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tv   Making Haste from Babylon  CSPAN  November 26, 2016 4:00pm-5:16pm EST

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becomes the second foreign-born first lady. learn more about the influence of presidential spouses from c-span fell book "first ladies." the book is a look into the personal lives and influence of every presidential spouse in u.s. history. it is a companion piece to c-span's well-regarded "first ladies" series. it includes biographies of 45 from ladies and photos their lives. it is available wherever you buy books and now available in paperback. >> next on "history bookshelf," nick bunker, the author of "making haste from babylon." the journey of the pilgrims from plymouth,
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discusses the colony's early challenges, and profits that the colonists gain from trading beaver skins from europe. this is about an hour. [applause] >> write, think you very much. i'm delighted that the introduction mentioned longfellow. while i am not going to talk about myles standish, i would be delighted if we can get on to questions, because myles standish is one of my favorite characters in the story. of gratitude to the historical society. firstly, i am very grateful for the invitation to week this evening. but i'm very grateful because i have the use of your facility's extended library when i was doing research here in maine in fall 2006, 2007 -- or was it
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2008? i forget now. some of the research was done and libraries. a good deal of the research was done in the united kingdom and holland and northern ireland also. and a lot of this was done on foot and bicycle and, in maine, by car. i mentioned that because there is another reason -- something happened to me on the highway. openshe book -- the book in a very remote spot some of you may know, right on the watershed between the united states and canada. now, i have done a lot of driving in the united states,
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but i knew i was going to territory that would be different. i downloaded the main driver's, which is a fine work of the main drivers manual, which is a fine work of literature. and in it, there is a section on what to do with a moose. i live in england in a place called lincolnshire, which is a flat, wet county. we have lots of american connections. we have the original boston. we have the birthplace of captain john smith. we also have a place called gainsborough, which is where many of the original separatists came from, the people who formed the nucleus of the community that became in due course the colony. i thought i had better read carefully the manual. we do not have moose. it told what happened if you hit a moose. to watch out for these
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creatures. and i drove up through king field and stratton and eustis, and i kept a wary out -- a wary eye out for any large and load creatures. it was just getting dark. it was november. fori congratulated myself looking out for the moose. what i forgot was, i was driving alongside the road, and some of you may know -- you climb up the highway and you come over the crest of the ridge. and as i came over the crest of the ridge, i heard a snorting noise, and in front of me was a very large, hairy -- driven by a very large, hairy french-canadian. i took evasive action. he took evasive action.
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there was screeching of brakes. i stopped, he stopped. we narrowly missed each other. he wound down his window and leaned out and spoke in french. my french is pretty good actually, but, i have to say he used some words i don't think of would hear on the lips carla bruni and sarkozy. but anyway, i survived. i am here this evening. indeed the case that maine does feature in this book to a very large extent. the book actually begins in maine. and inns inn maine maine. more specifically, it begins in the valley and it inns in the valley. it is close to the modern town of madison and it inns near the
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central valley of the river. it inns with the description of a rock. very interesting. that isledge of shale covered with carvings, petroglyphs left behind. in a few moments, i'm going to try to explain exactly why it is that maine plays such a large part in making haste from babylon. i will try to explain why the author wrote the major chapter in a hotel room north of augusta, which is not where i expected to be riding the final chapter of the book. but i want you to bear with me while i talk about something else, another natural phenomena in. it is the natural phenomena and that was referred to earlier, that is to say, the volcano. , at law schools, they teach the finer points of jurisprudence with hypotheticals. i am going to start with a hypothetical.
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that imagine for a moment a volcano had erected in europe during the spring and summer of 1620. before mensay just landed in the northern parts of virginia. what would they made have it -- what would they made of it? let's not imagine it is a large volcano. bowl cana, voice over from jack nicholson, the whole thing. plumes of ashe shooting into the sky. what would it have meant to william brewster or william , the men who became the future leads of the plymouth colony. what would they have made up this fall cano?
