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tv   Politics and Public Policy Today  CSPAN  September 5, 2016 3:49pm-4:01pm EDT

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professors. american artifacts takes a look at the treasures at u.s. historic sites, museums and archives. real america, revealing the 20th century through archival films and news reels. the civil war, where you hear about the people who shaped the civil war and reconstruction. and the presidency focuses on u.s. presidents and first ladies to learn about their politics, policies and legacies. american history tv, every weekend on c-span3. c-span is in denver, colorado, learning more about the city's rich history. the mile high city was built on the boom and bust of the silver industry. we visited the history colorado center to learn more about the silver mining crash of 1893. >> the gold rush begins in 1859, actually in the denver area where gold was first discovered. but silver mining really hits its heyday in the 1880s, late 1870s, and really, the 1880s was
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the boom time. the sherman silver purchase act was passed, and that ensured that the federal government would purchase a large quantity of silver at>> the tabor familya multi--facetted story. horace austin warner tabor was
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born in vermont and married his first wife, named augusta, also from new england. they married and tried their hand for a brief period in the late 1850s in farming in kansas and came out to colorado during the gold rush in 1859. they eventually settled in the leadville area where they ran a store. one of the things that horace did was what is called grub stake, some of the mining prospectors, which he gave them goods. they didn't have to pay him, they paid him with shares of -- should they strike it rich, he would get x percentage, and one of them did. that gave him initial resources to invest in other mining interests, and he got very lucky and struck it big on several different occasions and became very, very wealthy. in some circles he was known as
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the silver king of colorado. one of the companies that he formed with some partners, it was incorporated in new york but called the crysolite silver mining company. in our collection we have the document that created the company and really floated $10 million worth of stock in the company. we also have one of the -- we have a number of, but this is one of the early dividend checks for $5,833, which in today's money would be about $110,000. so horace and augusta lived very well. he became mayor of leadville and was eventually elected as lieutenant governor of colorado, and they relocated to denver and lived in denver.
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at some point horace had met this very beautiful young woman. her name was elizabeth, sometimes she was called lizzy, and she became his mistress. in 1883 they married in a formal ceremony at the willard hotel in washington, d.c. horace had been appointed to fill an unexpired term of a u.s. senator, so they married during the point -- the one-month period when he was senator horace tabor. it was this very lavish wedding, lots of politicians came, hundreds of dollars were spent on flowers. her wedding dress supposedly cost about $7,000, so they were really making the most of the mining resources and the wealth that silver had provided them. horace, before he formally married baby doe, he had built or he had invested a lot in the infrastructure of denver and had
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built -- he beuilt an opera houe in leadville where he and augusta lived and also a house in denver and what was known as the tabor block, which was five-stories tall. this was in the 1880s, so it was a big deal. it was a huge, beautiful building. with the opera house, he said it was his gift to the citizens of denver. to me, this is one of the items that reflect the lavishness of the time. in return, the citizens of denver presented him with a watch fob. now, whether this was really functional as a watch fob i don't know. it is not that heavy but it is awfully large, but it is reflective of his life. it has an ore bucket and tools at the bottom, and the engraved images are of the cabin or the store that he and augusta operated in leadville, of the
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tabor block, the building he built in downtown denver, and the tabor grand opera house. so he and baby doe lived a very lavish lifestyle together for a little over ten years until the silver crash. they had a beautiful home in denver. they had two daughters, lilly, who was the first born, and then silver dollar, whose full name was rosemary echo silverdollar tabor. overnight when the crash hit they really lost their wealth, and eventually all of the fine things had to go, their beautiful home, their furniture. horace, it really kind of broke his health. he actually ended up going back to physically working, hauling slag in some of the mines.
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he, being much, much older than baby doe, when she married she was about half his age. he was appointed post master of denver in the last year of his life, courtesy of i think some fine friends who wangled that appointment for him. the last year of his life was a little more comfortable, but he died in 1899, and really just a few years after the silver crash. so it really did take a toll on him. she was still a very young woman, i think she was only 44 and still very beautiful. and, supposedly, he told her to hang on to one of the mines, the matchless mine in leadville because, you know, the price of silver would go up again and it might produce again, and we don't know if that's really something he said or not. but she took those words to heart and she did hang on to the
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mine, and she did actually move back to leadville. her two daughters went with her, but before too long they went their separate ways. lilly, the older one, went to live with family -- with baby doe's family in wisconsin, and silver dollar went first to denver and then to chicago where she really seemed to struggle to find herself. she worked on the stage, she worked as a journalist. her later years she seems to have taken to drink and lived under a variety of different names, one assumes probably with different men, and was killed in a suspicious accident where she seemed to have been scalded to death. this was in the 1920s, and baby doe really never wanted to recognize that silver dollar was lost and was gone. but baby doe lived in the cabin
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at the matchless mine. this is a picture of her as an older woman in the doorway. she lived there for 30, almost 30 -- well, a little over 30 years actually. she lived to be 80 years old. but, most importantly, she hung on to her writings and diaries and family photographs, and she kept things in trunk which she had put in storage in denver. and after she passed away there was a group of citizens, prominent citizens in denver who banded together to purchase these items from the estate at auction and donate them to history colorado. so we're able to share aspects of the story . it has always fascinated me she kept the watch fob, because in her writings she talks about not having enough money for food or
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to buy firewood, and this was something that would have had great value at the time. the tabors were still very well-known, and she could have sold this, she could have sold some of the other items, and she chose to hang on to them, to keep those memories close. >> this weekend we're featuring the history of denver, colorado together with comcast cable partners. learn more about denver and the other stops on our cities tour at cspan.org/citiestour. you are watching american history tv all weekend and every weekend on c-span3. >> at cpan.org you can watch at your convenience on your desk top, laptop or mobile device. go to our home page, cpan.org and click on the library search bar. you can type in the name of a speaker, the sponsor of a bill or event topic.
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review the search results and click on the program you would like to watch. if you are looking for current programs and you don't want to search, our home page has those ready for viewing. c-span.org is a service of your cable provider. check it out at c-span.org. up next on american history tv we hear from the director emeritus of the smithsonian national museum of american his terror, brent glass. he talks about his latest book, essential historic sites across the u.s. and explains the thinking behind his selection process. the journey through hallowed ground partnership hosted this event. it is about an hour. first and foremost i would like to thank the virginia center for the book, our local

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