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tv   History Bookshelf Chris De Rose Star Spangled Scandal  CSPAN  July 19, 2020 8:00am-8:45am EDT

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>> up next on history bookshelf chris derose talks about his , book "star spangled scandal: sex, murder, and the trial that changed america." he recounts the murder of 1859 francis scott key's son and the trial in newspaper coverage that followed. a little bit about our speaker. we are excited to have chris derose. chris was in sweden last week and we just got the call last week that he was coming so we , are thrilled he took the time out to be with us here today. he is a "new york times" best-selling author of "the
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star-spangled scandal," which is what we're talking about today. congressman for lincoln and rivals. he was former senior litigation counsel to the arizona attorney general, professor of constitutional and international law, and clerk of superior court for america's fourth largest county, maricopa. chris sits on the board of directors for the abraham lincoln association and the board of scholarly advisors to president lincoln's cottage. he and his wife reside in phoenix. without further introduction, i present to you chris derose. [applause] mr. derose: thank you, tammy, for that introduction. thanks to the gettysburg center for having us here, pennsylvania cable tv, and c-span booktv. this will be my fifth appearance on c-span book tv. thank you for all you do to promote books and promote
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authors. who here has heard the one about the congressman who killed his wife's lover across from the white house? when i came across this story, i knew it was too extraordinary not to share. i was working on my last book called "the president's war," which is about the five former presidents who lived to see the american civil war. i'm reading through their letters and diaries, and they are appropriately focused on the great challenges facing the thetry in 18 for nine as country teeters toward the edge of civil war. then all of a sudden, all they want to talk about is the sickles affair. what's the sickles affair? i had to stop what i was doing, fall into a research rabbit hole -- this happens to me once in a while. i said, ok, that is a pretty good story. sickles did indeed kill his wife's lover across the street from the white house in lafayette square. the victim was no ordinary victim.
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he was barton key, district attorney and son of the author of our national anthem and member of one of america's most prestigious and important families, american royalty. this is just where the story starts. i do want to read to you what set all of this in motion. sickles is flying high. he's a congressman from new york . he is an intimate of james buchanan. he is considered one of the most forceful and persuasive speakers in the house of representatives. he is talked about for big things in the future, and he and his wife teresa sit atop the washington social scene until one night, a thursday, after the parlors of his house has cleared out and they have gone to the after party at willard hotel, and he comes home before trying to get some work done before
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going to bed. and he remembers before the down as winding , messenger had come to him with a letter. he opens the letter and reads the following -- "dear sir, with deep regret, i enclose to your address a few lines, but an indispensable duty compels me to do so, seeing you are greatly imposed upon. there is a fellow, i may say, for he is not a gentleman by any means, by the name of philip barton key, and i believe the district attorney who rents a house of a man by the name of john gray situated on 15th street between k and l street for no other purpose than to meet your wife, mrs. sickles. he hangs a string out the window as a signal to her that he is in and leaves the door unfastened and she walks in, and, sir, i do assure you, he has as much the use of your wife as you have.
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with these few hints, i leave the rest for you to imagine. most respectfully, your friend, rpg." no one asked me what i think the author meant to leave to the imagination. i think the point was conveyed with shocking clarity. sickles, no stranger to washington understands that , gossip is the coin of the realm. you can waste a lifetime accrediting gossip and every story in washington but that , letter is awfully specific. he realized he is going to have to verify one way or another, and he will either be greatly relieved, or this entire life that he has built for himself is going to be completely upended. so he goes to the house of representatives. he finds his friend george wooldridge. if you look up henchman in the dictionary, you would probably someone like george wooldridge.
