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tv   The Civil War  CSPAN  December 26, 2014 5:21pm-6:22pm EST

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the white man is bound to respect." it was indeed a new era. thank you. [ applause ] you've been watching c-span's american history tv. we want to hear from you. follow us on twitter @c-spanhistory, connect with us on facebook and, or you can leave comments too. and check out our upcoming prams at our website, and we'd like to tell you about some of our other american history tv programs. join us every saturday at 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. eastern for a special look at the civil war. we'll bring you to the
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battlefields. we'll let you hear from scholars and reenactors and bring you the latest historical forums on the subject nap's programs on the civil war every saturday 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span3. oliver wendell holmes jr. served in the union army from 1861 to 1864, and he was wounded three times in battle. next a panel of scholars looks at the impact of the civil war on the life of the future supreme court justice, including how his time as a soldier shaped his law career. the supreme court historical society hosted this hour-long discussion. >> good evening, everyone, and welcome to the supreme court. it's great to see so many people here for the supreme court historical society's second lecture of the 2014 leon silverman lecture series. the society was formed in 1974 by chief justice warren berger with the notion of promoting public understanding of the
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history of the court. and it does that in many ways, through lectures like these, 1yñ through the publication three times a year of the journal of supreme court history, and through the acquisition of portraits of the justices for display in the supreme court building. i'd also like to especially thank the society for its efforts to assist my predecessor, bill suter, and the curator's office in obtaining
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the portraits of all prior 19 clerks of the court, which have now been obtained for the court. and on behalf of all the officers of the court, i'd like to thank the society for all of the efforts they give to all of us. this evening we're joined by three distinguished scholars for discussion, the civil war and its impact on justice oliver wendell holmes. the moderator will be professor brad snyder, assistant professor of law at the university of wisconsin law school. he's the author of "well-paid slave: curt flood's fight for free agency in professional sports," and he's currently at work on "the house of truth" about felix frankfurter, walter lipman, and other progressives who lived in a dupont circle row house and formed a political salon in the 19-teens. review articles about justice holmes. tonight's panelists are james mcpherson and g. edward white. professor mcpherson is the george henry davis 86 professor
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emeritus of united states history at princeton university. he is a noted and award-winning civil war historian. his book, "the struggle for equality," was awarded the wolf award in 1965, and his book "battle cry of freedom" received he's twice received the lincoln prize, the first time in 1998 for his book "for cause and comrades," and again in 2009 for "tried by war: abraham lincoln as commander in chief." professor white is the david and mary harrison distinguished professor of law at my alma mater, university of virginia law school. he's the author of 16 books including "oliver wendell holmes, sage of the supreme court," "law and american history volume 1" from the colonial years through the civil war, and "the marshall court" and served as a law clerk to chief justice earl warren. i could heap more accolades upon all of the panelists tonight, but that would just cut into our time for discussion of justice holmes. so weather that, professor snyder, i turn the floor over to you. >> thank you so much. thanks so much for having us
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here. i'm delighted to have these two master historians here. i'm going to try to just get out of the way and let them be the stars that they are. oliver wendell holmes enduring fascination to lawyers and constitutional historians both historians of civil war and historians of the supreme court, and part of that was the huge impact of the civil war on his jurisprudence, his life, and his world view. first we'll have professor mcpherson speak about the civil war then professor white speak about professor holmes. professor mcpherson, the floor is yours. [ applause ] >> good evening, everybody.wó(fñ i'm looking forward to this discussion. everyone who knows something about oliver wendell holmes jr.ñ
