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tv   The Civil War Gettysburg Civil War Institute Conference  CSPAN  June 15, 2019 3:15pm-4:15pm EDT

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you are watching american history tv here on c-span3. >> good afternoon. i am peter carmichael, a member of the history department. it is my pleasure this afternoon
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to welcome jason phillips jason ofllips is the professor civil war studies at west virginia university. he started his academic career at the inner city of richmond. he completed his masters at wake forest and is going on to rice university where he worked with john bowles who is retiring this year. a very important, famous southern historian. he has published two books. his first, "diehard rebel" published by the university of georgia. bookordinarily important if you want to understand the southern soldiers that some might consider to be zealots. he takes them on their terms. into their ideology and their culture, and it is an
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outstanding book. one thing about jason is i would say he has -- is never comfortable about how he does history. he is always looking for something new and something different not in terms of the topic but in methodology. that is why people come to wv you and study with him. and study with him. we have sent a number of kids from gettysburg college to work with them. the approach recently has been a focus on material culture, and it is part of, an important part of his recent publication "looming civil war: how 19th-century americans imagine the future." we are always looking at the past, and this is a very creative, very imaginative approach, and another book that i assigned it to my undergraduates at gettysburg
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last spring. they loved the book. as i told you all, undergraduates, they are tough customers. , absolutelyched impeccable, beautifully written, very accessible, and jason will be speaking about part of his research in looming civil war. please welcome, jason phillips. [applause] jason: thank you, pete. thank you all for coming. the public has long been drawn to the relics of the civil war and as our last panel suggested, the professional historians are just now starting to catch up to civil war enthusiasts interest. i became fascinated by john brown's pikes.
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i'm going to talk to about them today and hopefully we will have plenty of time for some questions. the story about john brown's pikes which were over 900 pikes, spirits, they were manufactured and eventually sent to harpers ferry or the harpers ferry area for the raid in 1859. their story, i've broken into six parts and each part focuses on the weapons when they were held by different people, and they were in different places. it happens in different states for each part of the story. you will notice that these weapons mean different things during each part of their journey. they represented different political goals and prospects every step of the way. our first part is kansas.
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aboute told friends leaving kansas, virginians -- a "i went toecalled, take old brown and old brown took me." 1856, he surrendered his posse to john brown's company. men recognized the event as the first battle of a looming civil war. there had been lots of violence in kansas prior to the battle of blackjack, but this was the first pitch firefight. each100 men firing at other at blackjack for three hours, a number of casualties. this is not just an act of terror, this was in fact a battle.
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to prove that blackjack mentor, clay pate and c -- draft an article of surrender and criminal exchange that afternoon. this is that document. the agreement between them specified that pate and his you woulds lieutenant be exchanged for two of john brown's sons being held by proslavery militia. the document stressed, and i've armsd it, "the particularly the sidearms of each one exchanged are to be returned with the prisoners." led bys. drag goons sumner and jeb stuart, yes, that jeb stuart arrived three days brown produced this
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signed agreement and insisted brockett were his prisoners until proslavery released his sons. sumner told brown that he would not parlay with "lawless and armed men" and he demanded that brown released his prisoners and return their things. brown was not happy about this. end was not holding up his of the deal, their agreement was being disrupted, and while brown was forced to free pate and his men while being faced with armed u.s. soldiers, he did something. he kept the sidearm. he kept henry clay pate's bowie knife. carried his knife to kansas, it threatened a border war. meant aggression . they broked lines,
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laws, they asserted supremacy at knife point. after swords went out of fashion, and they went out of fashion at the start of the 19th century, bowie knives saw a problem -- solved a problem of self-defense. tried concealed weapons, but they were pretty unreliable. belts, from boots and bowie knives rejected decency and worked in a fight. creator insisted that the knives were hunted -- hunting knives, but everyone knew he gave the first one to his brother to kill a man. saved hisowie's knife life during a melee, it made him and his blade famous. when jim bowie died at the
