tv John Wasik Lincolnomics CSPAN August 24, 2021 11:32am-12:31pm EDT
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including to our visitors and viewers from c-span. i a.m. -- i am jim kelly with fordham university. we are proud to be cosponsoring this webinar with our partners, the museum of american finance and the cfa society of new york. this event is part of our centennialal series celebratinga hundred years of purpose-driven business education at fordham. it is particularly timely since we are currently offering a course in financial history at fordham in conjunction with the museum of american finance. during the presentation, please enter your questions by typing them in the q&a section near the bottom of your zoom screen. who will be addressing as many questions as possible after the presentation. lastly, as a participant in today's webinar will be entered into a raffle to win a
free e-book of lincolnomics. winners will be notified at the end of the week. now i'd like to turn over to president of the museum of american finance who will introduce our speaker. thank you. >> thank you jim it's always great to back with you. the cappelli school, our friends at cfa. and this is a third time i have had the pleasure to introduce john. the first time introduced him he had written ten books without whispery impressive. while the second time he was up to 16 and now we are up to 19 books. so congratulations on that, john. this book is particularly timely because in the heart of it you're discussing infrastructure as we know congress is currently debating infrastructure built. in john, ponder several times throughout the book, what would lincoln do? john's prolific writing also includes more than 1000
columns and articles in places like the "new york times", the wall street journal, but most importantly of course our own magazine financial history and article based on a book will be out in the spring issue sometime next month. john has appeared on many media outlets from nbc to npr, cnn, cnbc, msnbc pbs. he is a native of illinois and during his childhood he visited many lincoln tourist destinations. and he continued on doing that as adults around the country visiting various tourist sites. therefore when you read the book the several great appendices. one of them mrs. refused i don't shoot and miss the various lincoln tourist destinations. now john it has been a very difficult 13 months for this country. so please tell us what would
lincoln do? >> thank you so much c for that generous interpret it is always a pleasure to speak at the museum of american finance. so much to our great sponsors from the school of business, center for global security analysis, cfa society of new york and all of you for attending this zoom session. on what i hope will be a revealing new look at abraham lincoln and infrastructure. the story starts in 1828. a young man is taking transporting goods, hogs, agricultural produce from southern indiana on the ohio river down the mississippi to new orleans. on the way he discovers two things. he sees that people who are
enslaved do not have the same canonic opportunity to advance their own station. and it is a moral evil. he also sees the importance of transporting goods to markets and having access to those markets no matter where you live. so if you are a rural farmer were ever in the country, you do not have to go through this labyrinth of what was then the interstate system for the nations large rivers to get there. this young man was abraham lincoln. took another trip out of springfield, illinois. 1828 is a really important here though. that is with the erie canal opened. that gave new york city, which became of course with the greatest imports in the world, access to the markets west into the great lakes brit at
the time chicago was not even a city it was a swampy trading post a very inaccessible because the only way of getting down to the mississippi river was through an ugly portage called bud lake. even in 1673, two explorers said hey there should be a canal here. if you connect the chicago river to lake michigan, the great lakes, the erie canal, new york city you can get to new orleans because internet to the illinois river, then the mississippi and onto the chosen city. that was on the first impressions that young abraham lincoln had as the nation was growing in the 1830s, it was really a time that we don't really study a whole lot. because we mostly skip from the revolution to the civil
war, there is a lot of history in between. one of the reasons i wrote the book was because i wanted to know, how did our country developed? what did we need to do to get where we are today? and eventually what do we need to do to get deeper into the future into the more equitable present. what was really important about that trip was a very huckleberry finn like trip for lincoln it changes worldview changes thinking. a change how he said things in public. one of his first really campaign planks in the 1830s when he ran for general assembly he is in springfield illinois young man in his 20 failed it running two stores, tried surveying, was splitting wood was doing anything to make ends meet. he had some debts, a partner in a store left him high and dry, he had to pay off those debts. he did all of this while being
very curious about the world and about markets and economics. things that would transform not only his life but the life of all rural americans and even people in cities. he proposed something very interesting. the first thing you said is we need to build a canal from springfield all the way to the illinois river which would facilitate a great newport and access to the markets in new orleans and further south. and also to create a canal that would later be called the illinois michigan cannot which would connect chicago it's only about 96 miles. and as a third thing which actually was pooh-poohed at the time because everybody thought it was going to be way too expensive, was a major river thing to connect the whole state to the rest of the eastern market at the time.
