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tv   Presidential Homes in the South  CSPAN  September 7, 2022 10:55am-12:19pm EDT

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body snatching. >> it's not just about slavery. it is tensions within medicine in modern science. that's interesting. okay, you know, i hate to end this conversation but we are out of time. just as i was saying that, we got a note here. so it's been so wonderful to talk to you. and i have so enjoyed reading your book. i have like three other things we could still talk about. >> there's a lot. >> hopefully we will continue that over coffee i hope other people buy it and enjoy reading your book. thank you so much. and thank you so much the national archives for having us. >>
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absolutely.g and want to welcomu i'm howard cattell and i have i want to thank you all for coming to the hermitage this evening i want to welcome you. i'm howard cattell tell i have the privilege of being the president and ceo of andrew jackson foundation. we are so happy to have you here tonight. our third history series. third of our series tonight. i better look at my notes. these informal events, these informal events are intended to offer you glimpses of the united states history as it relates to andrew jackson's america and enjoy some excellent line which i see you all are taking
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advantage of. or, as i say, with increasing frequency, history always goes better with alcohol. history as we deal with today. november 2001 marks 20 kathryn lasdow 21 marks the bicentennial of when andrew and rachael jackson and their son andrew jackson jr. moved into their newly constructed home here at the hermitage. while significantly more modest, the mansion you will visit today. it was a substantial upgrade from the two story farmhouse they had lived in for the prior 17 years. the question is, why did the jackson's choose to construct this particular type of house beyond the functional considerations? what did it symbolize to them. how did it
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position them in the community. how did it express the families aspirations? tonight, we are honored to have dr. kevin murphy as this evening's speaker. doctor murphy is the andrew w. mellon chair in humanities. professor and chair of the department of history of art and architecture at vanderbilt university. he will explore for us the history of early presidential plantation homes, what these buildings symbolize to their owners and to their constituents. what do they mean to us today. dr. murphy grew up in the boston massachusetts area. he holds an undergraduate degree from swarthmore college, a masters in historic preservation from boston university and his ph. d. is from the university of chicago in art, architecture, and preservation. his areas of particular interest are 19th century french architecture,
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american architecture, and the meanings of these various styles and the periods which they were popular. doctor murphy credits growing up around so many historic buildings in the northeast with stimulating his interest in architectural history and historic preservation. he calls old hickory village just up the road from here home. following dr. murphy's presentation, there will be a time for questions and answers. if you would like to ask questions, please step to the mic here in the middle of the room. we are honored to have c-span here tonight filming this evening's events. please silence your cell phones, you are not recorded and broadcast across america in a few weeks. please join with me in welcoming dr. kevin murphy to the platform.
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>> thank you, howard, for that generous introduction. normally, i wouldn't make any editorial comments about the introduction, except that you credited my ph. d. today it was actually from northwestern. since we are such rivals, high park versus evanston, i feel like i have to say the fact that i was on the north side. not in hyde park. i was a grad student the same time. anyway, i'm really happy to be here at the hermitage. as you said, i am your neighbor up the street. i have visited the hermitage before. i don't think of myself as an expert of the hermitage. i've written more about other presidential
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houses. i'm really going to focus on those, earlier examples, i feel like they give you some backgrounds in some ways of thinking about the building which is in the backyard here. let me begin. i am told that the response time of the clicker is very slow .there we go, okay. i began here with a group of four buildings, all of them associated with u.s. presidents. we have monticello, which you know. mount vernon, the home of george washington. montpelier which is also in
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virginia. of course, the hermitage. what do they have in common? well, a lot of them are brick, of course, bringing virginia that's a common thing. they -- all the residents of u. s. presidents, they all are neoclassical. in the sense they all look back to traditions of ancient greece and ancient rome. and then they build upon the interpretations of those traditions that had been made over subsequent centuries. they are all plantations, where the enslaved population far outnumbered the population of free white people living in these places at any one time. so, would i want to do is to connect two things. one, the paradoxical fact that these are plantations and the homes of
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some of the spokesman for political freedom, religious freedom that we have in our history. at the same time, i want to address the fact they are referred to certain architectural traditions in very different specific ways. i want to think about what's neo-classicism does for the understanding of these plantations. so, the other thing that these gentlemen had in common besides their political and social positions, they were obsessive builders.
