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tv   Sculptor Vinnie Ream Daniel Sickles Andrew Johnsons Impeachment  CSPAN  February 16, 2019 2:35pm-4:01pm EST

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annuale of the 93rd black history luncheon from the washington renaissance hotel in washington, d.c. on mondayreair presidents' day at 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. eastern. this is american history tv on c-span 3 where every weekend we explore our nation's past. you can watch all of our programs online. our website is c-span .org/history. on american history tv, a lincoln group of the district of columbia program titled "the devil versus the hummingbird," confrontation on capitol hill that determine the fate of the president and ensure the survival of constitutional government. hickey gives a presentation about the many
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reman daniel cyclical and how the two were involved in the political fight over the 1868 impeachment of president andrew johnson. this runs about 80 minutes. >> let me introduce our speaker, patrick hickey, a senior analyst at the u.s. government accountability office. partisan, fact-based investigative arm of the congress where he works for international affairs and trade team. full disclosure, he is not representative gao here today. patrick's going to speak to us about relationships between dan sickles and vinny ream, the sculptor. a fair amountw about dan sickles but this particular episode of his life i do not know too much about, so i'm really looking for to hearing patrick's presentation. without any further ado, let me
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welcome patrick hickey. [applause] patrick: i'm not sure i'm going to be able to hold this microphone. and manipulate the mouse and everything at the same time. is there another holder? there's no other holder. all right, well. i'm irish and quite loud. so, maybe -- ok. to thank john o'brien and my friend and neighbor and linco ln group of d.c. member tracy -- for giving me this opportunity. tracy will be appearing as many ream and the germanic portion of this presentation. -- in the dramatic portion of this presentation. yes, i have been working for gao for the past 30 years.
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prior for that time, i worked in the house banking and finance committee. i often had a chance to walk through the statuary hall in the capitol rotunda and would stopped to admire the artistry of vinny ream's link and the other contributions in the statuary hall. also mentioned, i'm not here to represent gao, but to share some of the findings of my lifelong interest in the civil 65-1877 the 18 reconstruction era. over the years i developed an interest of the impact on the war and the reconstruction on my home state of iowa and later, on the place i now call home which is washington, d.c. i'll mention this about my gao career. looking atot of it u.s. and international efforts to stabilize post-conflict government in over 30 nations around the world. my attentiony come how much our reconstruction
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expenses have in common with the experiences of many other nations. bear with me. i'm going to try to cover a lot of ground in a short time. i'm going to read my reduction before he gets to the interactive portion of this presentation tonight. 868,he morning of may 16, 16 in a decrepit house 300 yards from the united states capitol, one of the most confrontational confrontations and political history occurred between two of the most markle americans in the 19 center. twoar as we know, these people only met this one brief time in the course of their very long and storied in the faeries careers. but the consequences for our country were profound and long-lasting. now, once you come to know the details of the lives lit by the two principles -- lived by these two principles i think you will conclude as i have it was the outcome of this very improbable encounter that led to ofe latest words
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president john f. kennedy of her rogue so that may well have preserved the constitutional government in the united states. -- a heroic vote. he was daniel sickles, pictured here, 48, a manhattan attorney and real estate developer known for being sued by defrauded clients and outrage partners than for her success in business deals. his amorous entanglements included one of the wealthiest teenage heiresses of new york city. america's best-known prostitute, and the queen of spain. before the civil war, he had been a pro-slavery congressman from new york. but by 1868, he was a zealous protector of the free slaves of the carolines. she was an x general, asked of lament and an ongoing confident of democratic and republican presidents a like. he had earned his nickname 'the devil" in the civil war. not for his fierceness on the
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battlefield but for his prowess in the bars of wartime washington. he certainly lived up to the name. his life had been in on interrupted series of political, financial, diplomatic, military and sexual scandals. yet his public career still had over fou decades to go byr 1868. a consummate survivor with a turningeturning -- for disaster into opportunity, he remained one of washington's most affected but unscrupulous political operatives. 20 was livinia vinnie ream, years old, the beautiful sculptures who was among the highest-paid female artists in american history. this hummingbird of a maiden was less than five feet tall, the nationalst on scene at the age of 18 when she used her talent for sculpting and for tireless flirtation lobbying to win a commission to create a life-sized marble
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statue for president lincoln for the display in the capitol rotunda. for the past two years, her studio had been the most popular tourist destination in d.c. a consummate show woman, she would alternate sculpting sessions on the lincoln statue and her private commissions with impromptu -- for cross of visitors, accounting yourself on heart or guitar while her herturtledoves perched on shoulders. at one point she was receiving 15-25 marriage proposals the day. fairly or not, she was charged by the scandal sheets of the day for having a romantic fling with virtually every important man who posed for her. she had a lot of private clients. but most importantly for the story i am imparting tonight, annie's popularity with access to washington's elite, made her a power and democrat power politics in a time when
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women did not have a vote. the topic for tonight is the hummingbird,the the confrontation that determined the fate of the presidency and help ensure the fate of constitutional government to read what i'm going to tell you tonight has several parts. mistakes,s of presidential, constitutional and existential. the prize. the venue. the president's champion. and impeacher's ace in the hole. th face-off at midnighte. the aftermath, and if time permits, and epilogue that is of interest to me. arcticream and the 150 murder mystery. why am i telling this story no? i first got interested in the subject when i was a freshman at the university of iowa. i came across a drawing and a library. of a copy of a proposal made by to finish ream hoxey
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the unfinished washington monument with the safety foot statue of the father of our country. i looked into this farther and i richard,t her husband, a university of iowa graduate, had donated a lot of for papers to the university after her death. i read, it was fascinating to read about her connection with the lincoln statue that she had gotten it along age. at this time, this is 1980, 1981, this is a time when the yale undergraduate, maya lynn, her proposal for the vietnam veterans memorial had just been approved. so, i wrote a quick paper comparing the careers of these two women. i got a good grade. then i changed majors and forgot all about vinnie for quite some time. but fast-forward to beginning weh around the year 2014,
