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tv   Slavery Martha Washington and Dolley Madison  CSPAN  June 24, 2017 12:55pm-2:01pm EDT

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the formerr and ambassador to germany recall reagan's 1987 trip to berlin and the speech. >> it was a great plot line and i knew it was authentic ronald asgan, but you know, history president obama says, has a heart. -- has a arc. and we would never celebrate that famous speech if the events of 1989 had not transpired the way they did. complete american history tv schedule, go to next, marie jenkins schwartz talk about her book "ties that bound: founding first ladies and slaves." she focuses on how martha washington and dollie washington -- olley madison
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the national archives hosted this hour-long event. >> george washington was a dedicated diary archivist beginning with a record of the day's temperature and weather and the notable events that day. the entry for figure 18, 1786, just before his 54th birthday is longer than most for washington, and a list today of all of my negroes. the list totaled 216 persons in the first child named, the 12-year-old was a seamstress betty and only became the personal attendant of martha washington in 1899. the story is part of the presidential household is revealed in today's book, "ties that bound: founding first ladies and slaves." i will not take any more here. other writings are available online.
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founders online allows you to search across thousands of documents. record boththe lofty and lending. like founders online instead are history tell us much about the founding fathers, but to uncover information about the women of the founding era, we must dig deeper. professor jenkins schwartz focuses on the men and women slaves. marie jenkins schwartz is a professor at rhode island and independent scholar and writer. her research focuses on the history of slavery, women, and children. in addition to this book, she is the author of "birthing a slave, mother and medicine in the antebellum south," and the" growing up in antebellum south." she's working on a fourth book
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called scandal, first ladies come unfaithful president's -- presidents. professor schwartz has received two fellowships and other awards, including the publication prize for best book in southern women's history. at the university of rhode island, she assert as executive director of the center for the humanities and as chair of the history department. judgment, please -- so, ladies and gentlemen, please help me welcome marie jenkins schwartz to the national archive. [applause] ms. jenkins schwartz: good afternoon. thank you so much for that lovely introduction.
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it is wonderful to be here. i feel like i have come home. i lived in washington for a number of years and logged many hours in this building doing research for my first book. so today, can you hear me ok? are the microphones ok? ok. two ofi am talking about our most popular first ladies -- martha washington and dolley madison. bound" also looks at martha jefferson and her daughter cassidy, but i'm confining my remarks remarks to the washington's and madison. the important people in the book are the enslaved people martha and dollie claimed his property. martha washington and dolley madison both supervised a large contingent of domestic slaves at their homes in virginia.
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martha washington at mount vernon and dolley madison at montpelier. they also took slaves with them to serve in the executive mansion when their husbands became president. slavery for martha and dolley was not just an economic system that made their lavish lifestyles possible, although in fact, it did that. slavery for them was a constituent part of daily living . by that i mean, they were with slaves from morning until night. the relationship between the first ladies and their enslaved help forms the core of my book "ties that bound."
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we admire martha washington and dolley madison for many reasons, and rightly so. for their patriotism, their social graces and fashionable attire, and for playing the role of hostess while their husbands served as president. martha washington is especially esteemed for traveling to winter camps during the american revolution to visit her husband, general washington, and the american troops. and dolley madison is particularly admired for saving from capture and destruction a portrait of george washington as the british tour down washington d.c. during the war of 1812. but yet we cannot admire their slaveholding. slavery was cruel. violence, or the threat of violence, undergirds slavery.
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punishments for even minor offenses could be harsh, involving a beating or a sale. even when enslaved people did their due owners bidding, they could still be sold or mood for such reasons as the owner needed to pay a debt, or the owner needed less labor. slaveholders routinely separated slaves,, subjecting all even children, to psychological terror. this was true in the united states -- this was true in the united states, no matter who did the slaveholding. it is hard to connect to these facts with our founders.
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the same fathers and mothers who did so much to champion freedom and equality, made enslavement and inequality a part of their everyday lives by owning slaves. our instinct, i think, has been to look away. we have now wanted to think about our country's founders as slaveholders. but by turning away, we deny ourselves knowledge of the past. and how we have come to be, who we are, as a people, as a nation today. to look isnce understandable, i think. slavery is disturbing. so much, that people sometimes ask me how i can stand to research and write about it? i have a three-pronged answer.