that railroad was going to be called the illinois central. he worked with a fellow named steven douglas whose great rivals throughout life in politics to get this done. the illinois legislature passed a massive infrastructure plan and then promptly went bust. it was undercapitalized, the canal had to take some time off because they did not have the money to hire irish laborers to get paid almost nothing to dig it by hand. that was something that had to be done in order to open up chicago, the great lakes and the rest of illinois to the global markets. lincoln saw this early, he campaigned for it and he was fairly successful in convincing people that this should be done. he wanted to put rural farmers and anybody who is not living near a big city or saltwater port on equal footing with everybody else how do you do
this? you create transportation routes to infrastructure to get people there. so lincoln was fairly successful as a young assembly man. but what was more important was the introduce this concept based on henry clay's american system that if you build infrastructure would create economic progress. this was fundamental to the view of the world and the united states henry clay was a waiting abraham lincoln was an early wig they were very much into building infrastructure and tariffs to pay for them, internal tariffs. and they did this they called the era of good feelings. i'm never quite sure why they called it that. the biggest thing at that time was to build canals all over the country. to connect these major rigid river systems course railroads
took off in the following decade in the 1840s and then became this huge interstate system really took off because the canals can exceeded the growth. what happened when lincoln first proposes little canal out of springfield was that new that any place where the canal was at a conjunction with another river system in this case illinois, a lot of commerce and development would take off. and this is very little known but he was a nervous planner. he planned a town at the intersection of this canal called here on as in lake huron. it course was never built. i saw the plans and doing reach or something of never did known about lincoln then of course he moved on to be a lawyer to make a little bit more money.
he was a very successful lawyer and he kind of dropped out of politics until 1854. and when the interim, america's growing a rapid pace. opens up 1848 what happens, it creates this a major city on the other end of it. chicago is a dumpy little swampy area on lake michigan in what becomes a major shipping port. and becomes the easiest port in the city when the canal is finished for at least another decade. and by 1900 the population was so explosive it becomes the fastest growing city in the world at the turn-of-the-century. that was facilitated by this idea that lincoln champion along with steven douglas. even more importantly the illinois central railroad
which was really built to supplement what was going up and down the canals becomes the longest railroad in the world by 1850. not until the civil war. it became a major transit route during the civil war. so keep those two things in mind. these are two immense developments in the history of the country in the midwest links east in a market to western markets of the southern points. it's globalization in a very small sense but in a very growing sense. now what happens in the civil war comes along? we know what lincoln says. we know about the house divided speech, we note the lincoln douglas debates. i started going to some of the material he said literally the
first debate with steven douglas in 1858 he's running for a senator at the time against douglas. douglas had controlled the illinois democratic party and at that time there were not directly elected he became the senator. so what happened was in talking about slavery made another argument. this was during the first debate. he said you know, every man has a right to earn his own. i'm paraphrasing, to be on an equal footing with everyone. so this is lincoln's view of economic progress that you have a right to offer your labor for pay that you have the opportunity to ascend the economic ladder. how do you move up? how do you avoid being this back a woodsman all your life
doomed to farming? how do you do that? while this is part of the american system. it kind of grown up to learn in our history. but there's more to it than that. here is something even more exciting. this is another side plot and the whole lincoln story that really during his sort of i would not call exile but it's his estrangement from politics which would last roughly from the time he leaves the general assembly to more roughly 1854 when douglas passes the kansas nebraska act allowing for expansion of slavery in the territory. lincoln comes to this realization that what is really important here other than ending slavery is we still need to pay attention to infrastructure per 1847 is only termed in the house of
representatives. actually gives a very long speech one of his longest speeches ever on infrastructure. why is it important to have railroads? what is it mean to the health of the future of the nation? lincoln thought it was essential. in fact he was disparaging president polk at the time for fighting the mexican war and then collecting this huge national issue. keep in mind up until lincoln's era many of the founding fathers, many southerners thought their federal funding structure was unconstitutional. james monroe himself said in an annual message, even before the canal i like the idea it's not in the constitution. that was used as an argument against for decades before the civil war.
