Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    February 10, 2017 6:28pm-8:02pm EST

6:28 pm
mr. mnuchin fitting that mold. we will go on to talk about next week,s particularly in regard to his views on taxes. discussione further next week. with that, i yield the floor. announcer: c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. announcer: washington journal live every day. news and policy issues that impact you. coming up saturday morning, benjamin johnson, executive director of america's immigration lawyers association will discuss the legal challenges to president trump's
6:29 pm
executive order restricting travel from seven majority muslim countries. then, a discussion of "the alt right comes to washington." and a federal judge will discuss , in which he asserts how antiestablishment politics of today have roots in the 1960's political climate. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal live at 7:00 a.m. saturday. join the discussion. for the next hour and a half, a book tv exclusive. our cities to her visits harrisburg, pennsylvania, to visitsbout its -- tour harrisburg, pennsylvania, to learn about its history.
6:30 pm
you can learn more about our cities at this is the most talented and important leader in political history that people haven't heard of. cameron was, without a doubt, the most talented political machine builder, the most talented politician of his generation. people talk about the age of andrew jackson. in many ways, we should talk about the age of simon cameron. a man whose political skills were undeniable, a man who built a political machine that lasted far beyond any of those constructed by his contemporaries. man who mastered his moment. 1779 and dies in 1889. during those 90 years, he rose to the top of pennsylvania is,
6:31 pm
then america's political elite by mastering his moment. it is unfortunate that his name has become shorthand for corruption and sharp dealing, because in reality, his story has so much to tell us about american politics in the first three quarters of the 18th century. think one of the reasons cameron has languished historically is because of his outside reputation for corruption. there is a great story that every student of the american civil war has undoubtedly heard, and it goes something like this. thaddeus stevens, congressman from pennsylvania, well-known abolitionist, was meeting with president lincoln in his first tom, and lincoln happened ask stevens, what do you think about cameron as secretary of war. well, i don'tid think cameron would steal a red-hot stove. lincoln loved a good joke,
6:32 pm
particularly at simon cameron's expense. lincoln repeated this joke to cameron, and cameron was aghast. the whole premise of the joke is that cameron is totally corrupt. cameron ran into stevens shortly after the meeting and said why would you say something like that? i demand a retraction. two weeks later, stevens is the president and he said, i made a remark about cameron. i take it back. this delights lincoln even more. for most civil war historians, that's all you need to know about simon cameron. he wouldn't steal a red-hot stove. or maybe he would. but when you begin scratching away at that reputation, there is a whole lot of smoke, and not a whole lot of fire. in many ways he has been -- i don't want to use the word
6:33 pm
victim, but victimized by a humorous story. he was selected by president martin van buren to adjust the claims of the winnebago native americans under the terms of the treaty the native americans had .igned happen iswhat would that the treaty would say the united states would pay native americans in gold, and oftentimes, the united states would be responsible for the tribe's death. this was the case with the winnebago treaty. typically, what would happen is the federal government would send commissioners to meet with the tribe, discuss who was actually eligible to leave money, and try to figure out who the tribe actually owed money to. cameron was rent in 1839. sent into wisconsin -- 1839. he gets to wisconsin and finds
6:34 pm
out that the gold has not then -- has not been sent by the army officer. cameron does a crackerjack job adjudicating-- , but he ends up paying in notes from a local bank. to him, this makes sense. it's in agreement with the terms of the treaty. washington,agues in it looks like a swindle. it looks like he's paying native americans in depressed currency, and he himself will be paid back in gold. and this is a presidential election year. through 1839, the drumbeat of the whigs against martin van buren is getting louder and louder. and if cameron is corrupt, they
6:35 pm
can tie him to the president, and hopefully elect a quick -- a and that's what happens. this slander follows cameron life.hout his political he uses the government to make money. he is not above fleecing poor, defenseless native americans. dominant narrative about cameron. when his political enemies charge him with bribery, , ituption, spoiler ship fits the narrative. but if you investigate the individual cases, you find a lot but very little fire. most of the people who charge forwith corruption do so wit partisan reasons. into is an investigation the so-called winnebago fraud and they find there is no wrongdoing on cameron's part.
6:36 pm
his first elected office is in 1845 when he assumes the vacatedania senate seat by james buchanan, who is going into james k. polk's cabinet as secretary of state. there's an important step in between 1820's and cameron becoming senator from and that is, cameron founding the bank of middletown. he takes the wealthy earns from the 1820's and 1830's, and providesanking, which an effective way of building his political prestige. by founding the bank of middletown, he has access to a ready source of credit he can extend to politically important to people throughout the state, politicians, party leaders, etc. what that does is make him
6:37 pm
politically prominent, even though he doesn't hold elected office until the 1840's. he is a well-known and well-respected partisan political operative. he is james carville in the 19th century. when he decides to replace james buchanan in the senate in 1845, he is able to do that because he has almost 20 years of ridge building throughout the state. -- bridge building throughout the state. want to emphasize the importance of state power to national identity. most of the most influential figures of the era ascend to national office because they control or have at their disposal a powerful base of people in their state. and i think that is reflected in cameron's political career. it's important to remember that
6:38 pm
to become a senator, you don't face the voters. you can elected by the state legislature with the idea that you're going to represent the states interest. to get elected, you need the support of the state legislature and prominent party officials. cameron did that. he did that through his assiduous cultivation through the media and through the bank , where he provided low-cost or no-cost credit to influential political leaders and legislatures. -- legislators. so, cameron rises to lincoln's radar by being the man who, by is in control, more or less, of pennsylvania's republican party. it's important to point out that cameron started out politically as a democrat. he ran for the senate as a democrat. but as we get to the 1850's, increasingly, the issue of slavery is tearing the political parties apart.
