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tv   Abraham Lincolns Life Legacy Roundtable  CSPAN  March 30, 2018 1:53pm-2:30pm EDT

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griswold v connecticut. where ms. griswold sued the state of connecticut for the right to birth control, and to establish a right to privacy which still exists today. our guest is helen and rachel rebouche, an associate law professor at temple university. watch landmark cases and our #landmark cases, and follow us at a c-span and we have resources on background and the companion book, and the link to the interactive constitution, and the landmark cases podcast at american h history tv was
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recently at ford's theater in washington, d.c., for the 21st annual symposium hosted by the abe a ra hamlin are conn institute, and the ford theater society. next the panel featuring the symposium speakers discussing the 16th president's life and career and legacy. this is about 30 minutes. good afternoon. if those of you who are interested in asking question, thank you for hanging out this afternoon. we have had a splendid day of thought provoking discussions. i am very proud they brought lincoln to the lapd of le-- lan of lee, and also a board member of the incolincoln institute, ao thank you for hanging around a. a you had a few minutes to ask questions of the folks here, and there is always a bunch more that you wish that you had asked. i wish i had asked him this thing. so if you want to ask a
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question, we have live mikes only on this level. if you are up in the balcony, you need to join us down here, but please, approach the mic, and because it is recorded, speak into the mic, and we are interested in in the questions and not statements that are followed by the question, what did you think about my statement. so, the floor is open. we have got 30 minutes, and if nobody shows up, i have a microphone and i will ask questions. we have the first question. >> for the first speaker, about i did see some later pictures of the civil war with monitors with two cheese boxes on the rack. and what i was wondering about is that they -- how many of those were there and if there were two how did they keep from shooting themselves, because sooner or later the turrets are going to turn the wrong direction. >> that is a good question, and
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there is also a three-tur the reted monitor, and it is the converted "uss roanoke." and what they did do is a lot of testing. >> i e would hope. >> and even on the original monitor they would test to see how far forward they could fire without killing the eardrums of the folks in the pilot house. later monitors had the pilot house on the turrets, and so that is not a problem anymore and you did have several two two-turreted monitors and in fact at the war's end, there were a few on the ways up in brooklyn where the original was born. but really they were with orchestrated. they had speaking tubes that unlike the original monitor where the speaking tube didn't work n the later ones, they were able to the communicate more effective effectively and there were in some cases markings that allowed them to know the bearings so that they were not firing at themselves, but one of the best two turreted monitors they have
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ever seen to get back to the pop culture part was the toy done by the bliss company in 1880s and it was a two turreted pea shooter, and a delightful little thing on wheels. >> any idea of how many of those were manufactured? >> i am drawing the blank on the exact number. i nknow that the first one was built at greenpoint in brooklyn as well. i know that the kalamazoo class had two turret, but it never really made it, because the war ended and there was no more need. you also have multi turreted monitors in other countries as well, but i don't know the xkt number, isorry. >> and how many elite fleets were accumulated by the end of the war. >> i think that the exact number was around 67. >> okay. thank you. stage left ar, please. >> thank you. i am wonner dering if we could
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hear some discussion between mr. star and the monitor expert here with with respect to lincoln's response to the monitor crisis and also stanton's response as we well. >> well, stanton, did he panic? if he didn't panic he came close to panicking on that day and so did a lot of other people, because the confederate warship, the virginia or the merrimack depending on your presence destroyed half a dozen warships and seemed likely to destroy, you know half a dozen ships everyday for the next few years, and that the union fleet would be detroyed.
