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tv   Museum of the American Revolution  CSPAN  July 6, 2017 10:01pm-12:04am EDT

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general of the continental army, forming training tactics and maneuvers. the troops are encamped at valley forge when the news comes that france has finally signed a treaty of alliance with the united states. and this really is the end of that question of how the revolution survived its darkest hour. because having declare independence in 1776 and then really gone it alone through 1777 into 1778, finally there's the prospect of foreign assistance, foreign aid. and there's a real rise in american confidence that they're going to be able to achieve their independence. and they go into that year with a lot more confidence than they had up until this point.
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philadelphia's newest museum is in the heart of the city just two blocks from independence t hall. and it tells the story of the country's road to independence.e the museum of the american revolution opened in april. tonight we take you inside.. it was a decade before that shot heard around the world in concord and lexington that america's battle for freedom really and joining us inside the museue is its president and ceo michael quinn. thanks for being with us and for allowing c-span inside the museum. >> it's a pleasure to be with you and we're honored to have o c-span in the museum. you with are welcome anytime as is anybody watching. >> we were there for opening night of the museum. w but my opening question is how this project came about and why. >> well it came about out of a
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decision that we need to preserve and tell the story of america's founding.s tu and not just as a series of events, but as people who actually achieved it, who fought off these soaring ideals of equality and how that inspired a nation, people in our nation to achieve it. it is the most important event in our nation's history. it not only gave birth to our nation but it really gave us the values that make us a people. everything that we cherish and hold dear. >> so it's more than just e artifacts? >> it's more more than artifacts. our museum is founded on artifacts. in fact when you come to the en museum you will see one of the more comprehensive collection of artifacts of the revolution tha has probably ever been assembled. but we really do dwell on the story of the individual people.l how did these people who are de citizens of the british empire
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decide to rebel against their at king. what prompted them. what were they trying to achieve. and then ultimately what did they achieve and what is it t today. i in many ways our message is that this period in history was accomplished by real people just like every period in history is. and we wanted to use these objects as witnesses to those ne people, witnesses of the events that brought about the birth ofr our nation. hr >> as visitors walk through thee museum on the first and second level. who are some of the unsung heros? who are some of the individuals that they'll learn n about beyond george washington, thomas jefferson and benjamin franklin that are featured inside the museum? >> we bring a lot of people to life in this museum. you will meet joseph martin, a teenager who joined washington's army and served throughout the revolution. you'll meet an african-american at 14 who volunteered on board a
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private ship. you'll stand under the liberty tree and imagine yourself with r the sons of liberty who were the first people to start forming ideas about american independence and american liberty. you will meet women, native he americans who bring to light the stories of many people. we use a lot of different store ryes in that process as well. >> what are folks telling you as they depart the museum after spending a couple of hours inside. >> i'm happy to say we're euge getting praise and acclaim for the story telling, the exhibits, the artifacts, the films. people are telling us that evene though they've never been interested in history before, they're finding the subject matter fascinating, that we found a way to tell it that connects with them. and we're hearing this not just from adults from young children. we've had 16,000 school children visit as well. a positive response.
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they can see themselves, see the drama in the exhibits and the action and they want to know more. and ultimately that is our goaln we want people to learn more about the revolution. >> this may be obvious because you're just a few blocks from independence hall. why is it located in philadelphia as opposed to a boston or new york or washington, d.c.? >> well you kind of gave the e. answer there, steve. because it is so close to ph independence hall. philadelphia really was the heae quarters of the revolution. this is where the delegates camd when they first decided to st gather in protest to what they viewed as british oppression. this became the de facto capital of the british nation.d the british forces seized it at one point thinking it was a knockout blow. when they determined they couldn't hold it, they became a pivot point in the revolution. philadelphia because a point of everything going on in the revolution.t
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when people think about the revolution, a destination to go to learn about it, one of the first places they think of is independence hall and all of thd great landmarks and attractions centered around it's not just independence hall, of course. b there are battlefields and encampments nearby. valley forge, the german town battle, the battle of brandywine. there is so much here to allow them to really explore the he excitement and the drama of this founding. >> later in the program we're learn how you're able to collecs many of the artifacts inside the museum. in just a moment, one of the center pieces of the museum. where are you physically la located? in what part of the museum? >> i'm in one of our galleries that explores the terrible winter when philadelphia is occupied by british forces and washington and his army are
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suffering out at valley forge. it was one of the low points of the war. but as winter waned and spring arrived, it really became a y resurgence of the american cause. y >> michael will be with us for the next half-hour.. we'll get to your calls and comments in just a moment. but last month we traveled to philadelphia and as we mentioned the internet piece includes an original tent used by general george washington. >> behind these doors, and it really is one of most remarkable objects to survive from the revolution. as far as we can determine, it is the only tent other than one other of washington's tents to n survive. it survived because washington chose to take it home with him at the end of the and his family took care of it and reserved it.hi
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the full story of the tent is presented in this theater. but the tent itself is a wonderful emblem of the challenge of creating the he exhibits in our museum. if you were to see this tent spread out on a table, you n' probably wouldn't give it a second glance. it's very old canvas, weather re stained. it's tattered in places. it's over 240 years old after all. but we had to make its story ase being the shelter in which w george washington made some of the most critical decisions of the revolution, where he was plunge into the depths of ai despair, exalted in victory andc success to make the tent tell that story. the first challenge we decided c is we had to show the tent fulll assembled as washington used ite in the field. it was truly his command headquarters. but we couldn't put it up the way he did because it was put up with tall poles and fabric and ropes pulled taut.
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that would tear the fabric a apart. we challenged the engineers to develop an umbrella structure so the tent appears to be open. it had to replicate the slight t sag in the top. once we solved all of those problems, the next challenge is how do you tell the story.he we turned to fill makers, historians, our lead vice president for collections, scott stephenson, and they huddled together and spent almost two t years pulling together the story life, the imagery, thinking ag about the music, the generation, the presentation, the light quality to really give this tent meaning. our goal is to give meaning to george washington's leadership. he was commander in chief for eight years. never left his troops.
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and he inspired a sense of loyalty, he installed a sense of responsibility in the army that has really become the bedrock of the traditions of the american n military efforts. without him the army would likely have dissolved and the war would have been lost.ha in many ways it's an emblem for the entire museum. how do you take these objects, very simple to our eyes, they t don't have battleships in the revolution, they had guns and canteens and powder horns. how do you make these objects m come alive and tell the incredible life and death h decisions, the horrors, the courage, the excitement of the revolution? it's a turning point in history. and that's what we strive to dot throughout this museum. and it's a very exciting place. these objects, they really do speak when you
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>> and this of course is the exterior of the museum of the american revolution in downtownn philadelphia. michael quinn, who is the president and the ceo. our phone lines are open.89 202 area code, 748-8900 in the eastern or central time zone. 8901 in the mountain or pacific time zone. whether it's george washington's tent or other artifacts, when did the collection process begip on this week that we celebrate a our declaration of independence 240 years ago. where was it stored up until the museum and how did you go about finding some of the unique artifacts? >> the tent is a good place to start. it is not only the most t treasured object in our collection. it's also our origin object. because descendants of the washington family put it up for sale. it took him two years to raise
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the $5,000 to purchase it. t but once he did, that launched the idea of building a collection, preserving a memory and ultimately creating a museum to tell the story of the vo revolution. we trace or history back to that moment. v he ultimately founded the valley forge historical society and they spent the 20th century collecting. these objects were during much of that time exhibited out at valley forge. but then we were formed to actually realize that larger vision of a museum to tell the l story of the revolution. we did ultimately conclude that the right place for that was ini the heart of historic lo philadelphia. as you pointed out, we're just two blocks from independence pl hall and that enables us to serve the millions of people who come to philadelphia to see theo place where the declaration of independence was written,
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independence all and the other r great landmarks here. we directly serve those people and our goal is to give them a e broader understanding of the significance of that document and how it came about and its meaning at the time and its in meaning today. >> the price tag of the museum,d how much did it cost, how much did you have to raise?e? >> well, there are a lot of numbers in here. the construction of this building was $60 million. our full budget to open the museum was 120. but that covered not just the building, it covered all of the design work to create it, demolition of another building on site, creating the exhibits and all of our staff to get thet museum to opening day. >> let's go to the phone calls. linda from dover, delaware. good evening. >> caller: i have a question. i watched the ribbon cutting
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ceremonies the other night and they introduced a japanese family as great contributor to r the museum. and i wondered why we went to japan to get these people to donate to the museum? >> well, you're referring to alan and her heritage is nd japanese and chinese. she's a naturalized american she is so grateful for the freedoms that she's realized as a citizen for america that she wanted to make a donation. and the donation took the form d of these beautiful bronze skull sculptural on the front of the museum. one is washington crossing the delaware and the other is titled the declaration of independence. and it shows the drafting committee of the declaration presenting it to the continentan congress in june 28, 1776.
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these were such magnificent gifts inspired by such a gratitude that america represents that we felt it was only fitting to accept them and display them on the outside of t the museum so they could excite and inform every person that n passes by this building. >> linda, we're going to showcase exactly what they look like in a few minutes as michaef quinn takes us outside. we were up at the museum in june to present some of this, but first daniel is joining us on rs the phone. good evening. odal >> caller: good evening sir. i have a fast question real e quick in three parts and i'll be quick. my first part of it, at valley forge, the play cato, i knew washington was a fan of that play and that his officers presented that to the troops. was that much of a thing about that?