6:39 pm
of the key things to understand about cameron's he seesl career is that himself as a pennsylvanian first, democrat or republican second. he believes he is in the senate to protect pennsylvania's industrial interests and to advocate for pennsylvania's political interest, and he does that throughout his career. he migrates from the democratic party to the know nothing party, to the republican party. some see that as evidence of a lack of principles, but in reality, cameron has a well-developed set of principles he is operating under. he is a pennsylvanian first, and when he sees the party is protecting those interests and being in favor of those interests, he is willing to work with them. when he sees the party operating against those principles, he opposes them.
6:40 pm
during his first four years in the senate, he is a democrat, but he is one of the biggest pains in the next two democratic president james k. polk. he opposes nominees for various political offices. he runs afoul of run of -- one signature- initiatives. it would make more sense to call him a pennsylvanian than a democrat. ofthe 1850's, when he is out political office, he uses his wealth and political connections to reinforce his political machine. by that, i mean a group of people willing to support him because of a personal attachment to him. forwarding the interests of pennsylvania. they depend on his access to forral state patronage
6:41 pm
their own livelihood. they are committed to voting for him for principled and pragmatic reasons. by the time we get to the 1850's, we have seen the collapse, more, of the whig byty, and its replacement the republican party. and cameron is probably the most talented political operative in ,ennsylvania, if not nationwide and he controls pennsylvania's republican party. and the person who controls pennsylvania's republican party is in a strong position, because pennsylvania has the second-highest number of electoral votes in the united states. is a kingmaker. to be the guy who controls the state puts you in an enviable position. you might not become president, but you will have a large voice in who is going to become president. supporters go to the republican national convention in 1860, they are in
6:42 pm
a strong position, not so much to give their guy the nomination, but to make sure whoever gets the nomination owes their guy big time. and lincoln's people reach out to cameron and say we need your help securing the nomination. if we get it and win the election, we promise your cabinet seat. that's what happens. candidates throw their support behind lincoln. lincoln gets the nomination. cameron works aggressively to win pennsylvania for lincoln, which he succeeds in doing. beginning in november of 1860, cameron for it expects he will be rewarded with a seat in lincoln's cap met. lincoln ends up trying to renege on that bargain because of ineron's political enemies pennsylvania as well as new yorkers irritated by a
6:43 pm
pennsylvanian's place in the cabinet. it ultimately, he succeeds and he is taken into lincoln's cabinet where he has a very rocky tenure for about 10 months. negotiationand the in chicago, it's relatively vague what seat he will ultimately be offered. he seems to have preferred being secretary of treasury based on the idea that he is a businessman with years of experience building canals and in the banking industry in the newspaper industry, and that would be valuable experience as secretary of the treasury. when cameron and lincoln ta mately get down to brass cks, the only seat that's really left his secretary of war. cameron says you should pick someone else. there's clearly a war coming. who someone who makes to --
6:44 pm
wants to make his reputation in this office. lincoln says no, i want you in this office. initially, cameron declines. then he takes it. -- point of this story is people use this story as proof that lincoln didn't believe there was a war coming, because why would he may cameron secretary of war? is fairlyn actually experienced when it comes to the military. he had been a visitor to west point, which essentially meant he was on the board of directors. he oversaw military education at west point. overseeing briefly pennsylvania's state militia. was, he does it have some military experience, and he is advocating that there is a war coming, that the south is going to resist lincoln's
6:45 pm
lincoln, and perhaps understood that cameron was somewhat farsighted as to the challenges lincoln was facing. in fact, shortly before the inauguration, he asked cameron to go to washington and meet with members of the army to assess preparations for the inauguration and for military conflict. that being said, lincoln and cameron did not have the best relationship. it's undeniable that cameron was amiable, genial, easy to get along with. typically, these are words used to describe lincoln. is out of character in his relationship with cameron. he really likes watching karen squirm, and we see this in two instances. watchinglly likes cameron squirm, and we see this
6:46 pm
in two instances. lincoln does everything in his power to renege on the agreement to take cameron into his. in part, this -- into his cabinet. in part, this has to do with pressure from political opponents, and also, to a lesser yorkt, people in new opposed to lincoln taking a pennsylvanian into his cabinet. lincoln is actually uncharacteristically rude in dealing with this important politician. it's a shocking departure from when dealinghavior with political problems. the other uncharacteristic and their relationship is lincoln firing cameron. there is no doubt he fired
6:47 pm
cameron from the cabinet, but he does it in an aggressive and brusque way. him a letter saying i am excepting your letter of resignation. i will gratify your desire to leave the cabinet and pursue a diplomatic post. the problem is cameron had not resigned. lincoln was excepting a resignation -- accepting a resignation before cameron submitted it. brusque, ofer was noxious, and rude. and in fact, william seward and other cabinettwo members who very infrequently saw eye to eye, went to lincoln and said you have to write cameron another letter. this is to rude, two of noxious, and you are going to kill his rude, twocareer -- to of noxious, and you're going to too rude, too
6:48 pm
obnoxious, and you are going to kill his political career. so lincoln writes another letter. lincoln also offers a tepid defense about covering his administrations find and less about coming to cameron's defense. again, these -- administration's flank, and less aboutlincoln ald coming toout cameron's defense. again, these are uncharacteristic instances in lincoln's career. this is a man who said in his second big noggin or i'll, with malice toward none." -- second inaugural address, with malice toward none. this is a man who had a lot of malice toward simon cameron. back atonishing to look the american army on the eve of
6:49 pm
the american civil war. the army had about 16,000 men. most of them were out picking fights with native americans. the firing on fort sumter, lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers, a fivefold expansion of the size of the army, and it's going to require explosive growth overnight. to have a country designed equip, feed, close, train, 16,000 troops. train 16,000 troops. it is now being asked to do five times that. noneon faces a challenge of his predecessors had ever seen. cutting the he is fear of standing armies. and americans want to keep the army small because if they don't, the army might be used to
6:50 pm
strip away their rights. cameron is now trying to grow the army by a factor of five overnight. he has creaky bureaucracy at the war department overseen by ancient generals, most of whom are not talking to one another. most of his staff resigns to go join the confederacy, and most of the leading army officers to the same -- do the same thing. here you are, simon cameron, challenges,cedented and it's shocking. that the fact that cameron is not an administrator. a politician. and the skills that got him into this position are not the skills that are going to help him succeed. that being said, i want to point out, i think historians have been unfair to cameron. i think when you look at the scope of the challenges he faced