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first is my belief that recognizing a wrong in history is a beginning of a way to make amends, or at least in sure that it does not happen again. trained archival historian. i am obliged by professional standards to reveal the past as it was, not as we wish it had been. i rely on my professional training when i am in the archives, or sitting at my desk -- or sitting at my computer reading or writing about slavery's atrocities. writing history is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. you have to think about the emerging big picture as you come across small bits of information. and i know that if i let my emotions overcome it, i am never going to get that large story.
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-- even i find myself so, i find sometimes that i have to pause, and think about what is emerging. the small details. overwhelmed by the knowledge of what enslaved people endured. when i talk about slavery in places like this, i wonder about audience reaction, your reaction. i would think that it is a difficult subject to listen to, which makes me appreciate your all the here today, more. third answer as to what i study slavery is that certain aspects of the story are inspiring. seem,trary as that might slavery, when examined closely, becomes a human relationship. and by studying that human relationship, we can see the
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capacity for humans, for cruelty , but we can also see the capacity of humans for resilience. enslaved people were not solely victims of a cruel labor system. they suffered and they labored alsoto be sure, but they loved, prayed, played, fought, and protested, despite the very real constraints imposed by a slaveholding regime. to be sure slave owners had , but masters and mistresses were unable to control completely the men and women they held in captivity. the first ladies knew that human
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property was hard to manage. help was harder to manage. waited on the madisons and the washington's could not , be placed about exactly as the like furniture. , domestic slaves exercise a degree of human agency, and no matter how hard the mistress, the master, or other overseer tried, that cannot be completely stamped out. i was not naive about how slavery worked when i started researching this book. i had written two other books on a subject of slavery. i knew that slaves could not be policed 24/7, despite the best efforts of owners to do so. when they were not being
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watched, enslaved people to time for themselves and families. somehow, despite working long hours for owners, most enslaved people managed to raise families, tend homes and gardens, form friendships, and entertain one another with music, dance, and stories. they carried out some of these activities with the approval of owners. but when an owner's was not forthcoming, they did what they could surreptitiously. even knowing this, i was somewhat taken aback to discover the washington's slaves behaving as other slaves i had studied. this was george washington after all. and as general of the continental army during the american revolution, he had with together a rag, tag, band of
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men, who had defeated the mighty british military. exercised anyone had will over their slaves, it would be the washington's. yet, like other slaveholders, they struggled to maintain complete control. they could not even keep children off of their prized yard. ,espite expressed prohibitions enslaved children frolicked on the well manicured lawn at mount doing damage to the shrubs. farm managerse about to george washington that he would do a better job of keeping the children away, george thank him for his efforts, but also expressed doubt that anything could be done. and he was right. washingtons can i
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keep the children off the lawn was because they were unwilling to use the draconian measures that would anger the children's parents, some of whom worked in the house. had to walk as fine line when it came to discipline any slaves, but they worried especially about angry highly skilled and apprised house staff. this was the case with a young himself in 1794, hurt during manual labor for his master. his mother, a domestic worker, had insisted her son be given lighter work in the house while he recovered. george'sr three months for manager said he thought it was time to put him back to his cautionedrk, george
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against it. he was notch or what might happen, but he was sure that his mother would do something, and do whatever it took to keep her son from being assigned more physically taxing labor. citeght this example -- i this example to show how domestic staff in the contracts of slavery used their agency. while most of the power laid with owners, the threat of sale, butor threat of no one wanted to sell highly skilled servants who took years and to train and no one wanted to beat slaves doing their job.
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this was especially true of people who worked in the house. the people who work there had access to both possessions and people. and could, everyone understood, retaliate. everyone knew that when an important matter was at stake, such as the recovery of a son sometimesjury, slaves stood their ground. pausenowledge gave martha when it came to disciplining her ds, caroline and charlotte. was reporting to a museum exhibit, quoting one of martha's house slaves.
