Skip to main content

tv   Abraham Lincolns Life Legacy  CSPAN  March 17, 2018 9:07am-10:05am EDT

9:07 am
>> good morning. good morning, ladies and gentlemen. my name is paul and i am the director of ford's theatre. on behalf of the entire staff -- here atds and the ford's, and the board of trustees, i want to welcome you to the great day we a plan today. the abraham lincoln institute 21st annual symposium.
9:08 am
i want to thank, first of all, all of the abraham lincoln institute, our co-presenters and partners on this and i want to thank all of our presenters and speakers for making today possible. ife of you may be wondering you will be dropping in on kansas, and yes. this is from our production of "the wiz," which serves as the backdrop of our symposium. for those of you who are not aficionados, but also theater aficionados, i hope you will come back and see the production that runs through may 12. the box office has all of the information if you want to join us on that.
9:09 am
there is bottled water only. the wristband will serve as your ticket for the full day of admission. you'll also great you admission museum ind's theatre the basement, which i think most of you know, as artifacts related to president lincoln. there'll be time for questions after each presentation. c-span is filming, therefore we ask you to use these microphones in the aisle. if you just try to speak from your seat, you will not be heard across the nation, and we want to make sure your questions get out there. i also would ask you to actually -- for those of you asking questions, please frame a
9:10 am
question as opposed to a long statement. it is appreciated by all in attendance. [applause] >> thank you. , thereach presentation will be a break and during that willthe presenter well -- sign books in the lobby. most presenters will sign books in the lobby after their presentation, with the exception will signstarr, who books before his presentation just because of the way that the day breaks out. lunch.ill be take all of your belongings with you. do not leave anything in the theater during the lunch break. notlly, this event does happen for free. there is a lot that goes into it all of our major
9:11 am
donors are listed there. to point outy want two major contributors and i would like everyone to give them around of applause. -- a round of applause. i know a number of you of asked how you can help and support. there are a number of members. if anyone would like to write a write that out to the abraham lincoln institute and please visit the abraham lincoln institute online and you can donate through our website there. any and all contributions are greatly appreciated and if you have an awesome time today, please visit the website and
9:12 am
help us out. we greatly appreciate it. lastly, it gives me great pleasure to introduce jonathan white. he is the editor and author of eight books about it rim lincoln and the civil war. please welcome -- eight books thet abraham lincoln and civil war. please welcome jonathan white. [applause] good morning. paul warmed me up. thank you, paul. thek you for joining us for 21st annual some posing. my name is jonathan white and i am the president of ali. as president, i thought it might be my duty to tell you a little bit about twitter, if interested. we will be live tweeting this. you can do this from your seat in the theater at home, and use
9:13 am
#fordali. that way you can keep abreast of everything in the theater. i would like to thank paul and ford's for hosting this event. i would like to thank ericka scott, lauren, coleen, and martitus. the work that they do is incredible. please join me in thanking them for the work they have done. for those watching from home, if you have never been to ford's theatre, i cannot recommend a visit strongly enough. come down and take a tour, watch a show, so can the remarkable history. a wonderful
9:14 am
organization. as of this spring, he will be getting a well-deserved rest. the board of the ali presented don with a set of resolutions thanking them for service, but i wanted to publicly thank him as well. one of our colleagues stated that he has been our salmon -- p. chase, but my colleague added, don is better looking, better humored than chase, so thank you, don cannon. i learned a story from a friend of mine who used to be a middle school teacher in virginia. my friend was telling her students about the lincoln
9:15 am
assassination. she explained when john wilkes president to the trump of them to be stage, he shouted the state motto of virginia. she asked her students, does anyone know the motto of virginia was to mark one student raised her hand and said "virginia is for lovers!" [laughter] i have been meaning to check the biography of boost to see if he has that in there. to see ifhy of booth he has that in there. every time i stand on the stage, i am reminded of the importance lincoln up's legacy --lincoln's legacy. not only in the united states, but around the world. in college, nelson mandela joined a drama society and they put on a play about lincoln.
