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tv   Politics and Public Policy Today  CSPAN  August 24, 2016 2:38pm-7:01pm EDT

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so the barrels were hiked up as high as they could go. and for twice the amount of the gun powder to be rammed into the barrels to try to eke out more range of the shot that these guns would fire. after a couple of guns flip over backwards this dangerous practice is done with. basically the british were simply too far away and even the guns that didn't flip over, they could see the cannon balls splashing in the water. reluctantly the order is passed down to cease fire. armestad did something, though, important to our story. and that is he had ordered a year prior, a huge american flag. one measuring 30 feet high and 42 feet long. big flags were really popular in the early 19th century and ft. mchenry is no exception. there would also be a smaller flag, 17 by 25 feet. these flags were made in the city of baltimore by mary young pickersgill.
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her 13-year-old daughter caroline, grace swisher, an african-american indentured servant and the help of some nieces of caroline's were also laboring on this huge flag, stitching it during the hot summer of 1813. those flags were delivered here. the large of the two flags, we would call the star-spangled banner. the big flag was on the pole. it was overcast, started to rain. so as the british are withdrawing and as these coins were taken out and as we found out they got away and the order was passed to cease-fire, it starts to rain in earnest, and also orders the flags to be changed. the large 30 by 42-foot flag is taken down and the smaller 17 by 25-foot flag is hoisted in its place. and even those flags made out of wool, well, the smaller of the two flags probably is going to hang limp after half an hour.
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and this is where we come to the real high point of a bombardment. there had to be an abject feeling of helplessness amongst the defenders because with these special mortars, they could throw these 200-pound bombs into the fort and have them explode over the fort whereas the fort's guns could not even reach them. so, by the way, wanted to show you that this water battery was the main line of defense. this was the largest type of cannon that was here. we were down by an 18-pounder before. this barrel is original to the war of 1812. you can see the casting bait of 1809. these were cast over in europe. and they were used a lot of them were used in the french navy and prior to the war of 1812, some of these guns were in the french consulate's warehouse in the city of baltimore and not long before the battle, they were brought here and installed at ft. mchenry. a cannon this massive will fire
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a 36-pound iron ball. no wonder the british never wanted to get very close. if you look down here at the cannon balls were shot, you can see a difference between the 18-pounder shot and also the 36-pounder shot they fired, as well. again, if i was the royal navy, i wouldn't want to get too close to that, and neither did they. which meant that to win the battle, they had to conduct a long range bombardment. but if you think this 36-pound shot is big. wait until i show you the british bombs that burst in air. let's go in the fort to see those. one more thing before we go into the fort, how strong these defenses were and why the british chose a long range bombardment instead of trying to take the fort straight on. if you look behind me, you'll see a small white house, that was not there at the time,
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you'll also see a cement factory. the americans strung up a chain link boom. imagine telephone poles chained together laying long ways. that's blocking the channel. behind that, americans had gun boats, like a row boat. and behind that, the americans sunk ships. for the british to win the battle to destroy the city, they would have had to knocked out that thick iron chain, saw through it, fight off the american gun boats, raise the sunken ships, and knock out all the cannons of ft. mchenry. and there were many of them aimed down river. it was tough to do, so the british decided on long range bombardment hoping to knock out the guns of the fort, maybe scare the americans off. this is why they chose to rely on the five special bomb ships that could fire a 200-pound shell 2 miles. and everyone knew the cannons of this time, only good for a little more than one mile. if the anchor half way to the
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bridge, they can throw those shells into the fort and to kind of help it along, the british had one rocket ship. if you watch on the fourth of july like some people shoot off these bottle rockets, well, a british rocket looks like that except it's as big as we are, you know, it's pretty large. and they look like fiery fingers in the night sky or during the day look like a little jet plane going across the sky. and, you know, as they would come in, boom, and explode in and around the fort. and so they were not that accurate. if you've never seen one before and if you're a defender here and it's your first battle, it was like 1814. let's go and take a look at that show.
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this is an original british shell thrown into the fort 200 years ago during the night of and everyone knew the cannons of this time, only good for a little more than one mile. you can see where there were rings to hook into here and one is broken up here and wrench it up like a wrecking ball and lower it into the chamber. they would shoot it off in that mili second. if you time it right the fuse is burnt to the inside where it
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hits the gun powder. the thing breaks apart like an eggshell, and the fragments rain down knocking over cannons, killing men. that's how it's supposed to work. if the fuse is cut too short, it'll burst in air over the water, nothing really happens, it splashes down. if the fuse pops out, goes out, it was raining the night of the battle, that's what could've been what happened to this shell. it doesn't go off at all. keep in mind, though, if it's a dud, if it lands on you, it will crush you like a bug. you know, 200 -- if it hit the side of a building, it could take a whole wall down hitting just right. but the british bombs. they said you could feel the ground shake when a bomb would explode over the fort. there were some direct hits on this fort. one direct hit hit the wall of this building and struck at a glancing blow. this was the ammunition magazine, about 300 barrels of gun powder were in this building during the battle.
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a shell crashed and probably hit like on the side of the building. it didn't go off, probably didn't do much more to knock a few bricks out. you know it panicked everyone. if that went over and went inside and exploded, it would have been like an atomic bomb going off and it could have changed the whole outcome of the battle in one lucky shot. so during the night of the battle, guys were running into the magazine taking barrels of gun powder and spreading them out around the fort wall. so one lucky shot wouldn't take everybody out. there were some direct hits. and i think these direct hits really show the types of defenders who were here. there's one direct hit that landed on a point or bastian of the fort. and there was a guy, his name was levy claggett and private douglas wrote, i saw a shell burst behind the man next to me sending a piece of iron through his neck came out his stomach and buried itself 2 feet in the
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ground. killed him instantly. shows the power of the shell. claggett, he had a full blown military funeral. his name is on a special monument known as the battle monument, and, you know, for a long time, people still remember that guy. not too much further away also here at ft. mchenry behind the fort were infantry soldiers, guys with muskets in case the british landed. one of those soldiers, a private in there, his born name was frederick hall, but he was born enslaved. he escapes off the plantation, changes his name because you don't want to get caught, right? joins the american army and then his regiment is sent to ft. mchenry. a shell very much like this one explodes near him and probably a piece of the shell like tears into his right leg. and he'll linger on for like two weeks and then he dies. infection, loss of blood, all that kind of stuff.
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and no one would really remember that guy. we found that out more recently. here another guy who was dirt poor, kind of an enslaved so you could argue he wasn't regarded as a citizen and yet he's dying for the star-spangled banner, too. shows the diversity of the defender who came together to defend the flag. the famous and not so famous. however, most of the shells are overshooting or undershooting the fort. the british, in choosing to stay so far away from the american cannons are figuring, hey, we don't care if most of the shells don't hit the target, you know, if a few of them do. but the lucky ones weren't lucky enough. really, hour after hour after hour, they're wasting their ammunition. in the afternoon of the battle, the british ships coming closer, but the cannons wait to come within range and open up again.
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one of the ships is hit five times in the bow, the rocket ship has to be towed out of range. so there was a time when they had probed in, but then they suffered damage and pulled back. and then continued a long range bombardment into the night. around midnight, the british tried kind of sneak attack behind the fort, a diversion so to speak. almost like in football, you know, if you can't -- if you can't win by going on a blitz, maybe you try and run. especially if the defense has -- the clock. so i want to show you up on the rampart or the wall, and show you where the british tried to make that end run play, how it was defeated and then we'll talk about what francis scott key saw. by dawn's early light. we'll go up on to the rampart and over the ramparts we watch.
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here's the new word, rampart. what's he talking about? it's a fancy word for wall. we are standing on top of the rampart. the very tippy top is known as the parapet. let's put ourselves in the mind set of what was it like to be at let's put ourselves in the mindset of what was it like to be at this point or diamond-like points are called bastions. the last bastion of defense. standing over the rampart. here it is the night of the 13th early morning hours of the 14th of september. think of like a deck on the back of a house, these would have been planked. cannons would have been up here, defenders up here, pouring down rain. the british try a diversion. and what the diversion is. they're going to send a squadron of gun boats to get in behind the fort. they're going to try to bring about 1,000, maybe 1,200 guys, maybe land them behind the fort.
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and it's primarily a diversion. maybe if they get lucky, they can get into the city and create mayhem or do something. it's mainly a diversion. and they're going to bring them gunboats down this way, so you see this orange ship right there go down that branch of the river, and setting off at midnight, they hug that opposite bank over there, a squadron of barges. so some of the british barges get lost. some go in that direction half of them make it and go down in this direction over here. and if you look that way, you can see 95. interstate 95. and that's near a cove. where you see there's a factory to the left and that's a cove right there. and the british actually sail those gun boats into that cove. what they did not know is that cove was guarded by three little forts. and so there was actually a little battle back there. so i always wondered what it was like to be here that night and suddenly see the sky light up. boom, boom, boom -- some of the gun boats are sunk. they say you could hear the
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screams of the royal marines as the cannon balls splinter into the barges, blowing men, oars and splinters out the other side. not a lot of damage being done to us. some americans, though, panic. two of them run in the city of baltimore. one guy screams out, all is lost. all the forts have surrendered. but cooler heads prevailed. the british were driven off as they sailed past. opened up and inflicted more damage. and continues through the early hours and then by dawn's early light, the bombardment gradually tapers off. so it's really around 6:00, 7:00 in the morning it's really quiet. now, if you look in that direction over there, you can see the modern high-rise buildings of the city of baltimore. old baltimore is pretty much behind all that, you know, but you would have had the trees. you could see the fort from the town and some people were on the rooftops and on the roof of the holiday street theater, you know, looking, you can see the smoke rising from the fort.
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by dawn's early light, they could see the british ships, they could see the fort. they knew the battle was over, but the question that they had and the question that francis scott key had is who won. the battle being over could mean the americans won or could mean that the british won. the question is, whose flag is going to be seen on that pole? you couldn't see the flag too well. it was a smaller flag. it'd been raining all night, probably hanging totally limp against that pole. at 9:00 in the morning, armestad, the commander of this fort gave the orders to change the flag. the small sopping wet flag is hauled down. and if you look at this flag here, this is the size of the blue field of a huge flag. so the huge 30 by 42-foot flag that's hoisted in its place as the fights and drums played like an in your face to the british. around that same time the british realize they were not going to win the battle any time soon. the barge attack failed.
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the channel was too well guarded. that didn't want to take on that. so they didn't want to keep wasting their ammunition. they didn't want to come in closer because they didn't want to risk anything. so the only thing left to do was to break off and sail away. and they would say they created a grand diversion, they scared the baltimoreans. and they did do that. but they also didn't get what they came for. and as the last british ship was sailing away was when the huge flag went up. and even one british eyewitness midshipman standing on the stern of a british frigate, wrote at 9:00, the americans hoisted a most superb and splendid enson on their battery. you can say it impressed one of the british. more importantly, francis scott key, he's, again, where the bridge is today. if you look down the river right now and you see the bridge, look under the bridge, and you'll see like a cargo ship.
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it's white kind of like white on the top. that's about where francis scott key's truce ship likely was. and so he's straining through a spy glass, and he can see the red, white and blue speck on the horizon. it was a huge flag, but at 5 file miles away, it looks pretty small. but the point is, he saw the flag and the flag was still there. key realized an important morale victory had been won. he gets that rush of emotion, it is the romantic period, where it was okay for guys to write poetry and songs and key wrote a four-verse poem describing his feelings about everything he experienced leading up to this moment. he'll express his anger at the british and the british withdrawing saying their blood has washed out their foul footsteps, pollution. key will express his anxiety at not seeing the flag because he'll pose a question. o say can you see and does that star-spangled banner yet wave over the land of the free and the home of the brave?
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he'll also answer that question in the second verse where he will say on the shore dimly seen through the midsts of the deep. and he'll later say in full glory reflected it shines on the stream. 'tis the star-spangled banner or the land of the free and the home of the brave. so key does see the flag. he sees it the morning after the battle. key puts into words what everyone really felt in their hearts. private douglass described that september morning about the flag going up. another private, isaac monroe said yankee doodle played as the stars and stripes, the star-spangled banner as the garrison cheered from these ramparts. there was a mutual feeling that an important morale victory had been won. what did it all mean? when word got out to the peace
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negotiators in belgium, that the americans held in baltimore, that really almost canceled out our defeat at having lost our capital 2 1/2 weeks beforehand. in a sense, we had a terrible defeat, but now we had a great victory to balance it out. a few months later, february, february 16th, 1815, the war of 1812 officially ends. the treaty of gent is signed on christmas eve, 1814. it takes a while to get here. and it's signed off on the 16th and the war officially ends. and in a way, the war ends as a tie. we never took over canada. so the canadians and the british can say they won the war of 1812, but not entirely. we can legitimately say we held our own. the united states really in a way gained what it hoped to
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gain, a sense of honor, a sense of respect from other nations. and we certainly didn't win the british hands down, but we certainly fought them to a tie and that was very respectable. it was a war that in a sense disunited us, but then in the last few minutes united everyone suddenly and the perception of victory. and it's that confidence, the national anthem and the american flag came from the war of 1812, it came from the events that happened right here at ft. mchenry in 1814. the way we see the flag today was born on these ramparts in september 1814 through the words of francis scott key. every american should visit ft. mchenry and you'll feel differently when you sing the star-spangled banner. you can watch this and other american artifacts programs anytime by visiting our website.
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c-span.org/history. american history tv airs on c-span3 every weekend, telling the american story through events, interviews and visits to historic locations. this month american history tv is in primetime to introduce you to programs you could see every weekend on c-span3. our features include lectures in history, visits to college classrooms across the country, to hear lectures by top history professors. american artifacts takes a look at the treasures at u.s. historic sites, museums and archives, reel america, revealing the 20th century through archival films and newsreels, the civil war, where you hear about the people who shape the civil war and reconstruction, and the presidency focuses on u.s. presidents and first ladies to learn about their politics, policies and legacies. all this month in primetime and every weekend on american history tv on c-span3.
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at c-span.org, you can watch our public affairs and political programming anytime at your convenience. on your desktop, laptop, or mobile device. here's how. go to our home page, c-span.org, and click on the video library search bar. here, you can type in the name of a speaker, the sponsor of a bill, even the event topic. review the list of search results, and click on the program you would like to watch, or refine your search with our many search tools. if you're looking for our most current programs and don't want to search the video library, our home page has many current programs ready for your immediate viewing. such as today's washington journal, or the events we covered that day. c-span.org is a public service of your cable or satellite provider. so if you're a c-span watcher, check it out, at c-span.org. the 1600 acre monocacy national battlefield is about 45 miles northwest of the u.s. capital. the national park service property includes the best
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family farm, built in the 1790s by a family of french caribbean immigrants who owned about 90 slaves. c-span met joy beasley, the cultural resources program manager at the national park to learn how remnants of the 200-year-old slave quarters were discovered in 2003 and partially excavated in the summer of 2010. we are at the best farm, which is named the best farm after the tenant that occupied this farm during the civil war. what we know as the best farm forms the 274 acres of what was originally a 748 plantation. that plantation was known as laramie todge. it was established by a family of french planters who came to maryland in 1793 from the colony known today as haiti.
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the family was the vincent deere family. they came to maryland to escape civil unrest that begin in 1791 and also with the french revolution. the best farm was acquired by the national park service in 1993. it's a fairly recent acquisition. beginning in 1998-1999 is when we started doing a substantial amount of historical research here at the farm. we were aware there had been at one time a substantial enslaved population. we knew a little bit about the vincent deere family and their origins and their relocation here to maryland, but what we didn't know was very much more than that about the family. we had very little information about the enslaved population and certainly one of the key research questions with regard
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to the archaeological research is where were the 90 enslaved people living. i had a graduate student working with me. they were trying to understand their origins and the relocation to maryland. and she managed to uncover a pretty obscure account that was written by a polish expatriate who was traveling around the eastern seaboard at the end of the 18th century. and he was a diarist and he kept sort of a travel memoir of all of his travels, and he happened to be traveling on the georgetown road which we know today as maryland route 355, although at that time it was quite a bit further to the west, so much closer than where it is today. he was traveling from georgetown to frederick on the georgetown road in june of 1798, and he happened to pass by this plantation and he gave an account of it. and one of the things that he talks about is one stone house with upper stories painted
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white, which is a building that still stands on the farm. and he also referred to a row of wooden houses, which we took as a reference to slave quarters. one of the things that we uncovered and one of the things that was actually referenced in the polish traveler's account there were several court cases brought against the family alleging mistreatment of their slaves, and that was something that was very surprising to us. i don't know of very many instances in which that actually happened, where charges were brought against people for mistreating their slaves in maryland and elsewhere, presumably. there were laws on books that governed the treatment of enslaved people, but they really weren't enforced. one of the things we found between 1796 and about 1806 there were at least eight instances in which the family or members of their household were accused of mistreating their slaves in different ways. because of the way he describes
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the row of wooden houses relative to the stone house with the upper stories painted white, it sounded like this row of wooden houses was actually out in front of the primary building cluster, which is a pattern that's not typically seen in this area. much more common in the deep south or even in the caribbean and it happened to be out in an agricultural field of 40-plus acres and had not been investigated archaeologically. so, that was in 2003, and we were coming to the end of the multiyear archaeological study and we were also coming to the end of our funding for archaeology here at best farm, so what we did was a systematic metal detector survey of the 40-plus acre agricultural field. amazingly what we did end up uncovering was a large, dense, kind of linear deposit of late 18th, early 19th century domestic artifacts.
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hand wrought nails, hardware, buttons, coins, and actually the deposit of artifacts out there was so dense that even though we were metal detecting, in the metal detector targets we were also finding glassware and ceramics and all kinds of domestic materials. so, based on the kinds of artifacts we were uncovering and the date range of them, i was fairly certain at that time that we had identified the site of the slave quarters associated with the area. but we didn't have funding for the archaeological research and the funding came in in fiscal year 2010. what we're looking at is what we call structure "b" or the second of the six structures that are laid out in a row.