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is familiar with the famous passage from his memorial day address in keane, new hampshire, in 1884. "through our great good fortune," said holmes on that occasion, "in our youth, our hearts were touched with fire. it was given us to learn at the outset that life is a profound and passionate thing. we have seen with our own eyes beyond and above the fields the snowy heights of honor, and it is for us to bear the report to those who come after us." is fire that touched holmes' heart was, of course, his service in the civil war two decades before he delivered this speech. at the age of 20, in 1861, holmes had been commissioned first lieutenant in the 20th massachusetts volunteer infantry. regiment, one of the best in the army of the potomac, and one that suffered the fourth highest
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number of combat deaths in the entire army. holmes twice came close to being numbered among those dead. from serious wounds he received at the battle of balls bluff in october of 1861 and at antietam in september of 1862. his third wound, a piece of shrapnel in his heel at the battle of chancellorsville in may 1863, appeared less serious at first but required the longest period of convalescence before he could return so to his regiment in -- well, actually to
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the sixth corps in march 1864. but then he had transferred to staff duty with general horatio wright. a safer post than as a line officer in an infantry regiment but one that proved more exhausting and dangerous than he had anticipated. on one occasion, he was almost captured. at the end of his three years' enlistment, holmes mustered out in july 1864 and enrolled at harvard law school. holmes' youth but therefore certainly touched with fire. and his experience in the war did, indeed, teach him that life was profound and passionate thing that could come to an end at any moment. as it happened, however, he lived another 72 years after the third of his civil war wounds. during those 72 years, he alluded to his war experiences on several occasions in conversations with friends but rarely in public. in fact, his memorial day address in 1884 was his first dd public reference to the war e!,0 since shortly after he had been mustered out 20 years earlier.
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thousands of books appeared about the civil war during holmes' lifetime, but he read almost none of them. he did not join any of the veterans' organizations like the grand army of the republic or the loyal legion of the united states or the 20th massachusetts veterans organization. he did not attend any of the many reunions of soldiers who wore the blue that took place during the postwar decades. he showed little passion or activism toward the issues of nationalism and freedom that had motivated his enlistment in 1861 and for which he had perilled his life for three years. during his time as a student at harvard college from 1857 to 1861, holmes had been an abolitionist. he was a distant cousin of wendell phillips, one of the most militant of boston abolitionists. holmes' best friend in college was norwood penrose hollowell, a fervent abolitionist from a philadelphia quaker family. holmes and hollowell formed part
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of the bodyguard in the winter of 1860-1861. they enlisted together in the 20th massachusetts after graduating from harvard when hollowell's anti-slavery convictions trumped his quaker pacifism. in february 1863, hollowell accepted a commission as lieutenant colonel in the new 54th massachusetts infantry, the first black regiment officially organized in the north. he tried to persuade holmes to take a commission as a major in this regiment where together they could help advance the cause of abolition and equal rights. holmes was not interested. hollowell went on to fight in the 54th, to command another
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black regiment, to work on behalf of black rights for the rest of his life, and helped found the naacp 45 years after the end of the civil war. while holmes showed little, if any, interest in this cause. holmes and hollowell drifted apart over the years, and holmes' circle of close friends during those years included few civil war veterans. if holmes' heart was touched with fire in the early 1860s, the fire appeared to have flickered and gone out in later years. or maybe not. perhaps the flame of commitment to a cause with a capital "c" had been transmuted into a commitment to a cluster of values described by such words as duty, honor, professionalism.