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especially washington and jefferson whose houses were in the process of being renovated for decades. especially jefferson was obsessed with building. his interest in architecture was the deepest of any of these men. he is famous for having always been living in a construction site. however, washington too, who is not so much invested in architecture did not think of himself as an architect in the way that jefferson did. still, was deeply concerned with the design of his house and with its furnishings. in fact, basically bankrupted himself ordering incredibly expensive building material and furnishings from abroad. they arrived in huge numbers. at mount vernon. culminated in this building. the introduction
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howard referred to the log cabin the jacksons lived in, would have been typical of the way that most people lived in the 18th century. all but a tiny infinitesimal fraction of people lived in houses that were one or two rooms, made out of wood, that did not have foundations. they were earth fast houses. most of them have disappeared. what we are left with is unrepresentative sampling of 18th century houses. in which something like mount vernon would have just been unspeakably huge. it would have been like ten mansions today. it was just so elaborate and so lavish in the context of the way most people lived. i want to say something a little
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bit about where this design comes from. i also want you to notice a couple of bizarre things about it. i'm hoping this is going to turn into a pointer. yes, it did, perfect. you notice that, here's the facade. you have that floating cable. there are triangular pet immense here which does not line up perfectly with either the windows or the doors in the first two stories. it is a very unclassical thing to have happen. if you are a straight classes, you would want the door to be centered under the cable to have the window spaced
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evenly on either side and to have people lined up perfectly with a payment. of course the house was built in stages, that was not possible. so, washington built the house over the course of time. it is an idiosyncratic arrangement of the facade. it was commented upon at the time that there is something a little bit off about the way the elements were -- thank you so much. we are distributed across the facade. i'm going to be very careful here. that's one thing there is an aspiration to classicism that is not totally realized, because of the way that the
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building project unfolded. it is how most bridging projects unfold. pulled it over the course of time the other thing i want to show you is this kubela. it is an on domestic feature. it is not something that was typically found on houses. it tells us that washington's aspiration was to make a residence, but a residents that also had a public aspect to it. we are supposed to be more than just a house, it's supposed to be the house of some important. hopefully, there we go. the other thing it would have appeared is in this building, the governor's palace at williams colonial capital. washington would have known where the cupola signaled the presence of an important residence, it wasn't just a house. it was the governor's palace. he seems to echo this echo that feature in the design of the house. in other respects, he really is placing some
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distance between himself and the colonial monuments which is something that jefferson who was educated in williamsburg also did. they were attempting to establish a language for american architecture that was neoclassical, it drew on certain british examples, was trying to create a distance from colonial architecture of that pre-revolutionary period. so, you have here that the use of this prominent brick, of course, those of you who know virginia know that the soil is all red clay. it is really easy to make brick there. it us used
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very extensively. it is also a material that is very familiar to british people. it's the material of london, for example, and other british settlements. so that material and the style becomes very associated with the colonial period. so one of the things i want to emphasize is this idea of difference and distinction. of using architecture to separate yourself, to connect but simultaneously separate yourself from the past. as you know, mount vernon is one of the iconic houses of the u.s., along with monticello. and one of the reasons it becomes iconic is because it is so different from other houses. because of the fact that it has
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that cupola on the land side, what i will call the land side. and then it has a portico on the riverside, on the potomac side, which has become the well known side of the building. if you look behind you there at the hermitage, that colonnade were screen of columns refers back to mount vernon. it became so unbelievably famous, particularly after washington's death, right around 1800, when this became really a pilgrimage destination for thousands of people. i will say more about that. on the water side, you saw -- and if you arrived by
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way of the potomac, which many people did, you would probably know the sight of mount vernon, above the river. it's very prominent. you would have seen in the couple of, and you would have seen this long porch or piazza, to use the italian word. which was a completely unfamiliar feature. which would have suggested that this wasn't just any old house, it is the house of somebody who is important, and somebody who is creative. somebody who has a very specific idea of what they want their house to look like. and i think that is really significant. this is in a painting from the early 19th century. here is the plan of mount vernon. you have on this side, here is the piazza. we have all the columns, sorry
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it's a little bit blurry. you have the house itself, which is elevated. and then on either side, this is the interesting part, you have these curved walkways that then connect to outbuildings, one of which is a kitchen. here on either side. so what he is trying to create is a symmetrical or balanced composition of parts of the house. so you have, at the center of the main residents, and then on either side absolutely identical mirror image connections to these service buildings. now, at the center, you can see that it is basically what we call a
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georgian plan. which is a house plan where you have a central hall and we still build these today, it's very familiar. a through hall that goes from the land or driveway side over here, straight through the house, opens out onto the piazza beyond it. and then you would have the view of the river there beyond the house. and then two rooms on either side, with the chimneys here and here. fireplaces in all the major rooms. again, all of this is typical. and then you have, on the ends, rooms that were added by washington to that central core. this one at the end here is referred to as the new room. it's still called that. it was an addition that