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and the way that these buildings manifest themselves is what you see here is a foundation for an external stone chimney. very similar to the external stone chimney that you see on the secondary house there, so it's kind of a c-shaped mortared stone foundation that formed the foundation for the chimney, and then you can see here two smaller stone piers which would have formed the corners of the building, and so there would have been piers like this, probably at all the corners and actually probably some intermediary piers as well, and that's what they would laid the logs on to -- to form the wooden structures. so they probably were one story, story and a half, buildings. they measured about 20 x 34 feet in dimensions with this external stone chimney actually on the south elevation, so very simple, very expedient structures that
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could have been constructed very quickly and with pretty simple easily affordable materials. they are all about the same dimensions, and they are equidistant from one another. each one of these hearth foundations are exactly 66 feet apart. they are on the exact same orientation or axis as the extant structures of the farm. literally within a couple of inches, so it's a very ordered landscape. these buildings were laid out in a very precise fashion. it's not haphazard at all, and they actually do form quite literally the row of wooden houses mentioned in the traveler's account. sort of our first starting point was actually what's called a shuttle test pit survey or stp survey and a shuttle test pit is exactly what it sounds like. it's a hole about the width of a shovel blade that's excavated on
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an interval over a site. so in our case we excavated a hole about every 20 feet over the entire sort of, you know, two-thirds of an acre that make up this area. and you know, in a shovel test pit obviously all of that soil is screened. and what you're looking for are artifact concentrations, soil changes, concentrations of stone or brick or mortar. anything that might suggest some kind of cultural event going on below the ground surface. another thing that we did is we were fortunate enough to be able to do some remote sensing. we were able to have access to surface-penetrating radar device which is able to see or identify archaeological features below grade and is particularly adept at identifying foundations or similar-type features. so during the course of the surface-penetrating radar survey we identified two additional hearth features.
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where you see the cluster of blue flags is where one of the hearth features was, and that appears to be the southernmost structure. in this particular instance the hearth foundation was the first thing that was fully exposed, and then we sort of started expanding out. once we knew we weren't dealing with a continuous stone foundation but rather a chimney feature, the question was, well, how did they construct these buildings? and you know, we ended up uncovering these two stone piers that as i said formed the corners of the building. that's the point at which, you know, you start to be able to to some degree understand and interpret how these buildings were constructed, and then it's really just a question of investing the time and energy to kind of chase it and to try to uncover the whole thing. all of the funding for this project came from a program that's called the cultural resource preservation program.
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we also were fortunate. the secretary of the interior has created a new funding source that's called the youth intake program, and that's a competitive funding source that's aimed at getting young people interested and connected with their national parks and providing them with on-the-job training that might help them consider a career in the national parks service, so i was able to apply for and was awarded some of the yip funding which allowed me to hire some of the several student interns involved in the project. this is jordan riccio of amercan university, graduate student. and this is alex rueggeman, a senior of howard university. >> i'm of haitian descent which is really why i wanted to do this project. it's an extremely unique place. you don't really think of a french emigre, a family from san dominge coming here and bringing haitian slaves with them, so i was incredibly moved by the
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story, and it turned out to be really great. >> well, i got involved with the project through american university. i heard about the project and applied and met with joy and was able to -- to come here. i found it to be a very fantastic program, especially to learn more about the trade of archaeology and the methodologies involved. i learned a lot about many, many things, especially shovel test pits. >> this was a crash course in archaeology. you learn priceless information. you learn the trade, learn how it's done, but not only that, you learn how to really look at the world and history in a
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completely different light. >> personally i found the brick and mortar. there was a lot of interesting artifacts found on-site. i was mainly the person digging in the units. >> like jordan said, a lot of it was bricks and mortar, but we also found the coins and we found a horse bit which was over there in the midden. a lot of animal bones which kind of led us to realize what they were eating. we found a lot of glassware and a lot of -- one bead, one tiny bead, which is really tiny, tiny bead but it's very beautiful. >> this is the basement of the circa 1830 gambrel mill. one of the historic structures in the park and this is where we do a lot of our on site laboratory work. the acid-free boxes that you see there, the artifacts from this year's field season, all boxed up and washed and rebagged and
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ready to be cataloged and analyzed, and we've pulled out just kind of a handful of artifacts that are somewhat representative of the kinds of objects that we've been uncovering out there at the site, everything from things like different kinds of coins, u.s. large cent, spanish reals so those are silver spanish coins. a lot of different kinds of buttons. this is actually really finely made shell button, and probably the most common kind of button that we find are these one-piece flat buttons with a wire shank. these are very common in the 18th and early part of the 19th century. also more two-piece buttons. that one still has a bit of the silver gilt visible on it. other kinds of items. this is a clay marble so that was probably a toy, and -- and also a lot of architectural debris. obviously this is a complete handmade brick.
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also nails and hand-wrought nails mostly. we find a lot of nails. other kinds of architectural hardware, mortar, brick fragments, architectural-type debris. glassware and ceramics, a nice olive wine bottle neck. this is the finished part and the lip. a wide variety of different kinds of ceramics. everything from the more utilitarian more locally produced redwares or stonewares to more refined english-made porcelains and handpainted pearlwares produced in england and elsewhere. and then also tobacco pipe fragments in large quantities and then food remains and bones. this is a tooth probably from a cow.
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a lot of food remains, oyster shell and even freshwater mussel shells, those kinds of things. this is all the provenance information. obviously it's critical for us to be able to know where all these objects came from, their context. so everything is kept separate by provenance, either by excavation unit, by strata, all those kinds of details. and that's part of the sort of the internal recordkeeping. and that's part of our analysis and understanding of the data. that's a big part of archaeology. people always think of archaeology as strictly focusing on the field work and the act of going out and digging and that's only a very small piece of it. the really important work happens in the analysis of the
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data and the interpretation. there's a lot of information, obviously everything from information about construction details or the architecture of the site. a lot of these objects are highly dateable. obviously the coins, being the most obvious ones, but things like buttons, even glasswares and ceramics, all of these things were popular at specific moments in history. technological changes that happened over time help provide occupational dates for a site, so that's very important information. access to consumer goods. i mean, we're certainly interested in the kinds of things that these people had and use for their daily life. one question might be these english tablewares. where do those come from? were these hand me downs that the family gave them for their own use? did these people have ways to make a little bit of money on their own and be able to actually acquire and purchase these kinds of consumer goods on their own? these are all the kinds of questions and things that we're interested in and all of that
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kind of helps us get more at what the day-to-day lives of these people were like. all of these artifacts would be cataloged which is kind of a system of recording attributes, dates, manufacture, material type, all of that kind of individual information about all these individual artifacts. all of that information is data entered into a database and then we'll start analyzing that data. we'll start looking at patterns within that data trying to say something about what these artifacts mean within the larger context of the site history. and that's all the information that we'll be working on over the course of the wintertime. there are a lot of established and known reference material out there that historical archaeologists in general use for dating objects, and that goes not just for ceramics but for glasswares and other kinds of objects. just like nowadays. technology changes over time and oftentimes technology changed down to a certain date, like a
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modern-day example would be no too long ago sony stopped making the walkman. and, you know, they first started making walkmans like in 1979, and, you know, first you had the -- the big clunky walkman and then they got smaller over time and then you had the ones that you could put a cd in and so on and so forth. that's technology that changed over time, and you can -- you can identify and research how that technology changed over time. they stopped making the walkman in the u.s. in 2010 so they have sort of a 1979 to 2010 period of use. that doesn't mean that nobody else out there is using their walkman anymore but you'll sort of have a period of time in which the popularity of the walkman perhaps peaked. it's really a similar thing with other kinds of objects. all of the artifacts from the
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national capital region of the national parks service go to a central curatorial facility which is called the museum resource center. that's just down the road in landover, maryland. actually two days a week we're doing some of our cataloguing and lab work in that facility which is a little bit closer to washington which allows some of the students to be involved in that part of the process on a volunteer basis. so that was -- that's where all the artifacts will go into permanent curatorial storage. we would like to eventually be able to develop permanent exhibits that will focus on the this aspect of the park's history. and obviously we would probably select some of these artifacts to be incorporated into those exhibit displays as well. and we can access them. usually sometimes for black history month we'll do a little temporary exhibit at the visitors center that will focus on some aspect of african-american history here at
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the park. so this year we'll probably develop a temporary exhibit that will probably feature some of these artifacts that we'll have at the visitors center for a period of time. >> how would you get involved in this work? >> i wanted to be an archaeologist for as long as i can remember since i was a little kid. my family has a second home out in new mexico and i spent a lot of time over the summer at different points in my life out there. we used to always go out and pick up artifacts. there's archeological sites everywhere out there. that's what sort of got me interested. and i was fortunate that my parents were supportive of my archaeology habit, and i went to archaeology camp as a kid and it's just something always that stayed with me. a lot of people will say when they find out i'm an archaeologist, oh, i wanted to be an archaeologist when i was a kid. and i guess i never outgrew that.
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you know, when i got to college, i chose to major in anthropology and pursue a career in archaeology. and i've been fortunate that i've been able to do that. here in the park service, even though my training is in archaeology, i'm the cultural resource manager for the park so archaeology is a small part of what i do. i'm also responsible for all the historic preservation work that goes on in the park as well. so all the historic buildings and cultural landscapes are part of what i focus on as well. >> what are some of the myths about archaeology that -- that are out there? >> people always ask me if i've been to egypt. the question -- probably the question that i get the most -- sometimes people mix up archaeology and paleontology and they will ask me if i dig up dinosaurs and obviously that's a completely different field of study, but i -- people always ask what's the most interesting thing that you've ever found,
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and it's really difficult to really distill it down to one object because at the end of the day it's not really about the objects themselves. it's about the story and the interpretation of those objects, so for me it doesn't just come down to what's the most interesting thing that you found? i mean, i've had the opportunity to work on a number of very interesting projects, and certainly the story of the slave village site is the most important and interesting project that i've had opportunity to be involved with in my career. >> if a young person out there thinks they want to be an archaeologist, what advice would you give them? >> i would advise them to stick with it, hang in there. you can get a job doing this. it's not the easiest thing. i would advise them to -- to make sure that they go to a good college. they are going to want to pursue an advanced degree, probably not just stop with an undergraduate degree and -- and, you know, just hang in there and -- and give it a shot. you know, the national parks service is a great agency.
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there's a lot of opportunities in the national park service to do this kind of work and other historic preservation work, so i certainly always encourage folks to consider the national park service. >> somebody is out there working, and they find one of these fragments or a coin. typically describe the scene. is it sifting, or is it digging at the actual location? how do they find these things? >> a little bit of both. all of the dirt that comes out of the ground goes through a screen, at least a quarter-inch hardware cloth screen. we screen everything we dig up. sometimes as you're sort of excavating, you know, using a trowel or whatever, you'll uncover objects sort of in situ. other times you'll simply find them in the screen, but, you
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know, it's something that's very exciting for people. we work with a lot of volunteers. obviously over the summer we'll have history camps or student groups come out and sometimes we'll have them help us out and maybe help with some of the screening. you know, there's really that sort of excitement and moment of discovery, and a lot of the interns, i think that's, you know, that thrill of discovery is part of what keeps you going during the course of yet another 110-degree day out there, and, you know, a lot of people tell me that the part of what connects them with archaeology is knowing that they are the -- they are the first person to touch this object in, you know, the past 200 years or whatever the case may be, and, that you know, i think it's really part of that tangible connection to the past that people get excited about. we're hoping -- at this point we don't have funding for any additional field work which is unfortunate because obviously i feel like -- you know, we've really just sort of scratched the surface out here, and there's a lot more information potential with this site. it's very unique, particularly for this area, the mid-atlantic region. you don't typically see slavery being practiced on the scale
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that it was being practiced here at leramie taj. i think i mentioned that 90 slaves is roughly 10 times the number of enslaved individuals you would have expected to be living here. so that's an extremely unusual circumstance for this area. you know, like i said, they are about 20 x 34 feet. that's just under 700 square feet of living space. if in fact there were only six structures total, one can assume there were somewhere between maybe as many as 12 or 15 people living in each these dwelling houses which probably sounds like a lot, so i -- i would -- i would guess or assume that these may have been extended family units, for example, living together. multiple generations of families. like i say, these are pretty utilitarian, simple, expediently constructed buildings, and they probably were constructed about the same time as the secondary house, and it was probably the family's first order of business to get these buildings constructed and get these people housed so that they can then start working the land and being productive and ultimately
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generating income. for the family. there are not a lot of instances out there where you have a complete collection of multiple dwelling houses preserved in an archaeological context so there's a great deal of research potential here in terms of understanding more about the context and the study of slavery in general. there are not that many national park service units that have this kind of resource preserved so we're just really fortunate that as a result of this land being set aside and preserved, as a result of the battle of monocacy, we also have these other stories and other resources that are preserved as well. and even though the laramie taj plantation was long gone by 1864 when the battle of monocacy was
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fought, the story of the family and the slave people is still a great platform from which to talk about slavery as a causative aspect of the civil war. at the park level we're going to be working on developing some new interpretive programs and other interpretive products that will talk about the history of this site and this project and start to look at african-american experiences here at the monocacy battlefield in general. we'll also be working on the development of some web-based resources, again that will sort of help tell the story and help present this information to the public. and in the longer term what we would like to have are actually separate permanent exhibits that will focus on kind of the broader historic context of the
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battle of monocacy and the civil war. obviously slavery and plantation life would be a big part of that discussion. so down the road, again, funding dependant, that's something we would like to have so should we be fortunate enough to get additional funding to do more field work, that's certainly the goal, and if not, we'll do the best we can with the resources that we have, and obviously, you know, almost 400 units of the national park service out there, everybody has research needs and compliance needs and so there's never enough money to go around so we were -- just like in any sort of federal funding process, we had to wait our turn. and i think alex had mentioned to me, you know, living in washington, d.c., you think of the national park service and think monuments or maybe you think, you know, mountains or geysers or something.
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and i think one of the things that was helpful with this project was it kind of helped some of these students get a sense of the diversity of resources that the national park service preserves. and i think maybe get them just a little bit interested, maybe a career in the national park service or a career in archaeology. or if not, you know, hopefully these guys go on to, you know, do something else for a career or to work for a different agency, hopefully they will always look back on that experience and they will sort of think about the national parks in a different way and be more engaged in and interested in kind of that stewardship aspect of what the national parks do. >> to learn more, log on and find a drop down menu for history and culture. follow the link to best farm slave village. each week american artifacts
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takes viewers to museums and historic sites around the country. on april 9th, 1865 general e. lee met grant in the village of the courthouse and while armies were still active in the field, the surrender of the fighting force effectively ended the civil war. next, e we tour the courthouse national historical park to learn more about the events surrounding that day. >> welcome to american artifacts historical park. i'm the park historian and now we're standing in front of the clover hill tavern. this is the oldest building in the village built in 1819. in fact, this area was called clover hill before it became appomattox courthouse in 1845.
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this county was one of the later counties formed, and they took part of the four surrounding counties and formed appomattox county in 1845. this county had about 9,000 people in it. more than half of them were enslaved, working on the tobacco farms. as of 1860, about 120 people lived here in appomattox courthouse. folks would stay at the clover hill tavern as they traveled along the stage road. the courthouse was built in 1846, maybe finished in 1847. there was a jail that burned during the war and a new jail was built across the road. interestingly enough, when people come to appomattox courthouse, they learned in their schoolbooks that the surrender took place at appomattox courthouse. the actual slaying took place in the house of mclean. if you're talking about the building, courthouse would
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simply be one word. this is where the most significant events with the military took place in the spring of 1865, april 1865, with lee's surrender. now we're going to walk down the richmond lynchburg stage road and discuss the battles of appomattox station, the battle of appomattox courthouse which effectively ended lee's retreat. we are standing on the historic richmond lynchburg stage road, which was a critical part of general lee's retreat on april 8 and april 9, 1865. many people wonder why general lee was even heading toward appomattox court house after leaving lynchburg and petersburg on april 2nd, 1865.
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the idea was he was going to concentrate his army at amelia courthouse and link forces with general johnston in north carolina. general grant was a bit different than former generals of the union army, and he blocked general lee's line of retreat, thus general lee had to continue further west, searching for rations and hoping to get around grant's army. the next place general lee could gather supplies was about three miles from us here at appomattox station. supplies had been brought over from lynchburg to feed general lee's army. it's everything the army really needed. hundreds of thousands of rations, new uniforms, equipment, and that's where they're heading for on april 8 after leaving cumberland church on the night of april 7. general lee's advance is led by confederate reserve artillery under general rubien lindsay walker. they go to camp about a mile from the station on the afternoon of april 8.
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and general custer's cavalry advances on that station and captures the supplies, then encounters general rubien lindsay walker's general artillery and fight for about four hours the battle of appomattox station. a very unique battle in the civil war because it's mounted cavalry attacking unsupported artillery. no infantry involved other than they picked up weapons. the battle lasted until after dark, and then general custer overruns the remaining guns of walker, captures about 1,000 prisoners and 200 wagons. the advance of custer's men
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continue over that ridge and into the village here where they are repulsed at the eastern edge of the village, and during the night, the federal cavalry form on the ridge west of town. during the night, general lee has a council of war with general john gordon, james longstreet and fritz lee, asking, should they surrender or try to break out? it's determined they will try to break out on the morning of april 9. general lee brings his troops to the village on the morning of april 9. he files off to the right and left into these fields. he's going to attack that ridge. there is a federal cavalry brigade under colonel charles smith. general gordon has about 5,000 men. he's supported by fritz lee on the right with about 4,000 cavalry. the attack begins a little after 7:30 that morning and they successfully drive the federals off that ridge doing a left wheel. but hard-marching infantry from army of the james, the 24th corps and division of troops
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from the united states colored troops had covered over 30 miles on april 8. and they come up and closed the road back down and begin to push gordon's men back into the appomattox from the river valley. they come from the army of the potomac, and further to the south and east is general custer and general devlin's cavalry swinging around the left flank. behind general lee, about four miles from here is general meade with army of the 6th corps, and general lee is effectively surrounded. white flags are sent to stop the fighting, and in the course of the fighting, lee's army had dwindled from 60,000 men to 30,000 men here at appomattox court house.
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he had lost half his army. he determined it was time to meet with general grant and surrender his forces. they did that over here in the mclean house on the afternoon of april 9, 1865. we're now inside the parlor of the home of wilmer mclean, appomattox county resident, who moved here in the fall of 1862. general lee and general grant corresponded for over three days, and finally after being effectively surrounded here, general lee wished to have a meeting with general grant to surrender his army. lee sent lieutenant colonel charles marshall of his staff into the village to find a suitable place to meet, and he encountered william mclean and mclean offered his own home. lee arrived here about 1:00, sat here at this marble-topped table. general grant, after riding over 20 miles, arrived about 1:30. when he came in, he sat at the oval wooden table here.
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the two had met each other in the mexican war, and that was their first discussion. they talked about the mexican war for quite a while, and the conversation got quite pleasant, and general lee reminded general grant the nature of this meeting and asked general grant to put his terms in writing. grant sat down and set his terms in writing for general lee. principally the confederate officers were going to be paroled and allowed to go home. he was going to allow the officers to keep their sidearms and personal baggage. and general lee later requests, asks if his men can keep their horses. grant initially said no, that that is not in the terms, but thinks about it for a minute and says that he understands that most of these men are small farmers and they could use these horses, and he will not rewrite it into the terms but will allow the confederate soldiers to keep their horses if they owned one. general lee said this would have a very happy affect upon his army.
