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tv   The Civil War John Browns Pikes  CSPAN  August 7, 2019 11:34am-12:33pm EDT

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american history tv. up next, west virginia university professor jason phillips talks about john brown, and the pikes he made for use in a planned slave insurrection. the talk part of the gettysburg institute's conference. lasts about an hour. >> good afternoon. i'm peter car michael director of the civil institute at gettysburg and a member of the history department. it is my pleasure this afternoon to welcome jason phillips. jason phillips is the family professor, civil war studies at west virginia university. he started his academic career at the university of richmond. then completed his masters at wake forest before going on to rice university where he worked with john bowles who is retiring this year. john bowles, very important, famous southern historian.
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jason has taught at mississippi state university before coming to wvu. and he's published two books, his first "die hard rebels" published by the university of georgia. it is an extraordinarily important book if you want to understand those southern soldiers that some might consider to be zealots. he takes them on their terms. he digs deep into their ideology and their culture. and it is an outstanding book. "die hard rebels." one thing about jason, i would say that he's really never comfortable in how he does history. he's always looking for something new and something different, not just in terms of the topic but in terms of the methodology. that's one reason why graduate students, people who come to wvu and study with him and i should say we have sent a number of kids from gettysburg college to work with jason, always looking for a different way, different
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approach, which i very much admire. that approach region recently an important part of his recent publication, "looming civil war how 19th century americans imagined the future." not very good when we look at the future, always looking at the past, this is a very imaginative approach and i should add, this is another book i assigned to my undergraduates here at gettysburg last spring in the southern history class. they loved the book. as i told you all, undergraduates are tough customers but it is researched absolutely impeccable, written, accessible and jason this afternoon will be speaking about part of his research in looming civil war. please welcome jason phillips.
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>> thank you, pete. thank you all for coming. the public has long been drawn to the relics of the civil war and as our last panel suggested, the profession, professional historians, are just now starting to catch up to interests in the artifacts of this important era in american history. i became fascinated by john brown's pikes, and i'm going to talk to you about them today and hopefully we'll have plenty of time for some questions. so this story about john brown's pikes which were over 900 pikes, spears, that were manufactured and eventually sent to harpers ferry or the harpers ferry area for the raid in 1859, their story i've broken into six parts
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and each part focuses on the weapons when they were held by different people and they were in different places. as it happens in different states for each part of the story. you'll notice that these weapons mean different things during each part of their journey. they represented different political goals and prospects every step of the way. our first part is kansas. so when he told friends about kansas, virginia -- a virginian named henry clay pate recalled, i went to take old brown and old brown took me. on june 2nd of 1856, pate surrendered his missouri posse to john brown's company at the battle of blackjack.
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this is henry clay pate. both men recognized the event as the first battle of a looming civil war. now there had been lots of violence in kansas prior to the battle of blackjack, but this was the first pitched fire fight. there are over 100 men firing at each other at blackjack for three hours. there are a number of casualties. this is not just an act of terror or some melee in the street. there was, in fact, a battle. to prove that blackjack meant war, john brown and clay pate drafted an article of surrender and prisoner exchange that afternoon. this is that document. the agreement between them specified that pate and his lieutenant, a man named wfrmts b. fort scott brockette would be exchanged for two of john
