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tv   American Artifacts Womens History  CSPAN  December 29, 2019 5:42pm-6:01pm EST

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stops on our tour, visit tour. you are watching american history tv all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. >> american history tv products are now available on the online store. store to seepan what's new for american history tv and check out the span products. each week, american artifacts takes you to museums and other historic places to learn about american history. alexandria,t virginia to see civil war related sites where women worked as nurses, sold goods to soldiers, and aided communities of newly freed slaves. the national women's history museum is dedicated to ensuring that the distinctive contributions of american women,
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to our history and our culture are written into our national narrative. the national women's history museum has sought to achieve this goal for 20 years. onlineently exist as an museum, but our goal is to develop a physical museum on our national mall. in 2014, congress passed a bipartisan act to create a congressional commission to evaluate the feasibility of a national women's history museum here in washington, d.c. >> commission to study a national women's history museum and further purposes. thee are half of population. wherever you stand on women's issues, i am sure there is thatnsus in this house half of the population should not go unmentioned in the textbooks of our country.
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there is no museum in a country that shows the full scope of the history of the amazing, brilliant, courageous, innovative and sometimes defiant women would have helped to shape our history and make this country what it is. of 2016, ther commission produced a bipartisan report, concluding that americans deserve a national women's history museum that it should be on or near our national mall and affiliated with the smithsonian. that am pleased bipartisan group of members of congress have introduced legislation to create this d.c.m here and washington, , on one of two sites on our national mall. over 200 members of congress have supported this legislation, which has been introduced in the house and senate, and is pending today.
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the group of members of congress who support this legislation on a bipartisan basis have continued to fight for this and grow. we are optimistic that the importance of writing women's stories international narrative is a value that becomes stronger and more clear every day. >> it is time that we come together and that we have an appropriate bipartisan approach to addressing the collecting and the enshrining of what women have done in the fight, in the cause of freedom. >> many americans are familiar with the fight for women's suffrage. risked theirrs who lives and security in order to secure that all women and men have a right to vote. too little that far
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is known about the contributions women have made across a range of discipline. sciences to medicine, the military, and that completing at american history, by ensuring that we are including women with contributions across american enrich what'sly possible for every american boy and girl. the national women's history museum is currently a museum without walls. we are located online where you can find exhibits, articles and biographies on women's history. we also offer walking tours. one of them is on women during the civil war. we start here at alexandria's history museum. during the civil war in the 1860's, this building, like many others throughout alexandria, reused as a hospital.
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was used as a punishment. women who were arrested for public drunkenness or prostitution or punished by working as a nurse for a week or two. during the crimean war over in europe, nursing as a practice started to become more of an occupation, especially for women. 1860's, during the civil war, many women came over to help teach others how this practice of nursing could be used to help these soldiers. during this time the practice of nursing was becoming more formalized. it took place about 20 miles in this direction. soldiers were brought in to alexandria to be healed by these. when we think of nurses during the civil war, names like sarah barton or dorsey at dix -- dorsey addicts might come to mind. -- dorthia dix.
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she was able to appoint 15% of medical staff during the war, including nurses in alexandria. nurse is in our example you were not only white women who were whittled or older -- widowed or older, there were women from all stages of life, including african-american women. african-american women who practice as north -- as nurses were considered want dresses. this is how they could get a row with paying them equal wages to white women. sandfire, many of the churches around the city were used as hospitals. women were able to make this practice more of a field for women. pushback from medical surgeons who were predominately men. these men would tell women that they cease to be women as they started practicing medicine. there was a lot of discrimination within this field. ,omen, including dorothea dix
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who also practiced here, pushback discrimination and they were able to help medical fields the philippe's and bounds and help save many lives. our next stop will be market square where we will talk about women and other businesses that they ran during the war. here we are in market square, this is the oldest continually operating marketplace in the united states. the civil war, this is the marketplace where women who worked on local farms would come in and so fruits and vegetables to nurses who would take them to the soldiers who were recovering in a hospitals. while that was a legal practice, there were also illegal practices happening in the market square. one of them was the smuggling about the hall. our goal was prohibited for the soldiers during the war here in our exaggerated. they still had access to this alcohol, predominately whiskey. alexandria was a port city.
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the union took over this port city, very few boats were coming in and out. on a bow coming into our exam drear, two young girls were taught smuggling -- were caught smuggling alcohol. they contested their parents put them up to this. a general was watching people walking by and noticed three rotund women who were carrying their weight differently than a normal human being word -- would. ,nce the women were stopped they started pouring out 23 canteens, 15 bottles and one jug of whiskey from the ruffles of their skirt. they confessed that they were going to sell this to union troops. they said that this amount of whiskey would have got them about two and five dollars. to date that would be around $6,000. the practice and the smuggling was not necessarily uncommon. these are the accounts we know of where people were caught selling this contraband item.