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i mean did that really go all right or fall apart or whatever? and also, the sons of liberty, did they have an identification badge in i'm saying that from my childhood, you know, the tremaine movie, they always had a badge around their neck to show they were numbered. if that was true or just e hollywood. and the last part of my question, was there any -- i know the continental army was de made up of various people, blacks, indians. were there any jews on record that were in the continental army as enlisted men? i know there were some that were finance years. s that's all i wanted to ask. >> thank you for your call. . >> first, if cato play was performed at valley forge. the significance of that is that it really harkened to the i
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ancient rome era when rome was a republic. that was the model of the inspiration for leadership at the time, that public servant who gives of himself without demanding anything in return to try and better their country. of course that's what washington symbolized and the army did as well. because although they were being paid, at least they had been f promised to be paid, for many of them that wasn't what was telling them to serve. it was the higher calls of the nation. as to your other two questions, i'm afraid i can't give you an e answer with 100% certainty. i'll ask you to defer them to our next guest, our vice president, dr. scott stephensons >> he'll be joining us -- >> he'll be joining us shortly and he's a great historian of the revolution. >> let me ask you how did you get involved in this project and when. s
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>> i became involved in this project five years ago and whent i learned about it i thought instant think this is the most exciting project in the entire f field of public history. to be able to create a nationaln museum on the american d revolution. and yes, the revolution is preserved in many places in ourp country. but it's little pieces of it, au battlefield here, an encampmentl a tavern, a home. this would be a place that would really pull all of that together. and present to the american people the most exciting dramatic chapter in our nation'd history. after all, if you regard our nation, our form of government,m our values of equality and freedom as important, we should certainly preserve the memory oe its founding. they also informed how we think about our nation going forward. one of the messages in our ut museum is that the legacy of the american revolution means that all of us, in a true fashion,
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are revolutionaries.av because we have to uphold those values and carry them forward an our nation continues. and we must do that for the na nation to thrive. >> we'll go to ron joining us sa from somerville, massachusetts with mike. quinn, the president and ceo of the museum of the american revolution. good evening, ron. >> caller: hello. i was wondering, did you have any exhibits on france' contribution to the american revolution? >> we do absolutely. france's contributions are enormous. you know that.buan but even so in many ways, they're underappreciated. you learn about their role. frankly brought them into alliance with us.ce you learn about their role in particular yorktown. but it was without question the financial support and the e military support from the frencs that helped sustain the american
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nation and led ultimately to success.s. one of the things we're very ti proud of is that we have a portrait of a british marine officer who had themselves portrayed after the revolution wearing his north american uniform. you see this officer looking ld just as he would have appeared in the battlefields around yorktown. ic >> michael quinn our first calling asking about the bronze sculptures that are outside the. museum. let's take a look at that. we'll be back in three minutes. >> we have wonderful features of the museum that help extend our story and use the outside of tht building to inform people about the revolution. these are things you'll recognize. the first one is a giant sculptural relief, that replicates the painting of the declaration of independence. you're looking at the drafting committee that wrote the
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declaration led by benjamin ad franklin, john adams and of course thomas jefferson presenting their draft to the entire assembled congress in early july 1776. that launched three or four days of debate before the language e was finalized and voted on on the 4th of july. o but this sculptural panel really shows you the people who helped create the defining document of the american people. it's the power of the pen because it really is the ideals and the concepts of the revolution that have made it the most important event in our nation's history and one of thet most important events in world history, at least in modern world history. the second panel we have, same scale, also cast in bronze, tells the other story of the american revolution and that is the power of the sword.
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this is a replica of a painting, washington crossing the delaware.we we all recognize it. and what this represents is the improbable fete of overcoming he impossible odds against the o british military in the tt battlefield. really due to george gt washington's leadership that we were able to accomplish that. p so this pointing really dramatizes washington's leadership. historians will tell you there are a number of details about this depiction that are inaccurate but it absolutely is truthful in capturing ng washington's leadership in the sense of purpose and mission of the revolution itself. both of these sculptural pieces are donation to the museum and they were donated to us by a d naturalized american, a woman born and raised in china but now an american citizen.n. and she wanted to give these to
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the museum, to philadelphia, tom the american public in gratitude of the freedom and life she's s been able to live as an american citizen.ti that's really the legacy of oura revolution, is that we encompass everyone who comes to this nation, no matter when their ancestors came and that they ars part of our nation. if they uphold the values of our founding, then they too are americans. it's wonderful to be able to present not only the history ofl these two sculptural panels but also their meaning in terms of the significance in the life of the donor today. >> and michael quinn as we look at your impressive museum both outside and inside, it had to be prime real estate. so what was located there before the museum now? >> well, steve, this really is prime real estate. p
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we actually are within the boundary of independence national historic park. it was a break through moment t for our organization when the park service, the federal co government agreed to give up ownership of this piece of the park just for this museum.he there wasn't a building on this site. it was visitor's center constructed for the bicentennial of the declaration, 1976 and it served as a visitor's center up until 15 years ago when it was so at the time the park service gave up ownership, it was an unused building and we determined it was just unfeasible to reuse it for the museum. so we tore that building down and over a period of 30 months constructed the current new landmark museum on this location. >> which open in april and we considered the dedication ce ceremony. it's on our website as well as all of or coverage on we'll go to jackson joining us
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from good evening to you, sir. >> caller: say hi. >> hi. nd >> hello. t >> hi, my name is jackson and i was wondering if george washington was the only person that slept in his tent or did hl sleep with other officers. >> jackson, how old are you by the way? >> 8. >> nicely done. thanks for phoning in. p michael quinn, you know the answer? >> jackson, you have asked a terrific question. there was one other person that slept in the tent with i washington. it was not another officer. it actually was a person who was his personal assistant.d he would have used the term m valet. his name was william lee. and actually he was an enslaved african-american from mount and he accompanied george e washington when he took command and he remained at washington's side throughout the entire ni
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revolution. it's one of the incredible truths of history, the ironies of history that when we look ato this tent we are really seeing the wartime home not only of ouo commander in chief but of william lee.e. that's the story that we do tell to our visitors.s we want them to understand that fact and the complexities of the era. >> caller: was there a second tent? >> there was a second tent. the tent that we present served as his headquarters, which means it was the office where he worked.eree he did have private meetings there and his sleeping quarters as i just there was another tent, larger tent that would have been used for dining. this is where his entire he military family, the adjuncts, the aides that would have workeg with him, other general would have gathered for meals or l probably lunch or meetings as will. >> naomi thank you for waiting f from austin, massachusetts. you're next.
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>> caller: hello. how are women from the el revolution related to the museum? >> and how old are you, naomi? >> caller: 9. >> i love these young callers. >> i didn't quite catch your question. >> you want to re-ask your question?ur >> caller: how are women from en the revolution represented at the museum? >> thank you.. >> well women -- thank you for repeating it.wo women are an important part of the revolution.ol the revolution happened here in our country which meant people are living throw it's around them. they're unavoidable swept up into it. one of the things you learn is when the sons of liberty in boston decided to boycott he british goods, the people that affected were the women at home because they had to give up the manufactured goods that were an important part of their lives. p but you also learn about the
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role of women throughout.ho probably one of the more significant is the role women played in supporting washington's army.on it literally depended on women. they were the cooks and seamstresses that supported the army and then the medical corps after battles. there was literally a women's auxiliary that accompanied the army throughout the revolution.i you'll also learn about women at home and women from all walks of life. that's a great question. on >> delores, good evening from spring, texas. you get the next question. al >> caller: yes. i would like to know how the city of philadelphia became thef city of brotherly love. >> the name, the city of brotherly love really arises en because philadelphia was founded by wiliam penn who was a quaker. and he instituted a policy of
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religious toleration in ak philadelphia that was consistent with beliefs of quakers. and that led to it being regard ed as a city of tolerance and love for all man kind.d. we say it's the city of brotherly love and sisterly y affection. and you still feel that quaker sentiment and you certainly at times feel like you could bump into william penn or ben january minute franklin as you explore i the streets of philadelphia. il >> having lived this over the last couple of years, if you st could have asked george washington a question, is theret one you would pose to him? >> i would want to know why he didn't give up. there were so many low points and there were times that, fromm his private correspondence we know he was near despair. and yet he kept that to himself. and he was just unyielding in his determination. an incredible power of will to sustain that and for eight years of leadership of the army.
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so i would love to know where that strength came from, where that determination, where that certainty that ultimately that he would succeed and the country would be created. >> kathleen, rockville, maryland. good evening. >>alak >> caller: hi. thank you for taking my call. w i was wondering if groups such as the sons of the american revolution or the daughters of the american revolution made ann financial contributions to the museum or maybe they contributed artifacts? >> the answer is question on both counts. d the daughters of the american revolution made a contribution u that helped us put on a display a magnificent replica painting of yorktown, in the atrium of the museum. the sons of the american revolution are strong supportert and we are able to borrow items from both organizations.
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>> joining us next from gardenville, new jersey. go ahead. . >> caller: no. gardenville, california. >> go ahead. >> caller: thank you. i'm originally from new jersey and my question is, does the museum include any artifacts orc documentation or even acknowledgment of black patrioth who fought in the american revolution, such as sons of liberty who thought that concord not only including james james, a spy at yorktown. >> you do learn about that issue go through. f and i'm going to ask for the details on that, you will es discover james horton, a young black, young african-american who volunteered on board the florida privateer. i'll be glad to have dr.
