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tv   American History TV  CSPAN  November 1, 2014 2:01pm-3:01pm EDT

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>> the berlin wall fell 25 years ago on november 9, 1989. we will revisit that historic day next sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern. video of george bush from the oval office, reaction from senate leaders and speeches from president kennedy in 1953 and --sident reagan in 1957 1987. >> 200 years ago this summer during the war of 1812, british soldiers invaded washington dc august 24,0 or -- 1814. next, alan taylor, the author of
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"civil war of 1812." the u.s. capital historical --iety and james madison this is about 45 minutes. >> that was wonderful. thank you. it's good to hear the other part of the story. wb recently, and very exciting for us who live in virginia, he published the national book, the slavery inemy, or i
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virginia. it looks at the war of 1812 through a different lens. his groundbreaking work in scholarship which highlights of 1812,rstudied story the runaway slaves who sought their freedom by joining with the british forces -- it's something that is very intriguing. learn so much more, so please come forward and let's hear about this new story of war. [applause] >> i want to introduce some
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characters who tend to be players and the story of 1812 and try to make a case that they were much more than bit players. i want to begin with one of them, a man named willis. we do not know his last name. denied lastple were names and the public record. he was 14 years old when he first escaped from his master's plantation. escaped down in where you would find virginia beach today. it is july 1807. he was 14 years old. he stole a boat and he rode out to a british pork anchored in nearby little heaven bay -- lynn
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haven bay. he expected a warm welcome from the british because war seemed imminent. this was in the immediate wake of the british attack on the uss chesapeake. very close to igniting war five years before the war of 1812. initially, the british mariners did welcome and clothes willis and for other refugees who also stole votes. one month later, the british captain forcibly sent all of them back to their masters in a bid to defuse tensions with the americans. remarkably, instead of dwelling on that betrayal, willis later recalled that he had been to the british and they treated him well and he wished his master would let him remain.
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in 1814, after war did break out in earnest, he had much better luck. this time, he remained free. demonstrated the persistent allure of the british amongential liberators arrested slaves of the tidewater region of virginia and maryland. of 1814, a farmer saltwater by visiting a spring. he noted a group of slaves already there. and so the farmer hid behind a tree and he overheard, quote, the negros belonging to the different british admiral two days later, those slaves fled to the warships. now, the argument that i want to
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make today is that by their enthusiasm for the british as potential liberators, the enslaved people of the chesapeake made it so. their enthusiasm for the british as potential liberators, the enslaved people of the chesapeake made it so. flocking to them in unanticipated numbers that would, by early 1814, compelling major rethinking of british strategy in the chesapeake. at the start of the first chesapeake campaign in 1813, the british officers were under orders to take on no more than a few black men and only men who could be used as pilots and guides and a year later they would entice hundreds of runaways, including women and children, and including willis.
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so like willis, the other runaways would not take no for an answer. now, professor andrew lambert gave a nice introduction about the reluctance of the british to engage in this war and they were slow to wage the war with great vigor because they hoped that it would end pretty quickly in its first year. and so it's only in the second year of the war in 1813 that they sent a major expedition into chesapeake bay with the purpose of punishing the states of virginia and maryland from a perception that those two states were the heartland of american resources and also the political home, principally in virginia. the british purpose in coming into chesapeake bay in 1813 is
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initially not to free any slaves of any significant numbers. their job is to punish the americans who lived along the shores of the chesapeake. to do so, primarily by raiding shipping that was vulnerable to this british naval supremacy, which was overwhelming in chesapeake bay. and secondarily, to raid exposed and vulnerable villages along the major waterways. what the british are very reluctant to do is to go into the interior. they were fearful of the very dense forests that surrounded the chesapeake. they feared being ambushed, they feared american riflemen, they didn't know where an attack might be coming from and they didn't know in what numbers and they simply did not know the lay of the land. and that's very inhibiting on the british and when you read the letters of their captains
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and admirals during 1813, they are full of mystery and fear about the interior. just a mile or two beyond where they could make their landings. so they are very skittish and they are not all that effective. so despite the miseries that they do inflict on a fair number of americans during the campaign of 1813, that campaign closes with a sense of frustration by british naval commanders in the chesapeake. they have not achieved their principle goal, which was to make life so miserable for the people of virginia and maryland that their government would call off their envisiinappropriate i. far from it. the united states is planning yet again to pursue an invasion of canada in 1814, despite the
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failures of their invasion attempts in 1812 and 1813. now, another problem that the british had that had inhibited them from being aggressive in going ashore is that they were fearful that their own men would dessert. the royal navy had a major problem, which was that it was shorthanded and it was shorthanded because the royal navy is very large and the british isles are not particularly large in populous places and maintaining a global navy was a major challenge and to do so at an unprecedented scale, the royal navy is larger than it's ever been before in its history in 1813 and 1814 because of their war against napoleon on a global scale.
