>> welcome to lincoln on booktv. named for the country's 16th president it became the capital of nebraska in 1867. with a population of about 216,000, it is the second most populated city in the state and home to university of nebraska. with the help of our time warner cable partners, for the next hour we will explore the history of agriculture of this capital city. city. >> willa cather is when the most important american writers of the 20th century. she was given almost every literary award possible in our lifetime before she died. she left behind at least 3000 letters we know about now and those letters are all over the world in repositories but we are fortunate the biggest collections are in nebraska. >> we are inherited from of nebraska authors come into lincoln city library in lincoln, nebraska. the purpose is to collect and
celebrate and promote the work that nebraska offers. we began the collection in 1949 with a library and she originally held just one bookcase where she would put books that would come in by nebraska authors. our collection is from that little shelter number 14,000 volumes, and we represent more than 4000 nebraska authors. >> we begin our special look at lincoln with the story of chief standing bear and his historic supreme court case against the federal government. >> the american west has long been this rich tableau of powerful stories. this is almost a shakespearean quality to it love loss recovery redemption, courage, failure, perseverance, integrity, honesty. all of these traditional literary themes are braided into the start of standing bear that
begins to really start to congeal at this interception at the intersection of american history in the spring of 1879 and things start to happen at that happen before. and standing bear becomes this unwitting hero in a courtroom drama that he had never envisioned when he was trying to walk home and buried his beloved son. chief standing bear was a middle-aged chief of a very docile peaceful tribe that was living on land that not one u.s. senate treaty set to legally occupied, but to come on this beautiful homeland of the niobrara river valley where the niobrara empties into the missouri river. the ponca had lived in this lush beautiful gorgeous
niobrara river valley for several centuries. and they were living in their winter camp on a cold january 1877. and lo and behold out of the blue a strange white man appeared in their niobrara river village from of all places the upper east side of new york and became into standing bear scamp and he gave a remarkable pronouncement to standing bear and the 750 peaceful ponca that the great white father wanted to standing bear and all 750 of his ponca people get backup ss as they can and to move, vacate the homeland and to do what was then called indian territory, and eventually became the state of oklahoma. and it's almost impossible to re-create what that message must admit to standing bear. because these were people who
were so attached to the land and the land went crazy horse once was asked where are your lands? his response, my lands are where my father is buried. this was true for the ponca as well. so standing bear refused. standing bear said no. his brother, the enforcer of the tribe, a big guy 6'4" 250 pounds, said no. they ran and 70-foot miles up the missouri river at the and the stockade at fort randall. then they begin to withhold water from the tri. they begin to withhold food from the tribe. after four or five days a very old and very young begin to weaken. some became almost fatally ill and they got that word to standing bear and went standing
bear got word that some of the very old and some of the very young among his tribe were dying, he reluctantly agreed to go to the indian territory. in the trek from the nebraska south dakota board down to the indian territory was traumatic, absolutely traumatic. a number of people died. it was very cold when they started. they were hit by tornadoes. standing bear lost his daughter very early on into the trip. by the time they struggled across the kansas oklahoma border into local it was july and the weather was hot. the weather was humid. they had no preparation for them. they were herded into creek bottoms. they were swarming with mosquitoes mosquitoes or carry malaria. there were no doctors and within the first year of the ponca
people leaving their homeland in the north and being forced to survive on their own in the scorching plains of oklahoma, in that one year period from july 1877-july 1878, 1 out of every three who had gone south was that. one-third of the tribe died of malaria the first year they were there. it on christmas week of 1878 standing bear's only son, a 16 year old boy was curled up in the fetal position on the bottom of the chief army kansas can't dying of malaria. but he for his eyes closed to death, he extracted a promise from his father, chief standing bear, that upon his death his father would take his remains and bury him in their sacred homeland and not in the hated some of the indian territory.
standing bear had invested so much in this boy. he saw this boy, his only son, who would one day become chief come as the cultural bridge that would allow the ponca people to keep one foot in the past, their cultural identity, but would also be able to keep one foot in the new world order. and he saw his 16 old son as the cultural bridge it would allow the ponca to do that. they could retain their identity i know what the religious songs were, their dances their language. but they would also know enough about the new world order and the dominant cold so they could divide into. he had been sent to school to learn english. he'd been sentiment about the white man's religion. he'd been sent to school to learn about the white man's political. but the 16 your boy who standing bear saw as the cultural bridge to help save the people was
dying, and he did it on the afternoon of january 2 1879 standing bear dressed his only son in his best clothing. they wrapped him in a buffalo robe and put them in the back of a rickety wagon and he and 29 others began this almost biblical track -- trek in the dead of winter walking 550 miles with virtually no money with virtually no food, with virtually no winter clothing. in an effort to keep the promise that he made to his son. indicated that it was 19 below zero. the third day out a raging blizzard coming from candidate dropping the windchill on january 4, the 77 below zero. so they had to dig tunnels and haystacks in open fields to put the very old and a very young in these haystacks.