9:16 am
the leading role was played by another students, -- another student. john wilkesrayed booth. how strange to think about mandela portraying one of the world's most notorious villains. mandela took a lesson. one,"rt was the smaller part waswrote, "but my moralgine of the play's that great men take great risks. " he was talking about lincoln. inaugural address in 1865, lincoln famously called
9:17 am
for malice towards none and charity for all. for the ability to strive on the work we are in, to and up the nation's women's do all that may achieve and cherish adjust -- a just and lasting peace. nelson mandela echoed the sentiments in his own inaugural address in 1994. if we commit ourselves to the construction of a complete, and, and lasting peace, then della wanted to build a society in which all south africans, black and white, would be able to walk tall without fear in their hearts, a rainbow with itself.ce it's remarkable to think about how lincoln's ideals have had a
9:18 am
profound impact around the world. it's little wonder that when mandela died, newspaper headlines called him the lincoln of africa. we are reminded of the power of reason,cy, and for this i cannot think of a better place to talk about his scholarship. i hope that you enjoy the program and it is my pleasure to welcome allen to the stage to introduce our first speaker. thank you. [applause] >> you may take it home and worship it, remarked one of the members of the naval board reviewing john erickson fell planned for the ironclad warship , the monitor, for the first
9:19 am
time. it would not be blasphemy, it was observed, at least not as described in exit is, because the vessel looked like nothing in the heavens above or the earth beneath or the waters under the earth. notibson holloway may worship the monitor, but she has time around it then most anyone. from 2003 until 2014, she was monitortor of the museum, and she is now the co-author with ali's own jonathan white "our monitor: the greatest invention of the civil war." she is currently museum services
9:20 am
director for search incorporated in washington where she oversees research into a variety of projects. waterlooars between and the american civil war were most fast-moving. the napoleonic wars were fought at sea by lumbering wooden castles pushed along by wind and sale at top speeds of about three knots. sinking each other with naval cannon and dependent on every vagary of wind and tide. wooden shipsde, were unsustainable, and with the passage of another decade, steam power made warships more maneuverable, and by the crimean
9:21 am
war, steam made it possible to iron armor.ps in by the time the first iron hold steam warship made her debut, the bulk of the world's navies were faced with little more than the choice of going into port or going to the bottom. thanks to the parsimony of congress, the u.s. navy had no warships, butlad war concentrates the politician -- the attention of even politicians and especially the attention of that most curious president, abraham lincoln. the monitor equipped reminded him of what the girl said when she put her foot into the stocking. "it strikes me there's something
9:22 am
in it." listening today to anna holloway, i think we, too, will find there is something in it. [applause] dr. holloway: well, good morning. >> good morning. dr. holloway: good to see you all here. i hope that you will find that there is something in it. we will be looking today at the uss monitor. -- this isronclad likely a vessel you are all familiar with. perhaps you discovered her in the course of your research or riding. studded -- may have studied her. perhaps you studied the merrimack or the virginia when you were younger. you know the story, the trope told so many times over how the
9:23 am
attacked themack fleet, making short work of the anderland in congress striking fear into the hearts of all who saw her or even imagined her. the next day a small and quirky vessel, known as a rat trap, erickson fell folly -- erickson's folly, the monitor hampton roads and naval history. though that battle itself was a draw, the import of that day reverberated around the world just as sure as the heavy and ponderous pounding reverberated through hampton roads. so, you know this story. so that story i will not elaborate. the story i want to tell about is the intersessional --
9:24 am
interstitial story. the story of the monitor and our president. once she captured abraham lincoln's imagination, she captured the imagination of the world. john erickson had offered her to , but the french ruler said, no, thank you, i've already got one and sent the consolation prize of a medal. so she lay as a concept in a box on a shelf for several years. the vessel, dreamed of by steven russell malory andriy envisioned as an ironclad ram.