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soldiers and whiskey sometimes do not mix. there were injuries and casualties from drunken soldiers miss firing their weapons. jamieson wasbert shot and wounded. mary butler, another woman here in alexandria was shot and killed. sometimes alcohol and soldiers do not mix. we are going to continue on. our next stop is going to be will talkrch where i about sarah treacy. she helped establish and keep mount vernon safe. here we are outside of christ church. this is where george washington would come and worship during his time here in alexandria. and mount vernon, washington's home is less than 10 miles from alexandria. mount vernon was preserved by women. during the civil war, one woman in particular was the secretary from over in in.
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she helped preserved this home during the war. sarah tracy made sure that soldiers on either side of the war were able to come in and visit washington's home. this is especially important theuse both sides, confederacy and union saw washington as the founder of their country. tracy did have stipulations for soldiers that would come into mount vernon. they had to be unarmed and they also cannot be wearing their uniform. they would find any means to cover up, whether in shawls were different clothing. monday -- money and herbert thing. it would to be used to purchase mount vernon from the washington family. during the war union troops decided they wanted that money for themselves. sarah tracy refused and decided that she was going to move this money out of the bank into riggs bank and washington, d.c.. she had to do this very covertly. she took the money out of the bank and put it in the bottom of the basket and put eggs on the
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top of the basket. ,he went into washington, d.c. she met with mr. riggs where she sold these aches to him. she made sure the transaction was legitimate because she received a receipt. thanks to this movement of the money, we are able to still visit and enjoy mount vernon today. not only were women nurses during the war and entrepreneurs, having jobs, selling items, but women were also soldiers. they had to do this in a disguise. foras entirely found upon women to join the war as soldiers. that is why they had to dress up in men's uniforms. women would dress up on either side of the war, as soldiers so they could fight on their brothers, husbands, family, and also fight for the cause of the war. one woman in particular is sarah emma edmonds.
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she was one of the soldiers who is very open about being a woman soldier, especially after the war. after the war she would dress in traditionally men and women's clothing. we know 300 to 500 women who served during the war. however, those are the ones we know about. there is a number we might not ever know about historically that fought during the war. our last stop is the beulah baptist church. it was established in 1863. this was the first african-american church built after union occupation in alexandria. in the 1860's, during the civil war, this would have been the edge of town. further down, the street would have been more countryside, this is also where contraband camps were located. contraband camps are like refugee cap that we would recognize today.
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they were in can't mince a formerly enslaved people who found a refuge in freedom in alexandria, d.c., also in maryland. the term contraband camps started popping up very early on in the civil war. in 1861, general benjamin butler was stationed at fort monroe in general ate was the this fort. during his time there, african americans escaped from there in flavor and sought refuge, butler took them in. the next day there in flavor was knocking at these doors demanding that their enslaved people are returned. butler, who was a laurier -- a lawyer was thinking on his toes and saying these people are now contraband ward. wildfire spread like and today we use the term to describe formally in say people who found a refuge and freedom. during the war, this term was
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used in white communities as a derogative term. it was used to describe former enslaved people. with this idea that they were helpless or childlike. in the african-american community, this term was used to differentiate between people who had their freedoms before the war and people who gain their during the war. in alexandria these people popped up. women started noticing that they needed basic human necessities, including food, shelter, clothing, so women like elizabeth -- she was a formally enslaved woman, best known as mrs. lincoln's dressmaker, she helped establish these contraband camps in and around washington, d.c. she went to the first lady and asked for money for these and cap mints. mrs. lincoln wrote to the president saying, we are going to get $200 to fund this contraband release organization.
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from then on they would continue to give money for these organizations. also people within the african american community, as well as gathering food and provide shelter, providing money, so these encampments refunded through church groups. working was elizabeth in a d.c. area, there was another woman, harriet jacobs, she was formally enslaved and she found her refuge and freedom in new york, where she met a quaker woman named julia wilber. they came to alexandria and worked with these contraband camps, and provided money, food, shelter, clothing. they also helped establish education programs. education,es offered night schools, not only for children, but also adults so they could become literate, read, write & contracts because
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they were starting to look for and get jobs. outsideth women working these contraband camps, women in the contraband in kamman's were also working -- encampments are also working to make sure women were educated. one woman was literate and would writeablets, she would down scriptures for people to learn to read and write. few of our seen a sights on our walking tour in old town. the national women's history museum is continuing to tell more of the stories. that building a national women's history museum on the national mall will not only educate and inspire, but it will help complete the story of american history. and other watch this american artifacts programs by visiting our website,
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university of washington history professor margaret o'mara discusses her book. >> you have the biggest of big government programs in the space race. you have what eisenhower labeled the military-industrial complex. that becomes the foundation for this entrepreneurial flywheel of incredible creation and private wealth creation. in fact, it is an industry considered an industry that built itself on its own, that government has become almost invisible to many of the people who are in silicon valley who are the creators of these companies and technologies. that is part of the magic, that it is a government out of sight. >> tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span's q&a.
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>> the house will be in order. announcer: for 40 years, c-span has provided america with unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events from washington, d.c. and around the country so you can make up your own mind. created by cable in 1979, c-span is brought to you by your local cable or satellite provider. c-span, your unfiltered view of government. [drumming] >> my name is kim mccarty. i am the curator here at washington historic park in pennsylvania. today is a very special day. we are doing a reenactment of george washington's crossing of


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