tv The Winchester CSPAN November 26, 2016 1:00am-2:01am EST
i think part the because of the other at hierarchy that was created so i found it was welcome to because in essence even when traveling the world with those committees that have a tougher time or anan experience that is the prize -- pleasant and those outsiders use that experience we don't judge you, in. so when i never experienced that. him but an colored communities that is strange we do that in life all the time. many times it is easier to be the insider as the outsider than it is to be the outsider that is the insider and what i mean by that as it was easier for me
to be accepted by black people because that was the quick discussion and decision made immediately you were choosing to be here then we move on from here but then they questioned whyy i wasn't so i have people now rejecting me because they thought i was rejectingje them by being myself and that is something we have to be careful of redo that all the time we feel somebody should be exactly like us but then we shunned them because we feel they live life that is different with their true to themselves. [applause] . .
him. we are thrilled to welcome the journalist and author to the museum this evening to talk about her most recent book the winchester that both the american dynasty. we are having this talk with c-span subverting the question and answer if you could use the microphone in the middle that would be fantastic. laura has worked for the bbc reporting for many radio and television programs incorrectly is the world news america anchor. her first book chronicles her english roots and tonight we are excited to share the story of her american groups. of those associated witthose ase company so well that i'venc learned the most interesting things about the new haven history. t a few weeks ago during the
evergreen cemetery i led a group of people around the site and came across the name if not for the buck i wouldn't have no -- i wouldn't have known it. now it's time for his great, great, great granddaughter to share their eyes about the winchester. [applause] thank you to all of you for being here to talk about what they call a pet project. when i was a congressional intern back in 86 i watched c-span all the time and it was how i learned about american
politics. in many ways i didn't just pass my american citizenship test. [applause] i don't get half the date of my swearing in. i think i can welcome you tonight so it is a thrill to sen you all. for work i do interview and they look at me an me in surprise any you actually read it and i say as someone they inspired me thank you also for being here i plan to talk for half an hour and take any questions youou should have and i apologize in advance because i decided today is the day for my lenses because
i'm getting older. -close-brace outstanding but distance is truly awful and thie will be the one and only. anyway, i digress. the building was built in 1931 as a famous example of that let me tell you a little bit about how i came to write this book. oliver winchester is my great, great, grandfather. he's the man that founded the winchester company here in new haven, and the story from rags to riches and the fact i had a personal connection.
coming here in 1987 which is the first time i came here to new haven as a summer compound i was lucky enough to go there and see americans live their life in technicolor and there we were at the compound shooting squirrels and things that didn't really go on in britain. altogether it was in a differene setting. when we moved here let me tell you what i found out. two great things i hope. oliver winchester was born in
1810 outside of austin as was the way back then. father died soon after he was born and had been married several times. there were furniture manufacturer is out in michigan but oliver himself went to school when there was nowhere on the farm. imagine back in those early days of the country this i was a huge occupation and he was very skilled. he decided after a few years it was no more and my guess because
he didn't like very much he was such a skilled technician he became very interested actually in shirts and have an invention for the caller which many of you gentlemen will be wearing today. he opened up a shop that did very well and then moved to new haven and it was here when he got to new haven oliver pounced upon the new opportunity with sewing machines and had the good ladies beyond turning out the shirts in such quantities that he became so rich that is the case with successful investors today. he comes here in 1848 and new
haven is full of people who make carriages and clocks and it's between the different groups and the germans and italians. in 1855 the full company here in new haven has an opportunity thm that he goes into the gum business as it is being transformed and up until the period muscat are what people use to fire. the rifle is being developed in france comes with a technique that was lying around and also people are looking at how do you fire more than one round at a time so the idea of the
repeating rifle is being born, and all of her with his good timing as they are ready to exploit it so it was a disaster. it's about what you would expect a shirt maker to grasp and about as worthless for the person as you could imagine. it was nonexistent and i don't think that oliver knew anything about this. not before all of her put more money into the venture up ande coming president. he took over and it became the new haven company and that was benjamin tyler henry. he made something that would
actually fire and the civil war was on the horizon at thisrepean point. this was going to be great for the boys. they would realize this is going to revolutionize warfare andth it's going to be less dangerous. okay lets go. so he's off and is very interested in the idea and lincoln tested both that are made here in connecticut. he declared it and lincoln was interested but as it is so often the case with anything to do with the military expenditure, the bureaucrats got in the way so the ordinance part headed by
the brigadier general chief ordinance was going to waste money and the soldiers used toot much ammunition. he just assumed it wasn't going to be effective and thought that it was a stupid technology so he deliberately went slowly on alll the orders as a result that very few were actually used. but the word dead spread and the soldiers used their own money and in the book one of myy ri favorite is the illinois volunteer all of whom had gotten that henry rifle and a fantastiy picture of them posing with it. so even though the army had all that goes with them didn't think it was a good idea, the
individual soldiers dead and so the word spread and oliver had a great delight snapping up the arms company which failed in his was successful. so the end of the civil war there are rifle had the word spreading and now we have the era and the country returns to itthe project of settling the west. everybody uses it and native americans use it because it hase a strange quality continuing to fire and it's used by theue to i stagecoach folk and one of my favorite pictures in the book is an african-american womaasan aft worked well in fargo.