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the terms are read over by general lee and given back to general grant. general grant calls forward theodore bower of the staff to write out these terms in ink. bowers is nervous. he botches the job and turns it over to eli parker. he is said to have the best penmanship of the staff and he actually writes out the formal terms for general grant. general lee's staff officer is lieutenant colonel charles marshall. he writes the acceptance letter. they exchange those letters. that's how the surrender is affected, the exchange of the letters. they both do not sign one document. over the course of the meeting, general grant introduces officers of his staff to general lee. some of them general lee knows very well, such as seth williams who was lee's agitant when lee was a commandant at united
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states military academy at west point. another interesting aspect of general grant's staff, there was a young captain named robert lincoln on his staff, and he, of course, was the son of president abraham lincoln, and he was here in the room. another interesting participant in this ceremony was -- at least, maybe not participant, but a witness to this ceremony was this rag doll of lula mclean, youngest daughter of wilmer mclean. it was sitting on the couch when the officers came in, and they moved it to the mantle during the meeting. after the meeting, some of the officers took the doll off the mantle and began tossing it around. captain thomas moore of general phillip sheridan's staff took the doll home with him as a war
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souvenir. in the 1990s, the family wanted the doll to come back to appomattox court house and it is now on display in the park visitors center. the meeting lasted about an hour and a half. it was said to be a gentleman's agreement. general grant was very generous with the terms. in the end when general lee said he had nothing to feed his men, general grant ordered rations to be sent to feed lee's army. the men shake hands, general lee departs, goes out into the yard, calls for his horse traveler and rides back to the confederate army, bearing the news of his surrender. the gentleman that owned the house at the time of the surrender, wilmer mclean, was originally from alexandria. he had married a wealthy widow from manassas and that's where he lived at the time of the first major engagement there. after the second battle of manassas, he decided to move south. he could not conduct business up in northern virginia. he got into sugar speculation.
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he was not a farmer, as many people will put out. he got into sugar speculation, and this area was convenient because he could access the south side railroad and make trips through the south to deal in that sugar. he owned the house here at the time of the surrender, and then in 1867, they are not able to keep up with the payments on the house, and the house is sold and the family moves back to northern virginia. after the house is sold, the raglan family owns it for a time, but in the early 1890s, a group of union veterans have a plan. they're going to start a retirement community for union soldiers here at appomattox courthouse, and they buy up land west of the village. they are unsuccessful in selling off these lots to union veterans, and they decide they're going to dismantle the house in 1893 and move it to washington, d.c. and create a civil war museum out of it.
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the house is dismantled. parts of the house are stacked out in the yard. unfortunately, there is a financial panic in 1893 and the firm goes bankrupt. and all the supplies outside the house, all the materials, either start to rot away or are taken as souvenirs. the park service, when it is -- takes over the facility in 1940, determines the one thing they're going to do is rebuild the mclean house. fortunately, the same company that took the house apart got the bid to rebuild the house, and they still had the plan. so it's been rebuilt on the exact location using the original plans. there are a few bricks to the hearth and the basement. 5,500 original bricks are used on the front of the house. so when you're walking up to the house, you will pass bricks that
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were here in 1865. we're back in front of the clover hill tavern which was owned in 1865 by wilson hicks. i'm going to take you inside and tell you what important events took place in the tavern with the printing of parole passes for the confederate soldiers so they could return home. we're now inside the clover hill tavern where parole passes were printed for the confederate soldiers to return home. part of the agreement was that general lee's army would be paroled rather than sent to prison camp. general lee and general grant met a second time here at appomattox on horseback on the morning of april 10, and general lee requested some safeguard for his men that were going home. general lee surrendered only one army, the army of north virginia. there was richard taylor with troops in louisiana and alabama, kirby smith out in texas. his soldiers will be passing through these areas where armies could still be fighting.
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they don't want these soldiers to be picked up and sent off to prison camp. they don't want to be pressed back into the confederate army because they've given their word not to serve anymore until exchange. and in the extreme, these soldiers, if they're traveling home, passing through confederate lines, could be considered deserters and executed. so general grant thinks it's a good idea to have something for these confederate soldiers to go home. that's what the idea of the parole pass comes about. john gibbon, a core commander of the army of the james, said he has a printing press with him. he calls out for them to come work these presses around the clock until they struck off 28,231 parole passes for the confederate soldiers. that's how we know how many confederate soldiers actually surrendered here at appomattox. general george sharp was put in charge of this process, and the men printing those passes worked
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on printers similar to this, and they kept those passes going. they would have to ink the printers and strike off paroles that would look like this. they would actually have to be hung and dried, and then they were cut into individual parole passes. these were sent over to the confederate army where the officer and their command would fill in the soldier's name and sign the parole. and that was giving -- made into a master list of paroles that was turned over to the united states forces and that's how we know what confederate soldiers were paroled here. each soldier would take this pass and on the way home, grant afforded them to receive rations from united states forces should they encounter. they could use them for transportation on ships and railways.
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we've even seen occasions where soldiers are being issued shoes and clothing on their way home. so it was a very valuable piece of paper to have. and it was one that was treasured by the confederate soldiers because it was physical proof that that soldier had made it to the end here at appomattox with general lee. he did not desert the army. next i want to take you to the place where general lee and general grant met on horseback on april 10. it is also the area where the confederate army came up to stack their arms on april 12th in the formal surrender ceremony. behind me is the appomattox where the confederate army camped, and at the top of the ridge is where general lee's headquarters was located in april 1865. there was a second meeting between general lee and general grant here at appomattox. they met four times during their life. once at the mexican war, at the mclean house on april 9, here where we're standing on april
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10, and when grant becomes president, lee pays him a courtesy call at the white house. but where we are now is where they were on april 10. general grant said he wanted to meet with lee one more time before he headed for washington, and he asked general lee to surrender all the confederate soldiers. he had only surrendered soldiers in north virginia. there were some not surrendered. lee declines to surrender them saying he couldn't communicate with general gordon to find out his wishes. once lee's army surrenders, those other armies follow suit. two weeks after lee's surrender here at appomattox, he surrendered to general william sherman. lee surrendered his troops on may 4, and actually, andrew johnson declared the war over on
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may 10, 1865 just a month after the surrender here at appomattox. johnson declared the war over on may 10, 1865 just a month after the surrender here at appomattox. however, there was still kirby smith with the army down in texas, and his official surrender is not until june 2nd, 1865. the surrender here at appomattox was actually a multiday process. after lee and grant met, they appointed commissioners to work out the details of how the surrender will take place. that is done by those commissioners on april 10, and the confederate cavalry is set to surrender their sabres on april 10, the artillery on april 11 and the bulk of general lee's army, the infantry, surrenders on april 12.
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22,000 men would infiltrate and i'll take you to the road where they surrender now. we are once again standing on the richmond-lynchburg stage road. in front of me is confederate artillery piece that signifies where the last artillery shots were fired on the morning of april 9th. also in front of me is the home of george pierce. he was the county clerk. and on the evening of april 11, 1865, he had a special guest for dinner, general joshua chamberlain, who had set up his headquarters tent in his yard. at this dinner, chamberlain brought with him coffee, real coffee that pierce hadn't had in well over a year. and over the course of their dinner conversation, pierce undoubtedly learned that chamberlain was in charge of the actual surrender ceremony for the confederate infantry on the morning of april 12th.
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chamberlain has his men lining this road from the lee grant meeting site all the way up to the mclean house on the morning of april 12th at about 5:00. his men are out here for several hours before the confederates approach, and they start leaning on their rifles, talking amongst themselves. but as the confederate troops approach, general chamberlain calls his men to attention. they straighten up, and then he calls out shoulder arms. they lift their rifles from the ground to this position here. he's got about 4,500 men lining the road, both on the north and south side, and they're presenting a salute to the confederate soldiers. general gordon at the head of the confederate column coming up, returns a salute and calls his men to shoulder arms as well. they face front. they stack their arms, take off
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their equipment and turn over their flags. and that's probably the hardest thing for those confederate soldiers because those flags meant everything to them, and giving them up symbolized the end of the war. the confederates would counter-march, go back to the appomattox valley. the federals would clear off the road. put everything in piles behind their line. they would then reform. these ceremonies went on all morning and into the afternoon. very emotional and touching ceremonies, but very respectful on both sides. as the last confederate troop stacked their arms out here on the road and returned to their camps, from the camps they were allowed to start their journey home. the war was over for those soldiers. now we're going to go to the park visitors center where we have our museum, and i'll show you some of our special objects in our collection. we're now in the park visitors center museum where i'll show you some of the items on
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display, including this original painting done by louis giuyome of the surrender scene at the mclean house. it's the most accurate painting of the surrender, but it does have some inaccuracies in it. lee and grant never sat at the same table, and lee was a three-star general, not four stars as in the painting. guiyome was born in france. he emigrated to virginia and lived there. grant sat for him twice and lee three times in the course of the production of the painting. the parks service acquired this painting in 1954 for $1250. that money was collected from locals and schoolkids here in appomattox county to purchase the painting. what i'd like to show you next
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is what's left of the first truce flag that was sent out to the federal forces that was carried by captain robert sims. he bought this towel in richmond prior to leaving the campaign. he said he spent 20 to $40 confederate money for it. he was given this flag to stop the advance of custer's cavalry that were preparing to make an assault on the confederate left flank. throughout the events of the day, it ended up coming to the possession of a staff member named whitaker, and whitaker presented it to custer. over the years, libby custer would cut off pieces of the truce flag to give out to souvenirs to people who were favorable to her husband, especially after his death at the little big horn. this piece is general john gibbons camp table that was used
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at the commissioners meeting on april 10th. they appointed three commissioners each. grant appointed given, charles griffin and wesley merritt. leah pointed william nelson pendleton, james longstreet and john gordon. they went to the tavern to have their meeting, but they said it was a bare, cheerless place, so they repaired to the mclean house where givens had set up his headquarters. there was no furniture left in the room because the tables had been taken as souvenirs after the meeting on april 9. so givens used his camp table and had it inscribed after the commissioners' meeting. this is our display on the apple tree. what is the apple tree? well, it's one of those myths about appomattox, about lee's surrender. why is it a myth? because the event that supposedly took place there wasn't what it seemed. lee and grant had been corresponding for several days, since april 7, about the
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possibility of lee surrendering his army. and on the morning of april 9, when lee is finally ready to surrender his army, he sends a message to general grant. but general grant is moving his headquarters, he's on about a 20-mile ride, so lee's message catches up with him maybe about 11:00 that morning. he has to dispatch men to rida head to make the arrangements to meet with general lee. he dispatches orville babcock and lee dunn to ride ahead and meet lee. they find lee resting under an apple tree at the appomattox river. general lee's artillery are on the hills behind this apple tree and they see general lee talking with him under it. lee dispatches his orderly to come into the village, find a place to meet, and eventually
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lee, babcock and dunn ride into the village to the mclean house. the next time the confederate soldiers see general lee, they learn they've been surrendered. they mistakenly assume that the federal officer talking to lee under the apple tree was general grant. so they went over and started to cut the tree down for souvenirs. before long, federal troops came over and asked the confederate soldiers why they were cutting down the tree, and he said this is the tree where general lee surrendered to general grant. the federal soldiers said, i want part of that tree, too. they went to work getting souvenirs off that tree. that night all the roots had been dug up and there was nothing but a hole in the ground where the apple tree stood. visitors will come through and bring pieces of the apple tree that their ancestors brought home to them, some of which have been donated to the park and on display here.
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the apple tree myth was believed by many of the soldiers at the time. it was dispelled when he wrote his memoirs. i think one of the most moving pieces in the collection is a letter written by charles minnegurre. he was 19 years old. he was a staff officer. he had joined the army, i think, maybe a little bit against his parents' wishes, and during the waning fight here at appomattox courthouse on the morning of april 9, as they shut down the richmond-lynchburg stage road, sealing off lee's retreat, he decided to escape where he could. he didn't know they were able to take their horses. a bullet struck him and knocked him off his horse. a sue gown looked at him and said he was a dead man.
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so they pinned a note to his jacket to let his father in richmond know of his death. as he's left dying on the battlefield, he pulls out a piece of paper and writes a rather moving death letter to his mother. he says, my darling mother. i am dying, but i've fallen where i expected to fall. our cause is defeated but i do not live to see the end of it. i suffer agonies. wish to god i could die calmly, but i must see his will be done. my freatest regret to leaving this world is to leave you and the rest of the dear ones. the younger children will be more comforting to you than i have been, but none of them will love you more. that is his death letter to his mother. but a fellow surgeon named norris with the new york regiment actually finds minnegurre on the battlefield, operates on him, removes the bullet and saves his life.
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so in the end he doesn't die on the battlefield here at appomattox. what we've covered today are just some of the high points at the park. there are other exhibits and buildings to see if you come out and visit for yourself. appomattox is most often forgotten by the american public or overlooked. appomattox is one of the most significant events in american history. this is a place where the killing of americans by americans to the tune of over 700,000 ended. it's also the place where we decided we would be one nation instead of two. the events at the mclean house on april 9, general grant's generosity to general lee and his men and the events on the richmond-lynchburg stage road during the stacking of arms set a positive course for the nation and allowed for a stronger
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country to emerge. please pay us a visit or even make a special pilgrimage to visit our site. >> you can watch this or other american artifacts programs at any time by visiting our website, c-span.org/history. ♪ 100 years ago president wppdrpw wilson signed the bill creating the national park service and thursday we look back on these caretakers of america's natural and historic treasures. beginning at 10:00 eastern and throughout the day, we take you to national park service sites across the country as recorded by c-span. at 7:00 p.m. eastern we're live from the national park service's most visited historic home,
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arlington house, the robert e. lee memorial at arlington national cemetery. join us with your phone calls at we talk with robert stanton, former national park service director, and brandon buys, the former arlington house site manager who will oversee the pcoming year-long restoration of the mansion, slave quarters and grounds. thursday, the 100th anniversary of the national park service live from arlington house at 7:00 p.m. eastern on "american history tv" on c-span 3. >> the c-span radio app makes it easy to follow the 2016 election wherever you are. it's free to download from the apple app store or google play. get up-to-the minute schedule for c-span radio and television. stay up to date on all the election coverage. c-span's radio app means you always have c-span on the go.
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each week american history tv america's artifacts visit historic places. you're looking at peterson house where president abraham lincoln passed away on 7:22:00 p.m.. up next the tour of the former boardinghouse located across street from ford's theater where abraham lincoln was shot 150 years ago. this house built in the early 1850s by a german i am grant to america, william peterson. he used it as boarding house, 10 to 12 lived here at a time. this is a relic of 19th civil war boarding house culture. once upon a time, everybody lived in boarding houses, congressmen, senators, vice presidents of the united states lived in group homes. so this house aside from its history being where abraham
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lincoln died is an important part in civil war washington, d.c. history. aside from the lincoln death house, this is a great museum of immigrant culture in washington and boarding house life in washington, d.c. i have been coming here years, making pilgrimages here. i started coming here in 1986 when i joined the reagan administration and i have been coming here for years. i am very excited that this year for the 150th anniversary there will be a big commemoration for abraham lincoln. in past years, i am usually here alone. no one comes here on the night of assassination, no one comes to honor lincoln. i might find one or two here on the steps of peterson house and contemplate what happened. couple years ago, park service almost arrested me sitting on the steps because the guard across the street accused me of being a homeless loiterer. i tried to tell them, i wrote a book on this, this is the anniversary of the assassination.
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two squad cars rolled up and the national park service police questioned me. how do we know you're not a homeless man who's going to damage this house? one of them came to his senses and rolled his eyes and asked me to enjoy the evening. i've had quite a time coming to this house. sadly it's been abandoned by the public for a long time. this year the 150th anniversary is different. lincoln arrived at ford's theater, 8:30 p.m. the play was under way, he was late. no one at the peterson house noticed lincoln arrive. the street was quiet then. people were going to bars and taverns to celebrate the great union victory in the war and surrender of robert e. lee on april 9th. it was a quiet night on the street. everyone was inside of the theater, the play was under way. lincoln's carriage pulled and up stopped in front of that big gas lamp and lincoln went inside. and then around 10:15 or 10:20 p.m. the doors of ford's theater burst open.
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first dozens then hundreds then over a thousand people came rushing out those doors screaming. at first some people thought the theater was on fire. then they heard the shouts, "lincoln's been shot, the president's been killed, burn the theater, find the assassin." that got the attention of the persons in this boardinghouse. the first person who noticed what was happening was a guy named george francis who lived on the first floor of the two front rooms. he came outside and walked into the street and he could only get halfway across. people were screaming the president was dead. he walked right up to the president's body as it was being carried across the street. another boarder on the second floor, henry safford, went outside and he saw the commotion too. he heard the shouts that lincoln had been shot. safford couldn't get to ford's theater there were so many people outside in the street. he retreated, came back to his house, and went up these stairs and stood at the top of the staircase. he was up there watching as the soldiers pounded on the door of
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the house next door and they couldn't get in. and he saw there was lincoln in the middle of the street being carried by soldiers and they didn't know where to take the president. safford went outside, got a candle, stood at the top of the staircase and shouted, bring him in here, bring him in here. dr. leo heard that and shouted to the officers and soldiers, take the president to that house. they crossed the street and came up these stairs. and so as lincoln was being carried up the staircase he was still alive. unconscious. and the sight of abraham lincoln here at the top of the staircase was the last time the american people saw him alive. so dr. leo came in this door. and he told safford, take us to your best room. now, the hallway's narrow. it was already filled with the lincoln entourage, with the doctors, with the soldiers. and there was a narrow staircase
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on the right. safford knew the best room was the front parlor, occupied by george and hilda francis. he reached for the door, it was locked. he went down to the second door here, this door was locked. hilda francis was inside frantically getting dressed. she was already dressed for bed so she wanted to put on clothes. so she didn't unlock this door either. and all that was left was this little room at the back of the hallway. which was occupied by a civil war soldier. but he was out for the evening. and so safford led them to this back room here. you can see how narrow the hallway is. there's barely enough room for soldiers to stand on each side of lincoln and carry him down this hallway. and so they took him into this room. and laid him on a spindle bed in the corner. lincoln didn't even fit on the
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bed, he was too tall. dr. leo ordered soldiers to break off the foot of the bed. but it wouldn't come off because it's integral to the construction of the bed. the bed would have collapsed. so they had no choice but to lay abraham lincoln diagonally across the bed. at that point, too many people were in the room. it was hot. and dr. leo ordered people out. he needed to examine the president. he knew he had been shot in the head. but he didn't know if he had other wounds. so once the doctors were alone, they stripped lincoln naked and examined him on this bed. as the doctors began their examination of lincoln, they observed that he had no other wounds. they thought he might have been stabbed. because almost everyone in ford's theater had seen john wilkes booth flash that dagger onstage after he leaped from the president's box. lincoln was unwounded but for the shot of a single bullet behind the left ear. as lincoln was lying here on the bed, mary lincoln and her entourage came through the front door of the peterson house and
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they went to that front parlor. so we'll go that way and see what mary lincoln did. when lincoln was first brought in this house, he had no bodyguards. the army wasn't here yet. so strangers actually came into this house and observed lincoln in that bed. they lingered in these hallways. it was not until 15 or 20 minutes later that lincoln was under the full protection of the u.s. army. they then entered the house and soldiers and officers cleared everyone out who was unknown to them and didn't belong here. mary lincoln was frantic by then. she came through that front door screaming, where's my husband, where's my husband? why didn't he shoot me? then mary lincoln entered this front parlor.