6:51 pm
, when you look at his total lack of preparation for them, he actually dealt with him about as well as anyone could've expected. was he the world's greatest secretary of war? no, he was not. could he have been substantially worse? absolutely. if he had been secretary of war in any other era, i think he would've performed admirably in the job of. surprising most revelation is the reason for his dismissal from the cabinet. lieorians have reputed the that he was dismissed due to issues of corruption. they point to a story from the ofl of 1861, when a bunch new york bomb traders come to the white house and save -- bond traders come to the white house and say we will not sell any more federal bonds unless you dismiss simon cameron. bring me one
6:52 pm
instance of corruption, and he's out. they are never able to do that. so lincoln doesn't fire cameron in the autumn of 1861. historians point to this story as widespread proof of cameron's corruption, but also of what a great guy lincoln was. rosyeality is far less than that scenario. lincoln turns to his secretary if i gave in to them, the next thing would be people coming for seward, and soon i would have no cabinet left. he defends cameron at least in part as a way of ensuring the integrity of his. ultimately, lincoln does fire cameron, but it has nothing to do with corruption and everything to do with the issue of slavery. and here we need to take a step cameron'salk about
6:53 pm
attitudes toward slavery and toward race. cameron is a conservative on the issue of slavery, by which i mean he didn't like slavery, but he didn't believe the federal government had the power to interfere where it already existed. waselieved slavery sanctioned by the constitution. if south carolina decided it wanted to be a slave state, that's regrettable, but there's nothing the federal government could do. if theyame token, decided not to be a slave state, that right should be protected. one thing that really irritated cameron was what he saw as the attack on northern states rights to not be slave states. compromise of 1850, the federal government had instituted a more aggressive fugitive slave law that
6:54 pm
mandated, among other things, that state officials, even in free states, were required to help capture and escaped -- escaped slaves. pennsylvania officials were required to spend pennsylvania tax money to try to recapture that slave. cameron sees that is hideous. he says i respect south carolina's constitutional right to be a slave state. why is in south carolina representing -- respecting pennsylvania's right to be a free state? and again, this is all predicated on the constitutional right to decide if you want to be a free state or a slave state. but cameron's attitudes about advocacy that his the army should and list african-americans. he begins making that point 1861,in the war, as
6:55 pm
april. he says mr. president, this is going to be a long, drawnout war. we are going to have to fight not just the confederate army, but the confederate infrastructure, and there is no bigger infrastructure than slavery. slaves are coming by the dozens across our lines. let's drain manpower from the south and win the war. no, we says no, no, can't do that, because if we do, willorder states immediately go over to the confederacy. summer, as the war goes poorly for the union, cameron makes this point more let's enlist african-americans. it's clear the drumbeat is falling on deaf ears.
6:56 pm
cameron begins taking his criticisms public. throughout the august of 1861, he is seen in the company of officers and politicians who are advocating bees things. in fact, he is at a speech stand -- advocating these things. at a speechis standing next to someone arguing for it. he doesn't say anything, but he's there. publiclynot until he supports and listing african-americans that lincoln decides he has to go. reports fromsts the various cabinet departments. cameron submits his report on the war department and includes a paragraph advocating enlistment of african-americans. in order to force the , he sends ahand draft to the press before giving it to the president. , fearingdent is aghast
6:57 pm
it will cost him border states and he orders the postmaster general to try to get all copies of the report back. blair isn't able to do that. the report ends up in the newspaper along with the amended report that lincoln forces cameron to issue, and now the story isn't only secretary of war advocates the enlistment of african-americans, its president lincoln tries to squelch recommendation by cabinet official. it exposes a fault line in the administration. , cameron isment marginalized. in january of 18 62, lincoln boots him out of the cabinet unceremoniously. cameron returns to the senate and begins his third and longest stint as senator from pennsylvania. he is a leading voice for pennsylvania's interests, but
6:58 pm
also for some very progressive political positions, including the them franchise men of african-americans. he becomes -- and franchise men enfranchisement of african-americans. he becomes a leading voice. he says the war doesn't and these questions. states have -- there is a responsibility to redeem the states and remove any political disabilities southern blacks are having. on a state level, cameron advocates vigorously to amend pennsylvania's state constitution, which had been amended to bar african-americans from voting. we see incredibly progressive stances on issues of race. but cameron has a long career after the war. even after he retires in 1877,
6:59 pm
he lives another 12 years, and his advice and experience is much sought after by democratic presidential candidates, republican presidential candidates, local political , state in harrisburg political leaders. he is referred to as the sage of donegal, and he is widely regarded as one of the grand old man of american politics. cameron's political career starts really at the beginning of the jacksonian political era, and that political era was driven by the spoils system. spoils.ictor go the the idea was political leaders sought to office and rewarded their political supporters with the spoils of those offices. government jobs, patronage, contracts, etc. cameron is a young
7:00 pm
cameron is a young man as it comes into existence. he retires in the late 1870's. increasingly the republican party and parts of the democratic already are committing themselves to civil service reform, the idea that we should hire people because they are political cronies of simon cameron, but because they are competent. their jobs should not depend on a republican or democrat being president. in a lot of ways, we live in a post-civil-service era of, you know, you get government jobs -- most government jobs are civil service test. utica test, show them your resume, and regardless of your political identity, you should be hired. it doesn't always work out that way. as a result, our politics are much less driven by the spoils
7:01 pm
system. cameron sees this in the 1870's. this was an in who built a political machine-based attachment to him cemented by his access to state and federal patronage. with the beginning of civil-service reform in the 1880's and 1890's, it was clear that system was under assault. you begin to see and erosion of these political machines. nonetheless, cameron felt the most -- built the most successful political machine in that history. controlled pennsylvania into the 1930's. his political machine controls pennsylvania for nearly 50 years after his death. one of the reasons i wrote the book is to remind people there is more to cameron then that famous story. this is a human being with nuance and ideas. he wasn't this mustachioed
7:02 pm
villain, but a person. his career has a lot to teach us about the way politics worked in 's through, 40's, 40 70's. maine is paul's creation. he's not the city could be halfs, the first contented, the second city discontented. the book comes from halfs, 120 newspaper columns that paul intended to write. he was a columnist for the harrisburg patriot and evening news for over 25 years. he wrote about 3 million words. he said when he retired, people read him voraciously. they were always quoting him.
