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tv   Creating Capitol Hill  CSPAN  August 22, 2021 1:15am-2:01am EDT

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simultaneous fears 1 of bubbling up, not just the communists are infiltrating the communists are infiltrating through this mind control ideas. and pairing that with this in fear of extraterrestrial tthreats. >> you can watch the rest of this class and our entire library of lectures in history online c-span.org/history. simply click on the leicester internet lectures and history tab on the homepage for. >> without further ado i'd like to turn it over too steve to discuss in creating capitol hill are wonderful book will be talking about later, steeper. >> were going to be talk about the intersections of first street northeast at eighth street and east capitol street. a lot of things happen on this location as is true of most places on capitol hill. but we will spend a little time. one of the previous participants has asked to have
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more maps up she particularly likes them to spend more time with them. i'm going to go quickly through maps, some extra ones today. and then come back to them and work with them some more. this is the first one. this is what he propose the city should look like. you can see the two arrows they're pointing to this particular square. that is what we are going to talk about. this is don hawkins a map from the book in which he shows what we can figure out about what was going on in 1801 when congress got here. the streets are not there. that is but because they cut them little by little. we are spending a lot of time doing surveying which had not been done.
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so the area is not really ready yet. it's interesting to see the way it developed. this is the 1815 map. this was what the situation was after the fire. and again the block is marked there. you can see what we are talking about. this is the map today. you can see the capitol grounds are a block whiter. those arrows are in the same position but the blocks between there and the capitol had been wiped out it's a general part of the grounds. and what sits on that block between those two blue arrows is the string quartets right across the street from the capitol. but we are going to be talking about what was there before it got there. it is an interesting story as
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always. now i was looking as is east capitol street as it exists today, we are going to talk about that a little bit as well. i went to the don hawkins map, you can see the yellow arrow is up there is a street used to be. where delaware avenue was extended who talked about that a few weeks ago. on the other side you can see the green arrow which is showing you where a street was to be. those little black exes are the stone markers that were used to mark where the streets are going to be. but the streets obviously had not been cut yet. there is no indication there are trees there. that the land was not evened out or anything, the street was just not established yet. but the interesting thing to
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me was east capitol and b street or a street on the south, both ended at third street. that is an intriguing story. what that does is mark the land that belonged to daniel karol, has a property stopped before third street. this shows he is the one developing around here and people owned the property past that are not. this is an unusual map. i use this a couple of weeks ago. it was pointed out to me by one listener i misstated its source. i wanted to explain this a map that is in the section of the book that don hawkins did was not done by don hawkins. it was done by priscilla
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o'neill who did the research on it. and cynthia elliott who actually drew it. so in honor of women in history, we want to honor those two women today for having laid out this interesting map is much as we could tell about who owned what in the original state of washington. the two yellow arrows refer to the property in the one of the top left locates where the capitol itself is. the other one shows you can see there in front of the capitol it stopped and that is where the street stopped. daniel karol had paid forgiveness streets done in the next area the next owner had not.
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he had purchased the property in 1764. he has had it for 30 years at this point. he sold it to his son-in-law he sold in march of 91 is not sale is not completed jet. it is still attributed to slater at this point. slater died by 1799 the sale of his property from 1799 by his heirs, his sons who signed over their interest in the property he was eight ship master. in 1792 he was engaged in bringing irish immigrants to america, we think it probably is something to do recruiting the irish workers who came to washington to work on the capitol city.