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he wears a bowler hat, has a fake mustache. he has a huge upper body, and he walks on crutches because of infantile paralysis. man with a massive chest walking on crutches, big mustache, bowler hat, and he first meets sickles when he was the doorkeeper at the new york assembly, but he is an old tammany person. he grows up to manage a brothel and a barroom, and he hears all kinds of great information in his capacity and decides the real money is to start a newspaper and to print these stories and rumors in the press. he realizes that as a newspaper editor, it's one thing to sell advertising, but what if you could blackmail people who could not afford to see their names appear in his newspaper? this gets him in trouble. he ends up in prison. when he leaves, he goes to europe for 10 years as the manager of the first minstrel ,how, the virginia serenadeers
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and reappears in albany, where he makes a connection with senator sickles. when sickles is elected to congress, he brings wooldridge with him and gets him a job as a clerk. it is to wooldridge, his old friend, that he turns and confides about this awful letter he has received, so they begin a stakeout in this neighborhood. the neighborhood north of the white house and this house where barton key and his wife are supposedly meeting. everyone in the neighborhood wants to talk about what is happening in that house. it is the most exciting thing going on. everyone agrees it is barton key going into the house, but they also say the woman wears a veil, so they are trying to catch these two going into the house, trying to catch them in the act. what happens is they are able to match a clothing description of the woman seen going into the key, to an outfit owned by teresa, so there's no
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hiding it or escaping it. daniel sickles will say often over the next few days that follow, "i was the last person to know what was happening in my own family family."ing in my own he's not far off the mark, and indeed, he tries to deny it as long as he can, though he cannot ignore the evidence any further. he confronts his wife and gets her to sign a confession about what she did. what happened at his house when he's gone, what happened at the house specifically rented for the purpose of carrying on this affair with barton key, a man he had believed was his earnest friend and sickles has to decide , what to do about this. friend, mr. another butterworth another old tammany , man who had had a variety of postings in this administration. u.s. attorney of mississippi, now the head of the office in
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new york city that tests the purity of coins. he is in d.c. on business. just got two of his old tammany stalwarts, george wooldridge and samuel butterworth, in the room with him. him,l butterworth advises it is almost the end of the congressional session send , teresa back to new york, go to europe, file for divorce, no one will know what happened. sickles says it's pretty good , advice, but it sounds like everyone in town already knows about it, so that route is closed off. he's trying to figure out what to do. enter barton key. barton key shows up in lafayette square as sickles is in his house. sickles lives in a home on the west side of lafayette square. what might be of particular interest to this audience, it is known as the yule house. it was built and originally owned by the father of general yule, it was built by a
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doctor, a physician who came to the nation's capital when it was new york city, and had big dreams to open up a hospital, fell into alcoholism, some bad financial mismanagement, and ended up having to sell the house. so sickles is in the home in the west side of lafayette square. key goes to the house and waves a handkerchief, using the prearranged signal for sickles' wife to meet him at the rendezvous house. so while sickles is losing his mind, everything he has built up his entire life -- his aspirations as a state senator and a congressman and perhaps a future senator and president, it looks like it is all going up in smoke. this beautiful wife that he had, who was the most popular woman in washington, betrayed him with one of his best friends.
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she's the mother of his child. he's trying to figure out what to do, and there is key walking in lafayette park waving the handkerchief at his house. and so butterworth actually leaves to go visit a sick friend on the east side of lafayette square in a building very imaginatively known as the clubhouse. it is a private members club on the east side of lafayette square. again, of particular interest, at the end of the civil war, this is the home that will be occupied by william seward, and the home is where he is attacked and nearly killed at the conclusion of the civil war. at this time, it is a private members club. butterworth goes to visit a friend of his who is sick. he encounters key, they have a conversation, and then he sees daniel sickles show up. sickles tells key, "you have dishonored my home. prepare to die." he brings three guns to the fight. he brings them in a trenchcoat on an unseasonably warm february day.