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is not an idle piece of congestion -- conjecture. during this time, the 16th, 17th century, natural phenomena and such as prodigies of nature did incite a huge amount of interest among religious people. there are two examples in the book. one is an earthquake that occurred in 1518. another is a comment that appeared in the sky in 1618. just at a time when pilgrims living in holland were starting to plan their expedition. materialsts of survived to tell what people thought about these phenomena. and we can start to reinterpret the mental world of people at the time. that is why, just to start by
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having a hypothetical to do with the book cana -- let's imagine, by the way this is a famous book cana, mount vesuvius, which does direct from time to time. would they have known about it. many people think of the pilgrims as being obscure humble people, country bumpkins living far from villages anywhere. that's not really true. they were living in the most advanced industrial city in europe. and there was something going on at the time which is we can be sure they were aware at the time. first news sheet appeared in amsterdam. dealing withy
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kings and queens, pestilent, and other been a volcanic, it would've been a volcano. europe wasfor this, on the verge of the 30 years war. you can be sure the pilgrims would have read such a work -- use they were immersed he was an apprentice of a printer in london and he worked for a man who was a publisher, in travel who worked literature, works by men who traveled to india or served in the army and ireland. that was the kind of world from which edward winslow came, the world of the culture of london in which this publication was
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extremely popular. and some of the people that winslow was close to were also taking the dutch invention and taking it to the english newspaper. so, we certainly would have known about him. about not have known vesuvius? yes, they would. we can be sure of that too. he refers to the roman rider seneca. he refers to pliny the elder, as roman scientist who died the result of the eruption of vesuvius. they would have been aware of mount the serious. but of course, we talk about the way they would have interpreted a volcano, you have to look at the bible.
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they would have seen such an event through the lens and prism of what they read in the bible. the bible they read is not the same that we read today, assuming we read it. today the books of the bible people read most frequently, i would guess would be the gospel according to matthew, the sermon on the mount, the opening possibly of st. john fell gospel, in the beginning was the word, and possibly also some of the books of the old testament. parts of the book of job, because it is seen as a literary work. by far most important for them was psalms. early church. the apostle to the romans. also, of course, the books of moses, and that is where they would have found their volcano.
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they would have found it in the book of exodus, chapter 13, which i have here. what i am going to read is a passage from translation that they would choose which is not the version of the bible we use in this day. chapter 13, versus 20 through 22 go as follows -- and by the way, chapter 13 is the chapter that immediately follows the first passover and immediately precedes the crossing of the red sea. the israelites are just entering the wilderness. and jehovah went before them in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by nights as a pillar of fire to give them light were to go by day and night. to go by day and night. that clearly is the verse that probably would've immediately come to mind if they had been reading about the eruption of
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mount vesuvius. a hypothetical abruption. you say well, lots of people read the bible in different ways. so how do we know the way the pilgrims interpreted it? again, can take a good guess about it because the problems admired her greatly and english biblical scholar went by the name of henry and source. ainsworth never got to america. he died in destitute policy in -- poverty in amsterdam in 1622 at the age of about 53. but his books came in large quantities. they were bought probably aboard the mayflower by william brewster. one of the pilgrims most involved with maine, because he ran the forgetting post here, owned a copy. it was in the inventory of his property when he died many years later. and ainsworth was a man who had a very distinctive way of reading the bible.
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and i think it's very good to say that's the way they would've interpreted it. he was a man who came from very humble origins. he had a scholarship to cambridge, in the 1590's when he was a student. the study of hebrew was new and was fashionable and exciting. and ainsworth became one of the signers english scholars of the 20th century. he came over to amsterdam. he was somebody who wants to leave the church of england and join a separate religious community in which he believed would be truer to what he thought was the will of god. he came to amsterdam as a refugee and he studied not only the hebrew bible itself but also the hebrew rabbis. he came immersed in the jewish culture, visiting with rabbis and so on.
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and he wrote a series of books of common truth on the psalms and the five books of moses in which he adapted jewish ways of reading the scriptures, focusing audience. one of the pilgrims were enthusiastic about this, too. william bradford himself learned hebrew in his later life. and there's a chapter which deals with all of this in the context of the voyage of the mayflower herself. ainsworth was fascinated by the jewish scriptures because he believed that the bible was a dense, multilayered book in -- the bible was a very dense, multilayered book in which everything related to everything else. he believed the jewish rabbis who had expounded this best. and so, if we look at this particular verse that has -- that we just discussed, verses 22, chapter 13 from the book of exodus. what they said did what he said is this, first of all he sent a
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cloud according to the jewish rabbis come a cloud was always seen as a token of god's presence. a cloud was something which denoted mystery but also revelation at the same time. he pointed out the fact that when god delivered the 10 commandments to moses seated so that she did so out of cloud. most important of all, he said that the pillar of cloud represented jesus christ. he says in chapter four, he says the pillar of cloud figures christ and his guidance and protection of his traveling unto his heavenly rest. now comes a point of all this is this, the pilgrims saw every three through the bible. when you read william bradford tamimi to have a bible and most all the the time, preferably with a dictionary of words and phrases because very often, entire paragraphs and sometimes pages of william bradford's work consists of a kind of tissue of biblical quotations. he sees more everything through the perspective. and i say join they shower house
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for example the mayflower essentially consists of a tissue of parables and allusions to the book of psalms, look at deuteronomy and so on and so forth. in the book, what i try to do is a narrative history of what occurred. i've also dealt with the economics of colonization. i've dealt with the politics in the way in which all these sources converged. but one thing that is important also is rather than just telling a story, to try and feel your way into the way in which the men and women involved actually imagine an experienced those advanced. that is something that i hope i've achieved in "making haste from babylon." i'm trying to encourage you to explore that particular dimension. it's not simply a narrative.