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alamo, his knife materialized southern politics. en startedern states m wearing and using bowie knives in legislature. william lloyd garrison condemned what he called the supremacy of the bowie knife and criticized northerners being intimidated. he said, it is only for a few judicious hot spurs of the south to brandish their bowie knife and shout 'we dissolve the union'and straightaway, we turn pale. their ways bullied into kansas. a border ruffian told a reporter that missourians would quote, "enter every election district in kansas in defiance of the governor and vote at the point of the bowie knife." when senator david atchinson led
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missouri men to vote in kansas, he warned the crowd at the precinct, we came to vote, and we are going to vote, or kill every abolitionist in the district. yankees hid their efforts to arm , southerners slotted violence for effect. southern filibusters like jefferson buford advertise plans to conquer kansas and calls for volunteers in the newspaper. buford sold 40 of his slaves to arm 400 men, and they marched from alabama to kansas under a silk banner that read, the supremacy of the white race. the same year that congress opened kansas to slavery, southern evangelist samuel baldwin published a book called "armageddon." baldwin prophesied that war in
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the midwest would and time and usher the second coming of jesus christ. he based his book on the book of daniel and recent history like filibustering and bleeding kansas. bowie,ners like therd looked west and saw fate of civilization hanging in the balance. they expected victory. as baldwin predicted, the total extinction of some inferior races as for instance, the mexicans. conquests appealed to henry clay pate. he grew up in virginia listening to his grandfather's stories of the revolutionary war, and he envied the old for accomplishing the greatest of military achievements, spilling blood to secure sovereignty. the kansas-nebraska act gave pate a chance to repeat his
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grandfather's glory. before he left for the frontier, his friends gave him a parting gift. the bowie knife. crossed to missouri and the border in search of john brown. took pate's knife, he acquired a battle trophy. defeatedps strip a enemy in this case, they assert dominance. brownaling pate's knife, disarms the southerner of his characteristic weapon. but battle trophies seldom are theirldom remain with process, these battlefield trophies and circulate for more -- from warfront to homefront.
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months after blackjack, brown paraded his trophy during a fundraising tour across new england. after listening to his lecture, audiences thrilled to see knife out ofte's his boot, and people came to expect it. when ralph waldo emerson and henry david thoreau met john brown for the first time, they asked to see the bowie knife. after brown spoke in collinsville, connecticut, blacksmith charles blair admired the bowie. the blade about eight inches long, blair remembered. he could tell it was an expensive weapon. brown asked what it would cost to copy the blade and attach it to say 1006 foot. foot poles.
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charles blair paused. unsure that he wanted this work, he quoted john brown a stiff price. oneaid it would cost dollar apiece. brown said, i want them made. the question is, why pikes? why not more bully knives, something else -- bowie knives, something else? the murderers terrified proslavery settlers. acrossng 1000 blades kansas would intensify the scare brown had started. his choice of weapon mattered. reader of was an addevid military history. represented pikes the overthrow of aristocracy. poweral knights gained because few men had the courage
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to stand and received a cavalry charge. that changed when peasants skewered knights with pikes. weapon in the hands of a determined underclass ended the reign of knights in europe. perhaps circulating 1000 pikes in kansas would produce a similar result against the knight of the south. if pate's knight threatened a border war, brown's pike threatens a class war. into a pike also illustrated the slippery conduct of yankee radicals. rifles arrived in kansas. northern militia called their swords, the free state hotel.
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proslavery settlers had reason to worry that things were not what they seemed in kansas. the covert and is -- covertness and this honesty of northerners out west unnerved proslavery settlers. --n missours ruffiansi missouri ruffians sacked northerners, they destroyed yankee things. weaponsey stole all the they could find, missourians plundered homes, burned, and eventually exploded the free state hotel, and smashed the printing press of the herald of freedom, antislavery newspaper. northern women went out into the streets and they gathered the presses scattered type, and gave it to free state militia. the militia melted the type into cannonballs.
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when northerners retaliated for this, they fired the reconstituted type through the enemy's fort. this, they said, is the second addition of the herald of freedom. a pretty good show, right? how do you like it? the southerners did not like it, they surrendered. than one, things changed in kansas. brown continued this tradition by transforming a ruffian's knife antifreeze state pikes. he instructed blair to use common handles to conceal the intent and to shift the blade -- ship the blade separately and other boxes. you can see, there is a circle, that is the screw so you can attach the blade at the destination, and you have a weapon.