they would rummage for field corn during the day and one day at a time when week at a time, one month at a time. they got within two days of the sacred grounds were standing there was going to fulfill his obligation to his son and they were arrested and they were marched south back to fort omaha. there's this whole parade of characters that really don't link up until the lead domino in this drama falls. and perhaps the most intriguing character in this shakespearean play happens to be the highest ranking military officer west of the mississippi, a brigadier general by the name of george crook. george crook was the commander at fort omaha in late march 1879 he watched these 29
ponca come into the lower parade ground and they were shocked at what he saw. he saw horribly sick and weak women who had clumps of flash, like a chart of bacon hanging off the wrists and elbows skin that was so severely frostbitten, skin that was so dead that was hanging off their -- he was shot at how definitely and sickly this group of 29 ponca were. and george crook has to make a key decision. he telegraphs his superior in chicago philip sheridan who may famously said some years earlier that the only good indian is a dead indian, that these ponca it arrived in his commit and his immediate order from his
superior was to turn their faces out and march him straight back to the indian territory. and brigadier general george crook, the highest ranking military man was mississippi knew that that order was tantamount to a death sentence. antiquing kami times in history military commanders have been given orders by superiors that initiate this fierce battle between the military conscience and their civilian conscience. and you can envision george crook pacing in his home trying to decide, do it on as a west point graduate as he heavily decorated civil war era as the highest ranking man in the army was mississippi, do i honor my commanders orders? or do i honor my conscience? and you can imagine that at some .1 night that need to be kept going back and forth military decision civilian it landed ever so slightly on the civilian
side and he decided he couldn't go ahead with that order. so he goes down to the stable. he gets on his horse and ride 30 miles south under the cover of darkness and he knocks on the door of the editor of the local newspaper, at the time was the omaha daily herald. anania from other stories. the door open late at night and this quixotic megalomaniac crusading journalist by the name of thomas henry devils opened the door and general crook says, in effect thomas kuhn i've got a story i you'll be interested in. so this doesn't happen all that often in journalism were high ranking military and tip off reporters to a story but it happened in the spring of 1879 and thomas went out through grace interpreter's and arrangements made i crook,
eventually interviewed standing bear and some of the other headman of the tribe and he gets his story and he loved his story and he starts pounding out story after story about this middle-aged peaceful man from this peaceful tribe that had never do anybody any harm who just wants to days from a stockade at fort omaha to bury his son and the government won't let him. and his stories that persevere in oman and jump across the mississippi and a t-shirt, and in boston new york philadelphia washington. visas to restart again a lot of momentum, and there are hundreds and thousands of reforms on the east coast, people who were involved in the abolitionist movement. and now they're looking for new cause in reading in the newspaper about his peaceful man who can't bear his son because he's a prisoner in a fort out of nebraska and they are not happy. people locally began to read his
story. and a lawyer in omaha if you are in trouble in omaha nebraska, in the spring of 1879 no matter what the offense was you would want a lawyer by the name of andrew jackson poppel to represent you as the first lawyer admitted to the bar in a in the state of nebraska. he was a former mayor of omaha. and spring preteens and young he was the general counsel for the union pacific railroad, which ironically had probably done more to destroy american culture than indian, indian culture than any other institution but in the spring of 1879 he reads in the paper about standing bear and he decides he is going to represent this ponca chief in a federal courtroom for free. because he is so intrigued with the legal possibilities in this case that he wants to make new law. he believes in his client's
innocence, and he believes that he has been wronged by the federal government. so he makes it known that he is going to represent standing there for free. there's only one federal judge in nebraska, and he loves to go out hunting for grizzly bear. that's what he's doing. so they had to send out runners to get the judge to getting into the courtroom to answer some of the legal petitions that have been drawn up by the most prominent lawyer in the state of nebraska at the time. so they find him, bring him back. jewish people in omagh in the spring of 1879 read about standing bear, and they come out of the woodwork. you have jewish merchants who are hitting up white citizens to build a defense fund for an american indian. that didn't happen every week in the american west but it happened in omagh in the spring of 1879. so ultimately standing bear sues
the government of the united states for illegally imprisoning him, and his people when his argument is they have done nothing wrong. so this case goes to trial. it goes into a federal courtroom on the corner of 15th and dodge street in omaha, nebraska and the trial begins on may 1 1879. and the judges listening to arguments, and he hears from the government prosecutors that the united states supreme court more than 20 years earlier in a case involving an african-american a slave, who would go to federal court seeking his freedom, and the supreme court of the united states had overwhelmingly denied dred scott his freedom and the
chief justice in that case justice roger tammy famously wrote that a negro has no rights that a white man is bound to respect. and 22 usually on the corner of 15th and dodge on the second floor of this limestone building the government of the united states is using that same argument telling the grizzly bear hunting judge that look if a negro cannot enter a federal courtroom and get his freedom, then certainly an american indian should not have been allowed to file this with of habeas corpus and ever have his day in court. end of story. but standing bear's lawyer noticed that the law says that any citizen of the united states or any person can file for a writ of habeas corpus, a legal
document that forces the government to justify why it is jailing someone. so the judge says well apparently the only real case before me is whether or not standing bear is a person. and he takes the case under advisement and 10 days after the trial and he writes an opinion that is unique in history of american law. and he rules in standing bear's david ricci rules that -- standing bear's paper. and he ruled that this middle-aged punk in the cheapest protected because of the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment that the government cannot legally deprive american indian chief of life liberty or
property without due process. and this has never been done before in the 103 year history of the united states. so what the united states sees what its it citizens see for the first time in american history is that an american indian has walked into a courtroom sued the government of the united states in the person of brigadier general george crook who had to be the defendant in the case, and he walked out of the court the victor having successfully sued the government of the united states for his freedom. and that was a landmark legal decision that standing bear had never intended to participate in. he just wanted to bury his son. and because of the judge dundee's landmark ruling in the spring of 1879, standing bear
was free to leave the courtroom and to continue his journey to bury his son in their sacred homeland, which is exactly what he did. all of the legal issues had been resolved. standing bear through bright eyes asked the judge if he could speak just one on one if he could have his say in court. and very late at night on the last day of the trial the judge earlier that they had agreed to let standing bear be the last speaker and close out the trial. it was about 10:00 at night at the courthouse was backed. the story had been in the paper for weeks. everybody knew was coming. to lots of other lawyers and judges and citizens who were crammed into the courthouse wanted to see what was going to happen in this remarkable case of an american indian chief suing a brigadier general of the united states army to become a free person.