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and of course, where do you go if you are a congressman who just killed the u.s. attorney? where do you go to turn yourself in d.c.? they go to the home of the attorney general. word spreads that key has been killed, that sickles is the killer. people leave their homes, leave their boarding houses, leave the bars and restaurants and all try to get a look at what is happening. you have over 100 people show up for the coroner's inquest at the clubhouse with key's body right , there on the ground with one witness after another being summoned to testify to what happened. you have people going into sickles' house and standing out on his lawn waiting for him to come and get arrested. he is allowed to go and say goodbye to his wife. his promise that he won't harm her is good enough for the police officers, even though he has just killed the u.s. attorney for d.c. walks into his wife's room, triumphantly announces, "i have
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killed him." and so this is just the beginning of where the story starts. it all gets crazier from here. the kindling was there to create a media firestorm and a sensation in society unlike anything anyone had ever seen. this will be the most covered event in history up until this point. i found articles from hawaii, from bermuda. there was daily coverage in the united kingdom, regular coverage in france. i found a book written about it in german. the entire world was paying attention to this fantastic case, and it is the first story that we as americans all followed together because we just had the telegraph scale. people are finding out about this story in as close to real-time as had ever happened up to this point, so you have people in new york finding out about it that evening.
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sickles' family and friends in new york are finding out about it that evening. you have newspaper correspondence running all over d.c. trying to collect as many facts as they can, trying to get it out on the wires so it could hit the morning newspapers. i should back up a little bit and talk about how news was changing at this time. originally, the concept of very expensive commercial newspapers where you learn the price of cotton and copper and other commodities. it is very expensive. what ship is leaving, what ship is going -- nothing exciting. and you had political newspapers financed by political parties to either promote a candidate or polemicize a candidate or party. and then you had the entrance of the penny press starting with "the new york sun." we don't want to talk about
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politics or shipping news. let's talk about fires tragedies , and true crime." the real human interest stories, and they made money with advertising which meant they did not have to go to a particular political party. also, the lightning press had been introduced. a number of newspapers that could be printed in any given day, no matter the lateness of the hour, so you could get a story like this out on the street hours after it happened, and that is what happened all over the country. the reports were shockingly detailed. of course, you have some fake news in there. you have people racing too quickly to verify things. they said butterworth had been arrested as an accomplice, teresa was arrested, teresa was pregnant with barton's baby, all kinds of false information, but really a lot of accurate information in this report.
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you also have yes, this was not a surprise. sickles really was the last to know what was happening. you have this daily media frenzy which is very familiar to us today. lines blurring the between news and entertainment, and i think it has never been more relevant to look back and see where it happened. sickles, if he's going to have any hope of surviving the hangman's noose -- he had just killed the chief federal prosecutor in broad daylight in front of many witnesses -- he has to put together the best possible legal team. eat your heart out, johnnie cochran, this is the first legal dream team that is assembled, and it looks as though it is chosen very deliberately. you have just picked all the best lawyers in new york city, d.c., and virginia, but it happened haphazardly. once the news of sickles being arrested hits the streets, his family members and friends start hiring lawyers, and by the end of the first day, he already has four lawyers representing him,
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including most famously edwin , stanton, who is a short time away from his eternal glory as our secretary of war during the american civil war, but at this time, he is just a prominent lawyer in washington, d.c., and he is one of the first to be retained to represent daniel sickles. the prosecutors in this case, no slouches either. you have james carlisle, one of sickles' first voices to represent him, happens to be a very close friend of barton and has no interest in helping barton's murderer. then you have robert ould, the future assistant secretary in the confederate states of america in charge of hostage prisoner of war swaps for the confederacy, also goes on to be jefferson davis' lawyer, which will be particularly interest at gettysburg -- interesting at gettysburg. but at the time, he is the deputy u.s. attorney. key was not actually the best
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u.s. attorney. he's there because of his family name, because of his political connections. ould does a lot of the work. he is also intermittently sick and traveled. he put a lot of the most important opportunities on robert ruled. .- robert ould i thought it was interesting that he really vexed robert ould in life by putting all this work off on him, and now by dying, he has given him the hardest case under the biggest microscope in the history of the world. ould would be appointed by president buchanan to replace key as u.s. attorney. i think this might be a singular phenomenon in american history where you actually have to wait for a new u.s. attorney to be appointed in a murder case because the other one has been killed. so he's got this incredible lineup. they are trying this case in front of judge crawford, who has been appointed by president polk and has presided over every major trial in washington, d.c., up to that point. one of the things that struck me