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and so the ships that are sent over into the chesapeake are shorthanded. and then they suffer the loss of further seamen. a few of them are combat desks and a few more of them have disease. but there is also a significant la loss by desertion because alcohol is cheaper in the united states and the working conditions are a whole lot better off in baltimore than they are on the british royal navy warship. now, i'm not saying here that most sailors deserted or that most sailors wanted to dessert but any desertion is a problem because they are already shorthanded and they are a perception that their men are prone to dessert along the coast of the united states to a much
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greater degree than they would ever dessert anywhere else in the world. so the british -- this adds to a certain skittishness when the british go ashore because their commanders have the unenvy yabl task of fighting an enemy while also closely guarding their own men. so the chesapeake have a couple of problems that are revealed in 1813 in their operation. one is, they need able bodied men who would resolutely fight the enemy rather than dessert. a potential solution lays in the run away slaves who were eager to be on british naval warships. and they were fleeing in stolen boats and canoes to seek refuge during 1813. unlike the british deserter who anticipated a better life in the
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republic, the former slave didn't want to go back to the republic. and so they did not dessert. indeed, as marines, they could be deployed to watch the white sailors and to pursue deserters. admiral coburn sought to replace many of his white marines with black recruits. "they are stronger men and more trustworthy, for we are sure they will not dessert whereas i am sorry to say that we have many instances of our marines walking over to the enemy." and promoting slave escape seemed the perfect turnabout to punish the americans to entice americans to dessert from their duty. and so it is the desertion problem that is one of those things that nudges these naval officers to embrace blacks as essential allies in the chesapeake war. to perform more effectively, the
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british needed more men. now, they have a second problem. they need better knowledge of the landscape. and hereto, the solution to their problem lies with runaway slaves pressing themselves on the british during growing numbers during 1813. now, they are under pretty strict orders not to take in a significant number of refugees. these orders were renewed in march of 1813 by the british secretary of state forewarned the colonies. but despite these orders, black men, women, and children are stealing boats and they are rolling out to these warships and they are essentially calling the bluff of the british naval commanders. and they are forcing those naval officers to make some hard decisions. will they take in these men, women, and children in violation
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of their orders or send them back to suffer severe punishment by their masters? and naval officers are coming to perceive african-americans as a potential military resource that could be invaluable. and they know that if they start systematically sending these people back to severe punishment, that they will lose that potential resource. also, frankly, they like feeling whollyier than thou compared to americans and they are sick about how americans are going on about how liberty loving they are and here's the great opportunity for british naval officers to say who is the world's most sincere and true champions of liberty in the world, the people taking on napoleon bonaparte and the slave trade and willing to emancipate the slaves held by these
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allegedly freedom-loving americans of the united states. well, this is just too delicious for british naval officers to resist. and they really don't want to resist and so they have to write to their home government to try to get that home government to shift its policy. in late may, admiral warren reported that his warships had received about 70 refugees, quote, to whom it was impossible toll refuse an asylum, end quote. and in these reports to his superiors, warren is walking a fine line. he's making clear that he's following official policy and doing his best to discourage these runaways but can't really turn them all away. although they are including entire families of women and children as well as men. by the end of 1813, the best evidence is that at least 600
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enslaved people from the chesapeake had escaped to the british. on november 14th, the captain of the royal navy noted their potential. "the slaves continue to come off by every opportunity and i have now upwards of 120 men, women and children on board and if their assertions be true, there is no doubt but the blacks of virginia and maryland would cheer fully take up arms and join us against the americans." although many masters have come out to the truths of the british warship and asked for permission to speak to their slaves. january 1814, the british government comes around and endorses warren's proposal to enlist black troops among the runaways. and, indeed, it also authorizes
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the naval commanders to take in women and children as well, for it was well understood that the men would not come if they could not also bring women and children with them. implementation of the new policy fell to vice admiral sir alex cochran who sur planted war on april 1st of 1814. and he issued his famous proclamation, which is extremely clever in its word. it never uses the word slaves. but instead his address is to, quote, all those who may be disposed to em great from the united states with their families." now, it turns out there's only one white family that takes them up on this and that was in georgia at the end of the war and the british were completely by this and had to explain to this poor family that it really
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wasn't meant for them. but also in his proclamation, in the topography of this, because he had a thousand copies of this printered, the word free is in capital and it's giving these em grants their choice of either entering into sea or land forces or being sent as free slet letters to the west indies where they will meet with all encouragement." . now, i mentioned that cochran had a thousand copies of this printed up. he had his subordinate admiral coburn and his subboard nates distribute this, they nailed it up on trees, they are trying to get the word out. incredibly, the americans helped in the process, unwittingly, by reprinting the proclamation in their newspapers.