7:03 pm
he was an outstanding storyteller. that is why this was a natural book. we wanted to show off paul's work. it was always controversial, harrisburg being the state capital, because some thought the city did not deserve it. andrew from little to something noticeable. -- it grew from something little to something noticeable. a wonderful state capitol building here. teddy roosevelt said, greatest state capital in america. later the architect went to prison because there was corruption involved in the rebuilding -- in the very building of the state capital. after the older state capital down, it was an engine for other developments in the city too. that was good for harrisburg.
7:04 pm
elizabeth news in philadelphia and pittsburgh, they say, harrisburg did such and such. they didn't mean city, then that state government. that is what it stands for. this is the state government, and the state government is never doing of for us who don't live in harrisburg. a fellow said about pennsylvania, he said pennsylvania is pittsburgh on one end, philadelphia on the other hand, and alabama in the middle. harrisburg inherent some of that controversy too. in the middle of the state it is right there agricultural. both ends of the state, it is fairly democratic. that makes harrisburg something of a controversy too. the major industry in harrisburg has always been government. if it worked for the state capital here, who knows what harrisburg would be.
7:05 pm
the river is not deep enough to use for transportation. it is a transportation nexusf or railroads and highways. a lot of people going west have to go through harrisburg one way or the other. the state capital being here always brought people to the city, always gave the city something to do. it is a curse, too. politicians will say today about half the property in harrisburg is not texaco -- not taxable because it is state property. that handicaps harrisburg. at the same time there are people that are only in the city because it is the state capital. it cuts both ways. after railroads and highways and government, there were factories here around the turn-of-the-century. we shoulde gone away, say. there was a steel company a few miles away that is just a shadow of its former self nowadays.
7:06 pm
there were other factories here that need,, nails, -- that made iron, andils, steel, those are gone nowadays. that was harrisburg when it was a thriving industrial city, from the 1940's andl 1950's. it was painful the city to be both a beneficiary of the progress, and yet a victim of the progress. when they built an interstate highway system, highway 76, 81 and 83, made it possible to get to the city, but made it possible not to live in the city, but out in the suburbs. floated a has been number of times. -- flooded a number of times.
7:07 pm
it never flooded the state building, but it has cost money to clean up", especially in 1936 and 1932. 40 somehat there were floods in harrisburg. 1972 was the worst of all. 12 12ter was eight to foot deep. that was a disaster for harrisburg. upthe same time, a real leg for the neighborhood. after that, they remodeled and proved older housing and built new housing. it was kind of a demonstration project to show with the city could do after the flood. there was anxiety about, would another flood come? you cannot tell the history of the city without telling the
7:08 pm
history of its floods. you have to talk about three mile island. it notice they don't call the harrisburg accident. middletownled at which is close by -- don't call it harrisburg. that was a challenge, shall we say. although one could argue it was very important politically, and important in terms of public relations. it didn't really hurt the city per se. middletown may have been more prosperous after the accident than before because so many people came in to the town to study accident. were moreon drugs often prescribed after tmi.
7:09 pm
people were nervous. that area will be famous for america's most famous nuclear event. it didn't even take down three mile island. one of the reactors was shot down. the other will be shut down eventually because his license will expire. there is a lot of publicity associated with three mile island. talking about the actual effects itself, it had an effect on the nuclear industry. of america hasn't built any nuclear plants in a long time. no doubt that is related to the publicity around three mile island and its danger. looking for the wasteland that followed its accident, there is no wasteland. a lot of people said it may be the safest nuclear plant in america today because they are watching it so closely. remember hearing about the
7:10 pm
accident as i was driving to school from philadelphia. i said, do i keep driving now? i figured i might as well go because my students are still there. the school shutdown temporarily very soon. people were evacuated from harrisburg. governor thornburgh was an attorney and former engineer. he was one who offered leadership to central pennsylvania at the time and was quite effective. others wound up with a great reputation because they governed wisely. i don't think there were any obvious villains after the unless it was the island itself and producers of power there.