and then the judge agreed to let standing bear speak. and as every last state in the long, exhausting day, standing bear walked up to the front of the courtroom where the judge was, bright eyes was with him and he held out his hand for a long time and he said to the judge in a very low voice was interpreted by bright eyes that batman is not the color of yours, but it appears that you shall feel pain. the blood that will flow from my hand will be the same color as yours. i am a man. the same god made us both. and after he got done with his talk, it was so eloquent that we ended, women began to cry in the back of the courthouse and even the defendant in the case the brigadier general george crook were so moved i standing
bear's oratorical powers and by the heartfelt message that is trying to deliver to the courtroom that the defendant in the case, brigadier general of the united states army got up from the defense table and went over and shook standing bear sing it. that wasn't all that common in the 1870s, either. from all accounts it was a pretty magical moment on the corner of 15th and dodge on may 2, 1879. i think if you ask the pocket people what does standing bear me didn't come you could get a lot of different answers but the arminian ponca who believe -- are many punk who believe standing bear is akin to the martin luther king to native americans. he was in the minds of many ponca, he was in the minds of many native americans the first civil rights hero this country
has produced. and many ponca see him in that vein. they see him as a civil rights warrior come as a civil rights hero who went into the white man's court beat the white man at his own game got his freedom and started the native people on the path that eventually led to indian rights and give indian citizenship and becoming a part of the dominant culture. >> and while in lincoln, nebraska we talked to andrew jewell whose book "the selected letters of willa cather" is a collection of the pulitzer prize-winning author's personal correspondence. >> willa cather is one of the most important american writers of the 20th century. she was given almost every literate award possible in our lifetime before she died except
for the nobel prize. and when the first american won the nobel prize it was sinclair lewis but he went around telling everybody willa cather should've should have appeared she was known for massive pieces like my aunt anita, the professor's house it comes to the archbishop, a lost lady, and many others. she's also really important in nebraska lincoln and to her hometown of red cloud nebraska because she went to the university of nebraska lincoln. she wrote about nebraska in many other works including o pioneers, lost lady, one of ours et cetera. and she has been a huge influence upon literature both in the united states and abroad as well come in many well-known writers continue to cite her as one of of the primary influences. she died in 1947 and in 1943 she had made a will which
average few restrictions, one of which was she didn't want her letters to be published or to be quoted in whole or in part it says and that was in the same part of the with paragraph seven which didn't want her books adapted into films, plays, et cetera. she wanted to control some degree of people experienced her work and she wanted her novels to be the way she was known to the public. this meant for years that people did know about her letters to they did know what they said. and if they did know about it and they had the opportunity as some scholars did, they really could write about it very clearly. they could summarize the letters but they could not ever post them. this was a huge problem and bear your interest in who she was what she was about. children behind at least 3000 letters that we know about now come in those letters are all over the world in different repositories but we are
fortunate the biggest collections are in nebraska. furthermore, she left one other important thing. she's such a letter to the sole benefit of discretion of her executives and trustee to decide whether not the enforcer preference. so now the executor of her estate is the willa cather trust and that trust is a partnership of two educational organizations, the university of nebraska foundation and the willa cather foundation, and they believe is education for physicians that she belongs to our shared heritage and we ought to know more about her that we have respected her wishes for over 65 years but now we let her speak for herself to her letters and others all interpret what they can read the archives. the selected letters the first publication of the letters came out in 2013. windows first came in the archives and i worked here i was able to read some words of willa
cather that had never really been a failed to account cybercom at the outset of those who received the letter originally. and i thought these words should be part of what we know about how she articulate her work herself. they should be well-known because they will mean something to people, people beyond me beyond specialist. ..
and about what has given her the strength, what makes her style something that people like. i will read a passage of it. she writes this from new hampshire near where she is buried today. she love this place. she go and visit all the time between 1938 on the heels of the death of her brother douglas at the death of her friend is about forces in a lot of pain and at the place where she is written so much that says to her brother for alone at this hotel in the woods or have done most of my best work and with the proprietors are so kind to me. i finished anthony hear, finish the lost lady and began the archbishop. the best part of all the better books was written here, and it was isabel 1st brought me here. i cannot imagine what her death means to me. he came for month after that
mrs. death. no other living person cares much about my work through 38 years as she did. i have cared too much of the people and places, cared too hard. it made me as a prayer, but it will break me in the end. i feel as if i can't kill another step. people say i have a classic style. a few of them know if the heat under the simple ways that count. i learned that if you love your feeling that you can be as mild as the main morning is to make other people. is that one thing, that simple really caring for an old margie comment all caps: old anything. i never cultivated it. from the age of 20 i did all i could repress it, and that effort of wine did give me a fairly good style sounding merely the writer of the person himself for what he was born with them what he has done caps off. there are other.