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now, they do this because they can't wait to denounce it because they just think this is the most horrible thing on earth and it's really an invitation to slave revolt and they want to assure slaves that they are really being lulled away and the british are going to sell them away into slavery in the west indies. so by anything that peers in the çfyfs[(t&háhp &hc% that's the culture of the day. and this is world in which black people and whiteçi people live right intermixed amongst each other. and so anything that white folk talk about, black folk learn about and they interpret it in their own way. so the national intelligence doesn't mean to be promoting slave escapes but it unwittingly does so. and the orders now are different. sir cochran instructs coburn, quote, let the landings you make be more for the protection of the desertion of the black
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population than with a view to any other advantage. the great point to be obtained is the cord jill support of the black population armed with 20,000 british troops, mr. madison will be hurled from this throne. so this is now job one. this isn't some byproduct. this is what you've got to do first and foremost because it is the essential means to the end. the defeat of the madison administration. now, these are the types of boats that the british used. this is a admiral in the chesapeake operation, sir malcolm. the actual drawing was done along the coast -- along the shores of louisiana later in the war. but it's the same type of coastal craft used in the
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chesapeake. now, the british establish aç refugee camp on tan agree island and it's ideal because it's sufficiently removed from the shores of virginia, the mainland shores of virginia. it's pretty secure from attack. but it's close enough and it's right in the center of the black population of virginia, which is in the tide water, both on the eastern shore and to the west on the western shore. and coburn's words, the island was surrounded by the districts from which the negros always come, end quote. this is a modern artist's attempt to imagine the drilling of colonial marines. colonial marines was the special unit formed for american blacks, former slaves, to august meant british forces in the
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chesapeake. we have no images from that time of colonial marines so it requires an artist informed by knowing what the uniforms of regular marines looked like and knowing something about the structures that would be built in virginia at that time. so this is showing the refugee camp at tangree island and it's showing the drilling by a white officer who is the man gesturing with his hand of three new recruits of the colonial marines. initially, admiral coburn has a pretty low expectation of these troops. and the colonial marines is a unit that resembles on a much smaller scale the union color regiments of the civil war in that the officer is a white man and the enlisted men and ncos
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are african-americans and they are being attracted into the service because they are not being compelled to do it and indeed as far as we can tell most of the runaways, indeed, including most of the men, don't choose to be colonial marines. some may end up as sailors or others work as guides, many worked as nurses. some of them are serving as paid servants for british officers and others go to work for the dock yard. it's a subset of the men serving in the colonial marines and they are not compelled to do this, though there is a great deal of persuation applied to encourage them to serve and they are attracted by the fact they will be paid, they will receive decent clothing for the first time in their lives, they will receive a daily meat ration for the first time in their lives,
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they will receive a daily alcohol ration for the first time in their lives. they will receive some respect and they will have the opportunity to plunder and in some cases kill their former masters. now, these british naval officers, again, are growing into this role. they don't get the idea that these are william lloyd garrison from the decks of these naval warships. they've got other priorities. so they are not natural-born abolitionists but they are working up a real good hate tret f tread hatred for the united states and it occurs to them by liberating their slaves and using it against them. that's what is going on here. and coburn thought, well, it's useful because it draws these people away from their masters.