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brown's sons held by pro-slavery militia. the documents stressed, and i've quoted up here, the arms particularly the side arms of each one exchanged are to be returned with the prisoners. when u.s. dragoons led by sumner and stewart, yes, that jeb stewart, arrived three days later, brown produced this signed agreement and insisted that pate and brockette were his prisoners until pro-slavery forces released his sons, according to the document. sumner told brown he would not parlay with, quote, lawless and armed men and he demanded that brown release his prisoner and return their things. brun wasn't happy about this. pate wasn't holding up his end of the deal. their agreement was being
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disrupted and while brown was forced to free pate and his men while faced with armed u.s. soldiers, he did something. he kept the side arm. he kept henry clay pate's buoy knife. when pate carried his knife to kansas it threatened a border war. buoy knives meant aggression in private life and public politics. they defied social norms. they crossed lines. they broke laws. they assert supremacy at knifepoint. after swords wept ont out of fan and they went out of fashion at the start of the century, buoy knives solved a problem of self-defense. gentlemen tried concealed weapons like pocket pistols or sword canes, but both were
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pretty unreliable. jutsing from boots and belt, buoy knives rejected decency and worked in a fight. their creator insisted that buoy knives were what he called hunting knives, but everyone knew he gave the first one to his brother to kill a man. when jim buoy's knife saved his life during a melee that broke out after a duel, it made him and his blade famous. when jim buoy died at the alamo, his knife materialized southern politics. every -- even southern statesmen started wearing and using buoy knives in legislatures. william lloyd garrison condemned what he called the supremacy of the buoy knife and criticized northerners for being intimidated by southern threats. he said, it is only for some few
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hotspurs at the south to brandish their cow skins an buoy knives and shout, we'll dissolve the union, and straight away we turn pale. southerners bullied their way into kansas. a border told a reporter that missourians would enter, quote, every election district in kansas in defiance of the governor and vote at the point of the buoy knife. when senator david atchison led missouri men to vote in kansas, he warned the crowd at the precinct, we came to vote, and we are going to vote or kill every abolitionist in the district. well, yankees hid their efforts to arm ckansasens behind emigrat societies. southern filibusters like jefferson buford advertised
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plans to conquer kansas and called for volunteers in the newspaper. buford sold 40 of his slaves to armed 400 men and they marched from alabama to kansas under a silk banner that read "the supremacy of the white race." the same year that congress opened kansas to slavery, southern evangelist samuel baldwin published a book called "armageddon." he prophecied war in the midwest would end time and usher the second coming of jesus christ. he based his prophecy on the book of daniel and recent history like filibustering at kansas. southerners like buoy, buford, and baldwin, looked west and saw the fate of civilization hanging in the balance. for them, frontiers were border lands where good and evil fought
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for the future and they expected victory. as baldwin predicted the total extinction of some inferior races as, for instance, the mexicans. southern conquests appealed to henry clay pate. he grew up in virginia, listening to his grandfather's stories from the revolutionary war and he envied the old man for accomplishing that greatest of military achievements, spilling blood to secure sovereignty. the kansas/nebraska act gave pate a chance to repeat his grandfather's glory, and before he left for the frontier, pate's friends gave him a parting gift. the buoy knife. he moved to missouri and crossed the border in search of john brown. when brown took pate's knife, he acquired a battle trophy. soldiers often collect relics after their first battle when
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troops strip a defeated enin em they assert dom mans. by stealing the knife he disarmed the southerner of his weapon, but battle trophies seldom remain with their collectors. soldiers give them to family and friends, gamble them away or exchange them for luxuries. in the process, these battlefield trophies circulate from war front to home front where civilians prize a tangible piece of the war. months after blackjack, brown paraded his trophy during a fundraising tour across new england. after listening to his lecture, audiences thrilled to see brown pull pate's knife out of his boot, this was like the dramatic flourish at the end of the lecture and people came to expect it. when ralph emmerson and henry david throw met john brown for the first time, they asked to see the buoy knife.