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it's also is like a reimagining, reentry into the confidence of people who are very, very different indeed. everything about you once they should have an abyss of difference that that exists between us and the people of the jacobean age. one of the things one has to try to do it somehow close that it is just a little bit, which is what i've hope i've done. and that's what occurred to me when this weekend and the five days ago, bbc reported that the ash cloud was back and looked as though i was about to be stranded again. they jumped on the first plane to boston in the right hand. now that i've returned to maine, they might ask why maintain such an important role in the book. and the reason for that is almost entirely to do with the beaver. now one reason for writing so much about beaver this book is because british readers love reading about furry animals.
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it's something -- they love reading about furry animals in about navigation and the sea. and you'll find lots of that in about air their thoughts about furry animals and lots about kings and queens, which is another favorite british subject. [laughter] to be serious, the beaver fur trade is in may and the chicken thin mantle to some very important and big questions about the early settlement in new england. in those questions concerning what i call the long hesitation. it's not a phrase i used in the book it's a phrase i invented this evening. but the long hesitation is between 1492 when as we all know columbus sailed the ocean blue across the atlantic. in the late 1620's, which is the date when the english really begin to make it go off settlement in a new world. now of course they have been trying since the 1580's, since walter raleigh began his attempts to form colonies in
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north carolina. he had begun his 1507. there had been an attempt here with a problem colony to her three years later to create a settlements on the coast. and of course the pilgrim call themselves arrived in 1570. but the reality is that these settlements didn't really become permanent and secure and fully grounded until the latter part of the 1620's. and suddenly at that point you see the great surge what we now refer to as the great migration with john winthrop and his fleet arrived in boston in 1613. and then the search continues over into the 16 twenties really only had a few hundred english people on this side of the atlantic. by fixing forgery were probably 20,000. and not only on the mainland, but also in barbados in bermuda and a whole series of other small settlements up and down the atlantic coast.
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why did it happen in the late 1620's? what were the reasons? now, there's some quite easy ways to get the answer to that and you don't actually have to do a lot of archival research. he can simply read economic history. the reason simply is because there needs to be incentives for people to come across the land take and they didn't exist until the 1620's. the fact of the matter was if you were a merchant or a sea captain in 1600 or 1610, you didn't really need to think about north america. there was a very buoyant market for land in england. agricultural land rows and rows and rows from about the 15 70's right through until 1620, which
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is when they started to taper off your alternatively you might think about buying shares in the insignia company founded in 1600. again come extremely good investment. dividends paid by the eastern european countries are substantially to the 161620's 1620's because of the huge imports of luxury goods firm the priorities was sold at a good property in london. their other things things you can do. if your lawyer you can profit in the boom in litigation which was going on. there are range of opportunities. and from the point of view of christopher jones who was the man who was captain of the mayflower, you enter the wine trade. the one trait again was a very, very point indeed. for a period of about 20 years
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the wine trade back and forth to france grew by leaps and bounds and was paid for by exporting path to the netherlands into france. so everything was going well. in the 1620's, it all started to change. the eastern european company founder was encountering huge competition from the dutch. the market for land wet soggy. -- the market for land went soggy. one of the reasons for that was because frankly the population were too poor to be able to afford the products of the land here at the vast mass of population has seen its incomes also specially for many years. they simply couldn't afford to buy what came off the land. the wine trade he can to slow down because the board. war broke out in europe in 1618. the spanish left a huge embargo on trade going up and down the european coast. so there were new incentives to start looking across the atlantic. but that wasn't really enough to explain exactly what went on either because only a small minority of men and women took the next relief to come over here.