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sometimes annoy the washingtons because of her slow work in failing to meet production with her passive , resistance to being an slaves. the washingtons often threatened caroline to the field when she this please, but they never follow. the seamstress, charlotte, like caroline, usually performed work to martha's satisfaction, and avoided punishment when she did not. but once, when she failed to complete a task, she was whipped. charlotte retaliated by refusing to do anything for a while. she did not explicitly say that she was retaliating for the whipping. she was smart enough to know that doing so would surely bring any harsher treatment. said she hadimply
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heard her finger. the washingtons surely understood her behavior as protests. refusal to work was a weapon. slaves sometimes wielded against an owner when they found a living or working conditions in horrible. under their moral and economic calculus, slaveholders expected a certain amount of work for the food, shelter, and other services they provided slaves. i know it sounds odd to use that word moral compass as regards to slaveholders, but they felt they had when they were treating their slaves fairly. i used that word, even though morality that we would tolerate today. and slave people tend to cooperate with owners unless they were punished egregiously
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for a minor offense, or told to perform more work than usual. a slaveholder who tried to impose extra work beyond the normal, which was still a lot, or who punished, especially harshly, could in fact produce the exact opposite result. as was the case for charlotte. such evidence demonstrates that the washingtons cannot direct all aspects of their slate's lives all the time. the notion that slaveholders did so simply is untrue, even for washington mrs. bound" tells the
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story about how the first ladies try to maintain control over their enslaved help and how the slaves defined themselves as more than cook and maid. the struggle for mastery, mastery of slaves on the part of the first ladies, and mastery of personhood on the part of enslaved people, is a central theme in "ties that bound." as i went about researching the book, i realized a number of popularly held and often repeated assumptions about first ladies and enslaved people, were untrue. one of them was the idea that martha washington and dolley madison accepted slavery because they had grown up with it, and they really did not know another way to live. myth of mistresses in general and martha washington
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and dolley madison in particular , dislikes favorite, but could not do anything about it. the laws and customs of a patriarchal society left them helpless to take action. i found a kernel of truth behind those statements, but the facts as a whole told a different story. for one thing, martha ann dolley both new people who advocated an end to slavery, as some of them were members of their own families. martha washington's parents for , but in the area of the american revolution, many people were questioning slavery's place in the new nation. northern states are in the process of outlawing slavery within their borders, and in ladiesa, where the first lived, certain slaveholders were questioning slavery, and
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voluntarily emancipating their slaves. george washington became one of them. toward the end of his life, he died in 1799 at the age of 67. emancipatinga well his slaves, not at the end of his own life, but at martha's death. he probably did not want to disrupt her way of living by emancipating them before she died. now martha, at the time, was a wealthy woman in her own right, and she did not need his slaves to live well. she come in fact, possessed more slaves and he did. 's were not hers our right, they belonged to the is her first husband who died in 1757. martha had inherited the use of his slaves.
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over the course of her lifetime, all of these slaves were to pass to daniel's other heirs at the time martha died. but there was one exception, a leash. somehow martha had come to own him in her own right. the rather than to follow george's example and free him, she instead bequeathed him to grandson.. she modeled her will on that of her husband in always but this one. her's freed no slaves. i'm going to return to martha and what she did about george's slaves in a moment. before i get to that, i want to say a few words about dolley madison's upbringing. dolley madison, like martha
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washington, grew up in a slaveholding -- grew up in a slaveholding household, but her parents were quakers, and like other quakers in the era of the american revolution, they concluded that slaveholding was immoral and contrary to the principles of the nation. when dolley was age 15, her parents so there do slaves and move the family -- sold their slaves and moved the family to philadelphia. it was one of those states that was moving to outlaw slavery within their borders. dolley's father said he wanted to start life anew and a free state. dolley married a quaker lawyer a few years later and she had -- and they had two boys. she might have lived out her life as a good quaker wife had
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not yellow fever struck the city in 1793. savvy, the epidemic -- sadly the , epidemic to the life of her husband and one of her sons. possessed theey means to supporters of an her surviving pseudo-, but she was young and attractive because the eye of james madison. a bachelor, he soon proposed, which put dolley in a dilemma. he was an important congressman from virginia, but he was also to skip alien, and he lived a life of luxury -- and he was also episcopalian and he lived a life of luxury on his family's montpelier estate. his elite lifestyle ran counter to the quaker ideals of plain living. worse, the madison's wealth came from the hundreds of slaves they held in captivity.