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and she sat on a horse hair sofa in this room. this was the front parlor of the boarders george and hilda francis, who quickly vacated the premises when mary lincoln was brought in. she spent much of the hours of april 14th and early morning hours of april 15 in this room. she didn't spend the night at her husband's side, she spent most of the night here with close friends. she was very upset. she really couldn't stand to see her husband wounded and unconscious. so much of her time was here. crying, sobbing. when clara harris, one of her theater guests that night, came in and mary lincoln saw harris' dress covered with blood, mary began screaming, my husband's blood, my husband's blood! it was actually the blood of major rathbone, miss harris' fiance. he had been stabbed by booth, he bled heavily, much of the blood was on his fiance's dress. mary lincoln was wrong, it was not her husband's blood, it was major rathbone's blood. major rathbone came here, he leaned against the wall in the hallway, soon he sat down and collapsed and fainted. he was taken from that floor and taken home. so here's where mary lincoln spent much of the night.
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secretary of war stanton and secretary of the navy wells arrived at the peterson house shortly after lincoln was taken here. they were first at the home of secretary of state seward. they had heard the secretary of state had been stabbed to death in his bed, and he almost was killed. he survived the wounds. when they got to seward's mansion near the white house they heard that lincoln had been shot here at ford's theater so they rushed over here in a carriage. by the time they got here, thousands of people had gathered at the corner of 10th and f streets and the carriage couldn't push through the crowd. so there they were, the two most powerful members of the cabinet commanding the entire united states army and the navy, had to disembark from their carriage and disappear into the mob and push their way through and come into this house. so stanton came through this door into this room and he saw mary lincoln here. and he decided he couldn't operate from here in front of the first lady. so stanton came through this room and into the back parlor here.
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which was the francis' bedroom. and it was here at a table in the center of this room that the secretary of war began the manhunt for john wilkes booth. witnesses from ford's theater were brought here. stanton questioned them. a union army soldier who knew a kind of shorthand sat at this table with stanton. and took the first testimony of witnesses who saw john wilkes booth murder the president. and so stanton spent most of the night here at a table in this room sending telegrams to army commanders in new york and throughout the northeast to organize the manhunt for john wilkes booth. throughout the night he sent messengers from this room to the war department telegraph office. and from that office messages were brought back here. so this room really became the command post for the entire army of the united states under the secretary of war while lincoln was dying in the back bedroom. stanton was one of lincoln's favorites. he had an iron will.
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lincoln called him his mars, god of war. even though they didn't get along well before the election, stanton once humiliated lincoln at a trial they staffed together, lincoln knew he was his right hand. he once said stanton really was the rocky shore upon which the waves of rebellion crash and are broken. and they were very close. stanton was devastated but he threw himself into the work. so here tonight he was imperious. fearsome. barking commands, sending orders all over the country to hunt for john wilkes booth. on trains, on boats. the orders went out everywhere. catch the assassin, find him. and so the manhunt, which took 12 days, began in this room before lincoln even died. once word got out to official washington that lincoln was here, this really became the magnetic center of attraction for all important people in washington. over 100 people made pilgrimages here during the night. some came because they wanted to help.
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they knew stanton would need them or the secretary of navy would need them. some were friends of mary lincoln and they wanted to comfort her. others were journalists who were not allowed to enter the house. and while all this was happening, thousands of people in the street gathered right in front of this house. some tried to stand on tippy toe and peek through the windows or hoist others up so they could look in. but the blinds were closed then and they couldn't see. and so throughout the night, with regularity, official visitors came to the front door of the peterson house and were admitted to see the dying president. more than a dozen doctors came. they knew they couldn't help lincoln. he had been shot through the brain. some people came because they wanted to say one day that they had been here. they had seen the great lincoln on the night he was assassinated. some came so they could tell their grandchildren, decades later, i was there the night lincoln died. and so more people were in this house than really needed to be here. it was appropriate members of the cabinet come. but there were too many people
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here in this little house as abraham lincoln was dying. so mary lincoln would sometimes come out that front door of the parlor and venture to the back. and her female trends escorted her down this hallway. by then, the bed had been pulled away from the wall. so the doctors could surround it and treat lincoln and observe him. so several times during the night, mary lincoln sat in a chair right here next to the bed pulled away from the wall. she really couldn't control herself. at one point when it sounded like lincoln was gasping and about to die, she let out a terrific shriek that so unnerved secretary of war stanton, he said, "take that woman out of this room and don't let her back in again." which was a cruel thing to say. mary lincoln did not have a lot of fans in washington but it was not right to treat her that way in the presence of her dying husband. but she was so upset and
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unnerved, she really couldn't bear to be in this room. and so she only made a few trips back here throughout the night. and she was not present when the president died. she was sitting in the front room. lincoln lingered throughout the night. many men would have died within minutes of being shot through the head the way he was but he rallied. and daylight came. at around 6:00 in the morning secretary of the navy wells decided to go for a walk. he had decided that some high official should be at lincoln's side throughout the night and morning hours. and he really left it to secretary of war stanton to question witnesses, to begin the manhunt, begin the investigation, to see if other cabinet members aside from seward had been marked for death. and wells was here that night more as a mourner and witness for lincoln rather than a person who's active in the investigation and the activities that night.
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so wells found it hot and oppressive and humid that morning and he walked outside. a light rain had begun. and he was astonished to find several thousand people keeping vigil in the street outside. many of them were black. either free men who'd never been slaves or freed slaves, men and women, gathering in silent vigil. and wells was touched by that. the street was silent. by that point there was no shouting, there was no screaming. a hushed crowd stood outside. and they asked wells, how is the president? what was to happen? and he couldn't answer them. so he came back. by 6:30 in the morning it was obvious that lincoln was not going to last much longer. the breathing became more labored, less frequent. and so the doctors fished pocket watches out of their suit coats. because they wanted to mark the moment when abraham lincoln died. and that came at 7:22 a.m. on the morning of april 15th, 1865.
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that was when lincoln's heart made its last beat. the doctors recorded the time. and one of them said, "he's dead, he's gone." witnesses say no one spoke for a few minutes. and then secretary of war stanton said to the reverend dr. gurley, lincoln's minister, "doctor, will you speak?" he said a prayer for lincoln. and then edwin stanton pronounced words that really were immortal. and remembered wrong for the last 150 years. the secretary of war stood in this room and looked at abraham lincoln's body and said, "now he belongs to the angels." we remember it today as now he belongs to the ages. but extensive research has revealed that it's best remembered by the stenographer tanner, whose pencil broke, his only lead pencil broke as he was
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writing down what was said in this room, but he remembered that stanton said angels. plus it's characteristic of stanton's temperament, how he viewed his faith, how he viewed the world. he wouldn't have said something as profound as "now he belongs to the ages." i have no doubt that in this room stanton said, "now he belongs to the angels." people filtered out of the room one by one. stanton remained here alone with the president. and at that point, he took a small scissors or razor and he approached lincoln's body. and he cut off a lock of lincoln's hair. not for himself but for mary jane wells, the wife of the secretary of the navy. one of mary lincoln's few close friends in washington. and he sealed it in an envelope, wrote her name on it, and later mrs. wells framed the lock of hair with dried flowers that adorned lincoln's coffin at the white house funeral. and so that was really the first
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blood relic taken from abraham lincoln in this room by secretary of war stanton. then it was time to bring lincoln home to the white house. so the secretary of war sent for what was needed to convey the body of a dead president home to the white house. soldiers were sent. and they returned from a military shop a few blocks away carrying a rectangular plain pine box. an ammunition crate, a rifle crate, with a screw-top lid. so when those soldiers rounded the corner and came up 10th street with that box, the crowd moaned. because they knew intellectually that the president had died. they saw the cabinet members leaving. they knew. but the sight of that coffin was the real refutation of their hopes that lincoln could live. so that coffin was taken down this hallway and laid on the floor right here. and before lincoln's body was
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placed in the coffin, soldiers took a 35-star flag, possibly a 36-star flag, for the final state added to the union in the civil war, and they wrapped lincoln's naked body in the colors of the union. and if they followed tradition, the stars would have been wrapped over lincoln's face. lincoln had ordered that the flag keep its full complement of stars during the civil war to symbolize that the union was permanent. and lincoln would not have minded being placed in that rough pine box. there was really -- the rough-hewn coffin for a rail splitter. so stanton stood here as the soldiers took a screwdriver and screwed the lid on that box. there was no sound. you could literally hear the creaking sound of the screws tightening and the lid being placed on. then the president was carried out this room through that hall to the front door and down that curving staircase. where a simple carriage awaited
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him and a military escort was there. it was not fancy. there was no band, there were no national colors, regimental flags. the officers were all bare headed. and they escorted lincoln home to the white house. that's not the end of the story of this house, the peterson house. once all the government officials had left, once the president's body was gone, once stanton left, the house was open. no one was here. it was no longer under guard. anyone could come into this house and anyone who lived in this house could do whatever they wanted in this room. william peterson was furious that muddy boot tracks had soiled his carpet. when he came into this room and he saw bloody pillows, bloody sheets, bloody towels, bloody handkerchiefs, he got so angry he opened one of these windows and threw a lot of that material out the window into the yard behind. two boarders who lived in the house, two brothers.
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one was a cameraman photographer, one was a painter. they decided to bring up a bulky camera and photograph the deathbed. it still had many bloody sheets on it, bloody pillows, a coverlet was on the bed. they pushed the bed back into the corner to get a better photograph of the room. so they set up the camera at the end of the room and pointed the lens towards the bed and towards this hallway. and they opened the front door so the morning light streamed down this hallway. and they took one or two exposures of abraham lincoln's death bed, which were lost for almost 100 years. i consider that photograph to be the most vivid and shocking and sad historical photograph in american history. no one knows why they did it. they never tried to commercialize it. they didn't try to make multiple copies, sell them commercially. but it's an incredible and
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touching relic of the mayhem of what happened in this room that night. one interesting thing, even though a photograph was taken in this room shortly after lincoln's body was taken out, for some reason we haven't discovered any period photographs from 1865 taken of the peterson house after the assassination. matthew brady went inside ford's theater and took a number of photographs. people took photographs of the stable where booth kept his horses. they photographed other places associated with the assassination. but for some reason, photographers did not set up their cameras in front of the peterson house and take photos the day lincoln died or the day after, the week after. it's a bit of a historical mystery. i've looked for decades to find period photographs taken of the peterson house shortly after lincoln died. but haven't found any and no one i know has found any. it's just one of the little lingering mysteries of the assassination. interestingly, private william
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clark came back the next day, the soldier who lived in this room. he was out all night celebrating the union victory. and that night he slept in the very bed in which abraham lincoln died. he wrote a letter to relatives saying, well, i'm sleeping in the bed where the president died, the same coverlet that covered his body now covers me. strangers come, they beg to see the room, they offer money to come and view the room. if you don't watch them they try to steal things. they try to steal little bits of cloth, the sheets, steal something from the room. and so souvenir hunters were trying to raid this room within hours of the president's death. the coverlet is long gone, stolen at the illinois state fair at the turn of the century. but some of the pillow cases and pillows survive. they're now in the collection of the park service at ford's theater. and the sheets were all divided up into little swatches and all over the country in museums and private collections, one can find little swatches of the sheets that were on abraham
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lincoln's bed, many of them stained with his blood. this room looks very much like it did the night abraham lincoln was brought here and died the next morning. the prints are the same ones that were on the walls that night. the carpeting is identical. the wallpaper is identical. in fact, a number of artists came to this room and sketched it and also described it. we also know from the photograph taken by the oakey brothers what this part of the room looked like. and the bed, of course, is no longer here. and that's part of a sad story about the peterson family. in 1871, william peterson was found unconscious on the grounds of the smithsonian institution. the old castle. he had poisoned himself with laudanum. the police revived him and he confessed that he had been taking laudanum often for several years and he died.
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so in 1871, in the front parlor of this house, william peterson's body was laid out. four months after he died from laudanum poisoning his wife died, anna died. and her body was brought to this house and she too was laid out in this house. and so only six years after abraham lincoln died in their house, both petersons were dead and both were laid out in this very house. interesting footnote. after anna's dead an auction company was brought in to sell the contents. so once again, strangers gathered outside, came into this house, came down the halls, came into the parlors. the auction took place on the site. the two most expensive things at the auction were the sofa in the front room where mary lincoln had spent much of the night. that went for $15. and the bed upon which abraham lincoln died sold for $80, which was eight or ten times what it should have cost if it was simply a bed. so an early historian and
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souvenir hunter recognized the value of the materials in this house and bought a number of things including the deathbed and some of the other relics from this back room. that bed later was purchased by a chicago candy millionaire, charles ganther, for $100,000. and it's now in chicago at the old chicago historical society. the peterson house had an interesting history after lincoln died. it was not immediately seized upon as an important national monument. the petersons moved back in after a few days. boarders came back. and it became a boarding house again. then a visionary historian, osborn oldroyd, who loved abraham lincoln and was obsessed with honoring lincoln, occupied this house. and he created a lincoln museum in the basement and in these rooms.
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and for a small price, visitors from all over the country could come to the house where lincoln died, which it was known as properly, and come to this room. so over decades, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of americans came and visited this room when it was a privately operated museum. it was not until decades later that the national park service took custody of the peterson house and restored it to its original appearance as it looked on the night abraham lincoln was assassinated. the peterson house is one of my favorite historical sites in washington. partly because it's not gigantic and grand like abraham lincoln's white house. it's not huge like ford's theater where an audience of 1,500 or 1,800 sat and watched the mayhem that happened across the street. what i like about the peterson house is the intimacy. when i was working on my books about the lincoln assassination, i would often come to the peterson house at hours when i knew there'd be very few
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visitors. and i've stood in this room many times all by myself and imagined what it must have been like to stand here the night abraham lincoln was brought down that hallway and laid on the bed in this room. and the emotion and sadness of that night and that morning really comes alive for me when i'm in this room. in fact, when i wrote about lincoln coming to the peterson house and dying in this room, i wrote some of my notes from my book "manhunt" while i stood in this room with a notebook and imagined what it must have been like to have been here and stand in this spot when abraham lincoln was lying on a bed in this room and when he died the next morning. i really feel lincoln's presence when i'm in this house and when i'm in this room.
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>> tomorrow marks the 100th anniversary of the national park service. we're live at the robert e. lee memorial for a look at current projects the national park service is working on. that's 7:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span 3, american history tv. recently we talked to some members of congress about the national parks. >> congressman, what national parks can be found in your state of massachusetts. >> we have many. national parks commemorate all the many contributions we made to the history of this country. so, for example, minutemen, national history park which commemorates the beginning of the american resolution, lowell's national historic park which commemorates the beginnings of the industrial resolution, first planned
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industrial city that changed the economy of this country. but we also have the national sea shore and cape cod, beautiful, beautiful site that is like no other. then we have the sites that commemorate the adams family. we have the freedom trail in boston. that takes from you all the various landmarks, again, of the beginnings of this country. so we're home to a lot of history but some beautiful natural sites as well. as we know famously it's been called the national park system which will have been celebrated its 100th year is called america's best idea because it protects for future generations these things that your economically ours. so whether it's our history, our culture, the great beauty of this country, the diverse beauty of this country, without it and absent the federal support for it i think much of it would be in very fragile state. my first exposure to a national park was yellow stone. my family was traveling across the country in 1960 and stayed
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over in yellow stone and i can remember waking up and looking out the window and seeing a wolf out in the woods. so, again, a beautiful landscape. i've been to yosemite in california and more than anything the scale is just so different. but each park is so unique. i don't think one, one is like another and so tapestry of that's rackable contribution to this country. >> thursday moaning we focus on the 100th anniversary of the national park service on washington journal. live from 7:00 a.m. 208:30 a.m. eastern. watch on our companion network c-span. ♪
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100 years ago president wppdrpw wilson signed the bill creating the national park service and thursday we look back on these caretakers of america's natural and historic treasures. beginning at 10:00 eastern and throughout the day, we take you to national park service sites across the country as recorded by c-span. at 7:00 p.m. eastern we're live from the national park service's most visited historic home, arlington house, the robert e. lee memorial at arlington national cemetery. join us with your phone calls at we talk with robert stanton, former national park service director, and brandon buys, the former arlington house site manager who will oversee the upcoming year-long restoration of the mansion, slave quarters and grounds. thursday, the 100th anniversary of the national park service live from arlington house at 7:00 p.m. eastern on "american history tv" on c-span 3. for campaign 2016 c-span continues on the road to the white house. >> we need serious leadership. this is not a reality tv smoipts
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-- show. it's as real as it gets. >> we'll make america great again. >> ahead live coverage of the presidential and vice presidential debates on c-span, krarch span radio app and c-span.org. monday, september 26 is the first presidential debate. on october 4th, governor mike pence and senator tim kaine debate at longwood university in farmville, virginia. on sunday october 9th, washington university in st. louis hosts the second presidential debate. leading up to the third and final debate between hillary clinton and donald trump, taking place at the university of nevada, las vegas on october 19th. live coverage of the presidential and vice presidential debates on c-span. listen live on the free c-span radio app or watch any time on demand at c-span.org. tomorrow marks the 100th anniversary of the national park
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service. coming up on c-span 3's american history tv we'll bring you a number of national park service tour from our american artifacts and real america programs. some of the sites include congress hall in philadelphia. the monocacy battlefield in maryland and appomattox courthouse. each week, american artifacts takes you to museums and historic sites around the country. up next we travel to philadelphia independence national historic park to learn about congress hall the meeting place of the u.s. house and senate between 1790 and 1800. our guide is park ranger matthew eiffel. we are standing in the old house of representatives in the building we call congress hall. although originally it was built as a county courthouse for philadelphia for most of its history that's exactly what it was, but in the years that the city of washington, d.c. is being built, philadelphia serves
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as our temporary u.s. capital. this rooms serves for the house of representatives. second floor of the building that we will see in a moment was the united states senate. the united states house of representatives at that point in our history represented 30,000 people. we had a population at our first census of 3.75 million. we had 106 members of the house. and eventually from 16 states. the story of philadelphia as the u.s. capital is the story where we are taking a new constitution and actually operating it, doing things like adding new states to the original 13. also the bill of rights would become a part of our constitution while philadelphia was the capital. in fact, secretary of state thomas jefferson would formally announce the amendments to the constitution in -- by basically coming to congress here in this building and officially announcing that we've changed our constitution which of course
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the bill of rights is a huge part of our history and will be in the future a continued talking point in our political life. but it is the amendment process itself. we are proving that that part of the constitution works, that we can update and make changes to that constitution without having to start completely over again from the beginning. but really for this building, it is to a large degree sort of creating american political system, the two-party system that we know today is going to begin here, and begin here with issues much as you would expect, early issues we face as the united states would be debt. we had debt and spending arguments and debates in this building. it is not any different except for the details as to what we do today in washington, d.c. we argued about debt from the revolutionary war. our early government, alexander hamilton, wanted all the debt from the states to come from the
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federal government and use that debt paying it off to fund credit for the united states. not everyone agreed with his plans so you start seeing division. then foreign policy questions would arise. britain and france in the 1790s. a lot of americans felt we owed france then helped us in our war we still don't like the british very much. for george washington, the first president, the notion of neutrality is preferable. we don't really have any money. we don't really have a navy at all and our army was not much to speak of so we certainly weren't in a position to go and fight a war. certainly not in europe and probably not even fighting our neighbors in british canada in those days. so he's going to present with his cabinet approval a neutrality proclamation which again brings up the question ought we not be doing more for france.