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were in the middle of the sesquicentennial for the civil war. o tell anyonet assume nothing like the term sesquicentennial gets the blood flying among lincoln scholars. i started looking into this. what aspects of her life can i dive into? i went to the library of congress and looked at more for papers and i was fascinated to find out about, about the events i'm going to talk to you, tonight about. i think you will agree with me, there are some incredible parallels with current events. i mean, what day are we in of the current shutdown? 25, 26 days. you tell me if if find some parallels to what is going on today. when i going to the stacks at the library of congress, twot things lept out. vinnie was probably the most photographed women of the 19th century. there were dozens and dozens of pictures of her taken. not only was she a popular for
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her photographic portraiture, she was also a popular model among some of the great painters including george caleb bingham at that time. all right. also, going to her papers, she threw nothing away. i thought i would put up some of my favorites here. these are all letters from famous men to her, excerpts from. as you can see, they sometimes better to throw them away but she didn't. these are excerpts from respectively willing to come to sherman, george custer -- tecumseh sherman, andilliam george freeman, the first republican party candidate for president. they were probably glad that things were hidden away in the library of congress for a century or more. now i'm going onto the main part of the story tonight. whatwas the stakes at,
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were the contest between vinnie ream and daniel sickles that night? andrew johnson was nearing the a rancorousof dispute with congress about how to reconstruct the confederacy. radical republicans in the house and senate, who dominated both bodies, were determined to make restoration of the rebel states contingent upon terms that rooted out the former rebel leaders and granted the former slaves full rights. johnson, in turn, stubbornly advocated for the lenient -- bob lincoln proffer that allow the rebels to rejoin the union while leaving the old white slave owning class in charge and the rights and security of former slaves left to the mercy of their former masters. johnson's resistance to the passage of the 14th amendment, the 1866 civil rights laws and a resistance of federal troops to uphold the rights of the
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recently freed slaves in the former southern states had republicanhe majority of the house of representatives which soon from the excuse they were looking for to impeach johnson. in 1868, the house past articles of impeachment for violating the law known as the tenure in office. dismissed edward stanton without congressional approval. response, stanton probably barricaded himself in his office and refused to vacate it. the house of representatives dominated by radical republicans, past articles of impeachment by an overwhelming majority in 1868 and turned it over to the senate to conduct a trial. the republicans were very confident infantry. there were at that time 45 gop, republican senators in the senate, and only nine democrats. turned outthink it to be there were quite blind to the consequences of a what would
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it mean if johnson was impeached. um, nevertheless, thaddeus stevens charged forward when he heard about stanton had been dismissed by the president, he probably declaimed on the floor of the house, "didn't i tell you? if you do not kill the bees, it will kill you." he in listed as the prosecutor general for, to conduct the prosecution portion of the trial in the senate, everybody's favorite, benjamin butler, who then had returned to congress after an illustrious career as a civil war general. together, they were -- they were determined to get rid of johnson come hell or high water. however, as i mentioned, they were blind to the consequent as thehis, because not just u.s. presidency was at stake at the moment, the constitution itself was actually on trial h ere to a certain extent. i got a take a quick break for a 19th-century civics lesson. when a president is impeached,
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who succeeds him? usually the vice president. who was andrew johnson's vice president? he didn't have one. who was next in line? not in 1868. the speaker of the house was not next in line. there was the president pro tempore of the sentae. under the terms of the 1792 succession act, it would've been the president pro tem. however, which was probably not apparent at the time they were conducting the trial, that secession act had some serious flaws. i'm going to go through some of them. overall, it was unclear and contentious. although was designed to be a tool for smooth presidential succession, it could be used as a partisan weapon if the opposition party had a majority in congress, which they did. also, there was the potential conflict with the constitution an officerfies only of the united states designated as a presidential successor. how many h ere believe a
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sitting cumbersome can also be a duly designated officer of the united states? there's an optimist that there. sorry. you know, you are not alone in holding that view. in fact, no less a scholar than james madison argued the term officer excludes members of congress. thereas actually never, is still not agreement today among constitutional scholars about what constitutes an officer of the united states and the case of a succession struggle. another problem with that succession as was this -- it created unavoidable and impeachable conduct of interest for the successor. the first thing the senate did upon taking up the trial of johnson, they sworn oan oath to impartially judge the evidence proper and fair judgment however, what do you do when your senator, your sitting senator, next in line for the presidency, now some argue that
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maybe the president pro tem should have recuse himself from the vote. but they knew it was going to be a". close vote. the biggest problem of all people face was the identity of said president pro tem. this with benjamin bluff wade, who was probably one of the most disliked and on popular members of the senate. he wouuld have b -- would have been next in line, and however, as some wits argue that probably the best thing that johnson had going for the proof of his innocence was that ben wade was guilty of being ben wade. he was a zealous, cromwellian member of radical republican fashion. some of you might know about him. before the war when congressional debates were getting rancorous, he would bring a squirrel rifle to sit by uppitysk in case any
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senators insulted his good name. however, he's probably one of the biggest mistakes he made was he was actively courting, offering candidate positions two other senators in the midst of this trial. he also also approached william h seward and offer him, if he would support the decision against johnson, he offered him a continuation his role as secretary of state. seward was busily raising money among democratic factions to bribe senators to vote for johnson's acquittal. he thought the consequences would be disastrous. an approached by wade, he said this, "il'll be damned first." but probably the most profound and the least understood aspect of the crisis that was at hand was the survival of the union itself.
