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tv   Holly Mayer Congresss Own  CSPAN  February 24, 2022 12:09pm-1:11pm EST

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presidency, peggy noonan, former speechwriter for ronald reagan, commemorates the form earp president's february 6th birthday during an event at his presidential library in simi valley, california. at 7:00 p.m. on conversations with historians, part one of a six-hour conversation with historian and another douglas brinkley who talks about his education, working at used book and record stores, and muddy waters and little richard. watch american history tv saturday on c-span2 and a full schedule on your program guide or watch on >> c-span offers a variety of podcasts. weekdays washington today gives you the latest from the nation's capital and every week book notes plus has in-depth interviews with writers about their latest works while "the
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weekly" uses audio to look at how issues of the day developed over years. and our series talking with features extensive conversations with historians about their lives and work. many of our programs are available as podcasts. you can find them all on the c-span now mobile app or wherever you get your podcasts. well, it's such a pleasure to be able to introduce dr. holly mayer who has been a dear friend of mine for decades now. we were catching up a little bit on the terrace earlier trying to calculate the years, but it was back in the 1900s when we first met. isn't that amazing how that sounds now. holly, dr. mayer, is now a professor emerita at duquesne university in my hometown of pittsburgh, pennsylvania, where she taught for many decades.
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she did two stints as chair of the history department after receiving your ph.d. at the college of william & mary. she served as the visiting chair of military history at the u.s. army war college out in carlyle, pennsylvania, the carlyle barracks, and during this academic year at west point serving as the visitor professor of history. she also has been commissioned, went through rotc and served in the u.s. army reserves and so she stands a long time ago -- you still stand fairly straight. you are recognizable as a military person still. she is the author of a whole slew of articles or military and historical -- i'm sorry, the military political social intersections of history in the era of the american revolution,
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camp followers and community still in print and an essential text for studying this period of time. she's here to talk tonight about her hot off the press -- i think this is maybe literally hot off the press, new book "congress's own: a canadian regiment, the continental army, and the american union." canada -- what does canada have to do with the american revolution? please join me in welcoming dr. holly mayer. >> thank you so much. it is wonderful to be here with all of you and to share in this community of history and the revolution in particular and to, of course, examine this particular very unusual regiment or an uncommon regiment for an uncommon revolution as we could
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also say. so i'm starting off, and i just want to point out that is an image. it is a painting that is on the cover of my book, so i figured i might as well say kudos to him as well for helping illustrate my book as well as, of course, being here in many other -- his other illustrations and paintings in about a month that you will be able to see so well worth it, wonderful. with congress' own, i want to talk a few things about the regiment in particular and then spend more time talking about sergeant major john h. hopkins who was the opinion who introduced me to this regiment, through his writings in the journal so i wanted to take it a step further and make sure i'm going in the right direction here, is to pick up and talk about the congress' own regiment
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which went through different names. it was first formed actually in january of 1776, authorized by the continental congress for moses haden as the colonel and the second in command. and it was commissioned as the second canadian regiment. it brings us up to this point why a canadian regiment. i asked students at times did you know canada was involved? well, yeah, there was an invasion. the americans lost. they had to retreat from quebec by june of 1776 they were gone and that was the end of canada. not really. not by any means. but while the american invading force it was starting to recruit to join in this rebellion.
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come join us, rebel with us. the enemies of most of the new englanders and others who had been fighting colonial wars with the french and their indian allies. we truly want this to be a continental rebellion. let us have a continental army which includes canadians as well as we invite a rebellion, a defense of the rights of americans or these provincials and after july of '76 a
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revolution for the independence of the country itself. they were joining us and the first regiment or the first canadian was by james livingston who had already been in action up there so he got the first canadian and moses hazen got the second canadian. to give you a little bit of back ground on moses hazen he had been in the seven years war and he had actually gotten a commission with the 44th regiment of foot which led him to retire in the montreal region and right around st. john in canada itself. here was an american who did get a british commission as opposed to washington who did not. and hazen was actually really important about which way he was going to go in this conflict. for his service in the seven-year war, he was there on the border lands if you can see
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it in canada along st. john's south of montreal. would he give up that pension? would he give up those lands to join in this american rebellion? at first he wasn't sure. he was really on the fence in those border lands which way he was going to go. ultimately he could create his own regiment and he had command of that, the second canadian regiment in this case. hazen is not the person i want to talk about. i want to talk on a few other points. in the retreat from canada and lost half of its recruits down to crown point and ultimately into albany. there was a true question whether or not these canadian regiments would continue.