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holmes hinted at such a transmutation, and his next public reference to the civil war, 11 years after his memorial day address, when he spoke about the soldiers' faith at a ceremony at harvard to award him an honorary degree in 1895. "i do not know what is true," he
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said on that occasion. "i do not know the meaning of the universe. but in the midst of doubt, in the collapse of creeds, there is one thing i do not doubt, and that is that the faith is true and adorable, which leads a soldier to throw away his life ÷ in obedience to a blindly accepted duty in a cause which he little understands, in a kind of campaign of which he has no
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notion, under tactics of which he does not see the use." now, the point not whether holmes was right about the soldiers' lack of understanding. i think that most civil war soldiers did understand the cause for which they fought and had some understanding of strategy and tactics. the point is that holmes now admired the soldiers' faith not in an ideological cause but in duty and honor. by 1863, midway through his civil war service, holmes' closest friend in the armyxv>y
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true model, if you, will was no longer hollowell but henry abbott, who was actually a year younger than holmes. abbott's ideological convictions were 180 degrees contrary to those of hollowell and initially to those of holmes himself. abbott was a democrat, almost a copperhead, who was contemptuous of abolitionists, blacks, republicans, and abraham
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lincoln. yet holmes struck up a friendship with abbott that turned into admiration for abbott's extraordinary courage and cool professionalism under fire. abbott was a superb soldier, the best one in an outstanding regiment, whose death commanding the regiment at the age of 22 in the battle of the wilderness profoundly affected holmes. according to louis minand, and i think he's right, the example of abbott convinced holmes that nobility of character consists in doing one's job with indifference to ends, and, to rate the professionalism of a soldier higher than the may or may notes of any particular cause, or to return to holmes' own words, the highest value isu that which leads a soldier to throw away his life and obedience to blindly accepted duty, it's beyond my competence to evaluate holmes' judicial philosophy or to trace any kind of direct relationship between his civil war experience and his
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decisions as a justice on the massachusetts and then on the united states supreme court. but i think i can see a connection between the evolution of his mind-set as a soldier from idealism to pragmatism, a connection between that and the famous sentence, first sentence, in his book, "the common law." "the life of the law has not been logic. it has been experience." many of his decisions and dissents on the supreme court, as i understand it, reflected this pragmatism, reflected a willingness to allow state legislatures or congress to experiment with legislation that might or might not accomplish its purpose but should not be declared unconstitutional just because it may have violated some principle or precedent. as a justice, he could not conveniently be categorized as a liberal or a conservative. he did not really believe in the efficacy of many reform efforts by the progressives, but he did believe in allowing them to make the effort. "i was in a war too. and in a way there is only one rule -- form your battalions and fight." [ applause ] >> well, it's nice for me to be here as well. look forward to the discussion that follows.
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i think james mcpherson has done an excellent summary of holmes' civil war experiences, and i'm not going to repeat that. i do want to, however, suggest that the cumulative experience of the war for holmes left him with considerable ambivalence. first of all, he mustered out when his initial term of enlistment expired, and he did that after considerable soul searching. indeed, as late as month before he made the decision, he had written a letter to charles elliott norton talking about how he had been inspired by an account that norton had given of the crusaders, and he likened the participation in the war to a crusade on behalf of the whole civilized world, and then ended the letter by saying that he planned to reup, "it will not do to live palestine yet." but at the time he wrote the letter, he was to face the last of a series of harrowing experiences. chancellorsville and wilderness campaigns where the, as he put it one time in a reminiscence,
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the bodies of men lay six feet deep piled up in corpses as he rode his horse on a walk as he and finally, he comes to the realization that he just can't go back because, among other things, if he does go back, he's not going to be able to go back as an aide and a position that kept him largely out of the line of fire, but back into his infantry unit. and as he says to his mother,
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i'm waiving promotion and i'm going to -- not going to reenlist. the sufficient reason is that i can no longer endure the horrors of the line. and he said, i know i can face a thing coolly when it's my duty, but war demoralizes me as it would any nervous man. so he left, and he left with a fair amount of guilt. his comrades and friends like abbott had died, and he had survived, and he had left before the war ended. so i think one of the reasons that he doesn't participate in any of the ceremonies, any of the veterans ceremonies, any of the occasions making a formal remembrance of the war, is that feeling of ambivalence. and i also think that that's the source of a kind of romanticization where there was