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this point, the, seven, or they decided they needed at least four of the ten former um,ederate states to, ratified the 14th amendment before it could get past. they needed 28 states to ratify the 14th amended before became part of the constitution. the gop and the radical republicans, i should say, had uponit conditional, passage of the 14th amendment. several states, actually seven in number, were on the verge of ratifying this, rather reluctantly but they had agreed to do so they so they could rejoin the union. all awaiting were the outcome of the johnson impeachment before they made a final decision. another problem looming on the horizon, two states, new jersey
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and ohio, that already ratified the 14th amendment, had elected democratic governors. their state houses that are the past article to resencind their private vote -- their prio r vote in favor of the 14th amendment. i do not think anybody would have been able to tell us what would happen if the state decided to bow out of rejoining if andrew johnson was gone. the stakes are quite high. the private state was platry. -- was paltry. this was the price. ross, radical republican senator from kansas. by the way, he was the only republican who had not indicated prior to the final vote which was he was going to vote for either acquittal or conviction of johnson. he was under a lot of pressure
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to make up his mind. he was being importuned by senators, commerce one, members of people of his own state, to vote in favor of either acquittal or conviction of the president. this was not really considered a major factor at the time. he lived in a boarding house owned by johnson supportor. even though the impeachers were confident of victory, they rn surelyurbed to lea before the final vote, they heard the story that edmund ross was infatuated to the point of foolishness with livinia vinnie ream. he held the deciding vote in johnson's impeachment trial. though the hour was late and the time was short, the impeachers were still confident they had enough time as they could get to him.
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he lived in a boarding house which is now actually located on the grounds of the u.s. capitol, a few hundred yards away from where the final vote was going to take place the next morning. vinnie reams about so disturbed them? i'm going to share the story. it does sound like a fairytale when you read about how she burst upon the scene. newspapers of the day did refer to her as "the prairie cinderella." frome was a poor woman war-torn missouri. they moved to washington escape the war. she approached and him lincoln sometime in 1864 and asked if he would pose for her for a sculpture. much to her delight in surprise, the president agreed. as pictured here. for therding to vinnie, last 5-6-month of lincoln's
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afe, he posed for her half hour for her every morning, to allow her to sketch and model the president's likeness in clay. asked why she think the present selected her, vinnie speculated it was because her early life look like the president's. they were very similar in some ways. she was born in a log cabin. in madison, wisconsin. she migh possiblyt be the first pioneer child born in the city of madison. she spent her childhood moving around the american frontier. her father was a federal cartographer and surveyor. he was out surveying the frontier lands of iowa, kansas, arkansas and missouri. she spokelincoln with an unfashionable western twang. she had a scanty former education. academy to st. joseph in columbus, missouri for a total of a year and half.
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but also like lincoln she was quick to teach yourself one formal instruction was scarce. herer case, she developed own natural talents for singing, songwriting, playing the piano, the guitar and the harp, painting but most of all sculpting. she censure was still working on this culture when she heard the president had been assassinated illshe said she was st working on the sculpture and you were the present had been assassinated. when the con was announced they were going to have a competition to see who would win to sculpt the first life-size sculpture of lincoln in the capitol rotunda. 19-20 artists with her entry which is this, pictured in 1866. this was turned into, and her words, turned into the final statute. this is a lovely tale and it makes for a wonderful book for children. unfortunately, this is not quite
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what happened. some portions of the story are true. vinnie was with a poor refugee family when they moved to washington. her father was very ill. her so and sheet out to work was lucky and september of 1862, women were allowed to take on the full time federal work. she got a job in the dead letter office. so, she went down in history for being one of the first female federal servants. she went down as it was the civil servants who completed a felony. she attested issues over 16, she was in effect 14 in 1862. the work was fairly easy for a mind as quick as hers. on sought out other
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outlets for her talent. she used her musical skills to raise money for wounded soldiers. the age of 16, she was a headliner in one of the biggest concerts ever held for the wounded soldiers, lincoln general hospital. that was not enough outlet for her talent. she wanted to sculpt. onesold out the foundry of clark mills. millsickly impressed with her artistry. he was astonished by the work she turned out. her as an apprentice on the spot. why he neededtand her. he was working to finish the gigantic statue of freedom that
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was to be placed on the capitol dome. he must have been working on ironyn unconscious because of the work with his slave who was helping to finish the statue. attracted a, vinnie clientele of her own. have mills probably do not that much to teacher about technique, she was gifted. of the lessons she learned and very well was always keep your studio and never turned down an influential client. that never seem -- assessing troubling -- that seemed troubling with her story, she used that marble bust of lincoln to win the commission. bust shehe first of ever turned out of lincoln sometime in late 1865.
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clearly not up to snuff compared to the one she entered for the basis of her commission the next year. 2, the one on the right is the washing presented to when the commission. very different in quality. and --ople pointed out they pointed out that clark mills had taken the life of mask chargedln and they vinnie with copying this rather than the use and of this as the basis for her bust of lincoln being her own work. it was a reproduction of clark mills' work. whatever the case is, i think her talent did speak for herself later. thenever really got over original charge. at this point, i do not want to focus on her talent.
