tv American Artifacts CSPAN May 1, 2016 10:00pm-10:31pm EDT
announcer: daughters of the american revolution was founded in 1890. the national headquarters was found a few blocks from the white house. next, "american artifacts," a visit to the dar museum, remembering the american revolution, 1776-1890. we begin with this visit to america by revolutionary war hero general lafayette. >> my name is heidi campbell shaof. i am the director and chief curator of the museum. the first section is the early 19th century.
the second section talks the 19th century through the 1850's and what happens in that period. and the last section takes us through the 1890's and that connects us back to the american revolution. the discussion of the 19th century and the american revolution wouldn't be complete without talking about lafayette's visit. the marquis lafayette was 19 years old when he came to america to fight in the revolution. he was a french aristocrat and when i talk to students about this and i say he was 19 -- we think about 19-year-olds today -- what were you like when you were 19? were you going to fight in revolution across the sea? probably not.
he was an interesting individual. his support and influence with the french government helps the revolution's cause. when he came back, he was invited back by president monroe for the purpose of remembering the revolution, munro saw that people were starting to die off, the revolutionaries are starting to leave us, but lafayette was still a living connection to the revolution. he came back and did this amazing tour of what was then the united states, in an era when there were not trains. of course there were not automobiles. this was horses and carriages and he crisscrossed the then
united states, and the fact that he had so many places from new york city down to charleston and everywhere in between is remarkable, in such a short time period. when he comes to the united states, this is another reason for celebration. again, these are spontaneous outpourings of interest and of admiration for the revolutionary war veteran. we were discussing, when developing this expedition, was this an instruction. did people get instructions on lafayette is coming, you need to do this, you need to have a parade. the president didn't send out letters to the governor saying,
you need to do something. word was sent out, and it was encouraged, but this outpouring a feeling and sentiment, of people coming in wanting to see lafayette was very much an unplanned, spontaneous kind of celebration. one of my favorite items relating to lafayette, and his visit here in the united states are these slippers. these slippers were worn to a ball that was held in new york city. they are very fragile. you can see that from the picture. they are linen and silk, with a leather sole. probably worn just to the ball
to dance in and nothing else. then put away and saved. we know who wore these slippers. her name was angelica james. it's wonderful to have the identification. not just the story, but that miss james is connected to the slippers. lafayette was externally popular as i have said and souvenirs were created for people to purchase. they might have seen him in a parade, maybe they didn't get to go to able -- go to a ball, but they wanted to have a piece that would help them remember his visit. these are no layers of remembrance. he comes back because we are remembering the revolution, and people are buying objects with
him on it to remember his visit. this platter is a great example that is made in england as well. it shows lafayette landing and castle garden, new york. if you really wanted to, you could deck out your entire table with this pattern. we know that dinner plates, cups and saucers, coffee pots, and tea pots, and platters like this, and bowls have the same pattern. you could choose to buy one, or choose to go over the top and buy the whole set. i don't know how many people went that far, but it was possible. we are making our way through the 19th century. as we near the center point of
the 19th century, we have to talk about the american civil war. both sides of the conflict used references to the american revolution and the founding fathers as part of their political arguments and their philosophical arguments, relating to the civil war. what i see as the most outstanding piece of commentary or commemoration of the american revolution from this time period is the gettysburg address. it starts out, fourscore and seven years ago. he is telling people, we are talking about the american revolution. four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought upon this country a new nation.
