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tv   2018 Gaithersburg Book Festival - Eugene Meyer Five for Freedom  CSPAN  June 3, 2018 5:00pm-6:00pm EDT

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a behind the scenes look inside the obama administration. in frenemies, the new yorker's ken aletta looks at the impact of the digital age on the advertising industry. rob shank discusses balancing faith and politics in his book, "costly grace." and abc news chief legal affairs anchor dan abrams examines the murder trial that helped propel abraham lincoln to the presidency in "lincoln's last trial." look for these titles in bookstores this coming week and watch for many of the authors in the near future on booktv on c-span2. ..
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>> i appreciate you coming houston here today. i've one here when he weather is worse so it can be worse. i was really pleased to be the moderator of this group because whittaker and gene are waiting writing interesting because and they're friends of mine so i like to be on the stage with them. let me crow dues paula whittaker. chess worked for government agencies, web content, articles, health, environment and the education, work at the "washington post" as a foreign service officer in kosta costa rica.
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when her sons were two and six she went into free lance work and has been doing just fine at it. so there's hope. and we have -- she's a native of new london, connecticut, and i would let paula explain how she got interested in the civil war. paula whitacre. >> you heard theirs in connection with the civil war in my background but have been interested in local history. i am originally from connecticut. moved to alexandra and the 80s and local history becomes civil war history, so i had been doing some work for alexandra archaeology on the union hospitals in alex sandra and came across the diaries of a woman who has visits patients and that woman was named julia wilbur, and i came across an
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unknown person but somebody who had principles, who managed to act on her principles, and really do brave things and most important he, leave a diary of what he dade. she was in the abolitionist circumstances of frederick douglas and susan b. anthony and in 1862 she was having a family tragedy in a very depressed state, but she was asked to come down here in the midst of the civil war, and she seized the opportunity. some spent the rest of her life in alexandra and then washington during the civil war she was working for the rights of african-americans who had escaped slavery and come into alexandra. alexandra was union occupied during the war and if blacks came from slavery into the area they could remain free. that was her mission, that was her struggle for purpose.
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she then became one of the first generation offices female government workers at the patent office, worked for suffrage, and coming from very quiet backound, left a pretty momentous life. >> thank you. eugene meyer, grew up in long island in the suburbs and since january 2004 has been free lance writer. he work for three decades at the "washington post" as a reporter and an editor, he has had more than bylines at the "new york times." u.s. newsu.s. news and world reo been the editor of the quarterly b' nai brith magazine since 2009. his writing is closely connected to his love of history. likes to talk about where people
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live and work and travel and likes to write but the dynamic changes of cities especially. guess washington, dc. over his long career he has interviewed justice thurgood marshall, covered antiwar protests, spent jimmy cart's' presidential christmas in plains, georgia, and gone crabbing and oystering with marilyn waterman but the clink he has way speaker views the beats in philadelphia 1966. gene myer. >> thank you, will. i'm delighted to share the statement with by friends paula and will. one thing perhaps you'll note but the people that will mentioned, they're all well-known people, and -- but the people i write about in
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"fight for freedom" are not well known today and while undoubtedly you have heard of john brown, i would wager that few of you have heard of per perry anderson shields green, lewis herery and john anthony cop lean, the five many out of 18 that john brown led to harper's prairie in 1859 and i write but these men who are forgotten hidden figures, treat at footnotes and also about the world into which they were born and raid, and of course, their role in the raid, their families their lives, the aftermath, and their descend dentes -- descendents and their legacies which affect news our country today it start out on the journey with a small story in
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the "washington post" in 2000 when a plaque was being dated to perry abiderson as a cemetery mere fedex field in landover, maryland. it was board in the newspaper but made a big impact on me and in 2004 i wrote a much longer article about him for the post magazine. and during my research, i called a noted john brown scholar, steven oates, and i said why is so little written but these men, particularly john osborn anderson at the time, and actually written the only insider condition and was the sole survivor of the raid and has been tried dismisssively by other historians professor oatess says third little known about osborn anderson and the
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second reason is, frankly, racism. so i took it as a challenge and per sued the story, and osborn anderson had gone to canada after the fugitive slave act of 1850 and he worked for a up in calls the provincial freeman, published by marianneshed d cary, and her papers were at howard university. so i went there to see if there was more to their relationship but i found she had published really heart-wrenching letters of john copeland sent to his family back in overland, ohio, just above he was countied -- executed for his role in the john brown raid, and i thought the story has to be about all five thus born the idea of "five for freedom." a really important story from the past that resonates in the
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present, and i've sort of dedicated a lot of my career to writing about forgotten figures whose stories have not been told and i also interviewed descendents and found that how much the event, which seems ancient in history, is so much with is today. have that "five from freedom" i've made a small contribution to telling their story, and bringing down to the present day. >> thanks. really. so, i'm just going start asking some questions and please if you have questions, we'll try to get some time toward the end. i definitely want to ask the question but going back and finding people who have been obscured by history and bringing them up. >> seems to be a common theme. >> it's fascinating.
