tv QA CSPAN February 7, 2016 8:00pm-9:01pm EST
jesse holland, that is followed by the prime ministers questions. associatedk on "q&a" press reporter jesse holland. mr. holland talks about his book, "the invisibles: the untold story of african american slaves in the white house". brian: jesse holland, you write in your brand-new book, i decided i would write a second book in 2008 while writing on the then senator barack obama presidential campaign. a weekend stop over in his hometown of chicago, illinois. isse: part of the reason why
got into writing about african-american history in washington, d.c. was because of barack obama and his campaign. there was a lot of interest in african american history, having the first african-american president in the white house. i was lucky enough to be assigned by the associated press to cover obama that weekend. i remember holding up -- pulling to the obamas townhouse in chicago thinking about what book what i write next. and right at that spot is when it hit me. i got so excited about the topic and so i immediately called my editor. down mydiately tamped enthusiasm and told me to think about it. really sure that i had a good idea about what i wanted to do. brian: what was the idea? jesse: the idea was to write a
story about the african-american slaves who lived inside the white house. was still the country talking about how great and how unique it would be if an african-american president lived inside the white house. i said to myself, i understand that would be great but he cannot have been the first african-american to live there. and then the thought process went on -- so who were the first african-american to live there? we knew there were african-american butlers but i thought there had to be someone before them. i decided to write a book about the african-american slaves that lived inside the white house with the first presidents and that is when "the invisibles: the untold story of african american slaves in the white house" got its start. brian: we have an artist rendering of the first presidents house in new york city. you say in your book that there
were nine slaves working for george washington inside that building. explain how that happens. jesse: as most people know, george washington did not live inside the white house. he lived inside executive residences in new york city and philadelphia. when this country first started, congress did not provide funds for butlers and maids and watch her women. it did not provide funds for domestic staff inside the white house. the president's either had to come out of their own pocket and pay for these staffers or they had to bring in their slaves from their plantations. the majority of the first presidents and the founding fathers who became president were all slave owners. they would bring in their slaves from the plantations. toward washington did this as well. he brought slaves to new york city and philadelphia from now to burn it. vernonrved -- from mount
. he brought them to new york city and philadelphia. places, todayse we would consider them to be but backholding states then, slavery was allowed in both pennsylvania and new york city. george washington took advantage of that to bring slaves from mount vernon up to new york. brian: you tell a story about the machinations they went through to keep the slaves in the president's house. jesse: when of the rules in pennsylvania at that time was that any slaveowner who brought a slave across the state lines and into pennsylvania and kept , afterere in six months six months had passed, those slaves automatically became free. george washington is no dummy. he does not want to keep bringing people from out vernon
to philadelphia, have them for six months and then have them walk away with compensation. what washington did was every five months and a couple of weeks, he would decide to take his household fact to mount vernon. and then, they would turn around and go back to pennsylvania starting the six-month clock all over again. he did this over and over during his time in pennsylvania to ensure that the slaves would not be freed. none of his slaves were dummy. -- dummies. they knew what he was doing at this point. that is why one of his slaves took this opportunity to actually escape from george washington. her name was oney judge. she was martha washington's personal mate. she had been with the washingtons her entire life. she was born into slavery with
the washingtons. and she had been with them her entire life. as the president's term was winding down, oney judge saw backif she ever stepped onto mount vernon she would never escape. while the washington were packing up and getting ready to go back to mount vernon, oney judge was packing her own things. one day, as a washingtons were eating dinner, she walked out the back door. andwalked down to the wharf sailed away. it took the washingtons a couple of days to figure it out but she actually made it up to the northeast where she would live out the rest of her life without ever having to go back to virginia. it is not that the washingtons did not want her back. george washington actually put advertisements in newspapers trying to get people to find oney judge. relatives, iple of
won't call them slave catchers. he sent them to the area where he thought she had escaped to to see if they could find her. one of them found her. however, by that point, oney judge was enough apart part of that community where the community decided that they would warn her in advance and let her get away before the slave catchers showed up. she got to live the rest of her life out as a free woman. was a slaveuch worth in the george washington era? jesse: it depends on who the sleep was. most slaves were bought as children. if you were going out to buy a slave come at you had a choice. childuld buy a slave as a or by a fully grown slave or something in between. the money amount would depend on what exactly you want.