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at lobbying.ius case in point, she earned her neck the hummingbird of the maiden because she tirelessly went around to all of the offices and washington to get approval on the following position she provided congress. i will read an excerpt from it. acquaintednderside -- equated with vinnie ream's, our works are a rare order of talent and we should feel national pride. it makes her look great but not one word for qualifications. nevertheless, she charmed athletic away to washington. the following people signed her petition, president johnson, 31 senators, 121 congressman and
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eight other generals, governors and sculptors and journalists. low and behold in late july 1866, she won the senate did vote in favor her sculpture. 23-9. i was reading through the minutes of the florida debate -- at the floor debate going on in the senate, it is quite embarrassing to read. the eastern senators largely opposed her commission, questioned any female who wanted to work with heavy tools and the stone. --nwhile, western senators she won the vote in the senate 23-9 on the last day of the 1866 session. i should point out four of the
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senators originally signed a petition voted against her in the end. one of the men who voted against her was from iowa. remember that name. i will get back to it. stage ofhis sets the what happened next. should get one of the most famed a gripand then he maybe to washington. access to both union generals, former confederate generals, slaves and former slaveholders. sought her favor and to be her friend and they wanted it to be patrons of her work. at one point, she sculpted all of them. again, one portion of vinnie malia was every man probably 20 years her senior and in any position of authority were vying for the young vinnie. the provider gives that were
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unique to that time and place. alphonse dunn who owned the suit them lincoln wore when he was assassinated lended it to then he. it is uncertain whether it is men, both of them were door and probably subpar bodyguards from lincoln at one point or another. i do not know the province of this picture, you can guess whose hat he was wearing. one minimal sought vinnie's attention was a former general. he wrote a 2000 page essay to vinnie to win her over. he did have some success. anybody who can tell me why a general lost the only battle he fought and
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silenced only wanted for war crimes, he is only one who gets an outdoor statue in washington. discuss amongst yourselves. another man who desperately sought her attention and wrote and wrote quite embarrassing love letters was the senior congressman in the buildings commission. he gave vinnie access to basement of rome a in the -- basement room a and the capital and it was furnished. the representative of nine territorial governments in washington to make one for young veni. a all-time favorite was person who had known vinnie for many years, a cherokee indian and was in washington and was tried to get the civilized territory,the indian
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he was desperately in love with vinnie and he renamed a town after her. vanita-day residents of , oklahoma don't know that there town was named after a man's unrequited love for a teenage girl. well, this is one of my favorites she would make a magnificent -- she had a keen perception and her association with a man, she learn to be deceitful. she thinks she is very smart and she is so. this is written by john rawlings and ed points out and it was written when she was 16. and he's is a letter of recommendation. ist general -- i think this -- if very telling quote
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of her, very typical. i cannot read it on. she is not on a woman but something more. she is a hummingbird of a maze. the newspapers had dubbed her the hummingbird. not, sheuote, she did was not uniformly loved. this is america lincoln on hearing about the order of the statute. lobbying has not improved the woman greatly. other people were not very happy with her either. who was mentioned earlier was one the most audacious humbugs. he was a dissatisfied customer. this is not a vinnie's best work , but you have to consider what she was working with. anybody wants to guess who said this?
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of milestones for sculpture but hardly as much claim on government, it would take little but to change my sympathies. any guess of who said this in 1860 it? this was samuel clemens. this is my favorite quote. senator john ingalls said -- ingallss a lot about and vinnie ream. took it back and she threatened to cut it off. benjamin butler never -- might have been feeling nonplussed. he had one night to get to vinnie in order to get to edmund ross read he is convinced his formidable little girl might hold the senator in her pocket. he did not earn the name a beast butler for nothing.
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if the situation required a last-minute effort to sway vinnie, he was determined to use what ever including bribery, intimidation and seduction. hand the practitioner of persuasion, that man, general -- sickles. they quickly arrange for sickles to seek out ross or vini at the boarding house. awems a mixture of revulsion and even envy. here's a great quote.
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the secretary of the senate. going backwards. another good quote -- this is george templeton strong and he wrote to this about the man about to be his congressman in 1856. george was not only vitriolic but was consistent. to spoil as well try and he wrote this about him in 1875. it is true that people said sickles had tens of thousands of the enemies and political
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opportunities waiting to support him but only a handful of close friends. they all happened to be u.s. presidents. i am sorry. i skipped ahead. this is what they had to say about sickles. one of my favorite quotes is alan jenkins found him elegant and seven. he did -- and savage. -- he had as much energy as character unlikely to make a favorable impression. one person said that about him when he arrived in london. he became a godfather to sickles daughter. mary lincoln and abraham lincoln seemed to be impressed with him later. this quote from mary lincoln circles, youry name is deservedly mentioned as being among the most energetic and brave union supporters."
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i am sorry, this is crowded. it was not uniform, this is what justin had to say about him. "king sickles is an abomination in the sight of god." all right. this is my favorite comprehensive as the sink quote i thinkn sickles and it's time for audience participation. will you read along for me? the quota that appeared in 1869. air quotes. the point if you know the name of that -- you know the meaning of that word. it was probably equally demeaning and accurate. all right. why did the m teachers have so
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much faith in this man? he had the long track record. i am not going to go through all this. teachers have so much faith in him? city, itrn in new york could've been 1823 or eight and five, possibly 1826. at one point, dan claimed each of these years you given he was first charged with fraud, i do not think he was 11 years old. i will leave it up to you. more telling personality traits and this man. he is a man of contradictions. he was born into a founding family, one of the worst boppers andmingled with aristocracy upper crust. he loves hanging out at tammany 's gangs and went to mass
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with them on occasion. the tammany hall was the machine thatrty dominated new york for over 30 years. sickles was described as small in stature but dominated gatherings. he was a charming and accomplish womanizer but with a hair trigger temper. intelligent and spoke fluent spanish, french and german and italian. he hated to school. he loved to write an crude, anonymous articles attacking his enemies. he lived lavishly and dressed in the height of fashion. he studied law with andrew johnson's attorney general and only seem to use his elite education to contact himself. he brags about his success in real estate but was sued several times. --didn't blink at spending
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at sending thousands of union soldiers to their death. embarrassing occasions, he broke down in hysterics at the theh of a loving companion first time what it was a young man, his tutor died and he carried on to the point of in their summit at the man's funeral. many years later when his dog died, he held a state funeral thinkdog and was seen we weeping for -- seen days on end. to go through some of the highlights of his career area how did he go from being a real estate speculator to a diplomat? he described himself as a father and savior of central park. he has some claim to the children. -- truth.o the troop.