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extended that central core of the house, which was fairly conventional in plan. so it got bigger. now, the idea of having the various functions of a big, fancy plantation house separated into pieces that are connected in artistic ways to one another is something that comes from the italian renaissance architect, in whom both washington and jefferson especially were very, very interested. and jefferson referred to the books of palladio, which were really well-known, as the bible. because that was the ultimate source of knowledge for the classical tradition. it was this man, andre palladio who is very famous. he is holding four books of architecture that were published during his lifetime,
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and then constantly republished through the 18th century. they existed in english translations, published in great britain. and then jefferson had them in the u.s.. jefferson had one of the largest architectural libraries in north america. so palladio's so influential that he starts a whole school of architecture, and not a literal institution but a kind of style of design that firs thad an impact in britain and then in north america among wealthy, educated builders like washington and jefferson. so the idea was that -- and you see it represented there on the right-hand side in one of the great houses in italy by palladio, the villa
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bar borough from around 15 50. the idea was not to try to pack all of the functions of a big farmhouse in this case into one building, but rather to separate them into smaller buildings that would then be connected in a kind of artistic way. so on the right-hand side there, i am going to do this really gingerly, you see here is the main house connected to these subsidiary buildings by these walkways. it is italy, so the idea of the open logga or porch is very important. and the main house at the center, what does that look like? probably a little socratic here. what is he referring to
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here? what does it make you think of? yes? yeah, right. it is like a greek or a roman temple. so it takes that idea of a religious building and then he makes that the source for the actual house, the residents at the center. here, you see that central block and then it has walkways at either side and then these kind of subsidiary buildings. so the idea of separating the different parts of the complex is very important. for example, at mount airy in virginia, from the mid 18th century, we have this plantation house. very palladian in inspiration. very classical central building, and then you see these kind of curving walkways. this is what washington is thinking about, too. to these outbuildings here
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and here, you can see it in the plan. it is two rooms with these two fireplaces, which means this was probably a kitchen building. so it's virginia, it's super hot like it is here. you want the kitchen building away from the main house, the heat away from the main house. and then this could have been for offices. you had these cornered fireplaces and stairway. the parts of the complex are beautifully balanced. everything is symmetrical. you can draw a straight line through the center of this main house and the two sides of the complex are mirror images of one another. that classical symmetry is modeled on what the palladio head done in his series of great villas in italy that many of which you can
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still go visit today. these were famous because not only were they thought to be very classical and accomplished in terms of design, but palladio also had as his clients wealthy farmers, people who lived on agriculture. they were very well educated, they were liberally educated and sophisticated. therefore the style is associated with a kind of style of living in the countryside, living off agriculture, but not just being bumpkin, hay seed, farmer guy. but being also somebody who is very sophisticated and learned. and expressing that in the architecture that you caused to be built. so that is kind of -- it's not kind of what they are thinking of, it is what they are thinking of. very sophisticated sort of person
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living off of agriculture. here are a couple of views, and here you see that curved walkway. now, one thing that is an issue for these ambitious builders in early america was that there was not here the sophistication in terms of building in stone, which was much less common in the 18th and the 17th century than building in wood. when it came time to model and architecture that had been pioneered in stone, going all the way back to ancient greece and rome, it was a challenge for craftspeople here in the u. s., or in the colonies. often, what was done was to use a wood,
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it's more prevalent building material, and then to make it look like stone. so in the case of mount vernon, it's built out of wood, but you just get a glimpse of this here. the wood is flat boards that are then scored in order to make them cast these shadows between them and give them the appearance of blocks of stone. under the surface of them would -- you send it, it is painted with a paint that has sand mixed up in it. it gives it the texture of quarried stone. so what they are trying to do is to give the impression of this very monumental, mason building in the neoclassical mode. but to work with the conditions at hand. to use condoms divisions and materials that are familiar. in mount vernon and monticello, there is an explicit connection made to the pan atlanta it will of revolution, the so-called age of revolution the 18th century. in which washington and
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jefferson were both major players. not just -- they were not just important to the u.s., but they were important to the revolutions in europe, particularly the french revolution. as well as to the revolutions in the caribbean, in the early 19th century. they represent an international sphere of their connections,
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not just in architecture, which looks back to british and european developments, but also in the objects which they bring into these spaces, that are fascinating because they make them into places where the history of the early u.s. and international context is represented. one of the great objects at mount vernon is this thing that i have written about a little bit, so i am fascinated by it. it is the key to the bastille prison. the demolition of which was ordered
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by general lafayette, about whom i will say more in a minute. who said it to washington, to whom he was very close. met with this message, give me leave my dear general to present with you with a picture of the bastille just as it looked a few days after i had ordered its demolition. you have the bastille, the bastille prison, symbolic beginning of the french revolution in 1789. after that point, lafayette as the head of the national guard orders the demolition of what remains of it. with the main key of that fortress of despotism, it is a tribute which i owe as a son to my adoptive father as an aide to
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camp to my general as a missionary of liberty to its patriarch. lafayette was a wealthy french nobleman. he used his family fortune to equip a ship with materials that would support the american revolution, sailed to the u.s., and became an aide to camp to george washington. and then became a lifelong friend of washington. then he sends this key to the bastille as a symbol to washington along with, as i said, an image of the bastille before its demolition. the key than was displayed in philadelphia in the washington state dining room. later it exhibited in the hall of mount vernon. lafayette saw it during