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canada was not choosing to join in this rebellion. so why would you have this other canadian regiment? the original idea behind it was that it would be like the other colonies that would be states, but if it's not joining the rebellion, what are we doing? congress, by september of 1776 wept back to hazen and he was pushing for this, yes, that you can recruit among the canadian refugees, recruit those that had come with the american forces but we are forcing you to recruit among all of the states. here is another unique factor is that it's allowed to recruit elsewhere.
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this brings up the next point. how many people from elsewhere would want to join the canadian regiment if they're from pennsylvania, new jersey, connecticut, rhode island, which is where they're trying to recruit. certainly going into '77 we see then the advertisements going out, the recruiting going out for congress' own regiment. this is not something congress had authorized. it probably came from lieutenant colonel antill. i see hazen as the pugilist. always rather irritating as an individual from what i can see. certainly general knox said this was a man blessed with one of
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the most obstinate tenors but it meant the regiment continued in action through the rest of the war. it starts going out for recruiting. you can see what's going on here. you can't recruit for second canadian but you can for congress' own guard, this sounds really good. the first virginia, why not congress' own and they did tremendously well. this was authorized for 1,000 men, much bigger than the common regiment but it was authorized for 1,000 and by the spring of '77 it was hitting close to 900 men had enlisted. did they all stay? absolutely not.
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some joined up, got their bounty money and headed off. they don't all stay but it was successful. unfortunately, this regiment also didn't always get along well with others. it got a rather infer ral reputation and congress came back and said you're not supposed to be calling it congress' own. what's it supposed to be called? they tended to keep going which was rather that decisional by hazen's name so it was hazen's regiment for much of the war. i also noted the captains in this regiment put lick cors under their roster, yeah, they're still part of congress's own regiment. they knew how they were
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recruiting. they were incredibly successful under that name of congress' own and continued to do that through the rest of the war even after 1781 when james livingston's regiment was demobilized. anybody left over from that as well as other recruits joined hazen's regiment. but let me tell you that's not the name that's in the pension accounts. hazen's regiment and congress' own, they picked up on that. this is how we get john h. hawkins is that they are recruiting among all of these other camps and garrisons up in the new york area sending recruiting officers down here into pennsylvania into these other states to the point where
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we've got soldiers from 11 of the states in the regiments. the only ones we don't have i haven't found anybody from south carolina or georgia in this regiment but somebody from every other state. we have this unique regiment that was called canadian, was called congress' own, but in some ways is a microcosm of the continental army itself. within these companies, and many of the companies were segregated by states, at least two were french canadian with officers still talking french with their soldiers with all of these other recruits. so sergeant major john h. hawkins had first enlisted in '76 in a pennsylvania unit, had served through it and then in january '77 was up for
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re-enlistment. many of the soldiers who had enlisted in '76 were on short-term enlistments. the army going into '77 was, again, trying to recruit an army at this point and john h. hawkins re-enlisted in congress' own. as he re-enlisted because he also had service time, and i think also because he was so literate, he was a writer -- we'll come to that in a moment -- he was first given a corporal's enlistment and very quickly within weeks was made a sergeant of the regiment. so john h. hawkins, who is he? i think he is from philadelphia. some of this, i won't say full assumptions. i am following clues. i spent probably too much time trying to find this guy in the records. not always the easiest person to find but from what i could understand, first of all, by reading his journal, is that he
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kept talking about his typographical brethren. he talk about printing offices. he talked about newspapers. he was holding newspapers and books in his knapsacks. in fact, when you look at that journal over there, they have it on the page where he's talking about what he lost when he shucked his knapsack when he was running before those britt, highlanders to get away at brandywine. and then participate of it when you look in there he's talking about the papers and the quills and the books and the other things that he had in his knapsack. so we've got this point that he was affiliated with printing in some form. so went a little further in trying to do research and found a runaway ad for an apprentice that ran away from david sellers' printing shop here in philadelphia back in '58. and you just go, is this the same guy? john hawkins, it's printing,
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it's pennsylvania. you know, it's very likely. unfortunately, i couldn't nail it down for sure because he didn't say in his journal anywhere that he was a runaway apprentice. there was this and, of course, you get that little hint in this looking at hawkins in his story he had run away from david center's shop. had been a partner of benjamin franklin, the most notorious run away apprentice of all, right? oh, he's following that kind of tradition in some form or another. his term as an apprentice because he's back here in pennsylvania and in philadelphia but not finding a job or his own independent shop and there he