for most house slaves who served valets, or ballet -- you would likely by a younger one so you could train them. william lee was bought as a young child specifically to serve as a valet for george washington. in today's money, it would be about five dollars. if fully grown slave, they could go for much, much more. someone who is a cook, like the hemmings family with thomas jefferson. was buying a fully grown slave who was trained in french cuisine, they would be much more. for a lot of the presidents, they either inherited their slaves or they bought them as children to work inside the white house. the way they knew what
slave was taught to do because they taught the slaves themselves. brian: what kind of contract was there? depends on where you bought them from. a lot of slaves in the presidential households, they ended up being the sons and slaves.s of previous a lot of the slaves that were used inside the white house were not bought, they had grown up on their plantations. when they did go out and buy slaves, the contracts what is slave x isay -- being purchased by slave owner letter a from slaveowner b. through the records, and i had a lot of help going archives, when we
went back and looked through some of the records, there were very few presidents who actually bought slaves while inside the white house. andrew jackson actually was one of the few who did and john tyler did as well. andrew jackson did it openly. he needed some extra help inside the white house to help the household run correctly so he bought gracie bradley. here in washington, d.c. interestingly, gracie's sister work inside the white house as well but as a free woman. to work inher sister the white house as well and she recommended to andrew jackson that he go purchase her and he did. gracie bradley -- he bought her as a cook. it turns out that she ends up being the best seamstress that anyone had seen in that area and she became the master seamstress in the hermitage in tennessee. she ended up living out her whole life with the jackson
family because her sister wanted her closer to her in the white house. other presidents, like john tyler did not want people to know that they were buying slaves. when you get to tyler, you are getting closer and closer to the civil war. they did not want people to know what they were doing. aler would go out and hire bit -- a middleman who would go out and buy slaves and then transfer the slaves to tyler. tyler was so adamant that no one would know what he was doing, but he refused to use any of the being paid aswas president to buy those slaves. he did it out of his personal funds. presidents have had all different types of ways to get slaves into their hands. some wanted people to know that they were doing it and some did not. brian: they all had different ways. , lot of stories in the book
george w the white house with the obamas with the unveiling of his portrait and see what that triggers in your research. [video clip] when the british burn the white house in 1814, savedmadison famously this portrait of the first george w. -- if anything happens, there is your man. -- i promise. i am going straight for it. and i am sure it will be closer, and i will get right to it. brian: what are you thinking? the great stories
is that dolly madison comes and saves the portrait of george washington. i don't think that is exactly what happened because one of the great things i found out, was paul jennings. paul jennings was one of the first slaves, he was one of the first people to write a tell-all memoir about the white house. storymadison and her about her saving that portrait of george washington in the white house when the british -- he said that is not exactly what happened even though it was a great story that dolly madison told. jennings, dolly did not have anything to do with saving that painting. he and a couple of other workers inside the white house were the
ones that came and pulled that painting off the wall, put it in a wagon and shifted away. shipped it away. there are some people who would argue that given his relationship with the madison and i will say that his relationship with them was not the best because they broke several promises to him. but a lot of people say that his account of what happened with that painting is probably more trustworthy then dolly madison's account. mr. jenningsieve because he actually wrote his down and put it in his book. again, it was one of the first memoirs written about white house like and probably one of the first books written by a slave that got published inside the united states. brian: you can read it online. jesse: you can read it anywhere. it is a great look.
i tend to believe him but i will say he had a reason to hold a grudge against the madison because james madison had told him before he died that he was going to be freed. died, hees madison goes over to dolly madison's point, dollythis madison is running out of money. she is destitute. instead of following her husband's wishes to free his slaves after he died, she starts selling them. kept there at she the end was paul jennings. her to follow president madison's wishes and free him but she never did. i will say that he did have a reason to hold a grudge against her but i still tend to think his story is true. luckily for him, he ends up being sold to daniel webster.