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weeks later, the panic of 1857 doomed john brown's fundraising tour. unpaid, blair left the weapons unfinished. one is public fundraising failed during hard times, john brown turned to private --anciers, healthy multi-radicals known as the secret 6. 1859, pairs of men followed the pikes to harpers ferry. a free black man from canada recalled that they marched like a funeral procession. brown finally paid for the weapons three years after blackjack, when he returned to blair. did you wantd why them, and brown said, they might be useful if they were finished.
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instead of threatening a class war out west, the pikes now threaten a race war down south. anderson was responsible for giving pikes to slaves during the raid. because he was in charge of things, slaves assumed anderson, not brown, was captain of the band this was reinforced -- the band. ais was reinforced when nephew of washington surrendered his sword to anderson, not brown. order 11 explained why. john brown's words, anderson being a colored man, and colored men being only things in the south, it is proper that the south be taught a lesson upon this point. so what is brown getting at? brown exposed the legal fiction
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that blacks were property by having lewis washington surrender his prized piece of property to anderson. wayanging arms was brown's of proving black humanity. give the slave a pike, he said, and you make him a man. weapons offered more than freedom. they conveyed virtues that americans respected. nothing so charms the american people as personal bravery. that is what brown told blacks. while other abolitionists wanted to give slaves freedom, john brown wanted to give them weapons. that is the critical difference between john brown and most other abolitionists. hold onto your weapons, he told them, and never be persuaded to leave them. slaves that harpers ferry understood this advice. throughout the raid, they handled and exchanged weapons to express allegiance and power.
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between 25 and 50 slaves joined anderson at the start of the raid. an elderly slave used lewis washington's shotgun to kill a white citizen as retaliation for the death of one of the raiders. other slaves used the pikes to guard hostages including their masters. blacks who provided supplies across the river fired on troops and harpers ferry the moment after that is morning after john brown was captured. ferry,roops and harpers the morning after john brown was captured. green, one of five black men in brown's party, dropped his rifle as one of them. his pikeave fruit down and begged for mercy. a clever expression of loyalty was practiced by one of lewis
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washington's slaves. days after the revolt failed, he said that john brown's men gave him a weapon to arm himself when he escaped. but we know that anderson gave washington's shotgun to the old slave who fought throughout the attack. what is this other slave doing? raid, he recognize his master's shotgun and he also recognized the way to safely return to the plantation instead of being convicted or lynched as an insurrectionist. some african-americans returned weapons to save their lives, others hid them. washington recovered his dress sword and his shotgun, but his belgian bird gun disappeared. marylandbyrne, a slaveholder who was a hostage during the raid, testified that the piece was carried by one of of thee --
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negroes. the belgian gun had a brass plate with an engraved initial 'w.' it was found besides to 1858 model harpers ferry models. by tracing the story of these weapons, his story has uncovered a complex web of black involvement in the raid. osborne anderson hoped this -- wouldas spread spread a race war and instead, it helped him escape to canada along the underground railroad. dragged to john brown unconscious from the engine house, lieutenant stole his bowie knife. and the english blade with a beautiful tortoiseshell handle. stuart cook confirmed brown's
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identity, because he was there in 1856 when colonel sumner wrote into brown's camp and released henry clay pate and his men. stuart hated john brown and he wanted harpers ferry citizens to kill him. acquaintancet an and prominent local man and suggested that brown was a man so infamous for his robberies and murders, that if the people here in new him,, he would not be permitted to live five minutes. street sounds from a gathering mob penetrated the cell and disturbed brown. strother, an artist, was more interested in sketching than lynching john brown. he complained that his subject was to bloody for an accurate portrait. when stuart ordered someone to clean brown's wounds, another wounded raider remarked, if
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there is any manhood in you, and you are not a set of old women, you should immediately have him cared for. theraider was challenging masculinity of the south and jeb stuart knew it. >> -- knew it. [-- other southerners followed the example of belittling the raiders by gathering battle trophies. militias later, the returned to town with two wagons filled with hundreds of revolvers, rifles, torches, percussion caps, gunpowder -- why does this matter?