9:25 am
it was the knowledge that the confederates were building a secret weapon with the well-heeled northeastern foundry got theroad owners that navy interaction. but when the secretary of the billfirst rafted the before congress to authorize the construction of ironclad's, it was ignored. he was determined to find someone of influence who could persuade people and support it. he and listed at connecticut native who carried that bill to capitol hill and used his influence to push it through. with bush now's influence and the connecticut delegation backing, the bill passed the house and senate. this bill authorized $1.5 .illion
9:26 am
bushnell already had a design in mind, and he was more than ready to offer his services as an is the navy required them. he maintained a residence in washington, d.c. to monitor the progress. the onlydepartment did logical thing to do when one wants a secret weapon. it took out ads in the newspaper. august 1861, they ran an ad that started the navy will receive offers from parties that can execute work of which they will furnish evidence for the construction of one or more -- andd vessels for navy clad vessels. hidebound.s still
9:27 am
ads ran in the usual places -- the philadelphia evening bulletin, and the baltimore clipper. that one i find interesting because it means that baltimore was not exactly friendly to unions. needed was alles group to review the plan. this to be successful, they is -- a person who is familiar. they found out that they were no longer part of the board. they did not find out through a tweet. [laughter] dr. holloway: they were by no
9:28 am
means experts in ironclad technology. yet here they were. they would receive 16 proposals. now some of them were intriguing, but some were perplexing. some came with a price tag and no plans. some came with plans and no price tag. a rubber clad vessel. two of the plans did show promise. one was the american sons of philadelphia. it had the very attractive price tag -- the other one happened to bushnell by cornelius .ith the price tag of 235,000
9:29 am
there would be money left over. questions. the main one being, would it float, which is a concern if you warship.g an ironclad hotelll was leaving the one evening when he ran into another crime unions. it was a confluence of corn -- corneli, if you like. he recommended that bush don't to erickson. he meets with erickson. this was john erickson who was blamed for the explosion of the peacemaker on board the uss princeton in the 1840's. the navy had no love for john and he had no love for the navy.
9:30 am
that is a story for another day though. he agreed to look at the plans. he looked them, proclaimed them to be good. the ship would float. then he asked if bushnell would get something of his spirit he pulled a dusty box off a shelf, and in it, the plans for what would become the uss monitor. bushnell was intrigued. he knew this was the future of naval warfare. but he had to get erickson through the ironclad port area so he asked if he could take it back with him and eventually made his way to the house where the board and president lincoln were waiting. you heard what lincoln said. all i have to say is what the girl said when she slipped her
9:31 am
foot into the stocking. it strikes me there is something in it. so he had to trick him into ironclad grouphe loved him. through sheer force of will, he pushes the idea through. the monitor would be built, and she was. her tour at place -- plates rolled in baltimore, maryland. she was built all over the north. the ironworks were owned by one of the owners, and with the volunteer crew assembled, she was quickly rushed to virginia, the growing threat of the
9:32 am
merrimack in the port. i will not go back to that day. virginia goes out and decimate the navy at him to roads and the next day the monitor and the merrimack meet and that ended in a draw. you can decide who won. i will not pull you today. as the battle was raging, news was not getting to the north. news was not getting to the white house. the cable that connected to fort had some boisterous weather. finally though, the telegraph and made itpaired and, d c, thed
9:33 am
battle was electric. desperate naval engagements at 11pton roads along with other sub headlines. they really liked headlands back then. it was reported fantastically. there was not a lot of accuracy going on. as reports came in, accuracy group. the northern papers were touting while the southern papers were saying otherwise. they said that large numbers of yankees were shot and drowned. however, both sets of newsmen new something profound had happened. there were british acknowledgments that the english had been admonished.