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the citysically attorney for new york city and he learned what was a sure deal for the part was going to fail because a friend of his, a senator, had asserted a last-minute amendment that would defeat it. , toushed over to the friend his senate office. he made unspecified promises to get and withdrawn. became ad and the man lifetime enemy. he rounded up senators to get them to approve of the bill. he got the governor to sign it and he tracked down the secretary of the senate to save the park. this is a lot of energy sickles spent in a brief time and successfully. he was a civic minded citizen of new york. it turned out later he signally balled up want about -- bought up 1000 acres with a consortium
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before it was finalized. president pierce learned about his acumen and thought this was a man i want on my team. he asked his friend who was one james buchanan and was about to depart for london to take them along as his secretary. and he did comply with that. sickles had recently and is very busy six-month period had eloped with a wealthy heiress and got the mayor of new york to marry them in a civil service and got the archbishop of new york to have a four masked celebrating mass have a -- to have a celebrating them. dan's wifee in 1853, and child were too young to accompany him. he would not be without female
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company. he brought that this woman who was new york's most accomplished prostitute and owned a string of bordellos in manhattan. been repaying a favor when he had are introduced to this woman, queen victoria. managed to present her in court. -- before outrage they realize what happened, dan -- was to something probably off to do something he was sent to do all along. he was working with other proslavery american ambassadors and europe who were sickly working -- who were secretly working to purchase outright cuba as another slave state. while he was there, he had at the happy meeting with a young win as a bella and romer's abounding data with a young youngisabella -- with queen isabella and rumors were
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abounding. dan was joined by his wife and child in london and return to new york and return to the state senate. he was on to greater things. in 1856, he was elected to the house of representatives for the state of new york. he brought along his wife. jared and inanka. was only 20 years old, like her husband, she spoke five versus languages fluently. if he had her, across from her house which was located at left he had parked to reside overstated dinners with the dignitaries. dan was considered one of the most handsome. you have to forgive his appearance in this picture
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because of the swelling. shortly before this picture was taken when hit -- when him and his wife are sleeping, a broke into his hotel room and hit with a bullwhip. dan grappled with the man and tled the willful way. head of thethe brooklyn yard. whip and probably had it in his office. dan was attending a string of girlfriends that were along the rail routes including philadelphia and baltimore.
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a spurned teresa soon turned her tensions to a different man. year, they kept on a fairly open liaison was seem to be known by everybody except for her husband. in februarychanged 1859 when dan received this letter. it was an anonymous letter and that just off it was "i assure knew -- andf people they probably thought the dan had violated one of the prime rules of society in washington, never cheat on your mistress. he rushed home, he forced his excruciatingan confession indeed telling her liaison with barton key. as you can see, it was later leaked to the papers.
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in this confession, teresa wrote sundays after church on , barton key what common out a st. john's church. if you wanted and liaison, he would waive the handkerchief at her window. armed with this knowledge and sickles waited for february 27, he loaded a derringer and a six shot revolver and waited. , the sundayning morning, barton key ventured out and waved his handkerchief. with the typical melodrama and yelled out, you scoundrel, you have dishonored my house only you must die. he took out the derringer and a int he in the hand -- key the hand. key only had a pair of opera glasses.
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he threw his opera glasses at sickles but to new avail. groin. key in the he fell to the ground begging for his life. sickles pulled the trigger and misfired. he mainly revolved of the chamber and fired at his chest and hit him and that was the fatal wound. not the gun to his head and misfired. at this point, 20 or so onlookers rushed in and wrestled the gun away. is made quite a stir. you can save this was known as of the trial of the century. sickles was in prison and the hang amends news seem to be -- ose seem to be
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waiting. every trial of the century has a joint team of lawyers. back andast him at his call. his team came up with this never used defense, not guilty by reason of temporary insanity. among the lawyers who came up with this and probably used it before in england but use for the first sizes vastly in the united states. it was one stanton. standard and sickles would be fast friends after this point. sickles was in the key role of the hour. the hour. of course, sickles being sickles blew that because he committed the sin of forgetting his wife and took her back. he became the donkey of america and was hounded in the press.