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marrying james would mean quakerism, and the abolitionist principles her parents held dear. she took some time to decide, but she said "yes." it seems that neither martha washington nor dolley madison were reluctant mistresses of slaves. neither followed spousal or renounceexamples to the concept of human property. one question remains -- what kind of mistresses were they? biographers and certain historians have said that they were good mistresses, but what does that mean? one problem in defining any stakeholder as good is this -- no matter how well enslaves
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people were treated, no matter how satisfactory their conditions of living, they longed for liberty. as the george washington secretary told by a leer once of number and slaves, they may be well clothed and fed and no subject to beatings but still they are slaves. martha brought slaves to the nation's capital when george washington became president in 1789. the capital was located first in new york city, then moved to philadelphia for 10 years before coming here to washington d.c. what i am sure you know.
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she was well trained and highly skilled. her material conditions of living were better than those of most slaves, including most of the phase aligned to the washingtons. martha, and philadelphia, had small amounts of and given permission for her to travel on her own. oni fled one day when the washingtons sat down to dinner. she made her way to new hampshire where she married and had children. shelife was not easy, but preferred it to the one she had had with the washingtons. she later said, she wanted to be free. two may be learned to read and write. departure was a blow to
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martha washington. butwas not only skilled, martha's favorite made, making things worse, from the washington's perspective, is hercules, prize cook, ran away at the same time. .here were other runaways from the time the washingtons married to his death, one or two slaves run away from mount vernon year. it was very difficult to run away, and it carried enormous risks. recapturede alluded as oni, judge, and hercules. flight, including those caught every turn, serves to remind us that enslaved people did not think of their
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owners as good to them. malevolentnot in any sense. -- not in any benevolent sense. the number of runaways from mount vernon master the numbers that ran away from other similarly sized plantations in virginia. this indicates that the slaves at mount vernon fared no better or worse then other slaves living in virginia. george washington's slaves eventually gained their freedom to the terms of his well, but even this is not the happy occasion we might like to envision. during the years of george's and martha's merit, her slaves had intermarried with his. when george's slaves were free,
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there were 123 of them. those married to martha's slaves had to leave spouses and children behind. some of the washington's slaves managed to stay near their families at mount vernon, but in truth, we don't really know what happened to all of them. freedom, the welcomed, was bittersweet. the vast majority of montpelier slaves, like those at mount vernon, seemed to have fared no other or worse than slaves in virginia, at least while james madison was a lie. had dolley been willing to remain at mount hillier -- at montpelier after james died this have remained true, but
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dolley found life in the virginia countryside tedious. she wanted to return to washington d.c., and reestablish herself as a preeminent hostess, a role she had relished, first while her husband served as secretary of state for eight years, and then later, during the eight years james madison has served as president. took money, and unfortunately, selling montpelier and it slaves became -- and it's slaves became a way to raise it. the death of a slave owner was a n unsettling time for slaves. would figure -- the enslaved people who attended james' funeral were visibly
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upset. defendants took this as evidence of a genuine, and i am quoting her, bereavement of a kind and benevolent master. but james madison was no kinder or more indulgent and other slaves owners. still, the tears the slaves shed were real enough. rumors were already circulating that the president's widow would sell at least some of them. was sufficient to account for all of the tears, but slaves who cried and carried on at the death of an owner were also participating in a ritual of long standing. race relations in virginia, and throughout the south, required that slaves and slaveholders outwardly appear to care about
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one another. expectedmbers expressions of grief from slaves when a slave owner died. slaves really disappointed. breaking the applied paternalistic contract at such a momentous moment could have disasters consequences. people who did not demonstrate the proper demeanor could expect to be among the first sold if it came to that. appearances mattered, particularly to public figures like dolley madison, who cared about her husband and so, the slaves cried. they knew their fate rested in dolley's hands. james had bequeathed them to her. and made her executor of his
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estate. dolley began selling slaves within two months of her husband's death. the slaves reacted with shock. , and abolitionist, wrote in horror. "every day or two, the negro trader would make his appearance like a hawk among the pigeons." based on conversations, he had come to believe that james had followed through and written a will that freedom all or at -- freed all or at least some of
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his slaves. yet james' will, when its contents became known, showed otherwise. edward was outraged. his slaves are not emancipated, he wrote his sister in late july. someone had changed james's mind, but who? he soon came to a different conclusion. there had to be a second will. "i cannot divest myself of the belief that he is made a secret will whereas his slaves will be freed at the death of his wife." george washington's will set them free at martha's death. martha was concerned about finances. mount vernon had a more slaves
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mount vernon actually had thatslaves at the time could be put to productive use and letting george's slaves go early would have saved expense. martha was also worried about having george's slaves, slated for freedom, mixing among others that would remain in bondage. martha's slaves were not going to be free and she actually has more than george.