who eventually freeze him. for him, the story ends up ok in the end. of the modest fan since and especially dolly madison. i can see he probably got a little bit of pleasure in poking a hole in the story that she was becoming more famous for. brian: i want to put on the screen a list of presidents who had slaves at any time. slaves at somed point in their lives. were in office. george washington, thomas jefferson, james madison, james munro, andrew jackson. those that owned slaves but not while they were in the white house included mark been pure in, andrew johnson, and ulysses grant. washington, jefferson,
and maybe taylor had the most. keep in mind, both monticello and mount vernon were huge moneymaking plantations. both washington and jefferson had in the hundreds at some point in their lives. i would tend to guess that one of those would be the largest slaveowners. it is hard to count at any one point because keep in mind, that when you are owning a slave family, the slaves are also having children. those numbers would fluctuate up and down. still, even with that, i would expect it would be either washington or jefferson. brian: you tell stories about slaves, not a service of presidents that literally slept in the room with them. can you remember one in particular? william leeck to who was the body servant of george washington.
everywhere that george washington went, you would find billy lee. it is probably safe to say, the aunt phyllis wheatley at that time, billy lee was probably the most famous african-american in all of america. you did not find george washington during the revolutionary war without elite league. when washington -- without billy lee. when general cornwallis leeendered, washington and were there together. during the revolutionary war, to make sureob was that george washington had everything he needed. he was washington's number two. one story i found especially interesting, a group of southerners and a group of northerners looking ahead to the
civil war years in advance got into an argument in a revolutionary war camp. billy lee and washington hear about this argument which is about to break out into a fight. and washington grabs his horse that billy lee brings him and he gallops into the middle of the argument. right there behind him is billy lee on his horse. battlesn all of these are going on and george washington is out there, billy lee is right there next to him. if something happened to washington's horse, billy lee would have to give him his horse and follow along on his feet. when washington woke up in the morning, billy lee was there. when he went to bed at night, it was his job to take off the wig and the clothing. make sure that washington had
the food he needed and the bible. it was his job, he was basically washington's number twol, to make sure that everything around him him a did not have to think about. keeping up with washington, was a chore. it is not like it was easy. as we go on in history, we find people like washington's who ends up being a robert lee. he ends up saying that billy lee was probably the second best horseman in the country behind george washington simply because he had to be to keep up with him. when you start talking about body servants, these were the men who were entrusted with the day today care and keeping of the president. they got their clothing. they got their wakes.
they made sure that they got to bed at night. sameof them lived in the room with the president. brian: you were telling a story in front of one of our cameras back in 2010. x years ago on a book you wrote called "black men built the capital." i want you to see this. [video clip] the lease had left arlington house, the union forces crossed the potomac and took over the land. one union general decided he never wanted robert e lee to ever return to arlington house. the way he ensured that this would not happen was he began burying union and confederate soldiers in robert e lee's front yard. that is how arlington national cemetery got started.