that letter that letter -- there are lots of different tones, and this one a a different time of her life which is feeling some of the 1st rush of success as a a writer, has an artist right after the novel came out in 1918 and she love to share good reviews with her brother and her whole family. she liked to tell her family about all things that are going well for her. sure that the someplace given day, not just be part of it. you nice letter deserve a speedy answer. i'm so glad that you and father and mother like the book. book. most of the critics to seem to find the best that i have done. all of the critics find this so artistic. it it exists in an atmosphere of its own command atmosphere of pure beauty. but the atmosphere was my
grandmother's kitchen, nothing else. simple as a country prayer meeting our greek temple and beautiful. there are lots of people can't write anything true themselves to recognize it when they see it. whatever is true is true for all people. you either have to be utterly commonplace worlds do the thing people don't want because it has not yet been invented. no new and original thing is wanted. people have to learn to like the things. i like that to. as expression as expression of her independence command that is for all of. she didn't want to where it is so addresses of late 19th century america. she cut her hair short and call commerce of what you can are indeed elected to my friends about the animal the sexes she was doing independent-minded from you think of the end-of-life that was true as an artist as well. we did this book arranged chronologically so people could read it somewhat like an autobiography. we want people to get a sense of this person and we
also wanted them to know what it was like to be an independent woman an artist in late 19th and early 20th century when that wasn't a common thing to be in to get a sense of the floriculture the she was in. this one independent person. and you can learn about her life, her work for her friends call her family poverty can also get a sense of somebody having the kind of wherewithal and grit to make it professionally with this dream that anyone who is practical to tell her she could never do. there is no way she could have been a writer. what a horrible bosses celebrity good at writing stories, should let it go. she didn't listen to him think of this. a real sense of strength. she says of the life paraphrase, the great people are wonderful encounter not for anything they tell us a
particular problem for the way they give us the courage to be honest and free. i feel like that is something people can get from her i can wish to be yourself. sure the two of the homeland after and set up your engine that will still you should like me because you are named after me to ignore them and like what you like. and that, i think, is the real versus. >> trying book tv recent visits lincoln, nebraska we visited margaret jacobs to discuss the creation of the indian child welfare act and her book on the subject, a generation removed. >> in 2013 the supreme court decided the case called adaptive couple versus baby girl that which is no more popularly as the baby or a case, and that involved a mother who had given up her child 1st option to a white south carolina couple without really informing the father of the child and the
father of the child learned from the surrender of his daughter for adoption of our five days before he was to be deployed. what he learned to take steps to try to regain custody. it turned out that eventually the south carolina court gave custody and i could to her father command is deeply upset the south carolina couple, the couple the outcomes. the reason the south carolina court gave custody of the adopted couple was that he is a member of the cherokee nation, and the cherokee nation is covered by the indian child welfare act. they sued to regain custody based on the fact. and that led to the supreme court actually sort of
deliberating about the constitutionality of the indian child welfare act or the applicability of it. and they ended up reversing the earlier quote for the lower court's decision and remanding it to the lower court. the lower court then reassigned custody of veronica back to the adaptive couple. so i opened my book with this incident because the history and telling is still very fresh. it is still very current and relevant, something in the distant past, still very much affected indian people's lives. this court case was a real blow the indian people who have really feared the indian child welfare act as a tool for them to help reclaim the care of their children and to regain children have been lost. there's a long history of the us government and eventually state governments interfering in indian
families. i would trace this at least back the late 19th century when the us government decided that it was the best policy to move children from there environments, indian children from there environments and place them in boarding schools. about this would be a way to assimilate children so that they no longer follow the dictates of their cultures and that they become less dependent on the federal government. so this policy was in place until around world war ii and at that time the federal government kind of change course. they still thought it was beneficial to bring children away from that and in communities that they had kind of lost faith in the boarding schools as a way to do this. so gradually i found in my research that in the 50s the federal government moved away from trying to help
indian families regain they're children and trying to sort of dn role children from the boarding schools and put them back in their families. the more and more moves this policy of promoting the fostering adoption of children. this was an era when the federal government was transferring responsibilities that had for indian people's to the state. and so in the 50s and 60s it was encouraging states to become responsible for indian children, and many of them are also promoting the fostering adoption of children the strengthening of indian families. they really started to have a sort of series of policies where they were removing indian children without good cause. cause. they would say it was because the child was being neglected because it indian woman who had a child was
unmarried and have given up for child freely for what i i found in my research that there was a lot of coercion young indian women who were having babies for social workers were often putting a lot of pressure on the. i also found that authorities were often removing indian children without true evidence of neglect or abuse but often because the family was poor. they might not have indoor plumbing. a child might be taken care of by grandmother instead of the nuclear family and especially with a lot of pressure at this should be a mother and father taking care of the children, not ends," or grandparents. and so there is this long history that i encountered post-world war ii that many state authorities
intervening in indian families to move children, so much so that by around 1970 probably 25 to 35% of all indian children were living away from their families. well, it seems to me that a lot of white middle-class families became very interested in adopting american indian children in the 50s and 60s. some of those because the popular culture at the time really talked a lot about how much speed there was a children, and in children to be adopted they lived in great poverty, had problems in the committee. this was also an era of great sort of liberalism among some americans where they were really building toward to them a kind of colorblind society where race would matter. so i families very interesting white couples who were often very progressive christian couples who wanted to adopt american indian children as
a gesture of goodwill and racial harmony and reconciliation. so there so there were two ways in which children might be adopted. one was that within their states some state governments replacing indian children the families that already lived in the state. that was the easiest by law. but a national program called the indian adoption project that the bureau of indian affairs started in the late 50s was promoting interstate adoption. they were promoting the taking of children from arizona and new mexico colorado, and placement families in the east coast. the thought this would be best because the child would probably never reconnect with the family. and these authorities really