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his famous farewell trip to the u.s. in 1824 and 1825. he was heralded as the hero of two worlds, both the french and the american revolution. at mount vernon, lafayette visits the tombs of washington it was built on the grounds of his estate. his personal secretary said lafayette descended alone in the vault. a few minutes thereafter reappeared with his eyes overflowing with tears. he took his son and me by the hand and lead us into the tomb. we
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knelt reverentially near his coffin which we respectfully saluted with our lips, rising with mingled our tears with his. when lafayette makes his trip to the u.s., he takes the secretary with him. the secretary writes every day about what lafayette did over the course of a year and a half in which he went to basically every major city and what was in the united states. they would send these comments back to france and they were published there. they were published in the papers in the u.s.. it is important that he went to mount vernon. it reinforces the fact that by the 1820s it is a shrine. more than that, it is a shrine to washington, it is also a shrine
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to the idea of freedom. i would suggest it is some what paradoxical given that it's also a plantation house. i'll be at the plantation of a man who freeze his slaves and his will. there's the tomb on the right-hand side as it exists in the 19th century. and then a folk drawing of the landscape with a tomb right here. it shows you that absolutely unbelievable amount of interest in mount vernon. how many places in the u.s. are named mount vernon? new york, there are lots of houses there called mount vernon. it becomes just an absolute icon of washington we. the first president and the revolutionary general. it becomes an extremely well-known place. here is a massive painting of mount vernon. it is
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really, it might even be bigger than the size it has on the screen here. sorry, it is hard to see. you see it on the trademark porch. you see it on the trademark porch, washington, this is published well after his death. it is based on a famous portrait of washington. i'm sure you recognize it. it was the basis of the image on the u.s. currency. and then here on the left is lafayette. this is the meeting of the two men. on the porch at mount vernon in 1784. what else do we have going on here? well, interestingly, you have the two women in this group to the right. or three i think. there is a girl child her. and then to the left, a very interesting
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vignettes of the white child and the african american child playing together over here. a vineyard that has been thought of as a kind of paradoxical hard to understand image. one that does remind us that the african american residents of mount vernon far outnumbered the white ones. it does kind of signal that diversity of people. washington was wandered from my mark here. washington, of course, keenly interested in building's own house. also keenly interested in the design of the city of washington d. c., the district of columbia. it
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was beginning to be constructed shortly after the establishment of the united states. you see, there is a very famous group portrait of the washington family. george is here to the left. martha's here to the right. the other members of the family are on either side. at the center, you have the map of washington d. c.. the plan of this city that was devised by a french engineer by the name of laufal, interestingly, you have martha here referencing and
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gesturing towards that plan of the city of washington. now, jefferson, as president also is keenly interested in developing the landscape and architectural language of the new united states. and in virginia, he is responsible for the design of the capital at richmond. still survives. although expanded in the 19th and 20th centuries. you see these wings on either side. on the right-hand side, you have a painting from the 19th century which gives a better sense of what the original building look like.
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and if you think that this too looks like a temple, there is good reason for it. jefferson, before serving as president was an envoy to france and lived in paris. while he was there he commissioned a model of this building on the left. the mason carre, it is a roman temple that was built in southern france at the time that the roman empire was colonizing areas all around the mediterranean. the temple jefferson thought of as a really perfect example of a roman temple. and of the use of the corinthian order. which is a style of classical architecture that uses these very elaborate capitals
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supported the tableture above it. now, it is based on the idea of a greek temple. we have a very good approximation in our parthenon here in nashville. it gives an excellent idea of what the parthenon in greece and athens looks like. the roman idea of the temple built upon that idea that greek temple with its surrounding columns, and then pushed outward with the walls to expand the enclosed part of the temple. and a greek temple, you have the columns, they are running on the way around. the close part of the center is relatively small. the roman temple in this example, the wall is pushed outward. it creates a larger space. this type of temple then becomes the
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model for what jefferson designs as the capital of the state of virginia. now, in his notes on the state of virginia, jefferson wrote about how really deplorable and awful he thought the colonial architecture of virginia and the united states was. his attempt was to elevate the practice of architecture, the public architecture by looking back to the classical tradition. here he does it very directly. you can see you don't need an architectural historian to tell you that he's looking very directly at the sample of the maison carre. he is also looking at this example. this building it becomes a
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touchstone, not only for him, but for other american and continental and british architects in the 18th century. the pantheon at rome. the roman temple, which has this greek temple like facade that leads to this dramatic space, this domed rotunda. building a room that is circular in plan and then has this concrete dome above it. a looming concrete the use of concrete. it is caste to stone with its oculus, its central opening. yes, rain does come through the building. it has to get mopped up on the
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floor. light comes through the building and casts these beautiful light spots that move around the interior over the course of the day. jefferson was a huge admirer of this. one of the things that he admired was the way that, if you imagine a big basketball, inside the space it fills it. it is as though a large sphere had the building erected around it. that gave it a kind of geometric purity that was admired by jefferson. but what he does that is so clever but not very orthodox, you could say it's clever or weird and perverse. i would say it's clever. these are two section
