tv 1865 Person of the Year Robert Kenzer on Abraham Lincoln CSPAN April 3, 2015 3:02am-3:50am EDT
thor ryan kessler. he's written 20 books, including sins of the father and the first family detail. and on american history tv on c-span 3 saturday at 8:00 eastern. east carolina university's charles calhoun on the obstacles faced by ulysses s. grant. and at 6:00 patrick schroeder takes us on a tour of appomattox courthouse the site of the of confederate surrender. each year time magazine selects a single person who had the most influence on events during the prior 12 months. if the same question were posed in the year 1865 who would "time "time" have selected for their
recipient. next robert kenzer nominates abraham lincoln, citing lincoln's influence in the amendment that eradicated slavery in the oustu.s. this is about 45 minutes. you'd like to congratulate all of you who voted for the virginia ham sandwich as the sandwich of the year. i had one of them, and mine was not the deciding vote, i want you to know. our next speaker is robert c. kenzer. bob is the william benford vest chair of history at the university richmond, where he has taught for almost 25 years. for most of those year he has been the ally for the lecture series which we do each year jointly with the university of
richmond in september. like will green, bob has a bill cooper connection. bill studied under the late david donnel at john hopkins university. bob was also a david donnel student, although a few years later at harvard university. he teaches a wide variety of classes for the university of richmond, including several on aspects of the civil war in film. his research interest for many years has been civil war widows. he is currently researching a biography of a british-born civil war widow, elizabeth louisa knights harris. please help me welcome bob kenzer to the podium. [ applause ] >>before i begin my talk, i have a question for everyone in the audience. i want to do a little poll.
how many of you this is the fifth of the five talks you've been it toto. i know one gentleman. maybe half of you have been to all five. okay. how many have been to four? including this one obviously? four. three? two? and one? okay. well, it just shows that you've been here before of the you've gone through the cycle. i begin with that question, oh, by the way, i have to tell you as you can see, i'm the fourth person who's speaking today. originally, i was supposed to be the third person, but we changed the order a little. i have to wonder about conspiracies. [ laughter ] >> the fourth person has never been successful. [ laughter ] the fourth person comes after lunch. when your blood sugar is, you
know, a little different and whatever. so i, i haute i would do something a little different, at least at the beginning of my talk, to get your attention and that is instead of talking about my subject, i'm going to talk about you. so listen carefully. when i began thinking about what i would stress about the individual who i'm going to nominate today as person of the year for 1865 abraham lincoln, i started refreshing my thonl of lincoln in 1865. this really wasn't difficult for me, because i actually teach a course at the university of richmond solely devoted to lincoln. though it was easy for me to come up with a number of issues to be convincing i hope, about lincoln's worthiness as person of the year for 1865 as a historian, i thought i should do historical research on all of the previous four person of the year events. this involved my watching on
c-span, the website, the 20 previous speakers' presentations to see what worked. as most of you know since many of you have been here all four times, the majority, yes, i've seen andy y seen many of your faces on c-span. some wide awake, some enthusiastic, any way, the winners have been 1861, abraham lincoln, '62, lee, 63 grant, 64 sherman. i have history on my side because all the previous winners were men. indeed, men with beards. [ laughter ] and three of them were on the union side. now you might think that having lincoln winning in 1861 is to my advantage today, but i'm not so sure. there might be a collective
preference on your part to spread out the distinction and go with someone different each time. further, although grant and lee won in 1862 and 1863 i should say lee and grant won in 1862 and 1863 respectively. last year when gary gallagher nominated both of them, you rejected it. my point is that you've been a very discriminateing group who really seem to determine howly cast your vote based on the presentation. and i compliment you for that. remember i complimented you. [ laughter ] further, you are not sympathetic for voting for someone just because they've lost before, as robert crick found out when you voted down his nominee stone wall jackson for both 1862 and 1863. by the way of note i'm up here as bob kenzer, not robert
kenzer, because i figured that's a bad streak to try to continue. [ laughter ] indeed. so your reaction about jackson in '63 and patrick claiborne in '64 gives me concern as it does not appear that you're sympathetic to anyone just because they died the year of their nomination as lincoln did in '65. you folks are so tough that two years ago when it was noted that the speaker had delayed his honeymoon just to come to richmond to nominate lord russell, you gave poor thomas virtually no sympathy for his sacrifice. one only wonders how that marriage has worked out. given my pro pence its to count i was interested whether there was some correlation between the time they made their speech
whether it influenced your vote. as you can see on the overhead there's an enormous range of minutes. i was counting today. everybody stayed at about the mid-30s. i only conclude, i only include the actual nomination speech, not the question and answer segment, the least time used as you can see was it25 minutes. and the most was 58 minutes. no one has ever won with a majority as lincoln knew only too well in 1860. as you can see, the four speakers who won the plurality of your support you do not seem to be persuaded by how long the case is made as much as what is basically pointed out in the discussion. i must say that all numbers that i have up here now are out the window, because we were told as of thursday, that we were not
permitted to go over 40 minutes. so you do some stuff and it doesn't matter in the long run. now, turning back to the case i make for lincoln. i want to stress that i would not want to alter the vote, even if it would convince you to vote for lincoln this year. i thought four years ago, when jack davis mom mated lincoln for 1861 he did a wonderful job. you may remember how he referred to the genealogy website was used, figures used most in newspapers. lincoln's name appeared more than 25,000 times in 1861 nationwide. far more than jefferson davis 9900, george mcclelland, a thousand.