thought that was the best way to assimilate indian children. if they never had any contact with the families, never had in the context of other indian people they thought they would become just like the rest of the population. and that sort of difficult indian problem, as they called it for so many years would be resolved finally. the indian problem as the american government side was indian peoples have become so dependent on the federal government that they couldn't make their own livings. they really wanted them to become independent. they did not want them to be affiliated with tragedy more. it did not want them to have the sort of claims are particular land or particular unique status with the federal government and work. i found in my book there were many cases of indian women who had lost their children primarily through social workers intervening and taking children away and starting in the late 60s many of these indian women started to fight back. they found a very strong
ally in an organization called the association of american indian affairs. this organization developed a legal defense fund for indian families and assigned one of their staff members an attorney, to defend indian families. he defended hundreds of indian families across the country. a small number of other lawyers got involved. finally there was a way for indian families, especially indian women to have some recourse for they're children were taken from them without just cause. and so they went to court and challenge these things. but gradually those people who were involved in these cases, whether travel advocates social service providers within indian communities or the
association of american indian affairs gradually began to feel like we can't just do this on a case-by-case basis. this is a systemic epidemic problem. when you have 25 to 35% 35 percent of all indian kids living apart from their families this is a crisis a crisis that will need to do something about. they started promoting the idea of legislation and this eventually led to the passage of the indian child welfare act in 1978 the very act that dustin brown was trying to use to give back his daughter brought. and since then and since then the department of justice has really shown itself to be interested in strengthening the indian child welfare act rather than decimating it are doing away with it. so so that supreme court case was a setback, but i don't see it as the sort of deathknell of the indian child welfare act. in some ways it mobilized indian communities to really want to defend the indian
child welfare act and it mobilized people like me as well. i was studying the history of this is going on and thought it so important to know about this. because hers kind of a notion that adoption is great. isn't it nice when people who have financial means taking children who are in difficult circumstances or who are neglected or abused. i felt like there was an important history to be told that there is more than meets the eye of the sometimes the state was using the promotion of fostering and adoption as a tool to undermine indian people. and instead of providing the resources that indian communities needed to thrive and for indian families who
are struggling to get back on there feet over time it seemed like the government was just really trying to undermine his communities through removing their children. as you move children, especially to a 3rd of all children the tribe can't persist as an entity command the culture can't persist. so this is such a grave issue for indian families and indian people. >> you're watching book tv on teewun. and this weekend for your visiting lincoln, nebraska the top of local authors and tour the city's city's literary sites with the help of our local cable partner time warner cable. nice to visit nice to visit the bennett martin public libraries room of nebraska authors. >> we are in the heritage room of nebraska authors in the lincoln city library and lincoln, nebraska. this is the main library in downtown
lincoln, the bennett martin branch. here on the 3rd floor. the purpose of the heritage room is to collect and celebrate and promote the works of nebraska authors. he began the collection in 1949 with a librarian who originally held just one bookcase where she would put boats that would come and buy nebraska authors. our collection has grown from that will shelter now we have 14,000 volumes. we represent more than 4000 nebraska authors. the most prominent willie cather my most famous. some of her contemporaries would have been marry sanders and best for your help bridge. we have left.and many of the early writers are establishing this literary heritage. they started the nebraska lawyers guild and began the tradition of writing about literature. those are some of the early writers. we also have some interesting writers who are little known the little-known the road some
of the significant pieces of nebraska history, land surveys are about the farming life just more nonfiction factual approach. we have some early books from famous nebraskans part part of the collection and was unnecessarily published became part of our collection because they belong to famous nebraskans. we have some of the books that he wrote and some of the books in his collection. these are some these are some books that are representative of the collection effort. some of the things we collected early on were books over the property of famous nebraskans and book written by famous nebraskans this this is examples of both of those things. this one is the public or empire by william jennings bryan. it's very delicate. that's when jennings bryan and his signature and this is part of his personal library. published in 1899 command this book is one of our --
not our earliest books but one of our more valuable because of its provenance. so the other early books; brascan. it's about nebraska life and these are nebraskans. part of the territory of nebraska before it became a state. this was owned by j sterling morton and he gave it to the fellow belong to him in 1872, and it was donated our collection. this is from his library in nebraska city. so this so this is one of our more valuable pieces and one of our earlier pieces. this book is a little book of early poetry by nebraska settlers, and some of the detail makes this book valuable. the goals on the outside and it has a lot of pasted in pictures and things.
and also is representative of the early works of 1st nebraska settlers. and so this is really valuable just an understanding the heritage and the settlement trials and tribulations of the early settlers. we acquire both through process of 1st identify who nebraska authors. authors. a nebraska often we defined as someone who was born or educated here. i must have educational years at the university of someone who lived here for more than ten years. so we look at these authors and try to have a representative example of all nebraska authors. our collection space is small, and so we don't exhaustively collect books from present-day nebraska authors, authors, but we do have an exhaustive collection of the early nebraska authors that are famous for their nebraska
literary contributions. one of contributions. one of the things our patrons like to see when they visit is the scope of literature throughout the past hundred hundred 50 years. for example many people come to see these books. the site of the lark as an example. this is a 1st printing command it has an original autograph and inscription from october 191919. we have these early editions of the book and actually have about 35 35 copies of side of the lark from his early publication in 1915 through present-day publication. and so publication. and so looking at our shelf you can see how the dust jackets have changed and also you can kind of see how the readership is changed. a changed. a lot of times it will come in with notes from readers.
in some cases notes from the author. this author. this one for example, is a book called not hundred 40. and this was the property of mabel besson wyatt. she donated this book to her collection after she had sent a letter to villa cather asking about her signature on books, and books, and this was the letter that she will back explaining why that is difficult to do. one of the reasons why this room is so important is that we are a public archive. anyone can come from him and do research. closed stacks which means that our stack has to retrieve materials but they are available to anyone. we can retrieve them and patrons can stay and look at the. it's one of the most important things, it's available to everyone.