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drawings, slices through the virginia state capital. it is a transverse section that goes across the short side. and then one igoes through the long side. it is through the porch. it looks out on the james river. richmond is located here. you see that you have basically a roman temple of the maison carre type. and then you have inside it this domed rotunda. of course, this is the idea of a don't buttoned, it is what is at the center of the conception of the u.s. capitol. and of other state capitals as well. what is the difference here? if you think of the u.s. capitol, what is different
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about this dome? right, it is sunk inside the building. so you don't see it. so from the outside, jefferson maintains the purity of this idea of the roman temple, but he puts inside this domed rotunda in this very interesting way. there you see it again, this section. there is the central space. he has a really difficult problem because he does not have those curved walls that support the pantheon, but rather he sets the dome in a square room. you have the issue of how do you get from a square room to a dome that has a circular base. you have to have these kind of a weird triangular bits to make that
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juncture. anyway, at the center is washington. there you see him. he is in a stance that is meant to evoke a roman statesman and the stance is also one that is familiar to antiquity, going all the way back to ancient greece. the so-called contrapposto pose, the pose in which one like holds the weight of the body, the other is at ease and bent. you see it in classical
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sculpture, and the idea is that it gives a kind of dynamism to the body, because then the upper body has to adjust to that uneven distribution of weight. that formula became a very popular in antiquity for giving life like qualities to figure. it was adapted in the early 19th century sculpture of washington, which is a contemporary figure, but also, again, references the classical tradition. jefferson, washington. both of these men depended for all of their building and all of their intellectual activity upon this trade, with which you are
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familiar. it saw manufactured good to africa, slaves were brought to the caribbean and ultimately to north america, from where other grids were exported in this very famous triangle trade. which the plantations of jefferson, washington, and others cannot be disassociated, despite the fact that architecturally, the references that they make are to this classical tradition, as filtered through palladio in the 16th century. jefferson also referred to the classical tradition in his own design for his tomb monument, which you see here. it is an obelisk form that was devised first by the ancient egyptians, and then used again throughout antiquity, where he wanted to be known for
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his authoring of the declaration of american independence, of the statute of religious freedom, and as father of the university of virginia. those he saw as his major accomplishments to be inscribed on his monument. he is promoting his contributions to freedom. jefferson, i have a biography here from the monticello. he was born in 1743. early on, as a young man, he cleared the site of 250 square feet of the top of a hill, which he called monticello. and that is where he lived for much of his life, and where he would go on to
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build over the course over a very long time. he referred to it as his essay in architecture. along with the land, plantations not just monticello, but others as well, jefferson inherited slaves from his father and even more from his father in law. he also bought and sold enslaved people, and in a typical year he owned about 200 of them. almost half of them under the age of 16. about 80 of them lived in monticello. they far outnumbered the free people in monticello. others lived elsewhere on his farms and at his estate in bedford county, virginia, which is south of monticello. south of charlottesville, where he also built a very beautiful house. i'm not going to talk about it
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today. they were integral to what he did, to making his living. some of them worked in trades, others infields. others in the main house. many were members of the hemings family, as you probably know. elizabeth hemings said her children were part of the whale's estate and tradition says the john wales was the father of six of hemings children, and thus they were half brothers to jefferson's wife, martha. jefferson gave the hemings special positions. the older slaves jefferson freed in his lifetime, and they were all hemings. giving credence to the oral history that they were related to him. years after his wife's death, jefferson fathered at least six of sally
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hemming's children, four of whom survived to adulthood and are mentioned in jefferson's plantation records. their daughter harriet and elder son beverley were allowed to leave monticello during his lifetime, and the two youngest sons madison and estan were freed in his will. others of the sun's actually worked on poplar forests, which was built as a retreat for jefferson, and he would go down there. he would've been there at the same time that these children of his were also there. so while jefferson is building this plantation operation, he is also elaborating this neo-classical monument at its center, his main house. which
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is an essay in architecture, and particularly in the classical tradition, as his understanding of a change over the course of his life. and as his knowledge of contemporary developments in great britain and in france changed. so, the first design was this one. this to story design which you will see in a moment, was very much based on palladio. who we thought of as the bible. benjamin henry latrobe, who was perceived -- possibly the first professional architect in the u.s., who knew jefferson, said of him, he is a good architect out of books. kind of damning
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with faint praise. yeah, he's good, but just with these books of architecture. it's not entirely his fault because there is no school of architecture in the u.s. at that time. and then you have the final design, which is close to what exists today. what he did, principally, was to really disguise the second story. it still is a two story building, but he really suppresses the visibility of that second story, and of course, adds the dome. the form that he was so enamored of. his first model, as i said, was palladio. i just took one example, but you can see, it
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has these two story portico's with impediment up above. and that is very clearly what jefferson has in mind here. and then he goes to france and while he is there, he sees constructed this building. if any of you have been to paris, it's still survives, it's the museum of the legion of honor, and it's right next door to the music door say. if you ever go there, it's something to notice. it gave jefferson the idea of building a large house. it's a hotel in the french sense of, not a hotel that you check into and spend the night, but rather a large house. i gave him the idea of building a large presidents with a domed space at the center. and a somewhat disguise second story.