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stephenson return to that question. >> we have time for one more call with michael again, president and ceo of the museum. mark, go ahead, please. h >> caller: i've been to the valley forge museum numerous times. my question is how difficult was it to get the artifacts you have there. i notice behind you have soldiers in uniform. i wanted to know if you have any that were in authentic uniforms. how difficult was it to get the, donations that you got? >> thank you, mark. >> thank you. the soldiers you see behind me are not in period clothing. they're in replica clothing. and what they're recreating is that time 18 months after the declaration of independence whew philadelphia is captured by
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forces and independence hall ise reduced to a prison for capturei american soldiers. what it illustrates is how no easily this war could have been lost. and another one of those low moments in the revolution itself. we have 500 objects on display in the close to half of them are from our own collection. the others are on loan to us. and what we are really found is that many institutions, many y private collectors are eager to loan to us because this is -- this essentially the only way for these objects to be shared with the general public and they with treasures. we're very proud to bring these objects to the american people and to help them understand their meaning. see real artifacts that were held in the hands of people who carried out the revolution. f >> what's the price of admission to enter the museum and what do
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you think visitors will better understand when they depart? >> the price of admission is $19.nlbu that is a two-day ticket. so every ticket you buy is good not only for the day of purchase but the follow day. and i think what people will learn in their visit is that thi revolution was carried out by . real people. and that it's people like you and me. and we all have the ability to change the course of history.ei and that we are today as americans the heirs to that revolution.nt created the country that we live under. and it also requires our continued participation in the nation to uphold and sustain a revolution. f >> michael quinn, the president and ceo of the museum of the american revolution joining us from downtown philadelphia.. we thank you for your time this evening. >> thank you so much. pleasure to have you here. >> and more from inside the museum as we continue our look. it opened in april and tonight
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an inside view of the exhibits on display in philadelphia. >> i'm scott stephenson, the vice president of collections, exhibitions and programming at the museum of american revolution. we're standing on the second floor of the museum. this is where our core exhibition space wraps around this court that i'm standing in. we enter here on my left and you wrap around through 16 galleries and theaters, you know, pass ayhind the big painting that you see on the south end of the court and the way around and you exit just opposite of where we're standing here. you enter a subject of king george, iii. when you leave you're a citizen of the american republican. so we tell a story. the core narrative is about 1760 to 1790 but then we carry you through to the present day for . the legacies of the american revolution.te
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but first we have to step back and actually start with a a recreation of the moment on july 9th, 1776 when a group of soldiers and sailors in new york city first heard the words of d the declaration of independencer and gathered down at the bowline green, which is now near the b raging bull on wall street, the landmark familiar to many r viewers, and tore down an equestrian statue of king george, ii, marking the beginning of the war of independence, the beginning of the american revolution.ll and so this is really our first gallery displaying object from the period. we call this gallery rule britannica. after you've been in that moment
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of 1776, we take you back 15 years really to the end of what was known as the seven years' w war, the obsession of the view of king george, iii, british monarch. w this is the period in which britain wins this incredible victory, what winston churchill calls the first world we know it's the french-indian war. this vastly expanded the territories from india, africa, the west indies and particularly north america, the territories that britain laid claim over. behind us we have a collection of objects owned and used by colonial americans that speak to the presence of the king's everyday life. one of the great objects here, i this is a cast iron fire back made at oxford furnace in new jersey.
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this was placed in the back of a fireplace raging heat out into the room. as you can see it includes the arms of the -- the royal arms oo the king of england. t we also have objects that gh introduce you to british heroes. so the upper right, a tavern sign, and this is on loan to us from the connecticut historical society, a wonderful historical society with amazing collections that generally placed this on loan to the museum. you see general wolfe. this was a british general who died after being mortally ed wounded at the battle of question back in 1779, helped to capture french canada for the british empire. and he was celebrated by americans. it was held by israel putnam, famous as a general in the
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american revolutionary war, part of the battle of bunker hill. the second part of the gallery c we titled the price of victory. more empire, more problems. so after the british victory ana the seven years' war with this vastly expanded empire, particularly in north america, britain faced this challenge. of course everyone is excited about having this larger empire but there are now tens of thousands of new subjects. and so the objects in here and the media piece really pull that story apart. so for native people, for , instance, in 1763, they're the o first group of people to sort of rise up and push back against an increase british control of their lives in a rebellion sometimes known as pontiacs rebellion. and they pushed the crown to guarantee their sovereignty oves
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their lands in the west. you know, the british conclude that the best way to kind of get their arms around this new empire is to build forts and stations, more than 10,000 british troops in north america. not to oppress the colonists but to keep the populations separated from each other. that's a very expensive operation. in parliament, of course, no one is thinking well, we should just continue to tax british taxpayer h pay for this american colonists have enjoyed the victory question should ask them to contribute. the idea comes up and eventuallr passes through parliament of what becomes known as the stampl act. this is actually a depiction on the wall here of the design of that stamp. this is not a stamp that you put on a letter, of course.
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this is a very old method of taxation, very familiar to british people because it was essentially a stamp that was placed on paper. and you can see an original example here. this is a london newspaper and in the lower right-hand corner you see the design that's been stamped on that paper. and that was a design -- that meant that a tax had been paid on that paper and then the newspaper would be printed on it. this would also apply to parchment that you would use for legal documents. t it was on playing cards. and so this was the design for the stamps that would have been used in america to help pay for those british troops that were supposed to police the empire.ib >> and this is what that exhibit looks like live inside philadelphia in the museum of the american revolution. and we're joined live with dr. stephenson. you have a fun job. you show your excitement. >> i have to pitch myself every
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morning to remind me that i am a the luckiest man in the world. >> let me ask you about something that david mccullough i now he was at the ceremony in april when you opened the e museum. he said roughly a third of the colonists were in favor of the american revolution, a third hi were content to say a part of the british empire and another third were waiting to see what happened.e is that a fair assessment? >> it's tough to go up against a fellow like david mccullough. that is a quote from john adams that is often taken out of o context. the original letter is actuallyo referring to the opinions of t americans towards the french revolution. you know, a little bit post war. but it actually is -- i think speak to a larger truth that we try to present in the museum of the american revolution here, is that this wasn't just a i
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unanimous decision of all of the people in british colony to h rebel and all have the same idea about the revolutionary project that they were embarking on. a you know, this has been a -- this has been a subject of a lok on loyalism, and one of the difficulties is defining what we mean by a loyalist. i think most historians would agree that a majority of the populationon probably was kind sitting there a little neutral, uncertain which way things would go. of course, most people whenost think aboutlo people's loyalty, you know,, it is to family, it s to community, you know, almost like the rings of an onion. aitit lot of times determining h side people in a particular time and place supported really stems from local circumstances. it is not always the story we want too hear. we want to believe, of course, everybody was alwayser motivate by noble m ideas and, of course there were lotser of people who
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were, and there were in many areas of british north america fledgling united states, you en know, very fervent commitment to the revolutionary cause. i think it is fair to say there was a small subset of very fervent loyalists, those who took up w arms and took an acti part in w trying to preserve wh they saw as the free empire sincece ancient rome, and of course this was the british empire and those who supported the revolutionary cause, and that population which really had to be won over. it is that kind of contingent nature of the american revolution that wen really try o plumb the depths of in the museum. >> we want to bring in our viewers and listeners on c-span, let's go to vincent joining us in connecticut. goodgo evening, welcome to the program. >> good evening. thanks for taking my call. my wife is a dar and obviously
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we both are into american history. we just w visited the american revolution museum in yorktown, virginia a month ago. we haven't been to your museum yet and wet. will. we wonderr what kind of relationship y you will have between your museum and the one in yorktown, if you will be collaborating or sharing la artifacts, you know, what kind of relationship you will have with one another. thanks. >> thank you, vincent. >> thanks, vincent. great question. yeah, i personally having lived virginia for many years, i actually have ain lot of good friend who work at the american revolution museum in yorktown, army for its acronym. both of our projects have been really enmeshed in designing ad constructing and building and ironically, very close to one another. you know, we've had a very good collaborative relationship, particularly in c marketing and promotion. we sort of look at this as a
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jeweler's row kind offt analogy. you know, you can't have too many diamond stores on jeweler's particularly in a time in which, you know, the divided nature ofhe politics today. there's the public need to really connect to this founding history, founding ideas. this ishe the glue that holds u together as a people. it is not that we all have the same religion,e we're all from the same aplace, we're all the same race, the same country of n origin. it is really the history and the ideas t that come out that have always been the rock that allows us toet get through some of our challenging days as a people and, you know, some of our great aspirations aste well. so we feel like we're all preaching from the same book so to speak, and where it is the great preserve historic sites like mount vernon, like the freedom trail in boston or, of course, ournt neighbor here in e