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land went south although down to the navy yard. you can see the bottom of it where it ends at the bottom of the screen here. that is where he concentrated his development. probably servicing or providing needed for the population got built up earliest center of population was down there that's report and the industrial workers were the opening tavern the first hotel on capitol hill a brick and a hay. he's the one who donated the land for christ church which
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is the episcopal church in the capitol hill area, and the oldest one is six street i'm sorry it's on g street between sixth and seventh and still exist today. did not develop his land only depart by the navy yard. grout is when the few few proprietors to remain solvent throughout the whole. the third owner is overton car the map is marked walker. he owned the property before he actually lived there to buy out the small land owners
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around but he immediately sold his land to george walker. the land was purchased by walker and walker is the one who donated the land to the city of washington. walker was a very enthusiastic promoter. he had come to georgetown in the 1780s from scotland. he was a tobacco merchant but interested in a lot of things. he condition the first map to be given to george washington showing what was possible between georgetown and hurdles berg and showed a large city was possible here. he may be the one who introduced the idea to george washington with a larger city. he was friends with kraut i
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may have recruited him to come and invest here. he bought three lots at public sale in the square at 728 which is the one we are talking about. he did not buy them directly he bought them in the sale. he later was also an original investor in the first eastern branch of bridge the one that was done at kentucky avenue early on. now go back to this 1801 map of marked this particular location. that's the lot george walker bought. he wanted to build a hotel near the capitol. so he bought three lots there. you can see by 1801 the street is in front of his lot but he has built his building was known originally as walker's hotel.
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he opened in 1796 this is a much earlier than the other things we have talked about generally. in the comment was made when it opened in the newspaper that at least walker's hotel had a roof on it which the capitol didn't. many of the other did not either in the past. the tavern was particularly noted to the sandstone decoration on the front of it. that was a little more decoration than a lot of buildings being put up at the time. it is the same sandstone to construct the capitol and the white house relator on this advertises a capitol hill tavern. at first it had dining and meeting rooms and staplers it
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was for travelers unlike a boardinghouse. it even had recreation. by a woman named elizabeth leslie but george walker had sold the building in october of 1800. probably by the time the map was done. apparently he had trouble keeping people to keep the hotel there. there is not a lot of the business and he had to get a new hotel keeper just about every year. so he sells the hotel to william honey cliff to already had a hotel down by the navy yard. he runs as the washington city hotel. it has had several names. walker himself went to london to try to sell lots and shares in washington. he was unsuccessful and that
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moved back to scotland in 1800 and never return to washington. there are three illustrious stories here on capitol hill development. it's dan who wants to attract cabinet officers and members of congress, rich peeples and his own relatives to this place. these people stayed only a few months out of the year end never supported the neighborhood much. he was in constant financial trouble this whole time and finally gave up after the panic of 1819 did not try to develop much more. thomas a law we talk about also had financial troubles through this. he decided to lower the prices of his land and buildings to get people to actually buy them. there are letters were thomas law suggesting he would not have so much trouble if you
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lowered the price. but daniel karol refused to do that. one note that just occurs to me at this moment got rich bagging the maharashtra and india to lower the price of this holy site made himself of the maharajah rich by lowering the prices. he got some experience with this. daniel karol doesn't and will not lower the prices because he might attract lower-class people. so he struggles. george walker, the second one has lots of energy and did lots of promoting he recruited other business people and even a bought out a proprietor, daniel karol has inherited the plan. but george walker buys out another proprietor but is
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unable to attract investors. he has to find a new people every year he gives up by the 1900s. in between the two may have been recruited by walker but he is brought in these irish laborers. he orients his investment for that. he built ordinary businesses, tavern, market, selling bricks and hate down by the navy yard where people actually were. they had year-round employment. hey did not build up by the capitol. he did not build to try and attract fancy people who did not stay. he is the one that was successful. now this is the square itself. the blue arrow marks walker's tavern number 728. this is from the look roadmap.