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and when they did so, it may long time before they reached viability. we all remember the fact to begin in november 1621 the mayflower dropped anchor province and they founded their way over to what is now plymouth, massachusetts. but it took eight years before they were actually able to make a profit. now they needed to make a profit because like all early colonies they needed to imports much of their supplies from england. in the best way to think about it is the simplest way and is to think about arms and ammunition. obviously they needed to be armed. they needed gunpowder, muskets, and they needed lead. and of course they couldn't find lead through there weren't aware of any supplies of lead in massachusetts. thing in itself sulfur, charcoal. they might've made charcoal but they certainly didn't have the ingredients. so those kinds all had to come over from england. in addition to that, they had to pay the interest they owed on the money they have borrowed to finance the crossing. and they had to serve as the
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equity capital as well that been summoned up projects. captain john smith gives an estimate of 7000 pounds as of 1624. now that is a huge amount of money that was embedded in the plymouth colony. the best way to get at it is to say well, that was the equivalent of about 1500 acres worth of farmland. for 7000 pounds alpha muchly and you could have bought and i was a lot because in england at the time, if you want to qualify as a substantial number of the landed gentry, you only need about 500 acres. so that was a lot of land. a lot of money was sunk into the project. in some of the men involved, investing in the mayflower project were very substantial businessmen of london. they were not the leading businessmen. they were rising young stars. they were men in their late
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twenties or early 30's who were making a success of operating a steelers and textiles were dealers and 14 hardware from holland say and they needed an outlet. so here they were as of 1620, they invested. eight years before the colony could be made to show any kind of profit. by about 1627 william bradford makes that very clear in his book. he makes it very clear indeed i actually having to reconstruct the machine the plymouth colony in 1626 because they simply couldn't afford to pay the money they owed. but the column is about to be turned and it is turned here in maine. because it was here on the river they found the huge supplies of beaver furs that they required. now they'd always known that they needed to be in control or in command of trade going up and down an impassable river. way back in the 15 80's, when
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-- way back in the 1580's, when the first english commentators on colonization wrote treaties on how to find a colony, the -- they said put your colony at the mouth of a river. two reasons for that. one reason was they believe that it would be possible to sail off such a river and possibly to reach the pacific. if you ever find an airport you'll see what i mean. you fly to chicago when you see these aspects of waterways stretching out, which book as though they could lead to the pacific. and champlain, the french explorer had indeed been to lake superior and it was not unreasonable to think these waterways might need all the way to the sea that led to china. that was one reason. the second reason was they knew it needed better access to the trade routes created by the native population. now originally, the pilgrims of course intended not to come to massachusetts, but to settle at the mouth of the hudson. unfortunately, the hudson wasn't affected by this time and controlled by the dutch.
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alternatively the solaris was effectively under control for -- where champlain had founded his colonies. through 60 way six, edward winslow began to make forays up the river. in 1628 whencial they founded a trading post. now much of what i've said so , far is pretty familiar. way back hundred years ago or so , historians from maine came over to the united kingdom and they began unearthing material relating to the early settlements in maine and they , found a huge amount. i mean, way back for example in the 1870's as a gentleman called the cost of, a historian from ofrica, he found the journal colleague. there were
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as the main state historian who wrote a book called the beginnings of colonial main published in 1914 is an excellent work one which i've got on the shelves in the substantially. a great deal of work was done. so what i have tried to do is say ok, let's -- we know that the american and, for trade was established. but we need to do is go to the english and then say what can we find in england to see what happen at a particular time and what it was so important. if you think for example -- if we think of the loop of trade off the atlantic has been a submarine cable that carries telephone messages, the cable has two ends. we know what was at the american end.
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what was at the british end? what this book is really doing in this particular field is to examine the british archives and see what else we can find. we can find a great deal. we can find a specific moment in 1628 when it all came together. and the reason was this, beaver fur was immensely attractive as a product, as a commodity because it was a very high value item but with a very low bulk to it. it could be sold for a very high price in england. the reason it could be sold for high prices because it is the raw material for beaver hats. particularly attractive and useful. it's very dense, very fine, it's waterproof. when it is made into felt it is very pliable see you can make hats and all shapes and sizes. and there was one man in england led more hats than anybody else and that of course was king charles the first. one of the things i did in the
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book was to dig up the wardrobe accounts of king charles the first. they had never been published. they're sitting there. there are five sets of these accounts. the actually relate to the period when he was prince of wales before he became king in the from 1617 until 1623. what you find its full detail of all the beaver hats that he bought. hewitt by buy 50 or 60 a year. he paid large sums of money for them. the most expensive was for 85 shillings. fifty shillings for the hyatt in -- for the hat and 35 shillings for the feathers and plumes that he put on the top. 85 shillings is a lot of money. it was as much as you would pay for the most expensive horse you could buy at the time. this is the equivalent of maybe the price of a car show essay today. and he bought 50 or 60 of those. then you need to bear in mind that because he bought them, everybody else wanted them as well. in england at the time they were probably about 20,000 members of
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the landed gentry, 20,000 heads of household. if you imagine each one of those gentlemen wanted one, too, the king wanted all these hats. but they were lawyers and it appears you can come off a figure of maybe demand for say 25,000 or 30,000 hats a year. you need to bear in mind that she needed to beaver pelts to make a hat. you could if you were skipping a little bit you can mix the firm with rabbit fur, but basically you needed an awful lot of beaver. traditionally the english had gone to russia. they had gone to archangel appeared to sail around and get the beaver from there. but the problem was that in the 16 20's, in english merchant called ralph freeman managed to establish a monopoly over all the beaver for supplies from russia.