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this is what eventually develops. so here, and you have the approach to the main entrance, and monticello, like mount vernon, is a virtual pilgrimage site. even while jefferson is alive, after he finishes his presidency. he goes back to mount vernon, he lives there, he is referred to as a sage of monticello. this incredibly important intellectual, artist, architect, and of course statesman. people just go there, hoping to meet up with him. and where they would be -- they would wind their way around the mountain, they would come up the main road, the main pathway. they
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would be met at this classical portico, which already would signal this is an important house, somebody with a lot of aspirations. if somebody was invited in, they could move through this space where there is a dome up above. and then out to the lawn, which is open to the west. it is symbolic of jefferson's role in opening up the north american continent. and he frames that view very interestingly with these walkways that make the whole complex into a kind of c shape. when he first started building monticello when he was quite young, he starts out with a south pavilion, which is right here. this little tiny brick building, where he and martha
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lived. this is really a modest building. it survives, you can see it. it was later used as offices and so on. and below ground, and this is the key part, he creates these walkways. and then below grade, you have all the servant areas where the work would be carried out by primarily enslaved labor. so he promotes the neo-classicism of the main house. he suppresses from view the evidence of enslaved labor, which in many ways would go against the enlightened perspective on him that was offered by the main house. it is a gorgeous setting. here is
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a famous print from the 19th century, and you see how you see the walkway, you don't see the work areas below it. figures strolling around. this is a more contemporary view, we see how he frames the prospect over the hills beyond. and here is the plan, which was being tinkered with and revised over the course of jefferson's lifetime. here is the main part of the house. it will make you think back to the plan of mount vernon a central haul, somewhat georgian in feeling, four rooms, one on the other side, chimneys, pushed to the edges. what you have projecting outward are these service areas. it is the lower level. you can see a
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series of rooms for different functions that would be required for such a big plantation house. if you go visit, you can still you, can go see those you hear about the life of people on the plantation. here it is. here it is an amount develop version. it's at the upper level, the south passage, i think north and south confused before this is a self bazillion. here is jefferson's law office up to the right. here are the servants basins down below. and stables on the side. it is somewhat in the sense that the working parts of this complex are separated out. they are not all pushed into the same
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building. rather, they are expressed as different architectural forms. where you would enter, you would not be the least aware of the work taking place here. instead, you would be realizing that you are entering through this monumental portico. and to a grand space that is invested in the history of western culture. of course, it ends up on the coin. again, in the history of transatlantic's revolution of the 18th century. this is what the spaces where you are entered. you would wait there to be received by jefferson or tossed out if they did not want to see you. jefferson referred
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to it as the indian hall. the reason that it contained animal skins and other objects that were from native american peoples. it also included classical scripture, it included busts of french philosophers who he thought were important to the conception of american democracy. you don't, i'm sorry, it's hard to see. one of the important things was a clock. it shows that jefferson was living at the moment we're keeping track of time, particularly the time invested in labor became increasingly important. the roots of the labor. it is a phenomenon of the early to 19 centuries. represented by jefferson's
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clock. he invented. it has a very complicated mechanism and so on. it is a museum space. a museum of jefferson's investment in western culture and in democratic traditions and contemporary political events. i've mentioned that one of the things he does in this reworking of monticello is to add a dome. the dome has really no function. the dome room never actually had much of a function. a visitor in 1809, a friend of jefferson's bexar says we looked into a beautiful and circular room in the dome. it is not actually circular. it is 27 feet in diameter. it has eight circular windows, you see
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them here. i handsome skylight. it was designed for the drawing room and built. soon found on account of its situation in the dome to be too inconvenient for that use it was abandoned to miscellaneous purposes. it was a room that is symbolically extremely important. it associated jefferson with wisdom, with cultural traditions, with a great monuments of the past. it was essentially useless. you had to go up narrow staircases to get to it. the ladies were supposed to go up there and hang out. apparently did not like that idea. one of the very odd things about it, if you open the doors of the side towards the lawn, you expect this commanding view. in fact, the
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pedament of the gable down below is step sticking up in a door way. it is i'm not very well realized design. however, it is extremely interesting in the way that it monumental lies is this plantation house. it connects us with ideas of democracy and freedom, somewhat paradoxically i would say. there is the view from the porch of monticello. it is this gorgeous commanding view of the landscape. i end with this building. you all know probably better than i do, it was rebuilt in the 1830s. given this portico, i think, we can now see as a continuation of a tradition that goes all the way say that i know that they were thinking of that but i think that the portico was really pioneered at mount vernon. back to mount vernon. i can't say that i know they were thinking of. that i think that the portico's were pioneered at