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he was an nowed that he and gidian wells the drirector of te navy that we had all of the industrial might, and we didn't have a ship in hampton roads. it was on the way, but it had not been there. and so, he, you nknow, in a typical way decided to reach the potomac river to reopen commerce, and went out and went down to the navy yard, and with a ship and went out, dumped rocks to try to close down the potomac and strengthen the guards. he also took matters into his own hand, and sent a telegram to yet another cornelius, cornelius vanderbilt up in virginia to the say, name your price to destroy the merrimack and he and vanderbilt worked tot on the
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ship that became the "vanderbilt" a reinforced wooden ship aimed at ramming and destroying. again, wells was tremendously annoyed. here's the army building a warship. so the far better response was the monitor and he was not going to let him bumble incompetently. >> and so another thing as the monitor was making her way from greenpoint brooklyn down the hampton roads, and she almost received orders to proceed directly to washington, d.c., and in fact, there was a dispatch boat that was chasing the monitor down from new york to try to intercept her, and divert her to washington, d.c., because of the panic that people
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were beginning to feel even before the virginia came out. a storm delayed both the virginia's first foray into the hampton roads, but that same storm almost sank the monitor on the way down, and when they arrived in hampton roads they come to the scene of mass destruction and while the orders were to originally to go to washington, d.c., you had captain marson from the "uss roanoke" who countered those and said that the best place to the protect washington is right here. so i don't have any real information on the lincoln's exact reaction no battle other than the fact that he was annoyed that stanton was peering out the curtains at the merrimack coming up the pa toto, and merrimack or the virginia, whatever you want to call it never could have made it that far. and so she could have not have
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made it past the monroe at the fire. and so, yet, he is looking out the curtain. >> this is what gidian wells remembered years later. let's go backstage left are. >> what with did president lincoln do when he ran out of troops? soldiers soldiers. >> well, a lot of us could answer that and they instituted a draft of men between ages 18 and 25 to enlist them whether they wanted to volunteer or not. that encouraged lots of men who had been thinking about it to actually volunteer.
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>> which of course, there was the conscription act that came afterwards. >> and there were those who did not want to volunteer and so they stayed, but in the end, the draft only brought in about 60,000 or 70,000 men, and some of them were not very good troops, because they did not want to be there. >> and that is bill eis a direc result of the draft, but the the direct result is that a lot of men volunteer and towns raised money to give them bonuses, and that is why the draft bill was constructed the way it was to encourage people to volunteer. >> right. >> and some who didn't want to be in the army volunteered for the navy, because they thought it was safer. >> thank you for the question.
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far right. >> as a coincidence i'm a descendent of jefferson davis and i am wondering with all of the background that you v i wonder if any of you care to speculate on what differences would have been in the south and race relations had lincoln been in charge rather than johnson who didn't have the same relationship with the cabinet and congress. >> i have done a little work on the reconstruction and i am often asked that question, andly give you my standard answer. his t historians do not speculate on what might happen. and to follow up, if lincoln had been in charge, he would have compromised with congress. and after all, johnson was inept, and constructionist, and
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he was not lincoln. and so i think that lincoln would have pretty much controlled the situation which is where it was at the end of the war, that is reconstruction. and it would have, i won't say easy on the south, but he would have made sure that the fundamental fruits of union victory, true loyalty in the south and emancipation would have been sustained in all of that that. >> lincoln's reconstruction policy started out pretty conservative, but i think that as my colleague has indicated that lincoln would have gone along with congressional more radical reconstruction rather than attempting to obstruct it. and therefore, i think that reconstruction would have been much more successful in plishing and maintaining black rights.
