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tv   [untitled]    June 3, 2012 10:00pm-10:30pm EDT

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82. he was not afraid to show his beliefs. he wasn't afraid to stand down no matter what the consequences were. he was in and out of prison right and left. not many were like that at that time. unity to bring the century of the common man. this is the golden rule for all the democratic candidates in which the trade unions occupy. and this room says a no to the proposition that we should erect special discriminations against communists as some kind of menace. >> this weekend american history tv is featuring wichita, kansas. the local content vehicles recently visited wichita to learn about the rich history. len more about the local content
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vehicles at c-sp c-span.org/localcontent. you're watching american history tv all, every weekend, on c-span 3. this is c-span3. with politics and publy affairs programming throughout the week and every weekend, 48 hours of people and events telling the american story on american history tv. get our schedules and see past programs on our websites. and you can join in the conversation on social media sites. james madison, the fourth president of the united states often referred to as the father of the institution owned about 100 slaves at montpelier. american history tv traveled 90 miles south of the nation's capital to learn about an archaeological project.
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the three year project is jointly funded by the national endowment for the humanities and montpelier foundation. >> my name is matthew reeves, director of archeology, and where we're standing is the area where the house slaves for the madisons lived and worked and what we're in the middle of is an archeological investigation of the area. we first learned about the south yard through an insurance map that is dated to 1837, this is when dolly moves back to washington d.c., takes out an insurance policy on the house, and part of what they need for the insurance policy is a plat showing where all the outbuildings are and we used this plat, it's incredibly important to allow us to indicate the outbuildings in the area. in 1990, we located a chimney base, brick chimney base that we were able to figure out from the archeology was part of a duplex or slave chimney. two households would live there.
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with that, we'll line up the insurance plat with the rest of the ground and able to start to explore the area for other outbuildings. what we found is that we got three duplexes, four buildings we marked. two smokehouses that are on the insurance map, a kitchen that is beside the house that is an 18th century kitchen we located through archeology, the other duplex one of three that we will be reconstructing. now, the timber frames that you see out here, these represent the size and massings of the buildings. gives visitors an idea of where the buildings are and how large they are. what we've done is timber framing is authentic to the early 19th century. we had a historic architect, willie graham, from colonial williamsburg who designed timber frame technology of the time period and what we've done with
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the timber frames, is outlined the buildings with the framing because if we put on the siding, we don't have enough information to put on the siding, put in the windows and doorways because we haven't done enough archeology in the area. the second point with not doing enough archeology in the area. if we put a roof and siding on the buildings, they would have a wind load, we would have to put in footers which would disturb the archeological record. the footers are on the ground surface, the archeology below there can be excavated in the -- if we need to, we can take the buildings down, do the archeology in the area. the reason why it's important we're doing this research and going to spend a year doing the archeology on these particular quarters is that we just
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recently restored the house. we spent six to seven years doing the restoration of james and dolly madison's home. and one thing that we're able to represent with restored home are the space where james and dolly is, some of the service places where the slaves worked. what we don't have represented is where the slaves have their homes, this what is we're doing with the excavation in the south yard and timber frame outlines you see right here, is representing -- the house is where they would have worked, this is where they called home. and daily lives, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles would have been played out. to talk about that with visitors to bring humanity to the people that were enslaved by the madisons we felt was important to show their hopes and represent their homes in a
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physical way. because so many times when visitors here before we had the timber frame, to be understand what slaves daily life was like and how they had -- they were part of a much larger community with very difficult to do without the structures either being investigated archeologically or timber frames in place. we have an archeology team at montpelier that works full-time. students that work during the summer and during the fall and spring we have what is called expedition programs, people come out for a week and work side-by-side. this is a five foot by five foot square. the reason why we excavate is we want to know where all the artifacts are coming from, from the site.
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so by excavating five foot by five foot squares, we can see where different types of artifacts are located. all the nails are mapped in with lasers and what you can see on the map right here that nicole has drawn is she plotted in where all the artifacts are, we have drawings where features are, and we put all the maps together at the end of the excavation and proves a site map of the entire project area. and then what we can do is relate that site map to the larger landscape where the fence lines are, how far this is from the mansion, how far from other features we found. >> that is like a platter. >> yes, put this stuff out. >> they were found stacked on top of each other.
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>> this is decorated on the interior. >> and exterior. >> so this has got to be -- this looks like a chamber pot from the size of the foot room and -- >> that makes my day. in a really sick way. >> but actually, this pattern looks like a little bit later, like 1830's transfer decoration. which is still -- it matches -- >> this has a little guy on it. >> oh, yeah. little cherub with a heart. >> this is more little. >> that is more of that floral pattern. this one is neat. >> real thick.