9:34 am
this had been going on for nearly a year. her victory over the rebel monster was one shared equally high all in the north. the monitor were celebrities, but the monitor herself became a celebrity in her own right with her own personality. she was at once perfect, and yet also deeply flawed. what is interesting, i looked to see what was the first appearance of someone using the monitor as a metaphor rather than as an actual vessel, and the evening of march 10, at the commencement address at bellevue, bellevue medical college in new york, the commencement speaker says that whatever difficulties would arise, science would meet it. to thunderous applause he said,
9:35 am
whenever some merrimack of evil of the waters out of humanity, there is some erickson battery. that is the very next day. the very next day after the battle. philadelphia, they used to be monitored to sell products. one ad said the monitor is a noble craft of excellent construction. she forced the merrimack to leave to save herself destruction. they used the monitor to sell clothes, to sell absolutely everything. she is become a celebrity. 1500 proposals came in to president lincoln from mailbox,
9:36 am
coming up with ideas for how virginia could be conquered, some by improving her, sometimes by other vessels. dear sir,tion -- since the rebels' merrimack proved herself to be such a powerful agent of mischief and destruction, i've been posited cut to taking some plan by which she may be sunk and destroyed. in fact, what he was planning was essentially a steam powered onll that would be placed the monitor in the monitor would go up to the virginia and drill a hole in her hull. it looked good on paper. so by the early spring of 1862, the monitor was a tourist attraction. where would come on board
9:37 am
the officers were tired of seeing the same thing over and over again with some many docents in the museum. in fact, one said he wanted to produce a guidebook for the monitor and each visitor. however, there was one set of isitors that arrived that believe everyone on board the monitor would know or talk to. is the confederates went through to yorktown and general mcclellan turned out to be the original virginia creeper -- [laughter] dr. holloway: abraham lincoln arrived with the message that he was not becoming that she was not patient with his little napoleon. monitor log book says that president lincoln came aboard.
9:38 am
william keeler wrote home to his wife about this visit. if you will indulge me, i will read you a little about this. a visit we received from president lincoln attended by secretaries chase in stanton and dignitaries. mr. lincoln had a careworn look, in strong contrast with the gay with which --cortage he was surrounded. when he turned, i could see him tremble with strong emotion and imagine the terrible drama in these waters on the eighth and ninth of march was passing in review for him. introduced,ers were he was very happy to find one from illinois on board the monitor. he examined everything about the vessel with care, manifesting great interest, his remarks showing he had carefully studied what he thought to be our weak
9:39 am
points and was well a cane at -- appointed with the mechanical details of our construction. most came on board with effervescent, but with mr. lincoln, it was different. his few remarks were sound, simple, and practical, and the point of admiration and excavation he left to his aides. before he left, the crew was mustered. he passed slowly before them, hat in hand. it gives me great pleasure to say he declined the invitation a glass of iceh water. keeler being a notorious teetotaler. there was a shout of "here comes the merrimack!" it was that perhaps another engagement between the two ironclads would occur. however, nothing occurred that particular day.
9:40 am
they just glared at one another. lincoln insulted personally lead a reconnaissance party onto the shore later in his visit, something mcclellan had failed to do. he identified the oceanview area as a likely spot to begin the invasion of the south side of virginia. the morning of may 10, that is exactly what happened. the mayor of norfolk created them in an elaborate, long speech that allowed the confederate troops to leave. he passed the keys of the city over to the union. no one in the confederacy, however, thought to tell the
9:41 am
captain of the merrimack she had no home, so early in the morning , people in hampton roads heard a terrible explosion, and it was felt for miles. it was seen for miles. it was a dramatic suicide. not happy. boys were they steamed on into norfolk as conquering euros. along the way, -- conquering heroes. along the way, president lincoln doffed his hand -- his hat and bowed. summer protecting the james river, but really it was a morale boost. there is not much the monitor could do, especially when she
9:42 am
encountered the battery in may of 1862. ultimately, the union did not take richmond. the monitor had a miserable theer, and then with failure of the seven days campaign, a retreat. the public still wanted to know more about her. .here was imagery people were buying it. people were consuming imagery of the monitor. james gibson comes on board to celebrate the ironclad and the crew. it was also planned that gibson from visit to the monitor would coincide with president lincoln's visit to tidewater's virginia. so it was that lincoln and gibson both visited the monitor in 1862 as she laid anchored in
9:43 am
the ginger. but lincoln arrived before the captain was awake. -- president had a they were frustrated. to relieve goldsboro of command. lincoln was there to make sure that happen for the meeting between lincoln and girls pearl was brief. -- goldsboro was brief. this would be lincoln's last visit with the monitor. a photographer arrived in the afternoon. as the president left, he did take pictures of the monitor. they showed the men showing off battle damage.le
9:44 am
others show the crew in a form of relaxation, reading newspapers, cooking. photographs one more that shows captain jeffers, settingery pensive alone to a chair, a chair that was waiting for president lincoln. the cult of personality now is so huge that small boats surrounded her in the east river. in not so secret weapon in the town and anyone who was anyone wanted to see her. the navy yard finally opened the vessel to the public, requiring no passes to the navy yard. imagine that in wartime. for a view.aboard
9:45 am
supporters and confederate theorters got a look as city celebrated its unusual ways. perhaps my favorite one was the appearance in washington, d.c. of two brothels -- one called the ironclad battery, and the other, simply the monitor. she left d.c. for orders and ultimately she would be avoided south to beaufort, north carolina and ultimately charleston. she did not survive that final journey. would encounter a gale in the graveyard of the atlantic. butmonitor was anything normal.