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it weakens the economy. he's not sure these young men are going to be effective fighters. he said, quote, blackie hears about that's what he he says in 1814 as the drilling has started. a month later, however, coburn changed his mind upon noticing how well the new recruits responded to their training. they have induced me to alter the bad opinion i had of the whole of their race and i now i believe these who we are training will attack their old masters, end quote. and with glee he noted that this is the news of the colonial marines was alarming the local masters. "they expect blackie will have
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no mercy on them and knows that they understand bush fighting and the loek kalt of the woods as well as themselves and perhaps could play a hide and seek." and during may and june, he starts to employ the colonial marines as part of the rating forces and they are systematically targeting militia batteries, particularly along the eastern shore and along the northern neck of virginia and in the putaxsa valley in northern maryland and they perform very admirably and when the universal praise of british naval officers. i'll just quote one of them and, again, it's coburn but you could multiply these quotes. "how uncommonly and unexpectedly well the blacks have behaved in these several engagements and that one of them was shot and died instantly in the front of
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the others and it did not daunt or check the others in the least but on the contrary, animated them to seek revenge." now, on the one hand, by recruiting blacks in significant numbers, the british are able to escalate their shore rates. they are able to go deeper inland than they ever could in 1813. they also need to do so because the british cannot sustain their crews without food drawn from the shores of the chesapeake. and there are more and more people on these warships and on tangarie island as they are welcoming more and more refugees. in the first year of this operation when they were reluctant to take on the refugees, 600 had come to them. i believe that 2800 went during 1814, which shows the payoff of the british now welcoming them
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and aggressively going out and seeking them. but now they have to feed them on top of their own crews. and so that means they have to accelerate and escalate their rating into the interior to get food, to get livestock, in particular, but to get hams, to get chickens. they are seeking out food. and they are going to the places where their colonial marines know best, their former neighborhoods. and that's an opportunity, then, for some revenge and it's also, more importantly, an opportunity to get out relatives who have been left behind. so everybody's purposes are being served by these raids, the purposes of these runaways who have become colonial marines and the purse of the british who want to pun nesh the americans and need to get food for their own crews and this expanding refugee population.
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they benefit from the nocturnal knowledge of enslaved peoples who have had to become intimate experts in the landscape. they have had to know how to navigate it at night and dodge slave patrols in order for them to meet their friends, to meet their wives, to meet their children because black families have been split up and the black community is maintained by nocturnal travel. they are the experts in this landscape. they know it better than their master who is allegedly own it. and it is that knowledge that passes to the british. and we can find both in british sources very he will kwoent statements about how better informed and more secure they are now that they have blacks as their guides and as their light infantry in the form of these colonial marines but we also find it from american officers. one of them, brigg ga dear john
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p. hunger officer of virginia says, our enemy is flocking from all quarters and with a most minute knowledge of every bypass. they leave us as spies upon our post and return upon us as guides and soldiers in incendiaries. it was by the aid of these guides that ambushes were formed everywhere in the woods. from this cause alone, the enemy have a great advantage over us in a country where the passes and byways through our necks and swamps are so little known to but very few of our officers and man and through which the enemy can be conducted with so much ease by these refugee blacks, end quote. and this is the same modern artist imagination of the colonial marines engaged in unwith of these raids at benedict maryland and it shows
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them destroying some kegs of alcohol in the foreground. in the middle ground you see a british naval officer directing a black family to safety and freedom in british boats that are just out of the scene here and in the distant background you see an american sailing ship being burned. so the whole range of activities that colonial marines would have been involved with, several of their activities are combined qn this one imagined reconstruction of their activities. now, the point i want to make is that this raiding would not have been as effective without the colonial marines that transformed british operations. here isç a map done and i am grateful to ralph for sharing this with me. this shows the variety of targets the british had in 1813, the first year. and you'll see that it's fairly
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randomly scattered along the bay, east and west, north and south, by the maritime targets are the prince targets and that's indicated by these symbols for sailing ships. if we go to 1814, we'll see a very different nature of british attacks. many1