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was enlisting in the continental army during the revolution so we followed him in but it makes sense about why he would be a sergeant and this is somebody who can keep the records and he was. he was writing some of the books and we have proof. i look at that journal and it's wonderful and when you can touch this and i was 250 years ago he was writing in this. and so from his pen and ink to my eyes what's going on in his world at that time. i am trying to speak to you through his writing as well to introduce you to his world and
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what he saw in this revolution. had probably close to 1,900 men serving in it over the course of the war. unique and large of a unit in there. i wanted to take it a step further from his journal in this. certainly to answer your questions where it served and how, but the company campaign is not as familiar to many people just like a canadian regiment is not so familiar. one of the great things when he talks about what he sees as he is marching through the country, who is he talking to, who are some of the people? he is looking at the community
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that is becoming a nation as he is marching through it. so this brings me back to this point that i wanted to point out here i'm picking up on another scholar's work who was talking about imagined political communities and he premised that a nation is an imagined political community because the members of even the smallest nation will never know their smallest members, they will never meet them or hear of them. in the minds of each in their communion. that image can exist at the same time through shared experiences, or time through events like this. so we are part of that imagined community that is part of the nation, and we're doing it through him.
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so right now as we work through his words we are part of the imagine community of that developing nation in the 1770s going through the 1780s so we're sitting here in philadelphia here in 2021 in the philadelphia that he was living in in 1776 that he marched through on the way to yorktowne, if you will and actually sailed through it in 1781. we're part of that community as we're all finally getting to see each other. then there are those who are over there, over zoom. so i say hi to you. you're part of this imagine community. we're all together to look at this particular history. the other part mentioned in his he talked about journeys or
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pilgrimages between times and statuses and places. we're part of that journey. these are meaning creating experiences and so i'd like us to consider, too, that when we look at marching through the united states, the new united states, they are creating the community and it's not all imagined. they are actually experiencing, they are actually seeing it, they are actually meeting these people. so here it is this philadelphian meeting people in massachusetts and new york and up into the country that is vermont and new hampshire. he is meeting them and making these distinctions about are they like us or unlike us? are they with us or not with us in some form? and we explain that to the thousands and tens of thousands
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who were part of that army at that time taking what is imagined and making it real in some form or another. so we come back to that reality as we look at hawkins. i wanted to pick it up especially in this one aspect. there was a talk of another invasion into canada. general lafayette was given charge of in a possible invasion in '78. hazen, yes, let's get back to canada. it went nowhere. that was the end of it. they could not get the supplies or support. general washington was not real fond of the idea either. he had other things he needed to
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do in '78 instead of worrying about canada. so it was put on a back burner. then on the 6th of march, '79, washington ordered hazen's regiment to move into the coos country. it was outside one of the largest encampments in the war, probably the largest inhabited area at that point in connecticut. so this big town. and given the orders to start marching north into the coos country and build a road or cut a road from haver hill new hampshire into the new hampshire grants, also called the pretended state of virginia at that time. and to move up to the canadian
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border. hazen's orders were you are to scout the area, build a road and engage the populace. so three components to that mission. he wanted hazen in particular to discover whether the inhabitants would support an expedition to canada and so he's saying go out there and do it especially if they were to do it with the french support which by that time america had. so he was going, you know, why don't you go up and do that? hazen is delighted to take his regiment up there to do this. what he didn't realize and washington did not tell him is this was actually part of washington's greater strategy which threefold could be seen as a strategy of disinformation out to the enemy and those who are within the states as well as up to canada, a diversion against
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the enemy in canada, so if they think the enemy is coming one way they might not be watching as closely in another direction, and that, also, ultimately a bone to throw to people like hazen who had kept harassing him. remember, he had that obstinate temper about making an invasion into canada. can you all figure why washington wanted a diversion in the spring and summer of '79? what have we got? look a little over there to new york on that border. you may have heard of general sullivan and a campaign against the native americans into new york to move against that enemy. so wouldn't it make a lot of sense if you're sending sullivan up one way to have hazen create a diversion in another locale? it's a feint.
