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tv   American Artifacts Sex Marriage During the Civil War  CSPAN  January 1, 2020 6:20pm-6:41pm EST

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ridge. the confederate army is devastated, grant of course secures ground he is so much desired.. >> have you july for the fast 25 years the gettysburg has hosted a reenactment depicting cap life next we talked around actors, about victoria era marriage expectations and civil war brothels. >> my name is cheryl williamson i'm portraying today the reenactment what it would've been like to abandon victorian prostitute. the time of the american civil war which was at the mid smack victorian period. they were very very few choices for women women were in essence
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supposed to be the pillar of the household, the center of the family, were talking about middle class women. without any means of support, you had very few choices, you could be a domestic servant. you could be a laundress or you could work in a factory. at the time of the civil war there was a spike in widowhood, winning all the sudden middle class women, didn't really have any visible means of support. we saw this more in the south and in the north, because the war was fought, mainly in the south, these women would become prostitutes. it was not attractive choice it was certainly not their first choice. between that and starvation, that's what they did, at the time of the victorian era prostitutes actually have their place in society. at the time i was considered ill bread and poor taste, for middle class man, to visit their carnal lust, on their wives, so respectable, women while they may not have liked it, understood that that's what men did. respectable women were not
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supposed to enjoy sexual intercourse with her husband. victorian prostitutes had their own benches in the park had their own seats in the theater, houses of designation were brought us to actually run or owned by women. they did however employed male surgeons, and mehl bouncers, typically called fancy band. >> hello my name is craig and today i'm representing the fancy meant. in this black was establishment, the front for the establishment is slowing service and letter writing service, were basically portraying a camp house, we don't have a bricks and mortar house, many cases. the prostitutes work out of a house, in a local town, for some of the largest cities. you are gettysburg were portraying one that would've been theoretically organized and your camp, so for example if you had a large camp of
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soldiers. and within about two football fields, you would have for example another civilian business, which was license by the army to sell civilian and other supplies, to the soldiers, in our scenario, where hypothetically assuming that we would also like the army in the west would've licensed a brothel. a house of isaac nation, in a camp style. and so we have a front, if you will of the sewing service to keep a low profile. because if in fact it would be license. like the army experimented with. licensing prostitutes in some of the western towns during the war, you don't want the criticism, of the local community, for bidding licensing saying for this kind of activity. so as a result. what you had is a typical kind of brothel, which again will be run by a woman, in this case
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are hypothetical missed black, would she basically comes, out as you heard, me a fancy man we set it up, like we would approach some order house, here in the middle of what we call a parlor, this is where the gentleman will come, and they would be, entertained by me, the other option, the other obligation i have, this also as a security man, i provide security for the ladies, including this is black, quote i'm a former military man. i would in many cases be upfront for her, or a go-between, between the men of society, in this case the commander, since i am a former army person, i can go to them and help negotiate, establishment of the business, near the camp. they are more likely to deal with me that miss black with. then of
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course, the licensing process that they have. very much like the experiment, and what we propose, very much like the experiment that was conducted out west, by the army, to reduce the amount of venereal disease amongst the troops. the process would be, they would first of all, get all four customer, all four employees, would go to the local army surgeon, and they will get, a certain certificate., this case this is this backwards certificate., and then after everyone basically got a clean bill of health, she will then go to the marshal, and obtain a license, to run her business, as i said what we tend to do is we set it up she has been in
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the business presumably for sometime, in our hypothetical scenarios she suggested, she came from the hot south she lost her husband she lost her husband she had no support and so she went into the business, because it was the most lucrative option amongst all the other ones like washer women. longest, is domestic servants working in a factory it made cartridges, or to make textiles the possibility of being a domestic servant and even a nurse for example, all of these other options, were outside of the family because what were really talking about here is we are describing, in the 19th century social culture. 19 centuries sold short culture what is culture? it's customary traits ideals and beliefs, be they racial,
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religious, social. of course, the biggest group involves gender, women. in 19th century society, the family was the most important vehicle, most important social vehicle. in that family, the role of the woman was to raise the children and manage the household. outside of that, she was given financial security. but there was a certain kind of double standard, and an interesting example is in a book called the house is divided, with a number of historical vignettes. one that was very interesting was about divorce laws in north carolina. we are not pretending all states have the same kinds of laws, but clearly what happened there is a reflection of the double standard of the time. for example, a man can divorce his wife if she committed adultery. but a woman
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could not divorce her husband unless he abandoned the family or the family structure was lost. but that was her responsibility. as ms. blackwood indicated, the idea of men finding physical relief outside of the family was not