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philadelphia, the silk district and independence hall, and also museums like the american revolution museum in yorktown and the museum of the american revolution in philadelphia, you know, we are t hoping to just hk more and more people on becoming lifelong a learners, loving history, engaging rising generations in real appreciation of the sacrifices and struggles and achievements and the ongoing need as americans to continue to be actively engaged as citizens. so we couldn't have warmer wishes for our companions in virginia. >> and we'll go to gary, dexter, michigan. you're next. >> caller: hi, scott. i wanted to ask you about the mannequins. i'm sure you were involved in the french and indian war exhibit that toured the country, and they had some excellent
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mannequins. could you talk a little bit about the mannequins at the museum? >> thank you, gary. scott stevenson. >> yes, gary, right over my shoulder i like to say at this time of night they come alive, and theyni all look like they'r from reald people. in fact, they are. yes, i was, in fact, very with that exhibit called "the clash of empires" which originated at the heinz history center in pittsburgh and toured in canada and the united states. it iset something i feel particularlyul passionate about with telling history of prephotographic era, that one of our greatest challenges, the place we have to start actually is getting visitors to even believe that theseer events toon place, that these people were real. youla know, the power of a mathu brady photograph cannot be underestimated, and we don't have that for this era. the heart work, there's some great,t, dramatic artwork, but
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can be difficult to access for modern audience. of course, it is very selective often in who it portrays. it certainly doesn't cover a lot of segments of society that we want to talk about in the museum. soso you then have a couple of choices you have to make in how you're going to bring people to life. of course, film can be very effective and we do use that in a number of places in the museum here, but film does require a certain length of time for you to suspend your disbelief and really be f pulled in and forge where you are. used sparingly, and of course it is extremely expensive.ew you can commission new illustration, which is something we use inom the museum as an interpretive technique. over the last years i have been interested in working in museums in seart, in a number of occasis poised ins technique in working with talented artisans who do life cast figures. they'reo not the wax sculptures
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that youes would mock when you to, you know, some of the old-time attractions from the 1950s andat say these are actuay life cast in the sense they pulled mold also off the faces and hands and bodies of real people. they use a kind of dental, that pink gooey stuff that is used when you go to the dentist to get an impression. you get the details, all of theo pores and imperfections in skin, and that's used and then can produce oilea paintings that ca be b realistic. we can bringng some of these people to life inn a way, and then it is more than just recreating the people themselves. one of the things that wee try o do inn our approach to using museum figures is to sort of think of them as a three dimensional illustration. i'm often mindful of the great classic illustrators, howard pile, ncy, the classic age of
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americanan illustration where t illustration had a narrative quality too it. and so these are not -- these figures youua see behind me and elsewhere in the museum, they're not there to display a certain model of canteen cork or they're not display figures. they are really conceived of as a three dimensional illustration. so we often try to capture a larger historical moment or introduce you to particular kinds of characters you wouldn'o otherwise be able to see. and then, finally, you know, we all are b voyeuristic as human beings. we love to stare att particulary interesting people, butut in so cultures that's rude. these don't mind if you stare. >> let me ask s you, the lengthf time it took to communicate not only between the colonies, certainly between london and philadelphia, so how did that affect the revolutionary war and how do you try to convey that in
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the exhibits today? >> great question. yeah, command and control then as now absolutely critical for conductingat military operation and, as you say, in the 18th century we had the fastest ships, you know, caused people to get from philadelphia to new york, to london for instance.. so what you tended to have, of course, is a set of often very detailed instructionst for a campaign and, frankly, not just inin the military sense but als conducting politics across the sea can be quite difficult as well. you can send a petition to the king and it might be six or eight months before you hear back on what the response was. so you have a lot of, of course, local control by commanders, you know, military and political figures that had to sort of adjust and make decisions. the classic example of this is actually not from the american
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revolution but from the french and indian war or the me seven-years war where a british to dition was dispatched attack spanish possession in the philippines, and theed spanish port of manilla was captured by a british expedition after the peace treaty had actually been signed because it took so long from the time they were dispatched thatea the whole pea makingn process and signing the treaty hadad taken place. so it was a little embarrassing, sorry, mea culpas afterwards. yes, absolutely a complicated feature, you know, that we tak for granted in our instantaneous world.cation so a couple of example also of that. very early on one of our early galleries, we have a marvelous punch bowl. it is an english punch bowl with the image of a ship on the bottom that says, success to the trithena. it was actually excavated on the site almost exactly below where i'm sitting right now, about
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40 feet below from a privy or outhouse of a tavern. it was kind of an 18th century speak easy, it was unlicensed. but we've got a remarkable treasure trove of things that were dug out of this feature. it is kind of a time capsule of thee revolutionary period. out ofnd the fill of the tavern waist waste is a wonderful bowl commemorating a ship that in the 1860s sailed. it had a remarkable connection in that trithena carried in december of 1765 a petition signed by 300 merchants here in philadelphia, a addressed not t parliament, not to the king, but
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to the manufacturers and tradesmen of england. so these p are the producers wh were, shipping goods to be sold to the colonists here through these merchants. so it was sort of calling up the supply chain, the manufacturers, asking them to intercede with parliament to overturn the stamp act. ofer course, that petition is dispatched from philadelphia on that ship in december of 1765. it did arrive january or february of 1766 and, you know, was passed on to parliament, but then of course word of the overturn of thewo stamp act tak months and months to come back here. o we do explore a little bit of the length of communication in a couple of the early galleries. >> we learned about the stamp act and in a few moments we will have you showcase the liberty tree. but first a question from john
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from massachusetts. >> yes, i'm a founding member of enjoyed my nd i visit there very much. i think it would be terrific if in the future you have an exhibit on the spies of the american revolution. >> thank you, john. >> john, thank you, first ofvo l for your support of the museums. our members are extremely important to us, particularly being a founding member, and i'm glad youan have been able to vit usin here in philadelphia, very much appreciated. yeah,, obviously with things lie the theory turn and a lot of great books that have come out, there's a lot of public interest, and one oflo the thin that a museum like ours can do is sort of dive down deep below the hollywood-ization of that story to look at some of the real storiese of espionage in tl american revolution. we do hope that that will be a
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subject of a special exhibition. of course, one of the difficulties is a million great ideasf out there. being a museum it is often very difficult to find objects., when people come to the museum hoping to see actual real, tangible objects, of course there are somefi documents that have survived in british and american archives, and we certainly -- it is a good thought that we might do an exhibit. we actually s do in our programming in the ndmuseum, weo talklk a little bit about this. in our family programming area on the ground floor of the museum we have i opportunities use codesmi and compose letters andse decode letters. actually,, the scene that's rigt behind me wherers i'm sitting, which is of course depicting independence hall during the british occupation of philadelphia whichic lasted fro september 25th, 1777 to the 18th ofof june, 1778, when this was when this revolution capitol was occupied by the british there's
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a tremendous amount of espionage and, you know, james bond-like activity going on right in the neighborhood that we're sitting in, some ofs which took place i smuggling messages in and out of independence hall. the second floorig of the hall, known as thehe pennsylvania sta house in the period, was turned into a prison for about 70 captured american officers, captured i at battles like brandywine, germantown and other actions in south eastern pennsylvania. there's a tremendous story that was -- there's a woman, polly frasier, her husband, percival frasier, of the pennsylvania line, was captured a few days afteryl the battle of brandywin in september of 1777. he wasew impressoned in tisoned floor of independence hall. she latere left a memoire of coming into philadelphia with her nine-year-old daughter. they had to kind of slip through the line cast by hessia
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hessians sentries. she managed to smuggle out of philadelphia, rode to see general washington inet his encampment and initiated a series of letters back and forth. her husband later escaped from independence hall,, sliding dow the side of the building, going to a safe it is absolutely a riveting subject, and w i do hope we can explore itbe more fully in othe kinds of programming and perhaps through an exhibition in the future. >> scott, for more of the museum we're at the midway point from philadelphia as we look at the museum of the american revolution. back with more of your calls and comments. but first this.lade >> the nextfi room which we cal resistance is about the decades stretching from the n stamp actn 1765 to the outbreak of the revolutionary war in 1775. so this is a room that also
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introduces one of the exhibition techniques that wes used, which is to create immersive spaces to try to make you feel transported back in time. so we've recreated here the elm tree that stood in boston in 1765. it became known b as the libert tree, and this was, of course, a phenomenon that spread through otheram towns, to other colonie in the period, but it was a place where sons and daughters of liberty gathered in a kind of open air a political -- you kno political a meetings to talk abt how they would react to these efforts by the british to impose taxes through parliament on them. we have actuallyyfo embedded ine trunk of this tree a piece of woodod from the last standing liberty tree. it was standing until 1999 on the grounds of st. johns college in annapolis, maryland, and this is actually a piece of that
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julep popular that was blown down in a hurricane and some of the wood t was salvaged. it is wonderful to have kids in particular feel like they're th touching, you know, a piece of history here. so this also is a gallery in which we explore some of the symbols of the resistance movement, forms of resistance. so non-importation, the impulse to boycott goods that were manufactured in britain and replace them with locally-made u goods. we think now eddays, well, this kind of buy local, you know, buy american movement is something we invented, but this has root going all the way back to the 1760s. save your money, save your country. that's actually h a slogan from newspaper in60 the period. >> and back live inside that exhibit, the liberty tree. we are joined with scott stevenson, vice president in charge of programs and exhibits. so just how successful was that buy local movement in 1770s?