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after brown spoke in collinsville, connecticut, blacksmith charles blair admired the buoy. it was a two-edged with the blade about 8 inches long, blair remembered. he could tell it was an expensive weapon. brown asked what it would cost to copy the blade and attach it to say a thousand six-foot poles. he said, kansasens needed weapons to defend their homes against border rough fee yans and wild beasts. charles blair paused. unsure that he wanted this work, he quoted john brown a stiff price and said white cost $1 apiece. brown said, that's good enough for me. i want them made. now the question is, why pikes? why not more buoy knives? why not swords? why not something else? brown had already used blades in kansas when his men hacked to
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death five southerners with broad swords. the murders terrified pro-slavery settlors. spreading 1,000 blades across kansas would intensify the scare that brown had started. his choice of weapon matter. john brown was an avid reader of military history and he knew that pikes represented the overthrow of aristocracy. medieval knights gained social and military power because few men had the metal, the courage, to stand and receive a cavalry charge. that changed when swiss peasants skewered charges knights with pikes. a simple-edged weapon in the hands of a determined underclass ended the reign of knights in europe. perhaps circulating a thousand pikes in kansas would produce a similar result against the
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knights of the south. so if pate's knife threatened a border war, brown's pike threatens a class war. turning a buoy into a pike also illustrated the slippery conduct of yankee radicals. rifles arrived in kansas labeled as bibles. northern militia called their fort the free state hotel. pro-slavery settlers had reason to worry that things were not what they seemed in kansas. the covertness and frankly dishonesty of northerners out west unnerved pro slavery settlers. when missouri roughens sacked lawrence they did not attack people, instead they destroyed yankee things.
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after they stole all the weapons they could find, missouri,ens plundered homes, burned and exploded the free state hotel, and smashed the printing herald of freedom, an anti-slavery newspaper in town. after the raid women went out into streets and scattered the press and gave it to free state malitia. the malitia melted the type into cannon balls. when northerners retaliated, they fired the reconstituted type through the enemy's fort. this, they said, is the second edition of the herald of freedom. a pretty good joke, right? they said how do you like it. the southerners didn't like it at all. they surrendered. in more ways than one, things
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changed in kansas. brown continued this tradition by transforming a knife into free state pipes and he instructinstruct ed blare to use common hoe handles to conceal the intent and ship the blades in other boxes. you can kind of see on this image there's a circle, that's a screw so you can attach the blade at the destination and you have a weapon. weeks litter, the panic of 1857 doomed john brown's fund raising tour. unpaid, blair left the weapons unfinished. john brown turned to private finaciers. a group of wealthy radicals that became known as the secret 6. in october of 1859, pairs of men
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followed the pikes across the border toward harper's ferry. osborne anderson, a free black man recalled they marched like a funeral procession. he returned to blair's shop unannounced. he said kansas is settled. what do you need these weapons for. brown said they might be useful if they were finished. instead of threatening a class war out west, the pikes now threatened a race war down south. anderson was responsible for giving pipes to slaves during the raid. because he was in charge of thing, the slaves assumed anderson, not brown, was captain of the band. this rumor was reenforced by the
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fact that louis washington, a great grand nephew of george washington surrendered his ancestors to anderson, not brown. anderson being a colored man and colored men being only things in the south is proper the south be taught a lesson upon this point. what is brown getting at here? brown exposed the legal fiction that blacks were property by having louis washington surrender his prized piece of property to anderson. exchanging arms was brown's way of proving black humanity. give a slave a pike, he said, a and you make him a man. weapons offered more than
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freedom. they conveyed vir shtues that americans respected. nothing so charms the american people as personal bravery, brown told black. while other abolitionists wanted to give slaves freedom, john brown wanted to give them weapons. that's the difference between john brown and most other abolitionists. hold onto your weapons, he told them, and never be persuaded to leave them. the slaves at harper's ferry understood this advice. they handled and exchanged weapons to express allegiance and power. other slaves used them to guard hostage, including their masters. blacks who guarded supplies across the river fired on troops at harpers ferry the morning