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and it's got the etching. >> that looks like table glass. but it's leaded table glass, but maybe a large pitcher. this seems to be something that might have been broken in house, in some cases we found pieces of a gravy boat might be the handle broke off the gravy boat and ms. dolly says that needs to leave the house. so the slaves say do i throw it or reuse it, might be reacquired or reuse. you know, one thing we're looking for is patterning, for example if some of the items, this piece right here, this could be an item, we haven't seen this piece in our excavations from the madisons on the other side of the temple, we haven't seen this pattern, this
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could be a piece of the slaves at market and what we're interested in looking at are some of the broken madison household ceramic located in a different place than ceramics we believe the slaves purchased. if they are they might support the case these are items when they are broken they are trying to keep these out of sight, out of mind. if they are being deposited in the same place, maybe some items are chipped, no longer desirable for the table and being reused by the slaves. so these kind of larger stories we're interested in building to understand not only how slaves are obtaining their household items. one thing people are surprised at is slaves are part of the
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market economy. not only were they chattel property, they were selling small items to the madison's neighboring planters and using that cash or barter system to buy their own household goods. we're thinking more and more slaves are responsible for purchasing most of the items in their house through their own means. this is a way how different groups of slaves might have different access to market goods, more disposable income per se through marketing their own items or had different status within the community.
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and used their position within the labor structure to exert authority over other slaves. these are the kind of relationships we're hoping to build from studying the trash we're finding and build a larger complete picture what the slave community was like. the folks that lived here are more than just property. they were human beings, they had family and relationships with each other, that is what we're trying to reconstruct. what we can see, we're excavating, we're in between two buildings. you have a corner of a building right here. you can see the corner right here.
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16 feet over in this direction, you have another brick corner, on the other side we found brick up in these locations but they give evidence the structure was 16 by 32 feet. now this would have been -- would have had brick footers but the structure would have been a wooden building with wooden build, similar to the reconstructed other structures, and this is the base of the chimney stack. this stack would have been brick all wait up through the top of the roof, and this little indent here is where the hearth would have been located. we don't have evidence of a hearth or where the slaves did their cooking. this hearth was built up off the
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ground because there is no evidence of burning. this structure would have had a raise wooden floor, much different than early 19th century slave quarters of the type period. it gives us the idea the structures in the south yard were actually built to be seen by visitors. they were a little more resources put in these structures than we're finding in slave quarters in other areas of the property. this is the second duplex structure, this is different than that one in terms of how it was built. this one had a stone chimney base, two households in this duplex, one a space of 16 by 16 foot, and would have had a hearth that was inside this chimney. on the other side there would be another hearth right here, and you would have had a raised wooden floor and 16 by 16 space for another household and probably would have been anywhere from four to six people living in each one of these spaces. so total you've got maybe 10 to 12 people in one of these duplexes. three of those, looking at 25, 30 people in this area. alternatively one of the duplexes would have been used by when visitors would come to see
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the madisons, they would have bringing personal slaves, their coachmen, a number of folks that would have been serving them, they would have needed a place to stay, maybe that was servant guest housing, it's hard to say, it was seen at other plantations in the time period. with the excavations, what you see here is the completed excavation of this site. we've excavated all the structural remains that were -- that had feature soil, we excavated the yard surfaces, and what happens to all the artifacts is that each one of these units, each of the 5 by 5 unit is separate, all the artifacts are taken down to the lab for processing. here is a piece of -- oh, very cool. this is like a piece of glass, bottle glass, but it's either melted or like it looks like it molded glass, very thin glass. that is really neat. haven't seen one these in a long time but it's clear. i bet that is some of the flask-type glass. archeology lab is a short walk from the house. previous ceramics were restored. in the lab what we have is two
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different areas, a working deck where we process and power wash all our rock and brick that we recover from the site. and what we also have is a water screening station, where we take the soil samples that we bring back here and instead of putting them to the quarter inch screen like we do at the site, we wash it through window screen, and what you can see helen doing is she's washed down some of the soil through the window screen and you can see the small artifacts coming out. fish bone, egg shell, straight pins, smaller pieces of ceramic and glass that would be lost at the site. groups of artifacts we would
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never recover if we didn't go through the process. what we do is we soak the soil in these buckets of water and what happens is all the sediment sinks to the bottom, that is what helen is water screening right now, but then the charred wood floats to the top and we've skimmed the charred wood off because what we find with the charred wood, and this sample has a few specs of charred wood, you can see right here and smaller black flecks which are not just charred wood but charred -- we dry it, and send it over to a paleobotonist who can identified the specimens that can't be seen. what we're able to get from this is more evidence about in this case the slaves diet. not only the bones from the animals he they were eating but evidence what kind of plant materials we are were -- what kind of plant materials. sometimes that is information you can't see with the naked eye
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and it takes further processing. >> thanks, ellen. >> you have to put a -- >> i put ro for rounded, because the top is eroding. >> as i mentioned all the artifacts come down to the lab and they are washed, sorted, and then cataloged and restored. and this is an example of some of the units that we recovered from the south yard. these are actually units that we were working on just this past week, and when we close out that
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level, this is 1907, one of the five foot by five foot squares, layer c, the occupation layer, which has all the trash remains from the household. you have ceramic, this is a piece of transfer printed willowware, you can identify the pattern from the edge and the pattern there, these are the artifacts and in their native state, the virginia clay soil on them. here is a wine bottle fragment. the glass wears, ceramics can be washed in water. iron dry brushed, if you sub merge this in water it will destabilize the iron and corrode at a more rapid rate. the items more diagnostic, we actually conserve. this appears to be part of a maybe blade for cutting glass, and this is the blade portion and corroded away in this area.