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years ago as four a congressman, he knew his career was over. he was out of congress and back in new york wondering what was a relatively young man with so much talent and energy to do? and his case, the salvation came in fort sumter. war broke out and sickles the proslavery, zealous who never saw a proslavery line he didn't like offered his services to the union to defend it. raised an expense, he 5000 man brigade and rushed to washington. he was named a brigadier general. you see vessels not entirely a done deal. you see this was not entirely a done deal. he had lincoln to approve them a a brigadier general and was
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-- general. we are coming to the day in his longer stored career that has marked the beginning of the end and the interest start of the second half of his life. was in command of the union of the third quarter under his immediate command. out, flag his men flying, ahead of everyone on the battlefield when the confederate attack was pending. his commander send out a string of increasingly irritable messages telling him to return to his original position. sickles was arguing the merits of his case. at about 3:00 in the afternoon, meade rush out and ordered him to withdraw his demand. sickles reluctantly agreed. he said it was too late for you
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at that moment, 20,000 confederates attacked his 9000 or 10,000 men. in 90 minutes, sickles' men sickles tried to command a rear defense but at that moment he him and he shing by felt liquid pouring down his leg and he looked down and found out confederate cannonball had just shattered his right leg. at as carried off the field that moment. a lesser man than sickles might have been a bit down about this events but i've got to tell you, he chances of surviving an amputation above the knee was roughly 40%. e insisted within hours of his amputated, he be put in an
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ambulance. loaded on a train and rushed to washington, d.c., of ving there just as news the great victory at gettysburg july 4.king on he quickly took up residence in a couple of blocks from the white house. any guest as to who the first visit sickles on his bed? his first question was, tell me, how was the battle won? something, funny you should ask but thanks to my the battle ctions, was won. forward, we talk about one legged man, certain but ts will be inevitable he truly landed on both feet after this incident. his promotion , was verified by lincoln and even perfectly ad a serviceable wooden leg he liked
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to go around one legged in public, calling attention to his war wounds. good prop. was a his rather obvious ploy for sympathy and admiration did not go unnoticed among his contemporaries. haig, the ce, john president's secretary mentioned this, one leg is a cheap price so much of the praise of man and approval of his own conscience. what quip would be complete without something from mark twain. lost a leg way above the one on his left. sure if he had to part with either of them he would part one that he's got. probably did believe him on the whole that he had a major part of the victory of day in the battle gettisburg he never trusted him with an act of military command he did send him on a
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serio fact finding missions. he was one of the people that nterviewed johnson to be lincoln's running mate in 1864. he wrote a letter recommending as his ident pick him running mate. after the war, the grateful appointed sickles the military governor of south carolina, where he had a two-year term trying o keep peace between the newly disenfranchised free slaves and heavilyer resentful and armed former slave owners. 1867, johnson, who removed him from his position as governor, at this point, north carolina and south carolina. sickles was ful, cooling his heels in washington, for a further opportunity. this confrontation on behalf of and butler, who had a
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perfect opportunity to his worth, i'm finally going to turn to the gist, mercifully brief because it was a mercifully brief meeting. really do justice to this. without a dramatic reading. like i mentioned, this took roughly about here which s 325 north bee street, washington, d.c. at this point the place was a oon scape of marble scraps and construction shacks, left over from the reconstruction of the took l, and it actually sickles quite some time to find his way there in the dark and to house. the right but, you know, there is, of course, no visual representation of what happened that night. actually, we have to rely on sickles version of what happened, that he counted to reporters some 20 years later. catalyst for this interview
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seen the former senator, edmond, walk by him in was treetic who sickles talking to a reporter. the following stream came out. dramatic reading so i to read the part of the woman. i'll read sickles. this is his account of what that night. i pushed my way in. i came for.t i came to save ross. you can help me. this house. i tried to treat her amiably. she was not in. she left more than once to have with a red conversation man's voice behind the curtain on the stair. after my entreaty she resorted to the woman's weapon and burst parlor rs fleeing the for a time. i don't think this is going to show up on here. as the hour drew forward, i
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ex-claimed, he's in the house, to it it's not coming up. oh. >> oh, no. oh, no. t's not showing up in the dialogue here. you know what? >> patrick is going to explain of vinny. >> she said, basically, no, no, good.uld do no no good. i can't slay him. in said, sickles said effect, then you've divided to destroy him. come to nothing. he will die in the streets. about that. vinnie said. he'll support the president. that it doesn't show up on this here. >> thank you, patrick. for your moral support. [applause] actually, we're seasoned well.isation artists as long story short, four or five
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ours later edmond came out and went and voted to acquit the president thereby basically an end. the trial to what his motivations for doing have been matter of some speculation. president kennedy said he did it a heroic self-sacrificial act which was his bookly featured in profiles in courage. other more recent historians there is a lot of evidence that ross might have been bribed. but ast maybe not directly some of his friends, either in his name or him directly sought patronage jobs. vinnie reams e brother-in-law and vinnie reams' air r so it's up in the whether ross -- whether ross was under her thumb or not. in some ways it doesn't matter because what really mattered was republican party, who they held guilty and sure
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they held vinnie guilty. i'll turn to that in a minute. wanted to mention sickles' account here, it really ankled him because this was frankly the only true final political defeat in his entire career. let he give you some examples. fter this rather humiliating, in his view, outcome, he went on sort of squalor victory after that. let's recount some of the career from his that point forward. timent back to spain, this as a full ambassador, for you grant. unfortunate for him, queen issa no longer in residence. he had been overthrown on the grounds of high treason. in other words, she was taking brides and lovers.