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after john brown was captured. most african-americans change their relationship to weapons the moment the raid fail. when marines charged the engine house, shields green, one of five black men in brown's party dropped his rifle and stood beside six slaves hoping to pass as one of them. ben, a slave from a nearby farm through down his pipe and begged for mercy. a clever expression of loyalty was practiced by one of louis washington's slaves. days after the revolt failed he showed washington where he claimed where he had his masters shotgun. he said john brown's men gave him the weapon to arm himself when he escaped. we know anderson gave washington shotgun to that old slave who fought throughout the attack. what is this other slave doing? after the raid he recognized his master's shotgun and recognized a way to safely return to the
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plantation instead of being convicted or lynched as a recollectionists. while some african-american returns weapons to save their lives, others his them as battle trophies. washington recovered his dress sword and shotgun but his belgium bird gun disappeared. a gun was found that matches the description in his great grandfather's attic. that's where all this stuff is. the belgium gun has a brass plate with an engraved initial w. it was found beside two 1858 model harpers ferry rifles. by tracing the story of these weapons, his story has uncovered
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a complex web of black involvement in the raid. osborne anderson hoped this network would spread a race war. instead it helped him to escape to canada along the underground railroad. stewart, alone, could confirm brown's identity because as i said at the outset he was there in 1856 when colonel sumner released the men. he suggested that brown was, he said, a man so infamous for his robberies and murders that if
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the people here knew, he would not be permitted to live five minutes. struther was more interested in sketching than lynching john brown. when staurt ordered someone to clean brown's wound, he remarked if there's in manhood in you and you are not a set of old women, you should immediately have him cared for. the raider was challenging the masculinity of the south and jeb knew it. your treatment is that of midnight thieves and murders, not of men taken in honorable
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warfa warfare. other southerners followed staurt's example of belittling the raiders intentions while gathering battle trophies from them. arms were hidden in the surrounding mountains. six hours later the malitia returned to town with two wagons filled. why does this matter? no midnight thieves stockpiled weapons like this. the raiders possessions substantiated their ways in statements could not. by the time they arrived neighbors had already ransacked the place for souvenirs. military maps and drilling manuals littered the farmhouse floor. when stewart checked an outlying cab
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cabin, on the first floor he found crates filled with tent canvas, axes, men's clothing and boots. climbing to the second story he discovered quilted piled high. hundreds of spears lay across the floor and rested against the walls. stunned by this, staurt turned to a local man and guided him, he guided him to the locations high pressure he's a local and basically told him, look, i need you to break this attic window and throw all these spears down into the yard. he did as he was told. while he was tossing pikes out of the window, citizens reappeared and stole them before staurt could cart them to town. overwhelmed by the task at hand, staurt allowed each person to take five spears each. when that amount did not satisfy
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civilians more diminish the work at hand there are hundreds of these things up there. he said each person's quota can be 50 but that it. during the spree white southerners shattered the spear sh shafts to collect pocket size relics. the baltimore and ohio railroad sold his pikes at their harpers ferry station. the president of the railroad finally put an end to this trade because he worried that spreading the evidence of brown's intentions might spark a slave revolt. on november 21st, 1859, henry visits john brown in jail and guess what, demanded the return
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of his buoy knife. many called on him while in jail and the vast majority enjoyed a polite conversation. brown confessed he gave pate's knife to a friend many massachusetts. when pate pressed him for a name, brown refused. gifts forge and strengthen social bonds but in this case brown honored one man by disrespecting another. pate and brown understood this fact. he sought more than his knife. he demanded restitution and only the return of his knife could sever pate's kind of subordinate relationship with john brown. the fact he surrendered to him. so much had changed since he fought henry clay pate in kansas
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three years earlier. fewer people would be caught in a vortex of disputes and drawing boundaries on map seemed more manageable for congress than what they faced in 1859. now a race war threatened pate's home state where thousands of people could die in an insurrecti insurrection. the federal government rescued harpers ferry and its citizens but harpers ferry was a government town. the federal government had property at stake there. would washington be as quick to protect the property and lives of southerners living far from federal arsenals and interests. it's an important question to ponder in 1859. bleeding kansas set rival settlements against each other and it was violent but a race war would envelope households in fire and blood.