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i want to go back to before -- give us a little preface what these people's lives were like prior to their debt with destiny and their date with destiny is the civil war. so we're talking but the united states at a time leading to this war. >> so, julia wilbur did have more independence than many women. she was part of large family and the only single sibling of a group of ten. a dutiful daughter, but she grew up near rochester, new york, and that's significant because rochester did have a lot of the social reform movements of the time, fredrick douglas, susan b. anthony and she became involved in the grews and writes about teaching during the day,
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attending a lecture or meeting at night so she was exposed to these ideas. so, a group called the rochester ladies antislavery society was a group that, like many other relief groups in the north, were sending people down south to see what they could do to assist during this very tumultuous time of the way they asked her if she wanted to come she came on her own. she was 47 years old. no job description, notes sure what she choo woo do. just some letters of introduction and she had to figure it out. >> you mentioned about her independence. can you give us a little bit more but that? i find that aspect of her character pretty powerful. how was it that she gained that independence? obviously that large family. how did they come to call on her to sacrifice for them? >> well, she wasn't married. that was significant for the time. he mother passed away while
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giving birth. a large family so she was 19 at the time. there was many younger siblings to take care of. and basically that is what she did during her 20s. when i look back on her life, i think that really helped chart her course but because that was prime marriageable age to and married women did not have the independence and autonomy that some would have had. >> i recall julia was the third daughter and the elder two had recently been married. >> they were married off on their own. >> when her mother died she was the only one at home. >> yes. >> her father remarried and she didn't have a great relationson -- >> peyton place to the storm didn't get along that well. she writes in her diary but this so in the way her coming down here was as much for her own benefit as much as for nose who same down help. >> one of the people who is a
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central -- maybe not central but a key figure in both of the experiences you guys are writing about is fred rick doug douglas, how does he flay into this and the five for freedom coming to. >> frederick douglas and john brown knew each other. met in 1847, and brown tried to recruit douglas to his chatham convention in ontario when he had adopted the provisional constitution for the republic he hopes to establish in the appalachian mountains and dug has did not attend that. later on in 1858, douglass was living in rochester, and he hosted a man named shields green, who was an escaped slave from the charleston area, and it's unclear how he came to rochester, but he actually
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stayed with the douglass family for a few weeks and there he met john brown and learned about his plans. when john brown had recruited men to go with him to harper's ferry, he very much wanted douglass, wanted a national figure that would sort of elevate the effort a bit. so he convinced douglass to come down to chambersberg, pennsylvania in august of 1859, and meet with them and douglass brought with him shields green. they had a conversation cat thatted he weekend met at an abandoned quarry and douglass told john brown he was walking into a pen steel trap and would never succeed and didn't want to participate. then as the were but to leave he turned shields green and he said
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it's up to you. shields green said i believe i'll go with the old man, and he did. he went to harper's ferry and wasapred and subsequently tried, convicted and executed on december 16, 1859, and of course, there was some papers that were found in the kennedy farmhouse, which is a stage area for the john brown raid, that seemed to implicate frederick douglass so the governor of virginia sent marshals to rochester bring him back as a fugitive, and douglass went to england to escape capture there was a douglass connection with shields green as one of the five men i write about. >> so how but the other four? there is a way to kind of cover them just -- obviously julia has a moral purpose. what is the purpose of these others? >> that's a great question.
