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tv   American History TV  CSPAN  September 28, 2014 11:15am-11:31am EDT

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take the shells and peck at them to get hotter. they would detonate and you have more mutilations. is 25 debt, times two or three wounded, given that was ,uch a small number, i believe having looked at the bombardments of charleston, vicksburg, petersburg, i believe they died in greater number than died in charleston, petersburg, and richmond. with that, i want to thank you for coming here. headmaster, thank you. [applause] >> thank you. >> tonight, at 6:30 p.m. eastern, a conversation about the book, the classic liberal
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constitution. the discussion features the books author. richard epstein. he and university of pennsylvania law school professor debate the powers of the federal government outlined in the constitution. this is american history tv on c-span3. these bands 2015 student cam competition is underway. this nationwide competition for middle and high school students will award 150 prices, totaling $100,000. create a 5-7 minute documentary on the topic, the three branches in you. videos need to include c-span programming, show very importance of view. byy must be submitted january 20, 2015. go to student for more information pay grab a camera and get started today. year, c-span is during cities across the street exploit american history. next, a look at our recent visit
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to st. paul minnesota. you are watching american history tv all weekend, every weekend, on c-span3. ♪ >> we are standing at the historic fort snelling. the fort really is the first foothold in the region for united states expansion. during the early 1800s, you began to have this idea of spreading across the country, of the manifest destiny of the united states to spread from sea to shining sea. it is the god-given right of america to extend across north america. of course, that is problematic because there are other people who lived here first.
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the american indian nations. in this region, it was primarily the dakota and the ojibway. firmlyelling from hi establishes u.s. residences -- presences. it is a foothold for future expansion. after the fort was established here, nothing was the same. relations between american indians and this region and the united states government began to change. by 1650, the first europeans are arriving in what would become minnesota, and they are arriving ur trade.f the fo they are interested in exchanging first with the dakotas and the ojibway. for are exchanging fur manufactured goods. trade really establishes european presence in the region. it is because of the fur trade
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that they establish a fortress. they are interested in protecting the fur trade in the area after the war of 1812. the fur trade drives the economic interest in the region. the dakota had their economy in large part based on the fur trade in the 1700s and 1800s. when the fur trade begins to decline, that is when you see a shift in relations between the people. >> ready. aim. fire. >> in 1851, the treaties were signed in which the dakotas ceded over 24 million acres of the land to the united states. by the 1860's, you had divisions within the dakota community for
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those who want to acculturated and those who did not. they wanted to maintain a traditional way of life. you had shortages and you had increasing pressure from immigrants coming into the area. in 1862, a small group of dakota decided to declare war on the united states, and they began attacking civilians, trading posts, settlements. there was a six-week war. soldiers from fort snelling were sent to fight in that war. as a result, dakota treaties were abrogated by the united states. the dakota were forced out of minnesota. fort snelling itself became in interment camp for dakota civilians who were awaiting deportation out of the state. over the winter of 1862 and 1863, between 1600 and 1700 dakota men, women, and children, primarily women and children, were held here.
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because of the living conditions and poor quarters, many died. there were acts of violence against people in the concentration camp. it was a horrible place for them. it was part of the u.s. effort to remove the dakota from minnesota. what is really tragically ironic is this place, which for many dakotas is seen as a place of the birth of their people, is also a place of their confinement in a concentration camp and expulsion and genocide. it's important when you think about the story and history of the region that you think beyond the walls of fort snelling. that is what we try to do here, push people to think more about, what does it mean when all of these cultures come together? what perspectives do they have on these events? you can look at a single event from history from multiple
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angles and perspectives, and that helps us think about the world we live in today. how can we see things through someone else's eyes? how can we be more understanding of multiple perspectives. ? you can look at the fort in multiple ways. you can look at it is the expansion of the united states and the pioneer spirit, moving west, conquering the wilderness, or you can look at it as a place of internment for the dakota that were here because of the u.s.-dakota war of 1862. you could look at it at the expansion and colonization of native lands by the united states government. there is also the story of african-americans, both free and enslaved. it was supposed to be a place free of slavery and you have the existence of slavery alongside right here inside the walls of the fort. -- the existence of slavery
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alongside free african-americans. it is a wonderful way to explore the complexity of history and out events in the past, people's choices and decisions, shape the world we live in today. right now we are inside one of the first squad rooms and stone barracks. the stone barracks where the home for the enlisted men. several barracks were here further quarters. these barracks were used from the 1820's all the way up through the civil war. today they are furnished like they would have been in the 1820's. you can see the equipment, uniform items, weaponry. all of these things would have been used here by soldiers in that early area during the -- that early era during the 1830's. this would have been home to 12 men, 11 privates and one corporal. one thing people immediately notice is that there are only six beds. prior to the civil war, soldiers were required to sleep two soldiers to a bed box. the army wants to maximize space and cut down on fuel power.