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this is the hotel building you can see. it is now attached to something else which is the old brick capitol. but in the meanwhile before it gets attached, it was walker lee. the landed everything in 1801. stella was also a character keeping hotels and so forth on capitol hill. it was sold by 1810 to someone else sold again in 1811 and 1812. in 1813 finally in bought in 1815. there may and may he sold the
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ruins of the other tavern in bought this one and july. now it's time to talk about the old brick capitol this is a picture of it later. you may be able to notice it's right across the street on the corner where the supreme court is now. she'd been there for 50 years and at the streets are still not paved. this shows even with the civil war the streets ran for the capitol. you can see the windows have a little bit of decoration of above them the part closest to
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doesn't have it may be it's not the building that's being described, we do not know for sure. but it became part of the old brick capitol which is where congress met. i'm going to talk about that. i do want to note that eventually that became part of the headquarters of the women's suffrage campaign. the bricks from that building were preserved in our now make up the patio at the belmont house which is the suffrage national historic site just a block away from there. now, congress appropriated after the british burned the capitol building congress appropriated funds to rebuild the burned capitol. and then went home. but, they did not designate
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any funds for an interim meeting place. coddington and thomas all were concerned congress would never return they would off to annapolis, baltimore replace what is appropriate meeting space and then all the money they invested in washington would be gone. and so they went to the commissioners who had responsibilities for the money. the commissioner said no it cannot use money for anything except building the capitol. that even appealed to president madison who agreed with the commissioners. and so, as is the continuing story thomas law says we have got to do it ourselves. he gets together, daniel karol was one of the investors he provided much of the land for.
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congress was a meeting at the hotel besides the capitol itself it's just not adequate to the congress and law and the others knew congress was not going to like that. and so they said we will put up this building as an investment. even if congress decides not to use it will make it good hotel site with big meeting rooms the city did not have they thought, they knew they had to get it done in a hurry. so here is the quotation from the. about the construction of this building. it says quote the spot on which the spacious building stands was a cabbage garden on the morning of the fourth of july. that afternoon the digging was commenced.
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congress convened there on december the fifth. so it is four months that took them to put up the building, the big building you can see right front and center here. so that is what sat on the corner where the supreme court is now. but is the corner of eighth street and not a maryland avenue which i will show you in a moment on the map. because a street existed at that point, it does not now. congress reconvened on december 5. i'm first looked over the building and decided yes that is what they needed. until they leased it right away. thomas law and daniel are triumphant again. they have moved in and done the >> things that congress needed to do. there one's credit with creating capitol hill.
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if you look at the building, the house of representatives was upstairs the senate was downstairs. and in the wing that was walker's hotel is where there were offices and committee rooms. congress met there from 1815, 1816 then after the election they came back 1817 and 18. there back in the capitol by 1819. president james monroe was inaugurated outside of this building. the legend is and i have not seen it actually documented, because congressional record does not exist word for word in that. supposedly as to whose chamber they were going to use for the inauguration. finally monroe said oh let's
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do it outside. that is why we had an outdoor inauguration. you may remember george washington took the oath of office outside on the balcony and federal hall in new york for his first inauguration. both the speech and the oath done outside behrendt and james it did at this building. andrew jackson in 1825 as many finally establishes the creation of being outside all the time. congress met in their, the supreme court did not meet here. have your own building on new jersey avenue and south at west or southeast as i pointed out. established a commission process by which will
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negotiate over the details to destroy property and that meetings took place in the old brick capitol after congress had vacated it then it was taken over and made into a boardinghouse. but other things were done here when thomas jefferson sold his library to the congress. the library was housed here until the center part of the capitol could be built where they could provide for the 6000 books are first exhibited in this building some rooms were used for sculpture studios.
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i'm particularly we know he worked on the genius of the constitution at the front and center pediment of the capitol building in the basement of this building. pieces of the statue of freedom were stored there for a year end a half between the time they arrived in washington and when the dome was ready to be put up there. and also in the border house-senate or former vice president died in that boardinghouse? a lot went on over the years. then in 1861 it became the capitol prison. right after first battle of manassas the troops came streaming back into washington there is no place to put them. so every building in town was requisitioned.