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decides that the resistance is eliminated much more quickly and earlier because most of the people living in southern maryland don't really want to be part of this war at all. and they certainly don't want to deal with superior of british forces that are now well-guided by the local experts in the landscape. and it is because of this that the british are able to land without any opposition at benedict in mid-august of 1814 and they are able to advance to the upper reaches of the putuxa river and reach to the out
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skirts of washington, d.c., without any opposition because it's already been eliminated by the raids of the summer. and they were able to brush aside militia resistance which it belatedly appears at bladensburg and push into washington, d.c., where they famously burn the public buildings. here is a very famous image of that. and you all notice, there is not a single black face represented in this, which is all too common among representations of battles of the war of 1812. they are presented as lilly white affairs in almost all cases. the kol len yell marines were very much present in the occupation of washington, d.c., and in the burning of the white house and the capitol. now, so my argument today has been that the colonial marines
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and black refugees make it far more effective and destructive to the americans than had been their operation in 1813 when they did not have the same level of support and assistance from black americans. now, this is an image that is produced. i'm going to get this magic arrow out of the way, which is not part of the original image. you may recognize this structure. it's the u.s. capitol building. this was produced in 1817 by a critic of american slavery, an american critic of american slavery named jesse torey and jesse torey wants you to think about the destruction of the capitol building and wants you to draw certain conclusions from it and those conclusions that he wants you to reach are indicated by the other figures he's put in
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this particular engraving. you can see down here in this right foreground, a group of enslaved african-americans, a slave coffle. washington, d.c., was a slave trade of the united states which is accelerating in this very period of time. and, indeed, although i certainly find it impressive that 3400 african-americans will escape to freedom during the war of 1812 from the chesapeake, it is probably something on the order of 60,000 enslaved chesapeake slaves were moved deeper south into the harsher slavery of the deep south during the same period of time. and jesse torey is commenting on that. we have a slave trader who is there with a group of enslaved people, men, women and children.
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and then just so you will further get the message, we have a couple of other theorial figures floating in the sky. two lady liberties who are -- so when you put together the three components of this, the message is that the u.s. capitol burned for the sins of the united states in sustaining slavery in the land devoted to freedom. now, the last thing i want to show you is the only photograph that we know of of one of the runaways from the war of 1812. this is gchl abriel hall. he was probably born in 1801. he was 13 years old when he escaped, so about the same age that willis had been. and this is a photograph taken much later in life, in 1891,
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when he was 90 years old. and he was a prospering farmer in nova scotia, which is where approximately 2800 of the refugees from the war of 1812 end up after the war as free people. so i wish there were more images that had survived and maybe those additional images will pop up by right now this is our only chance to look at the face of someone who from the african-american community experienced the events that i've discussed today. thank you very much. [ applause ] so i'm happy to take any questions you may have. yes, please.
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>>. [ inaudible. >> okay. so i'll repeat the question. where do the british take the refugees at the end of the war? during the war, they are being taken to tangerie island, to bermuda, a major british naval base and central operations in the chesapeake. other main british naval base in north america is at halifax, nova scotia. so probably about 1200 during the war years are moved on to nova scotia and then another 1600 are moved on to nova scotia from bermuda or from the sea islands of georgia where the british also operated at the very end of the war. we're getting about 2800 who go to nova scotia. we've got another approximately 360 who go to new brunswick, another of the maritime
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provinces and probably about a thousand, including most of the colonial marines who go to trinidad. and in trinidad they have their most successful experience. and they manage to maintain distinct communities in a distinct identity. professor allgor talked about identity formation in her presentation. this particular community in trinidad has retained their cohesion and call themselves to this day the mericans to distinguish themselves from the many other people of color in trinidad. they turn the c into a k and they are the merikans and a fair number of them have subkwently come immigrants either in england or in the united states. but they are still very proud about being merikans.