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uncommon. one of our most pervasive and famous customers is pictured back here on the wall. he's a 19th-century kind of man. he understood and was aware of all of the houses of assignation in new york and washington. he was married at 33 to a 16-year-old. on one of his diplomatic missions to england, he took along a prostitute from new york, the famous fanny white and introduced her to the queen. here was a man who basically was living a double standard. and of course, he was also famous not only for his faux pas here in the battle of gettysburg where he wound up losing a leg, but for a famous trial after a famous trial, he found out his wife was having an affair with the son of francis scott key, a district of columbia lawyer. he saw the man outside the house. he got pistols and shot the man a number of times. he was tried in part of his fame is that he was found not guilty on a
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defense of temporary insanity. in my line, i think many historians would agree with me, it wasn't necessarily that those 12 men on that jury understood this psychological defense or psychological condition. 12 men understood marriage. they understood that marriage was being intruded upon by this man. you could lose track of who you are, what you were doing, and your sense of right and wrong. those 12 men found him not guilty. he is not necessarily the only character that portrays this kind of scenario. for example, another individual, carl johnson, in his letters, which have been published lately, writes to his wife that he metal gentlemen who indicated met a gentleman who indicated
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he had known his wife. he wrote her that he had met the man, and she responded by saying well, yes, she had met him, but he attempted to kiss her. and as colonel johnson found out about this, he wrote back to his wife that he didn't think the man was a gentleman, and any man who would try to kiss his wife, if he had known him, he would have taken her out him out and shot him on the spot. his concept of the marriage and his role in it was very much like sickles and i think very much like the social culture of the time. this is the culture. this is the scenario. we are setting it up like a house that would have a social gathering place were gentleman could come, waiting for services to be provided. there is security behind ms. blackwell. all the
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men would be sure to leave their weapons at the door. take off your hat. come in, sit down. over here, some of the could mints of entertainment, some of the accoutrements of entertainment, liquid libation, reading materials, entertainment materials. and here we have some of the goods we might provide to the soldiers. some are provided during the services, and some subsequent, and some before. we have different kinds of soap. ottoman could brush their teeth or wash up over here behind me gentlemen could brush their teeth or wash up over here behind me. if you acquire at least one french letter for five cents, that could protect you from venereal disease. we could also provide an aphrodisiac in the form of oysters. finally, a cure for the ills of men's and other
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regions, nether regions, which might be necessary if they did acquire something. we also of postcards, pictures, books, some would call pornography, some not. pornography became an
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issue in the 19th century. like prostitution, it was a market. men gathering together, young men filled with testosterone looking for some kind of relief. there would be negotiations with ms. blackwood. she would take the money for the services. she would assign one of her ladies to the gentleman, and then he would retire to a tent where the services would be performed. >> in terms of appearance, talking about victorian prostitutes specifically, we kind of have to leave the hollywood image behind. not because it is an interesting, but because it isn't accurate. prostitutes ran under the radar. there were subtle, nonverbal ways you could tell. most women never left the house unescorted.
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middle-class women always had either another woman or more typically another man with them. so one way to tell is if you saw an unescorted woman. victorian prostitutes also made direct eye contact. that was another way. you never approached a man you hadn't been introduced to in middle-class society. so a victorian prostitute would walk down the street, usually by herself, make eye contact with her man, turn this way, maybe the other way, who knows? human nature never changes. ever changes. they would be camped outside of the encampment. they would follow the army and be sort of entrenched with them. they would find soldiers with plenty of time on their hands and plenty of money to spend. they will be can't outside encampment, they would fall the army, be entrenched with them, where the soldiers would apply to time on their hands plenty, of money to spend.
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>>. you amanda's knee reno is here. and stir dean martin. >> or spurt? it's a pleasure to be here or you're dinner
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tonight. >> ascending don we honored him four years ago. so i made a mistake. this is for you clutch. >> i call him ron he calls me dean. in 1988. you're, gonna be out of work, but all still be drunk. (laughs), where is my company? not only is he my company is, what he plays piano for me as well. how did you get this out here? may i stayed.
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it's been great. and tonight like this, a few people. i must admit in all honesty. mr. wonderful that's me. there are goals. i suppose, if they heard such boroughs, but i must repeat it all, all modesty, mr. wonderful still me. i drink a
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toast to him each night as you might think, not cause i wish him well, but because i love to drink.. you still will you will, fine hall, there is a glass to the champ. of them all. here's the dutch, and his nancy to mr. wonderful yes mr. wonderful. mr. wonderful, has you.
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(applause), party with president reagan and hollywood this we cannot american history tv. this week american history tv is on c-span 3. every day, it's features each. night at 8 pm eastern. tonight, the 30th anniversary of the fall of the berlin wall. thursday, the forgotten battles of the civil war, and friday 75th anniversary, of the battle of the bulge, right off hitler large the surprise counter offensive against allied forces, watch american history tv all this week and every weekend on c-span 3. our seas hence it is


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