beauregard, and jackson. even in just southern newspapers, lincoln's name appeared twice as many times as all the other prominent names combined. as jack stressed then, when people were speaking and thinking about events in 1861 abraham lincoln was on their mind more than any other person, whether they liked him or not he was who they thought about. jack made that case and very effectively. and again, while i'm happy that jack made his case for lincoln no in 1861 in hindsight i hoped that one of the speakers would have taken an approach more similar to james robertson as he did inf '61. he nominated the virginia volunteer. i think the better would be the johnny reb collectively. it they decided how the war would take place, how they would participate in it and how it would eventually end.
my task today is somewhat easier. we can turn this off now by the way, so it's not a distraction. my task is somewhat easier than that of the other four speakers, because while i'm covering the same period of time as them, i have to touch on steven spielberg's film lincoln. as you surely know what made 1865 such an important year for lincoln was first of all that he had been relengthed in november of 186 had4 and his share of the vote was significant. further, between 75 and 80% of the soldiers voted for lincoln rather than george mcclelland it appears those on a daily basis who were making the
greatest sacrifice felt strongly about having lincoln as their commander in chief as he and they tried to bring the war to a conclusion as rapidly as possible. lincoln's election in november placed him in a much stronger position entering 1865. after all, if he had lost whatever. not only did it allow him to reshape his cabinet as he wanted, but it gave him the opportunity to request that the house of republicantives reconsider passing the amendment ending slavery. while on april 8, the senate by a vote of 38-6 had amassed the necessary two-thirds vote for passage of the amendment which would be since to the states for ratification, the house of representatives, 98-65, through their 98-65 vote taken on june 15, 1864 failed by 13 votes to meet the two-thirds requirement. with some justification lincoln believed that since the passage
of the 13th amendment had been presented as part of his campaign that his large victory justified the house of representatives returning to this topic. in his message to the congress on december 6 -- oh, i should emphasize, the president at this time did not go before congress and give speeches for the state of the union. they sent it up to congress and the clerk of the house would read the speech. so lincoln doesn't actually appear. i don't know if that was true for jefferson davis or not with the confederacy. inasmuch as the congress lincoln urged congress, there is only a question of time as to when the proposed amendment will go to the states for their action. and as it is to so go at all events may we not agree the sooner the better. what lincoln was conveying here is that the newly elected congress, the one that had been elected in november when he was elected, the newly elected congress, the republicans would hold far more than two-thirds
majority in each house. when they sat in december, beginning, would begin to sit in december and they would pass legislation anyway. so he was appealing to democrat whose had voted against the amendment, many of whom had been defeated in november that they should now change their votes. in the film it almost appears that his trying to get the amendment passed was a secret. mary todd was shocked. sally field had not read her husband's address to congress. now as most of you know, lincoln faced a crisis from the right side of his party led by the blair family's francis preston blair senior or hal holbrook if you like, as well as his son montgomery who had served as lincoln's postmaster general until he was dumped in 1864.
