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tv   American Artifacts Womens History  CSPAN  June 22, 2020 11:05pm-11:24pm EDT

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we go to arlington virginia where women aided communities of newly freed slaves. >> a museum is dedicated to ensuring that the distinctive contributions of american women to our history and culture are written into our national narrative. the national women's museum has sought to achieve this goal for 20 years. we currently exist as a online museum, but our goal is to build a fiscal musing on our national mall. in 2014, congress passed a bipartisan act to create a congressional commission to evaluate the feasibility of a national women's history museum
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here in washington d.c.. >> a commission to study the potential creation of a national women's history museum and other purposes. >> we are half of the population. wherever you stand on women's issues, i am sure there is a consensus in this house that half of the population should not go unmentioned in the textbooks of our country. >> but there is no museum in the country that shows the full scope of the history of the amazing, brilliant, courageous, innovative and sometimes defiant women who have helped to shape our history and make this country what it is. >> in november of 2016, the commission produced a bipartisan report concluding that americans deserve a national women's history museum. that it should be on or near our national mall and affiliated with the
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smithsonian. i am pleased, that a bipartisan group of members of congress have introduced legislation to create this museum here in washington d.c. on one of two sites at our national mall. over 200 members of congress have supported this legislation which has been introduced in both the house and senate and is pending today. the group of members of congress who support this legislation on a bipartisan basis have continued to fight for this and grow and we are optimistic that the importance of writing women's stories into our national narrative is a value that becomes stronger and more clear every day. >> it is time that we come together and we have an appropriate bipartisan approach to addressing the collecting
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and enshrining of what women have done in the fight of cause of freedom. >> many americans are familiar with the fight for women's suffrage. and the leaders who risked their lives and security in order to ensure that all women and men have the right to vote. i think far too little is known about the contributions women have made across a range of disciplines. from the sciences to medicine to the military and that completing this story of american history by ensuring that we are including women's distinctive contributions across american life. that will really and rich what is possible for every american boy and girl. >> the national women's history
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museum is currently a museum without walls. we are located online where you can find exhibits, articles and biographies on women's history. but we also offer walking tours, we have one on women in the civil war. we start here at alexandria's history museum. during the civil war in the 18 sixties, this building like many others in alexandria was used as a hospital. nursing as a practice before the civil war was used as a punishment. . women who were arrested for public drunkenness or prostitution were punished by working as a nurse for a week or two. during the criminal war over in europe, nursing as a practice started to become more of an occupation, especially for women, and during the 18 sixties during the civil war, many women came over to help teach others how this practice of nursing could be used to help these soldiers.
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so during this time, the practice of nursing was becoming more formalized. the battle of monastic took about -- took place about 20 miles from here. when we think of nurses during the civil war i, dorothy it dick's may come to mind. she was prominent in helping the medical field take off during the war. she was able to appoint 15%, or 3000 of the medical staff during the war, including nurses here in alexandria. alexandra -- nurses in alexandria were not only white women who were winnowed or older, they were women from all backgrounds, all stages of life, including african american women. however african american women who practiced as nurses were considered laundress is and this was a way the army could get around paying them and equal wage. so alexandria, many churches
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around the city were also used as hospitals and women were able to make this practice more of a field for women. however, they did get pushed back from medical surgeons who were predominantly men and these men would tell women that they ceased to be women if they started practicing win -- medicine. so there was a lot of discrimination within this field. the women, including ... who also practiced here in alexandria pushed past this discrimination and were able to help the medical field go forward in leaps and bounds and help saved many lives. our next stop will be market square where we will talk about women and other businesses they ran during the war. >> here we are in market square. this is the oldest continually operating marketplace in the united states. but during the civil war, this was a marketplace where women who worked on local farms would
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come in and self fruits and vegetables to nurses who would take them to the soldiers who are recovering in hospitals. while that was a legal practice, there was also illegal practices happening here in the market square. one of those was the smuggling of alcohol. alcohol was prohibited for the soldiers during the war here in alexandria. however, they still had access to this alcohol, predominantly whiskey. alexandria was a port city and so the union had taken over the city including these ports and so there were very few boats coming in and out. however on about coming into alexandria, two young girls were caught smuggling alcohol. when they were caught, they naturally confessed that their parents had put them up to this. here in the market square, a general was watching people walk by and noticed three rotund women who were carrying their wait a little differently than a normal human being would. these women were stopped and once they were stopped, they started pulling out 23 canteens,
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15 bottles and one jug of whiskey from the ruffles of their skirts. they of course confessed that they were going to sell this to union troops and said that this amount of whiskey would have gotten them about 225 dollars. today, that would be around 6000 dollars. and so this practice and the smuggling was not necessarily uncommon and these are the accounts that we know of where people were caught selling this contraband item. however, as you can imagine, soldiers and whiskey sometimes do not miss and there were injuries and casualties from drunken soldiers missile firing their weapons. one woman, mrs. robert jameson, she was shot and wounded and unfortunately mary butler, another woman here in alexandria, was shot and killed. as you can see, sometimes alcohol and soldiers do not mix. so we are going to continue on and our next stop is going to be christchurch where i will talk about sarah tracy who