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>> well, when it was a student way back in the dark ages, it was standard interpretation of the civil war and reconstruction that lincoln had proposed a moderate humane set of reconstruction policies and andrew johnson the successor was simply trying to carry those out, and that he got crucified by congress and impeach and almost remove and the same thing would have probably happened to the lincoln. now that seems most historians these the days, and one of the most dramatic piece of evidence of that is that the as soon as the confederacy was whipped on april 9th with lee's for all intents and purposes surrender, lincoln then two days later offers a new set of proposals. and that is black suffrage has to be a part of the package. and as i would suggest earlier, he got murder ed for suggesting
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that publicly, and he had suggested that earlier to the governor of louisiana and that was in a private letter, so, lincoln's notion is that he was carrying out lincoln's reconstruction policy, is that he is only accurate of the proposal of 1963 is the proposal that he is demonstratively doubtful given the speech on april 11th. >> yes, hi there. i am wondering if you can comment on lincoln being an abolition i abolitionist or not, and how his parents, and i know that there was baptists and quaker background and i know that his parents, lindsey hanes and lincoln moved to get away, but maybe you have something
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differing from what i have read of his u upbringing in indiana and how the parental influence may have changed him in terms of blacks and also abolitionists. >> lincoln's parents belonged to a church that banned slaveholders for membership. and they, as you said, moved to indiana, and as far as i know, in terms of thomas, and lincoln's views, it is because slavery hurt white laborerers, and the wages for white laborers that he wanted to move away from the state of kentucky to a free labor state. and lincoln's relations with the abolition i abolitionists, and he said that he was not an abolitionist, and the abolitionists said that he is not. but the democratic opponents and steven douglas in particular kept insisting that lincoln was an abolitionist, and he had the same views as of the
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abolitionist and he wants to establish black rights of abolitionists, but lincoln was not. he was a opposed to slavery and like most of the moderate republicans he is opposed to sla slavery expansion, but he will allow it to remain in the south indefinitely. >> and can we -- sorry, go ahead. >> and i would say that it is hard for us to remember, but in these days the word abolitionist was an insult, and so even in the south, sometimes southerners would call other southerners an abolitionist as a way of saying that you are more moderate on the slavery issue than i am, and so you are an abolitionist, and very few people would raise their hands and say i am an abolition i abolitionist, and it is a tiny minority, and so, it is not only lincoln, but my subjects, you know, sueward and chase would no, no, no. i'm not an abolitionist, but i
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am opposed to the extension of slavery, but i am not an abolitionist. >> and it is helpful to clarify between abolitionist and anti-slavery. >> as i understand it, i'm not a historian, but a political scientist, and politically speaking we have to remind ourselves that we don't have simply one form of government in the united states, but two. we have state governments and we have the national governments, and the national government has only been empowered by the american people to do so many things, and the lion's share of the political power remains at home. and h these are known as the police powers to promote the safety, health and morals of the community, and so to say that lincoln is going to leave slaverile alone, not because it does not exist, but because he does not have powers. and the question is what power does congress have over slavery. it has power in those areas where all of the stateses are
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involved. importation of slaves and the question of whether slaves should go into the federal territories, and that is the beef he gets into with steven douglas. and the congress also has power over the internal slave trade, but it is a massive third rail in politics that no one was with willing to the touch, because of what it might do to the union. and so i think that if i try to teach my students is that what authority does lincoln have and in one thing that you can see consistent with the public career is trying to remind the american people the difference between personally what we wish would happen with slavery and officially what lincoln or douglas or any president or senator could do with regards to the institution of slavery, and james oaks put it in the the book, freedom national, slavery local, which is to say that domestic institution of the
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state, and i don't know if anybody wants to comment on my statement, but what do you think of it? >> i agree with the statement in terms of what the president constitutionally could do, and what congress can constitutionally do, but the garsonian abolitionists were once again radicals that dissolved the union. and to dissolve the army means that you cannot back up the masters and the idea is that there is a massive slavery revolt, and john brown had a similar idea, and garrett smith who is known as a radle cal political abolitionist went by interpretation of the constitution and said that the constitution does give congress and the president power to abolish slavery. >> fredrick douglass agreed with that. >> for a while, and then he changed his mind. >> stage left. >> and with respect to so-called
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kilpatrick dolgrin raid, in which he had orders to capture and raid the cabinet, what in particular to stapton and/or lincoln were aware of the orders if they were at all. ton and/orn were aware of the orders if they were at all. ston and/or lincoln were aware of the orders if they were at all. ton and/or lincoln were aware of the orders if they were at all. aton and/o lincoln were aware of the orders if they were at all. nton and/o lincoln were aware of the orders if they were at all. >> oh, hot pay toe toe. -- hot potato. >> and dahlgren was the late are est and so it is possible that he had discussions with stanton and lincoln that were not really the official orders but may well be reflected in the so-called dahlgren papers, and the importance of it is to me not so
