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tv   American Artifacts Womens History  CSPAN  December 21, 2018 9:04pm-9:24pm EST

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they can't name a substitute that is better. they don't have an alternative hypothesis. so that is, for me, and intellectual fraud. i think that's what the process is engaged in right now. >> most people think term limits sound like a good idea, 1st of all, leadership has no term limits. nancy pelosi will probably be over 100 by the time she finishes her last time as speaker, if nothing changes. the challenge is that all of leadership has no term limits. chairman have term limits, so back when newt gingrich, what happened was we took a strong chairman system, and turned it into a strong speaker and minority leader system. >> watch conversations with retiring members of congress saturday at 8 pm eastern, on cspan and cspan.org, and listen with our free radio app
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>> american artifacts takes you to museums and other places to learn about american history. next, we visit alexandria, virginia, to see civil war related sites where women worked as nurses. sold goods to soldiers, and aided communities of newly freed slaves. >> the national women's history museum is dedicated to ensuring that the distinctive contributions of american women to our history and our culture are written into the national merit -- narrative. the women's history museum has sought to achieve this goal for 20 years, we currently exist as an online museum, but the goal is to build a physical museum on our national mall. in 2014, congress passed a bipartisan act to create a congressional commission to evaluate the feasibility of a national women's history museum here in washington dc.
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>> permission to study the potential creation of a national women's history museum for further purposes. >> we are half of the population. wherever you stand on women's issues, i am sure there is consensus in this house that half of the population should not go unmentioned in the textbooks of our country. but there is no museum in the country that shows the full scope of the history of the amazing brilliant courageous, innovative, and sometimes to find women who have helped to shape our history and make this country what it is. >> in november 2016, the commission produced a bipartisan report concluding that americans deserve a national women's history museum that it should be on or near our national mall, and affiliated with the smithsonian.
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i am pleased that a bipartisan group of members of congress have introduced legislation to create this museum here in washington dc, on one of two sites on our national mall. over 200 members of congress have supported this legislation, with initiatives in the house and senate, and is pending stay. the group of members of congress who support this legislation on a bipartisan basis have continued to fight for this, and grow, and we are optimistic that the importance of writing women's stories into our national narrative is a value that becomes a stronger and more clear every day. >> it's time that we come together, and we have an appropriate bipartisan approach
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to addressing the collecting and enshrining of what women have done in the fight, and the cause of freedom. >> many americans are familiar with the fight for women's suffrage. and the leaders, who risked their lives, and security, in order to ensure that all women and men have a right to vote. i think that far too little is known about the contributions that have been made across a range of disciplines from sciences, medicine, military, and that this story of american history, by ensuring that we are including women's contributions across american life, will really enrich what is possible for every american boy and girl.
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>> the national women's history museum is a museum without walls, we are located online, where you can find exhibits, articles, and biographies on women's history, but we also offer walking tours, on women during the civil war, and we start here, which is alexandria's history museum, during the civil war in the 1860s, this building, like other strut alexandria, was used as a hospital. nursing, as a practice, before the civil war, was used as a punishment. women who were arrested for public drunkenness or prostitution were punished by working as a nurse for a week or two. during the war, over in europe, nursing as a practice started to become more of an occupation, especially for women, during the civil war, many women came over to help teach others how this practice of nursing could be used to help.
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during this time, the practice of nursing is becoming more formalized, and the battle took place 20 miles in this direction, so soldiers were brought into alexandria. when we think of nurses during the civil war, names like clara barton might come to mind, and dorothea was very prominent in helping medical fields take off during the war, she was able to appoint 15%, or 3000 of the medical staff during the war, including nurses here in alexandria. nurses in alexandria were not only white women who were widowed, or older, they were women from all backgrounds, all stages in life, including african-american women. but african-american women who practiced as nurses were considered long dresses, and this was a way that the army could get around paying them in equal wage who are practicing nursing.