7:11 pm
they had to live with that. you can't talk about harrisburg without talking about incident and floods. sense, harrisburg has been certain historical trends as much as it has been a shaper of those trends. some say that it is not what it could be. after that the pronouncement of donald trump that the city looks like a war zone, one of the city's developers at the present time said, this city has too low of an opinion of itself. it needs to have an upbeat progressive attitude about itself. the city will thrive or not depending on his self-image, not just of others who live outside the city. anytime people say something about the city, the city was
7:12 pm
closely -- listens closely. it is controversial. it has changed a great deal since the 1950's and 60's. x been the possibility for optimism. i think you it is pretty good. it was higher during the reagan administration. -- reed administration. the current mayor serving as a eagerof reform, as an developer of the city. we will see what comes with that. the future of the city will depend on how it handles race relations, what all the raises do in the city to work together to improve the school system, to improve a residential base, the
7:13 pm
economy of the city. when the city was entire straits, some argued it should declare bankruptcy. it didn't do that. it got other help her it is still in trouble because there is debt and the problem with the incinerator that paul talks about entertainingly in his book. there are challenges that have to do with harrisburg simply being harrisburg. there has always been a sense of history about harrisburg. the newspaper had historical columnists for years before paul. the city has been eager to read about itself. being a historian of harrisburg is not a waste of one's time. there are websites about harrisburg history that are
7:14 pm
outstanding, on the old eighth of a, on a journalist sword, a journal keeper that kept a diary from 1830-1860. every day he wrote in his diary. that is a terrific document on everyday life in the 19th century. there is a new archaeologist in the messiah college that has worked with the census findings to give us outstanding possibilities for harrisburg history. the history of harrisburg's attitudes towards itself. that will be interesting to study over time. >> i have always been interested in local history, particularly
7:15 pm
the involvement of slavery. we think of slavery as a southern institution. in my research for this book, i found this area of south central pennsylvania, cumberland, frank, york and adams counties, or the slaveholding capitals from the 1770's until the 1820's and 1830's. even though slavery was abolished in a gradual act by it still in 1780, lingered in this local area, which was closed to maryland and have more southern ties. need area distinct from the rest of the state, which we classically think of as east of philadelphia. transitioned from a
7:16 pm
slaveholding capital to one of the most frequented places on the underground railroad. as the american revolution approached, slavery was almost extinct in philadelphia. this area west of the susquehanna was settled more recently. slavery taken root here. a lot of the slave owners did not feel it was in their best interest to make a change from slave labor to other forms of labor. a persistent in buying and selling slaves. in 1780, pennsylvania was the first state to pass a legislative abolition of slavery. that was passed by the legislature in philadelphia. slaves born prior to the act would be slaves for life.
7:17 pm
children born after the passage of the act would not be free until their 21st birthday. that was the average life of a person in the laboring class. lifeuld be a slave for until 28, or 28 years old. those were the best years of your life taken away from you. abolitionist act, but it was moving in even though this was passed in 1780, the first sleeve would be freed by that act until 1808. this was a slow-moving law. slave owners like to pretend it didn't exist. we are at fort hunter park, dawson county park that is open to the public. fort hunter become as an operating plantation.
7:18 pm
there are lots of archibald mcallister's, he was the older one. ultra bold is boarded on 1756. he had a profitable plantation at fort hunter, two miles north of harrisburg proper. , for his mcallister day, he is a scientific farmer. he has old different types of orchards. he has a couple stable crops. friend to black snakes. he knows that as a scientific former, theyhe knows that as a c former, they kill other rodents and pest. however he is a very cool slaveowner. -- cruel slaveowner. please quite heartless. 10 to 1 dozens
7:19 pm
slave at one time. in 1813 was born his grandson, also named archibald mcallister. no ratings or sentiments about his feelings on slavery. however being born on the slaveholding plantations with metabolic -- with unapologetic slaveholder parents, you can imagine what he thought. congress,s elected to of southg a district pennsylvania, including gettysburg. mcallister defeats a gettysburg native, a staunch abolitionist. friends with values, so he becomes -- one the 13th amendment is
7:20 pm
brought to the house, the former congressman from gettysburg is recording the vote. archibald mcallister stanza and initially abstains, but initially changes his vote to a ys\e and is one ofs the deciding votes. nd is one of the deciding votes. the walking stick of archibald mcallister, or's grandson. he was one of the key men in abolishing slavery in the united states. thaddeus stevens is a major player in south pennsylvania. arrives in gettysburg in 1817, a young lawyer from vermont. he is quickly elected to the
7:21 pm
state house representing gettysburg. he has some disagreements and by thed of rejected mainstream elite gettysburg, but continues to serve as a state representative. ands a staunch abolitionist does things that candidly to make sure that gettysburg becomes a center on the underground railroad. it is on a prime position, being that it can get runaways from the baltimore and eastern maryland, as far south as north carolina. the mountains to the east and rivers to the list would converge in gettysburg. into thehad it written mortgages of farmers in gettysburg that they could be called on demand. if you saw underground activity
7:22 pm
and reported, your mortgage greatly investigated. haddeus stevens arranged a -- black janitor for the school. he was not actually a generator, but a conductor for the underground railroad. andies stevens also owned fireworks. -- an ironworks. today it is called caledonia state park. he had a place for runaway slaves called little africa. wantedted to connect -- to enact a railroad cut. this big gash in the ground made famous by the battle of
7:23 pm
gettysburg. the track was not lead because funds were short. it became a passageway shirt into the heart of -- straight into the heart of gettysburg. it became the only actual underground railroad in the nation. from there, they were funneled into gettysburg. at the time of the panel, families stevens owned that house. had an elaborate network of political and pretty ownership that allowed the underground railroad to operate. your because he was -- in large part on injured because he simply owned the property. to dous stevens managed this through personal and private influence. after he moved to lancaster, this arrangement persisted. serve on theto
