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tv   Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Museum - Lincoln Vault  CSPAN  February 16, 2019 9:44am-10:01am EST

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80 calories a day. so that stretch from february 3 until the end of the war, there is no way they would have made it. it would have been a different catastrophe had we not gone when we did. >> james, thank you very much. james: thank you. [applause] >> this presidents' day weekend on american history tv, the migration of african-americans in the u.s. starting today at 12:15 eastern with live coverage from the association for the study of african-american life and history and annual black history luncheon with discussions on ack migrations by jelani
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b.o., tiffany gill and kojo nnamdi. this week on c-span 3. >> abraham lincoln is buried inside a tomb at oak ridge cemetery in springfield alongside his wife mary lincoln and three of their four seasons. after his funeral and burial services his coffin was placed in a temporary receiving vault while his tomb was constructed. today lincoln is buried inside a concrete vault 10 feet below the ground. up next we visit the abraham lincoln library and museum. >> the abraham lincoln presidential library museum opened its doors in 2005, but our collection goes back much further. in 1889, they established the
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illinois state historical library and ever since that time, we have been collecting all the pressures that help illustrate illinois' wonderful past and as you might imagine, the illinois story is not complete without a really close look at abraham lincoln's life. in our lincoln collection, we have about 52,000 pieces that cover every aspect of abraham lincoln's life. that collection would include about 18,000 monographs written about abraham lincoln. he is the most written about american ever which is quite staggering. on any given day a visitor to the museum is able to see about 100 original pieces from our collection that are on display and there is always a reason to come back to the abraham lincoln presidential museum because we are rotating those items out and putting new pieces on display all the time. we always like to say a visitor that comes to the museum today,
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if you come back one year later, you're going to see a whole new from abrahampieces lincoln's life. today i pulled some pieces out of our vault that illustrate the life of abraham lincoln, some of my favorite pieces. i will show you first the oldest piece of writing that abraham lincoln did that survived. this is a piece of paper that abraham lincoln got his hands on in 1824 when he was living in that cabin in the middle of the wilderness. he got his hands on 11 pieces of paper just reich like this. he sewed them together and made a little notebook and used this to work his way through a textbook. you can see he worked his way through all sorts of mathematical problems, subtraction, division, multiindication. he is a little boy that is
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trying desperately to acquire an education. abraham lincoln had less than a year of formal education so a lot of his education is really self-taught. he picks it up by little, by working his way through little textbooks. so this is the first page of that notebook. i think it is quite remarkable. i'll show you a couple of my favorite things. this is the first abraham lincoln autograph that survived. look at how clearly he wrote his name as a young teenage boy. abraham lincoln told us in his autobiography that he wrote for the 1860 election, that his father had never done more in the way of writing than to sign his own name. abraham lincoln, you can see, wanted a different life than his father had. his father had a rough signature later in life. his far is just making his mark on documents but abraham lincoln wants something else in his
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life. he didn't want to be a subsist ent farmer. he wanted to have a life that might include things like being a lawyer, being a politician, etc.. he didn't want to spend his life in the wilderness so he learned at a young age how to make a good signature and also what is so special about this document, on the back, i think abraham lincoln might have gotten a little bored working out some mathematical problems and wrote a four-line little poem. abraham lincoln is my name and with my pen i wrote the same. i wrote in both haste and speed and left it here for fools to read. this is a really interesting piece that is in our permanent collection. it is a -- not a real fancy piece. it is a really common inkwell from the middle of the 19th century but this inkwell participated in an extraordinary
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moment in american history. when abraham lincoln here in springfield crafted his inaugural address, he uses this inkwell. he is dipping his pen into this inkwell as he is searching for the words that will both be stern as well as reassuring to those folks in the southern states. it is this inkwell that he uses that he has by his side as he secludes himself in springfield at a location where he is not going to be bothered by all the onlookers, all the individuals looking for a public statement. mr. lincoln is going to try to craft those words using this inkwell for the first naugrell address. at the time of his assassination when individuals were going through his office to collect not just the papers but also the contents of his office, this quill pen was on abraham lincoln's desk. now when he was a little boy in southern indiana, he was probably using quill pens as he
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was writing. but during his presidency, he wasn't using quill pens. he was actually using, you know, quite modern pens to do his eloquent writing. in fact, when they found this quill pen on mr. lincoln's desk at the time of the assassination, it was sitting close by a beautiful gold pen. now why did abraham lincoln have a quill pen and a gold pen sitting right next to each other on his desk as president? it is a matter of speculation but consider this. maybe the quill pen represents where abraham lincoln began in life. in that log cabin with a dirt floor with less than a year of formal education and maybe that gold pen symbolizes what he had achieved. he is president of the united states and at the time of his death, he is one of the most powerful men in the world. it is that evolution that
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abraham lincoln talked about during his presidency when he talked to soldiers as he was reviewing soldiers at the end of the war and he was pleading with them to continue on this fighting until the war was finally over. that's the lesson that he would tell those soldiers. he had achieved and it didn't matter where he started in life, but that's the american dream. that's why america is worth fighting for. it is also probably a hint at why he hated slavely so much, because slavery is an artificial barrier. it only allowed a slave in so far andarise only it hindered their ultimate growth. robert e. lee surrended to grant and it was the end to the american civil war. there were other confederate armies still in the field but lee's army was the big one.