they tried to ensure that general lee would never return was that they gave part of the plantation to some of his freed slaves. what these freed slaves did with the land was come up with a town called freeman village. as you can see, it was not exactly small. they had their own churches. they had their own schools. they even had their own hospital. able to find aen photograph of the people of freeman village in the national archives. that is where the cemetery took over freeman village. jesse: brian: the cemetery is freeman village. what happened to all of the free blacks? eventually, even though
freeman village was the city unto itself, it brought in people from all around. truth ended up living there for a wild. -- four a while. eventually, the view they had hill, peoplell -- discovered it and they were kicked off of the land and it became part of -- it was stateed to the custis' and it became arlington national cemetery. where it stood before is now part of arlington national cemetery. there is no trace of the city left. one of the things i have discovered since i gave that talk, one of the churches that was on -- that was in freeman
village called the old bell talkh -- i was out doing a and a woman came up to me at the end and said that her church had that bell. it moved from freeman village to alexandria county. some of the people who lived in freeman village moved across the potomac and down and now they are still in those areas. i run into them now and again when i am giving talks about washington history. someone will say that my great rant father lived in freeman village. and their descendents are still here but there is no trace of the city left. brian: you tell us in the book that you started inking about this in 2008. you showed an early draft to your father and he proclaimed this to be a good book. dadhat still alive -- is
still alive? yes he is. i am originally from holly springs. educators.were both retired educators now. my mother taught english. science andt industrial arts in the methods -- memphis city school system. we still live on the same land that our great grandfather got after the civil war. a cotton farm. my family is still there. you're areldest son, still expected to go into the family business but that would never happen with me. i always knew i wanted to be a writer. my parents really encouraged me to follow my dreams and to
write. but, my dad is a farmer. teachingtopped full-time, he went into firming full-time. he reads but i would not call him a voracious reader. when he reads something and says it is good it is high praise. that is probably one of the greatest compliments i have had in my entire life. that my father read the early draft and said it was good. brian: how far back at you gone in the genealogy of your own family? jesse: i got started when my daughter was born in 2006. i have a nine-year-old daughter rita and a son, jesse holland the third. i always wanted them to know who their family was. we live in washington, in blue we, maryland, and most of my family is still in mississippi. i want them to know who their
people are. i started tracing our family history and started talking to older relatives to find out who our people are. we have gone back to just before the civil war where the ho lland's first bought an acre of land in mississippi. my great, great, great grandfather who was also named jesse holland bought an acre of -- and built a store. that is the one acre we will never sell. that is where we started. we will always keep that acre of land. my parents are both from the north mississippi area. they met in high school. my roots are there in
mississippi and i always make sure that i can go back. i go back as often as i can. -- olde miss.s year: i stayed an extra because i became editor of the daily mississippian -- the 1993-9094spaper from 19 93-1994. it was in college i decided that i would be a journalist. since 1994.with ap i started as an intern in columbia, south carolina. i stayed there for a few years and then went up to aldi, new york to cover hillary clinton's first senate campaign and then came to the sea in 2000. brian: back to the book.
jesse: the horses at the white house. oh, yes. andrew jackson. american war hero. also, a big gambling man. he loved the horses. i feel safe in saying that he brought the only franchise to the white house. he imported some of his thoroughbreds from tennessee and brought them up to washington, d.c. and kept them at the white house. he was also a politician. horses sure that the were always run under someone else's name. to to him.elong andrew jackson ran horses at racetracks around the d.c. area
while still president. a stable owner, he was almost like dan snyder where he was the major sporting franchise owner in washington, d.c. if you wanted to run a horse, more than likely andrew jackson's horse was in the race. he was known as one of the most powerful racing owners of that time. he ran racing in tennessee and when he became president, he comes up to washington and he brings some of those horses with them and he builds a new stable on the white house grounds to keep his horses. somealso suspect he brought of the black jockeys he kept as slaves in tennessee up to washington tuesday in the stable with the horses. we have not been able to identify many of these men but
we do know that at least one of them, his name is jesse. great story where jackson is running a horse out in the prince george's county area. his vice president, martin van -- he wasis actually not quite the sporting man that jackson was. to get one ofing the forces under control. he has a high-spirited horse and the jockey is not controlling him the way that jackson wants him to. jackson moves towards the track. van buren, not knowing what is going on is also moving towards the track. jackson and the jockey get the horse under control and jackson backs up. burenrine does not -- van does not.