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no midnight thieves stockpiled weapons like this. possessions substantiated their plans. marinesook a squad of and by the time they arrived, neighbors had already ransacked the place for souvenirs. checked in outlying cabin on the first floor, he found crates filled with tent canvases, axes, how many mills, men's clothing, and boots. climbing to the second story, he discovered quilt neatly piled three feet high. hundreds of loft, spears lay across the floor and rested against the wall. stunned by this, stewart turned himo a local man and guided -- with a man that had guided
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him to a location. he basically told them, i need you to break this attic window and throw all of the spears into the yard. he did as he was told. while he was tossing pikes out the window, citizens reappeared and stole them before stuart could cart them to town. at hand,ed by the task stewart allowed each person to take five spears each. when that amount had not satisfied civilians nor diminished the work at hand, he said ok, ok. each person's quota can be 50, but that is it. e, whitehis spre southerners collected pocket-size relics. the crowd carried off all of the clothing and boots before stuart could cart them. southerners craze for john frenziedhings was so that the baltimore and
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sold the pikes. and to they put an trade because they worried that spreading his intentions might start a slave of all. -- a slave revolt. november 21, 1859, henry clay pate visited john brown in jail and demanded the return of his bowie knife. many southerners called on john brown while he was in jail and the vast majority of them enjoyed a polite conversation. pate did not. brown confessed that he gave the knife to a friend in massachusetts. when pate pressed for a name, brown refused. s foraged and strengthen social bonds, but in this case, brown honored one man by just expecting another. pate and brown understood this.
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when pate confronted brown in jail, he demanded restitution. only the return of his knife s subordinateate' relationship with john brown. the fact that he surrendered to him. so much had changed. fought brown and kansas three years earlier. try to resolve the nation's problems on the perimeter, far from eastern population centers. fewer people would be caught in a vortex of territorial disputes. and drawing boundaries on a map seems more manageable for congress than what they now faced in 1859. pate race war threatened 's home state where thousands of people could die in an insurrection. harpers ferry was a government town.
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the federal government had property at stake there. would washington be as quick to protect the property and lives of southerners living far from federal arsenals and interests? it is an important question to ponder in 1859. bleeding kansas sets rival settlements against each other and it was violent, but a race war would envelop households and fire and blood. if brown would not provide restitution, pate determined to find it on its own -- on his own and had to find his knife. the first think he did was publish a pamphlet calling for the return of his knife. send my's friend will weapon to me, i shall be obliged to him, he said. he even offered to pay for his own knife so he could have it. then pate did a most remarkable thing.
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denouncederners yankee sympathy for brown for the sake of the south. not pate, he headed north. to restore his honor, he reversed brown's course. if brown could leave his new york, pate could leave and attacked john brown's character in new york. five days after brown's execution, and millions more and the martyr, pate denounced brown in a speech at the cooper institute in new york city. according to pate, if everything brown said and done were to be taken together, nothing characterizing a truly courageous man would be found. the north, he said, was also wrong about him. pate was not a border ruffian. not the guy the abolitionists had portrayed. he was a newspaper editor, he was a warrior. pate prophesied a looming war
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with anarchy as the result. after harpers ferry, he warned the south would no longer tolerate abolitionists. in 1850, anyone who dared to predict the emancipation would've been tarred and feathered. said, a worse fate awaited such a rascals. him, optimized the hypocritical ways of abolitionists. he was a holier than thou profits would revolutionize the union and set on willing slaves free without giving them any means for supporting themselves. brown'sh's reaction to insurrection suggested that the region preferred that slavery die in a bloody race war rather than peaceful means. a looming insurrection would murder many southerners, but according to pate, it would not kill slavery.