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if we didn't conserve these items what would happen to being in the ground they -- the rust would accelerate and they would fall apart. we put them in conservation tanks, run electric current through a solution of baking soda and sloughs all the rust off it. until you get to the bare metal. next is to use a dremel tool to clean up the remaining rust and washed in a solution of distilled water, boiled and distilled water, baked in the oven to dry it and dipped in acetone, then coated with a conservation coating to keep the
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oxygen off the object. some of the iron objects potentially here on an 18th century site were made here on the property. we could have objects such as a hinge made by a slave named moses. these were objects that tell much a larger story about what they were but about the plantation society that was here and everything from how it was used to how it was made to -- we want to protect these for the future. >> these are the artifacts after they were washed. >> this is the result of excavations from four strata, you can see the nails after they were dry brushed, ceramics are clean, the waste color, you can see the glaze and they are bagged by artifact type. ceramics are separated from the nails and glass are put in
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another bag, the bone is put in another one. all these go over in the boxes that were here where what we will be doing this winter is cataloging all these artifacts. we've got staff and volunteers and interns doing this right now. charlie and emma are cataloguing the rock and brick. charlie is together to dump out a sample bag. where is that one from? >> southwest yard. >> 1891. >> so the unit. and what emma is doing is she's separating what we call the architectural material by type. she's separating the brick and also looking at how soft the brick is by marking it on the paper, the soft underfired brick. and see what jessica doing over here, she is taking the water screen sample after it's been washed and dried and been floated so light fracture separated from the heavy
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fraction, she is putting it through a series of gradated screens, all the half inch stuff is cataloged. then these remaining screens are separated, she measured the volume to get an idea of constituent sediments in the soils, but all these will be picked for artifacts. limit bits of ceramic here. bits of window glass but real exciting part comes when especially in this -- in this window screen, sometimes you identify small beads, straight pens, these items put through the screen, we would never be able to recover. we wouldn't know they were there. the next step is cataloging
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them. what pat and kim are cataloging are ceramics. this is a neat one. probably part of a tea pot lid. and that is a piece of glazed refined redware. i don't know if they would have a ball to be put through here. >> oh, yeah. >> that is gorgeous. maybe steam or they didn't have tea bags then. what they are doing is separating ceramics by type. originally when they came out of the unit these two pieces weren't together, it was three pieces here what they found is the three pieces actually mend
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so these will be cataloged on one line. this is that same transfer print pattern that was found in the field yesterday, this brown transfer print. this is part of a plate, though, what she found looked to be part of a larger pot, maybe a chamber pot, the black of the plate is undecorated but the front has the transfer print. that is beautiful. they write these up on this catalog sheet. each unique occurrence gets their own line. porcelain, they recovered they found from one of the bags. each shirt is weighed on a scale, the data gets entered into a database to analyze how much -- where all the brown transfer ceramic transfers, what
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is total weight of the ceramics from the southwest slave quarter as compared to the southeast slave quarter. this is nice. >> flowers. >> the creme de la creme, great design right here, this is a beautiful example of a piece of embossed glass, bottle from the 18th century. part of an iron padlock with this is the body of the padlock, this is the bale, the hinge that would connect and it would would connect and it would swing back and forth and the key would enter. we found four navy buttons,
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these are officers buttons, but we're -- they date to the late 1820's, early 1830's, not sure why they are in the slave quarter, a mystery needs to be solved. this is part of a pharmaceutical vial right here and most interesting, we recovered this past week, we covered what is a real, spanish coin to 1801. and what is interesting about this coin is it is clipped. you can see the piece taken out here, that was an illegal practice done by some merchants and consumers to take something out of the coin. what is important about the coin is some direct evidence that slaves were engaged in marketing activity. they were selling items to the
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madisons, or neighboring community members to obtain cash or barter to obtain some of the items you see right here. some of the other items we have evidence for the kind of food the slaves were eating. this is a -- a pig bone or a small cow bone, not sure which it is, but it has been cracked, might have been used for a soup, and this little guy, this is a figurine head and this one has an interesting history. researching right now seeps to be a satyr. you can see the pointed ears, like mr. spock there. looks to be some kind of figurine from greek mythology. maybe when this broke some child found a little head interesting and brought it back to the quarter, hard to say, number of stories you can figure from these. one of the last sets of analysis
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we do with this, especially the glassware, it takes them once they are label and cataloged, you restore them. this is an example of a piece of bamboo and peony china, this is trash deposit for the madison retirement year, the downslope from the temple. before we mend this what we d was labelled each shirt, site number 44, 249 is the mansion site, this is the inventory number 10208, that is how we figure out what unit it came from. this catalog unit matches up with one of the catalog lines you saw kim and pat writing up previously. allows us to know it's the davenport, stone china, made in england. once this is mended the diameter of the plate, what form it took

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