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mount vernon as a space that gives a commanding view over a plantation. it elevates the house to the status that it is more than a residents. something that is a place of represent -- it represents a politically extremely important feature. just like jackson. and washington's and jefferson's time, classical architecture had very specific meanings. for jefferson, it was really closely connected to the french revolution and to the democratic traditions that he saw going back to the roman republic. by the time that this building gets built, rebuilt, not only are these sources slightly different, compared to the sources that jefferson and
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washington were looking at, it is greek architecture. rather than roman or played in architecture. it takes on a whole new cast. the greek were for independence. i took place and the beginning of 1820. americans followed with great avidity very closely. for americans, the greek war for independence was a replaying of the american war for independence. they identified very closely with that cause. in the 1820s and 1830s widow when they use greek architecture, it was important to seagull that political allegiance to the cause of
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democracy. particularly in the atlantic world. i also want to keep in mind that in many ways these buildings make paradoxical claims. they make these claims of affiliation with democratic traditions. in the context of a democracy that was extremely-limited and who it enfranchised as we know. the movement to change that, of course, is ongoing. aspirations of these buildings and their builders are the things that we can really hold as models. i'm probably going on too long. i'm happy to take questions. five
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and warn you had already, which may have been the case. yes, yes. >> i'd like for you to comment a little bit about with jackson and jefferson. they had a blank canvas to build whatever they want for washington he was kind of stuck with house to modify. >> he inherited the house. he had much more already belt than he was trying to adapt. pardon me. that is why there are some oddness about it that was noted at the time. as you know it's classicism it's quite imperfect. it's for that reason. trying to renovate rather than build from scratch. >> great presentation, thank
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you. i am curious, early in your presentation with one of the slides you showed for properties and refer to those as plantations. in today's society, how do you see today, maybe looking forward, securing these properties and the threats of these properties as we've seen other things threatened. >> can you speak with the threats? >> with the removal of history, moving history into the basement of certain properties. the actual properties today, how do you see that might be threatened in
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the future? is there a historical, i guess, part b breed to that would be, are there things from the past -- we are still a young country. if we look to europe, thousands of years of history, what can we learn from that? >> my work has also been on france. in france, famous in the french revolution there was, in the wake of the revolution, you have to destroy every building they had to do with the monarchy, with the church. both of those were seen as repressive institutions. they were both overthrown. the buildings were all nationalized. there is an initial movement that very quickly gets turned around. people start talking about it as vandalism. certain people argue for the fact that although they are monuments to what they would call despotism, still they represent the ingenuity and creativity, the
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hard work of the french people there for, artistic prowess. therefore they are deserving of being preserved. there is an effort to stop the kind of demolition and fear of wanting to get rid of it from a regime that is seen as repressive. that is an example of how new there is legitimate resentments of imagery,, regime's ideas that we don't accept any longer. at the same time, they also represent the creative work of people whose voices we don't have. for example, i recently wrote a book on the cathedral of military after the fire. there was a moment after the french revolution where people wanted to destroy it
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because it was so representative of the monetary in church. other people came forward and said, no, actually, this really represents workers who don't we don't know anything about. they aren't represented in documents. this is the only evidence we have of them. similarly with monticello --'s other's public buildings built by slaves. we don't have records of them by and large. we have these buildings that represent their handiwork. we can value them on that level. that said, i don't think we want to repress the uncomfortable parts of the
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history. in this regard, monticello has done an exemplary job as has montpelier of bringing to life not just the great man who designed and only spaces, but also the enslaved people who work there. keeping alive both populations and showing that i mean, this is what i've tried to get out today, the paradox is on the one hand highly ambitious very sophisticated and erudite inspiring architecture projects that nonetheless rest on the labor of enslaved people. i