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a lot of slaveholders worried, they thought that mixing slaves slated for freedom with those that would remain in bondage with added to the disgruntlement -- would add to the disgruntlement of other slaves. so, martha decided to let them go early. the madisons knew full well what happened at mount vernon. why martha had done what she did. they would not have wanted to dolley in a similar position. a secret will offered a solution. cole and the madison's slaves came to believe in a secret will directing dolley to free all or some of james' slaves. in fact, there is circumstantial evidence suggesting its existence. searched for the
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truth and eventually concluded, ,eluctantly, that his cousin dolley, had destroyed it. he was close to dolley and did not want to believe it but he could not come up with any other explanation. i cannot go into the evidence today. instead, i want to use my remaining time to talk about why we cannot understand james madison without knowing what dolley did. traditionally, historians and biographers have ignored dolley and other first ladies when writing about the president. instead, they ponder presidential papers and other documents written by men to find out what james madison and the other presidents thought about important issues like slavery.
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by ignoring the women, scholars have missed something important about james and the other presidents. certain historians and biographers have seen, in the early presidents, a nascent abolitionism that, if realized, could put the nation on a path that would have avoided civil war. regressedl of thought the nation's embrace of slavery postulates that the founding fathers might have done more to end it. for them, it represented a colossal failure of leadership, a lack of political courage. news that george washington freed his slaves in his will electrify the nation. large numbers of americans considered him a hero. john adams followed washington
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in office and he owns no slaves. thomas jefferson came next. he managed to free only a small number of favorite slaves at the end of his life. the vast majority of jefferson's people had been sold at a very public auction. it was necessary to pay the debts he had run up living. for his slaves, it had been a heart-wrenching thundering of family ties. for the jefferson's, it was a public humiliation. no one wanted to see such a scene repeated. many people hoped that james madison would take concrete
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steps to further the cause of emancipation. he made statements that he didn't like slavery and he said he wanted to see it end. according to the unrealistic idea that freed men and women would need to be sent out of the united states if slavery was ever ended. historians have criticized him for these ideas that they say were fanciful or delusional. what if james madison had freed his slaves without insisting on their exile? would he have inspired others to let their slaves go? would he still have been regarded as having failed the test of leadership, of lacking political courage? would knowledge that dolley had thwarted her husband's
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plans to free his slaves change our opinion of him or of her? women of the early republic were said to have exerted a moral influence on their men and on the nation. they made both better, it was said . but, what if the independent decisions made by women were not always nobler than those made by men and sometimes were less honorable? also, the traditional picture of elite women, particularly the wives of powerful men like the president has followed the dictates of husbands. what if women were not so dutiful and instead made independent decisions? these are questions i explore in my book with regard to martha
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washington and martha jefferson , as well as dolley madison. james madison was keenly aware that what he did about slavery at the end of his life would shape how others thought about him. as it has for his predecessors. yet, he left the decision of what to do to dolley. he had every reason to believe she would outlive him. she was 17 years younger than she was. he was in poor health when he wrote as well. -- his will. he would have been disappointed to learn what happened. option -- instead there was a slow and steady
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gathering of the madisons slaves as a dolley arranged to sell montpelier. many were picked off one by one and sold for cash or relinquished to creditors for loans that were never paid. i'm going to read one brief paragraph from the end of the section on dolley. from the book. of course, there may not have been a second will or any additional document. even so, it is difficult to believe that dolley was not involved in what was left in or out of her husband's will. as her husband's health declined , she began to assume more responsibility for helping to make decisions. during the former president's last years, she acted as his personal secretary, helping him
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with correspondence and other matters. she exerted an influence on james and as he grew weaker, her power to sway him grew stronger. edward cole directed all of his powers of persuasion at james, not to dolley. it was perhaps the greatest flaw in his scheme to emancipate the madison slaves. he tried to convince of the former president that his legacy depended on what he, not she did , did about them. let me conclude with a just a few words about the larger picture, the one that emerges from the many stories i tell about the first ladies and their in "ties that bound."