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now in the same notion of keeping us out of war, george washington will send john jay our first supreme court justice, send him to britain to negotiate a new treaty with the british, again with the idea of keeping us out of this european war and settling some of those questions of border around ocean rights and such that we were arguing with the british. john jay had been on the team that negotiated the peace treaty that ended the revolutionary war sew seemed like a good candidate for washington to send. well, the treaty that he brought back becomes very controversial and really one of the tipping points in creating these two parties as sort of leading to what we know today. the treaty is basically starts becoming publicly attacked in the press. the press of what would become the democratic republican party, party of men like thomas jefferson and james madison, would start vilifying this treaty. now what's interesting is
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nobody's actually read it. it hasn't been published yet, but yet it's going to be pilloried in the press to the point where an awful lot of people hate this treaty that they don't actually know anything about. the federalist side, they want to trade with all sides in europe, not be limited by alliance to france or something like this. so we're really seeing this treaty become kind of a symbolic head point between these two sides. and the senate approves the treaty. now according to the constitution, senate approves treaties and they're done. now the problem is the house of representatives -- this is our first treaty ever. the house of representatives basically says we want a chance to discuss this treaty as well. and so, they demand of washington to see all the papers and so on.
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well, he says, no. senate approves it, you guys don't have anything to do with it. so what the house essentially is going to do, they say well, maybe what we'll try to do is take away the funding. we won't pay for this treaty. anything that has to be paid for, we'll just not spend the money. therefore, the treaty will effectually die at this point in time. so that's not necessarily a new strategy that you see with things in washington, d.c. today. so the big fight in the house of representatives in this room is whether or not to pay for this treaty. there's days of debates. and on the last day, there is a big crowd in our public balcony. you have men like vice president john adams, supreme court justices sitting in the balcony. and the big -- this is of course an era where we love our speeches. long, political speeches, deep, infused with rhetoric. and the best speaker of the time is a man named fisher ames. he is a federalist. he is definitely wanting this treaty to survive.
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but he's been ill. he hasn't said anything. of course, this last day everyone's waiting to see if he'll make the last statement about it. and he does. he stands up and he sort of begins by saying, well, if my strength can hold out, i'd like to say a few words on the subject. he proceeds to speak for over an hour. i think it is about 55 pages in the congressional record, his speech. he collapses at the end into his seat. he talks about the last war we fought with the british -- and if people remembered all the devastation and do we really want to do this again, fight another war for years. and apparently some of the men have tears in their eyes. when he finally finishes, supreme court justice james iridel turns to vice president john adams and says, my god, isn't that man great? he says, yes, he as. so the treaty passes by a couple of votes. at wouldn't point there's a
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committee of the whole vote. the head of the committee was our first speaker of the house, and he breaks the tie. now he is ostensibly on the democratic republicanern -- republican jeffersonian side so he should be against the treaty but he's convinced that maybe not going to war is a good idea so he ends up voting to pass the bill for the funding of this treaty. and he is vilified. he is vilified that he voted for this treaty against his side to the point where he loses his seat in his next election to congress. but even worse in the short term, he is stabbed on the sidewalks of philadelphia by his brother-in-law because of his vote. he survives but i'm sure family gatherings become a little awkward after a while. but it tells us how high our political tensions can be in our early days. yet, yet, at the same time, we're also proving that that new constitution, despite these sort of difficulties, works, because probably the best day in this room's history in a lot of ways is the day john adams is inaugurated at the front by the speaker of the house's platform.
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he will stand on that platform with thomas jefferson, also at the front of the room outgoing president george washington now this is a big deal. thanking presidents for us today is a fairly normal thing. we have big parades and parties and it is a big thing. but this was a really important day because this is where we are proving that the system where we, the voters, elect our leaders and we change them when we vote, we're proving that that system works. because the john adams election is a lot of firsts. it is the first time we're going to not have george washington as our president. george washington's the only man to be unanimously elected president, which he was twice. he did not particularly run for office. at the end of his first term he didn't even want a second term. he was kind of talked into it. essentially kind of almost guys on both sides talk him into another four years. he doesn't really run. he's unanimously re-elected. at the end of that second term people try to talk him into a
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third but he is not having it. he just wants to retire at this point in time. it is somebody else's turn. so he will step aside for john adams. now we don't know if this works. we've never done this before. we've never actually changed our president. so will the people accept this? we don't know. the other thing to remember is john adams was contested in his election. he actually had to fight a battle against his opponent who was thomas jefferson. now these two had been friends. obviously they wrote the declaration of independence together, but now opposite sides of the fence -- they don't even want to talk to each other. so the election is very ugly, it's very nasty, it's very close. it's sort of, for us today, a normal presidential election. john adams wins by three electoral votes. only slightly more than half. we've never had a president who got only half the votes. we've never had a president who had to really fight for an election. and of course the other problem in those early days is if you come in second, you are vice
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president, which means that the new president is one party, the new vice president is the other party. just pick any modern election you like, put the two opponents together for four years as the executive, and you can see how neither of them would be particularly happy. so john adams and thomas jefferson are not happy to be standing up in the front of the room together. this is a full house that day. balcony, the seats, you've got most of the government here. a lot of curiosity. but you can also figure about half of the men in this room are not very happy to see john adams standing up there. the other half of the men in the room are not very happy to see thomas jefferson standing up there. generally speaking, nobody is very happy that george washington is leaving us in this time. so john adams would kind of look around the room and see a lot of people who weren't very happy. he'd see people with almost tears in their eyes that washington was leaving them, and he kind of would later say this, he looked around, he only saw one person that day who particularly looked happy, which was of course george washington who had a look on his face that said, john adams, you are fairly
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in and i am fairly out. so now let's find out who is the happier on this day. but washington would quietly go private life and i think very happily withdraw from the scene. adams himself would be inaugurated. now, we would see the throw of political fighting going on. it happened peacefully, we proved that constitution worked and we proved that we could continue in times of difficulty that we could continue forward with the system in place. in 1800 they would leave this building and move to the current capitol in washington dc, adams and jefferson would have another difficult election at that time. this time jefferson winning and he would be the first president inaugurated in the new capitol of washington dc. >> dc and philadelphia are setting the tone of the rest of
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our early history and all the way up to today. so the room itself will start out as a courthouse. so this would have been a courtroom. but, around the time this building is finished of construction, it is being built during the contusistitutional convention. i think philadelphia secretly hoped that if we were nice, we'll stay here and not go down to the city. they gave them the new courthouse building and end up expanding it a little bit and making more room for congress. we think the set up looks like this. we have a seating chart from one session of congress that shows the design of desks and all. we don't have any of the desks that have survived. we are fortunate that we have some of the chairs today. unfortunately, we only have about 30 of them between the two houses of congress and most of
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them we don't know necessarily of which house they were in. today, all of our original chairs are in the senate. for this room as far as original items go, the chairs for the platform for the speaker of the house, is the originals. we have three chairs exactly like that. we don't know which is which, we have one today that we assume is the spukereaker of the house ane third is for the supreme justice of court. we don't know which one is which. what we can say is someone important that sat in the chair whether it is speaker of the house or not. this room became to be a courthouse. it was divided into two rooms for r a long number of years. they built a long number of rooms down the middle so they could have two rooms instead of one large one. about the time of the first world war, the city government
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has left this block and moved to our current city hall in philadelphia. the city's recognizing the historic values of these buildings had some work done. if you visit this building in the 1920s, you would have seen the building, the room rather restored back to the big single room that it would have been. it would just be a room filled with old stuff and the old fashion sort of museum. after world war ii when the national park service comes in, again, the goal is to try to get them back to how they looked in those important days. that's where we try to study and how did they have their seatings set up. we have one of the members, drew, who was sitting where for one snapshot of the session of congress. we have enough sketches and all the show of the platform speaker of the house.
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we have enough, original furniture that we can sort of match up things. a lot of the items that were here if the city needed them like chairs, they kept on using them and not so much. they did not save. thing that is the gun shovernme might have owned. they started buying books for congress here at philadelphia. it does begin here. a lot of things went to washington dc, are burned when washington was burned in 2012. we lose a lot of those things. you don't have all the things but you try to make do the best you can to give people that sense when they come into see them of what it looked like when james madison or young andrew jackson was sitting in this room as members of the house of
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representatives. >> we are in the senate chambers here. you can see the room is quite a bit more grand. there is a couple of reasons for that. our roots as the nation goes back to when we were british. the british had a parliament with two houses and upper house. the house of lords and commons. there is parallel with our congress today. the house of representatives are similarly set up to the house of commons. and then the senate, therefore, left to be based on the house of lords. obviously, we don't have dukes or noble titles like that. we have states the and every state is equalled in the senate. the states kind of takes the place of our house of lords in our chambers. the green color and the colonies would use it and into the american government. the red is the house of lords kind of color so you will see
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red in the early senate here in philadelphia. and definitely has that kind of look to it that seems a bit on the high end. the interesting thing is the senate is they are created with a little bit more power, the power is a tie to the president. treaties in the united states are with the advice and consent of the senate. the senate has to approve all treaties. there is one power, also, any time when a president makes his appointments to his cabinets or ambassadors or the supreme court, of course, those folks would have to come in in front of the senate and be approved by the senate or rejects it. here in philadelphia, we have our very first treaty approved by the senate which is the jay treaty and that left into a big fight whether the house of representatives should pay for it or not.
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we have the first rejection of the presidential nominee by the senate. john rutledge, he was one of the players in creating that constitution is one of washington's first choices for r the original six justices on the supreme court. he accepts but resigns the post without having served on the supreme court. he will later become the chief justice of the south carolina supreme court. when john jay who was the first united states supreme court justice resigns, he leaves the post of chief justice and leaves it empty and washington tapped on rutledge. he serves as chief justice. he's appointed during a recess of congress. so technically the senate has not confirmed but he serves a session of the court as chief justice who leaves through some
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cases. when the senate comes back later that year to return the session, they then take up the question of approving john rutledge. now, george washington had never had anyone rejected that he's appointed so this has never happened in our young history. john rutledge had a couple of things going on. there are guys in the senate thinking the guys are a little crazy. he had some strange things he had to say in the year of 1790. he got a bit of a reputation among people. he made comments about the jay treaties. he was very critical of some of the things he said about the senate itself. of course, senator would read the newspapers and they would read what the supreme court chief justice had to say about them. when he came from front of them,
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they would remember these sorts of things and decide perhaps, this guy is not the best choice to be the chief justice of the supreme court. even though he runs the court for a while. he was sent packing back home. the first rejection of the presidential nominee. here in philadelphia, you see the constitutions in a lot of different directions being explored and used for the first time and you go in our history and you see other achuroccurren when this happens. the one other power in the senate rather that's not going to get exercised here in philadelphia is the power of impeaching if the president is impeached, the house would vote to have an impeachment and the senate is the jewelry in what is a trial to decide whether or not the president should be removed from office. again, you look at the powers of the senate and you see these things that they can do that tie them to the president in a lot of ways.
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and so therefore give them that extra advantage of the house in representatives. there are a smaller body of men with two senators per state. you represent the entire state which as if you were from a large state, you represent a lot of people. finally, the other thing about the senate that makes it a bit unique, is you get that longer term. the longest elected terms in the united states with six years term. earlier on, senators were not elected. senators are appointed on the bases of the constitution originally. senators are appointed by their state legislatures. so senators do not have to run for office. so as a result, senators here in philadelphia, met in private. they did not meet in public, the house of represents always did. now, the senate starts to get in their own controversial bills like the jay treaties.
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one of the early senators that was sent by pennsylvania, he was the most famous for being the long time secretary treasury. he's of the democratic republicans side. basically, looking at the strateg strict rules -- so the senate voted him out. he's later elected to the house of representatives by pennsylvania. naturally people in pennsylvania wants to know why their senator getting kicked out in the senate. you start to get the growing public feeling that we want to see whals going on when the senate meets here in philadelphia. add to that t press wants to know what's going on because they got guys sitting in the balcony watching the house and watching the senate.
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that's news. finally, i am sure that the house of representatives meeting the public. so i am sure there is pressure coming in from many directions. finally about five years of the meetings behind closed doors, the senate building a small balcony and they start to meet in public here in philadelphia. that's one of those long standing traditions. when you go back to our earliereearlie earlierest days, these men have to figure out what their jobs are all about based on a few paragraphs of duties and power that is they have. george washington invents the job of president here in philadelphia. again, just going on paragraphs in the constitution and figuring out, okay, what does it mean that i do everyday. for example, when he wants to negotiate a treaty with various
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indian tribes, he will come into the senate and it sitting down. i want your consent in these issues. the senate kind of goes, wait a minute, yeah, we are not interested in talking with you in the room. why don't you give us some stuff and we'll talk about it and get back to you later. that's about when the president comes and goes in the senate. so that's more strict and separation that we are used to. for washington, he's not a guy that likes a ton of public acclelade. he does a lot of addresses. he writes with his are cabinets. he will come to the senate for his inauguration for his second term as president. he kind of keeps it low key. he does not do the bigger events
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that we saw downstairs in the house of representatives with john adams. he did not want the big public ceremony to take place. that's something that would change with adams' inauguration and when you move down to washington, you start to have new inauguration at the new capitol building. we are growing in of what the united states is today. you look around this room, a lot of the guys that sat here in the senate were the architects of our constitution. senators being chosen by their states and a lot of guys had a big impact on writing that constitution would be then sent by their states to philadelphia. one of the ones that's not is james madison. if he runs in a problem of virginia that patrick henry is -- henry is not a big fan of
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madison and his big role in the constitution. we call him the father of constitution. the obvious chrome of getting a seat in the senate does not happen for james madison. he had to suffer through being elected and running for office and being a member in the house. that's recent phenomenon in our history. that's the 17th amendment, 1913 when we start to elect our senators over a century ago. all the men prior to that just have to court their state legislatures. so you think of the lincoln debate over senate, they are not debating for people to vote for them. they're debating for the people of the state of the government to vote for them. it is a complicated system which is why when you get in the 20th centu century populism, it is tough. again, we have to kind of grow into how some of these things work. the remarkable thing when you go
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back to these years of philadelphia is other than that, most everything does operate pretty well the same way. we are pretty much using the system designed in independence hall that they kind of take in to this building and use and continue onto move onto washington. we have 26 representing 13 states. kentucky and tennessee will come in the union and up to the senator and up to 32. when they leave for washington, 32 senators would go and the room would turn into a courtroom and eventually, actually, it was united states federal district courtroom in the 19 century.
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they don't necessary need this stuff that's here. so desks kind above go aawway. we don't know what happens to them. chairs you always need. when the mid 1800s when people start to think about american history like we do so much of toda today, they started saying we need to collect things like independence hall. we got a couple of dozen chairs and at some point somebody starts to think maybe they're the chairs o f continental congress, of course, they were the chairs of federal congress. these chairs would display in independence hall for a long time. the old u.s. capitol to look as it would of. we have 29 original chairs and some of them of the majority in the house based on simple proportion. a couple of them had bits of
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po colors. some of these were probably in the house. we said well, lets put it all in the senate chambers. we fill it with 29 of the 32 chairs being original. and either for the house or the senate, orangeiginal but never less. we are not 100% sure of the date on that. the one thing i can tell you is 15 stores above us. we don't know exactly when and may never know when it was painted. it is sort of an artistic rendering of the seal of the united states. the seal was another thing created here by the continental congress and something that they worked on and off and the committees changed a little bit here and there. we have a carpet on the floor that's a reproduction of the
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original carpet. the original carpet more than likely went to washington. whatever happens to it, it is long gone. it was made specifically for the room here. it was actually enough written description of what it was that enables us to recreate the carpet. it would have also featured the seal of the united states. but, it would have been in circles of the original states seal. it is a common motive of the time. so a lot of those interesting symbols, you know whether for the states themselves or the united states, again, have their roots here in philadelphia. the one original desk we still have is the secretary's desk and the vice president would sit in the back of the room. that's another interesting part of our story. the vice president, we'll start wi
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with, john adams, and he will be succeeded here by jefferson. today the vice president can sit in the senate any day they want. early on they made it clear to john adams they did not want him talking so he can sit there and run the meetings. left him disappointed. he's the first but not the last to complain about the limitations of that job. he is allowed to vote to break ties which again that carries through the years. if there is a tie, there is as tie breaker. any big day or the big vote, the vice president will be there. and other than that, the vice president, you know, john adams would find he's kind of stuck here running a bunch of meetings with a bunch of guys. for tomas jefferson when he's vice president, his opponent is the president. he does not necessarily agree with the policies that he had to be the executive over. it was al difficult situation which leads to creating the system where we are going to
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elect president and vice president a little more caref carefully. rather than the electoral college voting for two men, we create a system where there was a candidate for president and vice president, making it more clear. that's the 12th amendment. when they are packing up and moving to washington dc. there is no one election day in those days. they pretty much will start meeting in the new capitol of december of the 1800. they're leaviing philadelphia that summer. the two sides learned their lessons. we'll both run two guys. again, you cannot specify which is which.