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a crusade where he remembers the splendid carelessness of the soldier has in throwing his life away for a cause that he doesn't necessarily understand. at the same time, there's a good deal of private pride that holmes takes having been in the war. holmes in his late years, after he goes on to the court and after about the first decade of
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his service when he realizes he can do the work in a comparatively short time and yet it's a collegial body, so he has to kind of wait for his colleagues to catch up with him, holmes would -- the court conferenced on saturdays during holmes' tenure, basically 1902-1931. the assignments or the opinions would be dealt out after the conference on saturday. holmes would take his assignment home and produce an opinion approximately by tuesday. he would then ask the chief justice if he could do another one. he would volunteer to do ? n opinions that other justices were struggling with. chief justices had to rein him in pause of these tendencies. so, not being able to do the
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full amount of work that he would have desired, he turned to literature and he turned to writing correspondence, and in some of this correspondence with some of his intimate friends, he will note the anniversaries of his war wounds for particular battles. when he died and the contents of his house were surveyed, two items turned up. one of them was in a bedside table and it was in a little tiny case containing two bullets. and there was a little memorandum next to the bullets saying these are bullets which are taken from me in the civil war. in the closet in his bedroom were two uniforms, and two of the uniforms were pinned. these are the uniforms i wore in the civil war. this is my blood spattered on them. so there's a kind of secret pride in participating but there's also an awkward memory, which i think explains why he tends to emphasize in hi
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casualties of the civil war this soldierly ethos that professor mcpherson has alluded to. this is why he admires abbott, and his admiration for abbott is the other side of some self-loathing. he recognizes in the war that -- and he writes about this. he says, one of the things i
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learned in the war was that just because i was perhaps more educated than some people and possibly more intelligent than some people, i wasn't necessary lay better soldier. indeed, i was a deficient soldier in some respects. well, i think it's hazardous to draw much about his judicial
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career from these experiences. i think these were very important experiences in his life. and to be sure, for much of his life as a judge, he had another life which was extrajudicial, which involved correspondence and flirtations with women and a romance with claire castleton and affectionate relationships with his law clerks. but i'm loathe to suggest there was much direction of a direct kind between his jurisprudence and his civil war experience. one has to bear in mind that when holmes left the army of the potomac in july 1864, he was 23 years old. in the next 18 year, he would go to law school, be accepted to the massachusetts bar, begin with a law firm, became an editor and contributor to the
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american law review, edit the 12th edition of james kent's commentaries, and write a series of articles in the american law review between the early 1870s and 1880 on a variety of subjects, write the lectures that he delivered that became the common law, be appointed to the harvard law faculty and stay there for one year, leaving so suddenly that the harvard law -- that his colleagues on the harvard law faculty, including james bradley thayer, that had raised money far chair for holmes to take when he joined the faculty, he consulted none of them in accepting the position on the supreme judicial court of massachusetts. and they were thunder struck and
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they were outraged. and it took over 15 years before harvard granted holmes any official recognition even though by that time he'd gone on to become an obviously visible associate judge and then chief judge of the supreme judicial court in massachusetts. so there's a lot going on in those 18 years between the time he leaves the army and the time he first steps onto the bench. it's all a loss. it's a sampling of nearly every professional role that the legal profession presents and an immersion in it that was so extensive that on one occasion holmes was dining with henry and william james' family, and he brought with him to the dinner table one of these green bags that is a bag containing a manuscript that students used to use at the time, and he's not a student at this point, he's working at -- he's practicing law and doing academic work and he's editing commentaries. and he's got in the bag the manuscript of his editor. and henry william james' mother says, do you bring that bag with
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you to the table all the time? he says, oh, yes, yes, i do. and she then describes him as a powerful groove carved to narrow out a self-beneficial groove through life. a powerful machine carved to narrow out a self-beneficial - m mcphereson describes as his pragmatism, i don't -- i would find it hard to trace that to his civil war sfeerns. and with respect to his abolitionist, there's a civil transformation while he is in service. and it's, as professor mcphereson points out, it's away from abolitionism. he says later on that his heroes in the war were more on the