7:24 pm
boards of these institutions. it love the underground railroad to thrive for 30 yaers. william wright is one of the most prolific inventors on the underground railroad. -- conductors on the underground railroad. about 20 miles southwest of harrisburg. wrights helped around 1000 fugitive slaves to safety. he built a house specifically tailored to the underground railroad. it had more doors and windows than the typical house. it had a railing for easy escapes at any moment. rice -- and his wife were some of the most
7:25 pm
underground railroad conductor. 1850's william and phoebe have a couple slaves escaped from maryland. they asked them to do work on the fields until it is safe to pass them on to harrisburg. ande catchers arrived called them opening working in the fields. said, out of the goodness of your heart, won't you let them go inside and grab their coats before you turn them back? in the meantime, his wife appeared on the porch with a bible, and lectured these 2 men from maryland for over 30 minutes. an eyewitness said their teachers were -- teeth were chattering. at the end of the lecture, there was no slaves were nowhere to be
7:26 pm
seen. they insisted he was tricking him. they searched the premises and could not find the slaves. this was a common routine by william wright. hadhe time that phoebe distracted them, it could not be found by the slave catchers. this is a risky the underground railroad was. the first black graduate of yellow was actually caught -- of yale was actually caught on his way. he said that he was with a group that had called smallpox, and they were less interested in him. it took a lot of personal ingenuity to make it. pertain to the
7:27 pm
african-american families themselves. the first item is a neck collar, worn by a slave from kentucky named charles. he fled from kentucky to gettysburg pennsylvania. when he arrived in gettysburg, the justice of the peace of the time was an ancestor of howard bird. when you see one of these men wearing these in your town, it is suspect. he was put in the local jail. at the time gettysburg's justice of peace was an abolitionist at h in the papereart. -- at his heart. in the paper he ordered the master to come forward or he would release him in three weeks. no slaveowner in kentucky is going to read the newspaper. that is one way to set a slave
7:28 pm
free. man, here a free black could take you off the streets, and if no one claimed you in 4 weeks, he would sell you to cover the jail fees. had theaway slave, you luck of going to gettysburg or misfortune of going to new york in many places. -- to york in many places. tri-racial women. her mother was part indian in , her father a white man. she was hired as a personal secretary. she was an influential person in the way the nation because of her role as his household servant, managing his business
7:29 pm
affairs and caledonia and helping him write documents for his congressional work. she was in pennsylvania after the battle of gettysburg. she loaded and wagon full of provisions and clothing and water for the wounded men in gettysburg and distributed them without prejudice to union soldiers. the format of the photograph and age did not cooperate. this was published in the book we are discussing. artifacts from some of the less influential families , in the sense that they were
7:30 pm
not employed by thaddeus stevens , but still legally consequential on the underground railroad. they lived in and around gettysburg and quaker valley, some on farms near yellow hell. this 600 of a black woman holding a guitar. this is a portrait of a black woman holding a guitar. satchel thatse, a belonged to one of the women of these two families. this gives you an insight to daily life for these men and women. i tried to leave these artifacts out chronologically. take them from the underground railroad to those who are living and thriving in south pennsylvania. scope whatu the full it was like to be an african-american in pennsylvania.
7:31 pm
looking back today on what south-central thatylvania, was the fact slavery was an institution in all of the colonies. this reminds us that slavery existed long beyond the actual and date of slavery. free blacks were forced by economic conditions to live and work on the same plantations they and their mothers and grandfathers had been enslaved on. it is a legacy of the past and we have to take that into account. we have to understand what makes our communities take -- tick today. >> months back when birds were , she invited them
7:32 pm
travels. about her story pieces of a crime, peace is bigger than the fence prints -- that spreads. travels. story ladies make sense out of nature, strange birds chirping in the woods. my mistress brings out sketches of hunters attacking and killing the unicorn. i fill up with song like the church choir singing hallelujah at easter." we are located at fort hunter. it had been a large estate. now it is a golf at the county park. fort hunter has extensive the revolutionary war, located on a
7:33 pm
bluff above the susquehanna. was used for strategic purposes. when the u.s. won its freedom, this became owned by a family named mcallister. as a child, i knew that 400 was here, but did not -- i knew that fort hunter was here. at the time of my 50th high school reunion, i learned there were enslaved people at fort hunter. is only eight miles north of my own home in harrisburg. i was fascinated and fortunate to come across this website which features artifacts. archaeologists been here. i don't remember where the photographs are, and i don't photographs.
7:34 pm
they were attached to the time of enslavement. it gave me a different relationship to my hometown. i realized if they were talking about slavery, what else worked -- what else were they not talking? in that conversation slavery and race, when are we going to start to talk about it? we have a history here. we have to talk about it. that is why this place is important to me. i found out there was an african-american cemetery. the cemetery is the size of a large room. beenof the headstand has heaved by roots. there,d hear gunshots
7:35 pm
which let us know that people were doing target practice. i saw things that look like the headstones could have been struck by:. bullets. once i took in the physical dimension it, i could feel the spirit of the past. it was palpable. some of us were african-american, some were white. we could all feel the spiritual significance. the people who accompanied me on this journey, there was something amazing about this. for me personally, it was permission to tell the story. i started with the stories i remembered, and the stories kept growing because i continued to literature and
7:36 pm
poetry. kindnd out you, your very professors like robin dr. -- i found out through very kind professors like robin becker that i needed to tell my story through poetry. when i wrote this book of poems, i wanted to decompress the anger. i found answers to questions that i didn't know i had. was, oncese questions i get rid of the anger, what happens next? i had the opportunity to answer those questions because i was on that track to the african-american cemetery. i will read that:. -- read that poem.