as anyone doing anything dangerous like that as you probably all know that was a favorite and then index dangerous period it was a popular culmination indeed. the wonderful picture with his winchester this is highly sought after because it was such a lethal weapon to use the financing whenever they get their hands on them and i guess in a way it was a misleading battle of little big horn when they were out 25% repeating rifles and a lot of them were
winchester's so it was used on both sides clearly. meanwhile oliver is completely thrilled. it's no longer having to pool all of his money into the same and is making money. the winchester model there is one here in this museum. there was a copy that we will hear later. the one that won the west that chileans want it and the french want it and they want to use it to prop up mexico's one of the salesmen for winchester gathers off to mexico with thousands of rifles and gives them.
at this time another important character enters our life so oliver winchester and his wife suffered the tragedy and three of the four children die before them. the one who didn't was jenny bennett and she made an extremely fortunate marriage ina 1782 who became the son-in-law. the in the book i quote some of them because he was only 17 during the civil war and thomas bennis talks about how difficult this was but the view was all
about ending slavery and perhaps he saw it more clearly than the older generation. so it i it's just a fascinatingt of social history that he is writing about especially when you think of how we are still having these struggles even to this day in the black lives matter movement. turns out they are all better se so above relationships improve after that. so he joins at the end of the civil war and is a big guy and marries the bosses daughter. when you think back to the 70s it wasn't like you hop on a
plane and the only way you communicate is by telegram. so thomas bennett is in charge of going to paris so they can ship them to mexico and then he goes also to london because he wants to see what the british are up to. he is also a brilliant writer and all of his letters exist. thank you so much to the society for keeping the letters. when he gets to london of course he says the british how do they make any money, two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon and closed on good friday and easter monday, what kind of country, she finds it hard to find his way around london and then no one is there so one of my favorite lessons.
it is a love story of him and jenny and then it jumps off the page. thomas bennett has a lot of time to go around. he hasn't seen her for three months and bites back i've got your fine dress. i wish i could see you either in or out of it. [laughter] which i thought was fantastic. you could feel it even all these years later you could feel the love and anguish. so he's doing this work and one of the things he does is in the
1883 the rifle turns up on his desk from utah. he leaps on the train which took three days and he declares the west to be overrated. the scenery is nothing but it is cracked up to be and he hasn't seen a single bus yet. he writes to jenny every single night that he's away. some of the lessons are ten pages and he spends the day living it. anyway, he goes to utah and meets the brothers in their sh
shop. he says that about 10,000 thomas says no so they say more money than they've ever heard of and they say yes and they make the hugely successful model they are all made by browning. by the way it's one of the things they did so brilliantly around every single gun that was theirs which gave them a monopoly over the period so they get pretty much screwed for 19
years and then they realized finally for this one i want a royalties bill and he tells them to get out and that is the end of the relationship and of course he does indeed take the rifle overseas and becomes wildly successful and i think he did regret it but he was not a man that paid royalty to anyone. when you think of the money they made maybe that interrupt trust that anyway this is the period of the legend of the winchester and then teddy roosevelt who poses for the photograph when he tried to reinvent himself.