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>> well, yeah, actually, of course,t the stamp act was repealed by parliament in 1766, and that buy local movement really grew with the resistance to the townsend act passage in 1767. it was, of course, very difficulthe to enforce. first of all, not everybody was, youy know, equally offended, yo know, felt that they, you know, necessary to go to such extreme lengths. it n does take self-sacrifice t often, you know, participate in an extended economic boycott. but, again, they were successful in repealing the townsend act eventually aswe well, and then with the exception of keeping tax on the tea, which leads to anotherti explosion that ultimately leads to war. but, you know, depending upon
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the city and -- or region, they were fairly effective. of course, one of the things that we try to do in the museum in that -- in the gallery that surrounds the liberty treee is also t explore what did that bu local movement mean, because there's alo very strong kind of tradition in america, certainly an association with the word homespun. when we think about this era, the image of the spinning wheel and kind of the rustic simplicity of the clothing and the dressss at the time is whatd toesht wi associate with what they would have called domestic manufacturing, made in america. in fact, particularly in a place like philadelphia which really you had access as a resident of philadelphia in the mid 18th century to virtually anything you could obtain in london. you know, the seas were highways, not barriers, in the 18th century. this was the way goods flowed
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around the world, and fashions that, you know, would appear in london and paris in the spring would take a few months to arrive inpp philadelphia. so there was a real taste, a consumerou taste for fine goods. inin fact, benjamin franklin us a metaphor for the british empire of a fine and noble china vase, a porcelain vase, and the metaphor for the british empire which was beautiful, but it was a metaphor used in 1776 after the declaration of independence when he said,re you know, once has been shattered however, it can be put back together but it never has the strength that it once had. using at material object like that and an exotic object that would have traveled around the globe in order to reach a place like philadelphia reminds us. thatia people were not sleepingn trees and dressing in burlap. so actually on display in the museum we do side-by-side comparisons of items that would
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have been obtained through trade with british manufacturers and locally proued items. so blown glass tea pitchers, one made in bristol, england, one made across the river here in new jersey. probably the mostn dramatic piee is actually onend of the rarest items on display in the museum, and it has been generously loaned to us from the philadelphia museum of art, o a it is an piece of american-mad porcelain which was produced just aro few minutes walk from whereof we are here in philadelphia. the a american china manufactur. it was p a partnership establisd near the old church in south philadelphia in the early 1770s to try to produce the kind of fine imported porcelain like that that franklin was referring to in philadelphia.t there are only like about a dozen pieces that have survived, and one of those is a beautiful pickley stand. we display that alongside an english-made example to show that tradesmen in philadelphia,
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new york, boston, charleston, yeah, they were capable of making beautiful decorative art, and that those objects tell us a lot about how sophisticated the people of the first colonies were in this period. >> and we've been listen to the exhibits inside the museum. let's listen to teresa joining us from pennsylvania. good evening. >> caller: this is so exciting for our region. thank you for being on c-span tonight to show off a little here andev the wonderful work y are doing there. as t we've heard, it was a dark spot in this period, our museum and the piece as an example, how are,mu working with the other museums in philadelphia to influence performing and particularly -- i work at the kennedy library, i've seen an odd spike here of student population veryt based now. so how with all k of the histor we have i in the city, the
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museums, are you -- are you communicating with thosehe muses and with students around digital development? >> w teresa, thank you. >> yes, thank you, teresa. great question. of course, you're absolutely right. philadelphia has an embarrassment much riches, of wonderful historic h sites preserved.f i think there are more historic housee museums within about 35 miles of where i'm sitting than probably any other concentration in north america. i mean it is absolutely tremendous, you know, the collections and the sites that we have here. oneme of the things that we're very self conscious about in designing the museum, kind ofs pickinge this location is that e felt that while there are all of these tremendous sites there wasn't a place that was kind of a visitors center for the founding era, a place where you would goingof to get the big narrative that connects those
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sites together. a couple of great examples i et think, you know, starting locally in the neighborhood, right behind me is telling a part of theta story of independence hall, you know. over 700,000, nearly 800,000 people a year go through independence hall each year. it is about a 15-minute tour. you're going to get, you know, a brief introduction to the building, its role, its place in the colonial assembly, the declaration of independence, the constitution, if you're lucky you might hear about lincoln's funeral but thenar you have to on. we thought by arriving with a little moreov context, so earlyn in ourur galler oy you will lea about its role as the meeting place of pennsylvania's colonial legislature, back when you were learning about the taxation issue of the 1760s and the feelings of local sbrbritish colonials had for those assemblies as miniature parliaments.
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theys felt that not that they didn't want to pay taxes, but if they were they would pay it to their elected assemblymen. andng then about the continenta congress and the role itt plays theti place where the declarati of independence was debated, adopted andng signed. you learn about another chapter of its history here, you know, behind me in this gallery during valley forge winter. later on we come back 11 years later after the declaration of independence to learn about its role in the federal constitution. we do those kind ofbo connectio with otherer sites, whether it brandywine literally 15 feet sitting is the entrance to what we call the field of battle, which is an immersive battlefield experience where we put you s on to the frt lines of the fighting around the birmingham meeting house, which was a quaker meeting house where some of the early fighting took place on septemberer 11th, 1777. again, what we're trying to do with these is you can't tell the
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whole story of every fight, but if we w can spark an interest a excitement and curiosity learning more about that story, that's a greatve way then to ho people andrk then redirect peop. it is not just philadelphia, it is notpl just the region. we have a lot of involvement here. we tell the story of concord in massachusetts and because of the generosity of the wonderful concord museum who o entrusted with the loan ofhu a number of items from their ycollection, w can tell the story of april 1775, dramatize the fighting at the old north bridge and the shot heard around thel, world a see and witness objects. we are hoping that sparks an excitement and interest to go visit those places. and i could go on. your question about digital connections, we have a website. we've started to put more and more material online and we are starting to develop what we cald a micro site which actually is
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very embryonic at the moment. we are hoping to grow it out as a connector to partner sites and related sites in the region, and then eventually beyond that. we are also hoping that we can take a number of the digital interactives that we have developed in the museum and put those online. i think one of the great examples is a piece we call "finding freedom." we wanted to tell the story of -- a the complicated story o african-americans and what their experience was in the american revolution. first of all, to make the point there isn't just one african-american experience. there were many kinds ofal experiences. there were people who were freef there were people who were enslaved, and so we focused on virginiawe in 1781 because that a time inwe which you had two different armies, british continental army, crisscrossing through what is now piedmont and tide b water, virginia, and for slave people it was a time of greatsl danger and opportunity.
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there's an internal o revolutio going on where people are tryinr to find their own freedom. now, that'slu a story that we h virtually noth objects, no imag of any of these people. documents that allowed us to really gether some wonderful personal storiespl of just ordinary people and their personale journey for freedom. so we picked five people. we researched them very na carefully. we worked with historical illustrators to basically do a kind of animated graphic novel, taking youou through the experiences of thesen different -- different characters and learnim what happened to them, and then also give you access to the documents that we usedd to reconstruct their stories. that's an, example of a piece w would like to deploy online. anywhere in the world, of course anyone with a collection to th world widewh web. we are again hoping to expand our digital presence as well. thank you, a great question.
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>> that story actually continues to two years ago, scott stevenson, when you allowed us to show how q the museum came together and some ofon the artifacts and some of the people you profile including the role of slavery in all of this. let's take a look at this from 2015 and we're back live with scott a stevenson who is in philadelphia at the museum of the american revolution. >> as american colonists begin shouting very loudly and increasingly b loud about their rights as englishmen and their feeling that there is a conspiracy to enslave them underway in the british parliament, the wholele issue o slavery, of chattel slavery, increasingly the contradiction of the calls to liberty with the presence of slavery particularly in america -- of course, it existed in britain at the time, it was particularly widespread
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in america and becomes louder and louder. this next item is an incredibly rareve and important work. this is a volume of poems published innd london in 1773 ba young woman named phyllis wheatley, who was the first published african-american poet in american history. phyllis wheatley had been enslaved from their west coast africa, probably in gambia or senegal and brought to the new world in 1750 as a young girl, maybe about eight years old. she i eventually was sold to a family by the name of wheatley inin massachusetts, and the daughter in the family taught her to read and write and she had a real natural talent for writing verse. of course, at the time this was an extraordinary development, o much so that there were those as she began publishing pieces in
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the newspaper and they began to be circulated, so there was actually a trial held in boston where people like john hancock and other significant figures il the community were brought together to basically put her on trial, ask her questions to try toto determine if it was possib that this african-american woman could have written poetry like this. ofz course, she passed and they actually wroten a testimonial saying they believed she, in fact, had been the talented writer whomo produced this poet. so in 1773 she traveled to london and this volumee was published. it is alsove remarkable in thate have an engraved image presumably of the physical likeness of phyllis wheatley. this volume, and i will turn the page to show you, is also -- it wonderful even by itself, but it is one of the few examples that actually had come
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down to us with phyllis wheatley's signature on the volume. it just doesn't get better than that. you know, trying to find the sort of tangible objects that allow us to discuss very important contributions as african-americans tont the founding period ofon our nation and itme can be a real struggles a p curator to try to find this material. so we're incredibly blessed to have that volume with us and to share with our visitors once we're open. that will bely in that same gallery located right next to the liberty ttree. so our s visitors can reflect o the --ga you know, the contradiction between thelo cal forr liberty and the continued persistence of slavery. and from the warehouse that gallery is now open inside
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philadelphia. scott stevenson, very quickly, where did you get the book? how did you come about that? >> phyllis wheatley. it was a -- someone turned it up in new england in a box of old books and purchased it, and actually a board member of ours stepped up to helpp acquire it o that we could fill in that part of the story. i mean it is u one of those -- e of those objects that just trembles on the table in front much you when you're standing there. it is amazing. >> joining us from maryland, go ahead, nell. >> caller:ng hello. i wonder how much of your exhibitlo is -- nathaniel greens a favorite of mine. >> thank you for the question. >> n.yes, good question. yes,s, we actually have a considerable amount of attention to the war in the south. of course, as you know after th
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british abandoned philadelphia in june of 1778, partly because of the french alliance. france finally signs a formal alliance with the united states, allies itself with the revolutionary government and then declares war on britain. so nowar what starts as kind of colonial rebellion that spread to canada, it now becomes a global conflict. so britain now has to protect all of its possessions. you know, many of those very rich sugar-producing islands in the caribbean, for instance, have to be protected. so troops need to be withdrawn from america, sent -- from north america, sent down to the caribbean. it is a slolong and complicated strategic position, but ultimatelyis the british decideo abandon philadelphia and march to new york.
