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tv   American Artifacts The Bible in America 1492 -1776  CSPAN  March 18, 2018 9:57pm-10:29pm EDT

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my other sister who lives in boston is 15 minutes from my son so we feel like we're back home. it is a great place, and even though we are retired, we can use the facilities being close. i do like being back in new york. even the cold weather. everyone asks us why would you go from the warm weather to new york? but it has been fine. >> you kind of said what west means to you -- west print means -- west point means to you, but anything that i haven't said you would like to talk about? >> not really. west point is meaningful, as i told you before.
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our oldest son got married here at the catholic chapel, which was really nice, that he got married of here. i cannot think of anything. >> it has been a pleasure to talk with you and i enjoyed hearing about your experiences. have a wonderful day. >> thank you. >> monday on c-span's landmark cases, we will explore the 1896 case of plessy versus ferguson, where an african-american man was arrested in new orleans for taking a seat on a train reserved for whites. decisionme court established the separate but equal doctrine that allow segregation. this narrow interpretation of the 14th amendment was not overturned until the brown versus board of education decision desegregated schools. examine this case and the high court ruling with ted shaw, law professor and director for the center of civil rights at the
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university of carolina and former director, counsel, and president of the naacp legal defense fund. watch landmark cases on c-span,, or listen with the free c-span radio app. for background on each case, order your copy of the landmark cases companion book. 90is available for a dollars five cents plus shipping and handling. and explore the interactive constitution created by the national constitution center. there is a link on our website. >> c-span's "washington journal," live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up monday morning, associated press congressional correspondent and the help has congressional correspondent
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preview key storylines this week on capitol hill and at the white house. then, bipartisan policy center talks about a new report on ways to improve the supplemental nutrition assistance program, also called food stamps. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal, live at 7:00 eastern. join the discussion. >> the museum of the bible in washington, d.c., which opened on november 17, 2017, has more than 3000 books and artifacts on exhibit, and the building occupies almost an entire city block. up next, we too are -- to her -- museum's bible in america exhibit, the first of a two-part program. >> i'm president of the museum of survival. we are standing in what is called the impact floor.
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we are going to focus on the impact of the bible in america. it is talked about a lot. we write legislation about the impact of the bible and separation of church and state. many things that come from that, but today, we are going to look at the undergirding items, documents, manuscripts, printed and thet was here founding fathers used to create what we call the government of the united states. also with me is norm conrad, who really put this collection together for us and is here at the museum. norm is going to lead us through to and give us some of the details of these items. it is a fascinating look, understanding that. one of our big tourist groups who come and visit the museum,
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see,do they want to see especially overseas? the bible in america is one of the key pieces they want to visit because they want to understand how could that be, how could the bible be a basis for the government, and we are one of the few nations in the world that can say that. getsarea of the museum visited by many, many people. this is their favorite part of the tour when they are here. is museum of the bible 40,000 square feet. one of the largest museums in washington, d.c., and also the largest of its kind in the world. we focus on three major areas. the impact of the bible, the narrative, the stories of the bible, and the history of the bible. with that, we have the seven floors that are open to the public. we have the vatican involved
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here. they have their own space. we have the israel antiquities authority here with their own space and many, many items, and we also have many visiting exhibits come in, but when you say every day, i'm going to come next year, what can i expect to be there? this floors i mentioned -- those items are somewhat stationary. they do rotate out, but they are also the core of what we do at the museum and other things we take on. we put them all under those three umbrellas. bible is a big story, and you take 1000 different rose out of it. we are sectarian, which means we are just telling the story of the bible, let the bible stand on its own two feet. the museum is really unique unto itself because we have taken a very highly cinematic approach -- highly thematic approach, so