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the house of representatives had to elect the president. again, now you are saying we have learned our lessons with the two past election so lets fix it so the 12th amendment comes along and straighten it up. you look back to those and finding out it does not work much and finding that constitution does. today looking in the room is much smaller. the senators who sat here pretty much do the same thing as the senators in washington today.
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this month american history tv is in primetime to introduce you to programs you could see every weekend on c-span 3. our features including luncheons and visits in college classrooms and american artifacts and take a look at treasures of u.s. sites and archives and revealing the 20th century through a archival films and the civil war where you hear about the people who shaped the civil war and reconstruction and the presidency focusing on u.s. presidents and first ladies and to learn about their politics and legacies. all this month in primetime and every weekend on american his history tv on c-span 3.
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the 16 minutes interior department film of work that's being done of the national parks during the great depression. in 1939, two presidents recognizing it as once.
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and 400 of thousands of young men. as one for both problems, the organization of work of civilian conservation for all the under taking and two years of these unique plans, both problems were on their way to solutions of economic recovery. the natural resources of conservation, one important development was more than that. the making of a nationwide system of recreational areas. those are the people mores easily accessible for their use. conservation work and all its phases is being down from one end of the country to the other. better facilities for forest
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fighting and truck trails and fire lanes and observation towers and the stringing of communication lines. speed is imperative, quick discovery and roads to reach the scene of action. dead trees and tangles are being cleared from the forests from starting a fire. and aggressive water. ten cat pi beautiful fields are stripped of their vegetation untless grass hoppers are fed of poison brand. saving our forest in special
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situations is being liberally attested. planting is another important conservation measure. seedlings are set up. strawberries is being planted on slopes and hills. more spectacular is the moving of major tree force landscaping purposes. there is a world of power in this might py movement. man asth machinery. the promise an important part representing another form of conservation. historic events is still marked by an old mansion there and other materials is associated with things of importance.
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restoration work is conserved of general knowledge of these events. near hagerstown is being restored in one of the state parks. it is the most interesting veterans. the french of indians and the war for independence and the war between the states. near morehead city is doing their job to repair the ravage of time. the board requires 12 years to build. when completed sometimes after 1824, it costs of $463,700.
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>> it was seized by the confederate in 1861 and recaptured by the union forces in the following years. they're rock solid after more than 100 years. arches and ammunition magazines are tested of the artisan ship of its original builders. the civilian conservation for park recs are restored. here as an all national service park work of this character exhausting the research is done to ensure it is accurate and
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authentic. all the surrounding property is being improved to make it assessable for thousands that visited each year. an interesting state park in georgia surrounding alexander stevens, vice president of the confederacy. it was honored on his home estate. now, that building is being restored and the ground is being made more attractive to visitors. strict details. along georgia's subtropical coast marks this part of the
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world essentially before james town. the national park service paints the history of these old ruins is still in progress. here is the first town in ohio being restored and beautiful spring their philadelphia was founded in 1772 and abandoned in 1777 and the site we discovered many years later. the government rehabilitation program is transferring citizens from localities in to desirable surroundings. this program is in the parkland -- it is being
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transformed into parks and recreational areas. in the functioning of the core plan however, there is another and even more interesting form of rehabilitation. among hundreds of thousands of young men veterans, there is been many unable to read or write. others where schooling was interrupted. the important job are mentally rehabilitation is an extremely powerful -- confidence instructor conduct in many of the education branches. the boys are given the opportunity to go to school just as they may have done in years ago. there are many practical manual training courses preparing for
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the enrollees. many of the conservation camps communicate with short wave radio sets which the boy themselves have made. they welcome these opportunities while a field report not long ago disclosed that within a single month, five enrollees spent their time of knowing how to use them. chipmunks and squirrels and others that we expect to see outdoors have played in nature. without them, there could be no real conservations. we may know this spectacular passing of the buffalo from our
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western plains. but, we do not know the extinction of these buffalos but also the little chipmunks and beavers and stunks akunks and s and making our present day lives more difficult to live. this is without mentioning the true hero and checking crop destroying insects. t great friendships have been developed between the boy and the natives o f the area. the development of state park is finding a perfect blending of conservation and recreation and
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protecting and saving land and timber and wildlife. this phase of the progra program -- many kinds of work are required to develop this recreational plan. hiking in trails whining through the parks. each of these trails being constructed by state parks and 42 states is carefully placed by expert planters. points of interests can be reached. splendid use and a few men can see. these trails need hikers to the mountain tops.
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racing brooks and deep streams. they are built according to engineers and architects. though thousands gathering in the park to enjoy new recreational activities. adequate spaces have been provided. camping is encourage and every outdoor convenience is encouraged. any help may have existed is obliterated to serve all developed areas. the most attractive feature is the cabin community located in one of the areas' desirable spot
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for visitors who want to spend a night or a week. >> working through all the season. these snugged cabins in the state park of colorado are going up despite the winter's snow. recreational buildings and picnic shelters are state park essentials. this one stands on the black head stow. one of south carolina's loveliest low country stream. >> in some sections, notably in the southwest, in a country as large as america, the characteristic of the various region differ widely. there are mountainous areas covering with fresh green trees and dripping with streams. other sections of vast ranges and rocks. the low land stretched down to the seas.
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the natural feature of the state parks. in each section, there is a different recreational appeal. it follows the park development plan generally conformed to the future of requirements. all of the park best serve the recreational need. in texas, where nature takes on a rough magnificent many of the required structures are built from stone. >> architects have designed park buildings to recreate a historic atmosphere. this recognition and further development of the earchitectur of several sections is important in the emergency conservation work. building trails and setting fire
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lanes and protecting and timber and land makes the conservation work program of requiring it. out of construction projects, skilled labor is necessary. carpenters and bricklayers and plumber -- these men work on the jobs but the conservation -- not only this further employments for skilled labor and getting the job well done but it provides excellent opportunities to learn trades. the tool for splitting the blocks are ingenuous. almost every camp has its own black smith while fascinating and useful training. a federal aid project to enjoy our country, keeping nature
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unspoiled where ever possible as the heating retreat. the project directed by that government agency given the world the american national parks. the national parks service of the united states department of interior. each week american history tv, american artifacts and visit museums and historic places. next, we travel 15 miles northwest of washington dc of visitor's senator where we'll take a boat ride to learn about chesapeake of the higher canal. >> i would lake to introduce myself, my name is camera sanssd
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i am seasonal here. we'll go ahead and start and give you a brief history in our canal. definitely, it does not reach chesapeake bay or go up to the ohio river which is your intention of the canal when we first started building it here of july 4th, 1828. we wanted to try to connect the eastern shore with which was considered the west back then. the west was up in ohio, pennsylvania in that area. we wanted to connect pittsburgh to the chesapeake bay and so what we did was we started building this canal. we tried earlier with george washington's dreams to use the tunnel river. it was seen like a reasonable thing to do. he went ahead and had a canal system built on that side by using blocks to get around the
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great falls and the river. it was not a reliable usage. it did not actually have long time use. it was very kind of broken and did not work very well. we went ahead and took his dream and built a canal right next to the river so we can use that water source but have something controlled and reliable. you took a boat over the falls, you probably would not last very long. >> we use this canal and we ran it from georgetown and all tl way the way up to cumberland. we did not take that into consideration when we were building the canal itself. we got stuck either going through the mountains or trying to go around them. this canal is 184.5 miles long. throughout that 184.5 miles, there are 74 legislative lo
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legislative -- legislatilegisll locks. there is a big elevation difference between georgetown and cumberland. as you can tell that georgetown is at or below sea levels where cumberland is along the edge of the appalachian mountains. it is about 605 foot elevation difference. that's a big difference. they help us control that difference so that we are able to go both ways instead of having one big river rushing downstream and able to transport goods from cumberland to georgetown. what's going to happen here is we have our fronts. what he's going to do is he has a tow line that's connected to the locket itself. he's going to take that line and he's going to start pulling it in so that we can pull ourself in the lock. hopefully, you guys did not have too big of a breakfast so he won't be doing too much work. he's going to pull us back here.
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>> back then, what they usually do is have their meals connected to the book. we would not have any of our crew members to do any of that work. once we are inside the lock, we close the two downstream gates on our way in. it allows us to make a sealed tight area so no ywater can exi out. this was created by a man way past our time. his name is leonardo da vincci. he created a lot of things. most of it is all the same. and so what happens is this is one side of our locked door that
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we have here. we that lock door, there is two little doors down here at the bottom. these little doors are called wi wickeds. it leads all the way to the top. we view this in a lock, we need a key to open our locks. i post it right here. we go ahead and turn these doors down at the bottom and letting the water from upstream or downstream. key door and stem and we open those wicked doors down here at the bottom. this is a key that was found in the bottom of the canal. we found it when we took over the national park service. it is made out of cast iron. it is about ten or 15 pounds. pretty heavy.
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this is what we carry around all day. i am going to stop talking because it is hard to yell over the rushing water, okay? >> this part right here is the slowest part of the lock building because the water is almost equaling it out so it is not rushing in like you saw obviously, when we first opened that locked door. it takes longer for that water to slowly equal out.
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once it is equalled out, we have to make sure to open the gate and make sure it is on the boat. you would have lock keeper to do that. they would be the one in charge of opening up these doors and everything like that. our lock keeper is always in charge of that. they would live in a lock house. the only difference about this lock house is a very special lock house because it was the only hotel that was here in the canal. the middle section of the great falls tavern was the origin original house that was built. in 1831, we finished the two additions ton north and south end. tl nor the north end is the hotel part of the tavern and the bottom floor is where you got four tickets have.
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that's where it was called the ballroom. it did serve alcohol back then. that's where people would come from georgetown. they would take about a four hours trip up here to great falls. this is called a pact or passenger boat. they'll take those trips to kind of escape the city and stay here at great falls just to kind of get away from it and relax and they would stay up in the second or third floor. the second floor was men or female so they had to stay separately on that second floor unless they were able to provide a marriage license. if they were able to do that then they could stay on the third floor of the attic or the honey moon suit. a little extra charge, they can stay on the top floor. the south end of the tavern was the new lock house where the family stayed. with this particular lock, it
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was time where -- they would tend to lock 20 here, they would also tend to lock 19 or 18 of a little bit further downstream. you got to imagine one man taking care of three different locks is a hard job to do as especially you saw of all the work that's done here in the lock. he would depend on how many locks and how much money he got paid by the chesapeake in ohio company. with three locks, he will get $250. that would allow him to hire an s assistance so he will be able to go ahead and have him help with the rest of the lock. >> the canal company was smart and they decided to hire men. you get the rest o f the family for free. so the rest of the family would help him as well working. the wife would help and some of
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the older children that they had. they would all be able to stay here in the lock houses for free. they're getting the $250 along with the house and they would get an acre of land. what that allowed them to do is ride for themselves. they're able to do produce and any type of arm animals that they needed. anything they can have on their land so they'll be able to sustain themselves. that 2 $250 was for per year. y at the peek of the days, there is about 550 boats that were operational here on the canal. our mules, you can see they are not horses. a lot of people confused them for horses or donkeys.
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they are a combination of the twoch two. the male is the donkey and the female is the horse. you did it the other way around where you had a male horse or female something. you will get something that's called the henny. we decided mules will be a better fit for us here on the canal. all throughout history, there is a lot of uses of uses so you have the pony express and wagon and they were used throughout history for various things tchlt question that comes up is why mules are used here instead of horses? >> there is some various reasons for that. you can tell a few characteristics that the mule get from donkeys.
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you can tell with their ears, they are surrounded by their surroundings. what that does is that makes them surf headed so that allows them to know where to place their foot at all times so they are not skittish like horses are. horses at the sight of anything, they tend to rear up where as our mule, since they know where they are placing their feet at all times, they're not as jumpy. back then there is snakes falling in the house constantly and the horse, you have to get i reared up and you have to wait for it to calm down. it sees that the snake is there and it will go ahead and wait for you to move oit out of the so ~ not cause any harm. mules are smarter than horses are. with a horse, you can work a
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horse to death because horses are there to please their master. they want to do nothing more but then to make you happy. >> if you have a horse canal, you can run it dead to the ground for working. i am sure you heard the same, s stu stubborn as a mule. they're saying that you are smart. they're not saying that you are a stubborn. after six hours, it is going to stop working. it is going to say i am not trying to hurt myself. i am going to stand here until you change me out. it looks like our dolly and eva of two meals pulling us today and two of our youngest mules. you can see they are connected together by two chains that are in the middle of them. then eva on the back of her has a tree which is not really a tree but a metal bar that
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connects our tow lines to the boat. they are pulling us at a steaming rate of two hours an hour. they can pull us faster. back then they could not go any faster than that because there is a speed limit of four miles per hour on the canal fchlt you look on the side of the canal, you can tell that some spots with kind of covered up with rocks. most of the time, there are no rocks that are covered on the side of the canal. if we had a boat that went any faster than four miles an hour, we'll start to cause a wake since you had 550 book in the peek. you would end up to cause the weight to wash up on the side of t mount and kind of damage the
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canal and make it not last as long as it should. >> that four miles an hour were very enforced. >> keepers? >> that's why we could not go any faster than that. our typical boats here on the canal. these are what our barges would look like. they weigh about 90 to 91 foot long and 14.5 feet wide. we are on a tight budget here on the canal. we have 300 clearance an each side of our boat. you have to be good at your job going in as a teller because if you ended up doing any damage of the locket itself. that means you are doing your damage to your boat and you have to pay for any damages in the lock or what you broke. >> with the certain, you have this sab bin right here, this is
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called the family cabin, this is 12.5 feet. it is extremely small. the only space that you had in there for room is you would have your cookieing would be done back here and some cleaning of any sorts. you would have a toilet back here or a bucket and one or two beds that were back here. up in the front, this is our bow. this is barn right here was the born it was where our ex centtr mules. we have two sets of mules, making them four mules as total. we chan change them out so we cn continue to work throughout the day. the barn was the place where most of the families would sleep. th so if there was not enough room back here, the family cabin where their beds were, they
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would end up sleeping here in the barn. all throughout the middle of our barge, this is where our cargo is kept. coal was our main cargo here on the canal. it was used to heat the homes and various ports that were in between cumberland and georgetown. it was used for cooking and goods like that. you would have goods coming from georgetown. it is kind of the factory town back then. you did have meals that produce your grains and wheats and you have any type of furniture or text tile goods and clothing. it will be shipped up north to the various ports in between there. this was a two driveway ki-way traffic back then. the question and i am sure you guys are all thinking about it. how are two boats if they are
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going in opposite direction going to pass each other. we are going to pretend that there is a boat coming downstream right now at us and loaded up with coal. that means they are about 120 tons and we are about eight tons, maybe. they have to ride their way because it is a whole lot harder. and so that would go ahead and tell our mule driver that we need to stop our boat. our tiller back there would yell a canal saying. that was our canal saying that we use and all that means is our mules stopped right on cue. they pushed hthem to the furthe side of the tow pack and we push our boat on the side of the burn side and let our tow line sink down in the bottom of the canal.
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downstream boat can go ahead and cross over our tow line and what's going to happen now is we are going to turn our boat around. back then, like i said, you would not be able to do this because your boat were a whole lot longer than this and we are cutting it vel close in turning it around. >> and so like i said, these were family oriented, boats, we would have the father would usually on the front of the boat and in charge of looking out for any dangers or making sure the tow line was safe or something was in our way. on the back, you would have the mother and the mother is in charge of staring and along with doing chores and mostly selling so the men can no longer say that the women were not good at driving because we were back there driving all the triumph. the children at a certain age at
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9-year-old 9-year-old, we could get them right to work and having them walking with our mules. at the age of nine they go ahead and started i promise, it wasn't child labor. if they were younger than the age of 9 we obviously had to do something with them, they couldn't work and they couldn't be running around the boat causing any problems. so what we would do is we would take something that looked like this. this is an old mule harness and we would go ahead and take this top section right here. so we'd go ahead and take the rest of that off and use this top section right here. you can see there is a rope attached to it. you might see where this is going. if not, i have a picture. it's awesome and so this is a family in georgetown. the mom is off to the side doing her laundry and she didn't want her kids running around the port of georgetown so she went ahead and tied them up. so in the winter we would close for four months. it would usually start in early november. we'd go ahead and close down and
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it wouldn't open back up until maybe april is what we would do, and when we did close down it was a lot of time that we did our maintenance on the canal because back then it had to be kept about six feet deep because your draft of the heaviest boat was about four. so you had to make sure you had enough room in between the bottom of the canal and the bottom of your boat. so obviously we have little creeks that run into the canal, and they bring in sediment that ends up causing sandbars or just kind of making it hard for us to maintain that six feet. in the winter months when we close down there are no boats running and we would drain out certain sections of the canal so that we would be able to use a good old shovel and go ahead and dig out the dirt that was in there so we could keep it at a minimum of six feet deep. once we finally got the maintenance all done, we would go ahead and let water back in
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and how we would do that is we couldn't use the potomac, but it's a good water source so we would have locks called inlet locks and it was a two-part system and the inlet locks connect right to the potomac river and there is a dam connected to those inlet locks. so we'd allow the water from the potomac to rush into the canal and we'd have a backup source of water just in case we had problems with the potomac river. and only the first 22 miles of the canal nowadays has water and then it gets very spotty throughout. so our kids, doesn't sound like they had a very good life, but during the four months they were closed, the canal, they would go to school for these four months and our school system back then was very different. you had a series of books you had to go through. so no matter how old you were or what grade you were particularly in if you couldn't get past the
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first book that you had, then you couldn't move onto the second one. and what the first book consisted of were your abcs, how to count and also how to write and once you got to the second and third book it got more complicated and you would learn how to put words together and how to add and subtract. they didn't need to know much as a canal kid, but they needed to know the basics of adding, subtracting, reading, writing and all of that. however, our lock keepers were on-call 24/7. they were constantly working, no matter the time of the day and they always had to be ready to work and how they would know that they needed to have the lock ready was usually on the boat we would have a horn as you guys heard when you were called here on boat, and we would blow that horn and our captain would yell hey, lock, so that it notified the lock keeper that they needed to be ready.