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he bought them from the musket inpany which went bankrupt 1620. in addition to that, there is a problem which was the russians demanded hard-currency. if you were a russian, he won a gold and silver and wouldn't take anything else. england did not have much of gold and silver. one of the critical elements of the english economy at the time was precisely that. we didn't have gold and silver. so that was difficult. so you had to find. -- you had to find alternatives. instead you traded with the indians. you gave them copper kettles. you did not have to give them gold and silver. the voyage to america was safer. the reality was that the difficulties for seamen were not so much on the way to america but the way back for the most part. the channels for much more
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dangerous than the waters of the united states because of the prevailing winds. so in all sorts of ways new england was attractive. main was attractive because of its superb networks built up between the eastern harbor and the interior. when the pilgrims went up to krishna, they took themselves up to the end of the tide waves and they got access to these wonderful channels of communication. now fortunately early on in my research i was able to talk to a gentleman named dave cook who is sitting over here. he wrote a book. it's all about use of the birchbark by native americans to -- as a means of transport. i was delighted to find it because i've been puzzling for a just back home in england about exactly why it was it was so important. and i discovered with the answers were. first of all the birchbark is
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essentially a tool of the native americans from northern new england because it requires big trees. you need big, big urge trees to -- big birch trees to get the bark. in addition to that the configuration is such that it's not easy, but it is possible to move across very long distances by way of canoe carriers. that is something we can find documented inside the early sources. not just the works of bradford, but also in the french chose -- french in jesuit sources. which are very important. you can dovetail that with what we know about the english. so that was another reason. in 1628 it was important because of something else that was happening. in 1628 when was always friends at war with france. and also at war with spain. that was disastrous. it was a bit like the equivalent today of england being at war
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with the united states and russia at the same time. france was much larger military powers. the war was underway. and in the western port of england it was a particular problem. there was one port that was more important to the story in england than any other. barnstable. the county of massachusetts that now includes cape cod. biddeford on near the coast. they function together. rivers calledwo the tour and the torch. they had already been sending .hips to maine they've been fishing on the coast of maine and the early 16 1620's. it was not that serious. they didn't need to be.
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they could bring back wine. out wool andd ship cloth. all of this came to an end because of the war with france enters a dangerous phrase. siege.t was under it was a blockade. the ships would normally sail but could not do so anymore. the business of the port collapse. usually there would be 200 ships moving in and out. they were not going to europe. they were going to ireland or the canaries. franceuld not go to again. so the economy was on its knees. they were angry with charles the first because of the shipping losses suffered during the war. english suffering -- shipping was suffering severe losses. it was also suffering severe losses because the king was commandeering ships in an
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attempt to relieve the town from the siege of french authorities. the people desperately needed an alternative and so did the pilgrims. the pilgrims needed to get beaver for back to england as fast as they could to meet their debts. a huge common ground developed between them and the pilgrims. what it is possible to do from english records is to show how they related to each other. william bradford left behind an important document which was a business account for the plymouth colony. furs thathe number of --e back from the pillow plymouth -- the promise colony -- the plymouth colony. the two ships with failover on a
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less new england in spring or summer 1628 and came back. when i was able to do was to examine the customs records of the. -- period. now the poor books are extraordinarily reckless. they've only been available for research for a very brief space of time. they became available for us all in about 1911 when they were discovered. they were actually capturing fax -- kept in sacks in the attic of the public record. there were three poor condition indeed. they're actually 1500 of these from the reign of james the first alone. and there are tens of thousands in the 17th and 18th centuries and are in terrible condition. and they had to have conservation work done on them. people started looking around at the time of the first world war. they found some reference to the mayflower and they've been forgotten about ever since. and i could do that these records were going to be exceptionally useful. much of this book is based around the use of record. what did i find? i examined the books using clues
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from the narrative. i was able to see was the records that bradford recorded in his account for the plymouth colony match exactly with the entries in the customs records. in other words, those ships, the white angel of pleasure appeared in the boston records, too. the pilgrims used a business agent called isaac allison. he traveled to new england and then in the 16 twenties as a number of them did he went backwards and forwards across the atlantic. it was isaac alexander operated as they are agent and shipped material over, copper kettles, hats, shoes, you name it, he shipped it over. and i was paid for by the beaver fur coming back. and so that was how it happened in 1628. and there was another reason to well it all made sense because the price of beaver for hodges shut up.