he is using the revolution to connect the conflict at the time, that was still going on, still undecided, with the american and the revolutionaries at the time. that it's really an interesting and telling piece of this story. after the war, people are wanting to recover and rebuild their lives. people north and south have lost so much. they are moving forward, and they are looking toward the american revolution. 1876 has come up. 100 years since the founding. a big expedition is planned in philadelphia. outings are scheduled on the new railroad. people are taking railroad trips
to this giant exhibition. people are creating patriotic symbols and decorations to celebrate. some of the items that we have here in this area speak to that. the little tiny uniform is usually the first thing people take a look at. they say, how cute. it is a little confidential uniform. that is the case. it dates to 1876. a boy named william mapes of newburgh, new york wore this the uniform. likely in a parade. we are not exactly sure of the context of why he had this uniform, why his parents had it made for him. it could have been a parade, a play, remembering the american
revolution. we are fortunate enough that the family saved it, and it comes to us through the family. behind it, we have a very outstanding example of an 1870's flag. it was an item created for this centennial. ons -- inscribed on it is that it was created by julia coverly of new york. she signed it, centennial year, 1876. the late 19th century brings us a lot of anniversaries, starting in the 1880's, with --after the centennial, the 1880's, along with the inauguration of washington.
the 100th anniversary of the inauguration of washington. so many families come to this country as immigrants, coming through ellis island. we have that imagery in our minds as well. new americans are being created. they also want a connection to the american revolution and to being american. we have two things going on. we have consumer objects being made for people like new americans, who want to have a picture of washington or the founding fathers prominently displayed in their home. than we have people wanting an
even more tangible connection to the american revolution. they want some thing that was there, or that has a connection. as we know, very few items survive from that period. the next step is this creation and collection of relics. people from the late 19th century through the 20th century visit revolutionary war sites. they collect souvenirs. some of them we may think is a little bit odd. maybe a little bit unusual as a souvenir. like this shingle that was collected from the meeting house where lafayette was carried when he was wounded at the battle of brandywine. this was collected in the late 19th century, and saved.
sort of a long story that has to go along with it. lafayette -- i can be confident in my he did not touch this shingle or use it in any way, but the building was used. that is the connection to the american revolution. and very interesting story that comes to us. it has a connection to the d.a.r. these rusty nails come to us from a project that a d.a.r. group from new york undertook. what happened was, the project was surrounding the service of margaret corbin. margaret corbin had come down to us through history as a woman who fought in the american revolution. she served with her husband
john, and took part in the battles around new york city and manhattan, and fort washington. she was ultimately known as one of the molly pitchers. in the early 20th century, the new york state d.a.r. wanted to verify her service. to become a d.a.r. member, you have to tracer lineage to someone who supported the american revolution. her descendents wanted to know if her service did happen, and it was verified. she was buried in new york. margaret sustained injuries during the american revolution. it was described in later accounts about this. they were identifying injuries
to her that should show up in her skeleton. in the 1920's, they exhumed her remains and did this examination and did find it was consistent with these injuries. her body was taken to west point, and is now interred in the cemetery there with a much larger memorial than she had previously. in the course of this process, these nails were collected from her old coffin and saved in a little cardboard box with a type written label on the top, telling us that is where these were from. it is a long and complex story, but it shows the connection between the d.a.r. and their efforts to identify people who were involved in the revolution that may not have the typical paper trail that we would get from some of the soldiers, from
some of the politicians that were involved. this was one of the very first efforts. i mentioned that the dar was created in 1890. it was part of a movement in the late 19th century prompted in part by all the anniversaries coming about, the centennial's coming about. the anniversary of washington's inauguration and other centennials. it also came about because of the great migration into the united states. they wanted to show their connection with the history of the united states, and one of those ways is to create these lineage societies.