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in alexandria, many of the churches around the city were also used as hospitals, and women were able to make this practice more of a field for women. however, they got pushed back from medical surgeons who were predominantly men, and these men would tell women that they cease to be women if they started practicing medicine. there was a lot of discrimination within this field, but women, including dorothea, pushed past this discrimination, and they were able to help medical fields go forward leaps and bounds, and help save lives. our next stop will be markets where, -- square, where we will talk about women and other businesses that they ran during the war. here we are in market square, this is the oldest continually operating marketplace in the u.s. during the civil war, this was a marketplace where women
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who worked on local farms would come in and sell fruits and vegetables to nurses, who would take them to the soldiers who are recovering in the hospital, and while that was a legal practice, there were illegal practices happening as well. one of those illegal practices was the smuggling of alcohol. alcohol was prohibited for the soldiers during the war here in alexandria, but they still had access to this alcohol, predominantly whiskey, alexandria was a port city, so the union had taken over the city, including the sports, and there were very few boats coming in and out, but on about coming into alexandria, two young girls were caught smuggling alcohol. when they were caught, they confessed that their parents had put them up to this. here in the market square, a general was watching people walk by, and noticed three rotund women who were carrying their weight differently than a normal human being would, these women were stopped, and once they were stopped, they started pulling out 23 canteens, 15
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bottles, and one jug of whiskey from the ruffles of their skirts. they confessed that they were going to sell this to union troops, and they said that this amount of whiskey would have gotten them $225, today that would be around $6000. this practice into smuggling is not necessarily uncommon, and these are accounts we know where people were caught selling this contraband item. as you can imagine, soldiers and whiskey sometimes don't mix, and there were injuries and casualties from drunken soldiers is firing weapons, one woman, robert j vinson, was shot and wounded, and mary butler, another woman here in alexandria, was shot and killed. you can see, again, sometimes alcohol and soldiers do not mix. we will continue on, at our next stop is going to be
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christchurch, where he will talk about sarah tracy. she helped establish and keep mount vernon safe. here we are outside of christchurch, this is where george washington would come and worship during his time here in alexandria, and mount vernon, washington's home, is less than 10 miles from alexandria. mount vernon was preserved by women, and during the civil war, one woman in particular, sarah tracy, was a secretary for mount vernon, and she helps preserve this home during the war. sarah tracy made sure that soldiers on either side of the war were able to come in and visit washington's home, this was important because both sides , confederacy and union, saw washington as the founder of their country. tracy had some stipulations for soldiers that would come in to mount vernon, they had to be unarmed, and they also could not be wearing their uniform. they would find any means to cover up, in shoals or different clothing.
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sarah tracy kept money in the herbert bank, this money was to be used to purchase mount vernon from the washington family, but during the war, union troops decided that they wanted that money for themselves . of course, sarah tracy refused, and decided that she was going to move this money out of banks into riggs bank in washington dc. she had to do this very covertly, so she took the money out of the bank, and put the money in the bottom of a basket, and put eggs on top of the basket, so she went into washington dc, met with mister riggs, where she pulled these -- sold these eggs, and measure the transaction was legitimate, because she received a receipt for the sale of these eggs. thanks to tracy and this money, we are able to still visit and enjoy mount vernon today. not only were women nurses during the war, entrepreneurs, having jobs, selling items, women were also soldiers during
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the war. they had to do this in a disguise. it was entirely frowned upon for women to join the war, as soldiers, so they had to dress up in men's uniforms. women would dress up on either side of the war, confederacy or union, as soldiers so they could fight along their brothers, husbands, families, and fight for the cause of the war. one woman in particular is sarah emma edmonds, she went by frank thomas. she was one of the soldiers who was open about being a woman soldier, especially after the war. after the war, she would dress in men and women's clothing. we know of 300 to 500 women who served during the war, but those were the ones that we know about, so there is a number that we might not ever know about historically, who fought during the war. our last stop is the baptist church, this church was