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it's possible to reconstruct a graph showing what happened to the price of skin. in the early 16 twenties, you could buy a pound of uber for ur 45und of beaver f english shillings. but it isa huge sum about 10 da day's wages for a farm laborer. in the 1620's when the war with france broke out, the price of beaver fur quadrupled. in the space of a period of about if you're in 1627 and 1628. the pilgrims had found their trading post at pushback. it found the access kamieniecki trails are the price of your shot up. the merchants were eager to do business with the pilgrims because suddenly their own trade to france has vanished. they were eager to get the first back because they had to pay their debts. that is how it all basically happened. it was only in maine you could
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find the quantities required. of course these are superb areas for beaver. the beaver will exist in all kinds of locations. it will live anywhere where you've got streams and kind of trees they like. they will live more or less anywhere. this is good country because it is full of wetlands and bogs. also because of accessibility. it is no good just having the beaver. you have to be able to get in and out. how you seeally is the transition between the plymouth colony in massachusetts bay colony. historically it has been hard to reconstruct the connection between the two. we often talk about the plymouth
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colony as it was a modest venture. that has been true in the last 50 or 60 years because of perry miller who argued plymouth was less innovative. it wasn't the case. nucleusony was like the , the experimental venture. in 1628 when these huge amount started coming across the atlantic, that is when the merchants saw the opportunity. for another reason that was essential, because that was the point at which they were coming exasperated with charles the first. because of moment the religious orientation of the crown, worried that he was church,hem back to the
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because charles the first dissolved parliament and --arked on an experiment everything suddenly came together. that was the moment when it became guaranteed. none of this would have happened without those ships coming back. tot is what i would like leave things this evening. what i tried to do was reconstruct both ends of the , to show how it was an inter-player between if vince on both sides of the atlantic. that is why maine is so important. one of the reasons why, if you want to argue what the beginning of new england was, it was 1628. thank you. [applause]
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nick: [inaudible] yes? >> it sounds like 1628 was the starting point for all of the impetus for immigration. how long did the price of beaver holdup that immigration? remained firm for about 5-10 years. point, the valley was a good place to find beaver fur. if you look at the map it is not
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far from the places i have been talking about. and the connecticut valley was also another reason which was in addition to being a great place to find beaver was also great farmland. one of the misconceptions a lot of british historians have his new england with all stony and it was a poor place for farming because it's not true. the river terrace is extremely good country. and so in the middle of the 1630's around 1640, the puritans in new england began spreading over towards the valley. and whence they did that -- and once they did that, and of course once the war between england and france and spain , and also the dutch are moving heavily into the area. from those reasons the price started to fight not to drop away. and of course they were eventually came a time when effectively the beaver supplies in england have been more or less exhausted. the cool thing about the beaver fur trader was the crucial. come in at five to 10 years when you had to get the colonies up and running. that was when it really made a big difference.
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now of course also would have been wise during that period, new england began is what miles standing argue you north of had were then able to bring exporting into the west indies in the was absolutely crucial for the history was absolutely essential because it weren't enough. during this early time beaver ,ur was the only commodity sassafras, they were just not able enough. >> could you explain the significance of your title of your book? nick: that is a quotation from a puritan.
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in 1629, before john winthrop sailed across the atlantic he consulted widely with friends and colleagues about whether or not he should be doing it. blood is in our streets. even the least of these is enough to make haste out of babylon. comparing the puritans in england to the position of the -- in the bible. the reason i liked to this, as soon as i saw it, i like the sense of urgency. that is why i treasured that part of the book -- titled it
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that part of the book. he is one of my favorite characters. no one has ever been able to find out where he was born. lancasterly came from -- lancashire. the records are pretty sparse. the lancashire record office doesn't have much material at all from that period. we don't know where he was born. we know about his interests. when he died, he left a will. he had been cheated of his birthright in england and he listed a number of locations which he believed were his land.
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precisely salt marshes. the same territory he had in new england. cattleman inrst american history but also the key is that he came to america because he wanted to try and reconstruct the life that he should have had in england. man who was able to fulfill everything he wanted, to make himself in new england the kind of man he could have been in old england. morenk spanish was far religious than he was quoted to being.