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>> a good thing about lock houses is they're all white. what that does, it makes them easier to see through the night so that those people that were running 24 hours a day could go ahead and see them at night and would be able to blow their horn to notify the lock keepers that they were coming in. the canal here has lots of history. we as the c&o canal company actually went bankrupt because as the potomac being our water source it also causes a lot of trouble and damage because whenever it floods unfortunately, we flood, as well and this was a very pricey job to be done here. it took a lot more money than we had expected to finish the completion of the canal which stopped in 1850 when it reached in cumberland. so we ended up going bankrupt and our competitors at the time, the baltimore and ohio railroads actually took over operations for us here in the canal, and so they kind of made sure that we
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didn't use it as frequently as we did in the 1870s because they obviously, they wanted to be the main transport for any coal or cargo. so they went ahead and took over operations for us and they did do -- they did have to do a lot of reconstruction after flooding from the potomac. so the last flood that we had when they were in control of us was in 1924 and they decided it was too much money to do the repairs that needed to be done after that flood so they went ahead and closed down the chesapeake and ohio canal for good. in 1924, back then there were only six boats running here on the canal so it wasn't really in use as much as it was. so it wasn't in as much use as it was because the railroads ended up getting the canal
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-- the technology that they needed like the air brakes and the couplings between the two the carts. so they became more efficient in transporting those goods. so in 1924 we didn't -- we weren't used as much so we went ahead and closed down the canal and then about 12 years later the national park service actually went ahead and bought the chesapeake and ohio canal from the bno railroad for $2 million. they got a ry big steal for 184.5 miles long and all the acreage that they got. and then in the 1950s they decided with all of this land and all of it dug out already that it would actually make a really good pathway to actually create a highway on it known as the c&o parkway is what they wanted to call it. so they wanted to remove all of the historical properties that were here so that they could create that highway to connect cumberland to georgetown. obviously, it wasn't a good idea
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and it is still here today. and the reason why our canal is still here today is because there is one man that was very fond of the canal and he was also a supreme court justice at the time, william o. douglas. he loved the canal very much and was very saddened at the fact that the national park decided it would be a good idea to turn this into a parkway and what he did is he went ahead and challenged two washington post editors that wrote an editorial saying that it would be a good idea to change this into a parkway and went ahead and challenged them to hike the whole length of the canal. remember the whole length of it is 184.5 miles long. and after the very long hike, they saw the beautiful things that were here on the canal and decided that maybe it's not too much of a good idea to turn this into a parkway. so obviously it's saved here today and william o. douglas was the foot step toward raising
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-- saving this park instead of sitting in traffic on a parkway going probably the same mile and we're going right now. so we're going to go ahead and do the same thing as when we entered the lock the first time. instead of raising the water we're gog -- going to lower the water and we're going to do it the same way we did it when we came in the first time and we'll use the doors that are connected to our stems and turn those lock keys so that we can open those doors and let that water out.
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so we went ahead and opened up our gates and unfortunately what that means once our gates are open we have to get back to shore somehow and i along with our back mule are the person that have to get you back to shore. so with that being said i have to get off the boat, unfortunately. but i hope you guys enjoyed your ride on the charles f. mercier, and if you have any questions please don't hesitate ask our bowsman. on behalf of the national park service, thank you for joining us on the charles f. mercer and i hope you enjoyed your ride, okay? [ applause ] >> you did a fine job. >> thank you.
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you've been watching our weekly series, american artifacts on c-span3's "american history tv." you can view this and all our other programs online at c-span.org/history. >> 100 years ago, president woodrow wilson signed the bill creating the national park service. and thursday, we look back on the past century of these care that's corrects of america's natural and historic treasures. beginning at 10:00 eastern, and throughout the day, we take you to national park service sites across the country as recorded by c-span. at 7:00 p.m. eastern, we're live from the national park service's most visited historic home, arlington house, the robert e. lee memorial at arlington national cemetery.
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join us with your phone calls as we talk with robert stanton, former national park service director, and brandon buys, the former arlington house site manager who will oversee the upcoming year long restoration of the mansion, slave quarters and grounds. thursday, the 100th anniversary of the national park service, live from arlington house at 7:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span3. ♪
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♪ >> the home of the californiaiacs was the first state park. the federal government gave her the yosemite valley. it was a state park till it went back to uncle sam again in 1890 to become part of yosemite national park. at the turn of the century, she made a second effort buying ,000 acres of redwood forest
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and creating california redwood state park. redwoods, the tall, tapering giants of the tree world are largely responsible for the fact that the golden state has a state park system, one of the finest in the existence. during the world war, an extraordinary organization the save the redwoods league was brought into existence chiefly to save as much of the virgin redwood forest along the northern coast of the state. out of the work of this league were the movement for a series of parks to contain liberal samples of the best of california's natural beauty. 3 to 1 californians voted in 1929 in favor of a bond issue of $6 million for parks. the bond act required that if that $6 million had been spent and for it, california has obtained mountain and sea, forest and desert, canyon, stream and waterfall with the majestic world, carpeted with giant fern from which great
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clean trunks rise 300 feet toward the sky are found in california's state parks, saved forever from the axe to fill those who behold them with awe and reference. revence. california redwood state park consisting of 10,000 acres mostly redwood forest 2 1/2 hours distance from san francisco in santa cruz county was the first california state park to be established when the golden state set out determinedly to create a system of state-owned recreational areas second to none. it is a magnificent monument to those stately giants of the forest world. the park is splendidly equipped to serve the requirements of the
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visiting public and in the summer season is constantly thronged with pleasure seekers. the coming of the civilian conservation corps, speeding up a program of continued development, which will take many years to complete. ed additional roads and trails are needed. it must be remembered that the park covers 16 square miles. the trail building isn't easy for there are timbered canyons to be encircled and traversed and real mountains to be climbed. >> bridges are being put in, constructed entirely of bold, native material. timbers are easy to procure and therefore, inexpensive.
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the conservation corps under the expert direction they are given are able to handle every detail of the work. a park as large as this one as well known and intensively used must go in for the minute details of park equipment in a rather big way. there are lots outdoor cooking or camp stoves, and the yards in which they are built with much of the labor done by covvation corps enrollees are real concrete fabricating plants. the camp equipment are designed by draftsmen and engineers attached to the camps. the chief aim in design is that of fitness in relation to forest environment.
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>>ing and and near the south fork of the eel river and its tributaries and in the redwood highway are outstanding beauty spots of stream and valley landscape. though long established as a popular resort for visitors to humboldt county, humboldt state park has always needed just the kind of work that was made possible through the inauguration of the ecw plan with its army of civilian corps conservation workers. it was imperative that the beauty of the area as a whole be preserved by extending the boundary of original lands comprising the park. >> clearing dense undergrowth from the big redwoods for fire prevention and freer growth provides lumber for practically any kind of construction job which may be desirable.
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>> the conservation corps boys make everything from heavy bridge timbers to park signs. many of the trails being built have exceptional scenic beauty. they wind for miles over fern-clad slopes to reach the mountaintops. around the corps campsites, the traffic set up by the new work project using tractors, trucks and other heavy machinery make constant work necessary. increasing the telephone communication system in these big forest areas is an invaluable conservation measure which the enrollees are contributing. timber fires haven't nearly the chance they had some years ago. >> here are some of the most impressive and earliest known groups of big sequoias. the stanislaus river one of the most beautiful of the many california mountain streams, flows near the groves.
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in forests where necessary thinning provides the poles, the extension of telephone and telegraph systems is not difficult. miles of fire lanes are being cut. trenching and the improvement of -- >> the san jacinto mountains in riverside county constitute an outlying southern representation of a condition characteristic of the sierras. here are more than 50 square miles of beautiful wilderness, virgin timber and rugged mountains and one towering peak that rises well over two miles. the summit of the range affordses an impressive view of the surrounding county from
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hundreds of miles around and from hidden lake, one can see the weirdly and mysterious barren on then an amazingly fertile california. in recent years the world over, there seems to be an awake inning to the joys of a more rugged life outdoors. thousands of men, women and children republican traveling around not merely riding around in comfortable conveyances. packed trains in the national parks are more popular than ever before. san jacinto is one area where the beauties of nature will never unfold themselves completely when they think of scenic sight seeing as automobiles. here there will be miles, and one conservation camp was established way up in the clouds and lumber had to be carried up on the backs of horses and burros. from the winding trail, the
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traveler is able to enjoy a constantly changing panorama of fern-covered ledges and which the countless other wonders which nature alone can create. >> there's a lot of work to establishing the kind of camp in which more than 200 people can live for an indefinite period, win the esh and summer in comfort and with safety to their health. >> in this mountain county, the same rocks that make grading difficult have their virtue new providing splendid material for foundations wherever building strength is essential. >> building additional trails is a part of the enrollee's work in san jacinto. some of these trails look like
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little shelves in the solid rock walls of awe inspiring chasms. blocks are quarried right on the job. the first chow call of the day in most conservation corps camp is at the early who your of 6:00 in the morning. no one is ever late for breakfast. his appetite won't let him. looks like ham and eggs. lunch is sometimes served in the field where the boys frequently work many miles from camp, and the camp administrators insist that the workers have hot food three times a day. dinner or supper if you prefer the term is aved about 4:30 in the afternoon, every man his own dishwash dishwasher. rubikon point is on the shores of lake tahoe and one of the highest and largest of the
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sierra lakes. lake itself because bodies of water this size are rarely found at such high altitudes ises an outstanding attraction in the pacific coast section. here is an expanse of 193 square miles of cold, crystal clear water personaled almost a mile and a quarter high in the mountains. many of the motion picture celebrities from southern california have cottages along its smorpz within easy motoring distance of sacramento, oakland, and san francisco, the rubicon point development attracts many visitors. camp sites, particularly around rubikon point proper with its sandy beach are popular. the conservation corps boys are doing much of their work in the forests cutting new trails and establishing additional camp sites. sometimes they find it necessary and a period of usefulness and are interfering with the development of the park as a whole. one of those not infrequent examples of eroded rock is a point of interest.
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it is called the balanced rock. not enough is known of the civilian conservation or conservation of civilians part of this unique nationwide recovery plan. more than a million young men and war veterans have been participants and few of them have failed to absorb benefits of even greater value to them than the mere employment and money they have been given. these boys here are being taught many things about tree and plant life, insect pest control and so on which they can apply in later life. life. >> prairie creek in humboldt county is a magnificent redwood park. the sandy beach add materially
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to the region. think of the peace of a camp like this where trees lift themselves 300 feet from the springy turf red lent with the incense of red wood, pine and fir. at patricks point, forests give way to meadows and meadows in turn to the sea. one stretch of the beach is being cleaned from debris to prime ocean bathing. undergrowth is deep and work is being carefully done to preserve it. >> one of the interesting activities of the boys here is the making of redwood signs to mark trails and places of interest. unusual talents along widely varied lines are being uncovered among the enrollees.
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>> from roads along the tumultuous big sur river, there are vistas of churning rapids, lively water faus, stately forests, meadows and lofty mountain peaks. just before it plunges into the pacific, the big sur traverses a beautiful valley about 250 feet above sea level. 600 acres include this valley are comprised in this outstanding state park area variously named from the big sur river and fiber's woods and fiber's point which is in the same vicinity. mountain streams are unusually swift and powerful. when they start from the ocean destination with the elevation much greater with the atlantic seaboard. they move with speed and determination. the distances they traverse are relatively short. their drop is much more precipitated and they're really a part of one great waterfall from the peaks of the sierras to the expansive and powerful pacific.
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the park is in monterey county about 30 miles south of carmel with its western boundary about 6 miles from the junction of the big sur and the pacific ocean. it is on a fine state highway and easily accessible to travelers en route between los angeles and san francisco. the two largest cities in the state. it's scenic beaches are unusually diversified. manuel peak are each about 3500 feet high. sycamore and big sur are mountain canyons well worthy of the name. the juan iguera creek falls are of exceptional beauty and there are inspiring groves of redwoods. generally speaking, building construction work done by the conservation corps enrollees is confined to structures incident of the program being carried out. barracks and administration buildings are usually built for them before they arrive in camp. this garage for their tractors,
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trucks and so on is for conservation corps construction. much of the trail and road work being done requires nothing more than the good old pick and shovel. but in some instances, the most modern of motorized equipment is being used. there are seasons of the year when the big sur becomes quite unruly and an important part of the work is on the riverbed easing the philosophy water at flood tide. with 200 active young americans on hand good baseball is an almost inevitable result. miles of babbling brooks, just the sort of place people from the coast cities like so well.
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>> roads and trails open up new spots frequently require retaining walls, culverts and short bridges. unfortunate circumstance at cuyamaca is that steam and gravel are easily available enough to keep steam shovels and trucks busy for days. useful and attractive incense cedar, careful choice of the trees which are already dead or are being crowded to death is helping, not hurting the forests. cedar is comparatively easy, splitting into good, clean rails which have splendid, lasting qualities. the fence you see being erected is near the corps camp. grasshopper is in the beautiful meadows which abound in the park. they are effectively stopped with a diet of poisoned brand.
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here are the boys who are doing the job, answering the bugle or assembly before the day's work begins. on morro, that ancient pile known as morr rock, a scenic attraction, the old club is being expanded and developed in a manner that will make it attractive and useful to everybody. the conservation corps camp has been established near the site of the old cabrillo country club colony. a fine, natural beach is being improved for bathing and the old wooden pier is being replaced with a new pier of modern, masonry construction. roads near the beach are being relocated to provide picnic grounds and parking areas. there will be the usual outdoor ovens, freshwater outlets, tables and benches. the state park commission is
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interested in a purely conservation measure. the development of a wild fowl refuge. banks are being built to shut out the ocean that crisscross inlets in the bay and they will make small lakes and lagoons to attract water fowl. russian goats in mendocino county richly clothed with redwoods, huckleberry and salmon berry is another of california's parks fronting on the pacific. the shoreline is sharply cut by inlets in which ocean tides lash wildly to create ever-changing water spectacles. conservation corps boys are conservation core boys are policing the beach, clearing it of ocean wreckage which come from the tides from nowhere tore interfere with the bather's full
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enjoyment of the salt sea water. deep in the forests, they're modifying nature's handiwork in accordance with modern civilization's requirements and roads and trails are being made safe and easy for motor cars and careful intelligent work is making many a sluggish brook an even more slightful haunt for the cold clear waters. fallen timbers that constitute an ever present fire hazard are being remove. accommodations for picnickers are being provide. housing of the conservation corps and their equipment has called for a considerable amount of construction in the park. the boys at russian gulch are fond of the manly art and a number of surprisingly expert boxers have been part of the regularly organized tournaments which are held. these knee groe grow lads prove in their every action the corps
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outdoor, worthwhile work outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine, good food, plenty of sleep, and an easy mind. looks like a real goal. a well-constructed square circle, gloves light enough to feel the sting of a punch and the jauntily worn bathrobes. a cheering and enthusiastic audience. these trophies paid for by the boys themselves will recall some of the happiest days in the live of these fine young americans. ♪ 1 million unemployed young men and war veterans were enrolled in the civilian conservation corps in the first two years of its existence. enrollees are taken from the states on a population per state
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-- percentage basis. their personal care is in the hands of the united states army. the country's most experienced organization for a task of such magnitude. each state park corps camp is set up according to a carefully organized plan. a superintendent employed by the state park division of the national park service is in charge of the work. skilled workmen from the vicinity of each camp conduct all work that requires supervision, enrollees serving as helpers. the base pay of each enrollee is $30 a month, $25 of which is mailed directly to his declared dependent. everything is supplied him. good food. doctors are in regular attendance. direction of this unique and fundamentally sound program to preserve and develop a nation's resources by means of a plan that places high value on manpower is in the hands of some of the country's most important individuals. and agency, headed by president
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roosevelt, the man who conceived it and put it into action. ♪ >> 100 years ago, president woodrow wilson signed the bill creating the national park service and thursday, we look back on the past century of these care that's corrects of america's natural and historic treasures. beginning at 10:00 eastern and throughout the day, we take you to national park service sites across the country as recorded by c-span. at 7:00 p.m. eastern, we're live from the national park service's most visited historic home, arlington house, the robert e. lee memorial at arlington national cemetery. join us with your phone calls as we talk with robert stanton, former national park service director and brandon buys the former site manager who will oversee the upcoming year long
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restoration of the mansion is, slave quarters and grounds. thursday the 100th anniversary of the national park service is, live from arlington house at 7:00 p.m. eastern on "american history tv" on c-span3. >> the 1600 national battlefield is about 45 miles northwest of the u.s. capitol. the national park service property includes the best family farm, built in the 1790s by a family of french caribbean immigrants who owned about 90 slaves. c-span met joy beasley, the cultural resources program manager at the national park to learn how remnants of the 200-year-old slave quarters were discovered in 2003. and partially excavated in the summer of 20150. we are at the best farm, which is named the best farm after the tenant that occupied
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this farm during the civil war. what we know as the best farm forms the southern 274 acres of what was originally 74-acre plantation. that plantation was known as laramie todge. it was established by a family of french planters who came to maryland in 1793 from the colony of san doming which we know today is haiti. the family was the vincent deere family. they came to maryland to escape civil unrest that was associated with the slave up rising that began in san doming in 1791 and also with the french revolution. the best farm was acquired by the national park service in 1993. it's a fairly recent acquisition. beginning in 1998-1999 is when we started doing a substantial amount of historical research here at the farm. we were aware there had been at one time a substantial enslaved population.
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we knew a little bit about the vincent deere family and their origins in san doming and their relocation here to mrd, but what we didn't know was very much more than that about the family. we had very little information about the enslaved population and certainly one of the key research questions with regard to the archaeological research is where were the 90 enslaved people living. i had a graduate student working with me. part of her thesis research focused specifically on the vincent deer family occupation trying to understand their origins and the context of their relocation here to maryland. and she managed to uncover a pretty obscure account that was written by a polish expatriate who was traveling around the eastern seaboard at the end of the 18th century. and he was a diarist and he kept sort of a travel memoir of all of his travels, and he happened to be traveling on the
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georgetown road which we know today as maryland route 355, although at that time it was quite a bit further to the west, so much closer than where it is today. he was traveling from georgetown to frederick on the georgetown road in june of 1798, and he happened to pass by this plantation and he gave an account of it. and one of the things that he talks about is one stone house with upper stories painted white, which is a building that still stands on the farm. and he also referred to a row of wooden houses, which we took as a reference to slave quarters. one of the things that we uncovered and one of the things that was actually referenced in the polish traveler's account were that there were several court cases that were brought against the family alleging mistreatment of their slaves. and that was something that was very surprising to us. i don't know of very many instances in which that actually happened, where charges were brought against people for
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mistreating their slaves in maryland and elsewhere, presumably. there were laws on books that governed the treatment of enslaved people, but they really weren't enforced. one of the things we found between 1796 and about 1806 there were at least eight instances in which the vincent deer family or members of their household were accused of mistreating their slaves in different ways. because of the way he describes the row of wooden houses relative to the stone house with the upper stories painted white, it sounded like this row of wooden houses was actually out in front of the primary building cluster, which is a pattern that's not typically seen in this area. it's much more common in the deep south or even in the caribbean. and it happened to be out in an agricultural field of 40-plus acres and was under active
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culltivation at that time and was an area that had not been investigated arc logically. so, that was in 2003, and we were coming to the end of the multiyear archaeological study and we were also coming to the end of our funding for archaeology here at best farm, so what we did was a systematic metal detector survey of the 40-plus acre agricultural field. amazingly what we did end up uncovering was a large, dense, kind of linear deposit of late 18th, early 19th century domestic artifacts. hand wrought nails, hardware, buttons, coins, and actually the deposit of artifacts out there was so dense that even though we were metal detecting, in the metal detector targets we were also finding glassware and ceramics and all kinds of domestic materials. so, based on the kinds of artifacts we were uncovering and the date range of them, i was fairly certain at that time that we had identified the site of the slave quarters associated with the area.