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confederate side. when he turns down the offer to join a regimen that would be composed of african american soldiers, he tells this to henry abbot. and abbot says i'm glad you didn't worship at the shrine of the great [expletive]. he's probably -- in an era in which the courts support for civil rights is grudging, at best, holmes is even less grudging. so if there was an initial enthusiasm for abolitionism, it
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dissipated in the war. i think the greatest impact of the war comes in this sort of double transformation that he made from the war being crusade to the ethos of the soldier's faith. and then it takes yet another turn. when holmes begins to do scholarship and be a judge, he it begins to wrap himself in a cult which is later called jobbism. the idea that you just do your job as best you can and leave it
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at that. there's a remarkable passage on the address that holmes makes on the 50 th anniversary of the harvard class, 1911 in which he says to the audience, something like 70% of that class faugts in the war. and he says i learned in the ren min and the class to hammer out as solid and compact a piece of work as one could to try to make it first-rate and leave it unadvertised. now, that's as good as
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kapslation as holmes' work. but did he learn it in the regimen? i think not. or, put it in another way, i think only in translation. thank you. [ applause ] >> okay, so my job here is really just to try to get this discussion going and keep us from going over 7:00, as i've been instrukted by the powers that be. but what i'm really interested in as holmes, a a justice, was considered a philosopher king. and people have sort of had a field day with his different philosophies. during the war, he made a transition from abolitionism to something else. and i think there's a disagreement about what that something else is, right? professor mcpherson said it was
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pragmatism and then professor white was resisting the idea, i think, toward the end, that it was jobbism. that that was sort of constructed later on. that that's not really what the war taught him at all.ú!7! i guess what i'm wondering, are these competing narratives about holmes' world view philosophy? are they mutually exclusive? contradictory? which sort of narrative do you buy most about how the war affected holmes' thinking. i see the consistency. i think that what he admired more than anything else was the
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kind of professionalism of doing the job right, getting things right. not exactly a perfectionism, but whatever works. and that seems to me the essence of pragmatism. one of his friends, close friends, william james, was the philosophy of pragmatism. and i think this admiration of abbot, the professionalism of abbot, the courage, the devotion to duty and to honor;xis real e replaced the idea of emotion to a cause. i don't see it at all as being
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inconsistent with what professor white described, either. >> i think we're talking about two related by different things. i entirely agree that the cult of jobbism is a translation of the ethos of soldier. i think that holmes gets it from that. he feels that he's trying to do his job the best way that he could in the same manner that abbot was trying to do his job the best way he could. but pragmatism, first, they'd have to get over to a letter that james published a book on rag matism.
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william james and holmes had been close in the 1860s. these are the days in which they were both participants in the metaphysical club. james went abroad to study medicine and came back and, in fact x he and holmes organized the club. and they have a lot of correspondence about philosophy. holmes is very interested in philosophy. in fact, that's one of the concerns he has. but once holmes goes to law school, he begins to separate himself from the james. and, indeed, from his college friends, generally. and he and william james don't have much contact.
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when holmes writes that letter, it's not a favorable review. it's an expression of holmes' skepticism about whether the pragmatism does anything as a philosophy. i don't think one can make holmes into brandize. but so you could probably say in some respects, brandise might have embraced pragmatism. but there's not a single line that i have found in holmes' papers and holmes' writings that identifies him with a specific pragmatic approach and i don't think it's consistent with his temperament. i don't think holmes is a mr. fix-it guy. i don't think holmes is a facilitator and an acome day xx.
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i think he's largely aloof. independe independent, he certainly wasn't much of a player as that term is used on the supreme court. he was very affectionately disposed and trying to persuade teem to take positions that would endorse holmes. holmes goes his own way. so i realized that i'm, perhaps, in a minority among the holmes' scholars. >> there's a book which i'm sure you're aware about the harvard civil war. and it by a historian named
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richard f. miller. and what he shows in that book is that it was really divided both along ideological lines and along class lines.[d'u so you have both of the offices being these sort of harvard gentlemen. you have german troops in the unit and then you have these nantucket whalers and some irish in the unit. and then there was the other division besides class between the abolitionists which holmes was at if beginning and sort of the non-abolitionists led by henry abbot. and i was just wondering if you thought -- did that change holmes' ideas about class? and difference? here's someone who befriended a lot of people, you know. he sort of was accepted of people of all different sort of religions and nationalities.