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it signaled the end of the war. five days later lincoln was in pretty good spirits. he and his wife decided to see a play. they went to ford's theater and saw a play called "our american cousin". i think it is significant that it wasn't a tragedy they went to go see. they wanted to see a comedy. they wanted to laugh. they were in good spirits. at 10:15 that evening, a very well known actor made his way into the presidential box and he brutally murdered the president of the united states as he was holding hands with his wife. illustrate the real tranlt of that evening -- tranlt of that evening. this was the fan that mary lincoln brought with her to ford theater that night. when it was brand new, it was probably quite striking.
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ivory base with a silk fan and it had ostrich plumes that came off the top. this was a brutal reminder to marry about the worst night of her life and you can imagine mary did not want to keep this fan in her possession after the tragedy at ford's theater. she got rid of it and it became really a collectors item to individuals in the 19th century all the way to today to where it has its place in our museum. mary lincoln had a fascinating life. she is america's most controversial first lady. mary had a really tragic widowhood as well. the remaining years of her life were not happy, pleasant ones. she had lost a little boy before the presidency. she lost another little boy during the white house years and then in widowhood she lost a
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third little boy, tad, who was her constant companion. things went downhill for mary after that. in 1875, her last remaining son made an excruciating decision to have his mother involuntarily committed to an asylum. she spent about four months there in batavia, illinois. she never forgave her son robert for having done that. and so it is a tragic episode in the life of mary lincoln. this is another relic from the assassination. these are the gloves that were in abraham lincoln's pocket on the night of the assassination. he kept gloves, it was a custom of the time to have them in your pocket when you're shaking people's hands at an official
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event, you'd have on kid gloves. these are a pair of white leather gloves. over time they have probably shrunk a bit but you can get a sense of abraham lincoln's hands. 6'4". still the tallest president in american history. he kept these gloves in his pocket and when booth fired that shot at the back of mr. lincoln's head that horrible night at ford's theater, the doctors that entered the box couldn't immediately identify where the wound was. t took several minutes for the doctor prodding around before he found an entry wound on the back of mr. lincoln's head. blood wasn't coming out of the wound until the doctor placed his finger on the wound and then blood began to flow freely. mr. lincoln was laid out on the
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ground in the presidential box. as the blood began flowing out of his hair, it went down the length of his body until it went into his pocket and it made its way on to the gloves and you can see the remnants of the blood on these gloves today. and this artifact is really a reminder of the brutal end that mr. lincoln met. it is important for museum visitors to see original pieces on display, be it a document hat abraham lincoln wrote, a everyday piece that might have been in his home that he interacted with as he got ready for the day. those pieceses are incredibly important as people walk through our museum because there is power, there is magic in a museum art fact. said is something to be for standing in front of the actual object. you can read about that object
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or see it in a different format, maybe a picture in a book, but when you're standing right in front of it, there is power in that piece. i think the greatest power those pieceses have is they remind us that figures like abraham lincoln, abraham lincoln himself, he is just a human being. when you stand in front of one of those pieceses, you understand that abraham lincoln was a human being. >> our city's tour staff recently traveled to springfield, illinois, to learn about its rich history. learn more about springfield and her stops in our tour at c-span.org/citiestour. you're watching american history tv every weekend on c-span 3. > if bealestreet could talk, sunday on q & a. we'll discuss the movie based on the 1974 james baldwin novel
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with the "washington post" editor monica norton. >> i thought the film was visually beautiful and the thing that really sticks with you is just how loving and lovely the film is. i think his writing really does deal with love whether it is a onesself,love, loving love between people and society. i really think that is the over arching theme. i think a lot of people probably see him because he was so passionate and fighting for the rights of african-americans that sometimes i think that people mistake that for anger and i on't think -- i think he was not angry but forceful in his denunciation of racism. >> sunday night at 8:00 >> interested in american
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history tv? visit our website. you can view our tv schedule, preview upcoming programs, and watch lectures, museum tours, archival films, and more. american history tv at each weekshistory >> american artifacts visits museums and historic places. next, we learn the story of the oldest synagogue in washington, d.c. as the 1876 building is moved eight hundred feet to be incorporated into a new capital jewish museum. this is half an hour. >> i am the executive director of the new capital jewish museum. we are standing on 3rd street great we are getting ready to move our historic synagogue down 3rd street to the site of the new museum. this building was built in 1876

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