you have a man sitting on a horse in front of the starting gates. jackson gets martin van buren and moves him back and that one thing follows jackson for the rest of his life. that jackson has to pull him out like heay of the horses is a child. in some people's mind as jackson's puppet which follows him for the rest of his career. georgeyou write about the slave. simon was the greatest black jockey of his time. is a jockey. you have to be small. the one jockey along with the horse maria that jackson
could not beat. he tried over and over. he sent different courses out there. and he never -- he sent horses out there. publicly got into trash talking with andrew jackson and got away with it. andrew jackson was a man known for his temper. duel, he would fight. he was a rough and ready kind of guy. his victories over jackson over and over, monkey simon would publicly tease ahead. he would talk about how jackson looked and he even wrote and if there is singsong about jackson that he would think. , jacksonf his skill
never retaliated. even going toward the end of his life, one of the things that jackson would say, one thing he regretted was that he never got .o be monkey simon and maria he never got to be them. on that hever later and simon become friends. upon't know if he ends owning simon, we don't know if he owned simon or if he rented him but we know they had relations later on in the two and up talking once or twice. up talking once or twice. he is probably one of the only living people that said something bad to jackson's face. brian: another slave involved with the horses. complained that he had
been attacked by a white man. slavesandrew jackson had up in the hundreds. when we look at it now, it is weird. he owned people. but, he had affection for the people he owned. he was not a slave owner known for mistreating his slaves and he would stand up for them when someone else attacked them. brian: let me read -- this man is talking about jackson. tennessee, eat up the man -- beat up the man. and then warned him, if he ever aham again or any other servant he would shoot him
on site. that if younow messed with anyone that jackson liked, that jackson would come for you. allies --ded little political allies and it went all the way to his slaves. he called them his servants but they were his slaves. if you got anywhere close to mistreating someone that long to --kson, you had to deal someone that belonged to jackson you had to deal with jackson. his slaves was charged with murder because of the party at a christmas -- because of a christmas party fight. someone dies. of jackson's political
enemies in tennessee decided they would charge jackson's sleep with murder. , you would time expect something like that to happen and the slave owner would try to negotiate or try to get this to go away. whatould not expect jackson did. first of all, i am a lawyer and you need to prove to me this case. if you don't, you will make this go away because you are not going to use my slaves to attack me for political reasons. jackson himself took over that case and made sure that his people were not treated unfairly. they ended up getting off because it was a general melee. jackson ends up getting his slaves, getting the charges dropped against his slaves. he went above and beyond what
you would expect a slave owner to do. brian: let us go through a bunch of stories quickly. william andrew johnson. he was a slave of andrew johnson. where did he get his name? the person he was working for. this is one of those areas where we have to be careful because we don't know for a fact. we don't know the genealogy as well as we should. we know he worked for andrew johnson. we know he lived with him. we don't know if he was related to him. it has never been proven one way or the other. he was there with andrew johnson him and his entire life. the johnsons were also from tennessee. we could see from some of the information we could find, he
came up to washington with the johnsons. and went back to tennessee with them after he left the white house. he is one of the few slaves that we know that was actually president.a u.s. after johnson died and later in up life, he actually come andrew johnson came back to washington and got a tour of the white house and got a silver tipped cane as a gift from president roosevelt that he took home with him. we know for sure -- we know pretty well that he is probably the only slate that has actually in honored by a u.s. president. buchanan, say james near the civil war time, freed a few slaves were political reason. close to thee get
that the press and the public, especially up north are getting a lot more squeamish about slaveholders and presidents who are slaveholders. buchanan decided since he owned slaves, he decided that he needed to get some of his slaves out of his name. transfers somee of them to his sister who eventually freed them. when we get to buchanan, we are finding out that the presidents are being more careful about publicly being slave owners and they start divesting themselves of any public holdings of slavery. brian: it surprises a lot of people that grant owned slaves. jesse: it surprised me as well. you would not think that the man
put in charge of the u.s. army during this double or would actually label owner himself. but he was. he inherited his slaves through marriage. he did not go out and buy slaves. he married a woman whose family owned slaves. one of the things he did himself was that he personally freed that slave. there is a copy of the letter he wrote which gave the slave his freedom which it shows where he was in his mind about slavery. that hes not mean wasn't a slave owner, he was because of marriage. first james monroe is the to suggest the elimination of slavery. a lot of presidents said they were going to eliminate slavery that not until they died or their wives were they ever freed. things that ithe