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move them in another direction. hazen is delighted and send his troops up. hawkins describes what he is saying on that trek that you see. they are following the connecticut river valley moving up into new hampshire and then across into what will be vermont. he describes the various people of this trek. they move out in three divisions, essentially what would have been three battalions as they saw it. moving up first through to springfield, massachusetts. at springfield hawkins records at day break on 14 april all three divisions march out followed by a baggage train. he records 8 wagons, 21 teams -- 21 teams to be pulling those
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wagons. those have to be really heavy wagons, and they definitely are because what's on them loaded with spades, shovels, axes, picks, pistols and other military stores. carpenters tools, provisions. they are out to really cut this road and they're taking all the tools with them. so think for a minute what that would look like to the communities through which this baggage train is going with these soldiers in the three divisions who may not have seen a lot of soldiers up to this point but they are moving through. this is part of hazen engaging the populace. it is not just the tools to cut the road. this is, if you will, to show the flag in this area. this is a border land on this
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revolutionary frontier where much of the action is beyond there but they are not forgotten. we're sending troops up there to deal with issues they're worried about. and, of course, hazen is still hoping he'll get his lands back. we have that part. so they have that and they're trailing behind their own traveling forge. this they break their tools, they can fix them. they have that in the wagon trail as well. they're marching out. we have all of these animals, all of these wagons, moving out to show the force of the continental army and by extension congressional authority that they are moving on that into these hinter lands. this is part of creasing the political community as well as sending the military up. they started marching in but
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where are the level roads? where the trees are shading the road on a hot day. that's important when you're wearing wool and marching up through this and it's warm. where are the fine houses and the farms? he looks at northampton, what a large village but must scattered. checking it out. how does this work? the court of justice is a small house but very grand. other things pointing out how people are living. praising some areas that he goes through and denigrates others. swansy was despicable. not good for any pr there. walpole, oh, lordy, where he found the troops much scattered.