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i just wanted to know if you thought that had any influence. >> i think his experience in that regimen certainly democratized his attitude, social attitudes in many ways. i think he came to admire courage and all of these different groups, the whaling of people from nantucket, the german americans from boston, the irish. this was a tough regimen. at the same time, i think the harvard cast of the officers, the cast to some degree, not all of them were harvard men, but many of them came from the upper middle class of bostonians. they forged a relationship of respect and deference partly
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because they demonstrated their skill and leadership. and i think that's what forged the regimen into such an though one would not originally see this as a promising mix. but it turned out to work very well. and i think that probably had something to do with holmes' sense of, you know, professionalism. >> there's no question when holmes enlists, he thinks this is a class contribution. that he thinks it's a kind of no bless oblige on the part of him and his parsellian colleagues at harvard to go out and fight for this particular cause. that's why the term, "chivalry"
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comes up. this is the 19th century version of knights of the round table and holmes is conscious of this. it's really hard to think of him as a democrat he is, afterall, the author of a letter in which he says i loathe the thick-fingered clowns who are the people. but as i said earlier, better soldiers that are dealing better with the stresses of war than he is.
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i athink that's important. now, again, this is a label that people have associated with him, tolerance. with respect to holmes' tolerance, it's often cited that he had close friendships with people who were jewish, or that were chinese. he has a love-hate relationship with his own sort in boston. when he goes on the court t e court of massachusetts, they're not regarded from the solid. they're a little too intellectual. there's a quote from the senator who opposes nomination.
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the strategy is to bypass the senior senator for the massachusetts when henry cabot lied and theodore roosevelt decided to appoint holmes to the court. how is the senior senator going to say no to that? but he writes a letter and says i think there are a lot of solid oak timber in the massachusetts bar and i wonder if carving a judge out of ornamental ivory would be better. so there's a sense. and then there's the famous
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colloquy between addison the -- the flannel tlo 3is, turned-philanthropist after the soldier's faith. holmes runs into addison and addison says i read your speech. i don't like it. it's bad morals and bad politics. there is a sense holmes writes after he's nominated to the federal court. there is a sense that holmes believes the sort of solid citizens of boston think he's just not reliable. that he's too intellectual. that he's too ornamental. he resents this. he doesn't have intimate friends drawn fra the group.
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but his intimate friends fall into two groups of categories. there's some flirtation early in their lives and now they're just friends. he has long correspondence with women. >> the others are intellectual affinity with. if you write him and you show evidence that you've paid attention to issues that holmes is interested in and whether you're john h.woo or frederick
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pollack from a very different background, holmes is happy to engage with you. he's happy to talk to you about anything that interests him. this is a very different kind of intimacy. it's the intimacy of the correspondence relationship. there's this story about lasky five or six years into the correspondence. lasky proposes that they call each other by their first names. they've been writing my dear holmess my dear lasky. he sends him a letter and signs
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it peril. he writings back my dear lasky. that's all i'll say. >> i just wanted to get your thoughts on was holmes at steven's con fed rat troops approaching washington, d.c. and are his quotes about telling likon get down, you damn fool. i wanted to get your thoughts on that. >> here's what we know for sure. >> some sol swrer told him to get down. he may have said get down, you fool. he may have said get down you damn fool. but we know that somebody did
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because lincoln told john haye about it that evening, that some soldier had roughly told him to get down and he recorded it in his diary. we don't know whether holmes was there on the 11 et. we do know that holmes was there on the 12th. i would like to believe that it was holmes on the lhjñ11th who lincoln to get down. but we don't know that for sure. >> i have reason to doubt that it was holmes for two reasons. holmes talked to his close
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friends about particular experiences he had in the civil war. he talked to his law clerks about them. and when he would remember the days of wounds, he would sometimes make other illusions to things. and he did write a letter that demonstrates, as jim has said, that he was at ft. stevens when lincoln was there. but he says nothing about any incident involving people telling lincoln to get down, you fool. and that is a little cure yousz. holmes was very far from being someone who wanted to embellish his participation in things.