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well, four of the five were free persons of color, shields green being the exception. and we have such a nuanced history, and we tend to talk in terms of black and white, but these men all came from a racially mixed brown. so i insist they be referred to as african-americans in the subtitle and dangerfield nuby was born a slave. his father was white man in virginia and his mother was an enslaved woman with whom henry newby had several children, and he decide not own children's or his wife. they belongs to another slave owner. there came a time when henry nuby wanted to free them so with the other slaveowner's consent he took them to all ohio, and it was actually ohio supreme court decision that said once you set
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foot on our shores, you're free. so that's how dangerfield nuby became free and then became active in the unground railroad and then established other union were a woman named harriet, harriet general, belongs to doctor jennings in wayneton and brentsville, virginia. they had seven children by most accounts and her owner had fallen into hard times and was going sell her south, which i the worst thing that could happen because life in the southern plantations was much harsher, and so he joined john brown in the hopes that he could liberate his wife and their children. he didn't actually try negotiate an amount with are dr. jennings, and he had a very gruesome death. >> not able to fulfill his
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desire. >> tra dramatically, know. >> i understand the family did suffer a great deal. >> harriet had written three letters to him before the raid, and she said, dangerfield, please come and rescue me. you are my one bright hope and i have a chapter about the family called "one bright hope." who of the member came from ownerland, john anthony copeland had been enrolled in the college, and the other one was not a relative but by marriage, louis here leary and they were just men of principle, born free, and their families emigrated but because bag free person in north carolina was not a good position to be in. >> most of the states, if you became free you had to leave win a year. >> well, virginia had this byzantine black code that if you were free, you had to leave within a year, although you could voluntarily re-enslave
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yourself. and there are people actually did that so they wouldn't have to leave the state. that didn't affect any of these five, and just the final one, as born anderson was from west herselfers, pennsylvania, and his mother was suppose itsly scotch irish, redhead, and he was well educated and he followed marian shed d carry up to canada west and he was part of the convention of 1858 and of the 36 men participating in that convention he was the only one that went to harper's ferry, and they drew straws and depending on your point of view, he either won or lost. that's their story. >> to me it's fascinating. i want to kind of keep going so that we can get kind of further into the drama.
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so, i got one particular question. how did they all sacrifice themselves for the project of maintaining the union and freeing the slaves? i don't know who wantso run that but the idea of what did they sacrifice? we touched on that already. >> well, four of the five sacrifices their live us two were killed at harper's ferry, and lewis leary was cold as he was trying to escape across the send shenandoah river. he left his wife and young child abruptly. he didn't tell them he was going, and he was kind of a devil may care character, one photograph of him where he is wearing this broad rim hat and set tilted to one side, and two others, shields green and john
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anthony copland were captured and were fried, convicted and ultimately faces the gallows in charlestown, west virginia. >> did they have any means of communicating to people after word -- how they were feeling, what they were going through. >> john anthony copeland wrote copious alert from the jail, very affecting letters to friends, family, siblings, and when i saw the letter he had written that marian shedd carey has published. and he wrote about how the watched the sun rising over the blue rage -- blue ridge mountain and i will see you in eternity, and you read these letters and you want to cry. and they were so affecting, and so they were taken to the gallows, and ironically with two
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white raiders who had been convicted with enemy and sentenced to death with them, but they -- a ty were segregated in life, they were segregate gaited in death. the two african-american raider's executed first, and then the two white raiders, an hour after them, and it was a very sad situation. even the people of charltown or washburn were very moved by it, and i gave a talk to a group in charlestown that were trying to rennovate one of the washington family homes a couple months ago, and i gave it in a home that was bill right next to gallow and i said right out in your yard here is where the two men war hanged and i read john anderson's letters letters and s verifiable affecting and people said, i had noy. >> the letters are in the book, by the way, very powerful.