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if brown would not provide restitution, pate determined to find it on his own and to find his knife in the process. the first thing he did after he failed to get it from brown in jail was published a pamphlet calling for the return of his knife. if brown's friend will send my weapon to me, he said, i shall be obliged to him. he even offered to pay for his own knife so he could have it. then pate did a most remarkable thing. most southerners denounced yanky sympathy from brown. not clay pate. he headed north. to restore his honor he reversed john brown's course. if brown could leave his home in new york and attack southern hon honor, in virginia, pate would leave home and attack in new york. five days after brown's
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execution, a time when church bells tolled, pate denounced brown in a speech at the cooper institute in new york city. if emverything brown said could be done together nothing characterizing the man could be done. the north was also wrong about him. pate was not a border rufian. not the guy they portrayed. he was a newspaper editor. he was a lawyer. pate prophesied a looming war. he warned the south would no longer tolerate abolitionists. in 1850, anyone who dared to approach emancipation would have been tarred and feathered.
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he was sort of a holier than thou prophet who would set unwilling slaves free without giving them any means for supporting themselves. the north's reaction to brown's insurrection suggested the region prefer slavery die in a bloody race war rather than by peaceful means. abolitionists might as well try to abolish death than slavery. both have been around since the existence of human civilization both death and slavery. he said if the papers did not stop there articles the time, war between the north and south would come and woe to all who
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had occasioned it. he thought that this union would splinter the united states to more than two confederacies. pate predicted the same chaos that abraham lincoln was going to predict on the same stage at the cooper institute in new york city several weeks later for his campaign. they pointed fingers in opposite directions. pate accused abolitionistabolit. lincoln suspected successionists of conspireing for this union. trying to recover his reputation sort of turned back the clock. pate spent most of his lecture retracing what actually happened at blackjack. i'm happy to talk about that some more during the q and a. the paper called the battle famous and assumed details are familiar to all our readers. pate insisted that northerners had all the details wrong because abolitionists papers
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slandered him. instead of being a coward who surrendered 30 men to nine men, he said he kcopitulated to a force. pate faced five to one odds in kansas. a young man asked do you think if i were to go to virginia do you think i would be allowed to speak as you are tonight. everything about his lecture supported the basaccusation in stra stranger's question. it would not allow northerners to come south and talk about border wars, class wars and race war in old dominion. the pointer that he carried with him when using the blackboard and explaining blackjack proved
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his point. what he used as a pointer was one of john brown's pikes. abolitionists were clamoring to get their hands on john brown pikes but they saw them not as battle trophies but as sacred relics. blair made 12 original pikes. kind of is this what you want. they started to manufacture the order and brown gave one of those original pikes to his friend while after brown's death, rust had an inscription
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carved into it that said captain john brown executed at charlestown, virginia. when brown's body arrived in new york city, pt barnum offered $100 for his clothing and his pike. the hoppers gave william lloyd garrison one of brown's 12 original pikes and the pacifists prized it. he noted that virginia's motto asserted the slave's right to kill his owner and he said if you look closely at virginia's state seal, it showed man conquering his oppressor by wielding, guess what, a pike.
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thomas russell, a massachusetts judge who sheltered brown after he fled from kansas visited brown in jail and carried home a pike. he received a pike. all the prominent abolitionists are getting their hands on pikes as well. they were convinced it could spark war against slavery that he advocated touring john brown's body across the north and mary brown refused. visions of white northerners freeing black southerners through bloodshed were called harpers ferry but also anticipated the civil war. standing before brown's casket
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phillips predicted the harpers ferry raid, a short term failure, would kill slavery in the end. he said that most americans who kind of disparage brown thinking he was insane for taking on this raid and dying at the outset said they didn't have a good perspective on history. they said it was just like how their ancestors regretted joseph warren's death at the battle of bunker hill. like warren, brown sealed it by sacrificing himself at the beginning of a long struggle for freedom. it would only take time, he thought, to see the truth. he said history will date virginia's emancipation from harpers ferry. virginian edmond required his trophy five days after brun's
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execution. he described it as one of those spheres that brown brought to arm the slaves. they saw african spheres. the federal bookkeeper who listed things captured counted a large quantity of spheres. fixed upon poles. a terrible looking weapon insteaded for negros. that's the longest description. it's clear there's something visceral about these pikes. pikes are civilized european defensive weapons. spheres, in the eyes of these southerners are barbaric, african, offensive weapons.