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established in 1863, this was the 1st african-american church built after union occupation in alexandria. in the 1860s, during the civil war, this would have been the edge of town, further down the street, would have been more countryside, this is where contraband camps were located. contraband camps are like refugee camps that we would recognize today, and there were encampments of 4 million people who found their refuge and freedom here in alexandria, dc, maryland, and these encampments and camps started popping up very early on into the civil war, so in 1861, general benjamin butler was stationed at portland row in virginia, he was the general at this fort, and during his time there, african-americans escaped from there in slaver and sought refuge, but the next day, they
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were knocking at these doors, demanding that the people returned. butler, who was a lawyer before the war, said no, these people are now contraband of war. that's where the term comes from, and with terms spreading like wildfire, this term today, we use it as historians to describe his historians who found our refuge and freedom during this time, but during the war, this term was used in white communities as a derogatory term, it was used to describe former slave people, but with this idea that they were helpless or childlike, and in the african-american communities, this term was used to differentiate between people who would have their freedoms before the war, and people who grade -- and their freedom after the war. in alexandria, these and came it started popping up, and women in particular started noticing that they needed basic human necessities, including food, shelter, clothing, so
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women like elizabeth, she was best known as mrs. lincoln's dressmaker, and she helped establish the contraband camps in and around washington dc. she appealed to the 1st lady, mary lincoln, and asked for money for these encampments, and mrs. lincoln wrote to the president saying we are going to give $200 to help fund this contraband release association. from then on, the president and 1st lady would continue to give money for these relief organizations, and it wasn't just working, it was people around the african-american immunity as well as helping gather food, and provide shelter, provide money, so these encampments were funded through church groups. not only was elizabeth working in the dc area, there was another woman, harriet jacobs, who was formerly enslaved, and she found her refugee freedom
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in new york where she met a quaker woman named julia wilbur, they teamed up together, came alexandria, and worked with these, -- contraband camps and provided money, food, soda, clothing, and helped establish education programs, and many churches offered education, night schools, not just for children and for adults, so they could become literate, read, write, sign their names to contracts because they were starting to look for and get jobs. women working outside these contraband camps, women in the contraband encampments were also working to make sure that people were educated, one woman in particular, was literate, so she would have tablets, and would write down scriptures for people to learn to read and write. now we've seen a few of our sites on our walking tour in old town that these national women's history museum is
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continuing to tell more of these stories. >> our hope is that building this museum on the national mall will not only educate and inspire, it will help complete the story of american history. >> you can watch this and other american artifacts programs by visiting our website, c- span.org/history. >> next week, join washington journal for authors week, featuring live one hour segments each morning with the new author, beginning at 8:30 am eastern, starting sunday, with author krystal fleming, and her book how to be less stupid about race. monday, the book the once and future worker, on tuesday, juan williams discusses his book what the do you have to lose, trumps war on civil rights, then, on wednesday, author alan
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dershowitz talks about his book the case against impeaching trump, and thursday, author alyssa courts, with squeezed, wire families can't afford america, on friday, six matters, and how modern feminism lost touch with science, love, and common sense. saturday, sarah with review from flyover country, and on sunday, december 30, chris mcgrail with american overdose, join us for authors week, starting sunday, on washington journal. >> sunday, on q&a, wall street journal columnist jenkins talks about his work and politics during the trump era. >> his politics are primarily, he wants to be the center of attention. i don't think he's a racist, the way he looks at people, everyone is either a friend or an enemy.
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you can change categories very easily. he holds no grudges. his ideas, the america 1st thing, is an idea that he holds dear. that our country has been shortchanged and is dealing with the rest of the world, it reflects in trade policy and immigration policy, the things that, in the mind of many of his supporters in middle america, have hurt them and their economic prospects. that is a sincere belief on his part. >>, jenkins, sunday night, eight eastern, cspan q&a. >> each week, american artifacts takes viewers and archives, museums, historic sites around the country. next time we visit this is known -- smithsonian national portrait gallery to tour their one-room exhibit examining the pivotal events and personalities of the year 1968. our guide to the collection of images

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