tv Story of Virginia Exhibit CSPAN February 18, 2017 2:41pm-3:01pm EST
understand it better. >> any last words? .> i want to thank you all we have a promotion here -- if you want to learn more on the 20th of march, pbs will be broadcasting a documentary called day of reckoning. companionmponen documentary to the book. tune into pbs. thank you very much. >> thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] >> continuing our look at
richmond, this is the city's famed monument avenue with statues honoring confederate war heroes including robert ely et lee western wall jackson and jefferson davis. lee, stonewall jackson and jefferson davis. up next come our visit to richmond continues as we travel to the virginia historical society to learn about the state's history. >> welcome to the virginia historical society. we are standing at the entrance to the story of virginia which thatr long-term exhibition covers all of virginia history from prehistory to the present day. this is in exhibit that is meant to show visitors how virginia plays into the broader narrative of american history and international history of law.
looking at a by canoe that is roughly 300 years old. this is a symbol of the collision of two cultures that make up the earliest populations in virginia history. this these represents the merging of european and native american cultures. many people talk about american history being four centuries long -- it spans back to 16,000-20,000 into th years into the past. these cultures sometimes clash with one another. sometimes fail to see i type. in many ways, we are learning from one another and absorbing elements of each other's culture. the canoe is made in the traditional dugout canoe fashion. you have a lock that has been felled and it is traditionally scraped out by setting a small fire within the law. -- within the law.
-- within the log. the ashes are scraped out. --t makes this canoe unique the markings you are able to see within the interior of the canoe, they are very straight, they were made by a very sharp tool and they are very regular. archaeologists have posited that these markings were made by a metal tool. which would not happen available or representative of a native american culture in virginia. this represents the collision andeen european settlers the native americans that were here for centuries before. we moved into one of the main galleries of the story of virginia. moment where we have the arrival of a very important third group of people.
representing a very distinct third culture. we are looking at a pair of shackles that represent the arrival of enslaved africans in 6019. -- 1619. so many subsequent decisions and events in virginia history are tied to this decision to invest in slave labor. tobacco is an industry requiring a massive amount of labor to succeed. indentured servants that initially populate these plantations as the labor force are transitioned out in favor of enslaved labor because of the lower cost for that type of worker. these shackles represent this new group of people that become indelibly linked to virginity history and also they represent a continuation of this kind of evan flow of people coming in
their own cultures with virginia culture as a whole. fragment of metal is a of what was called jack of plate armor from the colonial period. nhey would have been sew on 2:00 jumper. -- a cloth jumper. this was buried underground for a couple of centuries. organic materials like the cloth eroded away and we are left with these metal plates that are fused together over time. what this tells us about the life of colonial virginians, these were a people who were afraid of attack. individuals who were coming to virginia with the idea of establishing a new life here, investing in an economic venture but were very conscious of the tensions that are here in virginia between the english
settlers and the native virginians that were here for sentries prior. this and all the other evidence we have on the wall is the material culture we used to understand the lives of these colonial virginians. torything from ointment pots farm tools to even chamber pots that would have been used by colonial virginians. toy really give a human side our understanding of colonial life. we have moved into the revolutionary period of our timeline. we are transitioning from the whenial area into a period we were among the front lines of opposition to the british crown. this is among the most beloved by visitors to the institution. patrick henry spectacles he wore when he was alive. these are here as part of a display that features artifacts
pen and voice, the the sword of revolution. three of the most famous virginia patriots of the revolutionary period. what is lovely about artifacts like henry's glasses, very ften, these individuals become untouchable figures when we look at them in history. thinking about something as human as a pair of glasses that sat on his face makes him seem like a much more three-dimensional person and allows us some especially when we are working with visiting student groups, to talk about the fact that these individuals were making personal and challenging decisions to participate in the american revolution. this is not a cause that they supported lightly. it was a cause that carried with it the combination of being a traitor to the crown.
it is one of the best tools to turn patrick henry into a real individual who lived and breathed. we are standing next to one of the only remaining living posts -- this is an incredibly powerful symbol for what slavery looked like. this is an artifact that was actually taken by union soldiers at the end of the civil war and sent to people in new york to show new yorkers what it meant to be living in a place where slavery existed. in the 1800s, the institution of slavery had spread into all corners of the nation in the sense that it was a debate that was being hotly discussed. you had the strong population of abolitionists and the strong population of proslavery supporters that were contentious over whether or not slavery should still be part of our nation's reality.