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about this book was the confluence of all these fascinating people who either were witnesses in the trial, who were in the courtroom who participated in some way in this extraordinary story, or were part of the life of daniel sickles. sickles actually meets his wife teresa when she is very young. he is a boarder in the house of her grandfather. they are preparing him for entry to the university of new york, which is now new york university. the man's name is lorenzo da ponte. he is most favorite as librati liberty this -- st. he starts off as a young man in venice, becomes a priest, decides the priestly life is not for him. he is ultimately expelled from the city of venice and is charged publicly with concubinage. he finds himself to the court,
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where he connects with mozart, and adds the words to famous shows like "the marriage of figaro," performances and operas we have probably all seen or heard of and circuitously finds his way back to new york city where he starts the first opera company on the island. one of his daughters which he treats as an adopted daughter but is suspected to be very much a biological daughter of his due to a liaison in his 60's. that's going to be the mother of teresa bagioli sickles. she is just a little girl when sickles moves in as a boarder. he will stay in touch with her career progresses as he , enters the law, becomes a new york assemblyman. as teresa grows up, he decides he is in love with her. the family was opposed to the marriage at first because of the age difference. she is still in the equivalent of high school, so they married
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in secret with the mayor of new york performing the ceremony. let it never be said that daniel sickles was not one for grand gestures. eventually, the family will be reconciled with the idea of this marriage when they are married a second time in a public ceremony before the archbishop of new york. it's a pretty good start to the marriage. you have the blessing of the mayor of new york city and the highest ecclesiastical officer of the city. it should have portended good things for the sickles. sickles will end up going off to the united kingdom when james buchanan is packed off by president pierce. president pierce wants to be the first president since andrew jackson to win a second term. the only real figure of stature to challenge him for a second term is james buchanan. he resolves to send buchanan off as minister of the united kingdom. buchanan is a former secretary of state longtime senator and , congressman, does not need the
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appointment, is not interested in the appointment, but pierce makes every concession, makes every demand, so he sends buchanan packing. he needs a really good aid to go with him in a mutual friend makes the connection. sickles ends up hitching his wagon to this guy who looks like he is in the last chapter of a long career of public service, so they end up going to the united kingdom together, where teresa really shines. her ability to speak multiple languages her familiarity with , people and culture, she is really is in her element in queen victoria's court. they probably should have stayed there. he will come back to pave the way for james buchanan's campaign for president, because pierce had sent buchanan to end fact ther, but in kansas nebraska act undoing the missouri compromise, so the only
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democrat with the hope of winning the presidency in 1856 is someone who is untainted in any way by the kansas nebraska act, so the very act that meant to end buchanan's career ends up being the thing that ensures he becomes the next president of the united states. sickles comes ahead of him to lay the groundwork. he was offered a position in the buchanan administration. sickles is not interested. this is a recurring theme throughout his life and career. daniel sickles is his own man. let me read something to you which i think is illustrative of his general life philosophy. he writes this as a congressman, but think about sickles at gettysburg and every other aspect of his life and see if this doesn't fit. "i cannot play courtier to the multitude, much less individuals. i know all the consequences and have many a long year since resolved to enjoy it, even at the price which must inevitably be paid. i do not deem it a wise course,
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nor prudent, nor recommend it to any friend, but i have adopted it. it is mine, and i will follow it, come what may." that's sickles in a nutshell. that is sickles at gettysburg, that is sickles at his home in lafayette square, wanting to kill the chief federal prosecutor for the district of columbia in front of a crowd on a sunday afternoon in washington, d.c. sickles is his own man, so he's going to run for congress, and he wins. so he immediately distinctions himself, steps out of buchanan's shadow, and becomes renowned as an expert on foreign affairs, on military policy. the speaker of the house thought he was the most capable member of that particular house of representatives, so everything is going well, but the way to get ahead in washington, d.c., is to throw the best parties. it's the easiest way to get invited to the best parties, but it is also the best way to court
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other legislators, journalists, ambassadors, members of the cabinet. a congressman's salary is $3000 a year. that would not pay for a month's worth of festivities, so he has to maintain a law practice in new york city, which means he was often away from washington, and he was glad to be able to entrust his wife to barton key to escort her to events. they were actually introduced through a mutual friend, the u.s. marshal for washington, d.c., and key is hoping to hold onto his job. even though buchanan is taking over for a fellow democrat, they were in fratricidal war within the party. buchanan would be well within his rights to send the pierce appointments packing, so barton is hoping to hang onto his job, so the u.s. marshall makes that connection between sickles and key at buchanan's inauguration.