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yes? >> inaudible the british was integrated. so why didn't the royal navy apply the lessons in louisiana that it arguably should have learned from the chesapeake? >> well, the british do. the british forces in the chesapeake include two regiments of -- from the west indies. the british do so in india and also in the west indies. so two-thirds were actually black people when the war of 1812 begins. the united states is extremely reluctant to employ even free blacks in its military. it does so in the navy and the privateers so free black
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americans make a major contribution to the u.s. war effort in the navy and the privateers but are not allowed in the u.s. army until the very end of the war when policy suddenly changes because the united states is basically on the ropes militarily and is desperate for man. the only place where a significant number of black men are employed in the united states army is at new orleans by andrew jackson. there are two battalions of free blacks were employed and probably another battalion of enslaved people promised their freedom but andrew jackson. this employment outraged the local whites of louisiana. so andrew jackson is going out on a limb and he's a slave holder himself in sen tea btenn this shows you how desperate he was to fend off this attack
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which included black soldiers. unfortunate or fortunate, jackson wins big time and then renigs on his promise to the black soldiers. he promised them freedom and then said sorry, you're not going to be freed because i don't really have that power. yes? >> thank you for a superb presentation. >> thank you. >> from warrenton, virginia. i question the effectiveness of a 1,000 broadside circulation to a population that cannot read by reality, the effectiveness of their inability to read and i also question the notion that white virginians, marylanders, would discuss the circulation of this broadside to their enslaved people. can you address that? >> yes, i can. one is, there is much greater literacy among the slaves in this period of time than i think
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we've recognized. this is probably the peak period for literacy among enslaved people. a couple of reasons. one is, it's not illegal yet to teach slaves to read and write in virginia. that will become illegal in 1832. until then, there's an actual fair amount of teaching slaves to read and write, particularly art ti sans and house slaves. the other thing is, this is also a period in which the vast majority of enslaved people in chesapeake have become christians and they are usually methodist or baptist and they are class leaders or their preachers would like many of them to be able to read the bible. so there's much more literacy than we have bargained on and you don't need everybody to be able to read it. if there's one person in a group of 50 who can read, he can read
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it to everybody else. the other thing is that people in america are lousy at keeping secrets. they are the world's worst people at keeping secrets and this comes back to bite them all the time. you get officers in the front line writing letters about how terrible their troops are and they are not prepared and they are sick and they get published in the newspapers and people talk about stuff. they can't stop themselves from talking. so we live in a society now where we've been conditioned for the last three generations to try to keep secrets militarily and our government has become better and better at trying to keep these secrets. so it can be hard why people are blabbing away about everything. and we can get this notion that black people and white people live in separate worlds. at that time they didn't.
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and you'll get these virginians were who frankly say, we have an internal enemy and they are waiting on our tables, they are working in the fields next to us and they are hanging on everything we say and anything we say is being reported to the enemy. >> thank you very much. >> you're welcome. thank you for the questions. yes, ralph? >> why didn't the british -- why didn't that keep going? >> okay. well, this goes to the points that andrew makes. the british don't want to be in this war. you know, sometimes these naval officers work up these real good fantasies about how great it would be to break up the united states and really stick it to the americans. but that's never the official policy of their government at home. their policy at home is, let's get out of this war as soon as we can so they want to inflict pain on the united states but not really at the official
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government level of breaking up the united states. but of just getting them to give in and make a peace treaty as quickly as possible. so if we compare -- you know, at the peak, the colonial marines is a unit in the chesapeake of 360 men. you're not going to topple slavery with 360 men. in the union force that would end up toppling slavery had 360,000 black troops. it's a whole other scale of things. and that's because the union's goal was not to try to negotiate a solution. it was to crush the south. and they realized the only way that they could crush the confederacy was to enlist thousands of african-americans to help them do it. and the british never get to that point because the war goals are so much more limbited for te british and what do they want? they want the united states to go back to being their number
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one trading partner in the world. they want to be able to resume business and that's not going to be so good if you've totally destroyed the slave system in the united states. so the goal of the policy is to inflict pain on the united states, get them to give in and then go back to a more peaceful and trading relationship that is profitable to british manufacturers again. yes? >> i'm doing research on the slaves on board the potomac squadron that came up the potomac river after the burn in washington. and the ship logs show -- the british ship logs show that they picked up slaves on several occasions and even trained some of the slaves on board the decks in small arms in preparation for fighting the americans. and i've looked at the depositions that you've looked at so well described in your book. in these samez]= depositions be land owners that are filed after the war and give these wonderful stories of how the slaves got to the british, they seem to be --
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you can tell they are -- the land owners, the neighbors are making a big point on whether or not they went on their own accord or were forcibly taken. so i would like for you to speak about that. >> so, slave messengers do not like to see this as a referendum on conduct as masters because they like to believe that they've actually treated their enslaved people, in their view, well. and so they believe they have come in and forced people away or -- but sometimes you find out what this force means and it means they have come in and told them they will have a et abouter life if they go away from them and from the perspective of masters, this is just lies. they are not going to have a better life with the british.