9:46 am
the navy was so bound in tradition that they readied her for her voyage in the atlantic ocean the way that they would ready a wooden vessel -- by caulking. held on ton it was the monitor by gravity. .he brass ring was watertight but it had to be caught. hemp gasket was placed on that brass ring and then called. this is likely what took down the monitor. 16 men went down with the vessel that night, for officers in 10 crew. the rest of the complement was rescued, but it was a night of horrors. it took several days for the news to make it way back to press,ton, back to the
9:47 am
just to make it back. they had more sobering news through the confederacy. him the -- the prez was wildly speculative. -- the press was wildly speculative. the residual of full disaster, the foundering of the monitor off cape hatteras, ultimately turned it officers lost. monitor foundered. there were 12 men missing. as the day went on, more and more came in. people were consuming the monitor again as a news item.
9:48 am
the monitor did not leave the stage quietly, however. she was, as one reporter said, the pet of the people. losing her was akin to losing a battle. but she lived on in so many interesting ways. i thought i would recount some of them for you. , a man could have a monitor checked shirt or tie while waiting for a dress to be to combat the very popular merrimack cloth. later in the century, men and women could sport monitor shoes to complete their ensemble. if you could not afford those from the store, you could make your own on a little monitor sewing machine.
9:49 am
wherever the close came from, they could be washed with a monitor washboard and dried by a monitor stove. you could have a meal made from monitor flower that might have been grown on monitor farms using monitor windmills and pumps. could be needed in a monitor coffee pot. right.itor madness was not only in 1862, but even as she sank beneath the waves. , newsing of interest about the monitor sinking did make it to the press by january 4, but by january 9, something very interesting occurred in the press. ad that startsll
9:50 am
sunk, but ther ship of state still floats down the river of time. that's respectful. more boats areay coming with a few dozen hoop skirts. another ad in the providence evening press -- afloat -- our monitor has not sunk. it is an ad for the monitor stove. , the littleas gone monitor could still move product. so it was that the monitor spent her brief life in 1862 to inspire an entire class of art and to inspire literature, music, and home appliances. so, yes, president lincoln was
9:51 am
right. there had been something in it. hadhis instrument of war become a symbol for the union and ultimately a symbol forever bound with her nemesis in virginia, a symbol of american ingenuity. perhaps my favorite, a seagram's ad from the 1930's that shows in two vessels forever bound combat with each other and caps on both as american originals. the monitor cut the eye of a president and captured the imagination of a nation. she will truly always be our little monitor. thank you. [applause] i believe we do have time for some questions.
9:52 am
would you like to tell the audience a little bit more about the visit to the skipper? dr. holloway: are you talking about when he visited with captain morgan. during the battle on march 9, the only casualty was really the officer of the monitor. he was looking at the pilot house. it did peel back the pilot house and he was sprayed in the face with a shell, temporary blinded and bleeding profusely.
9:53 am
the executive officer took command. tontually, they were taken he waston, d.c. where recuperating. president lincoln paid him a visit, and john wharton said that the president did him great said -- i amncoln paraphrasing -- no, sir, you do me the great honor. believed in what the monitor was doing, believed for setting out -- let's face it, and experimental craft. he took an interest. he took the time to visit. >> very interesting talk. i have seen pictures of other ironclads.