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that is actually how their friendship was launched. we say sickles is the last to know. teresa had a stalker by the name of stephen beekman. and in the process of stalking teresa, the young man, a new yorker hanging out in d.c., and the process of stalking teresa he sees she is going out riding , alone with barton key. he follows them, sees they have disappeared into a hotel for a time, and then come out together. he starts telling people about what he saw, finds himself summoned to the sickles home. i would not want to be summoned to the home of an angry daniel sickles. sickles demands that beekman tell him what he has been saying about his wife and him, folds.k,man he denies what he said and what he saw, and that denial is enough for sickles to go back to
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his obliviousness as to what is happening. lest you think that key and teresa were appropriately concerned about nearly being discovered two weeks later, they , are dancing together at the most popular ball in washington. it is a masquerade ball thrown by the wife of senator gwin. it will become notable in retrospect not for its opulence, but the fact that many people there president like jefferson davis and william seward, it's the last time they will meet on friendly terms. incredible party, everyone in washington is there, all these different costumes. they described it as a stimulus for the costume makers and tailors of washington, d.c. sickles is indisposed. he cannot go. his wife shows up as little red riding hood. key shows up as an english huntsman, and they end up very conspicuously leaving together. so in a situation where
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discretion was really called for, weeks after their close call, none could be found. people tried to warn key about the situation. at first, key just denied it. he said, no, no, i have nothing but fatherly feelings towards her like i would have for my daughter. later, he says sickles is a damn yankee and he's not going to do anything about it. coat to indicate where he has his firearm. where his firearm was on the day of the murder becomes a subject of a lot of speculation as a major part of the trial, but he was wrong in his estimate of what sickles was willing to do about it. of course, this will lead to the most incredible trial, 20 day trial in a country where average , homicide cases typically get -- gets resolved in an
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afternoon. he's a current attorney, former prosecutor, courtroom criminal lawyer, really the most extraordinary case i have ever come across and not just a template for every celebrity trial that followed but the , template for every scandal that followed. for the era we live in now where the line is erased between entertainment and news and what is edifying to read and learn about and what is sensational wl and exciting. we find ourselves today. so i was really delighted to be able to spend this time with these incredibly vivid characters and to tell this story, which, of course, will lead to the sickles' momentous decision on day two of gettysburg. with that, i would like to throw open the floor to questions. thank you so much for being here and for your kind attention. it is an honor to be speaking here in gettysburg as part of the anniversary celebration. [applause]
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>> so, what was your take? first temporary insanity defense or not? mr. derose: you have the insanity defense that gets ported over from the united kingdom. it is really a relatively new kind of defense, where you don't know what you are doing is wrong or you don't understand what it is you are doing, and so it is a relatively new defense. temporary insanity was really the only opening they had if you are going to plead insanity because he is very lucid. , he's having conversations with people right before the incident, and then after the incident command he is having all kinds of conversations. he goes to the attorney generals house, actually, and encounters a former u.s. senator there who remarks that he has forgot to to wipe the mud off his boots. if he had known that sickles was packing a hot pistol that had just been used to kill the chief
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federal prosecutor, he might have had less regard for jeremiah black's carpet. but he asks questions about pennsylvania politics. really, their avenue in pleading insanity is to say he is temporarily insane. at some point before putting on the trenchcoat and packing three firearms and when he hits the ground. sickles attempts to fire a final shot standing over him, and the pistol misfires. that really come up quite a brutal killing -- but really quite a brutal killing. quite a number of shots fired. the case is famous for the , butrary insanity plea also, they started with an argument about a straight justification. key has had an affair with his wife, and sickles is justified for gunning him down. they make that case to the jury
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even though it is completely contrary to the law, contrary to the judge's instructions to the jury. they go for a straight nullification argument. it's ok if you don't buy that. the gun we found on the ground that did not match the ball found on key, that was keys gu key's gun. and if you don't buy any of those, daniel sickles is temporarily insane. really what you have here is a jury getting bamboozled by pseudoscience. this is a jury that believes that you are entitled -- they are convinced that you are justified in killing the seducer of your wife. and this will actually start a trend in the united states, something called "the unwritten law." for almost a century in america, the most rigidly adhered to law of the united states is a law you would never find in any