sit lincoln suggested in 1860 there is a secession of the southern states. incan has to go into washington by a secret route because there is an assassination plot attempt. he gets there in the civil war starts. in prosecuting the civil war lincoln's record is very well known. when he had embedded in someone's very basic messages were very foundational ideas on raising all boats the economic progress. where the favor? first of all the transcontinental railroad became a very popular idea in the 1840s. johnson, fremont herein for president against buchanan campaign on that. he was one of the first republican republican party does not come along until the mid- 19th century 1850s. in the new republican party of course is against slavery and for the transcontinental railroad. lincoln had representatives
illinois central as his lawyer knew the importance of it. so he favors that in one of his annual messages which were save the union speeches he mentions a whole bunch of other things. he is the first president to do a telegraph message transcontinental. he loves the telegraph as we know from history in the civil war he spent a lot of time the telegraph room by getting dispatches from the various battles. first years of the war very badly for the union. and of course lincoln's shot following generals. he's trying his troops were the need to be. and most of them are the federal generals it turns out are the railroad engineers who became generals. they later become active in the transcontinental railroad.
here's was even remarkable at the height of the civil war this god awful bloodshed 700,000 people lose their lives. the majority lose them in the camps to various diseases, they have no idea what's going on because it is not come along till 2030 years later. he's an advocate of medical research. he establishes pathology institute. i found the papers where he talks about using disinfectant and some of the union camps. he does not even know about germs he just hears about it. i saw later in the archives for this except a really good idea. he's our innovator he wants to do new things. want to see see new ways of communicating of transporting goods, of getting us to where we need to be.
in one of the biggest sort of fell swoops that he signs into law are three very fundamental laws. the homestead act which allows people basically framed the moral act establishes land-grant colleges and of course the pacific railway act, to laws actually which give the land for the trans cut metal railroad. that was 1862. the following year he also passes the national banking act. this is for the first time establishes green dollar is our national currency and establishes also income tax to pay for the war and during the war the union increases there's a very small tax 3% over $800 to pay it is the first income tax repealed in
1873 i believe in it comes back in 1913. but it was first away of the national governments financing is expensive on that level. that was a very important development. so all this happens when the civil war gettysburg vicksburg in 1863 and then the war is over, lincoln loses his life in 1865 he's assassinated at ford's theater. but his legacy lives on. here is the most amazing part of the story, lincoln's view of economic progress this building infrastructure really comes out of another part of his psyche in 1847 hit actually invented a vote. it was designed to lift up not a very big vote but is lifted up if it was in shallow waters
he patented in 1848 and traveled on the illinois michigan canals. lincoln is the only president who is a patented inventor. it was had in the back of his mind being the innovator how do we do things better? how do we use technology? how do we really do the things we are really good at to make this a better country for everyone? those are the principal things i discovered that again the legacy lives on. he inspired a whole new generation of progressive politicians frank lloyd wright, james adam, social reforms, the lincoln highway which was the first national east/west route goes through times square albany san francisco, was named after him and inspired by him. in fact i was born just off the lincoln highway the hospital where i was born a longer exists.