7:37 pm
i found out that getting rid of the anger wasn't the only thing i needed to do. i had to dig even deeper and find a way to forgive. that feeling of peace that i had in the cemetery, there was no label attached to it. nothing saying, this is what you need to do. after writing more, i discovered i had to find out a way to forgive harrisburg. was invited byi carl dixon and his colleagues to read this poem at a public gathering they sponsored called "a trip to an african-american cemetery." it was beautifully publicized. 100 people came. it was a beautiful warm spring morning. it was like a pilgrimage.
7:38 pm
once we got to the site of the cemetery, people gathered around and listened carefully as i read the next one i am going to read read.m ia m going to the answer to the question i did not know how to ask a first, once i get rid of the anger, what is next? the insert is to forgive. past,d to own our acknowledge the roles we have and talk to people about on.and move i'm going to read a poem called "naomi's harvest." naomi is a fictional enslaved woman. i put her here.
7:39 pm
"she could still smell the human misery in the belly of the slave ship. herly too weak to speak, mother traced and retraced the word of a whispered prayer into naomi's hands. [praying] all she remembers in those shapes, she does not know the meanings in english. still, she hears her mother's voice and feels the shapes of the words somehow retraced in the root tendrils. she packs of her roots, puts on hoists her hoe over
7:40 pm
her shoulder and turns to the is the moon rises over the targeting ridges on the west side of the susquehanna." becoming informed that those slaves reminds me that we have to own our past. remember that i said i didn't knew that sleep people were here? -- enslaved people were here? did black people just show up in harrisburg? no, there is a deeper meaning to that. it gives us the past to relate to. we may be rubbing shoulders with our past, with people from her past. everybody has a story that needs to be told, that needs to be
7:41 pm
shared. it enriches the world. you have language. or write inspeak it useurnal, user language -- your language. to make youhat like feel less than, find a way to speak not at the, but with them to create a stronger community. disaster starts with owning your past, using your language: fourth in peace and justice. and going forth in peace and justice. ,> we're in midtown harrisburg pennsylvania, in the midtown market district. i are standing in front of the midtown scholar bookstore, named one of america's great independent bookstores. we are one of the nation's
7:42 pm
largest stores of academic used books. that is our online specialty. brook store, which is a and water retail shop. brick and mortar retail shop. newave used, rare, and entity sketchbooks. although our specialty is scholarly books secondhand. you can see our sale cards modeled by her favorite bookstores. the bookstore in boston massachusetts is known for its outdoor sale cards and shelves. we were happy to have a space. we have grown into this space from smaller buildings. it can bring bargain cards out to welcome the public into the shop. when you come to the midtown scholar bookstore, there are bookstores in renovated theaters, but you have not seen
7:43 pm
one like this. we are delighted to have a coffee shop in the bookstore. we were excited when we extended into the space. have such a long history. i have studied a lot about the sphere,ulture, public political culture, and conversations that have happened in coffee houses. by having caffeinated averages along with books one reads, in license conversations when one comes into this space. we have a lot of gift quality special collections and rare imprints, as well as beautiful books have signings from the franklin library collection, also my mind local interest selection. this is just a small snapshot of it. in the story we have our harrisburg history books.
7:44 pm
whosee local journalists essays have been collected. these are the highlights of a regionale and evers history collection. is our main stage area. the character changes over time of the hand day of week. he might have the tables bustling with shoppers on a saturday afternoon. or on a friday night, we have the tables cleared away for a concert or book talk. here we have author collections and classic works of literature, but also biographies. and for nonfiction research works that complement the famous offers. we tried to restrict ourselves to 100. we have added new famous authors on time.
7:45 pm
we have several other famous author sections in this area. these bookshelves formed the foot of our mezzanine, which have literary criticisms and literature. lots of scholarly books, but a whole array of interest titles. store,k section of the we are shifting around to look for more space for our art history collection. we have purchased an entire shop full of books from one of the chicago stores. there is a fabulous art history section we will bring into this space. area,ition to this stage above it you have a mural/ this is a mural that we commissioned to hang on the outside of our original location. which is a few blocks outside the street. it was a long narrow 1950's
7:46 pm
building with a concrete wall. our --ed to it with enhance it with art. we had an artist, with the idea of a mural that went through time in space. it was originally a theater. the rats are from the theater days. -- rafts are from the theater days. great 1950's pennsylvania steel beams to support the tens of thousands of books. we are happy to be reusing that department store for the community coming together. books.e, art history we will go down half a level to the american history floor. that is where we have much of their local interest.
7:47 pm
everything from historical prints of pennsylvania and other mid-atlantic areas to early maps and guidebooks, legal channels, all manner of local interest materials. down below, the scholar underground. that is the majority of our nonfiction collection. long narrow aisles of books in every category you might imagine. >> clear in the basement of the midtown scholar bookstore in harris county, pennsylvania. we are in our rare book room. we are filled with antique cases , some books and folders 500 years old. some of these books were bound in development in the 1600s. a wonderful collection of 17th
7:48 pm
and 18th century english and european handprints. the first dictionary in the english language, a copy of that. a flood of 19th century literature. we have some limited edition vernes.ors -- jules this is a rare book in print room. we have original artists from .llustrators it is well worth the visit. i could have picked all sorts of things. i thought it would be interesting from a book tvs 10.2 look at books just published in harrisburg. books justat published in harrisburg. you think of printers that came up to the united states to set up shop.