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not only are there great items, but we find people have as much if not more so interest in the stories surrounding that time period or the person we're talking about more so than the item itself. great latinve a medieval manuscript. there's only so many people can read it. this only so much time you can spend looking at it, but there is a wealth of time that you can understand the story and cultural and political setting of the day, which has shaped history. on items. focused we have 3100 on exhibit here. but the real focus deals with those stories. we have spent with over 100 academics almost four years putting this together. of their key roles was making sure we get the stories correct, accurate, and share them with the public in a very creative way in highly thematic settings. that is our summary of the
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museum of the bible. if you like, we can start a tour here, and norm will lead most of this since he is the real expert, and where do we start with bible in america? you can hear some of the background noise. you hear the ocean, the waves hitting the shores of america, and that is really where we start. the first case here is coming to america, arriving in the new world, the mayflower compact. in many cases, we use a replica or talk about them, and we have found that use -- that goes over extremely well. generations have passed. we had to memorize things like the bill of rights, the declaration of independence, mayflower contract, but today,
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it is not so much emphasized, so we had to take all of that into account. even though we may not have the mayflower compact document, we introduce and talk about the importance of it and move through the items. this is where we start. in., jump >> the first artifacts you will be presented with is the very first book printed in america in 1640. the peerage and -- the puritans were not only immigrants to this new world, if you will, but they were also scholars. and translating from hebrew, and also from greek, they would present us with the book of solomon. the next book beside it is really interesting, and it is
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from nathaniel morton, the nephew of william bradford, the second lieutenant governor of plymouth, and using william bradford's work, he gave us what is known as new england's memorials, and this is one of the very first history books printed in america, but within that, he included the actual mayflower compact as william bradford presented it in his notes, manuscripts of the plymouth plantation. the question often is is what bible did they bring over on the mayflower with them, and we know for a fact that the captain of mayflower had a king james bible. we also know they brought another bible known as the geneva bible, and what is really powerful about this exhibit is this geneva bible actually
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,elonged to william bradford who is, i imagine, the second lieutenant governor of plymouth. this bible is kind of interesting and very controversial because of what it is. first0, which was the fledon, english puritans from england to geneva. while they were there because they were under persecution, they produced what is known as the geneva bible because it was translated there. this is the very first english bible that would use the hebrew and greek in its translation. it was the first english bible that contained what is known as the typeset that we are familiar with in the newspaper as well as today. before you had this medieval gothic text. friendlier, the easier text to look upon.
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the study notes is what makes this bible so controversial. for instance, in the book of daniel, when daniel refuses to bow down and worship the king, they say he did right in the eyes of god because he based the -- obeyed the law of god over the law of man. if you are a monarchy or papacy at the time, you know have a book that contradicts your authority. it wasn't a very influential book when it came to the monarchy and the church at that time period. >> a couple of very unique features. you see a tapestry. we have been told it is the longest tapestry woven in the u.s. it was designed by an artist who lives off of maine, an island off of the side of maine. it is the story of the
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progression of the bible and the -- through america in a tapestry. very unique in that regard. if you've only got 10 minutes, we tell people just walk the tapestry, read the plaque as we have embedded in the floor, and that will give you a pretty good feel for bible in america in a very abbreviated form, so that's what this is. is ank the opening one roger williams quote that says the blood of so many hundreds, split the wars for their conscience. is not required nor accepted by jesus christ the prince of peace, and it is a story of in this area where we tell the story of the good, the bad, the
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ugly. the bible was used for many reasons. man for theirr own purposes, which is not necessarily good at all. role of the jews and the founding of america? we take that on. what is the role of african americans, the spaniards, the french? we take those topics on. unfortunately, much of our history books today, everything has been dumped into one pot. it is sort of a big story without a lot of details. we decided we would break those details out. each of those people groups have their own distinct story. again, they are not all good. a lot of persecution, a lot of lives lost because of infighting here in america. everybody was fleeing that from europe to come here to get away from it. that's a lot of the story that doesn't get told.