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abolitionists might as well try to abolish death as to abolish slavery. both have been around since the existing of human civilization, he said. north to come to the aid of the south in the present crisis before it was too late. papers diditionist not stop their articles in time, a war between the north is bound to come, and woe to all who had occasioned it. he thought this would splinter the united states into more than two confederates. chaosredicted the same that abraham lincoln was going to predict on the same stage several weeks later for his campaign. and lincolne, pate pointed fingers in opposite directions. pate accused abolitionists. secessionists.d
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trying to recover his reputation turned back the clock. he spent most of his lecture retracing what actually happened at blackjack. i am happy to talk about that during the q&a. when the new york herald ure, theypate's lect called the battle famous. but pate insisted that northerners had all the details wrong, because abolitionists papers had slandered him and misrepresented his surrender. whoead of being a coward surrendered 30 men to 9 men, he said he capitulated to a superior force. admitted this to him in jail. when he asked the audience for questions, a young man and a military overcoat shot from his do you thinked, '
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of i were to go to virginia, i would be allowed to speak as you speak tonight'-- certainly you would, pate replied. virginianss fellow would not allow northerners to come to south and talk about clash wars or race wars in old dominion. and the point that pate carries with him when he is explaining blackjack proved his point -- it proved the heckler's point. what he used as a pointer was one of john brown's pikes. but, the fact that his missing knife modeled the blade escaped henry clay pate. when pate took the pike as a battle trophy, abolitionists were also clamoring to get john brown's pikes, but they saw them as sacred relics.
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noratio russ was a abolitionist. -- blair had made 12 original pikes, like samples. and they started to manufacture the order, so brown gave one of the original pikes to his friend horatio russ. russ had ans death, inscription carved into it, captain john brown executed in virginia. forarnum offered $100 brown's clothing and a pike kept e the undertaker brown's clothes for himself and his family. familynged to a quaker and abolitionist. also gave william
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lloyd garrison one of brown's 12 pikes, and the pacifist prized it. he said if you look closely at virginia's state seal, it showed a man conquer -- conquering his oppressor by wielding, guess what -- a pike. thomas russell, a massachusetts judge who sheltered brown after he fled kansas, visited brown in jail and carried home a pike. also received a pike and eventually gave it to wendell phillips, a prominent abolitionist, so all of them are getting their hands on pikes as well. had airginia slave owner phillipsrown's hair,
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cherished it. johnvocated pouring brown's body across the north. mary brown refused. visions of white northerners freeing black southerners through bloodshed also anticipated the civil war. caskets,for brown's wendell phillips predicted that the harpers ferry rate would would- harpers ferry raid kill slavery in the end. and he says most americans to have age brown did not good perspective on history. they said it was just like how their ancestors regretted joseph warren's death at the battle of bunker hill. brown sacrificed
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himself at the beginning of a long struggle for freedom. seeould only take time to the truth. he said history will date fromnia's emancipation harpers ferry. he gave the eulogy at brown's funeral in new york. ruffiann edmond acquired his battle trophy five days after brown's execution. he described it as one of those spirits which brown had brought to arm the slaves. which brown had brought to arm the slaves. and other white southerners saw african spears. a bookkeeper counted a large quantity of spears, sharp iron booing knives, a terrible looking weapon intended for the use of the negroes.
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that is the longest description that is bookkeeper wrote. there is something visceral about these pikes. european civilized defensive weapons. spears, in the eyes of the southerners, are barbaric, african weapons. southerners also vied for pieces. as trophies,f ears they pick pockets, and they stole letters from his wife. authorities concealed john brown's casket and used decoy hearses to get his body safely to the north. the body of his son watson not make it north until the 1880's. when it arrived, fingers and toes were missing. medical students from winchester raidershe bodies of two
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and carried them to anatomy class. ider'sne of the ra parents asked for it to be returned, they refused. also, they savored their victory against john brown. ruffin had big plans for his trophy. he wanted to circulate brown's spears across the south. in his opinion, brown's invasion would have been a good cause for declaration of war. these spears threatened civil war. to eachone spear governor of a slaveholder state to be placed in each hall of the capitol. he was a relentless
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secessionist, but he understood if he could circulate these spears around the south, they served as the most impressive preacher and his absence. to put all decided message on these gifts that he is circulating around the south. this is the one that he sent to south carolina. to the state of south carolina, samples of the favors designed for us from our northern brothers. out ofout of this danger, we pld the flower safely. let's take a minute and look at the language and unpack what ruffin is saying. addressing slave owners who received many sample northern designers. samples of cloth, tool, and other items moved south before