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but we didn't have funding for additionalal archaeological research. and that funding actually came in in fiscal year 2010. what we're looking at is what we call structure "b" or the second of the six structures that are laid out in a row. and the way that these buildings manifest themselves is what you see here is a foundation for an external stone chimney. very similar to the external stone chimney that you see on the secondary house there, so it's kind of a c-shaped mortared stone foundation that formed the foundation for the chimney, and then you can see here two smaller stone piers which would have formed the corners of the building, and so there would have been piers like this, probably at all the corners and actually probably some intermediary piers as well, and
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that's what they would have laid the logs on to form the wooden structures. so they probably were one story, story and a half, buildings. they measured about 20 x 34 feet in dimensions with this external stone chimney actually on the south elevation, so very simple, very expedient structures that could have been constructed very quickly and with pretty simple easily affordable materials. they are all about the same dimensions, and they are equidistant from one another. each one of these hearth foundations are exactly 66 feet apart. they are on the exact same orientation or axis as the extant structures on the farm. literally within a couple of inches, so it's a very ordered landscape. these buildings were laid out in a very precise fashion. it's not haphazard at all, and
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they actually do form quite literally the row of wooden houses that is mentioned in the traveler's account. sort of our first starting point was actually what's called a shuttle test pit survey or stp survey and a shuttle test pit is exactly what it sounds like. it's a hole about the width of a shovel blade that's excavated on an interval over a site. so in our case we excavated a hole about every 20 feet over the entire sort of, you know, two-thirds of an acre that make up this area. and you know, in a shovel test pit obviously all of that soil is screened. and what you're looking for are artifact concentrations, soil changes, concentrations of stone or brick or mortar. anything that might suggest some kind of cultural event going on below the ground surface. another thing that we did is we were fortunate enough to be able to do some remote sensing. we were able to have access to
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surface-penetrating radar device which is able to see or identify archaeological features below grade and is particularly adept at identifying foundations or similar-type features. so during the course of the surface-penetrating radar survey we identified two additional hearth features. where you see the cluster of blue flags over there is where one of those heather hearth features was, and that appears to be the southernmost structure. in this particular instance the hearth foundation was the first thing that was fully exposed, and then we sort of started expanding out. once we knew we weren't dealing with a continuous stone foundation but rather a chimney feature, the question was, well, how did they construct these buildings? and you know, we ended up uncovering these two stone piers that as i said formed the corners of the building. that's the point at which, you
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know, you start to be able to to some degree understand and interpret how these buildings were constructed, and then it's really just a question of investing the time and energy to kind of chase it and to try to uncover the whole thing. all of the funding for this project came from a program that's called the cultural resource preservation program. we also were fortunate. the secretary of the interior has created a new funding source that's called the youth intake program, and that's a competitive funding source that's aimed at getting young people interested and connected with their national parks and providing them with on-the-job training that might help them consider a career in the national parks service, so i was able to apply for and was awarded some of the yip funding which allowed me to hire some of the several student interns involved in the project. this is jordan riccio of amercan university, graduate student.
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at american university. and this is alex brueggeman, a senior of howard university. >> i'm of haitian descent which is really why i wanted to do this project. it's an extremely unique place. you don't really think of a french emigre, a family from san dominge coming here and bringing haitian slaves with them, so i was incredibly moved by the story, and it turned out to be really great. >> well, i got involved with the project through american university. i had heard about the project and applied and met with joy and was able to -- to come here. i found it to be a very fantastic program, especially to learn more about the trade of archaeology and the methodologies involved. i learned a lot about many, many things, especially shovel test pits. >> this was a crash course in archaeology.
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you learn priceless information. you learn the trade, learn how it's done, but not only that, you learn how to really look at the world and history in a completely different light. >> personally i found a lot of brick and mortar. there was a lot of interesting artifacts found on-site. i was mainly the person digging in the units. >> like jordan said, a lot of it was bricks and mortar, but we also found the coins and we found a horse bit which was over there in the midden. a lot of animal bones which kind of led us to realize what they were eating. we found a lot of glassware and a lot of -- one bead, one tiny bead, which is a already really
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tiny, tiny bead, but it's very beautiful. >> this is the basement of the circa 1830 gambrel mill. one of the historic structures here at the park. and this is where we do a lot of our on-site laboratory work. the acid-free boxes that you see there, the artifacts from this year's field season, all boxed up and washed and rebagged and ready to be cataloged and analyzed, and we've pulled out just kind of a handful of artifacts that are somewhat representative of the kinds of objects that we've been uncovering out there at the site, everything from things like different kinds of coins, this is a u.s. large cent. these res actually spanish reals so those are silver spanish coins. a lot of different kinds of buttons. this is actually really finely made shell button, and probably the most common kind of button that we find are these one-piece flat buttons with a wire shank. these are very common in the
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18th and early part of the 19th century. also more two-piece buttons. that one still has a bit of the silver gilt visible on it. other kinds of items. personal items. this is a clay marble so that was probably a toy, and -- and also a lot of architectural debris. obviously this is a complete handmade brick. also nails and hand-wrought nails mostly. we find a lot of nails. other kinds of architectural hardware, mortar, brick fragments, architectural-type debris. glassware and ceramics, a nice olive wine bottle neck. this is the finished part and the lip. a wide variety of different kinds of ceramics. everything from the more utilitarian probably locally produced redwares or stonewares
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to more refined english-made porcelains and hand painted pearlwares produced in england and elsewhere. and then also tobacco pipe fragments in large quantities and then food remains and bones. this is a tooth probably from a cow. a lot of food remains, oyster shell and even freshwater mussel shells, those kinds of things. this is all the provenance information. obviously it's critical for us to be able to know where all these objects came from, their context. so everything is kept separate by provenance, either by excavation unit, by strata, all those kinds of details. and that's part of the sort of the internal recordkeeping. and that's part of our analysis and understanding of the data. that's a big part of archaeology.
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people always think of archaeology as strictly focusing on the field work and the act of going out and digging and that's only a very small piece of it. the really important work happens in the analysis of the data and the interpretation. there's a lot of information, obviously everything from information about construction details or the architecture of the site. a lot of these objects are highly dateable. obviously the coins, being the most obvious ones, but things like buttons, even glasswares and ceramics, all of these things were popular at specific moments in history. technological changes that happened over time help provide occupational dates for a site, so that's very important information. access to consumer goods. i mean, we're certainly interested in the kinds of things that these people had and use for their daily life. one question might be these english tablewares.
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where do those come from? were these hand me downs that the family gave them for their own use? did these people have ways to make a little bit of money on their own and be able to actually acquire and purchase these kinds of consumer goods on their own? these are all the kinds of questions and things that we're interested in and all of that kind of helps us get more at what the day-to-day lives of these people were like. all of these artifacts would be cataloged which is kind of a system of recording attributes, dates, manufacture, material type, all of that individual information about all of these individual artifacts. all of that information is data entered into a database and then we'll start analyzing that data. we'll start looking at patterns within that data trying to say something about what these artifacts mean within the larger context of the site history. and that's all the information that we'll be working on over
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the course of the wintertime. there are a lot of established and known reference material out there that historical archaeologists in general use for dating objects, and that goes not just for ceramics but for glasswares and other kinds of objects. just like nowadays. technology changes over time and oftentimes technology changed down to a certain date, like a modern-day example would be not too long ago sony stopped making the walkman. and, you know, they first started making walkmans like in 1979, and, you know, first you had the -- the big clunky walkman and then they got smaller over time and then you had the ones that you could put a cd in and so on and so forth. that's technology that changed over time, and you can -- you can identify and research how that technology changed over time. they stopped making the walkman
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in the u.s. in 2010 so they have sort of a 1979 to 2010 period of use. that doesn't mean that nobody out there is using their walkman anymore but you'll sort of have a period of time in which the popularity of the walkman perhaps peaked. it's really a similar thing with other kinds of objects. all of the artifacts from the national capital region of the national parks service go to a central curatorial facility which is called the museum resource center. that's just down the road in landover, maryland. actually two days a week we're doing some of our cataloguing and lab work in that facility which is a little bit closer to washington which allows some of the students to be involved in that part of the process on a volunteer basis. so that was -- that's where all the artifacts will go into permanent curatorial storage. we would like to eventually be able to develop permanent exhibits that will focus on the this aspect of the park's history.
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and obviously we would probably select some of these artifacts to be incorporated into those exhibit displays as well. and we can access them. usually sometimes for black history month we'll do a little temporary exhibit at the visitors center that will focus on some aspect of african-american history here at the park. so this year we'll probably develop a temporary exhibit that will probably feature some of these artifacts that we'll have at the visitors center for a period of time. >> how did you get involved in this work? >> i wanted to be an archaeologist for as long as i can remember since i was a little kid. my family has a second home out in new mexico and i spent a lot of time over the summer at different points in my life out there. we used to always go out and pick up artifacts. there's archeological sites everywhere out there. that's what sort of got me interested. and i was fortunate that my parents were supportive of my
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archaeology habit, and i went to archaeology camp as a kid and it's just something that always stayed with me. a lot of people will say when they find out i'm an archaeologist, oh, i wanted to be an archaeologist when i was a kid. and i guess i never outgrew that. you know, when i got to college, i chose to major in anthropology and pursue a career in archaeology. and i've been fortunate that i've been able to do that. here in the park service, even though my training is in archaeology, i'm the cultural resource manager for the park so archaeology is a small part of what i do. i'm also responsible for all the historic preservation work that goes on in the park as well. so all the historic buildings and cultural landscapes are part of what i focus on as well. >> what are some of the myths about archaeology that -- that are out there? >> people always ask me if i've been to egypt. the question -- probably the question that i get the most -- sometimes people mix up
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archaeology and paleontology and they will ask me if i dig up dinosaurs and obviously that's a completely different field of study, but i -- people always ask what's the most interesting thing that you've ever found, and it's really difficult to really distill it down to one object because at the end of the day it's not really about the objects themselves. it's about the story and the interpretation of those objects, so for me it doesn't just come down to what's the most interesting thing that you found. i mean, i've had the opportunity to work on a number of very interesting projects, and certainly the story of the slave village site is the most important and interesting project that i've had opportunity to be involved with in my career. >> if a young person out there thinks they want to be an archaeologist, what advice would you give them? >> i would advise them to stick with it, hang in there.
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you can get a job doing this. it's not the easiest thing. i would advise them to -- to make sure that they go to a good college. they are going to want to pursue an advanced degree, probably not just stop with an undergraduate degree and -- and, you know, just hang in there and -- and give it a shot. you know, the national parks service is a great agency. there's a lot of opportunities in the national park service to do this kind of work and other historic preservation work, so i certainly always encourage folks to consider the national park service. >> somebody is out there working, and they find one of these fragments or a coin. typically describe the scene. is it sifting, or is it digging at the actual location? how do they find these things? >> a little bit of both. all of the dirt that comes out of the ground goes through a screen, at least a quarter-inch hardware cloth screen. we screen everything we dig up. sometimes as you're sort of excavating, you know, using a trowel or whatever, you'll
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uncover objects sort of in situ. other times you'll simply find them in the screen, but, you know, it's something that's very exciting for people. we work with a lot of volunteers. volunteers. obviously over the summer we'll have history camps or student groups come out. and sometimes we'll have them help us out and maybe help with some of the screening. you know, there's really that sort of excitement and moment of discovery, and a lot of the interns, i think that's, you know, that thrill of discovery is part of what keeps you going during the course of yet another 110-degree day out there, and, you know, a lot of people tell me that the part of what connects them with archaeology is knowing that they are the -- they are the first person to touch this object in, you know, the past 200 years or whatever the case may be, and, that you know, i think it's really part of that tangible connection to the past that people get excited about.
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we're hoping -- at this point we don't have funding for any additional field work which is unfortunate because obviously i feel like -- you know, we've really just sort of scratched the surface out here, and there's a lot more information potential with this site. it's very unique, particularly for this area, the mid-atlantic region. you don't typically see slavery being practiced on the scale that it was being practiced here at leramie taj. i think i mentioned that 90 slaves is roughly 10 times the number of enslaved individuals you would have expected to be living here. so that's an extremely unusual circumstance for this area. you know, like i said, they are about 20 x 34 feet. that's just under 700 square feet of living space. if, in fact, there were only six structures total, one can assume there were somewhere between maybe as many as 12 or 15 people living in each these dwelling
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houses which probably sounds like a lot, so i -- i would -- i would guess or assume that these may have been extended family units, for example, living together. multiple generations of families. like i say, these are pretty utilitarian, simple, expediently constructed buildings, and they probably were constructed about the same time as the secondary house, and it was probably the family's first order of business to get these buildings constructed and get these people housed so that they can then start working the land and being productive and ultimately generating income for the vincent deere family. there are not a lot of instances out there where you have a complete collection of multiple dwelling houses preserved in an archaeological context so there's a great deal of research
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potential here in terms of understanding more about the context and the study of slavery in general. there are not that many national park service units that have this kind of resource preserved so we're just really fortunate that as a result of this land being set aside and preserved, as a result of the battle of monocacy, we also have these other stories and other resources that are preserved as well. and even though the laramie taj plantation was long gone by 1864 when the battle of monocacy was fought, the story of the family and the enslaved people and the vincent deere family is still a great platform from which to talk about slavery as a causative aspect of the civil war. at the park level we're going to be working on developing some new interpretive programs and other interpretive products that will talk about the history of this site and this project and
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sort of start to look at african-american experiences here at the monocacy battlefield in general. we'll also be working on the development of some web-based resources, again, that will sort of help tell the story and help present this information to the public. and in the longer term what we would like to have are actually separate permanent exhibits that will focus on kind of the broader historic context of the battle of monocacy and the civil war. obviously slavery and plantation life would be a big part of that discussion. so down the road, again, funding dependant, that's something we would like to have so should we be fortunate enough to get additional funding to do more field work, that's certainly the goal, and if not, we'll do the best we can with the resources that we have, and obviously, you know, almost 400 units of the national park service out there, everybody has research needs and compliance needs and so there's never enough money to go around
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so we were -- just like in any sort of federal funding process, we had to wait our turn. and i think alex had mentioned to me, you know, living in washington, d.c., you think of the national park service and you sort of think monuments or maybe you think, you know, mountains or geysers or something. and i think one of the things that was helpful with this project was it kind of helped some of these students get a sense of the diversity of resources that the national park service preserves. and i think maybe get them just a little bit interested, maybe in a career in the national park service or a career in archaeology. or if not, you know, hopefully these guys go on to, you know, do something else for a career or to work for a different agency, hopefully they will always look back on that experience and they will sort of think about the national parks in a different way and maybe be more engaged in and interested in kind of that stewardship aspect of what the national parks do.
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>> this american artifacts program was recorded in november of 2010. to learn more about the best farm slave village, logon to nps.gov/mono. you'll find a dropdown menu for history and culture. follow link to best farm slave village. american history tv airs on c-span 3 every weekend telling the american story through events, interviews and visits to historic locations. this month american history tr is in primetime to introduce you to programs you could see every weekend on c-span 3. our features include lex tours in history, visits to college classrooms across the country to hear lectures by top history professors. in the american artifacts" takes a look at the treasures of u.s. historic sides, museums and archives. real america, revealing the 20th century through archival films and newsreels. the civil war where you hear about the people who shaped the civil war in reconstruction, and
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the presidency focuses on u.s. presidents and first ladies. to learn about their politics, policies and legacies. all this month in primetime and every weekend on american history t sh on c-span 3. thursday marks the 100th anniversary of the national parks service. tonight we bring you a number of national parks service tours from our american artifacts and real america programs. some of the sights include congress hall in philadelphia, the monocacy battle fode in frederick, maryland and the appomattox courthouse. that starts at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span 3's american history tv. each week american arts facts takes viewers to archives and museums and historic sites around the country. on april 9th, 1865 general e.
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. lee met ulysses s. grant in the village of the courthouse and while armies were still active in the field, the surrender of the south's most potent remaining fighting force effectively ended the civil war. next, we tour appomattox courthouse national historical park to learn more about the event surrounding that day. welcome to a mat cox courthouse national historic cahistorical park. i'm patrick schroeder, the park historian and now we're standing in front of the cover hill tavern. this is the oldest building in the village built in 1819. in fact, this area was called clover hill before it became appomattox courthouse in 1845. this county was one of the later counties formed, and they took part of the four surrounding counties and formed appomattox county in 1845. this county had about 9,000 people in it. more than half of them were enslaved, working on the tobacco
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farms. as of 1860, about 120 people lived here in appomattox courthouse. folks would stay at the clover hill tavern as they traveled along the richmond-lynchburg stage road. the courthouse was built in 1846, maybe finished in 1847. there was a jail that burned during the war and a new jail was built across the road. interestingly enough, when people come to appomattox courthouse, they learned in their schoolbooks that the surrender took place at appomattox courthouse. well, it did, in the town of appomattox courthouse but the actual surrender meeting took place at the home of wilbur mclean. if you're talking about the building, courthouse would simply be one word. this is where the most significant events with the
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military took place in the spring of 1865, april 1865, with lee's surrender. now we're going to walk down the richmond lynchburg stage road and discuss the battles of appomattox station on april 8th and the battle of appomattox courthouse on the morning of april 9th that effectively ended lee's retreat. we are standing on the historic richmond lynchburg stage road, which was a critical part of general lee's retreat on april 8 and april 9, 1865. many people wonder why general lee was even heading toward appomattox court house after leaving richmond and petersburg on april 2nd, 1865. well, the idea was he was going to concentrate his army at amelia courthouse and head south down the richmond danville railroad and link forces with general johnston in north carolina. general grant was a bit different thanme

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