the blairs influence over conservative republicans was critical to lincoln and the house, because lincoln could not afford to lose a single republican as he tried to change the votes of democrats. hence, when the 73-year-old senior blair told lincoln that if he wanted to get passage of the amendment lincoln would have to allow blair to go to richmond and see if there was a possibility of ending the war through negotiation. lincoln, who of course had been rejecting calls for negotiated peace for years, knew that such negotiations would never go anywhere, because first, richmond would not just reject the emancipation proclamation but surely a new constitutional amendment and second and more important, lincoln was convinced that richmond would not agree on even the more essential requirement that the confederacy would have to accept that as returning to the federal fold. what the spielberg movie most
effectively deals with is not just how lincoln and william seward were able to shift enough votes of democrats, but how they had to keep secret the result of the blair mission to richmond. that the confederates had now dispatched commissioners vice president alexander stephens, robert hunter and john a. campbell. initially to city point virginia to communicate with grant. he was to communicate whether they were truly interested in negotiating. again, as the film makes clear, just as it appeared that lincoln and seward had gained the necessary democrat votes in the house, word leaked out and was exploited by the democrats that confederate commissioners were making their way to richmond excuse me, to washington. the result was even that some moderate and conservative
republicans would not proceed to vote on the amendment as they felt doing so would be detrimental if the confederal commissioners were about to arrive in washington. this, of course led to the famous rush up pennsylvania avenue by seward's attendant and lincoln's young secretary with james ashley's question whether the rumors of the commissioners arriving in the capitol were true. as you now, lincoln responded in his very carefully crafted way, so far as i know there are no peace commissioners in the city, nor are there likely to be. of course at that moment, those commissioners were detained in it private, by general grant at city point. the result of lincoln's denial of their arrival was that on january 31, the house passed the 13th amendment by a vote of 119-a 119-56, as well as every republican and 16 democrats
supported it. lincoln's response to the vote was the famous phrase that the amendment is a king's cure for all the evils. in the movie although the statement is not made by lincoln after the passage of the amendment he used the term "cure", twice when he met with ashley seward and blair. the movie focuses on thaddeus stevens who takes the original copy of the bill and embraces it as he reads it in bed with his housekeeper/mistress lydia smith. i believe lincoln's calling the amendment's passage a king's cure has to meanings. one, it was cure for what had been a near-lethal disease for the nation. two, the amendment was something of a cure for lincoln as its passage freed him as he now could claim that emancipation was no longer in his hands. that congress had passed the amendment and the states were ratifying it. in other words, he could no longer be criticized for
refusing to nudge on the issue of emancipation to gain peace if he met confederate commissioners, because it was out of his hands. less than a week later lincoln along with seward met with the three commissioners on the river queen at hampton roads. clearly house passage of the 13th amendment placed lincoln in a much stronger position. he knew that the confederate leadership would never agree on emancipation. they used the occasion to fragment the confederate state. his strategy was to undermine the confederate o government and fragment the confederate state. this is where the film and history part company. in the film, it is alexander stevens who raises the issue of the passage of amendment at the outset of the meeting. in reality they learned about
it when seward surprised them by stating that just a few days before it had been passed. indeed, the movie ignores the fact that lincoln then told steve ps, quote i'll tell you what i would do if i were in your place. i would go home and get the governor of the state of georgia, steven's state to call the legislature together and tell them to recall all the state troops from the war, elect members of congress and ratify this constitutional amendment prospectively to take effect in say, five years, such a position would be valid in my opinion. while the commissioners rejected this idea it does raise the question whether lincoln given all his efforts to gain passage of the 13th amendment weeks before was actually really backtracking. the movie ignores this fact because the implications would have been hard to explain fully, given the brief amount of time devoted to the hampton roads conference. it's about 2% of the film.