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much what lincoln or stanton did, but that after the dahlgren raid, lincoln and stanton had targeted the leadership for the assassination, and it is a big if, but if the confederal government had any role in booth and the conspirators, they did so because of the dahlgren raid which they used as tearing up the laws of war and declaring that the war was not going to be fought according to the usual rules of war. >> the young lady right there, and she is reminding me of something that i am wondering about, the union navy had a high percentage of african-american s sailors, and now we know that the george washington's continental army was 3% african-american, and there was a whole regimen of rhode island black troops commanded by
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nathaniel green's cousin. and did the navy while it was more liberal and later bans them, did they look for the precedence, and why did the navy reverse itself after the war? >> well, that is a good question. i am not sure that i have an answer for that. i will let anyone else take that. >> i will take a piece of it. but they were an established part of the navy as the civil war started and the black role in the navy was used as an argument as to why blacks should be allowed to become soldiers. during the war they do become
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soldiers, but it is not surprising, because of the way it started in the youtset of th war, but as to piece of after the war why the navy is a lilly white institution by the time of theodore roosevelt, i don't know. >> well, ki address that. there was a quota the before the war in relation to the navy and it is not 11%, but 4%, and there were no commissioned officers in the navy of color. there were people like robert smalls and others who were eventually taken in the naval reserve or others, but i don't believe that the percentages are right on that, and in terms of the army, itself, you know, the accepted figures of 186,000 plus the commissioned officers and a lot of them stayed in the army rather than stayed in the navy, and also, you had the merchant marine which is more than the navy was integrated. there were officerses of color in terms of relation to that so
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you had three separate groups. also a fourth factor which stanton dealt with and that is the ma lishb sha act which literally banned before the war people of color being in stat s militias, and that had to be overturned as african-american recruitment was done by the states. and somebody asked about the numbers of the draft. the draft was done for two reasons. it was done the encourage enlistment, but the black troops started to count r towards state quotas, and so that is another inducement for the free men of color particularly in the the north to enlist after 1863. so a number of factors going on with relation to that and i will clarify some of that. >> and this is why the ohio governor, and the union republican, union supporter changed his mind about the black enlistment was that it would count towards ohio's quota.
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>> one thing that is missing from the film "glory" is that the massachusetts 54th was heavily composed of men from ohio who were not able to enlist, because the governor would not allow it. >> it is funny because you almost took my entire question, but after a lifetime of reading, who in terms of recruiting the black soldiers from various state regimens or otherwise was a practical idea for winning the civil war and when did he come to that realization even though he was clearly not an abolitionist, and lincoln came to the conclusion that, yes, it is a great idea and i will put maybe 250,000 troops in the field that could be the final element that might win the war.
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>> there is no way to measure when that decision was made, but we know when it was announced with the official emancipation proclamation and at least from my reser arch it is not clear w is the person who is most persuasi persuasive, but i am willing to confer to my colleagues. >> i have a vague memory that it was generals, and officers in the field who took the initiative and lincoln told a couple of them that they shouldn't do it, but it starts the ball rolling, i think. >> let me add a footnote to that, and when the generals in the field started to do it, and stanton and walter, you can talk to this better than i, and my re recollection is that go ahead and do it and don't tell us. >> i think that this is true of louisiana where there was a general that wanted to use black troops. and at first ben butler of all
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men shut him down. and then butler began to realize that, you know, this is, we are unable to defend orleans without more troops, and the war department is not giving them to us, and so therefore, we will give light and let them have these troops. >> and even after the final emancipation proclamation calls for the troops, it is still an experiment, experiment, and the black soldiers themselves proved themselves at places like port gibson and at that point, both lincoln and stanton begin to throw more resources into what a force this can be and you can credit the black troops themselves with proving what black troops can do.
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>> that, to add to that, i do know that right after the 4th of july in 1862 after the illinois governor yates sobered up a little bit, he wrote a letter to, to the president demanding stricter measures and harsher measures to recruit all loyal men. so i think that it is coming also from the state war governors. i think that the go of massachusetts and some of the new england governors were all chimed in with this and that would have added to his decision. >> all right. we have time for one more question. so not to cut your own throats, but as historians of the civil war, what research would you personally like somebody else to do. and something that you are really wishing was written, but it has not been written yet. >> i have one.