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and, so, i think it's -- i think if he had on that occasion said get down, you fool, to lincoln and he would have sitmply said did that. he would blt have mentioned it prominently, but he would have mentioned it at some point in his life. the other thing is that the source of the story was harold lasky. and lasky was a notorious embellisher. and there's no other account for the story. i'm inclined to put this one in the same category as the story when daniel webster made his argument in the dartmouth
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college case, there were tears in john marshal's eyes. it's a good story and somebody tells it at some point in the history of writing up these incidents. and it's too good for people not to repeat. i just need to say it happened. >> i wanted to talk about holmes' view of lincoln.k&uñ when people asked him about lincoln later on, he didn't really putly con in the great man category. and i'm cure yougs as to why you thought that. i don't really know the answer to that question. he did vote for lincoln in 1864. he did in 1860 because he
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couldn't yet vote in 1860. one might have thought that i think his father, oliver wendell holmes senior did. and it may have something to do with a kind of skepticism with which he emerged from the war about so much of everything. >> well, he comes out of the war with a very strong sense of what a mess, the campaigns were.
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really, the experience of the potomac would have confirmed that. he sees people randomly shot. he gets randomly shot. he sees people run to their desk because somebody gives them the wrong order. he never has any sense of what the general plan of the war is. so he may have associated with the war and thought it was pretty much of a cop out and partly blamed lincoln for that. he has a much more ambivalent
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attitude. he wrote a lot of affectionate tributes to people on their deaths or remembering them and said some nice things about them. but fulsome praise was not his me say. so i can imagine him having some increasing depatchment. hiscapitalized on his wounds. i know you can make too much of this sort of edible struggle to escape his father's shadow. i i don't mean to be that productivist. but do you think this created an
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else strangement or at least put a distance between them that his father, who was an ardent abolitionist before and after the war and holmes wasn't an ardent abolitionist by the war that this sort of caused some strain in their relationship. >> could well be. >> i think he probably did have this kind of ambivalent relationship with his father. on the one hand, it was a close relationship. on the other hand, clearly an ambitious young man is going to try to escape from the shadow of a very prominent father, especially as he's moving into a different kind of profession. >> i just wanted to get your take on this. you can't really talk about holmes during the war without talking about his relationship with his father.
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>> first of august, the generation of holmes' parents, holmes' fathers, they were not -- holmes' father was not an abolitionist at the time the war broke out. so in some ways, holmes' group is making a statement by enlisting that. but i think holmes resented the my captain article. if you can imagine the circumstances, he's in his second wound. he's returning from the battle. his father comes down to meet him and is writing about my trip with my son. so don't forget, even though he's a returning civil war veteran, that he's my son. and i think holmes did not appreciate that.
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going into law is a way of >> on that note, i commend you for a remarkable panel. please give them a round of applause. [ applause ] >> you've been watching c-span's american history tv. follow us on twitter at cspanhistory. connect with us on facebook or you can leave comments, too. check out our upcoming programs at our web site, >> we' e'd like to tell you about some of our other american history tv programs. join us every sunday at 8:00 p.m.'s fern e tern for a essential v special look at the presidency.
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>> here are some of our featured program you'll find this holiday weekend on the c-span networks. supreme court justice elen elena kagan at princeton university. >> on c-span 2, recent magazine senior editor david root on the long standing battle of judicial restraint.


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