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this is june of 1778. we often based on the painting over my shoulder of washington marching into valley forge, we think about the snow, but of course washington's army is still there until themy second week of june. the british abandoned philadelphia. they started marching helter skelter across new jersey trying to make it to new york, washington chasing them. they kol long island in the et battle -- collide in the battle of monmouth in june of 1778 and the british make it in there.h while there's plenty of fighting that takesck place in the north ultimately british commanders decide thatth the way to try to confront the revolutionaries is to move the fight to the south. there are a number of factors that are involved.he one of them is it is presumed thatat there is a larger loyali population in the south and that these people will rally to the king's scolors, as they would have saidis in the 18th century.
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also because it had a much higher proportion of enslaved people. of course, enslaved people living throughout the colonies, north and south, but the proportion much greater particularly in the lower south, placesg like south carolina and virginia as well, the carolinas. you know, as early as 1775 the british had offered freedom to the run away enslaved people of rebel masters under lord dunore. this was a great way to cause chaos and try to enlist men who could be used primarily as laborers but also being armed in fighting. end of 1778, 1779 and particularly 1780, 1781, the south becomes such a crucial place for trying to figure out what the end of this seemingly intractable war will be. so we have two galleries that reallyee focuses -- it providesn
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overview of all of those campaigns and we focus on a few key moments. one is the capture of charleston by the british, and we look at the liberty and slavery in occupieds charleston. we focus on the battle of cow pen. we look a little bit at the fighting that takes place particularly in the southern up country, the kind of civilian fighting between loyalists and whigs or patriots as they were known, as we call them, that kind of, you know, vicious civil war that took place in the back country. then we move on to an area that i talked k about earlier that's finding a freedom interactive tt is tied to one of our historical tableausth with is life cast figures that is dramatizing the inactive which is a boy who was enslaved as a teenager in virginia who ultimately finds personal freedom by joining a
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loyalist unit in the british army commanded by arnold and a the endin of the war ends up in nova scotia as one of the african-americans who find their freedom by becoming canadians. then we, of course, talk about thee ultimate victory at yorkton in 1701. of course, the fighting continued for two years after that, including fighting that claimed the life of john lawrence, you know, the beloved aide de camp to george washington outside charleston in 1782. >> f when did you first begin yr passion in the revolution? >> oh, mylu goodness. like many people probably watching american history tv, i think a lotoo of folks are expod to history through their families perhaps, through a family member. in my case i had a grandfather who never tookav the highway anywhere, always took the back
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roads and waser fabulous at painting david mccullough-like stories. you see that field out there? used to be a whole town there. this was talking about an oil drillingha community up in northwestern pennsylvania called pit hole,, which of course now s all forest but at the time was a huge boom town. it is sort of telling those stories, getting interested in the past. that ignited an interest in the, you know, things that had happened longed ago. and then growing up in western pennsylvania ikn became very interested in george washington, but george washington we know in western pennsylvania is a 20-something year old, you knowi kind of bumbling virginian who suffers a series of defeats and manages to start a war in places likevi fort necessity and these places were the stomping ground when i was a teenager.
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i was fortunate in that i eventually went to graduate school, studied this period. i have worked in public history for 25 years or so and managed actually do a tremendous variety of projects from working on films and pbs series and exhibits and public programs, but always being able to stay focused innd that era of americ history. so i think sometimes i actually pinch myself iir have been so blessed. >> we appreciate your insightse tonight on c-span3's american history tv, t inside the new museum in b philadelphia that chronicles the story of the american revolution. jim may is joining us. you have been very patient. thank for waiting from virginia beach, virginia. go ahead, please. >> of. >> caller: good evening, mr. stevenson. first let me fo say congratulats on thebe opening of this absolutely fantastic museum. ii am a dar and you can imagine how thrilled i amm to see this
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museum. my question tonight, my dar patriot is q my fifth-time grea grandfather jasper alexander moyland who came over during the revolutionary war to join his brother, general steven moyland and his other brother, colonel general join moyland and also my sixth great-grandfather's wife was commodore barry's sister eleanor. all of thesera irishman got together and lived around 4th and 3rd and walnut and they all fought and conspired and did everything and i'm so proud of them. and then george washington was very close with steven moyland. i just wrote a book about jasper moyland, my grandfather, and found out he and george washington were very, very close. i'm fou wondering if within you
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wonderful museum you had artifacts or information regarding either ofon them or t irish fighters in the revolution, of which there were many? thank you. >> thank you forer i the call. sure, yeah, we are certainly in the moyland neighborhood here, all of the places you mentioned, i can't throw a baseball that far but a pitcher probably could throw a baseball and hit those locations that you mentioned. i don't know i can point you to a specific exploration of any of those ancestors in the exhibits here. of irish there's a lot involvement frankly on all sides of there conflict, not just on e revolutionary side. the characters who popped up, you know,kl immediately to minds actually a young -- a young british soldier by the name of william burke. he was actually gaellic irish. so he was bilingual, spoke gaelic and english and left a
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memoire of his. service. hehe arrived in new york as a young soldier i who had never sn a shot fired in anger, and we thoughts he was a great charactr to, again, point out the kind of ethnic diversity within all of these armies, not just the continental army but also the british army. william burke was a great character. incidentally, he's another one characters and we pick our assistant curator, mathew skip to model him. a lot of people will do double takes when he walks through checking on an object. thank you very much for congratulating us on the museum. >> we have a question on our facebook page, and it is going to be impossible to answer in just a minute but i'm going to ask you to do so if you could. what should every american know about the, american revolution? >> i can answer that in a minute actually. i will tell you one of the -- i would say one of the most importantt messages that we're
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trying to convey in the museum is that the american revolution and the revolutionary war are notha the same thing. we oftenti use "the revolution"s a kind of shorthand for the revolutionaryy war. we'll say "the revolution was an eight-year war"r" or something like this. this was a matter of actual debate among the founding fathers, about what do we mean about the american revolution. there's wonderful letters back and forth over the years as they discuss, what did we mean by the revolution. john adams had a response i let think he wrote in 1818 where he claimed the american revolution happened before the war. he said this was a kind of change in the morals and attitudes of the americans that kind of prepared themm to where they were an independent people and the war was just confirming a transformation that had already taken place. i would say if we have an institutional affiliation or a leaning, it is probably toward a
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philadelphian dr. benjamin rush who was as remarkable philadelphian, ade signer of th declaration of, independence. in january of 1787, just not long before the constitution alc constitutional convention rush reflected on this question as well, and we actually put it on the wall in our gallery. he says, "the american revolution is over, t but this not" -- i'm sorry. hehe says, "the american war is over but it is not the case that the american h revolution, only the first act of the great draa is over." solu by what we mean by the american revolution is that transformation. our core exhibitionn focuses on about a 30-year period from 1760 toto 1790, the transformation fm subjects of the british empire and monarchy to citizens of a republic, but also the sense that the american revolution is an ongoing experiment in
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self-government which we are still in the midst of. while that took longer than a minute to actually answer, i would say that's one of the most important lessons i think that we want visitors to come away with, which ison why at the endf our exhibition we have a media piece which kind of c brings yo back to the place where you started thewh exhibition, whichs tearing down the statue of king george iii on july 9th, 1776. today that is now the bowling green in manhattan, the site where -- ball street where the bowl is and now the wonderful sculpture of the girl confronting the bull. that original fence that surrounded the statue of king george iii still stands surrounding the bowling green, and now i think that it could not protect the king from the ta people in 1776 contains people from around the world who are pursuing life, liberty and happiness. ultimately, i think reminding us that we are still in the midst
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of the american revolution and it requires the active, engaged citizens to keep it alive. >> and r we're going to show th coming up in the next half hour. we should point out we are only showcasing half ofar the museum because there's so much to look at inside the museum of the americanan revolution. scottid stevenson is vice president in charge of programming and exhibits, and will continue to be with us. first thehe shot heard around t war, in concord, lexington, and of the war. >> as americans are gradually finding themselves more and more alienated from britain, both sides are hardening in their attitudes towards one another. by the fall of 1774, you know, king george feels that they've crossed the rubicon and it is really going to be a matter of militaryy showdowns to determi whether americans, he feels, are actually trying to found an independent nation will be able to succeed or not. so it is like they're living on a powder keg, and the spark
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comesnd in the spring of 1775. on april 18th, the night of april 18th, 1775 when a secret expedition of british troops marches out of boston and marching toward concord, massachusetts, where the spies revealed that theib americans h beenen gathering arms for this military confrontation. theve british troops, of course the alarm goes out, this is the famous ride of paul revere, bu he was one of dozens of riders and didn't even get as far as many of the others did, but they managed to alarm the countryside. there was a confrontation that takes place in lexington, massachusetts, and then a few hours laterth at the old north bridge in concord. that's the fuel that you see rs playing out behind, we've actually animated a period engraving of thatce fighting at concord bridge. that's, again, a place, concord, massachusetts, that every american should visit at some point. you can stand on this ground today. you can seed, the house that
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stands up on the farm up above the river, it still stands there today. these are all objects which are witness objects to that, whether it was a piece of wood that literally is one of the diagonaf braces from the bridge over the river on april 19th, 1775. that actually came out of the river in the 1950s. it was right there where the bridge sat. there was only one bridge made of oakak that ever stood on tha site. the river kind off changed coure andne they moved the bridge to different location, and so it matchess perfectly the location and description of the bridge. that fighting then brings soldiers from upio and down the east coastng together, but what happens isrs because the fighti sparked and then men from all of those colonies streamed
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together, they find that they have a t ways to go before they see themselves as fellow americans. so this gallery is about the beginningth of that quest for unity. the theme, this tableau, these were actually life-cast figures. we pulled molds off faces, hands andbl bodies and very carefully researched and have handd sewn the clothing to compensate for the lack of photographs from the 18th century, but it is based on a man who was a 10 year old boy in a red coat whose father brought him to war. he wasas a massachusetts boy, y know, a yankee fishermen who were in a regiment from the north shore, north of boston, they encountered a group of virginia riflemen who came in fringed hunting shirts, you know, tryingre to appear like american indians.