again, the biography of lincoln speculates as folse, lincoln's remarks about the course that lincoln should follow. the realization that slavery was already dead. the principle concern was that the war might drag on for another year. the purpose was to undermine the jefferson davis administration by appealing to those followers mentioned in his annual message to congress in december '64. he wanted to raise their hopes, if necessary through a campaign of misinformation. clearly, the three confederate commissioners would have an easier task in persuading other southerners to lay down their arms if they promised that at least the remnants of slavery could still be saved. and i should add for some period longer. donald points out that stevens and hunter recall that lincoln also followed this up at hampton roads by pledging he meaning
the nation o, would be willing to tax for their slaves. both the north and south shared culpability for slavery's existence. given the far weaker state of the confederate military in 1865 this pledge now had far greater significance. lincoln's rationale was that whatever the nation paid as compensation for slavery to end the war as rapidly as possible, the amount would be less in dollars than what additional months of fighting would cost. it was kwosting about $3 million a day. as evidence that he was sincere about this idea when he returned to washington to inform the cabinet of the events at hampton roads he asked to endorse the idea to appropriate $400 million to be distributed to the southern states in proportion to their slave
population, half of which would be paid on april 1st if all resistance to the national authority ceased and the remaining half by july 1st provided that the 13th amendment was rat pieifyiedratified. every member rejected it arguing that congress was too close to ending its session to deal with the idea. while the film omits the compensation offer, i believe the offer itself ties in closely with what lincoln expressed in his second inaugural address nearly a month later on march 4 1865, in which he surely had to be thinking about during the hampton roads conference. i will not narrate his second inaugural address but stress that his words, let us not judge that we not be judged in reference to slavery suggests that a month before he was proposing, he would not be looking to place blame on the
confederacy confederacy. lincoln may have favored this blame-free atmosphere because of events two weeks earlier when congress failed to pass a reconstruction bill. for 15 months, since december of 1863 lincoln had made his soft reconstruction plans public. he insisted that louisiana have fulfilled these terms a position radical republicans rejected. the same member who led lincoln's floor efforts to gain passage of the 13th amendment tried to come up with a compromise that would please radicals as 2012well as moderates and conservatives. as the plan for all of the other states, this formula really was not only more severe by setting what most felt was an impossible
50% threshold, but its inclusion of an iron-clad oath now required finding 50% of the residents of confederate states to swear they had never ended their allegiance, an impossibility. further, ashley's bill called for black suffrage, something lincoln was in favor of. lincoln did not actively work with ashley on the reconstruction bill at the same time he collaborated with ashley on the 13th amendment. as a result of ashley as failure to get a two-thirds majority for any form of the reconstruction bill he proposed, congress was unable to come up with a reconstruction bill before the session ended. thus, lincoln would have a free hand over reconstruction until the new and more radical congress convened in december of 1865. so basically, they had nine
months to work this out on his own. in other words, lincoln had shown in the 13th amendment that sometimes presidents need to do virtually everything they can to get something accomplished. but in the case of the reconstruction bill that sometimes it's best to do nothing and let the course of events proceed on their own. besides juggling the 13th amendment, the concern that confederate commissioners were descending on washington the hampton roads conference, the failure to agree to a reconstruction bill, writing one of the most famous inaugural addresses, lincoln had to think about the actual fighting going on in virginia and the carolinas. now to his credit, lincoln had made this tech aspect easier by putting generals grant and lee in charge, and largely allowing them to run their armies without his constant interference. lincoln always proved to be a better political leader than a military commander in chief. i will not speak to the military
importance of this, since the last two years of plurality of you have acknowledged the success of lincoln as decision by voting grant person of the year. the many challenges lincoln faced in 1865 likely would have been envied by jefferson davis, compared to the problems davis was facing in the confederacy or what was left of it. the difference was lincoln met his challenges, most noteably getting the 13th amendment ratified. what is interesting is that jefferson davis concurrently was trying to also get the confederate congress to consider allowing african-americans to serve in the confederate army which likely would have led to these solders' emancipation. however, whether in the long run it really head any difference davis found it near impossible without robert e. lee's eventual
endorsement to get the congress to move on this measure. by then it was surely too late to gain any military or perhaps more importantly, diplomatic benefit from this move. now that i've raised the obvious comparison between lincoln and davis, i want to raise what my students always propose to me about what made lincoln different, not just from davis but from all his northern contemporaries. in answer the question compared to davis, i tend to agree with the ideas presented by brian dirk lincoln and davis, imagining america 1809-1865. he contends in order to understand how they acted as presidents, we need toe recognize the different world view in which he grew up. he uses german phrases to describe these. one described as community and
suggests a mind-set in which individuals place great importance on the common on mores about what constitutes responsibility of members of the collective group and each other. those who emphasize this place strong emphasis on personal relationships, vopg families and collective morality. those who have the other view, they are not expected to share tradition or other common interests as they can work together to achieve those goals they have in common and work with others to achieve those goals they share with other groups. there is less individual loyalty to society as individual views society as shifting coalition interests. how does this world view relate to lincoln and davis as presidential leaders and how does this relate to lincoln's role in 1865?