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the poor, despicable wretched town could not afford one room in their dwelling houses for one night, this is the first night that our men has been under the necessity of lying in barns on this march. so fascinating point. in this he's revealing that as they have been marching through these communities they have been quartered in people's homes. the inhabitants have been welcoming these soldiers into their homes. they have not had to lay out underneath the stars or at that point -- up to that point, in barns. now i will point out that it could be all welcoming. at another point or two when you look at what hazen was doing he was perfectly willing to
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threaten council men along the way. if you are not willing to give us what we need then we'll take it. if you don't let us stable our horses in your barns we will put them in anyway and stay there until you supply. so, again, that obstinate temper either be willing to do it or we'll use a little bit of authority to get what we want. so that was part of it. it was interesting the despicable one is the one that makes the men sleep in the barn. these other ones, the wonderful communities, are welcoming the soldiers into their homes. so he was very happy to leave miserable walpole and arrive in charleston. handsome though small but lovely. it resembles princeton, new jersey. so, again, there's this other side to it where he's taking what he knows and comparing what
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he's just meeting. hey, they're like us. they're like princeton up there. hey, we've got these connections. they're part of our community in doing this. and then he pointed out the other side of the connecticut river is what is called the state of vermont but is in dispute at that time. so he's observing and recording, examining what is different, similar, what is common among the various regions and peoples. there were certainly some unfavorable comparisons but, quite frankly, he was often very positive about what he was seeing. i will say he was also looking for future opportunities in this. the thing we saw with hawkins he couldn't make it as a printer in philadelphia. there were a surplus at the time but he was certainly looking out
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there and up see things like, hmm, albany, do you have a printing press that i see nobody is using. well, he was drafting a letter to say would you be interested in letting me have it, setting something up. he looked at dartmouth college. oh, they have a printing press. wonderful. this liberty of liberties is the printing press. that is true civilization is to have a press. so he's out there looking for other opportunities and you go this is what other soldiers were doing as well as they're marching through, are they going to go back home or are they going to look for opportunities elsewhere? so in the process of all of this hawkins was checking this out as hazen's regiment was out there collecting intelligence, denying intelligence to the enemy as they were saying it because they were also sending elements up into canada at that point checking in with native
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americans, trying to have native american allies or at least keeping them neutral if nothing else in there and making sure that the newer settlers were protected from and also making sure they were not engaging with the enemy at that point. showing the flag as it was moving into the border land. as it did and by the end of august hazen had indeed cut that route up to what is now called hazen's notch and it's right there below the canadian border. he was very close. he was within sight of the canadian border when he got orders from washington to return, that washington had gotten what he wanted. the feint had worked. sullivan's expedition was successful. it was time for hazen to bring his regiment back so that it would be ready for engagements
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through the rest of '79 and moving into 1780 at that point. so with this, and i know i'm coming to the end of this, they do continue on f. we go back to what you've said after the coos country campaign they went back to morristown. the regiment suffered through the hardships in winter encampments there in 1780. the regiment did march to yorktowne in 1781. hazen hawkins was very good about recording that as well, the long trek down into yorktowne, what he was seeing there. at yorktowne the regiment did distinguish itself, in particular its light infantry company which then attached to lafayette's light infantry corps through the summer and hazen's regiment was part of the assault party under hamilton on readout number 10 which beat out the
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french trying to take out number 9 at the exact same time. after yorktowne the regiment was sent up to lancaster, pennsylvania, not too far from here, if you will, and they were on guard duty with the prisoners of war where i would like to point out hazen again was pressing for an invasion of canada. through into 1782, let's do it. everybody is waiting for the diplomats to get everything done, to get the peace treaty. lets let's do this. hazen, we have one last chance. let's go for canada again. and i love it, washington writes him back going, interesting, send me your plans. and i think this is great as senior officer he's going, write it out for me about how this would actually work, and the trouble is it only kept hazen occupied for a second weeks and he sent the plan back. by that point washington had
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other things for hem to do. they were brought back up to new york, spent most of the rest of the war waiting for the furlough. most of the troop was furloughed in july, by june/july of 1783. one small contingent carried up to pest point where they stayed until the army was totally disbanded in november of 1783. here was a regiment that served from basically from 1776 when it was authorized in january to november of 1783 and in it sergeant major john h. hawkins was with it from 1777 through to 1783 and i am very thankful he left us a journal of this regiment's travels. thank you very much.
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>> shall we? tyler behind you. just raise your hand and maybe i will kick things off. as soon as our contingency plan comes in. i appreciated your casting the role of the continental army as a sort of nationalizing force. for those of how are familiar with our core exhibition here at the museum you remember that life cast figures of the snowball fight with george washington breaking up this fight between new england and virginia soldiers and we did that, of course, because we wanted to remind or for the first time tell visitors that the nation did not spring out of the heads of the men gathered down the street here but it was a really hard, long process,
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perhaps an ongoing process still going on. a little bit later you'll see that display of soldiers buttons from the period of 1777 and the valley forge encampment, when it was first printed in boston, and one of the things we wanted to convey this is the first time most americans would have seen we chant usa. the first time that appears is on the bodies of these continental army soldiers. i think this regiment, again, being a regiment without a country is just an incredible embodiment of that process. >> they very much were. when you start looking at the rosters, at the end of the war lieutenant benjamin moores, the nephew for hazen, started to do a roster.