it is called the crossroads of america. and of course there's lincoln all over my state he's on her license plate. we have all of this inspiration. the roads in this country were really terrible going forward from one part of the country to another. especially from the midwest to the west. in 1919 a young girl -- white eisenhower takes a convoy to explore the lincoln highway from one coast to the other. it comes to the undeniable conclusion they are just awful. some of the routes like pioneer trails that go through mountains and deserts people are saying, how do we pay for this? how do we do this? the first idea was the lincoln highway that was 1913 the
first concept of financing it was that it should be privately financed. soon entrepreneur was really the heir to the packard said we need somebody to do this. every 4 cents to a buck, you're not going to his private money. and i am not going to contribute. you're going to need federal funding just to do this. so they don't raise enough money. they get subscribers including woodrow wilson and again think he gave five bucks or something. this is terribly underfinanced but does not really happen until eisenhower becomes president in 1956 the interstate highway act and creates the largest highway i tried inflation adjusted for today's dollars it would bid at least 600 billion-dollar project. now we face at least
$6 trillion this proposal for the 2 trillion-dollar american jobs plan by president biden and we are looking at that now. so as with a lot of my stories this is like my fifth book on infrastructure history, finance, telling stories about the people behind these ideas and the principle here is very powerful that you do need to make these investments. this is how we link our cities, our towns, our farm fields from coast-to-coast. i'll leave you with this one thing, we are very good at that lincoln really personified was this idea that innovation would not only lift our economic station for
entrepreneurship, this new technology but also lift their spirits that this is aspirational. we still truly believe this new invention or this new idea is going to change the world. that is what i think makes us americans and that's part of the path forward. one of the reasons i wrote this book and i have to tell you one last sort of anecdote about it. i wrote backwards i started out with the era and the pandemic we are in now. i lost two friends i know lots of people who lost friends and my condolences if you knew somebody who perished in this ugly thing. but it revealed something about better social infrastructure better educational infrastructure
roads, bridges, tunnels, railroads. all of these things that come out of a huge infrastructure. it also builds their >> and their confidence and gives us something to hope for. it is aspirational. and with that i would love to take your questions. there's a whole bunch of stories in the book it was a pure joy to write living in the land of lincoln and people ask me how long did it take you to write this? i said well all my life. this is an ongoing story and help all of you will contribute to this effort to realize what we need to do. and we are back to jim i think. >> yes thank you very much john. just to start us off, before i
even ask a question let's encourage everyone to please enter your own questions in the q&a box. and keep going on that basis. the tariff was a main do you think lincoln would be in favor of higher tariffsom today, say in china? >> well, i think that the whole tariff formula are proved to be not enough to do what we needed to do in terms of infrastructure. and this is the whole argument during the 19th century. ..
there's so many proposals on the table but we need to get that discussion going because obviously -- look at the nation as our house. if you don't invest in your house, you need to contain it, replace the heating and air conditioning, all of these things went out and if you don't do that, you're looking at problems so house is our nation and it does need to be fixed and upgraded new technology and address climate change, all of these things and that is the current argument. how do we do this, how to refinance it. >> you mentioned in the book inventor and chief and one thing you mentioned, i wonder if you can expand upon but, second a lesser-known story is a dual challenge we can have it a little bit about that, most
people aren't aware of those factsos. >> there are two great stories and they both happen at different start times but the inventor story was that for lincoln to get to washington, he had to take this got overwrought through the great lakes, through the canal, down the hudson river and sometimes he took the overland route and often on the boat it would get stuck in there would have to do physical labor so he came up with this idea, designed it on the ship, i wish i had a picture of it. he had these inflatable buoys to bring the boat up higher, a clever invention. the beautiful craft. t
nobody used it besides the railroad, probably not that much need for. the dual challenge, we can had some issues with depression and severalsi courtships, one of his sweetheart died in springfield, madly in love with her and he gets very depressed. mary owens, mary todd very intelligent, politically savvy, henri clay corrupt with culture in kentucky. lincoln was very awkward socially for some reason unless he was giving a speech and things didn't go well at first
and then a broken off and horribly depressed. his friend took away his razor, he wouldn't come out of his bed it was terrible. there was a dual challenge and fortunately 19th century juul's were complex, you could apologize sabbatical broker peace and that's what happened, he didn't fight that's a good thing. i can't imagine what this country would be like. >> good question, thank you. >> if you could pick one thing to spend infrastructure money on today, would it be asked. >> that's easy for me, it would be healthcare because one of the things they discovered writing the book backwards is that there are massive inequities in terms of healthcare coverage between communities of color and the rest of the country.