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people cut off his ears as trophies. they picked his pockets and stole letters from his wife. authorities conceal john brown's casket and used decoy hearses to throw off relic hunters in order to get his body safely to the north. the body of his son did not make it north until the 1880s. when it arrived fingers and toes were missing. southerners collected things the make sense of the raid, to uncover its supporters but also clearly to flaunt its failure and savor their victory against john brown.
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in his opinion brown ice invasion could have been a good cause for a declaration of war. these spheres threatened a civil war. he gave one sphere to each governor. he said to be placed in the legislative hall of each capital. he was a relentless successionists but he alone could accomplish very little. he understood if he could circulate the spheres around the south they served as a most eloquent creature in his absence. brown still decided to put a message on these gifts that he is circulating around the south. this is the one he sent to south carolina. to the state of south carolina, sample of the favors designed for us by our northern brethren.
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let's kind of take a minute and look at this language and kind of unpack what he's saying. he was addressing slave owners who received many samples. there's a tongue and cheek language when he says this is sample of the favors designed for us. sample of cloths, tolls and other items move south for masters to inspect before placing orders. samples were promises about the future that northerners made to southerners. most of the manufacturing at this time is happening in the northeast. he wanted the master class to know that brown sphere was the genuine article. the very thing that yankees intended to send south in bulk. the quotation is from sha
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shakespeare. southerners would have recognized the line was spoken by the chief rebel against the king. this character is shakespeares greatest fire eater. sort of his greatest successionist. the fought against the king's more modern style of rule. when south carolina succeeded, ruffin and his sphere were hon mor honored guests. after the ferry raid, the secretary of war transferred
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thousands of muskets from northern arsenals to southern armories. he also shipped hundreds of brown's pikes southward. floyd's father had been governor of virginia during nat turner's rebellion. it's possible he moved the weapons south as a precaution against another insurrection. he used his federal position to arm the future confederacy. floyd resigned during the su succession crisis. some of these pikes that flioyd transferred south armed a texas regiment. one of them was found here at get
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gett gettysburg when people cleaned up the debris of war. tracing the movement shows us how americans value possessions and use them to pursue different ends. as it circled the country and change, pate's knife and then its descendents predicted a border war, a class war, a civil war and a race war. people spread expectations by gathering things that they associated with the future like these pikes. patterns emerge in the story of pate's knife and the pike. twice these things cross borders. both invasions fail first in kansas and then in virginia. the enemy captured things as trophies and circulated them to promote radical politics. certain things somehow gathered people instead of it being the
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other way around and rallied them by embodying and signifying their hopes and fears. the men who invaded kansas and virginia found courage and resolve in the things they carry like these weapons. the men who took those things to connecticut and south carolina worried about them and i think gained a false sense of security by disarming their enemy. these things asserted manliness of their possessors and unmanned people who lost them and pate understood this fact. his northern search in 1859 failed to recover his knife. clay pate died in 1864 at the battle of yellow tavern shortly before jeb staurt was wounded. as i researched my book i felt this work wasn't done until i could uncover what happened to his knife. until i could answer the question for pate and for all of us, where did it go after brown
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gave it to somebody. i felt if i could answer that riddle, i could perhaps give pate spirit some resolution and provide an ending that's fitting to this story. now pate suspected that brown gave his knife to samuel gridley. all the evidence points towards another man. brown went to this man's home to give him the knife. he didn't tell people he was showing up somewhere. he just knocked on the door and this man wasn't home. brown left with the knife still in his boot and gave it to his wife and said after i'm gone on my trip, trip down south, make sure you present this to my friend in massachusetts.