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they were pulling the names together. hawkins was part of that. he had done the roster and moved them together which that master roster had about -- i counted 1,482. that roster. and then i also did more research and pulled out another 300 or so that weren't on it. many of them were the french canadians who had left or stayed in canada instead of coming down at the retreat. so again, we get into about 1,900 men. that roster didn't all have places where they came from which was important because later on when they wanted their bounty lands and the rest, they had to have a state affiliation to get it. but many of them had "usa" after them, no state affiliation, only the united states affiliation. after that we saw the new york and new jersey and the like that
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you see. that "u.s." was essential for the french canadians. some of the prisoners of war at lancaster joined hazen's regiment, germans more than the english in that case. others had also joined. so it was very much a multiethnic, multilingual regiment there with the continental army. >> what happened to sergeant major hawkins after 1783? >> oh, that's the hard part. sergeant major hawkins also disappears. there's only two other records i found, they were both about bounty lands in particular as he was selling them off or distributing them elsewhere. and basically by '93, i can't find them. i actually went into the records for the yellow fever hospitals to see whether he died in one of the hospitals, to see whether that happened. i couldn't find his name. i was a little relieved by that point. i did find at least two john
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hawkinses in the philadelphia directories. and one was more of a cobbler and another is a grocer. and i think it's possible, if he is who i think he was, he may have had some experience with leather working in the family. i'm more inclined to think he could be a grocer. with his experience, it would have been relatively easy for him to set that up and to go into trade. he definitely did not become a farmer, as far as i know. he didn't disappear. i think he was too urban for that. he didn't have that kind of experience. but i spent a lot of time trying to do it because i was determined, i am going to find this guy, i have got to. he left this marvelous journal. i've been spending all this time reading about him. i want to meet him, you know? this kind of thing. more than hazen. hazen, uh-uh, you know? but hawkins, i really wanted to meet and i couldn't. finally, one of my colleagues, after i was spending way too
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long, she says, you know, that's part of story here, is that so many of the people we have named on these rosters, this is all we've got of them, that we know that they lived, we have their name and we have nothing else. so we know more about him, but he also represents so many of these soldiers who came in, enlisted, fought, and disappeared. >> do we know where those journals were between him disappearing into the ether and them ending up at hsp or how they came into the collection? >> i have not seen it. >> there's a guy over there that might be able to help us with this. >> about where they were -- i will say what is evident in this, at some point they were bound together. and so they were actually, when he was writing them, they were in smaller like paper bound kind of -- or stitched together pages. and then at some point, somebody
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decided to put them within a leather binding. and when they did, there are one or two pieces that were bound out of order. so i was going, it stops here, but then that's not going to this page, and then i find it later on in the journal. so there was a little bit of a difference. and if you take a good look at the journal, you'll notice the pages are of different sizes and different chunks there. again, it's showing where this first came from, and that the binding is later for this. but yeah. >> thank you, dr. mayer. i'm going to throw the first question to one of our guests watching from home. this is from riley sutherland who clearly, like us, is a fan of your past research. riley asks, did dr. mayer's research reveal anything about the canadian women attached to hazen's regiment and if so, did their experiences differ from other camp followers and women that we know of the american revolutionary or british forces? >> absolutely.
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and i managed to get a little bit in there about the women with the regiment. i couldn't leave camp followers out. there's no way. what we do know is that women and children did also retreat with the french canadians at the retreat from canada. moses hazen's wife charlotte was a refugee. edward antil's wife was a refugee. she kept bearing children in camp and losing about half of them in camp through the process of this war. there were certainly other soldiers that had their wives and their children with them in camp. and what is interesting is that within a few years, at least with the french canadians, seeing that some of the soldiers who had come down are starting to marry the daughters of the other soldiers who had come down. so they were maintaining their community ties in the camps.