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and it is an important part, so we tell that story here. and the tapestry really depicts a lot of that. now we are arriving, and we start -- you can pick anywhere, but we picked new england. obviously, that is where it all started. you tell us about some of these? >> as you mentioned we are starting in new england, which is where the first economies were settled. and the artifacts are basically ofd deeds or covenants property ownership that has been granted to the colonists from the king at that time period. we are looking at massachusetts, pennsylvania, and maryland, and kerry was talking about the religious toleration or in toleration. pennsylvania was an economy that
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was found primarily to be religiously tolerant of the quakers, of the baptists. all were welcomed. these are the acts and the laws they have been giving to the colonists. also they are basically -- they are using part of the bible to use as their legislation of how a colony would be refounded. for instance, over here as we move forward, this is the maryland laws enacted. it is showing that first of all that maryland was established , as a catholic colony. you cannot really see it, but here, it is showing maryland
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being one of the first colonies, first states to enact a religious toleration act. it is showing here that if you are blasphemous, basic punishments -- it starts off with a mild beating and a flogging. and then actually you would be thrown out of the colony, should you continue with what they considered blasphemous behavior at that time period. >> while we are in this area, might look at one of these specialty cases. this takes on those early of lack of tolerance, slavery that involved in sleeping indians as a commercial trade, and these stories are frenchrough the spanish, explorations, and the african-american experience, and again, these are all done with a
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time period. we will pick up some of these same stories as we continue walking through this area, but these are some of the oldest of the stories. date back to the foundations of america. of the look here, some stories that related to the spanish stories in america, and this particular -- actually, it is a book. his father was the second command under christopher columbus, and he was granted a .arge portion of land in cuba as a result, the atlantic slave trade would pretty much begin here because the cuban people were amongst the first who would be in slave. he would grow up in a family that were slave owners, but he became a monk. he became convicted according to his writings that the
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enslavement of people was wrong. at least in his eyes and according to scripture, as he read it. they were equal amongst the europeans. he became where he was once an adversary to the cuban people are the enslaved people. and he started writing to king charles. this is known as the history and the destruction where he was documenting to king charles and appealing to him to release the slavery of the people. eventually, they did, and this is where they started using the africans and bringing blacks over from the atlantic. another article or document is we also have the bible that -- we know the english europeans came over and they brought the
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king james bible and the geneva bible. we have a spanish bible. then we have a french bible. , when theyuguenots came over, they were french protestants. they would have brought over the geneva bible as well, that it is in the french language. one of the highlights we have here within the museum of the bible, there is only estimated to be about 18 of these in the world. we have two of them. this is the first bible ever printed in america. elliottown as the indian bible or the algonquin indian bible. john elliott, who came over to america for the sole purpose to reach the indigenous people, he learned their language. keep in mind the time period. they didn't have a written language. so elliott would use the geneva bible, develop a syllabus, and translated the bible into their language.
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and for the so purpose of reaching them to convert them to christianity. the findings came from england, which was the very first bible society for the propagation of the gospels. this is the first bible printed in america and is a highlight in our collection. but the last thing i want to mention is this bible over here. it is known as the slave bible. it was specifically produced where they actually removed the they of the exodus, so that bible was presented to the slaves, the idea of god delivering them from their the storyhich specifically tells in the book
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of exodus was removed, and they would not have the idea of freedom. it is a bible that was produced without hope. it came out of london and was printed in 1808. it was from the british west indian islands. ist should mention, it loaned to us. >> this is an entry stream one. another level in the museum. we have a special exhibit, we call it amazing grace. in that exhibit it shows other bibles that were created as a slave bible. this is a great one, but we also have another very large exhibit that just deals with that topic. >> one of the very important influential bibles is the bible we are looking at here. the story that's important to know is when the puritans, when
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the pilgrims and early settlers came to what we know as america today, they were not allowed to print bibles in the english english. the crown literally held the we couldight, but print bibles in other languages, and we had already talked about the elliott indian bible. but the second, third, and forth bibles printed in america were produced by this man here. like the continuation of the story, he was a german immigrant seeking refuge from religious persecution. he came to america and would produce the very first european bible and actually the second bible ever printed in america. that was in 1743. when he advertised the bible, he said for the poor, there is no cost. he was a contemporary to
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benjamin franklin. they actually competed against each other. the story goes that he was critical of benjamin franklin's , so this kindtion of a -- not a war, but there was opposition against the two. the story is reported that because of that, when he was buying paper, he was told he had to buy -- pay for the paper completely, so when he was ready to produce his second bible, he went to get the paper, and the paper man said he paid in full or did not get any at all, so he has a paper mill and prince the very first bible printed with american-made paper in 1760. in 1776, the typeset is wearing out. his son has taken over the business.