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the washingtons, jeffersons and madisons are rightly honored for setting important precents in the establishment of the nation. one of the precedents they set were of slaves serving in the president's house. five more presidents withhold -- would holdutch slaves before the civil war. yet, we hesitate to acknowledge this inconvenient truth. the same founding americans that touted freedom and equality also tolerated slavery and inequality. americansrations of would reject this paradigm and to championlly civil rights, human rights.
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today, we remain reluctant to knowledge slavery's place in the founding of our nation. is it because we, the public, want to celebrate our embrace of freedom and democracy without the discomfort that comes from acknowledging the subordination and exploitation of particular people? or, is it that we simply don't want to know the truth about revered founding figures? is this why we have told ourselves they were good to their slaves? i think we have time for questions and comments. [applause]
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>> there are microphones in the audience. >> yes. one on each side. >> i have always been curious when i read the missing slate announcements -- they are not that descriptive. what was the chance of actually getting an escaped slave back? were those announcements accurate enough to identify them ech? people were falsely recaptured, too, right? >> the chance of being recaptured was pretty high.
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oni and hercules's ability to escape was unusual. -- slaveholders would put advertisements in the paper saying that a slave had a absconded. often giving a short description of the person. it wouldn't be very specific. george washington put an advertisement in the philadelphia paper after oni judge ran away. i don't think the idea was to describe enslaved people in great detail, but to alert others there might be this person lurking around who might be a stranger. the population of the united states even in the cities were much smaller than they are today. they would notice strangers and it would be on the lookout.
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there were people who made a living as slave catchers. to show how hard it was to escape, oni judge was found by the washingtons and george and martha made efforts to get her back. the problem was, he was president of the united states and he did not look to make a public spectacle about what was going on. especially since martha -- he said it would be unseemly for the president of the united states to chase down a runaway slave. so, he wanted to do it on the , so he was willing to bend laws, the fugitive slave act of 1793, which he had signed as president, he was willing to skirt that law but he could only go so far because he did not
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want to drag her kicking and screaming back to mount vernon. that is a long story that i tell in the book. the short answer to what you are saying is these are brief descriptions that often run 7, 8, 9 lines long. it really wasn't so much that, it wasn't operating as something we might see today but just a warning to be on the lookout that there might be this person and they did not have any compunction about questioning free blacks. free blacks had to carry papers with them showing who they were. anybody could be accosted. so, it was not a modern way that we might think of of tracking
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down slaves, but definitely they went after them and most of them were returned. it was very hard to get away. i would love to have questions. this book came out last month. i would love to hear your questions and comments. >> thanks for your interesting and enlightening presentation. in connection with your book that you pay id visits to each of the three historic homes and plantations, what have you learned in connection with those visits that would enhance the story for today? what did you learn from those visits?