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so it is that it was much older soldiers with teenaged daughters. but then if you look at the regulations, at some points they were saying women over the age of 14 wouldn't be allowed to be in camp separately. and you go, well, at that point you get married and you get rations and you're allowed to stay in camp. i did not find as many women following with the anglo soldiers. and certainly not with the deserters from the german or the british side coming in with them. most of the time they could stay closer to home. one of the things with camp followers to always remember is are they coming out of areas in which there was action or they have been taken by the enemy and so they're following because they're refugees, not simply because of the funding. but yes, they are there, they are in the book. got 'em. >> i'm curious, can you talk a little bit about fast forwarding
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to the 19th century when those who have survived to the acts in 1830, '32, what were you able to find out through those sources which i think should be known by all americans. this is the first oral history archive of an american conflict, 80,000 pension records in the national archives. and it's still such a -- >> it's a -- >> -- bountiful field to plow. what did you learn about the cor? >> the best records usually come out of the 1820 pension -- when they're saying you have to show need, what do you own, what you don't own, and they're making this. by the 1830s they're just going, you survived, okay, we can pension you off at that point. but in the 1830s also is when the widows could ask for the pensions based on their
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husbands' service, the soldiers' service. they would have to give proof, were you actually married. the first of the accounts said were you married during the war. then later on, were you married within so many years of the war. finally it was, well, it didn't matter when you married the veteran, it's just that you had been married to one of these soldiers. but what was tremendous, and where i got most of the records for this was actually among the french canadians, is because actually congress or the war department was tending to push against some of them, especially going, well, that means that she got married when she was 13, no, they can't be, there's got to be something wrong. no, they actually did marry at 13 in some of these cases, and here are the reasons why. and they would try to get more information from these women. most of them were illiterate, she can't write her name, but she can give the story or tell tales about, we stood up in barracks before everybody in the
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company and declared we were married with the company commander there to supervise this. so it was a common-law marriage. and then for them, they were waiting until a priest would arrive and they could actually do the sacramental marriage at this point, which did happen. there was a missionary priest by the name of father farmer who went up to the encampments up there and married some of them and baptized some of the children. so we've got that. but what they were doing is then telling us these little intimate details of their life at least when they thought they got married, if they had had children while they were still in camp with them at some point. but the other part that was tremendous is that they had maintained the community. for many of those french canadians, new york state gave them bounty lands. and those bounty lands were up past platsburg. so they're right smack dab there on the canadian border. some of them were within 50 miles of where they had lived before the war.
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so they're right close to home again at that point. and they had created a community up there. and then in the pension accounts, you've got sister being witness to sister, to being witness to a brother's children, to then their children are representing their parents in these accounts. but they really were all very much a strong community this way. so it was, yeah, a great other story there. >> it's certainly been a theme of much of your work, is thinking of these institutions, whether they're regiments, armies, as communities. and, you know, really -- >> i think they stay together better if they become a community, if they have that sense of affiliation with them. and as i said, it is also picking up on this idea of creating a community that is a nation. so you've got the smaller communities, and then that bigger one that keeps growing
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from that. >> mm-hmm. >> i'll ask another question from our friends on the internet. walt is wondering if john hawkins says anything about the famous cabals and inside dealing that those of you who have been studying the later years of the revolutionary war might have heard of. >> not as much. i wish -- there are quite a gue gaps in the record. part of it is he lost part of his journal when he was running away from that highlander at brandywine. there was another account when he was up at albany, they had marched from wilmington to albany for that first so-called eruption in canada in '78 and i had lost stuff out of his pocket that he thought was stolen and there went another journal at that point. so there had been -- so there are gaps in the record at that point. what i do see at the end, and this was before the newberg
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conspiracy, he was talking about hazen and hazen's military family all together in aaron schuyler's house and they're sitting around and he's trying to write in his journal and he's trying to write letters and people are singing and dancing all around him and the housekeeper at that point kept trying to push his stuff aside and he says, i'm in fear of my life right now, she's brandishing knives at me to put at the table to set the table for dinner. so he was talking more about things that intimately concerned him as opposed to those greater events. i would have loved to have seen the account about the mutiny at new jersey, hazen's regiment was part of putting that down. but that's one of the gaps in the journal. >> i was about to call on john reese. >> holly, can you tell us what you know about any african americans with the regiment?