he goes southwest and writes a book about how much he loved it and this was a love affair that continues for him until he's in the white house in 1908 he plans a game hunting trip to africa and spent 18 months of his time corresponding at least twice a week with my grand father getting more and more. i want this don for my son and r not allowed to say that you're making any for me. being the genius that he was tht new. one of my favorites is the
ammunition that gets shipped to nairobi that is collapsing. so teddy roosevelt was wonderful for the winchester rifle and died in 1880. he donated $100,000 for the first observatory in is i interested in green houses and was entered into the regular gardening competitions that were held. i like to think of carrying on the legacy even though we haven't won any that i'm aware of.d shape
so thomas bennett is doing well and his son will inherit the company that his son dies of tuberculosis a year after oliver dies so he's not going to inherit the company. sarah becomes wildly rich and then her mother-in-law dies leaving her with millions and millions that she suffered the tragedy of her husband dying and before that their baby daughter had died. the daughter of a wealthy carriage manufacturer she'd grown up here in new haven, she was beautiful, talented, she could play instruments and her b life just disappeared so she went out west and this is where
the legend that she was so tortured by the spirits of everyone as long as she builter her house. by which they say there is no evidence at all but it's still y great story. her lessons reveals she's griefi stricken. she is writing about the funeral arrangements and where will she finally be reunited. it's horrible to think that she
was so unhappy in the presente all she could think about is when she's dead to be reuniteded with william and their baby daughter. it's extraordinarily morbid when you read about it and she's obsessed with such trinkets and gifts they'd given each other over the years. cantor nieces and nephews have this particular bit of sulfur from tiffany's. worrying about who was going to be and which will. it's not at all the mystery house. what sarah did with her millions and this is a topic we talk about, she inherited her so much of it.f her husband died of tuberculosis and she wanted to be a cure for tuberculosis. when the hospital was set up in
new haven sera happily gave millions to it. she set up this really brilliant system where i she pulled the millions into a trus the trust r her nieces and nephews. there was an expensive divorce and he lost all the money so sarah felt you shouldn't givesh the people all the money just a trust fund to live on. so she did this for her nieces and nephews had stipulated in the well they would have a nice sum to live off but the hospital here in new haven is incredible. this is in 1916, she died in 1922. in the course of writing this
book, i e-mailed the director of the clinic and i asked her what distance the legacy made and she said that this astounding. it's the other diseases that her foresight and enabled people to be treated in this world-class facility here in new haven. to me that is so moving and gives them a message. she was clever and brilliant really enough legacy. she had done something much more sensible with it. to this day, they continued to request money for what we can only say he is a terrific cause. so i felt incredibly proud and also so sad that her life was blighted by grief. the mother myself of three
children, as a parent that is your worst nightmare and it doesn't happen very often but for them it happened all the time. it it was part of the fabric of life itself. we can think of her here but let us return to the theme of the decline and fall. so they built this fence. it is still a rural society but he for the first world war and for the first time in probably 30 years and a drop-off in 1912, he is married to the
sister-in-law and says why don't we bid for some government contracts. they said you can't make money from dealing with the governme government. so thomas has a son and the winchesteof thewinchester bennee mold. he's born into the gilded age and had listened as lessons asd speaks for an two-day hugely accomplished, talented, good looking, the richest kid in new haven pretty much got tears something about him that isn't quite right. ta
they talk about the nervous anxiety and about how he is highly strung out and they are worried about him and thrilled when he married the descendent e at yale. her father insisted she must marry him. [laughter] it was the equivalent of silicon valley billionaire today so she marries winchester and make the best of it but he's always a old and grumpy so there's a beautiful portrait of susan that was painted after they had one of their children.
in her diary because that's what you did, she would say winchester is a terrible ground. so there's something strange about winchester but we don't know what it is. we do know that he eventually dies of brain disease. susan says we met with a wonderful doctor that last seems to understand him so to me, for the treatment of people with addiction she's always talking about how he's in pain. wasn't painkillers, alcohol. some say he was never much good
after lunch. so there's something, he's at the helm and i have to give you this quote. he'd spent all these years writing and this is about 1912. when you get back looks to the flowers, coupons, paint deposit and instead of waiting around for the accounts when i stop to consider the short time left i'm impressed with the foolishness. jane writes back and assess step down from the company you've dedicated your life to. and of the war begins but the
used to make 400 every couple of days but they'r they are just gg into absolute overdrive and make 273 rounds during world war i. they make a fatal mistake and build new buildings and take out loans to do it. the americas come into the war and want a 10% profit built in but the cost of all material goes up, the prophets turns out to be not 10% and in the horrible financial position by
road, winchester bennett nearly dies of pneumonia and steps out so she has to return to the helm and there's nothing else to be done. there isn't anyone else but then after the war this is the way they these things work. it was rammed for reasons that are still unexplained and he decided that the vision was the right one. you need to make products that are as good.
