedom here at providing for food, shelter, relocation. an important first step in a government that was not used to having a federal authority being responsible for helping. he went further.
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in his last speech to at the very end he publicly endorses black suffrage. for those who served and the well-educated. people knew that privately he had been thinking about black suffrage. handwritten letters which he .".d "for your eyes only for everyone to talk to everyone else. now he publicly comes out and states his support. as many of you know, john wilkes booth is in the crowd listening to that last speech. he turns to lewis powell and says "that is the last speech you will ever give." three days later he acted on his threat.
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lincoln's endorsement of black suffrage was one of those steps that seemed to be gaining momentum. something that would help in the transition to freedom. let us not romanticized how everyone felt after lincoln's assassination. some republicans in congress , as one wrotess in his journal, that lincoln's death is a godsend here this is a republican. lincoln's death was a godsend. why would he say this? because the radical republicans. lincoln was soft. they thought that he did not have the steel it would take to deal with the rebels. , mostnd again lincoln traumatically -- most
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dramatically, with charity for all. time and again he said let the war be remembered for lessons to be learned, not ask to be revenged -- acts to be revend. with hisas in richmond son, he said what should i do with these confederate prisoners? lincoln said "let them up easy." lincoln wanted a just he's. he wanted a righteous piece. rightous peace, a peace. he also wanted to show mercy. said "judge not that we not be judged, quoting the bible. on his trip he said it over and over again. someone writes to chase, i am
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tired of hearing this. judge not that we not be touched. haven't they started the war, shouldn't this war be about slavery? we should judge them and bring the hammer down on them. that was not going to be lincoln's way. much we can say. of course, we can never fully know what would've happened had he lived. of course, it is tempting to speculate. it is tempting to speculate how this man would have managed this situation. in some ways, we know the elements that would have turned thatuperior to anything ended up happening with andrew johnson. we have to remember that andrew johnson, at the beginning, was celebrated and favored. the radical thought that they had her andrew johnson was someone they could work with.
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sumner got a different view of the matter when he meets with letter and writes a where he says andrew johnson used his hat as a spittoon. johnson is going to change. we're going to have warfare -- to have warfare erupt between the republicans. a masterful politician, he did not lose that mastery is the war went on. he was able to play the middle on the keep the moderates in line, addressed the concerns of the conservative side of the party, and not completely alienate the radicals. , certainly,elieve that his ability to do that would have continued to pace are there other ways as well. which, had lincoln survived, perhaps things would have changed.
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his gracious introduction of validity fragrant douglas -- frederick douglass who spoke at length about the speech. douglas said the president has expressed himself in favor of extending the rights of suffrage to two classes of colored men. first of those who served, the second the intelligent. the declaration on his part, though it seemed to mean but little, meant a great deal. it was like abraham lincoln. is --er shot presidents prejudices unnecessarily. use the thin edge of the wedge first. the fact that he used it first meant that he would, if need be, use the thick as well as the thin. conclusiont his about the death of lincoln.
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said, had abraham lincoln been spared to see this day, the negro of the south would have more than the hope of a franchise meant, and no rebels would hold the reins of government in any one of the late rebellious states. now, one can only lament to what could have then. -- could have been. whoever have mourned the loss of abraham lincoln, to the colored people of the country, his death is an unspeakable calamity. and unspeakable calamity. i think that we have to take care to believe that all the problems would have been solved. alluded,e, as i have certain things may have turned out differently had he lived. in all likelihood, he would have revisited his amnesty proclamation and revised it once all of the confederate states had surrendered. can be said with
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certainty concerns character and not policy. lincoln's character did not allow politics to become the war,area during his disagreements with the radicals never turned malicious. he was not given to personal resentments. he recognized that there were plans other than his worth said soing and repeatedly, including at the end of his proclamation of amnesty and reconstruction. time and again he changed his mind and altered his position. he had every reason to believe that after the war he would move the nation toward a political reconstruction that did not for ake southern loyalists, and social reconstruction that may not have provided the free men with all of the radicals -- that all the radicals had envisioned, but more in way of government --
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protection -- then seven blacks ended up receiving. ended upouthern blacks receiving. it was a fraught moment. on the morning of april met tocoln's cabinet discuss reconstruction. general grant was there. richard stewart was there in place of his father. they talked about creating military districts. they discussed the problem of virginia and things that happened earlier that confused people about lincoln's policies on reconstruction, believing that at one point he suggested the confederate legislature meet to officially dissolve its self, which created chaos when he said that wasn't what he meant. this confusion is important for understanding the moment. the complexities of navigating the nation through something that no one in that it do --
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that no one knew how to do. they talked about reconstruction, they developed a plan, of course. he took the carriage ride with mary taught that afternoon. he said that he believed on this day the war had ended. he was happy in ways that he never had been before. i started with the notion of lincoln's happiness. i want to end with that as well. days,e, despite dark lincoln never surrendered hope -- the union would be what is the union in itself but hope incarnate? the last best hope of earth. the democracy. freedom. with the war over, he sought to unify the nation. to rebuild it on principles of justice and mercy. he knew that there would need
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significant obstacles. there had then obstacles to winning the war, and those had been overcome. so too with the problem of reconstruction. for all of the sadness he had endured one observer said there was a soft shade of melancholy in his smile and his eyes. he was at heart an optimist. his final speech sought to define and redefine terms. during the war he had offered a plan of reconstruction, with a" plan ofn " reconstruction. as the phrase goes, he put in parentheses. rebirth that the he desired. not reunion, restoration, reconstruction, but the rebirth of this nation at the end of the war.