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>> i did look this up. i was checking it out. there were a few african hearns in hazen's regiment. but what made it difficult is that in the rosters, they were not putting down race next to the soldiers' names. they put down where they came from, because that's where they were to be supplied and paid. but there was no indication of race. so what i started to do is i was researching some -- part of what we can do sometimes is by naming. there's a name that seems like it was often associated with african americans, and if i ran across that name i would try to research it. and i did find a few that way, by tracing them back through census accounts. so kates who could have been cato mumford at that point was found as a free person of color up in connecticut but he was
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never noted that way in the regiment itself for it. another person that i -- so i found about three or four, is really all i could say for sure that i had corroborating evidence to say that this was a person of color. one was john saratoga. now, he is an interesting character in this. no indication whatsoever about race. where i found out was later on, at the end of the war, is that edward chin, the paymaster of the regiment, put in the paperwork, saying that all monies due to john saratoga were to go to him for he is my slave for life. so here we know that we had -- so cates mumford was a free person of color and then we have john saratoga who was an enslaved person, both serving in the regiment, on the rolls. major john taylor from virginia brought an enslaved servant with
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him and registered him into the regiment so that he was getting then rations and pay through his enslaved servant. so we do know that they were there. there were other accounts for putnam's regiment at one point about like 27 men and hazen's regiment was part of putnam's regiment and there were 27 african americans with the regiment at that time. some of them were probably in hazen's regiment. so i was really trying to track them down. but i found it very interesting, they did not make that designator. and what does that mean, that they are not making that designator on these troops? >> before we give everyone the opportunity to get their book signed, to appreciate the amazing artifact we have on loan from hsp or to imagine what that knapsack contained with our recreation, it is our long
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tradition for scott stephenson to have the final question. >> i do like to have the final word, as you know. i'm curious, have portions -- presumably not all of the diary, has it been published? i'm curious if -- what would you like to say about that? >> i did in the midst of doing this -- this is one of the things where your research, if you will, goes wrong or right. i'm not sure where it is. but when i first came across the sergeant major's journal, and he is my sergeant major, is i started to think, ah, this would be a great thing to transcribe, annotate, and then publish as a primary source for use. so i ended up -- i've transcribed the entire journal. i've got the transcription in my records. but i got so involved going -- every time i was going to annotate something, i've got to learn more, i've got to learn more. and the next thing you know, i think i'm writing a monograph
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here, i think i've got some other story in this. so there's a part of me that is still thinking, maybe i should still go back and publish this primary source for use in schools and elsewhere. whether or not that's as important anymore as we do more and more digital history, is the question. if i don't go in that direction, i am going to give the transcription to hsp. it doesn't make sense that it just stays on my computer at that point. [ applause ] >> the second half of my final question is just more broadly, as we approach the 250th anniversary of the declaration of independence, going to be somewhat of a celebration, i hope, here in philadelphia. i'm just curious, what are you thinking about, what are your aspirations, what are you worried about? open-ended question, but how are
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you reflecting on, you know, the commemoration, anniversary that's coming up? >> i'm certainly hoping i'll still be here to celebrate that with you all. actually right now i'm working, i'm an editor for a volume on women waging war. it is a collection of essays about the women's side of this war. and it's under contract with uva press. so that should be coming out next spring. so that's the project in the near term. and then it may be a revisiting of sergeant major hawkins. >> fantastic. well, thank you very much, holly, for joining us here tonight. c-span now as a free mobile app featuring your unfiltered view of what's happening in washington. live and on demand. keep up with the day's biggest events with live streams of floor proceedings and hearings from the u.s. congress. white house events. the courts. campaigns and more from the world of politics, all at your
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