9:54 am
they looked more like the monitor. then the where the other successful or did they have similar problems? dr. holloway: one thing that is interesting, the night the anothersank, there was -- she was taking on water drastically. a few different things happened. the escort for vessel turned away from the island -- is rhode think you have heard about the cyclonic bomb we have had recently where the pressure dropped over a short time in the belief is that the monitor was
9:55 am
in one of those, so she probably did not have a chance no matter why, but there was slightly less turbulent weather. theerms of a design, monitor was more of a brown .ater vessel we are debating on how many made it into service, but there were .t least 24 contracted for they were successful to some extent. the entire fleet had a little bit of a problem in charleston later. they were just not as successful as a seagoing fleet. but they did have the standards for warships really up until the
9:56 am
dreadnought era. >> hi. dr. holloway: hi. >> can you expand more on how other nations react to? of the 67, how many were union -- i guess most? and how did they react in the 1860's and 1870's? dr. holloway: certainly. the monitor class vessels were all union. but really what was more important was the ironclad warships, whether union or , that is what really ideaes at least the public .f what the worship should be ,ou have debates in parliament i think the news arrived in london around march 20 or
9:57 am
thereabouts. you had debates in parliament -- well, our entire navy is inland. , buts not quite the case you did see programs in other countries and after the american civil war when there was not a need, some of them were sold to south america. you do see these being built throughout the century. the confederate ironclads, there were far fewer, and most would be built on the design of the uss virginia with a few exceptions. the virginia was probably a difficult vessel to build. ,hey built a full-scale version and it was an engineering marvel
9:58 am
and very time-consuming. same slopinge sides but did not have the rounded portions. but there were far fewer of them. i would say, if you look at some military technology, you see the echoes of the virginia. >> or they use to blockade in the south, the aren klutz? dr. holloway: the monitors -- >> the ironclads? absolutely.: they were used throughout, but they were more of a brown water creation. >> i intrigued by the product advertising. the monitor on to the navy? were royalties paid?
9:59 am
and to whom? dr. holloway: well -- [laughter] interesting thing. when the monitor went into battle, she was not owned by the navy, technically. she was still owned by john erickson and his consortium of financiers. he was not to get final payment until she proved herself successful in battle. but there were no rules about copyright for that kind of thing . monitor was fair game, and let me tell you, i only scratch the tip of the iceberg. it is phenomenal. i guarantee you, you will go home today and you will find the monitor somewhere. because she is still informing our popular culture. .he imagery alone is phenomenal
10:00 am
but the music -- she has inspired music. there were songs coming out immediately after the battle of hampton roads. were to fear phrase, it is about 50 versus long. it is an interesting duty about how mary todd lincoln was trying to get her husband to be more brave and threaten to run off with jefferson davis. it is very interesting. it did not stop in the 19th century either. there are songs still being written today. the most recent by a band called
10:01 am
civil war. it is an exultation of john erickson. they are a swedish death metal band. that came out last year. monitor. dance to the dance the monitor polka. you could march around to the monitor march. she was everywhere. she sold products. part of that was because she was so unusual. she was considered small, like a david to the confederacy's goliath. they would blink alternately as the cannons came out. comical, whimsical world. that is what helped shape
10:02 am
popular culture of monitor. >> i have lived in d.c. 15 years . i was walking on the side of the potomac down from the lincoln and there is a small circle with a statue which i have never paid attention to because you have to go to read what it is about. honoring a statue erickson. i had no idea who he was. it made me wonder who is this man being honored here alongside other important people. i learned he was the man behind the monitor. he was the bill gates of the era, or something like that. i was wondering if you talk more about him or the statue, or how that came about?
10:03 am
if you have not visited the statue you do have to take your life in your hand a little bit. there is no crosswalk. if you go down from the lincoln memorial you will see him sitting there. the word monitor carved in. i won't say he was as rich as -- he was he did forward thinking and he invested his time in using heat as a source of power, of motive power. he was interested in solar power . john erickson has quite a few brilliant ideas. his idea for monitor is the one that he is best known for in this nation. go visit him there, in battery park in manhattan. you can see in -- see him
10:04 am
holding the model lincoln investigated at the white house. celebrated ins sweden, but we call him our own here in america. that was our last question. thank you for having me here today. [applause] >> all arrived, i hope you enjoyed and his presentation. quick going to take a break. >> you're watching live coverage of a symposium on abraham lincoln's life and legacy. after this break will be back live with the next speaker, ll

22 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on