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so the overwhelming majority of people in virginia and maryland do not believe that the british are at all sincere of what they are doing and that the slaves are going to end up ruining the day they ran away from their masters. now, there's abundant evidence that this is not true. and there are a handful of slaves who do choose to go back to their masters at the end of the war. you can number them on the fingers of a hand. whereas you've got over 3,000 that prefer to stay with the british. and it's also untrue, it just lives on and the british sold at least some of them into renewed slavery in january of 1812 and there is zero evidence that this happened. yes? >> does a slave revolt have any
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effect on the operation? >> technically on the ability to muster militia. the united states has a major manpower problem of its own. which is, it doesn't have enough men to invade canada properly and they are sending almost all of their regular troops to invade canada which leaves the defense of the coast overwhelmingly to state militias who are not trained and equipped or motivated for this job in any prolonged way but they are out there month after month obliged to serve in harsh conditions with inadequate equipment and food and a lot of them are being pulled in from the piedmont to the tidewater and they don't like it and one of the things that they keep coming up with why they shouldn't have to go down to norfolk and die of malaria, which is the number one
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killer of american troops in the chesapeake is malaria at norfolk which is a graveyard for these militia. the reason they come up with is, the slaves are probably going to rise up and revolt if the militias pull out of the coast. the irony is, by all measures of violence, such as arson, poisoning, murdering of masters, even running away in the piedmont goes way down during the war. but there is so many militia men marching back and forth on these roads that actually the slaveholders in the piedmont are in more secure control than they were. the reverse is true in tidewater where enslaved people can see the british warships, they can hear the british warships because coburn very thoughtfully has their band playing as they go up and down, coburn liked to call attention to himself and he also liked to call attention
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because he knew that if -- that if enslaved people would come the night after they heard this warship moving up and down, let's say, the rap poe hand knock. >> were the slaves who escaped house servants and artisans or were they -- >> there is a broad occupation that slaves have in the chesapeake and every occupation they have, including field hand, is very well represented. what i did find was that the number who are artisans or house slaves, they are disproportionately represented among the runaways. what that means is, i am not saying they were a majority. because a majority are probably field hands as was a majority of the enslaved population. but the proportion of those who run away who are artisans is
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larger than the enslaved population and we find the same pattern in the civil war, that the people who are -- who feel most agrieved by slavery are those who have a little more education, a little higher skill and are much clearer that they -- their ambitions are being stifled. and the british are presenting an opportunity for freedom, what freedom means to a lot of former slaves is the opportunity to finally get the worth of their skill and to be able to hold their families together. and this is appealing across the board but the people who kind of work up the courage to make the attempt are disproportionate artisans and they should be most loyal to us and they are not and
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you get the same kind of rhetoric from slaveholders when they are shocked that their slaves would betray them. okay. thank you >> this weekend on c-span, tonight at 8:00, the funeral for ben bradlee. "lincoln and the power of the press." tv, theat 10:00 on book confederacy's president, jefferson davis. , sunday, former editor in chief at simon & schuster publisher is. on american history tv on c-span3, propaganda and
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america's view of the japanese during world war ii. , a 1936 belmont tuberculosis in america. a 1936 film on it tuberculosis in america. us -- call us, e-mail us or send us a tweet. join the c-span conversation. like us on facebook, follow us on twitter. >> the c-span cities toward america's history on the road, traveling to colorado springs, colorado. he was sent into the american southwest to explore the region. very similar to lewis and were sent to the northwest part of the newly acquired territory.
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pike was sent to this southwest territory. from his perspective, he walked off the map. he went 20 area that was unknown -- he went to an area that was unknown. he thinks he will reach the peak in a few days. it takes him weeks to approach. mountaind a lower called mount rosa. at that point, he wrote in his journals that given the condition and equipment they had havee time, no one could climbed peak. it inspired the poem that became "america the beautiful." she came to colorado springs to teach a course in 1893. the view down to the planes from the top of the mountain inspired
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imagesand inspired the that are captured in that poetry. >> watch all of our events from colorado springs that the day on c-span2's book tv. >> 200 years ago the summer during the war of 1812, british soldiers invaded washington, d.c. on august 24. president james madison and dolly madison fled the city. discovering the war he spoke at a symposium hosted by the u.s. historical society. this is about an hour. >> our final speaker this


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