7:49 pm
many came and started printing presses here. not far from this bookstore, there is a gigantic former president holding. they are all throughout harrisburg. former press building. i picked out books that i thought would chronicle harrisburg history and would be interesting. this is what i think is the first book published in harrisburg, pennsylvania. harrisburg was founded by a man set up an harris, who trading post along the susquehanna river. his son is the one responsible for laying out the city streets, and eventually coaxing the capital of pennsylvania to come to harrisburg. before it was called harrisburg, it was called lewisburg. after the revolutionary war in the capital french, was called lucifer, and --
7:50 pm
called lewisburg. this area is called dawson county. using the name harrisburg, you begin to see the name claimed for the city. 1796, harrisburg is spelled with an 'h.' all of these books were published by a journeyman printer named john wyatt. he brought his printing press to harrisburg after having gone to set up in a french colony. was theny in the 1790's scene of a great slave rebellion. led alete rebellion that lot of french emigres to move back into harrisburg and united states.
7:51 pm
-- he survived the great rebellion which he witnessed. he formed the first newspaper, the oracle. he set up shop across the street from where city government center is today. an interesting character. he is perhaps best known for publishing 2 types of nonfiction books. bibles andk of science-fiction, the two best nonfiction genres were cookbooks hymnusic books, especially als. is known for publishing in german and english these wonderful musical hymnals and musicals, which sold in the hundreds of thousands very early
7:52 pm
on. iner wyatt set up his press harrisburg, other printers came to the city ended their own printing. -- and did their own printing. this book was published after the war of 1812. you can see that harrisburg has lost the 'h.' we have now modernized a bit. what is interesting about this book is that it is the first book about the reformed mennonite church published in america. we are in an interesting area. i would say we are in mennonite brethren country, yet we are the capital of pennsylvania. one of the exit -- one of the things advocated in this book is that people should stay away from the political process. no partaking in politics in any way. and yet it is being published in
7:53 pm
our highly contentious capital. harrisburg becomes the capital in 1812. you have a lot of english speaking folks. john harris speaks english. but you also have a mennonite and baptist german-speaking tradition, partially farmers. that is still very evident in south pennsylvania today. there was a bit of tension between the urban city of harrisburg and surrounding rural communities, even though harrisburg was small at the time. it was just a downtown surrounded by farms. that is the history of printing in 19th-century harrisburg. as we move to the 20th century, the city undergoes a movement called "the city beautiful" movement. you have national leaders who helped preserve niagara falls
7:54 pm
and yosemite, and someone working to preserve our forests in the country -- they have all settled in harrisburg. do,, as part of what they established a beautification effort called the mcfarlane press. printing incolor the 20th century, just like gustav peters does in the 19th century. this does not seem like much today with digital photography where you can get chris uniform -- get crisp beautiful colors. but at this time, it was really important. linda had a rose garden that was internationally renowned. he first sent out his own artists to go and the flowers. -- go and paint the flowers.
7:55 pm
getting the pigments just right. after his artists would paint the flowers. this is a picture of his rose garden here in harrisburg in bellevue park. the city was known primarily as an evangelical publishing house. we had several evangelical presses, including one called the evangelical press right up the street. most of the evangelical works published in the u.s. were coming out of harrisburg at this time. in have pamphlets and books most everyone's homes in mid-20's century america. they probably had a work that was published in harrisburg.
7:56 pm
also was the founding of stack pool press. by a gentleman who had owned one of the 2 competing newspapers of the day. you had a conservative and not so conservative newspaper. this press was founded and came to prominence in the midst of world war ii as they press the published a lot of military related books. it still has a wonderful selection on hunting and fishing and military history. harrisburg continues to go on. in the 20th century, we become well known as the home of the book-of-the-month club. clubs ine book 20th-century america, whether it's the military book club, or the cookbook club -- all the clubs people used to be a part
7:57 pm
of by mail, those were printed and distributed in central pennsylvania. that is the history that midtown scholars built upon today, and crossroads tohis tell the story of american publishing. you can find all of these books and many more here today. we are a bookstore. the books are for sale, but we encourage browsing and people coming in discovering and learning about the history of publishing, harrisburg, and history of america really over the past century. very much see the future of bookstores returning. the physical space is where people want to speak and talk about their books. online,you acquire them
7:58 pm
you still want to converse about them with other people. that is the kind of thing that a bookstore coffeehouse can bring to the public. >> our visit to harrisburg pennsylvania is a book tv exclusive, and we showed it today to produce you to c-span's city tour. we have brought the booking to our viewers. you can watch more on tv bringseekend, book you 40 hours of nonfiction books and others. saturday night at 8:00 eastern, a john hopkins university professors discussing their book "what washington gets wrong" with how unelected officials regard the american public. >> we think there should be a
7:59 pm
stronger correlation between what the bureaucracy is doing and what the public thinks the bureaucracy should be doing. we would like to find ways to make that relationship stronger. >> for many years i have been annoyed at the various surveys undertaken that seem to be designed to show that ordinary americans don't know anything about government. >> sunday night at 10:00 a.m. eastern, a white house correspondent for the american urban radio network examines race and police shootings from the perspective of african-american mothers in new book. >> this book focuses on women. we are the first influencer. we are the first teacher. increasingly are in number as the house of cash as the head of households and so provider. the talk turns figures from a
8:00 pm
man from a woman. son, not just a woman to but woman to son and daughter. >> go to book for the complete schedule. >> prime minister shinzo abe is an united states to meet with president then, connecticut senator chris murphy sits down with the washington post to discuss the democratic agenda and a republican-led congress. after that, we will hear from the democratic leaders at their annual retreat in maryland area and another -- maryland. and an examination of how politics in washington is shaping public policy. welcomed prime minister shinzo abe to the white house this morning. they discussed security before holding a joint news conference. while taking questions, the askedon -- president was
8:01 pm
about his executive order on immigration. this is 30 minutes. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states and the prime minister of japan. pres. trump: thank you very much. prime minister abe, on behalf of the american people, i welcome you to the very famous white house. you honor us with your presence. this is one of our earliest visits from a foreign leader. band i am truly glad it could be from sucan


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on