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he was an evangelical puritan. i think there is more to be found out about him. found out more interesting things after i finish writing the book. that is a shame. >> in a radio interview you mention the difficulty of finding the native american perspective. you mentioned -- [indiscernible] casting. a nick: indeed, it is the house. you will tell the story better.
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i will have this over here anybody wants to see the post-and beam house. nick: this is from the rock in england. when i was undertaking my research in england i read a , ak by kathleen brandon leading expert on native american culture. she referred to a set of rock carvings. i made a note of this. i thought this was interesting. they appeared to have come to an area which was significant to the story. i never expected to see them. a couple of years later i was in augusta. in the main state museum they reproduction. it shows the image of a house with a gable and door or windows. . was struck
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i was amazed by this. the following year when i was -- bi drove to being them ngham. we know that particular stretch tradinghere beaver fur certainly went on. is flat groundk where they found the beaver trade. they found fragments of bone and musket points and so forth. was ao know that nearby pond. trappers were still going up there to find beaver. what i was not expecting was the
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enormous plethora of carvings you find on this rock. there are hundreds of them. because we can give them a date, the trouble with rock is you often cannot give it a date because it is rock. you can't carbon dated. somethingtually have which must date from post-europeans contact. i found a norm is exciting. the difficult things about writing a book about this is precisely. so much of the material is english. accounts, or it is english kurds of the time. but it is not are actually authentic. we have something which is a window into this lost american world.
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the other thing that is interesting is that there was a book published at the end of the 19th century. nicola.h he wrote a book of the life and traditions of the red man. edition encountered some difficulties because a lot of copies were destroyed. very few have survived. one was in the british library in london. that is where i read it. i found it very exciting. it is a remarkable piece of writing. of his poetic history people dealing with the arrival of the europeans from a native perspective. another reason why it is interesting is because he was descended from the people who lived in the village i mentioned in the beginning.
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that book, in the carvings on the rock we can start to find elements of a native american perspective. i tend to feel nervous, reluctant about this. i'm a modern white englishmen. it is not realistic for me to claim any expertise in this area at all. at least we can begin to start. point, to to do is to indicate some directions one might want to go. i think the rock is quite extraordinary. we don't everyone heading up there to go and see it, but it is extraordinary. it is as important as plymouth rock. it's unusual to have something
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for you have these extraordinary carvings. thunderbirds, kunduz, and the house. to have something and be bold to able to say it was created in the 16 80's. if you buy my book, you will find it reproduced in the final chapter. there is an excellent drawing from the rock. he did a lovely job of it. you will find it reproduced on page 419. sure this is in the book. you have collected a lot of dots. i'm back to the beginning of
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your talk, the religious aspects . they had biblical interpretation. we are conflating this with commercial enterprise. how did they do that exactly? they didn't have much of a problem with that. tension. an inherent i don't really find it actually. i have never really found it. anglican, church of england. to be frank, we are used to the notion that everything has to be paid for. by tides -- thy ythes.
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now, to me, the notion of this inherent tension between religion and money, i don't really see it. religion ollie has to be paid for. if you are jewish you pay synagogue fees. we pay for all kinds of things. i don't really see the tension. know a lot of people do but i personally don't. impulse wasthat the inherently an impulse of betterment as well. was that the gap between rich and poor was widening dramatically. because the price of food had gone up dramatically and because rents were rising, the real wages of most laboring people were falling steeply.
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the real income of the average english farm laborer was 45% of what it had been in 1500. it is extraordinary. clearly if you live in such a society than the biggest threat to spirituality is material degradation. --ple are getting poo poorer and poorer. there were social tensions and frictions going on. those are some of the biggest enemies of religious belief. the impulse to better themselves, socially and economically, i think those were compatible. that is not necessarily a common point of view but it is the way i look at it. >> [inaudible] nick: a very interesting question.
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he wrote it in several stages. there are some interesting questions about why he wrote it. he seems to have begun in 1630 or 1631. that was roughly the time john prop --p -- john when p wasknew that winthro keeping a journal. the wrist to record the beginnings of it. he wrote the first book in the early 16 30's. then he wrote the bulk of that much later. the interesting question about this which has been asked, why was it never published? the book was never published in his lifetime, until he came over
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to america in the late 19th century. it would have been very easy. of printingontrols were abolished. printing was abolished during the civil war. huge numbers of books were published. this is the kind of book that could have found a printer. edward winslow had published several books. that is a question that has not been explored. wasink it was because he trying to write a work of edification. he wanted to record for the benefit of future generations the struggles that had gone into making it.