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he would not allow a return to the status quo. had he lived, his humanity might have led the nation toward the righteous peace he envisioned for all americans. thank you. [applause] we have plenty of time for questions. i find we can get and other issues during q&a rather than me lecturing. yes, sir? rights authoral of 1966, the 14th commitment, do you think lincoln would have made a similar trajectory as lyman trumbull? prof. masur: i believe so. i think we still get civil
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rights act, the 14th and 15th amendment. i think that it is in the softer area where support for the transition to freedom and have made a big difference. unlike johnson, congress passed over his veto, it would have continued to do its work. moneys provided for the kinds of things that were needed for the transition to freedom. whether it is rules or negotiating wage labor agreements with former masters, education. education remains -- talk about reconstruction having anything near to triumph, but education is one. investment in education within the black community and among northern whites and others that went south to teach black schoolchildren. .iteracy rates explode
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the creation of historic black colleges and institutions. in those kinds of ways, we end up with a better situation. we would be naive to think that the ku klux klan could have been , orented from the terrors that there would have been a significant enough military presence in the south to control things. theontinue to play hypothetical game about possibilities, disenfranchise the former confederates to prevent them from gaining political power as quickly as they did. i was astonished in researching this book that alexander stevens inreelected by georgia .ecember of 1865 to congress the vice president of the confederacy is reelected. congress refuses to see any representatives under johnson's reconstruction plan, which leaned a little to lincoln's.
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lyman trumbull, and congresses refusals to see representatives in february that led us on this path. i believe the embracement of civil rights would continue. was black suffrage addressed in any of the reconstructed state constitutions? prof. masur: in louisiana it was left to the legislature to decide. which meant no black suffrage. a fact if anyor of the state legislatures were able to do that. is one believe so, which of the reasons for the necessity from a republican point of view of the 15th amendment. you had abolitionists pricing for suffrage early. another reason for it, obviously, is the political party or which black men are going to vote. there is justice and expediency
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involved in pressing for the 15th amendment. talk about southern states, northern states did not allow free black men to vote. connecticut has a referendum to give the vote to free black men. that referendum failed. we have to keep in mind and we are talking about this contested problem of race. question here. is this the last question? he is looking at people as people are looking at the ps,struct of relationshi rebuilding relationships between blacks and whites, based on the sense that black people are people. the idea that time, when there was so much hatred and putrid consideration, where does this come from that he is saying not
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only is the old not working anymore and we are going toward a new sense of being with ourselves and each other? prof. masur: frederick douglass met with lincoln on several occasions. he said that he was the only white man that he ever met that treated him fully as of equal. to the it comes back idea of the self-made man. lincoln's idea that we have to lift artificial weights off of people shoulders. hers the great articulate of that vision. early on, he does not know what to do. this will change over time. 1850 four, he said if all power was given to me i would not know what to do with respect to slavery. my first inclination would be colonization. send them out because whites and blacks cannot live together in harmony.
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ultimately, it becomes about the ways in which experience transforms attitude. lincoln grew, and so did many other americans. wrote about soldiers. one important element of the emancipation proclamation is when the army becomes about liberation it changes their mind. what does it mean when you are marching south and you're able to unionize african-americans? are very important. 179,000 men were serving. society thatf the is trying to move ahead to solve, for them, what is a problem. the problem of freedom in the age of slavery. it is a complicated problem.
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on one hand, it is a problem that the nation continues to address. the a sick, it is sense of allowing individuals to rise or fall on their own merit. to give everyone the opportunity to do so. the readmission of southern states. several years ago, a friend of mine who was a civil war buff told me he had seen a map of the southern states in which the boundaries and state orders were redrawn and new states were created. i've never seen that, have you ever seen it or heard of it? i can defer to real experts in the audience. have you seen anything like this? it is possible. there are lots of things being thrown out. the fanciful and hypothetical, there were certain realities.