dirk suggests that where davis represented one side, lincoln represented the other. they emerged and shaped the conflict itself. according to dirk there are these two very different views that shaped their leadership as davis believe thad a national agreement confined the confederacy. as part of this mentality, there should be no questioning of the sacrifices which were expected of individuals even in that included perpetual war. indeed according to dirk, davis believed that war would forge the confederacy. that it was a necessary good as it best encouraged the confederate unity. he talked about how it might last lifetimes but since all southerners shared their common bonds they would be willing to
make the necessary sacrifices. for davis the war was good and necessary. lincoln never accepted the positive value of war. he did not believe that war in itself would have a positive outcome beyond of course, reuniting the nation. the difference in perspective led davis to vilify northerners who he saw as the other, less than humans who could only be dealt with by warfare. lincoln, by contrast, never accepted the sense of the other that southerners were an enemy. he continued to view southerners as americans and looked to a future in which they would peacefully again, be part of the union, never-ending warfare would only impede that possibility. as president each man, each president showed these cultural and personality traits. lincoln assumed rightly that the union was divided and practiced conciliation and compromise.
davis assumed wrongly. while i think that dirk's interpretation has a great deal of value for comparing lincoln and davis as presidential leaders, it doesn't totally explain lincoln's differences with many northerners and republicans in 1865. when i answer my students' question about these differences, i encourage them to think about lincoln's life before he was elected president especially his law career. while lincoln was not unique that he was a lawyer the nature of his law career reveals a great deal about him in 1865. he became a lawyer not by going to college and law school and passing a state bar exam. he did not receive the equivalent of a 6th grade ed case as he cation. he was self-taught. however, he learned the law by reading for springfield attorney jon stewart, later his first law
partner as well as watching the law in practice. once a lawyer lincoln served in more than 5,000 cases during 25 years. it may be actually closer to 6,000. while lincoln and those are just the cases that he took. it doesn't include probably the three to four times more cases he didn't take. yes, he actually was doing an average about 300 case a year. some years 500 cases a year. while he participated in a very small number of significant cases, most dealing as you know with the railroads, the vast majority of his legal career dealt with some of the most petty aspects of life. bankruptcies, property disputes trespassing, divorces and slanders just to give some examples. after i have pie students read the documents of a few of these cases most of them cannot believe lincoln could sustain his interest in the law for so
long. so much of it he dealt with was the underbelly of life. i believe that the one thing lincoln gained from this experience, and i think it reinforced aspects of his life in general, particularly his reluctance to join a church and to take distinctly moral positions on issues including abolition is that lincoln simply came to the conclusion that no one side is ever completely in the right. yes, he worked hard for his clients, but in a very large share of the cases he encouraged them to settle out of court if possible. mark steiner, who is one of a number of authors who focuses on lincoln's law career notes, this tenancy for lincoln to serve what steiner terms as a peacemaker role even if it meant he earned less in legal fees. i'm not suggesting that lincoln did not have a moral foundation. rather, he demonstrated a tendency not to see the world and people's behavior in absolute terms. this was probably best demonstrated with his decision
in early 1862 to appoint edward stanton as secretary of war. if there was any man lincoln was justified in carrying a dwruj against, it was stanton. he had a painful snubbing of lincoln when they were supposedly working as a team aiding cyrus mccormick regarding the reaper. while he did not hear him call him, quote, that damn long-armed ape, a phrase of what mcclellan called the president he was insulted. so how did he respond? when he made his first critical wartime appointment, sam ron cameron, he turned to stanton. whatever humiliation stanton had caused lincoln in 1855, lincoln was not one to hold grudges. if you could gain the aid of someone known as a gifted and honest administrator as stanton
was, spielberg's film conveys the understanding that today's adversary may be tomorrow's friend who again may be next week's opponent when he worked with thaddeus stevens tommy lee jones. despite knowing the two could not agree on what to do with the confederate states once the war ended. indeed no president, indeed i would say american, ever conveyed this tendency to avoid permanent enemies more consistently than lincoln when after his election in november '64, gus days have you fox, lincoln said you have more of that personal resentment than i. perhaps i may have too little of it, but i never thought it paid. rather than showing any tendency to settle old quarrels, lincoln announced, i am in favor of