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they come together around the college buildings at harvard college at the time, now harvarl university, and a fight breaks out among these men from these two differentrs regions. israel a trask in 1845 remember george washington rode into the scene,n broke up the soldiers' fight. it is a moment that washington is writing home to his brother in virginia, talking about the challenges he was facing of trying i to get men for whom thr colony was their country to think of f themselves as americans. we think it is a wonderful story-telling device to point out how long that journey would be, perhaps a journey that's noo finished yet today for us all to see ourselves as americans our diversities. >> and as we continue, back to your calls. let's go to steve joining us from ft. myers, florida. good evening. >> caller: good evening. i have a couple of comments.
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the declaration of independence was c first read in three citiec philadelphia, trenton, and the other city was my hometown of easton, pennsylvania. just to show everyone how history can stillll be alive today, the gentleman that read the declaration in our town square was named robert levers. every year my fellow high school classmates also reads the declaration of independence, and hisel name is also robert lever. it was hishe ancestor that read the declaration. the other comment is have is tht people when they visit the museum i would hope would allow themselves also time to look into the possibility of having e an ancestor in the revolution. i was able to find a captain john art, he was a captain in
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the revolution, and he's an ancestor of mine. he's also buried in easton, pennsylvania. the last comment is thatf easto isin the home of lafayette college, and i wondered what type of exhibit you might have for lafayette in the museum. thank you. >> thank you. an interesting trivia there.. dr. stevenson. >> thank you very muchch for th comment. i know easton very well, being a trout fisherman, the poconos are a weekend destination for me often. we tell ati similar story of th declaration being readd and disseminated through o all of these communities up and down the easternea seaboard. so, of course, we don't have a copy of the declaration of independence that you see at the national archives, but frankly it was something that members of congressde pretty much nearly we who saw.ones those people encountered the declaration either throughem t newspapers, broadside printings
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or through public readings of the declaration. sohr that's the story we tell i ourr gallery seven, and we rotae every couple of months different printings of the declaration. right now what is on display is one of only two surviving copies of the declaration published inh july of 1776 in philadelphia in german. there's ones that's in hessian stateed archives in germany. the other is owned by gettysburg college here in pennsylvania, and they graciously placed that on loan to us. of course, because these are works on paper, they're light sensitive andnd they have to be rotated and rested from time to actually is a great opportunity for us because seeing over time newspaper printings, you meknow, just fro philadelphia but allll -- you know, all throughout the colonies as well as the printings of the declaration that took place across the sea, actually one of the most sbresihesbre
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interesting copies of the declaration i have seen is in an archive in belfast in ireland. it is from the belfast newspaper from auguste of 1776. it is the full text of the declaration of independence, and at thet bottom there's a tax stamp for the local stamp tax paid on thatr paper. the irony of that was not lost s on me when i had the privilege to see thatt a few years ago. >> we're looking at the german version of the declaration of se independence. how many languagest was it written in? >> well, ultimately it has been translated into hundreds of languages. i think in the wperiod, of course, pennsylvanian in particular, you had a very large german speaking population, maryland as well, so much so that actually whole regiments of german speaking either immigrants of children, of german immigrants were raised to serve in the continental army, they were referred to as german regiments. there was r a lot of demand for
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german and english. of course, quickly published in french under the direction of benjamin frankly to trybl to -- again, we have to remember that the declaration of independence was as much a diplomatic document as anything else. it wasem to try to with a -- wi thee idea that the eyes of the world were upon the united states, this was a document that explained the action that actually occurred two days earlier thant july 4th. july 2nd was when congress declared independence, and july 4th was when the declaration was adopted. the declaration is a document though explained the earlier action. it is reallyen designed to try bring foreign powers into alliance soo they're not in a position wherere they're backin rebellious subjects of a fellow monarch, maybe for one monarch to encourage the rebellion of the other subjects of another prince could get problem atic.
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in this case though he recognized the independence of the united states, you were lieing yourself with a new nation. so it was very much a diplomatic document. on the secondat part of your question about lafayette, i'm looking to programs paint a picture ofom lafayette. we're in the gallery that focuses on the valley forge winter and we explore lafayette and really the first philadelphia campaign of 1777 was when hent bics so closely attached to george washington and those bonds of affection that will be so important through the rest of the war are forged. places in this gallery we do explore lafayette's involvement. >> let me point out to viewers and listeners, if you want more scheduling information on this and other programs, be sure to follow us onnt twitter, like usn facebook, and check out all of our scheduling information online aton we will go to judy, wake forest, north carolina. good evening.
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>> caller: good evening. thank you for c-span. depend on c-span for great programs like this. i was interested in hearing about william burke because i have a william burke ancestor but he was at the battle of bunker hill, he's not the same one. that's not my question. we noticed your lapel pin and we want to know if that's related in some way to the american revolution or the american revolutionary war, andla do you have archives that are available toto researchers? >> arsure. thank you for your question. yes, my lapel pin -- and you will see throughout the museum that six-pointed star in this design of 13 -- 13 pointed star, iss derived from a flag in our collection known as the commander in chief standard. thisn is a small blue flag with 13 six-pointed silk stars sewn
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to it. it descended in thek family of general washington's sister, betty washington lewis through her sons, one of whom george lewis was an officer in generae washington's life guard. this was a company of soldiers who provided sort of a securit detail for general washington, but also maintained his field equipment, his field headquarters including washington's tent that is in our collection here on display in the museum. this flag, according to family t tradition, was displayed to mark washington's presence in the field, to mark his headquarters. it is in very delicate condition, of course, being silk it is very light sensitive. it was displayed for many, many years before the deleterious effects of ultraviolet light were understood. it is only displayed on special occasions on the museum, but we certainly use the design.ta
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we have a replica of the flag on display on the ground floor of theha museum. it is very special because it was commissioned forit a flightn the space shuttle in which john glen accompanied. it has been to space and back, and it is on display on the ground floor of the museum all the time. the exterior of the museum in philadelphia, anything significant about the designs, the architecture of your museum? >> sure. well,ad the design, our board o directors when they were considering, you know, selecting an architect and the architecturalwe approach that ty would take, they were mindful we were coming into a block and into ata neighborhood that is filled with three centuries of landmark i architecture. i mean the 18th, the 19th, the 20th centuries, all within feet or yards of where the museum would be sited. so it was a real challenge of trying to sit lightly and respectfully on c that site.f
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we are located directly across the street from the first bank of the unitedul states. this was the bank, of course, you know, founded by alexander hamilton, the sitee of hamiltons office as secretary of the treasury iser traced in brick across the street from the e museum, next to the wonderful samuel blodgett design, you know, classic first bank of thee united states, completed i think in 1797. on theue other side, the early 20th century united states customs house, a row of wonderful landmark commercial buildings from the mid 19th century. so we wanted to design a building that sortrf of felt ve comfortable, thatt wouldn't be mistaken for a colonial, for the faux colonial building, kind of quotedul architecturally some o those other buildings and also had setbacks to try to reduce its volume so, you know, it sorb of activates the area around it but doesn't overwhelm.
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so, sote far of course there ar always advocates of modern architecture who feel, you know, it is more appropriate to do something that's recognizably of the a moment, but our desire wa to go for more of a timeless design.. so far the reception has been overwhelmingly positive. >> back to calls, renee from georgia. goode. evening. >> caller: goodro evening. this is a rather obscure members of thes signers. my husband was a direct descendant of john morgan of pennsylvania. he is a signature underneath benjamin franklin, and he was actually onene of the first signers to die. his u family was of swedish descent and they came from swede eastbound a en and there's a museum -- i am living in georgia and i haven't
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been living up north for 20 years. so it is near an where the ball fields were down near the airport. >> yes. >> caller: and ire think it is down near thereai -- there's a bridge down there. thehe john morton museum is the. and also there's a swedish -- an old building, a log home in wrigley park i think which is theog original birth place of jn morton and it is run by the swedishh historical society. i'm wondering if, you know, most of the signers you hear are a half dozen people and you don't hear. about john morton. i am a wondering if you have information about johnze mortonr her is included in with the signers that you feature in your museum? i'm delighted to see this museum because my dehusband, who has sincee passed away, just loved history and was a wonderful
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custodian of john morton's information. we always felt that since he died so young and -- he wasn't young, but so soon after he signed, he was kind of passed over. so can you tell meo if you have information about him in your museum? >> renee, thank you for the call. >> thank you,ha renee. i know all of the sites that you are speaking of and, of course, the early swedish settlement, this was a part of new sweden. many people don't realize there was s actually a swedish colony here in the new world. course, after this was -- theer valley area in new sweden became part offt new nether land befor it became part of the british empire. so there's greatew layers of history and complexity. there's,re of course, the amerin actually is cited exactly y halfway between colums and the present day.