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and they produce new type sets. they produce this european bible, this german or luther bible. 1743, 1763. and then in 1776, a very important date in american history, it would print the first bible in america. the story is really interesting. according to isaiah thomas, who was also a historic printer the , british during the germantown battle commandeered the printing press and used the pages for gun wadding for their muskets. it's also known as the gun was bible. there's a similar story where , but heinto a church was a conscientious objector to ,he war because of his faith not because he sided with england or america. as a result, he was considered to be potentially a spy. he was prosecuted but found
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innocent, but his land was taken over by the government. he would never print a bible again. his work would go actually all the way up to baltimore, not far from where we are in d.c., and i think it was his nephew that would continue printing bibles, hymnals, newspapers, almanacs, and things like that, but the story is really interesting. >> we take on because of the time period, the topic of the bible and education. many know this, but some of the great universities were founded upon a biblical principle or undergirding. this one is harvard. in 1636. you can read some of their declarations at the time.
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>> the establishment of harvard and yale, they were actually universities developed to produce ministers to evangelize. , we actually had it open up to this portion of the book to the development and the story of why harvard was established. so he is talking about that. the broadside he was pointing out as well, and i think it is a graduation broadside. i think it is from the 1600s. 17 48, i apologize. but it is in latin. one of the things that is interesting is latin, hebrew, greek, the valedictorian, when they graduated from harvard, even today, they give their valedictorian speech and let in. this is why that broadside is in the latin dialects as well. this is a couple of hundred years old. it was important to whoever the
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owner was at the time. and of course the collective who has this preserved and is able to use it as an exhibition artifact. the other things you might want to just peek at is these small books over here, it's a long forgotten textbook. it is known as the new england primer. it would be used in the 1700s, early 1800s. they would use biblical text during their education. just a quick one which israel funny. a is for adam. as we enter into the impact of the bible in america, we saw primer, which basically is a complement to the artifacts of the story we are telling. the very first settlements, saint augustine in florida. and the pilgrims and the puritans who settled in the
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northeast of what we know as america today. and then the land deeds and permissions to be able to settle those colonies that would be granted from the imperial king or queen at that particular time. and then we have other examples of the bibles brought to america. the king james bible, the geneva bible. we have the french huguenots bible, which would be protestant. also the very first bible in america. a very rare bible that does a dramatic story. the elliott indian bible. it tells the dramatic story of the puritans who came here to specifically reach the indigenous people. not only were they presented with -- at that time, their
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purpose was the gospel, but also, now something new would be introduced, and this would be literacy, the development of their language and an opportunity to progress and educational perspectives. from that, we came over and saw the new england primer, a , andook used for education although the museum presents a nonsectarian story, this is part of that story as well. we were talking a little earlier that pennsylvania was literally established seeking refuge from religious persecution. not from outside of europe but within the colonies themselves. as we mentioned, they are from theefuge catholics, quakers, that just, or anything that opposed the ideas of the earlier settlers. kerry was mentioning, he wanted to tell the story of the good, the bad, and the ugly. they came over looking for refuge from religious
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persecution. those who came seeking the same, if they had a different idea, then they became the persecuted. it is kind of an interesting story if you look at it from an honest perspective. >> at this point in time, as we sort of end this section, the bible was a key document. people started drifting away, and some would say that america, as we knew it is that day, started falling asleep, and it became somewhat of a secondary document in people's lives. the second section of our toward deuce with the rebirth or awakening of the bible in america and has an amazing story unto


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