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this morning we heard a long crisis of the cabinet which were written on some papers in to a remote library in maine, and soy wish they would go up there to craft the fesendon letters of the civil war, and i have done it a little bit for steward and stanton and i guess again for chase, but it is a e tremendous resource if someone would go through that and publish it. i have a variety of other project, and i will yield after that. >> what currently, i am interested in immediately after the war, and that is all of the mess that was left in t he waterways, because particularly in hampton roads you have vessels that are sunk because of navigation and on purpose, and after the war, you have reopen the waterways.
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i am researching a little bit about that now, but i would love somebody to delve into the army corps of engineers and papers at the national archives and then just, you know, do a comprehensive survey of all of the cleanup after the war. >> a couple of lincoln-focused jobs i would like to see done is what lin are conn wrote anonymously for illinois newspapers. i have made a stab at it informal informally in the green monster, but it needs to be done more systemically, and that is a project that i need to get to in the near future and another one in the near future is to compile what lincoln said according to civil war newspapers. and a lot of information within the civil war newspapers from the the washington correspondents reporting what lincoln said, and it is in the
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green monster, but it needs to be systemically done and compiled similar to what was done by don farrenbalker wrote, and you would have footnotes of why this is more plausible than that and the like. and if you live long enough. >> and what about a new history of illinois in the civil war, and the whole civil war period from the 1850s through the early reconstruction. >> absolutely, a new history of illino illinois. and this is the buy centennial of illinois statehood, and i'm on the faculty board of the illinois press and i was astounded that there was no major effort to do a new history of illinois based on the the information generated in the centuries since it was last done. and so, i agree it should be done. >> all right that. concludes the session, and that
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is the presentation that is coming up by professor allen guelzo next. so please stick around. this weekend on the c-span networks. saturday at 9:20 p.m. on c-span a debate on the suit of the same sex couple against a colorado b bakery for refusing to make their wedding case from the
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constitution center in philadelphia. sunday at 6:30 p.m., daniel mark, the chairman of the u.s. commission on international freedom on the current state of liberty in the u.s. and around the world. saturday on book tv, c-span 2 on c-span. and afterwards james swanson talks to jesse holland about the events leading up to thes a assassination of martin luther king jr. and sunday at 10:00 p.m., second lady karen pence and her daughter charlotte share the story of their rabbit. and then sunday on lectures and history, tulane university blaine gillpen on moonshine driv drivers and the origins of the car. and also, historian about the annual white house easter egg roll which began in 1878 and the changes that have been made along the way. this weekend on the c-span networks. for nearly 20 years in depth
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on book tv has featured the best known nonfiction writers for conversations about the book. and this year, we are celebrating nonfiction writers for in depth fiction edition. join are us live sunday at noon eastern with walter mosley. his most recent book is "down the river unto the sea." he also wrote "devil in a blue dress" which was made into to a motion picture and "gone fishing" and "mr. jones." and during the program we will take your phone calls and tweets and facebook messages. the special series in depth fiction edition with author walter mosley sunday live from noon to 3:00 p.m. eastern on book tv on c-span 2. sunday night on q&a, high school students from around the country were in washington, d.c., for the annual united states senate youth program. we met with them at the historic
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mayflower hotel where they shared their thoughts about government and politics. >> i'm really passionate about daca and it is unfair that 7,000 men and women and children's lives hang in balance baz our congress cannot find a solution. it is not a democratic issue or republican issue, but it is a human rights issue. >> an issue that is very important to me is climate change. the notion that we are the only country in the world not in the paris accord is a travesty. every other country in the world has recognized the dealt -- detrimental effects of climate change a have not stayed one other countries. >> and it is a travesty that we have elderly who cannot keep up with basic prescriptions. that is an outrage.
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american tv history was at ford's theater for the 12th an yum symposium hosted by the lincoln institute and the ford the theater society. and next, the congress of 1862 and its actions to have president lincoln's secretary of state william sueward replaced. this is about 45 minutes. i am privileged to introduce d our next speaker dr. william c. harris. b bill harris is professor of emeritus at a north carolina state university. he is a native of alabama and earned his b.a. degree at alabama in 1954. he remembers seeing legendary alabama football coach bear bryant at the popular pugs


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