it's very unevenly divided. i live in a county where we have a plethora of really good hospitals but if you go south side of chicago, that's not the case, they are struggling to keep hospitals open so i would spend the money and say how do we have a broad-based plan so everybody gets decent basic healthcare? i don't know if that's a national healthcare system or medicare for all but we need something. prices expose a lot of these inequities. it was horrible because some people didn't have access to healthcare or they didn't go into the hospital because they were afraid they couldn't paper it so this is part of my social infrastructure argument. i goes far as 14th amendment
saying at the very least in this country we should treat everybody fairly and equally. of course they haven't been but i think that's something we need to talk about when we talk about infrastructure. >> we are schmidt would like to know, would lincoln be in favor of a line item veto to keep pork belly financing out of the infrastructure bill? >> i don't think he would have looked at that specifically because he was kind of a big picture thinker. continental railroad, how big of a project was that? when you look at history, all displaced and putting them on reservations, there are a lot of bad things because of economic policies, no doubt about it but how can you see that? i don't know what he would have
thought about a line item veto, the question during his timeti wasn't necessarily government waste, it was government not spending enough money on the things that matter the most to the greatest number of people so that's a tough one i'm really going to pass on that but i think he would have looked at it eventually, he was very open-minded to new ideas. >> abraham lincoln and frederick douglass knew each other well, tell us how their relationship impacted lincoln's values and policiesow. >> modern, i think that would happen in front, lincoln was the first president who welcomed douglas into the white house. douglas was an accomplished thinker, speaker, abolitionist,
he wrote two autobiographies. he's amazing, he opens up the whole issue of slavery and economic quality of what we need to do, probably no better person if you want to understand to read frederick douglass. douglas was very critical of lincoln in the early here's even though theyer talked, a fairly negative as a basis. lincoln welcomed him in, douglas didn't think we can was doing enough to end slavery, emancipation proclamation didn't and slavery in totality it was an incomplete declaration that freed slaves to fight through the side so that is one interpretation. all the pieces that needed to
fall, equal education and funding infrastructure for every community would come later but douglas lived in the 1880s and pretty much was advocating for equal rights, at the 1893 position in chicago and i think in the end he agreed lincoln had done more than any other president to advance the issue of equality and ending slavery and i don't think historians are going to disagree with that the 13th, 14th and 15th amendment and of course the great civil rights legislation in the 60s but i think both would agree there's more work that needs to be done. >> here's a different question, how what we can convince that broadband is the new canal
system? >> i don't think you would hesitate and this is why. when he received the first telegraph message by a president, he'd been peddling his invention since the 1840s and he was really struggling to convince people this is global communications, folks. instead of pony express and putting something on a packet boat the slow route, you're sending messages at the speed of light and link interest love the idea and knows all of these accounts of him being in the telegraph room receiving and sending messages and something i think he would have wholeheartedly embraced. broadbent everywhere we can be
hooked up to the same networking system, travel globally at the speed of light, i think you would have loved the idea. >> who got some good questions coming in, keep them coming. i'm wondering would lincoln's actions on education were if any of his ideas would apply today. >> here's a great back story, what he signed in 1862 act, the state universities we know today, the first iteration set asideth 30,000 acres estate, thy could do anything they wanted. they could sell it, farmer, produce income from it about the concept of the land grab, it wasn't a direct subsidy as we know today and it was the principal means in the 19th century for doing something big because the federal government didn't have the income and of
course there was the states righte argument that states should be doing this first. states didn't have the ability to raise capitol and a lot that went into this was more investment, transcontinental railroad, so education. lincoln was so focused on education because of his own shortfalls in that area. he had about a year of formal education and the rest myself learned. he learned the law on his own and became a lawyer and he started and was a great reader of all sorts of history and all sorts of subjects i never knew he read so he would have embraced the idea of expanding the educational system the moral actors met one of many, several other extensions of that that
went intond the 20th century for universities historically black colleges came out of that, native american colleges came out of that and subsequent iterations which i think you would have loved but the real back story is even more interesting, a vermont senator who had his name attached to it originally proposed these universities inspired by the idea by baldwin turner who knew lincoln as a young man and proposed this idea of land grab called the industrial university which would teach basic things, agricultural and mechanical art became engineering so he had this idea for decades and pretty much pass it on, he tried to get it passed in 1858 it was vetoed became law under lincoln but lincoln was very well aware of
turnerun, he had him as a visitr at the white house during civil war, is a famous abolitionist. ironically in the same town for stephen douglas was in illinois, it was kind of the father of the moral act and what we call state college systems, engineering schools. >> do we have a what if question, what you believe president lincoln would have achieved if hee had been able to serve out his second term? >> i think that's one of our most essential questions asked today. the low hanging fruit for me is that he would have completed reconstruction and had he lived even longer, he wouldn't have abandoned it in 1870s and of course that led to the horrible jim crow era and lynchings, really awful times in history.