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join they are always taking on the museum. to give them the history of the colony. the core.d up the plymouth colony was always worried about legal action. under the account in new england which had delegated authority from the king to give you permission to settle in the colony. the difficulty was that if you settle the legal right could always be challenged. this happened to the massachusetts bay colony. it was successfully challenged. i think that was one of the reasons bradford wrote the book. he was worried someone would come along and challenge the
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colonies right to exist. someone would say you have exceeded the permission you had. it helps explain a lot about what he wrote. you will find some odd things. very detailed and a lot of it consists of transcripts and correspondence. the sections relating to the ayflower and early days are huge part of the narrative. i think that was the reason he did it. he wanted a legal record to demonstrate he had always done what they should do. they would have been able to prove they were completely above board. it was written in stages. thank you. i would like your definition
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between being a pilgrim and a puritan. >> there is an entire book about it, orthodoxy in massachusetts. in the end you can't still work out what the differences. -- difference is. we in britain use puritan in a different sense. are in english historian, what you mean is a religious movement that came into existence in the 15 60's and ended, came to a complete. in 1662. he expelledn everybody who might be a puritan from the church of england. -- what we mean by puritan is somebody who believed the church was not protestant
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enough and needed to be more protestant. and that if necessary you had to have a revolution to achieve that. fixed phenomenon, one with very clear ends to it. toitanism didn't really come an end. someone argue it is still with us. it is still alive today. people still want to debate this . it is still very important. it went time being important because it was a serious issue. one of the reasons was because of the difference between america and england. it was always oppositional. it was something that was not in the position of the authorities. here it actually became your philosophy.
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directly,ur question in a theological point of view there is no difference. was identical. was that difference , what he did came was he wanted to establish fairly well defined, well regulated community in which political power and membership of the church were more or less identical. you had to be a member of the church of boston to be a full participant in the government. bradford never really did that. it wasn't compulsory to be a member of the colony. within a matter of the first decade they are ready start to fragment up and down the coast.
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he really want to. in the early years their problems were of a different kind. many people didn't necessarily agree with him. that is the big difference, the main difference between the two. when i use the word puritan in this book i don't necessarily use it in the sense of the american words. to try and deal with this problem and advance it so well. >> you talk a lot about a man, because he was that there do -- was because you liked him? he really didn't have a lot to do with it. nick: there were reasons i talked about him. he was the leader of the investors who financed the colony.
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he offered then the business branch to sell the mayflower. i thought it was important to try and reconstruct what we can about tom's weston from that time -- thomas weston. able atry rare to be all to write about any english merchant of his kind. it's only because william the colonyote about we can investigate these people at all. we probably never would know anything about them at all. it's not so much because i want him in the british colony. it is a way into the english mercantile community at the time. that is something i have done in the book.
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from an american point of view it tells you about new england. from an english point of view it uses the material to shed light on what was happening in london, which is more obscure than what we know about what happened over here. in fact, it is the only way of doing so. available of material about him it is very modest. [applause] >> on history bookshelf, here from the country's best-known
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american history writers of the past decade. watch any of our programs at any time when you visit our website. you are watching american history tv all weekend, every weekend on c-span 3. weekend on c-span 3. from president lincoln's cottage in washington dc, a conversation with candace about her book, lincoln's generals wives. seen that women have a means of reinforcing the best in their husbands or their worst . that is what this means. >> than the 1953 film american frontier. >> they flash the word.
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from there to the central office in oklahoma. night it was lit up like a christmas tree. california,ew york, houston. we began to realize how big a thing this was. >> the film promoted the financial benefits of leasing land for oil. panelists discuss the life and jack london and how his novel the call of the wild influenced generations of novelists and writers. >> he always looked back to the natural land, to the beautiful , to center himself and from the rigors and degradations of the cities.
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we visit the military aviation museum in virginia beach. among a couplee of other types caught all of the army -- taught all of the aviators how to fly. many did not even see an airplane coming from the farms. anywhere you can think of. the first they saw was the boeing stearman. >> if james madison is the architect of the constitution, george washington as the general contractor. if you have ever built a house you know that for some it looks like more what the general contractor has in mind and what the contractor has in mind.
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>> what they wanted to do was recruit part of the coup d'état. hamilton talked about this democracy stuff not going to work. washington believed in republican government. >> next, mary cunningham and angela manus of the u.s. marine corps discuss their personal experiences. this talk is part of a three-day conference hosted by the american veteran's center. >> thank you. it is an honor to be here. welcome to the panel on leading women and trailblazers in the u.s. military. it is sponsored by


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