when you look at the public debate about slavery, sometimes it is easy to forget the actual human reality of being an enslaved person in a place like virginia. this would have in front of a slave dale. it was in portsmouth, virginia. slaves would be chained in public to have their backs struck with some sort of leather strap as a public punishment for whatever crime their owners had deemed they were guilty of. while virginia was not necessarily a place that had the highest population of enslaved laborers in the nation, it was the hub for the domestic slave trade. it was home to numerous auction houses in which a person who was hoping to buy enslaved laborers would come to richmond with a specific purpose in mind of buying these people to then take back to their plantations could
the artifacts we have in this section focus on that industry. richmond profited very much in the mid-1800s from the domestic slave trade. we have a cane here that was owned by a slave auctioneer this is a person it would run an option and the caller below it would have been warned by an enslaved virginian. these pieces really do highlight the inhumanity of an institution libly linked to virginia's economy. slavery is still an essential part of virginia's identity economically and culturally. it was a major part of how virginia evolved in the 1800s. we are looking at a sport that was presented to george henry thomas -- sword that was presented to george henry
thomas. he believed in his identity as an american first. thomas wasort that given by the people of southampton county. they gave this to him for his service in the seminal mexican wars to show their love for their native son. he left this when he married a woman from new york and relocated to the northern part of the country. when the civil war broke out, he wrote home to his family acs king for the sword to be sent to him. he felt it was his duty as someone who had taken an oath to uphold the constitution and defend the nation to report to duty to serve the nation as a member of the union army. wrote back that in no certain terms what he be receiving his sword and that he
could consider them no longer related. they were dissolving their relationship with their brother over the issue of the civil war. this is a powerful reminder of how divided the nation was at this important turning point in our history. and also how divided virginia west. was.rginia dividede very loyalties, even within a city like richmond where you have populations that my clash over the idea of whether the confederacy or the union is the just cause to support. eu see the stars that robert lee had on his color the day the surrender was signed at appomattox courthouse. he kept them as a keepsake. these represent a major turning point in virginia's history. the loss of the civil war by the confederacy. we left the civil war behind and inare moving into a period
which virginia saw massive forward movement in terms of the liberties afforded to enslaved virginians that are now emancipated and given rights as full citizens but also steps backward into a system of segregation that divided virginia's population into two groups. we are looking at a hearse owned by a funeral company based in jackson ward. it was a vibrant community of african-americans living in richmond. a symbol of the two parallel economies that were created between the white population that was served by businessesnly a and companies and the black owned businesses that serve the african american community. because of jim crow laws and segregation, these dual economies were essential. maggie walker helped promote the
creation of banks and service foundations and newspapers for the black community. even if an african american would not be able to be served by the white companies or infrastructure that existed, there would be some type of that would allow them to save their money somewhere purchase anything they needed at a store that serve customers or read the news in their own newspaper. we are looking at a very enthusiastic group of ladies here who had just gone the state capital to petition the state government for the right to vote. many people seem to forget that women were not enfranchised with the right to vote until the passing of the 19th women in 1920. virginia women were very vocal about their desire to have the right to vote. in many cases, virginia women who supported suffrage were in the minority in their communities.
virginia was not a state that was very enthusiastically behind the movement toward the women 's right to vote. 1920,ses nationally in but regina does not decide they want to ratify the amendment until 1952. the notion that virginia women are genteel southern ladies who don't want to be troubled with reinforces this notion that suffrage for women is not an important virginia priority. there are women like laura houston who wore the dress we who countered that argument with a great number of arguments of her own. that's why pamphlets explaining the reasons for which women should have been given the right to vote were such essential tools for the early 20th century
suffragists heard this is the 20 would use to change minds and opinions did -- this is the way you would change minds and opinions. we've moved into the middle of the 20th century. we are looking at a suit jacket, tie and lapel pins owned by one of virginia's civil rights euros, oliver hill. a lawyer who took on one of the brown versus board of education cases that asked the highest court in the country to decide whether segregation in schools was unconstitutional. as though it was an important cause for him to lend his services to. the supreme court decision was partially tied to his and other thisrs' contributions to series of supreme court cases and he is someone who continues
to serve the african-american community in virginia for the rest of his life. is are madef stuff in virginia wall. ourhis riot of stuff is made in virginia wall. many people think of virginia as being a place that relies on things like tobacco or agriculture to keep its economy afloat. virginia has invested in a very ine diversity of industries the end of the 20th century and the start of the 21st century. so, everything from recording artists that hill from virginia, the movie and television industry that has grown rapidly here in the commonwealth, the langley station come industries like reynolds aluminum that is a household
name to many americans is a virginia industry. look at all these amazing products and people that hill from virginia and think about how virginia as a place has changed in terms of identity over the last century and how virginians themselves might look different now from the way they may have looked half a century in the past. the notion average and as a place that is welcoming people from all over the world actually links back to this notion in the that virginia is a place that has accepted people present trees. -- four centuries. -- accepted people for centuries.
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