lincoln would have follow through, he would have witnessed the passage of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendment and would have taken it further and in short there was political equality, complete voting rights and generally we credit him for being in the inspiration of the great society programs, civil rights laws of the 60s so i think he would have been able to see that through and add to it. he was definitely the sole of those laws. >> i'm curious, how would you explain or interpret the transition between the canal system and rail system? how long did that take and what with the stages of development look like? >> that's a fascinating
question, it didn't really take long in terms of history because what needed to happen for railroads to take office they had to mass-produce rail, cut a lot of trees to build ties, they had to create the technology to extend rail over long distances. with that came improvements in steam engine, braking systems, a lot of business were centered in chicago and one of the ironic facts in history is our company was one of chicago's biggest industries from inception and they had to build them out of what, lincoln traveled in his son who became a lawyer present of the company for a while and there was a horrible strike there so with every one of these
stories, how do you build a better rail that will be durable in all conditions, how do you make better steel or iron? office happened in chicago, pittsburgh, cleveland you had all these things that really contributed to the advancement of one technology so we go from the canal which basically is the 1840s rail start to take off because they could mass-produce railroad cars, engines, ties and spikes, the golden spike is driven into completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869, a lot of interesting things happen. they had to reinvent how they oabit bridges, most bridges were made out of wood. here's one great strike i have
the book, lincoln was defending a company in rock island, illinois in the railroad needed to get across the river. at that time, right at the end of the steamboat era, the steamboat industry that they own the river, they had a right to the river no technology like railroad across the river so there's an incident where the steamboat either crashed or lost control and hit the bridge, the bridge was madee of wood and the branch to the ground so the steamboat owner who under insured hisro ship sues the brie company in they bring out lincoln to represent the bridge company and he makes this interesting argument, he doesn't win the case in the home jerry but eventually it's 120 makes this compelling statement, look, this is not a bridge, it's not
for commerce or trade or anything, it's a public amenity, it links chicago the east and the rest of the country to cross the mississippi. we need to build more, they belong to the public, they're not stopping people from discovering land in the west, we need it so that was an important case, it was called the fef case, i wrote a whole chapter, we can constructed this argument about the publix good of infrastructure. >> hr 40 is in front of congress dealing with preparations for the hundreds of slaves, overthink and think about that? >> i think you would think about it thoughtfully. it's a complex subject and i really think we need to address the inequities in all of our
systems. education and healthcare and the fact that there's an environmental justice issue, a lot of toxic plants and refineries built in communities of color, there's a whole raft of things that i think lincoln would have fundamentally addressed because i spoke to his sense of fairness into the idea that equality is truly based on your ability to take advantage of an opportunity if somehow your held back for whatever reason, it should be addressed so i think he would have discussed it, talked to frederick douglass, washington and all the people talking about it today. i even think he would have taken a hard look at how do we do this?