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this man gave speeches in his honor. for once he said the rifles and resolvers were employed in a righteous cause. he's mocking americans for using weapons. leaped h he repeated his speech. this man took his place on the program. newspapers summaries of his speech edited out his boldest points. when james redpath wrote the first biography of brown in 1860, he asked this man for a
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definitive account for the battle of blackjack and dedicated the volume to him. his name was henry david thoreau. thank you. [ applause ] are there any questions that i can answer? >> you have political rads caic are providing props. they are digging into the stories and the relationships behind specific items that are shooting type at each other. is there -- was this sort of a common tactic that was in pocket of the play books or was this something new and organic that
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had come up. >> thank you. that's a good question. it was a very common tactic. one of the reasons why they did this is because it was clear to everybody across the political spectrum in america that newspapers didn't always tell the truth. one way you could substantiate your point was by providing physical evidence for your crimes. kind of getting into the details and saying here is exhibit a. here is exhibit b. was a common way in a time when people didn't trust the news
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that here is some evidence that what i'm saying is the truth. thank you for your question. >> thank you so much. >> youlds elaborate on how john brown envisioned the pikes being used or were the 900 just the beginning of something or were more going to be made. >> his original intention for these things is kind of hard to grapple with. i think he was concerned after his massacre in kansas when they basically broke into some homes in the middle of the night, dragged out the men and the older boys and murdered them that the pro-slavery settlers in kansas and missourians would retaliate the same way. if women and men had pikes by the door in their sod house and
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their first settlements and cabins in kansas that they might be able to stop this kind of assault. it's understood as a defensive weapon. i take him at his word when he says that it was originally intended for kansas in 1857. they weren't originally intended to go south and it wasn't, except for these other contingencies, he ends up carrying them with him down south. the number, he originally ordered 1,000. i can't remember the exact number. i think it was 967 were manufacturers and in the end blair didn't have the time to complete the other. he had some other blacksmith in town make them for him. the total number they got to was 967. that's the amount brown paid for. when he sends them into harpers ferry, it looks like his original intention was to give these weapons to slaves who
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couldn't take the rifles at harpers ferry and use them. this is a weapon, a slave holding a hoe handle. they've handled these before. they would know how to use these pikes. it all kind of fell into place in some sort of cosmic way for him. i'm sure he thought it was divinely ordained. it was not his intention to take these south. >> i just have to ask, what did thoreau do with his knife? >> i wish i knew. i wish i knew where it went after that.
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the man who brown gave it to was his son frederick brown after the battle of blackjack. it convinced pate there were reenforcements everywhere and he had to negotiate some kientnd o surrender. for that act brown gives knife to his son frederick. frederick is the son who is murdered in kansas. that sets off john brown on his path of destruction.
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it did create a great amount of havoc. >> thank you. >> sure. >> how many of the pikes have been found and documented. >> i don't know how many we currently have. every pike had a serial number on it. here is an original harpers ferry pike. that number needs to between 1 and 967.
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if it says anything else and doesn't have charles blair's name on it, it's probably not an original. there are a lot of knock offs out there. he would have hit the ground and kept going. when i got fixated on these things. in the heat of one research day i thought how many is one of these pikes worth. could i go buy one. what i found is an authenticated original is anywhere from 10 to $15,000. when you think brown paid a dollar for them, that's quite an advance there.
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any other questions? okay, thank you very much. [ applause ] we're featuring american history tv programs as a preview of what's available every weekend on c-span3. tonight a look another the post-civil war reconstruction period starting with historian henry louis gates. he discusses constitutional amendments that aim to promote equality for african-americans. he then examines the subsequent jim crow laws that were passed in southern states. watch tonight starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span3.
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american history tv look at the civil war continues now with amy murrell taylor. it's about an hour. >> good morning, every one. i'm peter carmichael. it's my pleasure to start off this saturday morning with amy murrell taylor. she's an associate professor at the university of kentucky. she did her undergraduate training at duke university. her graduate training at uva and again as i mentioned she's at kentucky. she only goes to schools where there are basketball powese


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