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helped establish and keep mount britain safe. >> so here we are outside of christchurch, this is where george washington would come and worship during his time here in alexandria and mount vernon, washington's home, is less than ten miles from alexandria. and mountain vernon was preserved by women, during the civil war one women in particular, sarah tracy was the secondary. she helped preserve this home during the war. sarah tracy made sure that soldiers on either side of the war were able to come in and vision washington's home. this was important because both sides both the confederacy and unions saw washington as the founder of their country. tracy did have some stipulations for soldiers that would come into bound vernon, they had to be unarmed and they also had to be not wearing their uniforms. they would find any means weather, wearing shawls or other clothing. sarah tracy kept money in her
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bank, this money was to be used to persian mount vernon from the washington family. but during the war troops decided they wanted that money for themselves. sarah tracy refused and decided that she was going to move this money out of the banks into rigs bags to washington d.c.. she did this covertly. she did this out of the bank and put it in a basket and put a eggs on top of the basket, and went to washington d.c., she met with mr. rigs where she sold these eggs to rigs and she made sure the transaction was legitimate because she received a receipt for the sale of the eggs. thanks to sarah tracey, we are able to still visit mount vernon today. not only were women and, entrepreneurs, having jobs, selling items but they were also soldiers. they had to do this in a
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disguise. it was entirely frowned upon for women to join the war as soldiers, so that's why they had to dress up in men's uniforms. women would dress up on either side of the war, both the confederacy and union as soldiers, so that they could fight along their husbands, brothers and families. and fight for the cause of the war. one woman is sara edmund's, she went by frank thomas, she was one of the soldiers who is open about being a woman soldier, especially after the war. she would dress in both traditionally men and women's clothing. we know of about 300 500 women who did serve doing the were. those are the ones that we know about. there is a number that we might never know about who fought during the war. our last stop, is the baptist church, this was established in
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1863, this was the first african american church after union occupation in alexandria. in the 18 sixties during the civil war, this would've been the edge of town, further down the street would have been more countryside, but this is also where contraband camps were located. those contraband camps were like refugee camps that would we would recognize today, they were camps of formerly slaves. these and catchments, and this turn contraband camp started cropping up early on into the civil war. in 1861 general butler, stationed at fort monroe in virginia, he was the general at this fort and during his time there african americans escaped from their enslaver and sought refuge, he took them in but the next day there slivers were
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knocking on the door's demanding that they're in sleeved people are returns. butler who is a lawyer, thinking on his toes, said no, these people are no contraband of war. that is where the term comes from. it's spread like wildfire. this term today, we use it as historians describe formally enslaved people who found their freedom during this time. during the war, this term was used in white communities as a derogatory term. it was used to describe formally enslaved people, but with this idea that they were helpless or childlike. in the african american community, this term was used to differentiate between people who had their freedom before the war and people who games their freedom during the war. so in alexandria and these catchment started cropping up, women started noticing that they needed basic human necessities, food, shelter, clothing.
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women like elizabeth, as formally enslaved woman, best known as mr. lincoln's dressmaker, she helped establish these contraband camps around washington d.c.. she appealed to the first lady, mary lincoln, and asked for money for these encampments. mrs. lincoln wrote to the president and said we will give them 200 dollars to help fund this relief association. the president and the first lady would continue to give money. it was people within the african american community who are helping gather foods and provide shelter, provide money, and so these encampments were funded through church groups. not only was elizabeth working in the d.c. area, there is another woman harriott, who was formally enslaved and she found her refuge in up in new york
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where she met a quaker woman, they teamed up together and came to alexandria and worked with these contraband camps and provided money, food, shelter, clothing and they also helped establish education. and many churches offered education, night schools, not only for children but adults so they could become illiterate, they could read, right, sign their names to contracts. because they were starting to look for and get jobs. a lot of the women working outside these contraband camps, women inside the camps were also working to make sure that people were educated. when women, mary, was illiterate and she would have tablets and she would write down scriptures for people to learn to read and write. now we have seen a few oversight saw her walking tour in our old town national women's history museum, is continuing to tell more of
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these stories. >> our hope is that building a national history museum on the national mall will not only educate and inspire, but it will help completes the story of american history. >> tuesday night on american history tv beginning at 8 pm eastern a look at the lives of garfield, mary mcal roy and francis cleveland. c-span in cooperation with the
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white house historical socialization produced a series of the first ladies, examining the private lives and public roles they played. first ladies, influence an image features individual biographies of the women who served in the role of first lady over 44 administrations. this panel is in direct response to some of you filling out this lovely questionnaires, so the lincoln forum is really trying to respond to the


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