>> one specific question, how were the canals financed works also the railroad, and others a lot of stipulations, can you explain this whole process works. >> this is one of the interesting stories of american finance, for example the state of illinois finance the michigan canal, they were horribly inadequate to pay for this so what they did is said okay, we're going to work contracts, private contractors to hire their own workers to build small sections of the canal, that's probably not a good idea. in today's age to hire one contractor, he put the contract up for bid in the best bidder
gets the job. if they send notices out in other countries say, they promised these guys, they want to be a navigator on the canal and that's what they called them, navigators. they were digging this thing by hand. at first it was undercapitalized and they got financing. in into the railroads and of course the system was that basically you get the land and find the money to build it. there's some money the transcontinental railroad, there is a lot of foreign investment. >> john fourth 19 books to your credit, december 20 going to be about?
>> i hope about bringing leased environment into the environment, climate changes are existential threat and what i call the reversed walden. how do we enjoy nature in suburbia in the middle of the city? and what does that mean? artery produce our own energy with cleaner air and water into stuff like that? how do you h localize it one of the things i discussed in the book, climate change effects everything it certainly affects our way of looking at infrastructure, we have to build which is higher, to redesign our water system, everything so this book would look at, how do we shrink this question down, break it down over, does it mean for my neighborhood? so that hopefully my next book
and i will call it the natural neighborhood. >> one or two more. would lincoln embrace the concept of public-private private partnerships? the corporation of the federal government and pharmaceutical companies, is there an analogy in the era of public private partnerships? >> when a lot of these projects were done, but provided in undergirding of the financial structure was the fact that they were able to solicit eastern and european investors to the most the federal government could do because the land was appropriated from nativee americans they could say maybe
state can help a little bit but it won't be enough, it's never enough and you're going to have to find the rest of the money to do this and are certainly the story s with all the railroads from all the railroads after the transcontinental railroads, the local systems in one side story original journalist, he started his career covering the civil war, the first newspaper and became a friend of lincoln but he eventually got so much information on some of these railroad projects that he became an investor, the famous bullard house in manhattan, of course he lost a lot of fortune, railroad
stocks crashed, they went up and down but he eventually finance thomas edison so that's another great story but would go back to german investors because he is originally from germany to say you know this railroad pure fantasy in kansas city, you might want to take another look at the paper and the statements, i can help you with this and he made robert these and that he got stock and became filthy rich. but is still there and his history is probably as interesting as anybody else from that era. >> for final question before we close, you visited so many lincoln tourist destinations, which is your favorite? >> oh goodness, that's a tough one, that's like picking your favorite child. that's not fair. come on.
you know, the thing that strikes me, this is something that most people even associate with lincoln, there's a place called lincoln planting it's one of those things were lincoln came through their after his only term in congress and that's really what sparked my imagination thinking how did lincoln see the future? he gets the canal built, he created a great city and author towns along the i do think of all the towns along the erie canal new orleans and all of these things that happened after that he had this vision and sometimes places have this power to instill this vision in your, who try to get into lincoln's head and all of us have tried, we don't completely understand him, we never will but it's
important to see what he saw and feel maybe what he felt aspire to a better country was still a moral principle we can't abandon. >> on behalf of the school and cfa, it's wonderful to have you back. to our audience, thank you for tuning in. we got great programs coming up so on behalf of all of us, thank you very much. >> thank you and it's been such a pleasure. i hope and pray we will get back 20 healthy country again and i'll be back in new york city with my friend, i miss you all terribly but i wish everybody the best. ♪♪ >> weekends on c-span2, and intellectual peace.
every saturday you will find offense and exploit our nation's past automatic american history tv. sunday, the latest in nonfiction books and authors. halverson serious readers. learn, discover, explore. weekends on c-span2. ♪♪ >> middle and high school students, your opinions matter so that your voices be heard. the part of the national conversation but creating a documentary that answers the question, how does the federal government impact your life? your video will on a program that affects you or your community. $100,000 in total cash prizes and you have a shot at a grand prize of $5000. entries for the competition will begin to be received wednesday
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