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shuttled by ircles train where his former queen had taken up residence. unnoticed in the french press. came out, nt, this he yankee king of pain, as noted by a member of his own ministry in madrid. one of those many busy years in his life because in ddition to romancing the queen and ostensibly carrying on his fficial duties he was asked by the new president of the french hird republic, to carry out a mission of special, special consequence. basically, asked the president of france to go boozing with man, von miss-maotto von bisma. n 1871 they had just lost the franco brush sean war and
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negotiations were under way about how much territory france cede to the new prussia empire. he president of france desperately asked his france, intercede and see what he could salvage from the situation. sickles was a realist. wouldn't get much so he put forward over one weekend case for s, france, a letting france, for the purpose of salvaging the honor, keep balfour.e, his was the only place the french armory had garnered any onor, they had held successfully throughout the war in the siege. strategically was a vital town the ger mans gave french republic. to this day, it's now an of pendent department france. as a result, the french sickles this.ded
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or ng him either the first second american ever to win the highest honor, and only maybe about five or six americans have been awarded this honor. it's uncertain about whether he all irst or second because the records were destroyed in a fire by 1880. if you have any dispute about why he got this award i scholarsou consult the at this location. sickles in france, i'm ure they will be happy to fill new on details in. this very crowded year, he found love once more. wife, teresa, had died tuberculosis and not able to accession the queen as he would like he turned his attention to this woman, an waiting tosh lady in the spanish queen, and he married her in 1871. of his birth to two three children. though they separated
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1879 when dan m returned to the united states, never to return. hey -- he didn't set eyes on his children or wife for another 25 years. he returned to new york where he quickly was enlisted in the cause promoting pensions for the civil war veterans and also to make sure that they received roper recognition on the battlefield scattered across the united states, so he took on the chairmanship, first of the new monuments commission. his crowning triumph is he for one to congress term in his 70s and was getting the in gettisburg military park established. he was awarded for his services awarded belated him him the medal of honor and it was for his extraordinary 2, 1863.n july i've got to point out, he was one of only two union generals the medal of honor for their activities that day. in who you 's all
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know. later, he was asked, didn't it rangel him that he seemed to be the only senior not to get a nder statue of him placed on the gettysburg battlefield? replied, rather famously this, the whole damn battlefield my monument. again, circles being sickles, he rest.let well enough this monument appeared two years later. it's the sickles gettysburg recented by the new york state monuments commission, unknown. now reaching the twilight of his s, he's 's now in his 80 still an alderman for the city of new york city. done with hink he's his various nefarious exploits. not quite in. the age of 93, he was arrested one more time. yes. 18, he was at the age of was arrested at the age of 93 for embezzlement. in a "new york times" on january 27.
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he was arrested for it because turned over the books of the new york state monuments commission to his successor, $28,000 missing. now, what i love about this it's on the front page of the "new york times," only new yorkers could have jaded bythis point, so the ongoing drama of sickles many exploits that he gets equal a story, a dog man story. but again, you know, he was -- circles never really loses in the end. in next day this appeared the paper. the sheriff arrested him but in is hands he had a bond for $30,000. sickles signed the bond and paid $5 surety fee he would be eleased on his own recognizance. nonplussed, he said i don't have $5. but he borrowed the money from
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his mistress. made one last triumphal appearance at the 50th nniversary of the battle of gettysburg. he appeared with his tow.ekeeper, in went to all the events. the reaction of his wife, who by had come , had wrurnd to america to live with her is not d husband recorded, although i've got to years ut in the last 10 two orlife, he she lived three houses down from him. now, sickles landed on both feet. yes, in the wake of his defeat at the hands of vinnie. she was ie, those triumphant that night this nearly marked the end of her career. who the clear impeachers blame for their defeat. now, again, historians can argue, did she really play such a large role? but benjamin butler certainly to blame. and he stormed -- he kicked her
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basement, leaving her plaster, very fragile, clay exposed the president and unprotected. he literally barred her from returning to the building and republican press was equally unsympathetic and piled on. ears a headline from the "philadelphia inquirer." and somewhat less settled, in press, we have no doubt that there are hundreds of young ladies that could exhibit bust as fine as ms. vinnie reams. talent as a sculptor, she was an unsurpassed master of political infighting. what i like to call vinnie's me, too, moment, she quickly democratic press to come to her defense. headlines like this start appearing. reams meanly threatened. -- my favorite, beauty
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and the beach. of art.ersus a child but what really turned it it was this man, thaddeus stevens, with only a few weeks last o live, made his appearance on the house floor and gave an impassioned speech reams, on vinnie though he had led the failed attempt to impeach the president he was not one to turn his back on his friend, she was not only his friend she had sculptured likeness of stevens a few months earlier which was much to is liking, so her honor restored, her studio restored, vinnie finished her models in like every clay, and good artist she went off to rome work in marble. after t on to commission commission, fairly prolifically in a very short period of time. earlier in ed kirk this presentation, he voted gainst her, well, you know, revenge is best served cold.
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some 30 or 40 years later she was commissioned to do the kirkwood that's now in the statuary hall. of her other commissions, the triumphal one statue in the square. is -- she was the only three commissions during for statuary hall and for tied with she was other male artists who had as many commissions. interesting, ound when she went to rome, she -- probably unintended but rather long ofting impact on the history women in the arts in america because when she got to rome, henry e found was what james later pop uized, as that of american lady sculptors who had one time etted upon the seven hills of rome in a white frock.