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the more people you can squeeze into small areas, the better for the army. this is not one of the original buildings. it was one of the original reconstructed buildings built from the 1960's and 1970's. it is built from the same specifications and materials, so, a soldier from the 1820's would recognize much of this as what he would have lived in. it was used all the way up through the civil war this way, the only difference being that the 1860's, they would have added a different bunk on top. fort snelling was the rendezvous place for people during the civil war. approximately 25,000 minnesotans served during the war. fort snelling was the portal for them. they let civilian life and join the army here. at the end of the war, they had left the war and returned to civilian life at the fort. the garrison at the fort fluctuated quite a bit depending on the year you are looking at.
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in the 1820's, most estimates are around 500 people would have been here at the fort. that is about 350 soldiers and 150 free and enslaved people. that is a rough estimate. during the 1830's, the garrison went down to 80 people at one point. so, it fluctuated based on the goals of the army, whether they wanted to have a large garrison of troops here. in 1837, the seminole wars were being fought in florida and a number of troops were called off to fight in that war. during world war ii, the numbers skyrocketed. over 300,000 men and women has -- passed through fort snelling as they were inducted into military service. this was a very busy place throughout its history. we're standing in front of the place that we believe that dred and harriet scott lived between
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1836 and 1840. when they hear the story of the enslaved people that were here, many of them are very surprised. they may have heard of dred scott in high school history, but they did not know he lived here. they did not know that the institution of slavery existed this far north. it really surprises a lot of people. we hope that they came away not only learning about the stories of these people, but knowing that what happened at the fort impacted history. dred scott's experience at the fort and formed part of their legal case when they sued for their freedom throughout the 1840's and 1850's. the case when all the way to the supreme court. because of the dred scott decision in 1857, it stated that
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dred and harriet did not have the right to sue in court because as african-americans they were not citizens of the united states, and the missouri compromise, which limited where slavery could exist in the country, was unconstitutional because it prohibited people in the rights to property. and this time, slaves were considered property and not people. the dred scott decision furthered the divide between the north and south in the years prior to the civil war. one of the direct causes leading up to the rupture in the 1860's had its origin at fort snelling with dred scott. evidence about daily lives of the enslaved people at fort snelling was very scarce, but we believe they were primarily were involved in domestic slavery, doing cooking, cleaning, domestic chores for their owners.
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mostly they were officers here at the fort. dred and harriet scott belonged to a dr. emerson. he was a surgeon. his office would of been upstairs on the first floor. they would have been living in his kitchen, the workspace. in domestic slavery, typically enslaved people working under that type of condition would have been living inside the places that they worked. along the officers quarters, down in the basement kitchen, that is where we believe a lot of the majority of the enslaved people would have been working and living. it is arguable that this is the place that had the first major african-american community in what would become minnesota by virtue of the enslaved population that was living here. if you look at it simply as a military fort and you do not have the context on it, you miss out on the important role that it played not just in minnesota,
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but in national history. you miss the narrative. you miss the whole point of this being here. if you don't have that large wrapping around it, you will miss out on all the other stories that shape the history. they may not have realized it at the time, but what those people did shaped the world that their descendents would live in. the world we live in now was shaped by what people were doing then. if we think of it that way, it is a complex, diverse story. >> find out where c-span's local content vehicles are going next, online at /localcontent. all weekend, every weekend on
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c-span3. the chronicle of first ladies fashion. chronicle what their wardrobe choices reveal about the time in which they a live -- they lived. >> our campaign to the 14 coverage continues with the texas governor debate. also at 8:00 on c-span2, watch the nebraska governors debate between democrat chuck has a brooke and pete ricketts. hasselbrook and


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