i think it's also important that we have this base the space because we can promote the works of emerging nebraska authors. we have we have what is called the aims reading series and allow nebraska authors to come and read from the books of the writing and to promote their books command we brought them as authors and really celebrate there contributions to nebraska literature. >> we continue our visit with mary pieper, author of the middle of everywhere which examines the lives of refugees who have been relocated to nebraska from all of. >> a refugee is a legal definition internationally it's a legal definition by the united nations. what it means is the person who cannot stay in the country of origin because of the danger to themselves or the family. to become a refugee
generally there has to be some kind of adjudication process that allows certain group of people to be called refugee. i just are on national public radio today that there are 39 million internally displaced refugees. this is people who are in their own countries but no longer have homes. the most the most people in the history of the world that are internally displaced. i don't know the number for displaced to other countries, but i'm sure it's at an all-time high. i'm sure you have read in the news about libya and how people are risking their lives on these boats find across the mediterranean and italy. they know italy. they know they are likely to die, but they cannot stay where they are. people leave because of war, famine because they are likely to be killed for their political beliefs. refugees come to many cities
across america. they are selected in a process that no one understands very well for but for example, fargo, north dakota is a refugee resettlement community, des moines was a a refugee resettlement committee. lincoln, where i live was a refugee resettlement community. these cities are no doubt picked in part because they have good social services and available employment. so that is probably one reason places like that i picked. on the other hand the federal government does nothing to help refugees beyond meet them at an airport, usually in san francisco for jfk in new york and hand them a ticket to the town they have been assigned ago. people have no control over what city they are sent to. they don't even know until they open up the envelope and see where they are going. usually families are together but often friends of a lifetime, people from a small village who have escaped together and have
been friends since the beginning of their lives are separated and sent across the country never see each other again. they have no choice. if there had a had a ticket to buffalo, new york they go buffalo. if the. the head of the ticket to lincoln, nebraska, that's where they come. people land where they are set. not only do they get no help from the federal government but they actually have to pay the plane ticket back to the money for the plane ticket back. as soon as they get a job and start making some money their wages are garnished for seven or $800 or thousand dollars the plenty caused. if you think about this in a family that speaks no english coming here from sudan was seven or eight children, that's eight or $10,000 debt before they even get off the plane that they have to figure a way to deal with. so the people who help refugees are committee
service agencies, local community service agencies word church groups. the catholic social services has been a very important year. lutheran family services has been important here. one of the arguments i make is that every refugee who comes here needs a cultural broker while person who can help them deal with our extraordinarily complicated technological culture. for. for example, when i was a cultural broker for refugees i did this work back in 1999 and 2,000. at that time lincoln had 54 different languages in its public schools. we had refugees coming in from all over the world because we were designated official refugee resettlement community. my background is anthropology
and psychology, but i get interested in working with this population because i realized that i could learn a lot about families and teenagers and geography and history and language by visiting with people coming in from all over the world and then go home and sleep in my own bed. i can have all these experiences. so i. so i wrote the middle of everywhere command i also became very involved in the lives of many of the refugees are met and i'm still friends with many of his refugees. but when i 1st started being a cultural broker for people and helping introduce them to other people and get jobs one of the most complicated things is simply buying a car and getting a drivers license and understanding car insurance. i was a very big project. plus many people come from places where there were no vehicles. the most basic car maintenance.
my husband, i don't know how many people he taught to cheesy oil. refugees change the oil. refugees to know things like one of the risks is hypothermia. you you have to stay warm. they did not know how to walk on ice. people defiled visit the home and refugees from some parts of the world that were not industrialized would have there canned goods in a refrigerator in the milk in a covered. how the cross streets using red light green light yellow light signs can now use a parking meter everything was new. then of course segueing with major american systems like healthcare, schools business those are all anonymous issues. medical care. many of the countries where refugees come from have a totally different idea about the cause of disease, the treatment of disease and so
on. and so helping people learn the basics about the american medical system and how to interact with it going with people: rules i had was 1st time. in other words anytime someone has their 1st trip to the program were vehicles, the 1st trip to the dentist the 1st job location for the 1st visit to a dr., the 1st was to school someone needs to go with them and talk through that. i remember taking a young woman from afghanistan for an mri. she had been tortured, locked in small cells and we got to that mri machine she was overwhelmed by it. it. it's your home therapy there on the spot to calm her down to the.where she could get through an mri. just enormous challenges. language language was an enormous challenge.
the children of refugees pick it up quickly. women pick it up faster than men. the people who have the hardest time picking it up actually are older people. very soon as families are careful the kids could speak english. they are translating for the parents. the parents don't understand the culture. the kids of their cultural brokers, no one is in charge of the family because the parents don't understand what's going on well enough to intervene with their own children. for example, when i was i was working at lincoln high school it was a boy i was in the office. the principal told him the call home and tell his mother he had been missing school. school. he called olive told his mother the principal setting the a black leather jacket. took us a while to figure out what was going on because the mother was happy
and then a missing school and showed up in a black leather jacket. eventually a translator work through all that, but the problems are enormous. the thing that is amazing is that refugees from resilient people. if they were resilient they would not be here. the people who are resilient don't make it to the shores. every book i write i write because i want people to do something. in other words, i value good writing, of course, but that's not what i asked. i asked about writing what is it good for what impact will it have on the world. that's what i want to do. so with every book : i looked up books i had a strong sense that teenage girls were being misunderstood. and. and i wanted to write something that allow the adults in their lives to help them in a more intelligent, compassionate way. it's the same it's the same way with this book. a lot of misinformation about refugees from a thorough lack of understanding of the enormous problems that they
come from if you see a refugee walking down the street carrying a heavy caps on is back from a stop and talk to the person an offer to help them move that caps on different way. if you see someone confused in a grocery store about how to check out for help them understand how to go through the checkout line. there there are always people around from other countries and most american cities that can benefit from an experienced american stepping up and saying how can i be of help. when that happens the interesting thing is i i don't urge people to do this as some kind of moral duty or oppressive task that they should taken there busy lives.