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think there is nothing wrong, and i think there's everything right with understanding that paradox squarely. and places like this allow us to do that. so i don't see them as threatening, i see them as a really beautiful opportunity to talk about the simultaneous existence -- i think that is the case of the u.s.. i think that is the case of all of western history, right? the simultaneous existence of great ambitions for equality and democracy and so on, and at the same time, phenomena that fail to bring about the complete realization of those ambitions. i think places like this can really teach people how those things existed. and we don't have to get rid of them, we can use them as an opportunity to see both sides of the coin, which is a good thing. monticello is on the coin there. that's a very long winded diatribe for your question, but it's really, really important. it's an important point to bring up. >>
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thank you, i really enjoy your presentation. are there any homes in the united states that are favorites of yours or you would suggest that we visit? >> in the u.s.? >> yes. >> i am from new england so i am totally prejudiced. you may know the -- some of the residences that are owned by a historic new england, which is a regional preservation organization there. they are
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18th century houses, big farmhouses. but they also have a very wonderful modernist house from 1938, which is the -- designed by the architect, walter --, when he arrived here in 1937. another house i love is the molly brown house in denver. the quote unquote unsinkable mali brown, which is i think one of the great house tours have ever been on. the mark twain house in hartford is a really fantastic, crazy house, but also a wonderful tour. those are kind of my standouts. and then the plantations in the southeast. in the low country of south carolina and so on. those are other favorites of mine. >> any comments about the madison plantation nearby? i
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was up there recently working, and got to visit all of them. the monroe was interesting, although not as significant as these. i was stunned at the ronald reagan airport to find in the old terminal the history of washington's step son who bought a mansion out the door of ronald reagan. it's now been restored. i was a little scared to walk out there at night and see it. the groundwork has been laid, and they had some architectural drawings. his son-in-law has spent way too much money in washington, and to get involved in negotiating. i thought that was fascinating.
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but i didn't know if you had looked at that house and what they are trying to do to restore it, and how plantation-ish it was compared to mount vernon, for example. >> i haven't been there recently, so i haven't seen that. but i will say, madison's montpelier is a place where they have really done a fantastic job of trying to interpret the diverse population that lives there. i was just in virginia last weekend, and hearing from my colleagues at uva about that, about that site and what a great job they have done there. so yes. but it is another place that has really interesting history, going back to madison's time. but there is an overlay of -- it has this weird 20th century decorating in parts of it. but it's interesting, an interesting place. >> if there are no other questions for dr. murphy, let's give him a rousing thank you for this amazing talk. >> thank you very much. >> i urge all of
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you to come back and tour the hermitage again, which he will now see through the lens that doctor murphy created for us this evening. please come back and study the hermitage and stare at it the way jefferson stared at the maison carrée. thank you all. [applause] >> if you are enjoying american history tv than sign up for a newsletter use in the qr code on the screen to a safety weekly schedule of upcoming programs like lectures in history, the presidency, and more. sign up for the american history tv newsletter today and be sure to watch american history tv every saturday. or anytime online, at slash history. >> lectures in history as an
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opportunity to join students in college classrooms. basically, what worth institute of technology professor allison lying taught a class about the women suffrage movement. professor landrieu from her book picture and political power to describe how women's voting rights activists and their opponents used images to support their causes. >> so, by that time, americans throughout the country are very aware of this rising growing women's rights movement. and it's vibrance, and its increasing power in the united states. and yet, the images are changing very little. about 75 years after that previous image we see a woman who is mrs. turkey. she is smoking, wearing bloomers, showing us her ankle. that did not seem very scandalous to us in the 21st century but it would have been remarkable in 1851. she has her hand fairly condescendingly placed on this man's ahead. hunched over, kind of looking
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like an older women mending close, doing his menial tasks. both of them are ignoring the child who is crying in the front of the room. you know, his banner says no more papa and mama. in the background we have these two women both holding banners as well, also wearing glimmers. one says no more time in the kitchen. i think she is intended to represent a working class women. the other one is a black woman who is smoking a pipe. she has a sign protesting slavery. we have this seen that is very much in the same world as the previous one. it is suggesting that women need rights, women seeking power, they are going to abandon their domestic duties and force men to become more women lay. and, it is going to lead to other changes. including challenging the class hierarchies. like you see with this domestic
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servant. as well as the racial hierarchies and the system of slavery. >> watch this program and thousands more online at slash history. >> c-span shop dot org is suspense online store. browse through a latest collection of c-span products, apparel, books, home decor, and accessories. there is something for every c-span fan. every purchase help support our nonprofit organizations. shop anytime at c-span shop dot org. i am leslie greene bowman, the president of the thomas jefferson foundation and it's my distinct pleasure to welcome you this evening as we celebrate the launch of gayle jessup white its reclamation,


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