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even the church is to be used as hospitals and barracks. and in this case as a prison. right after the battle leaves the rotunda for the hospital slept on the marble floors. but then they immediately built a temporary barracks and the ones were used for this purpose. hospital, barracks and prisons all over the city. this was the most elite prison there were incarcerated here and henry wertz the commander of the anderson built prison where the prisoners were allowed to starve he was the
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only prisoner hung after the civil war that was done here. this and 1865 was on by alexander gardner. in 1867 the building was sold to george brown who is sgt at arms at the senate. he turned into boarding houses. this is a photograph of a stereo card that is white so fuzzy. but on the right there with a green arrow you can see the statue of george washington were going to talk about in a moment. this a building with the blue arrow is the reconstituted old brick capitol it made into some nice-looking boarding houses there. i have never seen this photograph before. i realize they are in background is the old brick
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capitol reconstituted as boarding houses. it's really quite attractive. the building looked like before. by 19209 congress had purchased these boarding houses and tore them down for the construction of the supreme court. they had been used as the headquarters of the women's suffrage campaign. they are associates associated with that at the end of the life of the building. now were going to talk about the statute. here you can see this is lincoln's inauguration. again the blue arrow shows you where the statue was at that point. the statue was designed for the rotunda. it is by horatio greenough paid he thought he would help educate americans with great arts. he lived in italy was the most prominent american sculpture there. he thought the art there was a
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wonderful unclothed bodies added to the beauty. americans did not agree with that. the statue itself looked rather awkward inside the building. until they moved it outside. here is group of schoolchildren looking at it. you can look at the homestead lamp post in the background there. this is what it looked like outside. you can get a good picture of george washington there showing off his muscles and teaching us like he was a greek leader. but americans did not like that. this is the map in 1815 i put the blue arrow to show you where the statue was. they knew that statue is going to be controversial.
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he had had an earlier statue that included some cupid -like figures they were little boys and it was showing their little boy parts and the location where it was, women got together and made diapers to put on the little boys because they did not want to see that. the statute proved unpopular. and here is the chronology, it was commissioned in 1832. it was put in the rotunda and 41. scott biden 43 sometime between 1908 was put outside the patent office, but probably not for very long. that's the building on seventh street which is the national museum of american art in the portrait gallery. i went to the smithsonian where it sat in the arts and industry building and eventually was moved to the
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museum now known as the museum of american history. that is the story of that statute. then this is east capitol street. i just want to mention it has a story people would not have thought of. this was the first street that was leveled from washington. the capitol was at a dramatic point partway up the hill. who's further up capitol street here. that meant every time it rained the water would come flowing down to east capitol street and right onto the capitol grounds and flood the construction projects. the architect got congress to agree to level capitol street. that meant it was a logical place to put a markets. we have no sense today of how
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hilly this area it was how uneven the ground was. it all looks nice and even to us today. it was unusual to have an open flat area. they decided to put a market there. this was after the british invasion. the city market was put in the middle of the street here. there was an earlier market on capitol hill on new jersey avenue near the navy yard. this is for the people at the top of the hill. i paid for a scale house which is a little place where things were weighed out of the weather and so forth. it had one employee and along the street here there is a dry goods store and a bookstore.
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that is 1814 the market was established. they neighbored the petition to have the market removed. they said it was a nuisance. now it's an exclusive neighborhood. those who watch our program a couple of weeks ago as the block where his house was for the library of congress is now. now we'll have one more map. this is a satellite view of the area. you can see what looks like now. let me activate my pointer here. so here it is. the old brick capitol was located here on a strange.
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it was located about here. wait up here is where the women's party moved and that is where the patio is with the bricks from walkers tavern. this is where the market was here along east capitol street, french's house is about here. so then there was a statute located just about right here. and so i am ready for questions. >> and start firing the video back up there. thank you steve it has been fascinating. i've got a few questions for you. first jumping back to the mcneil elliott. the state of maryland was listed as one of the land owners. they are curious how that
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might have come to be? >> that was land that was confiscated by the state of maryland because it belonged to loyalists. i believe it was the land that was shown here here is the land we talked about this goes to the loyalists i believe the story is that the loyalists had transferred the ownership to his son who was a patriot. but the state of maryland took the land anyway and was in litigation from 110 that's one of the reasons it was not developed. it includes the entire area and all the places that had been confiscated.