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statute books, and you wouldn't find it in any case, it was called the unwritten law, and it was absolutely followed regardless of the circumstances of where it happened. what you will see is if it even gets to the jury, juries will acquit people who commit murder honor, theirir owne family's honor the honor of a , female relation, and even when a female -- females could successfully invoke the unwritten law more often than men could come a successfully. so you had thousands of cases that were never charged, thousands of cases that were dismissed by the jury or the grand jury, you had judges who issued directed verdicts and would throughout these cases. juries would often acquit. if they found circumstances that they were persuaded that someone killed in order to avenge their honor or their family's honor, convicted, the
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judge would often issue a very nominal sentence. and if you seriously got to this point and the judge issued a serious sentence, the governor was expected to pardon you. how serious am i about this? i will give you two examples. so, in kentucky, you have your classic unwritten law scenario, a man catches his wife in bed with another man. he kills the man. as the governor announces preemptively, "if you charge this man and convict him, i will pardon him. don't even bother." that is remarkable by itself. what is even more remarkable is that the victim in that case is the governor's son. pardon yourected to own son if it was an unwritten law scenario. i'll give you another -- south carolina, 1890, post -reconstruction, birthplace of the confederacy. a black man finds his wife in bed with a white man and kills him. the governor of south carolina pardoned the black man because that is what public opinion dictated. the unwritten law was even more
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powerful than jim crow, more powerful than state-sponsored segregation in south carolina in 1890. this will continue to be the last unwritten law in it waserica was 1958. virtually impossible to punish someone who had committed a killing to kill the lover of their wife or perhaps someone who had been a lover of their sister or female relation and wasn't prepared to accept responsibility for marrying them or taking responsibility for their child -- any of a number of scenarios like that. as a lawyer, i had no idea about this until i started researching this case, but it would start in the sickles case really becoming a conversation in the living room in the united states. you had some limited instances where juries were acquitting under spurious claims of insanity or self-defense.
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but after the sickles case, this was when a wildfire started. it would go on for a century. yeah? >> if sickles had been found guilty, was the option there to give him a sentence that would not be execution or, like, a prison sentence or reduced sentence? mr. derose: the only option in the judge's command would have been a death sentence, and i'm pretty confident judge crawford would have hanged him if the jury had found him guilty. really sickles is playing an , away game. there are people who live in washington, d.c. and they run the country, but they also think they run washington. they don't run washington, certainly not in this era. congress, everybody had gone home this session, and it is the residents of d.c. who are in charge of the trial.
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think about d.c. culture at the time. it is southern, unapologetically proslavery. key is part of the firmament of the city. so, as people come and go -- presidents come and go, congressmen come and go, people like key remain. key had been a u.s. attorney --ltiple presidents pierce, buchanan, and also previously in the polk administration. i think the bar of washington, d.c., particularly would have insisted on a death sentence to avenge their friend their former , u.s. attorney, so i think that would have happened if the jury had convicted sickles, and there was a time when it looked like that very well may happen. because at first, there was the reaction like "you know what? , the guy was having an affair with his wife. good for sickles." have thought sit abou about it, you had a few weeks to
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consider, you say "you know, you , cannot just have people going into the street and killing people." the delay in this trial would not be considered a delay by any measure. by today's standards, he is not going to go to trial until april. the community had time to think about it. if there was a rejected giraffe almost made it on the jury was telling everybody who would listen that "if i had made it on this jury, i would have convicted him." so i am pretty confident that he would of hanged. the one thing i would say that key was concerned up president buchanan would have , been able to commute the sentence or pardon him. i am not sure that that would have happened. buchanan has got his own problems at the time, thinking about another term. keybviously can't alienate 's supporters in the city. i think that would have been a tough decision for buchanan. we don't know what would have happened, but that would have been an option for the judge, to carry out a death sentence for capital murder. other questions from anybody?