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placing orders. samples were basically promises about the future that northerners made to southerners. most of the manufacturing in this time is happening in the northeast. class wanted the master to know that brown's spear was a genuine article, the very thing that yankees intended to send to send the south in bulk. the quotation is from shakespeare, this is from henry the fourth. southerners would have line wasd that the spoken by henry hotspur, the chief rebel against the king. suggests, this character is shakespeare's greatest fire eater, the greatest secessionist. 1970, hotspur was depicted as a military hero from the countryside who represented the older order of the
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futile honor. and his spear was an honored guest at an event. quest toarted a restore the static pass. both of their crusades would end with their death. was not the only virginian to spread brown's pike across the south. after harpers ferry raid, the secretary of war transferred thousands of muskets from northern arsenals to southern armories. he also shipped hundreds of brown's pikes southward. father had been governor of virginia during that turner's rebellion. it is possible that -- during nat turner's rebellion. it is possible that he moved them south that he anticipated the civil war and used his federal position to arm the future confederacy. thed resigned during
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secession crisis and later became a confederate general, a very bad one. some of these pikes that floyd transferred south actually pikes showed up around all over the war, one of them was found here in gettysburg. the final part. tracing the movement of these pikes shows how americans value possession and use them to get two different ends. they predicted a border war, a classwork, and a civil war frigate historians explained the material world of memory bikes planning how groups hold onto relics and monuments to represent the past. people spread expectations by gathering the things they
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associate with the future, like these pikes. patterns emerged. twice, these things crossed borders to spark conflicts for freedom, both failed. first in kansas, then in virginia. captured things as trophies and circular to them to promote radical politics, first abolition, then secession. certain things gathered people instead of being the other way around. they rallied them by embodying and signifying their hopes and fears. invaded kansas and virginia found courage and resolve in the things they carried, like these weapons. the men who took those things to connecticut and south carolina worried about them and, i think gained a false sense of security by disarming their enemy. these things asserted the ,anliness of their possessors and unmanned people who lost them. they understood this fact.
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the northern surge in 1859 failed to recover his knife. in 1864 at the battle of yellow tavern, short after jeb stuart was mortally wounded. book, i felted my this work was not done until i could uncover what happened to his knife. until i could answer the question for him and all of us. where did it go after brown give it to someone? i thought if i could answer that riddle, i could give his spirit some resolution and provide an ending that is fitting to this story. he suspected that brown gave his howell, samuel grizzly a member of the secret six. was a good guess. all of the evidence points toward another man. before he left for harpers ferry, brown went to this man's home, a friend in massachusetts,
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to give him the knife. as usual, brown arrived unannounced. he had a habit of doing this. this man was not home. brown left with the knife still in his boot and gave it to his wife and said, after i am gone on my trip, make sure you present this to my friend in massachusetts. she did this. failed, this man proved to be one of john brown's most stalwart supporters. other people denied affiliation with brown for fear of being arrested in the aftermath. this man gave speeches in his honor. the sharks, said, rifles and revolvers were employed in a righteous cause. he is mocking americans for usually using weapons for a noble causes like dueling, filibustering, killing indians and hunting fugitive slaves. urgent to change the northern
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reaction to the raid, he repeated his speech and worchester and boston. when frederick custis -- when frederick douglass or -- refused to appear in a for brown, he took his name on a program. newspapers edited out his boldest points. when the first biography of brown was written in 1860, he asked this man for a definitive account of the battle of blackjack and he dedicated the volume to him. his name was handing -- henry reau. throw -- throw -- tho thanmk you. [applause] prof. phillips: are there any questions i can answer? >> i am wondering, you have
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given us a surprising number of examples tonight where you have political radicals, where it is like they are curating their acts of violence. they are providing prompts and digging into the stories and relationships behind specific things. in thes a common tactic playbook of political activists at this time or was it new and organic? dr. phillips: good question. it was a very common tactic. one of the reasons why they did this is because it was clear to everyone across the political spectrum in america at this time that newspapers did not always tell the truth. one way you could substantiate your point was by providing physical evidence for a crime, or the enemy's contentions. when brown is showing the knife with one hand, he was parading