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it makes think of letterses that julie wrotek to rochester. >> a couple of connections of history, julia wilbur went to everybody's ferry in 16 and write about visiting spot, includingy they were hanged. she did know frederick douglass and recounts once he came back to rochester, he talk about miss experiences, deciding whether to good or not go with john brown, so i love how even though these are supposedly unknown people, we're finding all these connections between them. >> rochester and obelland, that vortex. >> julia kept a primary and that was the base of how i was able
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to enter her life. the original diaries were at the college. she kept two set owes die voice a lot of going through them. and also had -- not so much personal letters but letters she sent to antislavery colleagues when she was in alexandra so we can enter her life and see what she saw. >> can you tell us about what she saw? she is coming from the north, doesn't have much experience and is essentially in an occupied territory. >> so it's one thing when you have great idea, i'm going to help and you're in rural new york and get down to a war zone. alexandra was occupied by the younger but the beginning of the civil war to the end so just the center of -- thousands of soldiers, hospitals, logistics coming, going, and 7,000 people escaping slavery came into the city. so, she would be advocating for
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better housing, better hillary clinton, people were laboring for the government and for private family. they would do wages and the wages were always coming, scheme to take healthy african-american orphans and shove them interest a smallpox hospital because they didn't know what else to do with them. so who she had to be sort of protesting to was the union arm clerks union army was officially responsible free people affair us she had an important ally, woman north carolina harriet jacob, harriet was herself enslaved in north carolina escaped slavery. she lived in the rochester briefly and they met in 1863 so they together really became partner and allies in imbalance performing conditions. one thing like but a this is a was working on it was a black woman and white woman working
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together as partners and that did not happen that often in that time period. >> i don't mow as much but harriet from the book but as i understand she really did have a little bit more presence, little bit more popular awareness of what she was doing? >> well, she had written a narrative about her experience as a slave, called opinions dens in life of a slave girl "that is still available and i would encourage people to rationed one of the first slave narratives by a woman. she had already been down there once. so in that case she was maybe a little more familiar with what she was getting herself into. >> how bet the race relations? was there a big change in julie's awareness of race relations when she came down and started to deal with the former
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slaves? >> well, she started seeing -- i think up north it wassese to romanticize and think i'm going to be here to help. when she actually came down here, started hearing people's individual stories and experiences and seeing what she could learn from them and how she could help them. so became a much more nuanced experience, which is how it should be. >> so ath question that it had is, although obviously these are not stories of great triumph, what were the successes the five for freedom and julia could claim that's were in the middle of the thing? >> well, john anthony copeland, he as was being lets to gallows, said i have to die, i'd rather die for freedom, and of course, john brown raid on harper's
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ferry is cited at the catalyst that led to civil war led to emancipation and the 13th 13th amendment. so they can claim that. the descendents, siblings who fought the civil war, u.s. colored troops when they were mobilized in 1863, and one of copeland's brothers fathering in a white regiment in kansas and they were very light-skinned and were designated as white. and the first fatality of the st. louis police indian 1876 was a copeland, and he was also listed as white. he's actually on the police enemy in d.c. >> very interesting. so, julie, could she say she succeeded in any of the goals
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she had set for herself during those yearses in dak? >> i think she would say that. when she looked back on her life she saw ups and downs b found she accomplished a lot. >> so then what were the things she had to struggle against in maybe you sad the u.s. army was the occupying force, they were in control of the situation. who was she kealing with at the army and the army farmed it tout a -- >> well, the villain was a, quote, superintendent of contraband, suppose its the charge of free people's affairs in alexandra, and she described imbalance has bullies people below him and kowtows to people above him. and you start seeing, we know people like that even today, right? she was a civilian -- a small civilian woman, having to kind of go against the military powers that be. there's photographer i actually
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is in the book of the provost marshall's offers in alexandra and there's a gauntlet of men in front of it and i would see when she had to go to the provost marshall to make a request for file a complaint, oh, here she comes again but the persists and officially protested some things they had done. one person talked but -- hes a mires miss will burg but she is is a trouble. and interfering person. ... >> they these five men are treated as footnotes by historians for the reasons i've
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described, raise a racism primarily. at the time the governor received hundreds of letters seeking john brown's pardon or commutation or stay of execution and virtually no one champion the cause of the two african-americans were going to the gallows. i found that striking and it was only 11 request for competition and that came from a black group in philadelphia and they were criticized by other black movement because they were obsequious and deferred to what men did in negative terms. even at the time they were treated poorly and it's not surprising given the society
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which we live that they would be downplayed and they would be seen as the black people with john brown not as individuals with their own stories and lives et cetera. >> essentially because they took that action their lives were forfeit whereas john brown too get action and he was heroic. >> it is ironic even the antislavery organization that everyone was focused onth john brown and one of the raters who is executed, john cook, was politically well-connected in new york state so o he had advocates w for his life but otr than that there was nothing no one speaking for john copeland and very sadly after the execution john copeland's