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>> i learned a lot. i went to mount vernon, monticello, montpelier, one of the reasons i did that was i wanted to get the lay of the land. bi do not want to be talking about so and so was on the south lawn when there is no south lawn, there is a river. at all of the historic sites, people are working very hard to uncover the story of slaves. i'm glad you asked the question because he gives me a chance to applaud the many people who are working on these topics. it is a labor that takes years. there are archaeological things digs, for example, at monthly montpelier, if you go down there you can take a tour of the archaeological sites they are doing to learn more about the slaves there. monticello and mount vernon are
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also doing things. how many of you have been to one of those three sites? a good number of you have. you probably know that in recent years they are giving what is called a slavery tour, they take you around and show you some replicas of how slaves lived. i do address this topic in my book. i am so grateful for the time that some of the staff gave me. i talked with people about slavery. i worry because when you go on those sites, it is still segregated. when you're on the slavery tour, you are outside and when you are on the inside, you are learning about the furniture, jeffersons
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's library, the pictures on the wall, the chairs in the great room. there is a great deal of emphasis on that and it seems to me that the two stories needed to come together. the presidents, first ladies, and their families interacted with slaves from morning to night. you cannot separate out the story. if you do, you do not have the whole story and that was kind of an inspiration for writing the book. if i wanted to put the presidents and first lady and ies and enslaved people together in the same rooms and places so that we can understand the story better. mount vernon has a wonderful slavery museum that if you have not gotten to, i highly recommend. that just opened in january of this year and they have a much
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more thorough exhibit talking about the people who waited on the washingtons. still, i think we need to be thinking of what was going on when we walk through jefferson's bedroom at monticello, i would like someone to say there would be enslaved people seeing to the chamber pot. they do point out his bathroom on the tour. they don't say who was doing what. that is something i try to emphasize in my talk. we are just kind of reluctant to put them all together in the same room, in the same story. we have reached a point in our history and our uncovering of our past and wanting to know who we are as a people and we're trying to do that. thank you for that question.
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anything else? ok. welcome a thank you very much. i appreciated your turnout today. it was great. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] we will get to the book signing in just a few minutes. go to the archives bookstore. >> this weekend on american history tv on c-span3 today at 6:00 p.m. eastern on the civil war, the disbanding of the confederate army of northern virginia is discussed by professor carolyn janie.
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>> lee's terms had surrendered his army. they had said nothing about declaring that the confederacy was defunct. as of may 9 much jefferson davis remained on the run. >> at 8:00 p.m., professor darren on the east texas oil boom of the mid-20 century. and the expansion of u.s. oil businesses to saudi arabia and canada. >> geologist framed the theory of peak oil saying american oil reserves were going to really 1970, forcing the country into a difficult situation. fear of america losing its oil sources is going to drive exploration abroad. >> sunday at 4:00 p.m. eastern on real america, the 1979 united
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nations film the palestinian people do have rights. foriolence breeds hatred retaliation brings only further retaliation. an eye is paid at a high interest rate these days. reagan'sd burr recalls trip to berlin. >> he knew it was a great applause line. i knew it was authentic ronald reagan. arc.ry has an we would never celebrate that famous speech if in fact the notts of 1989 had transpired the way they did. >> go to >> american history tv is on
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c-span3 every weekend, featuring museum tours come archival films and programs on the presidency. here's a clip from a recent program. after two weeks of agonizing back and forth on whether john and bob should stay, take leave of absence or resign, we finally have the answer. this chapter is called resignation. , april 29 myning post"ved the "washington on the patio of our townhouse on our street in georgetown. re so many reporters lingering at our front door, it intimidated our newsboy.
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ey would go around the ally and through our paper into the azaleas. usually, my apron that using my apron to wipe off bits of dirt. they would give progress reports on the cover-up. there was more speculation about removing john. , as bob says at breakfast soon as the president reads all the stuff, he will want john and me to come up to camp david mutely. what do you mean? he will want our resignations. said he wanted you to take a leave of absence. things are moving too fast in the other direction. either way, i will be out of the white house.
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he stands and walks over to the kitchen window where he looks down at the reporters. it's time for me to tell our families that i might have to take a leave of absence. as usual, bob has covered that his decision is clear and he is in control. >> you can watch this and other american history programs on our website, where all of our video is archived. that is next, the manhattan project is the subject of a lecture by martin sherwin. he's the author of "a world destroyed: hiroshima and its legacies." mr. sherwin details the development of the atomic bomb,
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beginning with the discovery of vision in 1938 -- fission in 1938. the smithsonian associates hosted this in washington, d.c. our speaker tonight's martin sure when, professor of history at george mason university. his biography of j robert oppenheimer won a pulitzer prize , the national book critics circle award -- he's also the ."thor of "the world destroyed it was the 1976 finalist for both the national book award and a pulitzer prize. the current paperback edition is subtitled "hiroshima and its legacy."


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