much to his horror he always thought he was a madman. so he's making cutlery, washing machines, baseball bats. he's put in front of a projectet and they never open their wallets unless they had to. they started buying expensive stores on fifth avenue where supposedly they buy the winchester products but of course approves wildly things go from bad to deplorable and
surely enough then the depression turns up with exquisite timing and thomas then it dies before the inevitable and is both hideously enough by the brothers in illinois so that is the end of the family ownership. we go from rags to riches to bankruptcy in 1931 and the brothers were themselves tightfisted new englanders they let them hang their uncle they were just desperate to sell so they bought it for about $8 million which was basically nothing by the value of the day. they turned it around and brought it back but that marked the end of the family's involvement and for me it is tht
story of three men and oliver winchester, bennett and the rather mysterious winchester bennett and the stories of theof women behind them. then suzanne is married and winchester and these are the magnificent larger than life reasons i wanted to write the book it seems to me that history mirrors the history of america is a fascinating time through the first walt world for. i feel so privileged that you are interested in coming this evening so i would like to thank you for this opportunity and please if you have any questions there's a microphone here and i
will be delighted to answer as best i can. thank you.he [applause] bold who among you will walk up to the microphone? >> i couldn't have answered each talk to the? my talk. do you mind coming up for the viewers of c-span and booktv thank you for your patience and walking up there. >> do you know anything about the gardens and the things after blacks there was an extensive garden. >> you are the second person to mention it to me. thomas then it's like oliver winchester is a man that
collected orchids and had all of these fruit growing contests so maybe it was his house built and who designed central park. >> services and extended the garden. i don't know and i'm sorry, i feel inadequate. [laughter] if i was guessing i would say that would be the award-winning. the other thing i know this isn't where it was.
>> was there any kind oflationsp relationship between the winchester's and the colts? >> a lot of people would say that it was match fixing. it seems they had a gentleman agreement to keep out. they were all very competitive once the money was flowing in. >> anybody else? thank you. >> i'm pretty sure that it's now the divinity school that is next to the davies mansion which isl
the house. i got here late so you might have already answered a wide winchester leave the baltimore haven area to come here?k then >> baltimore back then was much smaller than new haven. at that point they had the railroad to more opportunity. he sold the business for a decent sum. >> i give many speeches because i used to run.
it was free labor and he didn't think because it was right across the border in virginia it was uncomfortable but to have free labor. they came later but they built c canal which is why he had a freight yard fight. >> and the ability to scale uple the workforce >> that was wonderful. you taught me something we didn't know. >> 44 years at the winchester and i render a [inaudible]
transferred. it takes care of all expenses if you don't have your own money. [applause] her father worked at thefather w cartridge factory and they paid for them to come down. they had housing, they set them all up and you hear about these robber barons but he treated his employees really well, had to be
bold. my wife published a building supposedly the daughter built the building. >> guest: not many bennett and winchester's lives there. >> it's built with the twod word beams. when i purchased it at all ready had worked.d we bro i brought them to a house the winchester is built. he got a big kick out of that. in that magazine you say it is quite clever so over this little
he called me back. i think it was 5-to be playedr them for several hours here is that it was an honor. a sports is mentioned. it was a community in the community. [applause] thanks for everyone that worked. as you probably know it's been turned into a luxury loft but it's fantastic to see the relatives of the people.
does anyone else have a question? the business records and the company's memorabilia. they ended being purchased by the buffalo bills center of the west. everything went there but i guess he thought this was a center devoted to the west and d that's where they wanted it to go. but yes, everything is there. do we have time for one more question may be or even an
observation. there is one more thing i wanted to say that i forgot which is starting the period after a, there was a little schoolteacher and civil rights activist and she actually advocated the use in self-defense and it was to defend themselves against the listened to speeches is that the winchester rifle deserves a place of honor.
[inaudible conversations] s. and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. sebastian mlby discusses federal reserve chair alan in his book, the man who knew and interviewed by alice senior fellow of economic studies at the brookings institution, and former vice chair of the federal reserve from 1996 to 1999. >> sebastian, wj, i'li