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parents thought to get his remains for proper burial and governor wise wouot pert an african-american to go to the state or even allow a white person and they did send james madison rowe was a professor made an effort and was in virginia and the remains were what the medical college in westchester and when he arrived in returning the remains and so on but the students took the remains and refused to let them go. monroe went back and even in death they weren't accorded and that is in contrast with john brown whose body was given to his wife at harpers ferry and it proceeded north and not to the
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extent that lincoln but he was considered quite a hero and his burial was ceremonial and that was not according to the african-americans. >> what about the dominant who did escape the gallows? >> he escaped from harpers ferry and there came a time when the white rater with him determine there's nothing more they could do and there's some controversy that when they left but they did leave harpers ferry and went through the mountains and got almost pennsylvania and at that point they had sore feet so they split up and he eventually went to his hometown of carlisle, pennsylvania where he was under an assumed name but captured and returned to harpers ferry and eventually executed but osborne anderson managed to make it to new york and there was an
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african american merchant there named william goodrich who owned a railroad and he was in the underground railroad but also owned and railroad and he managed to get them on a train to philadelphia he changed close three times and went to see his father and he found his way up to northeast ohio and crossed lake erie back to canada west where he was observed that he appeared skeletal. he did eventually moved to washington dc where he worked as a messenger and contracted tuberculosis and died in 1872 at the age of 42 penniless and unknown and unrecognized in his own city until his death. then there was quite a funeral at the presbyterian church and the pallbearers included
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frederick douglass on and he eventually want up at the cemetery by fedex and -- >> the idea that they disappeared. julia and the fight for freedom once the war was over there was no historical moment anymore and so the men the question is how did they just recounted julia carreon? did she live official in life did she lose hope about race relations in the united states or reconstruction or anything likekeru that? >> she saw what reconstruction could have been pretty work for the freedmen's bureau after the war and started saying that the money and compassion was drying up and this feeling of we've done what we can so let's's w me
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on and she became involved in the suffrage. she was part of group of women who tried to register to vote in dc in 1869 and then became a government worker for patton's office for many years so her political stuff became more suffrage but she livedre her lie in the way she came down here and they maintained relationships with black and white women for the rest of her life. harriet jacobs were mentioned had firstho connected with her worked with in the civil war in alexandria moved out of the area to move back in in 1877 and remained friends for the rest of their life. she was able to live the way that she wanted to, i guess. maybe she not expected to way back on rochester farm. >> essentially, not much more in terms of helping former slaves
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but more -- >> i'm sure with individuals and families but not in terms of a fixed political movement. >> and she was in dc not virginia after the war? >> should visit and come back to visit and there was what had been a slave pen that is still standing on duke street called freedom house museum and it was used as a slave trading place before the war and used as a prison during the war and one point she talks about going back after the war and woman who has been enslaved was a caretaker of it and gave her of relic from the place and she writes how ironic the former slave is now ki o the bolt of the slave trading place and these are historic irony that she lived and realized that she was living. >> she must've felt good. she held onto that relic. >> yeah, that was a moment.
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>> i've been seeing john brown's body in the grave in my head all week and we've talked about this earlier in the week that there was a song in the story about john brown but there weren't the song in the story about the fight for freedom and i guess were getting to the point now where were talking about recovering that history and what is the purpose of recovering that history and what stories can we learn from them that apply. >> it's so important for us to know our history and the impact our history continues to have on us today. i was able to talk to number of descendents and the park service in 2009 marked the raid and in 1959 the centennial of that was a whitewash and the 350
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photographs taken by the park service there was not one person of color -- >> sorry to interrupt you but there was a number of african americans living in harpers ferry at the time. >> the college which was founded in 1867 for the education of formally enslaved people was a prominent part of harpers ferry for decades and it had closed after the integration of the supreme court decision in 1957 and it shut forever. by 1939 the school did not exist and in 2009 it was a totally different situation for the park servicee and changed the country elected the first african-american president and park service rangers reached out to the defendants so they were kindly give me a list of descendents and contact
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information so is able to reach a number of them helped people for this street and with the aftermath and the impact that the story has had on them in their life. it continues. i will mention one descendent of [inaudible] both of his parents went to a segregated high school in dc but they were light-skinned and moved north and passed it wasn't until he was 45 that he found out he was african-american. then he found out he was descended from [inaudible] and spent the last 25 years answering these x essential questions of who my, what am i? he shared his research with me and he brings it all together that we are still living this history and until we not only acknowledge but owner history we will never get past it. that's why it's so important, i think, to know the story. >> i thank you are right.