the interesting thing is when people do this they have fun they enjoy it and they really feel good about being able to interact and such an informal and directly with people whose lives they would never understood otherwise. >> for more information on book tv recent visit to lincoln and the many other cities visited by a local content vehicles go to c-span.org/local content. >> presidential candidates often release books to introduce themselves to voters and to promote their views on issues. here's a issues. here's a look at some books written by declared candidates for president. neurosurgeon neurosurgeon ben carson calls for greater individual responsibility to preserve america's future and one nation. in against the tide former rhode island governor lincoln chasing recounts his time serving as a republican in the senate. former secretary of state hillary clinton looks back
on her time serving in the obama administration and hard choices. in a time for truth texas sen. ted cruz recounts his journey from a cuban immigrant son to the u.s. senate. carly fiorino, former ceo of hewlett-packard is another declared candidate for president in rising to the challenge she shares lessons learned from her difficulties and triumphs. former arkansas governor mike huckabee gives his take on politics and culture in god, guns, grits, and gravy. former new york governor
>> over five the 1st marine division. we ran the tracks up and down highway one right out of denying and north through the notorious treacherous pass. anybody who went on those convoys the dangerous passes in vietnam. the nickname is the rough riders. it was sometime before i get there and 66 or 67 66 or 67 and when i got they're late all-male going to transport the giant. as the rough riders. >> what is. >> what is highway one? >> it was the main highway in vietnam that stretched from the delta through the central highlands and then
in tae kwon do which is where i was from denying all the way north to the dmz. it was the main highway. you just call highway 1. i believe is still cold and one. >> and what was your job? >> convoy commander who was responsible for everything the convoy does it fails to do. and if there is an ambush they get to the ambush. minimum troubles possible. >> what made up of convoy? >> a commonwealth is made up of anywhere from six to seven six to seven tracks. the biggest when i was on was a hundred and 40 trucks. vehicles from all branches of service, south vietnamese the 20th of the break it up. we went to appellation. were going to get hit.
and the sergeant at the pencil in the book. you take a pencil and mark three places on the map. he said there are other going to have is here, here all here. they they had us on the 3rd. we went back and wrote our after action reports. my operations people were kind of red-faced. it was predicted. a convoy that that they can more hundred 40 trucks is going to get hit because of the smoke in the air and everything. there's a tendency of coming out of the high ground pass the tracks developing a gap which would give the enemy enough time to set up a mortar team and want to write an honest college they did. >> always contained in those convoy trucks? >> parker beams artillery shells for artillery batteries, 105 155-millimeter.
anything that a unit needs to stay in operation that really did not need to be airlifted in. i just put they just put it on a convoy and we usually arrived at its destination three or four days after it was ordered. it was our job to get the beams, bullets, and then leaders of their. >> redrafted or did you volunteer? >> i volunteered right and a college class of 66. i went to officer candidate school. there is no exclusive marine corps military academy. they give a certain percentage from the naval academy for but but i went to officer candidate school. >> wind you volunteer? >> i was already in the navy i did two years as a hospital corpsman. ticonderoga was involved in the gulf of tonkin incident, 1964.
after i left active duty i went back to finish my degree. wealth is going on i saw was developing a new at would be the biggest issue for my generation. i had a question with myself should i go because i already did my time to make a lot of people in my class were very supportive of president johnson. they were all for it. that really did something to me. also, as a hospital corpsman i had can rivalry with the marine corps detachment on the ticonderoga. i put all these things together. on top on top of that i met a young woman and we decided to get married. that's petty. and we decided to get married. it was a question of waiting for me come back. we talked it over
back-and-forth, had a lot of pro and con discussion about it from friends and family and finally made our own decisioning am married. a 2nd lieutenant for six days. i am married to my dress blues. >> were you supportive of the war when you volunteered in the marine corps? >> i was very supportive of it. so with the members of my class at quantico. my class lost 44 caliber there. i've often wondered what some of those young men come down their lives. >> how long were you they're? >> twelve months and 23 days. >> what did you like? >> what did i learn? i learned that were sell and sometimes the wrong people end up running things. >> example. >> which put me into a moral dilemma with my company commander. i was his number two.
the most despicable person i ever met. >> y? >> i found out after a couple incidents that i was working for we. the day robert kennedy was shot. little tap dancing's office. the office folks told us he said it was time somebody shot that kelly some of which. and then we found out he had a $2,000 price on his head. he was checking lines on my hands on the mound of earth with a wooden headstone at one end of the mound. the wooden headstone had his name on it. he get that message. it became to 30 became he became extremely paranoid and spend all the time of his office cubicle thinking of is not to commend the convoy because the convoys were rotated between the companies. he always came up with an excuse.
he was the commander on that 140 truck convoy. we found we found out later he disappeared off the radio that for about 12 minutes. in that time we take a bunch of casualties. i was trying to get a hold of them so i can relay the enemy position from the calling. that never happened. they took a lot of casualties and he came up with excuses. after that they he never took another convoy. he never took the convoy through a hot a hot area. it was always something in the office had to be done. i either had to take it or the two other lieutenants had to take it. at that time we knew what was going on. he was sleeping during the day in his flak jacket with the load and 45. i i realized i had a model them on my hands and was going to have to answer the
proverbial three watergate questions. what did you know, what did you is you know it and what you do about it. i would have been appointed privy to the act of the article 32 investigation similar to a grand jury. and i would have had to answer those questions. so i. so i was in a real moral dilemma, the biggest moral dilemma of my life that's why the editor wanted me to write the book because it was not a grunt in the jungle book. i was facing now with the enemy but a moral dilemma with my own company commander. sometimes i had more respect for the north vietnamese that i did for him. >> do you name him in the book? >> the publisher was very much worried about a possible libel. >> is he still living? >> no, he died of lung cancer in 2,004. i was one of the things.