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yes. >> one of the most interesting characters in your book, dan white. -- fanny white. could you share any more information? mr. derose: he asked about fanny white, who is one of the incredible characters who appears in this book. you could not make these people up. if i had tried to write a novel about the scum that would not have found these characters to be credible, it is just too much. so sickles becomes acquainted with fanny white as a young man in new york. glen falls fled academy, where he has been kicked out of school and he is back in new york working as a journeyman printer, and gets to know fanny white by patronizing her establishment of ill repute. it's a very high-end brothel where a lot of big names in new york city like to hang out, but it is a brothel nonetheless. it is a house of ill repute nonetheless.
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sickles is the only man, i think, in history to show up night after night at the most high-priced brothel in the city and come out ahead. even though sickles is making a lot of money in his career as he moves on and becomes a very successful lawyer shortly thereafter, fanny white is probably the richest woman in new york city, and she likes to buy him fancy things, jewelry and nice suits. so sickles is the only guy i know who could show up at a high-priced brothel and come out ahead. fanny white and sickles like to go out to bars together. women not allowed in bars at the time? no problem -- fanny white will dress up as a man. one night, they are caught and they actually end up in jail. know, sickles isn't going to marry fanny white. i give him credit for bringing her to the assembly in albany and introducing her to his colleagues, that was kind of a brave move, kind of a different move toward what their opinion must have been, but he's not going to marry fanny white.
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an upwardly mobile politician is not going to marry fanny white. he falls in love with teresa. so fanny white finds out about , this, puts on men's clothing again, goes and finds sickles at a hotel in new york city and bull-whips him. isu it is a singular event in the history of the carlton hotel. but thanks for asking about an interesting figure. i loved writing about fanny white. any other questions? thank you for being here. [applause] >> history bookshelf features the country's best-known american history writers of the past decade talking about their books. you can watch our weekly series every saturday at 4:00 p.m. eastern here on american history tv on c-span3.
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>> the largest stone fort in the united states sits at the mouth of the chesapeake bay near hampton, virginia. the museum director gives us a tour showcasing the fort's history from the colonial era through its completion in 1854, including its role in the civil war. here is a preview. fort munro, the largest stone fort in a united states, even inay, started construction 1819. it would take them all the way to 1894 to finish the construction of the fort. the original intention of the 32-poundto house artillery pieces to fire upon ships entering the chesapeake bay. fort monroe would remain the strong fort all the way up until the american civil war. we are looking at a 32-pound artillery tube.
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we know that it was built in 1846. every case mate would have one of these beasts inside of it to fire out through the fort's window at the approaching enemy usually upon naval vessels. it would take anywhere from nine to 11 men to load and fire a 32-pounder. this would be the workforce of of military -- the workhorse the military from 1812 all the way up to the american civil war. in order to fire a 32 pounde r, you would need a crew of 9-11 individuals. let me point out some of the positions they would hold. you would have a number one and number two man.
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their responsibility was to make sure the firing mechanism was in place. so they would punch the powder bag, set the fuse and then run the learn yard in order to fire this gun. at the front of the tube, you have the men who would actually load the projectiles. one man would be responsible of cleaning the tube out, that running the projectile down to gun, but alsois was there to help load the ammunition from the men carrying the projectiles and powder up from their supply. so though komen in the back, don't komen in the front. you had a gunner -- so two men in the back into many the front. you had a gunner who was responsible for pointing the gun, not aiming the gun. sometimes you had another commanding officer responsible for number of guns being fired at the same time. it would take anywhere from about one minute


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