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probably a back handed compliment but these women took heart and used it as a badge of honor. all of these women were probably gifted artists and sculptures than vinnie ream but they had all start refuge in home, one, because their alternative lifestyles were not tolerated in america. not attend ould female anatomy courses in the united states, they could in three, cheap leftover marble was available for them to do their own work. these women all american to powerful patrons who visited here in her two years in rome and i think ne of the best examples, ann whitney, who had been frustrated did the turn, she later statue of sam adams, that's now a few the statuary hall years later in. reigned supreme. sition, she was
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instrumental in getting the hall of will's arts created and she many of these artists exhibited for the first time for larger t time for the public. ut this constant hustling for commissions had worn her down and by 1878 after over a hundred ommissions she was getting quite tired of the hustle, and she found a handsome and wealthy t and very young suitor named lieutenant calvary . -- a former man from the first iowa cal have -- calvary. of 1878 who is who washington, came to her wedding. former lover, walked her down the aisle. suspected lover, provided for him, mercifully her poem extorting virtues. france liz, who she may or may
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affair with in rome provided her with an original composition to be wedding.t the in addition, sherman's daughters were the flower girls and albert was the made of honor. ow, what a former calgary man from ohio might have thought hoistedving albert pike as a best man is unrecorded but i've got to point out albert xwharnlged for the war crimes of indian troops under his command. were accused of calping and dismembering iowa calvary man on that battlefield, solace, he did -- she did receive a nice wedding gift. managed to get him named assistant commissioner for the newly formed commissioner of which had taken overrule of the city from the corrupt governor.eleaded at this point she more or less retired from her public career.
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she had one son and she spent ferrying back and forth between iowa city, iowa, and her residence in d.c. she did leave this legacy. first and foremost, after her she did stay around long enough to finish a statue. a houseere she insisted be built for her by a renowned architect. built this house. in years afterward, vinnie for their legendary ability to attract important movers and shakers. notice the address, k street. kind of, one of the reasons k street became known as he lobbying corridor in washington, d.c. and, i can leave it with this. ctually it was an attempt to put her down that probably had the most to do with her lasting legacy. in 1873, a novelist based the on ain of his first novel vinnie ream. he created a character named to get her way in
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family's to get her worthless land bought up by inflated prices by the united states government. this novel didn't hurt vinnie's because it was known as the gilded age. lement's first novel and in a backhanded compliment vinnie was the inspiration for the term age inve its name to the which she lived. i've got to say, sadly, both and dan died the same year, in 1914, and they are onlyfew hundred yards -- apart.few hundred years insistence, her husband had her tomb topped by a reproduction of her favorite statue. it was her sort of getting back who had once accused her of the same things he had been accused of, you know, being an artist with
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.lternative lifestyles now, again, you would think such rockiable people would still be known today but largely they have disappeared. everybody knows the story of life and-footer remainder of his life when he was in washington if he happened be there on july 2 he would go visit his leg in a museum case. sometimes it was noted he a date with him. vinnie really, after her death from view.e's lost i was very hard-pressed to find any mention of her in the 20th century. across. this she had a cameo in a wonder 1950. comic-book in may profiles f. kennedy's in courage, he doesn't make any mention of her and doesn't sickles by name. however, a few years later when profiles in courage was turned a television series they put out an episode. knew ood screen writers the story -- it was a pretty
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oring story so somebody did some research and even though they don't appear in the book they certainly appeared in the version. started sickles -- a young started vinnie. this is just, these were just guest roles. to be the lead star "fiddler on the roof." if there are any "star trek" busts in the audience, you might her from this guest appearance she made on "star mrs. when she played spock. moving to the 21st century, here has been virtually no mention of either one in popular american media. i hesitated to even call it a walk-john bit part by dan sickles. and that of course, occurred in lincoln, in 2012. cameost part of dan had a
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appearance. these are some of the books i is mmend if anybody interested in learning more about either of these characters. these are some of the more recent and popular books but to tell you, sickles, the incredible, is among my all books.avorite most popular biographies i have ever read. ow, i don't know if there is time but i did promise -- >> no time. >> no time, sorry. have to come back to this another time. or ask me afterwards. vinnie-mania helped to wreck the most expensive government expedition before the advent of nasa. be happy to entertain questions. we're out of time. we'll have to do it afterwards. [applause] >> thank you. everybody was as impressed as i was. there is information here that none of us had ever heard before. [laughter]
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>> lincoln's interaction with people would uch have lasting effects on this after they all got done. patrick, we would like you to gift on behalf of the lincoln group of the columbia.of >> thank you. [applause] >> thank you for doing your research with us. very interesting. up the program now, around for will be questions. we're past our time. he meeting adjourned but thank you for your participation. see you next month. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> interested in american history tv? website,
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you can view our tv schedule, upcoming programs, and watch college lectures, museum and more.hival films, history tv. tonight, brooklyn college professor casey johnson teaches presidents lyndon johns and nixon. he described johnson's plan to fill the bench with liberal justices and concludes with of nixon's n some court nominations. preview. >> this is highly inappropriate behavior. not be having private conversations with abj. should not be cooperating with nixon. recuse himself from water gate hearings, and you ave to assume that these kind of conversations occurred with
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truman and with fdr and probably eisenhower, it's just we don't have recordings of these conversations. we've moved tent towards a more ethical supreme court. it's highly unlikely, for instance, that in 2015, kagan would head off to the oval president chat with obama. she recognized that that sort of thing would be improper. neither ford nor johnson see ofthing wrong with this kind conduct in the 1960s. tough to assume, let's say there challenge itutional to a johnson bill. could any of us really be confident that she would look at that dispassionately and say i think this is unconstitutional lbj'm going to vote against even though i really like him? questions of partiality. >> learn more about president johnson and president nixon's nominations tonight at 8:00 p.m. and midnight eastern. students in the classroom every weekend on lectures in
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history. here on american history tv. >> next, on history bookshelf, aboute shy hooper talks her occupant, "lincoln's generals' wives: four women who influenced the civil war for better or for worse." the wives of lincoln's top generals and examines how the relationships their husbands and president lincoln affected the war. this was recorded in washington, d.c. in 2016. minutes -- about 40 minutes. >> good afternoon, everyone. thank you so much for being here today. my name is candice. with some of the events here in the store and on behalf of the owners and the rest of staff, i want to welcome you to politics and prose.
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