in 1889, the american revolution was created and they decided that they were not going to admit women. in 1890, the daughters of the american revolution was founded so that women who traced their ancestry back to people who supported the revolution could have a place to gather together and encourage the memory of the revolution. some of the early activities that women had was to reach out to these new immigrants, to talk to them about the history of the united states, and to provide information about how to become a citizen. about what is the significance of the united states in a political way, and a civics lesson, in a nutshell, so that
the new immigrants had a good start in their new country. in 1890, these women got together and created the d.a.r. we end our exhibition at that point. the imagery that we have to show that is interesting. the spinning wheel that we have on exhibition is the actual spinning wheel used as the design inspiration for the d.a.r.'s insignia. each member wears an insignia that is a spinning wheel surrounded by 13 stars, and at the back is this object here that is hold flax. this spinning wheel, in its original state, as found, was
the inspiration for the insignia of the d.a.r. next to it, we have exhibited the first insignia of the d.a.r. it hangs at the bottom of this ribbon. the first insignia was created for a woman named eugenia washington. her great grandfather was george washington's brother. she worked here in washington, d.c., and she was honored to be the member number one to have the first insignia. on the back it reads insignia number one, with her name engraved, on the back. the last item that we have that really connects the d.a.r. and
the american revolution is this manuscript copy of the address that carolyn scott harrison gave to the first national meeting of the d.a.r. at the time, carolyn scott harrison was the first president -- as the d.a.r. calls it, president general of the organization. she was first lady at the time. she addressed this group of women, and we believe this may be the first public address that a first lady has made. it occurred in 1892. the d.a.r. museum is known in some circles for a collection of
textiles and clothes. in this exhibition, we pulled some of the coverlets that we have. a date from the 19th century. they were commemorative items. perhaps you already had your engraving of washington over the mental, and perhaps you already had a jug with benjamin franklin's face on it. maybe you wanted something to put on your bed. you could purchase these coverlets which were woven to include imagery from the american revolution, and a patriotic imagery of washington. we have here, hail washington, and his image here. we also have an early image of the capital building -- capitol
building. this was made in 1869. this coverlet was created in 1834. about 30 years previously. it is blue and white, wool and cotton. we have at the bottom, united we stand, united we fall, washington. and the date 1834. the third coverlet that we have shows independence hall, with eagles flanking either side. it was created in the 1820's. an earlier piece, but it also talks about agricultural and manufactures are the foundation of our independence. they were created as a kind of
patriotic decoration, but it also shows manufacture. this is a complex textile to make. these images are woven in and they are created by using an attachment called a jacquard attachment, which actually used punched paper card, to tell the loom when to lift certain threads to create a pattern. previously, a weaver would have to count certain threads. with this attachment, it is mechanized. a lot of people believe it is a forerunner of computers. it is based on the punched card system. it is telling a machine to do something other than reading a punched card. these are very interesting
documents. and representation of the desire of having a patriotic item but also of the manufacture and industry of the new country. daughters of the american revolution is a lineage society. it is made up of women who can trace their genealogy, and family history, back to someone who supported the american revolution. it could be a soldier, it could be a politician, it could be an individual that supported with supplies. it is not just military-based. there are chapters in australia, in france, in great britain, in fact all over the world. the d.a.r. is a service
organization, as well as a lineage organization, and a patriotic organization. there is approximately 180,000 members of the d.a.r. the d.a.r. museum was created in 1890 at the same time as the organization. their intent was a place to save these early american items. the museum has grown and evolved over time based on these early collections to reflect the american home. we have 30 period rooms that reflect 30 types of rooms in the american home, in addition to the gallery and the changing exhibitions that we do here. because it is a women's organization, there are a lot of objects about the american home.
in the museum business, we call the material culture or decorative art in particular. decorative art is just a fancy term for the things that you decorate your home with. that is our strength, and our collection. the mission of the d.a.r. includes education. that is where the museum fits in to the larger organization. our mission is to educate about the various objects in our collection and to share our objects with the public and professionals. >> this was part two of a
two-part look of "remembering the american revolution." you can view all of american history programs online at c-span.org/history. enjoy seeing the fabric of our country and how things work. click some of american history tv. >> i had no idea they did history. tv, it american history gives you that perspective. >> i am a c-span fan. announcer: tonight, tim winter ratingtelevision council system.
but according to the report, it was intended to protect children from violence and profanity. there is no show on broadcast is ratedn today that appropriate for anything older than children. tv-14 is the oldest rating. even the most explicit rating for prime time is rated for children to watch. networks themselves rate the shows and the advertisers will pay the bills. there is a conflict of interest in terms of rating content accurately, would be advertisers will not sponsor mature content. the system is incapable of doing it as intended. announcer: wash the communicators tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. secretary, we proudly