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around new england with the the -- that they had used to hold his son together while sending them at a breakneck pace of 25 miles per day across the kansas parent -- prairie. getting into details and saying this is exhibit a come this is exhibit b. it was a common way in which people do not trust -- in a time in which people do not trust the news. this is evidence that this is true. could you elaborate on how john brown envisioned pikes being used and where the 900 just a beginning of something or were more being made? dr. phillips: his original intention for these things is hard to grapple with. concerned after his massacre in kansas, when they
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broke into some homes in the middle of the night, dragged out men and the older boys and that the proslavery settlers in kansas and missouri would retaliate the same way. perhaps, if women and men had pikes by the door in their sod house, in their first settlements in kansas, they might be able to stop this kind of assault. he understood -- it was understood initially as a defensive weapon. it was originally intended for kansas in 1857. they were not originally intended to go south. except for all these other contingencies, like the panic of 1857, he ends up carrying them down south. 1000.ginally ordered
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i cannot number the exact number. i think it was 967 or manufactured. in the end, they didn't have the time to complete the order. there was another blacksmith in town making some for him. the total they got it was 967. when he sends them into harpers like his looks original intention was to give these weapons to slaves who could not take the rifles at harpers ferry and use them. this is a weapon, a slave holding a hoe handle. they have handle these before. they would know how to use these weapons. it all fell into place in some cosmic way for him. i'm sure he thought it was divinely ordained that this is how it came to be. it was not his original intention to take the pikes and send them south area -- south. >> i just have to ask, what did
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throw -- thoreau do with his knife? dr. phillips: i wish i knew. died in 1862horeau at the age of 45. it's a curious thing about this weapon. it seems like whoever gets it does not last very long. i say that in all seriousness. the man who brown give it to initially was his son, frederick brown after the battle of blackjack. frederick, and the middle of the battle, he was supposed to guard the horses. in the middle of the battle, he gets on one of those forces, rides through the middle of the battlefield to announce, father, we have them surrounded, which was a complete lie. it convinced him that they were reinforcements everywhere and here to negotiate a surrender. gives thect, brown
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knife to his son, frederick. frederick is murdered in kansas. clay paste does not survive the civil war. henry david thoreau does not survive. it is a dangerous weapon, even though in the end, i don't think pate harmed a single person, but it create an amount of heimlich -- an amount of havoc. how many of the pikes have been documented yet go -- documented? dr. phillips: i don't know how many we currently have. every pike had a serial number on it. that is the easiest way to identify an authentic pike.
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after harpers ferry, the creation of these pikes and every blacksmith that wanted to make a quick buck started manufacturing pikes in the area, saying here is an official harpers ferry pike. if you're interested in buying one of these things on ebay, make sure it has a serial number on it. that serial number means to be between 1-967. if it is not, it's probably not in original. there are a lot of knockoffs out there. another joke about these relics is that they sold enough rope from john brown's news at harpers ferry that he is -- if you test it altogether, couldn't run it across the mason-dixon line. it would have kept going. it is hard to track these things down.
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when i got fixated on these things, in the heat of one research day, how much is one of these pikes worth nowadays? could i buy one? found from the palu -- culinary searches, and authenticated fight is anywhere from -- hike is anywhere from 15,000-$20,000. that is quite in advance. and -- an advance. any other questions? thank you very much. [applause]
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>> that concludes our live civil war programming for today. tomorrow, we return at 8:30 a.m. for more live coverage at the conferencegettysburg in pennsylvania. watch on c-span3. you can watch all of our coverage any time by visiting our website, while there, you can find our tv schedule, and watch any of our programs in their entirety. you can share with us your thoughts on our programming. connect with us on twitter at facebookstory, and on at history. this is american history tv, only on c-span3. novelistn-american ralph ellison published invisible man in 1950. he never released another brother, but he considered writing until 1994. -- continued writing until 1994.
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next on "history's bookshelf," we talk about his unfinished second novel, "three days before the shooting," published after the author died. they pieced the book together from over 3000 pages of the author's unreleased work. this was recorded act nalley jackson books in 2010. >> "my friendship with ralph ellison," indeed, my getting to meet him and know him is very much an american story. it goes back to 1977, 1978. well, as ellison, "invisible man", goes way back behind that i suppose. i read "invisible man" when i was in college, actually the same age as -- i was the same age as adam bradley would be when he read "invisible man" and when i showed him the boxes from the second novel, the boxes of


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