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one thing that i come back to you in the problem of reconstruction, what is the price that the confederacy paid for leaving the union? slavery was the price. could there and should there have been additional prices to have paid? that is the place where the debate has to be engaged. could confederates have been disenfranchised? there is an argument about confiscation of property, but that is a bill of attainment that is unconstitutional. the idea of confiscating property for one generation is fine, but not in perpetuity. there are lots of stumbling blocks on the road to thinking how the south could have been reintegrated into this nation and to further protect the rights and liberties of freedom. >> that is a segue into my
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question. where their progressive voices among the way people in the south at the end of the war and starting with reconstruction. people began to think, we lost, let's work something out with the friedman. men for ourfreed futures. prof. masur: there were. lincoln may have exaggerated the number of southern unionists at the start of the war, but there were seven weeks still there. there were those that were not committed. even some of the planter class got on with the program quickly. they understood this was a new day dawning. we have to arrange for these kinds of relationships. many of the freed men wanted to leave the plantation. many of them did not know they were free unless they had the freedom to leave.
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out on missiont searching for love blondes. many of them stayed on as if nothing had happened. the problem is in northern republicans would come south that characterize this. blacks were elected to state legislatures became demonized. that is not to say there were not issues. southerners who support the effort get labeled scalawags. we have not escalated our ways out of the lost cause and arguments about reconstruction that were articulated in birth of the nation and other historiography. forntil the 1960's, historians to revisit reconstruction and save them of corrupt the myth kkk wasers and that the there to protect rights. that was so ingrained for so
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long. there are still remnants of it that continue. and to revisit reconstruction, there has been a lot of great work done. i'm looking at exactly what people like haynes in mississippi, and others, were able to try to do. the problem is is that it is a luminous but brief moment. it gets undermined and defeated. for lots of reasons. to 1865.aged from 1861 reconstruction is going on longer than the war. people are tired, exhausted here there is postwar depression. a moral and political will to solve the problem of the transition to freedom. that will dissipates, for all kinds of reasons. reconstruction turns out the way
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it does. of course, all of us would have loved to have had lincoln's hand at the tiller for those last three years to see what might have happened. again, i think in many ways, be get changes that would have meant a lot in the specific lies of individual freed men, but there were larger problems of racism and the transition from slavery to freedom that i'm not sure could have been solved then, but i hope in the near future they will be solved. [applause] thank you, very much. >> ladies and gentlemen, this is lunch. we ask that you take your belongings with you when you go
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to lunch out of the theater. we will reopen for seating at 1:40. thank you. >> this is live coverage from ford theatre in washington dc. presidentears ago lincoln was assassinated by john wilkes booth. we will be back with more live coverage on the symposium on lincoln's life, career, and legacy after their lunch break. at 1:50 five we will hear on mary lincoln's life and legacy.
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on lincoln'sarson life and ethics. at three: 55 speakers will participate in the closing panel discussion. that is coming up on c-span3's american history tv. next on american history tv, author and playwright calvin ramsey talks about the significance of victor green's travel guide, used by african-americans to find places to eat, sleep, and visit between 1936 and 1967. this is part of the documentary "the green book chronicles." the brooklyn historical society hosted this event. to present ailled program dedicated to the green book.
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it was conceived and published mid 19or green in the 30's to help african american travelers travel safely during a time when segregation and jim crow laws were in effect. today's speaker is calvin alexander ramsey. "the green book chronicles chronicles the rise and fall of the green book. it was directed and coproduced by becky, who was unable to be here tonight. agreed to share raw footage of the film and to talk about the history of the publication, as well as how it was when the film project began. i am happy to start with the trailer for the film. take a moment, and enjoy. whether you are traveling on business or pleasure, the chances are that you'll travel
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by motor car. it has been the key to opening new horizons. not for the few, but for all. we drove constantly, we didn't stop. >> segregation and separation was not only in the south. >> travel was very difficult. >> they had colored restrooms and they were filthy. that would you do if that is all you've got? or any type of commotion to attract attention. it was dangerous. history thatot a was told in school books. it was not a history that you could find. ♪
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>> they were surprised there was something as a a black marine. >> he will tell you. mr. greene was a mailman for 40 years. he lived right across the street from duke ellington. he was a man with a seventh grade education. publicationher a that touched all aspects of life. liked to travel. they thought that was helpful for our education. the thing was to find the black section of town, then use the green book to find places to eat . i always knew we could not stay places.
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>> even as a child, use a very lovely man. have a blackl to client working with a white printer. dad found, what was the first place he could stay between new orleans and the end of the drive that first day. the next day, we drove all the way to miami and stayed at the lord calvert hotel, which was also listed in the green book. >> of those station had these


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