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how about julia? did you think of it as recovering history? >> i did. i also thought -- i title the book a civil right in an uncivil time. i feel that defined what she was trying to do. how could she lead a civil life and carve out what she was doing in a period of great tumult something that you continue to do the rest of her life. as i worked on the book i would think about what she would be doing today and how should be trying to lead a civil life in an uncivil time and i used it as a challenge for me personally and i hope as you read the book you will think the same. how can somebody who is not famous and not important and does not have power and wealth but how can they figure out what things they could do to make a difference. >> there is always something we can do to make a difference. i thought it might be time to open up for questions, if we
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have them. if you say it all try to repeat it. >> [inaudible] >> there's a microphone. >> we need the microphone, sorry. >> i gues guess a question for h of you in looking at the original documents in the manuscripts that he wrote were you amazed at eloquent they wrote in the 19th century? >> i was amazed. for small i was amazed that the penmanship was pretty good. one of the things i loved was that there was humor and sarcasm and ups and downs and when i would be pouring through pages i
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would just be transported into her world and that was a treat. >> well, i think there was a presumption of something that during this period the african americans whether slave or free couldth not write and one person asked me because i was talking about dangerfield in his correspondence with his wife, harriet, how could he write his response and how could he read -- that was a racist view of things but no, i was not at all surprised because the pros that i read of john anthony copeland spreaders were well written and the things that osborne anderson had wrotete to indicate an educated person and
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i was not surprised. it's important to see these people in full and not as a more uneducated black people. >> [inaudible]ck >> i was impressed as i would be by reading anybody who wrote well during that period. >> these are people who had a taste of freedom and understood what tk of freedom meant and so there was a powerful emotional moral quality to urgency to the writing. >> lewis when he was a little boy in fayetteville had private tutors and they were also schools for a free person of color and he attended those as well. these were not uneducated,
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unsophisticated people, with the expt o n shield green who is not educated and osborne anderson even in his book did not really make fun his speech but alludes to the fact that his words were jumbled. >> you mentioned [inaudible] as i believe i will go with the old man. that, to me, is more powerful and eloquent than a long letter. >> it is interesting because we talk about should we use the dialect or should we clean it up and in douglas recounting of his autobiography he says i believe i will go with the old man. and maybe that is what he heard but if you do that now in the quotes you get in trouble. that's an interesting aside. >> green jacket over here.
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>> you to have managed to unearth pieces of history that are buried in hidden for many of us, no matter how educated we might be. i'm wondering about how you -- where you found the richest pieces of resources and if you can talk about it and talk about the journey that those materials had to take in order to be preserved and protected until they found their way into your hands. >> wow. we need another hour. >> i will focus on the main resource which was the diary. as i mentioned she kept them for 50 years and they were in her family and fortunately for us one of her great, great nephews was professor at a college and he donated the diaries to the college realizing that there was
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import beyond the family confines. i'm sure she's writing them she did not realize she was writing for pterity in a matter expected posterity from all of us on a rainy day but she was conscious of that. you find little pieces of here and there and i see there will be some in the midst of papers one thing that was wow, and then there would be a lot of not so interesting stuff. it's keeping your eyes open and you never know what will come up. >> one of the first resources i used was the objective papers of governor weiss and the library of virginia they were on microfilm and to enter the library alone i had to spend
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several days reading them and they contain not just newspapers but photocopies of the letters of the group about from jail and some of which wereco marked censored that indicated they have not gotten that was one place and there was these moments you have when you do this research where i discovered another writer had a said that the copeland family had gone to new columbus indiana where they had gone to new columbus ohio and they give away the talked about meeting a farmer i went to the census records and there was no pennant in new columbus indiana but there was in the small town in ohio was also right on the t rir and they mentioned listening to a preacher that night and he was also at that town in ohio so i thought that is good and i will correct the record. also many references have been to john copeland junior but his
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father was john c copeland and he was john anthony copeland. little tidbits like that. i was fortunate to haveamilies provide information to me that the dangerfield and i did census work records and newspaper archives and tying these threads together. it was a great challenge and a great journey and also going to places we went to [inaudible] and [inaudible] and utah with a population of 162 reviewed the descendent. it was a great journey and it's a journey that continues. it is one that is essential. i'm glad that i was able to be
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part of it. >> thank you so much. jean ank eugene and paula, thanu so much. thank you so much for being here and have a great day. [applause] >> here's a look at authors recently featured on book tvs "after words", a weekly other interview program that includes best-selling nonfiction books and guest interviewers.