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>> sure we've got another question asking about the paved streets of washington. in particular when they started to be paved and when the streets reached a point there mostly paved. >> that would relate to the introduction of sewers and running water. people could pay to have their own streets paved, which happened in a number of cases. but i actually have not done any study or research i was surprised to find a first he was still unpaved after the civil war. i do know at the beginning of the civil war pennsylvania avenue is the only paved street that had not been paved by someone privately for just a block or so. and so even after the civil war it is not paid. it is that. particularly into the regime
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or they straighten out the streets and ruin the properties by cutting the streets and leaving a very steep hill to get to your property. so it would be heavily done in the early 1870s. we know later on the potomac avenue had been called georgia avenue. it was the last of the state avenues he insisted the new street they were building out of washington, the main road out which was called seventh street road was going to be called georgia avenue. that is why georgia to this day was one of the original 13 colonies. and does not have the avenue in the original city. >> that is fascinating. you can imagine the frustration they might have
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felt as the only unpaved state avenue. we have got a question about the market on east capitol street. the question regards whether there any african-american vendors working in the market perhaps farmers asked. >> i do not have information on that. it would surprise me a lot they were not. there were african americans who grew food i am not the one who's done the research on that one. i've got one final question for you for going to go ahead and do two final questions here. one asks about carl scherz on capitol hill, asks for further information on that fellow. >> carl is one of my heroes.
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he was sort of the model german immigrant. he was famous from the immigration of 48 because he was a student and professor the leaders in frankfurt. knowing how things operated in germany when his professor was arrested and imprisoned rented a carriage and bribed one of the guards lowered the professor in a huge basket out of the window of the prison and carlton got him into the carriage and rushed him off and they went off to london together. some of the dramatic moments of 1848. schuetz becomes the model for that. he comes to america as the hero of the 40 aiders that we
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talked about a little bit previous time a group of very intelligent and highly educated germans who came here as a result of the revolution of 1848. so schuetz goes to -- he comes into philadelphia and then goes out to wisconsin where he is settled. his wife is the one who had the first kindergarten and america. promoted the idea of kindergarten and goes all back to his wife. he was almost immediately nominated to lieutenant governor of wisconsin. later on becomes a senator from missouri. but as i look back through his life to find out whether he come to washington i did not find any sign he came to washington. he campaigned for lincoln in 1851 and got a national reputation for that. and it sort of represented
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along with some others the german immigrants who were quite key. we know he came and visited lincoln while he was president. as far as we can find he did not come during this period. >> sure. you know what, we are going to do i know i said to already run student two final there is a quick one and one i think you're going to enjoy part less are at the quick one did congress pay a fee to use the old brick capitol building? >> yes they lease it. they gave a flat amount of money i believe is 5000, this is in the book. they gave a flat amount of money for the furnishings and then leased the building based on a 6% rate of return on investment. >> the last one before we wrap things up i think you will enjoy, that when we talk about the treaty it was worked
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out in the old brick capitol. but the viewer points out he signed up the house over northwest. they asked about the connection between that and the capitol. whether any members of congress would attend that signing. i would let you go ahead with the connection there. >> let me clarify if i did not make it clear before, what took place in the old brick capitol was not a negotiation. but the follow-up from the treaty. it was negotiated in ghent not here in washington. there a lot of negotiations. coming to an agreement on who owed what money in those negotiations took place. suddenly in the octagon house where there would have been members of congress i don't know much about the signing of the treaty.
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>> probably were members of congress amongst the commissioners that were doing the negotiations. >> sure. and just the connection between the octagon house and the u.s. capitol building? >> he designed them both. his design was much more successful at the octagon house. he is regarded as a good domestic architecture. he was completely untrained as an architect, not a lot of nice things are said about his design for the capitol building. >> i want to thank you again for this wonderful presentation. i have the pleasure work was seen for the better part of four years. i still learned something new every time wechat. >> american history tv is on social media. follow us at c-span history.
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