short statutes of limitations in politics. weeks later they were celebrating the victory, he said now may not all reunite to save or common country. for my party i have striven and i will strife to avoid placing any obstacle in the way. so long as i have been here, i have not willingly planted a thorn in any man's bosom, end of quote. i'm not trying to suggest sainthood for lincoln, though it may sound that way. rather i'm simply stressing that his approach toward the confederacy in 1865 represents a consistency in his life, a belief that human nature is flawed but those who attempt to judge other humans are only humans. he exercised it once in power and especially in 1865. the final question is whether it made a difference. a difference enough to justify you selecting him as man of the year. the only way i can answer that is to consider if lincoln had acted in any other way than he
did on these critical issues if the course of american and some would argue world history would have been different. i believe, and surely i'm in agreement with steven spielberg that passage of the 13th amendment was indeed the king's cure as it gave lincoln the ability to meet the confederate commissioners at hampton roads and the very powerful and strange position that the emancipation issue was to longer in his hands. indeed, he now could appear at confederate commissioners' friend by suggesting that the only way they could delay ratification was by having their states secede from the confederacy. that is end the war and return to the union. he followed this up at his second inaugural by suggesting that he did not assign all of the blame for slavery or the war on the confederacy as hear was enough blame to go around for all americans. the confederates heard the message and responded favorably to lincoln? no. most did not hear it and if they did likely would not have
believed lincoln anyway. his main problem in 1865 was not the confederacy but the union and more technically theparticularly the radicals. lincoln's goal was to end the war as rapidly as possible. to guarantee that slavery was dead and return them to the same status as enjoyed by the resident states that had remained in the union. he clearly succeeded in the first goals and may have in the third. but it may have been due to something he had virtually no control. thank you. [ applause ] questions? surely didn't overwhelm you. the food has got you sleeping.
[ laughter ] yes? >> lincoln was often vilified during his term of presidency for being vul gash. >> are you talking about in the north or the south? >> by the north. >> yes. >> yes, as being vulgar being uneducated, unable to speak. >> he wasn't criticized for not being able to speak but not being able to focus on a question. >> in his conversations. in his conversations. and i'm just curious, how, and from what i've read, indeed that's an accurate portrayal of his conversations. >> and i think how it was shown in the spielberg movie was quite accurate. >> so how do we get from that vocabulary to what he writes? >> boy that is a good question. his speaking ability i, well there's been quite a bit written on lincoln's both his speaking
ability, largely by rhetoric professors, but also his written. lincoln, we know, was very careful in every word he ever selected, particularly when it was in a speech or a written document. he, as you mow studied grammar on his own as an adult, and he very carefully drafted everything he wrote and, and largely speeches he gave. i think in some ways, almost as a reaction to that. when he was in a more relaxed atmosphere, when he it knewknew what he would say was not a matter of state, he fell back into his illinois indiana, kentucky roots, and he spoke like a common person who was not overly concerned about it concerned about destroying the english language.
he's the paradox in that he's a master craftsman wordsmith when that's messnecessitated. but he particularly in more relaxed atmospheres just falls back into the common mate urenature. that's just the way he is. he's writing those speeches. he's writing those documents. by the way, we should add, he has help. we know that seward plays roles. but generally, they're lincoln's speeches. we know that because every speech he ever gave we can analyze on a computer now, and we can see the progression of his, the nature of his writing speeches, whatever and it's
pre-seward and later on his own. hope hathat's hopeful. >> your candidate was dead for eight and a half months during the year. >> right. >> what do you think the -- how did those eight and a half months of being dead influence how did that span pour thefor the -- >> if i had had the time i would have made the argument that in fact the same way lyndon baines johnson used president kennedy to get the civil rights act passed in 1964 that andrew johnson used lincoln in 1865. that basically andrew johnson said all i'm doing is exactly what president lincoln called pour
for in the 10% plan. and that leads to the question how would lincoln have responded once the former confederate fedfederate fedfederate states begin to pass the black codes. i think johnson used lincoln effectively for johnson's purposes. >> -- that time to go into it. i figured i'd give you a chance to make that point now. [ laughter ] >> any other questions? i'll be glad to answer questions after. so great. thank you very much. [ applause ] you're watching american history tv in prime time. and every weekend here on c-span 3 experience american history tv
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primetime. each year, time magazine selects a single person who had the most influence on events during the previous 12 months. if the same question were posed in the year 1865 who would "time" have selected as the person of the year? the library of virginia and the american civil war museum invited five hist tore yaps to present their arguments for their candidates. next author and historian elizabeth brown pryor nominates clara parten who the audience ultimately declared the whipper. this is about 45 minutes. >> our next speaker elizabeth brown pryor burst onto the scene in 2007 with the publication of "reading the man, a portrait of robert e. lee