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>> whatever you talk about the left having some responsibility for the backlash that led to donald trump they get. we do not vote for this guy. and there is truth to all of that. i have been beating up the republican party and you and i have but you can't go around saying yes, all white people are racist andou can go around talking about how it is amazing how the white working-class blue-collar guy with joe lunch bucket was the centerpiece of the coalition from fdr up until the day before yesterday. that was when joe biden bragged about that and the votes came from and union guys --
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>> archie bunker was the democrat. >> the second they voted for donald trump they are all champions of white supremacist and all races. the day before the 2016 election the electoral college what was called the blue wall that they had the advantages and democrats celebrated it and the day it worked against him all of a sudden it's an institution of waste supremacy and the point i'm getting at is you can't demonize people forever and expect them to say i'm right, i'm horrible. what people will do is my dad was a pretty good guy and my grandfather fought in world war ii and my great, great grandfather he fought for the union in the civil war and why people did pretty good things in this country. you get defensive and that is what the normal human response.
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now we are seeing increasing numbers of white people identifying of saying that their core identity comes from being white. >> "after words" heirs on the tv every saturday at 10:00 p.m. eastern and sunday at 9:00 p.m. eastern and specific time. all previous "after words" are available to watch on the website >> thank you, brooks critics circle for this once-in-a-lifetime moment. lifetime. a lifetime of writing. how did that happen? well, for starters my father his field was sports medicine was the doctor of princeton football teams. when i was eight years old football jersey black with orange tiger stripes on the sleeves and the number 33 front and back was made for me by the
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same company that made the big guys uniforms. on saturdays i ran into the stadium and stood on the sidelines during the game and after they scored when around but in the goalpost caught the extra point. one november saturday a cold wind driven was drenching the stadium and i was miserable. the rain stung my eyes and i was shivering. looking up at the press box where i knew there were space heaters. [laughter] i saw those people sitting to drive under a roof and decided then and there to become a writer. [laughter]
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creative nonfiction is a term that is currently having it st stay. when i was in college anyone with those two words together would have been looked upon as a comedian or a fool. today creative nonfiction is the title of the course i teach, the college course i teach saying in college required to give the course the title and i named it for quarterly, edited and published at the university of pittsburg. the title asks an obvious question -- what is creative about nonfiction? it takes a semester to try to answer that but here are a few points. the creativity lies in what you choose to write about and how you go about doing it in the
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arrangement there which you present things in the skill and the touch with which you describe people and succeed in developing them as characters in the rhythms of your prose in the integrity of the composition and the anatomy of the piece -- does it get up and walk around on its own or the extent to which you see and tell the story that exists in your material and so forth. creative nonfiction is not making something up but making the most of what you have. or as my daughter jenny said last week it is not take me was. [laughter] finally, i would like to pay homage to the new yorkers whose particular interest in the potentialities of factual writing was a very lucky thing for me. he understood that this [inaudible] of creative work in time and the most concise summation of it i've ever
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encountered was his response to a question i asked him just before we closed my first new yorker profile and send it off the press. it was about bill bradley in college basketball and after all those one-on-one sessions with mr. sean discussing backdoor plays in the role of the left-handed, in the architect timing of the game while the new yorker magazine hurtled toward its deadlines i've said in wonderment, how can you afford to use so much time and go into so many things in such detail with just one writer when the this whole enterprise is yours to keep together. he said it takes as long as it takes. as a writing teacher i repeated that statement to do generations of students and if they are
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writers they will never forget it. it can take a lifetime. thank you so much. [applause] >> you can watch ts and other programs online about tv .org. >> you are watching a book tv on c-span2, television for serious readers. here is our primetime lineup.
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>> how is everyone doing today? [applause] that is a good response. you were a great audience. well, welcome to read emma's bookstore. when here tonight is your first time at read emma's or at an event here? welcome.


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