he was either putting one hour letting one of. his favorite was moderate. he thought it was very manly i was facing a moral dilemma what i had to do is make a decision on my own. i went outside the chain of command, knew or major at the 1st marine division headquarters and when up at a meeting i really didn't take place and told him exactly what was going on. his 1st impression was isn't this just a bunch of proof going off on hear? trips are always complaining, bitching about something. i said no and gave him a couple instances and told him about the bobby kennedy incident and he just enemy. he looked at me and said frank, get a college educated but out of my office. this meeting never took place. i got back in the jeep and thought to myself i mainly just really screwed myself.
of going to get a bad thing this report. i i went outside the chain of command. something will happen. major my say something to my commanding officer battalion commander. he. he didn't. i ran into one of the office clerks about two days later and he had a big smile on his face. i asked him was going on and he said the captain is getting transferred to headquarters company. they really took them off the road. he thought he really had a nice desk job that would write out the rest of his tour, one at the troops got him a narrow blanket party for him and beat the crap out of. he was carrying an outlet flashlight. they took it away from them and used it as a blackjack. he's going to staff officers club for about four or five nights, but he definitely got the message. we never found out who the culprits were and we didn't know if they came from headquarters company or my
company. >> was this an unusual incident? have a commander who did not garner respect and was caught frankly, beaten by the troops? >> for me was very unusual. i have never i have never been placed in the such a model a man my whole life. there was a time when my editor at the university of kansas when he 1st asked me would you care to write about what you went through in vietnam. i didn't want to read the book. then i was pulling out some files a day or two later from an old bankers box and open the file and literally went back in time and saw these photographs memos and things and an e-mail by editor back and said i had changed from. i would write the book and he said fine, send me a proposal. we went from there.
that was what we do for the derby in 2,000. my deadline is june the 2012 i had a lot of the book already written because of the files in memos, letters. i kept in contact with a lot of people. there are four or five people that book were written under pseudonyms. >> a turkey 43 years. why did you not read it prior? >> i did. it was called it was called stagecoach problem, it was a drama. i was a film school at the ucla school of film and television and won 1st place in 1979. i get a lot of publicity. it was right at the time. it got a lot of meetings and new agent and then nothing happened because people told me the marines don't color officers. the subplot of the young lieutenant and the really
didn't have a lot of people because a lot of people felt usually those people go most people go through life and don't have to face of words on. they go through high school and college, get recruited pappy company, but company, but to have kids in suburbia, a white picket fence and see the warrant tv. i never have to face a sunset wonder that they might not see the following morning. and what brings out the best and worst them at the same time. i saw the best of some of the troops as a server for the worst in the manner i served under. >> you still have anger about what happened? >> i thought it was a life experience. i had ptsd before i went over. i had a recurring nightmare where the proverbial four
horsemen of the apocalypse is to chase with you my neighborhood in chicago. they were always four, ak-47s and all i had was a 45. no matter no matter where i hid all ran to the new world was. wake up and that he would shake me and my sure would be absolutely drenched. drenched. once i get over the mall and got my 1st convoy ambush is my may start and i never had any problems. coming back and read the problems i saw a lot of veterans with a lot of problems. i tried to help. i joined a veterans group. once. once i joined the group psychotherapy have realized how lucky i was. add a new new wounded, i saw some of these guys who did give what it also physically who did give what it also physically. some fair so well. at that particular time
being of veterans had an astronomical suicide rate. i think it could be compared to the same suicide rate from iraq and afghanistan. >> what do you do hear usc? >> have been teaching here since 1991. i was teaching ucla extension. i also taught cal state fullerton. there was a professor who was from the uk. he was diagnosed with stomach cancer. i have a phone call on wednesday 91. can you come up can you come up and take a look like you teach a class. i came up wednesday in my class started thursday. i took over after the 2nd week. i was in the spring of 91. i've been on the adjunct faculty ever since.
>> what was your homecoming like when you came back? >> my homecoming with my family, they were just plan is survived. i became a company commander at camp pendleton and infantry training regimen and i was sending a man over where i just came from. at the same at the same time i was interviewing companies because i knew i would leave active-duty. i i had a rough time with some of those business entities. i went through four or five on the were not nice. they did not like for whatever reason. one of the told me, you'll be coming to work with a lot of top-notch people. he paused and said it will be like meeting a bunch of high school dropouts against some stupid pushing and placement. i wanted to come across the table table and put my fist right-handers jobs for the quick a crazed vietnam vet.
i just kind of christmas spirit. i tightened up my fist under the table and i for fingernails in the palm and looked at him and said, gentlemen, thank you and i won't waste anymore of your time online. that happened in about four different occasions. they want me to comprise it into just one for which i did. >> it was this on the cover? >> they picked that photo half of the internet. that's from the 7th water transport battalion. the young man on the 50 caliber gun now is john came from the denver colorado area. he found out about some of his friends walking through barnes & noble. he called the publisher. he got a hold of me on e-mail. we had a nice relationship back and forth. he sent me one of his self published books. i also rejuvenated a lot of
friendship from vietnam vets and people from my own battalion after 43 years. i heard i heard from several people just last week. it's really been something. i'm glad my editor .pm for the book. it's a book that had. people have to know about it. i think it should be discussed on the high school level. again men know what boys really like. once you survive it follows you for the rest of your life. for me it's follow me for the rest of my life. i look at life differently. i just came back from cuba
fulbright insight and got to see what the cuban citizens alike. understood what they went through with the revolution shady there, shaking there fidel castro, the bay of pigs, the cuban missile crisis. they survived it. they have a certain will down there. i think that that will come from surviving a situation like that my terrible situation, which sometimes you have no control and it really does something to you it guides you through life and is something that when you wake up in the morning pages glad to be alive. >> is the cover of the book. vietnam roughriders the convoy commanders no more. this is book tv on c-span2. ..