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we often -- people are often surprised to think about that. w so there's a tremendously long timeline of history in north america after contact between american indians and the british, other european colonizers. morton is a great example of how those signers we think of, we think of their ethnicity was vaguelynk english but included people of different background. we do not go into deep biographical detail about signers, although obviously when rotating printings of the dollars -- we are actually expecting maybe next year too have ag copy of the printing of the declaration by mary goddard, a woman printer who was the first to print a broadside that included the names of the signers, and of course morton as you represented -- is represented there. >> you must get a lot ofo peopl to come by the museum and say,
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i'm a descend ant of so and owe or related to so and so and it has to bring all of this to life on so many fronts. >> absolutely. yeah. i mean tng genealogical connect is a way -- there's a lot of ways to connectct to history. it can be just wondering about what happened in that field over there, in those woods, or hearing stories and having a human 'em pathetic connection, a curiosity about others. you know, family stories are, of course, another incredibly powerful connection. in my own family, although i have, you know, some ancestors whoin arrived through ellis island, you coknow, others thato go back to this era. as a child, you know, my grandfather useds to talk abou an ancestor who was a loyalist, who actually enlisted here in philadelphia and servedfa in th british army. t you know, everybody sort of said, well, is that true, grandpa? actually getting olderph and dog some research, it turns out he was inll fact a loyalist from jg across the river from where i'm sitting here in southern new jersey who ended up, you know,
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serving for a time in o the british army before changing his name and moving to western pennsylvania and, i know, becoming a citizen of the americanan republic. that's a veryy powerful way for people to a connect and engage d feel the significance of this era. a couple of callers, i real ields -- i realize i have not answered the question about an archive. we do have a small archive of periodon documents, not incrediy extensi extensive. we have washington documents, some significant though not verd deep, although philadelphia again has an absolute plethora of research opportunities just within walking distance of where i'mm sitting right now. the american philosophical society,us library company of philadelphia,f historical sociey of pennsylvania. there areth actually more documents i believe in philadelphia than any otherso place inri the world other than the national archives for
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researching the history of this revolutionary era. so people who are interested in pursuing family history, philadelphia is a great place to come and do that work. >> i want to go back to the statuere of king george iii. you mention it was in lower manhattan. the fence is still there, it is now where the bull is on wall street. but let's learn more about how that statue came down and what happened toti the bronze metal. >> so when you get to this point in the gallery, you then encounter the statue of king george iii. we bringed you back to that momt where we started, when that declaration of independence was being readen in new york in 177 july 9th.ou we have a sailor up there offering yout a rope and throwig down, trying to invite you to consider, well, where would you have stood at this point in the story? you have hearddng what the loyat critique is. you've seen people who are t trying to remain neutral.
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you have seen fervent revolutionaries. and so we want you to also feel like you would have had a choice and that the outcome was still quite uncertain. we actually have on display these few lumps in the case on loan from the new york historical society, are fragments ofll the original stae that stood at bowling green. it was composed of a guilt lead, like 4,000 pounds of lead in large sheets. that was broken apart into pieces and melted down into 42,000 musketle balls which wer turned into b ammunition for th continentalow army. those musket balls were referred to00 in one newspaper article a melted majesty. it was to be issued out to the continental army and fired back at the ministerial troops as they called them. there's only a few fragments of that statue that have actually survived. it is a great story. there was a collector in philadelphia whohe already duri
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thee revolutionary war was starting to collect objects and documents and knewct this was going to be such an important story to w document, actually wrote a better to some citizens in connecticut where these fragments had been hauled to turnrn into melted majesty, askg if they would send a fragment to him. it doesn't appear that they dida the few pieces that survived being melted down, there was a british raid in the region. i think people were a little concerned about s getting caugh and so they were thrown into a swamp andhi eventually kind of forgotten, but they were gradually recovered, mg of than them in the 19th century when that area was drained and plowed, andan even a few that we found more recently as people went back to the area with metal detectors and located them through careful archeological study. know about half a dozen pieces that have survived. the head ofef the king was actually knocked off the body. theyey fired a musket at it through the eyes, a musket ball
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into it. they hauled it off to the fort, called fort mwashington, if yo are going over fort washington bridge in new york, you are going over theor remnants of fo washington. they placed it on a pike, which was basically a tallne spear. this is the way traitors at the tower of london were treated. they would be decapitated and their heads placed on a pike. this was the treatment the revolutionaries gave to their king.d the head was actually taken by loyalists andnd smuggled back t england to show, you know, we need your help, these people are crazy. it was last seen in 1778 in the possession of lady townsend in her home in london, apparently kept under a couch. if anybody knows about that we would love to hear about. it is a tremendous story. >> scott stevenson, that answers one of the questions on our facebook page,ut how you chronie
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the loyalists during the revolutionaryy war. let's go to johnk joining us on the phone from west palm beach. ahead, please. >> caller: yes. goodod evening. ii just was born and raised in danbury, connecticut. there for the fourth of july, a pilgrimage. i feel a little more patriotic in new england. i'm wondering if there's an exhibit that mentions the burningur in dan bridge, the female who rode with paul revere who rallied the militia and later foughte in the battle of ridgefield next to danbury. i believe mcdonald participated when he was still a patriot. >> thanks for the call. and paul revere was captured briefly, right, dr. stevenson? >> yes, exactly. there's two places where there's actionss along the coast, sort f
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mid war are covered, one in gallery ten which is just before the gallery we are in here, has about an eight-minute overview of the war of independence. that's sort of an animated map projected on the wall that tries to -- actually answers a couple of questions you s had that are specific questions about particular battles. i t should emphasize while a go portion of the museum of the american revolution covers the revolutionary war era, we did not set out to do a sort of encyclopedia-like treatment of every skirmish, every battle, every action. i can't imagine how much space we would have needed. so there are definitely folks that come that have a particular action that they're anxious to learn about it here and they may be disappointed. the way we tried to cover that partly is through this animation that covers the entire war from 1775 to 1783 and tries to
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highlight most c of the significanthi actions that took place, youn know, the strategiw moves, where the fighting -- how the fighting moved from the north to the south and some of the -- some of those actions mid war will be covered there. actually, the battle around fort griswold in connecticut in covered in our finding freedom interactive b in gallery 14. that's the interactive about african-american in virginia, where the figure who enlisted in benedict arnold's region and ends up fighting in the actions there in connecticut just before the end of the war. >> in our remaining minute we had a couple of callers, one eight year old and one nine year old. i want to ask are we doing enough m to educate this generation about this part of america's history? >> well, the eight or ten year old or people who know me will
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know it isis just below the surface all the time. i would say it is a museum very much, very consciously designed to try to engage and try to excite young children. you know, people of all ages, of course, and particularly to try to catch kids who are eight, nine, ten, twelve years old, to see themselves also reflected in the a story. there's a lot of tableaus that include, whether it is israel taft involved in the snowball fight, we have a young girl who crossed the delaware with george washington and others. i would say we as a society do enough? absolutely not. but the museum of the american revolution is doing everything we can to create the next generation of n history lovers d great citizens through our exhibit. ari create the next generation of history lovers and great citizens through our exhibits. and we have only scratched the surface, scot stevenson.
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we want to thank you and michael quin. clearly we need to come back and tour more of your exhibits and artifacts as we better understand the american revolution. thank you very much for being with us here on c-span's 3 american history tv. >> thank you. see you in philadelphia. >> and to give you a sense of what else is in the museum, here's more of our tour. and a leminder that this program can be seen anytime on c-span be sure to follow us on twitter and like us on facebook. more from the museum in philadelphia. >> so believe it or not, viewers, we're halfway through the story. we've now answered the second of four questions. we've gotten through 1778. we've now been through the
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darkest hour. we then ask the question of how revolutionary was the war, and the starts to them looks at as the story moves on as the war starts to turn to the south in later years, we start to look at loyaltiests and neutrals and enslaved african-americans. we'll look at the fighting that takes place in the west as native people toward the end of the revolution begin to deliver a series of devastating blows against the american forces, realizing they are fighting desperately to hold onto land to their independence. and then of course the revolution is not just a war. the american revolution is a broader transformation of american society. and so we then finally go to a series of galleries and experiences that ask the question what kind of nation did the revolutionaries create? take you through the formation of the united states
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constitution, its ratification, the inauguration of general washington. do the passing of that revolutionary generation, you'll finally be able to look in the eyes of the people who witnessed these events because they lived long enough and actually saw the age of photography. and we have about half of the surviving photographs that are reproduced towards the end of the gallery. and we take that story all the way through the end. then you're actually see the original war tent, the field headquarters of general washington that is displayed here in the gallery of the museum of american revolution. tonight we're featuring the new museum of the american revolution in philadelphia located just two blocks from independence hall. next


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