saw throughout this entire timeline was that most of the founding fathers and early president knew in their minds that slavery was wrong. they knew it. but, they were not willing to inconvenience their own lives to make that come true. but a lot of them did was to say slaves willdie, my be free or when my wife dies, the slaves would become free. they did not do it during their itetime because they knew, is clear that most of them knew it was wrong. they did not want to perpetuate it to another generation. some did. keep in mind, they also, while trying to be kind, put their wives in a bad situation. dies first and you
tell all of the slaves that you will be free once my wife dies. the president is gone and the only thing standing between freedom is that woman. this is the one you are cleaning for and cooking for, a simple accident gives them freedom. a lot of first ladies after finding out the situation they were in, started moving toward making the slaves free more quickly than letting them wait until they died. the story of john tyler, his fiancee, she was about 24 ,ears old on the ship princeton secretary of the navy and secretary of state died. her father died. a slave named armistead. princeton was
supposed to be one of the navy's crowning achievements. it had two of the biggest cannons made at that time. ship, they ares sailing it up and down the potomac and they are inviting members of congress and the president and the people aboard the ship to let them see this great creation of the u.s. armed forces. back down theg potomac and they get near mount vernon. tyler is aboard the ship. his slave armistead is aboard the ship as well. they are going past mount vernon. that to honor the nation's first president, they are going to fire the canon. tyler is below deck. a song is being sung that tyler
wants to hear. they tell people that they are going to fire the canon and tyler wants to hear this song. armistead decides to go upstairs to see them fire the canon. firing of the the canon becomes a misfire and the canon actually explodes on board. tyler is spared because he is below deck. ,he people around the canon most of them are immediately killed. exploded. shrapnel is being shot across the upper decks. as you said, several members of the administration are killed during this accident. including armistead, the personal servant. they went back to the white house, tell that story. of howthis is an example
they treated slaves during that time. the people are taken off of the boat. beautifulut in these the of goals with -- vehicles with cherry tops. armistead gets a pine box. and you see the pine box's year off in another direction. he is central to his family in a pine box. everyone else who died was honored. without fanfare. that is an example of how little the slaves were regarded coming even if you worked for the most powerful man in the united dates.
-- united states. positiveu seem to be a person. a smile on your face. i want to show you a guy come that we have had here a couple of times who was so angry about what happened in this country. he talked about something that you wrote about. this is randall robinson. he has moved to st. kitts because of the anger he has over the way blacks were treated in this country. [video clip] capital andinto the you see all of this stuff describing the stages of america. no douglas. no tubman. t the statue of freedom? slaves did. brian: how angry has this major?
you?s this made there were times when i and realize ik had to tell the story. that is the important part. that these stories are now being told. anyone who does not know their history is doomed to repeat it. by getting these slaves names out into the public eye and having people read these stories, it is reclaiming a little bit of that respect we were talking about. armistead was sent off in a pine box. no one cared about his name but maybe by writing the stories down and talking about them, we get a little bit of respect back women that wasnd
denied them during their lives. brian: how much of the white house was built by slaves? crew wase construction primarily slaves. then, washington was basically a swamp. there was no workforce here. the only major workforce in the washington area, from the plantations in virginia and maryland. they went out and rented slaves. james hogan, a slave owner from south carolina brought up some of his slaves to help build the white house. there is no way to sugarcoat it. this is how washington was built. before the civil war. the slaves were easily accessible. they were cheap labor. unlike freed men, the slaves
could not complain about their working conditions and they also were not getting money for their work. the slave owners did. they could not go anywhere because they could not afford to. when you look at the white house and the capital, a lot of the it, was done, not all of that a lot of the manual labor that was done, a good portion of it was done by slaves. part of the reason for writing books like this is to make sure these storieshat get told. a lot of times when we talk about history in washington, d.c. we talk about the founding fathers, the great politicians, but weat city leaders don't talk about the people who make the city work. the first group of people who made this city work were slaves. a lot of us do not know their names. by writing a book like this, we begin to take back some of that
dignity that was taking away from these slaves i people actually knowing who they were. brian: 10 of the first 12 presidents had slaves. those that did not, john adams and john quincy adams -- you dropped a nugget. when the white house was first there was non 1800 bathroom. jesse: the white house was not exactly the best place to live when it first opened. adams was not very happy to be in washington. he was happy to be president but when he moved into the white house, it was not exactly -- it was finished but not quite done. he could live in it. keep in mind, he did not have
the slaves that everyone else had to finish the work on the white house. it -- a huge,d drafty mansion. he bathed in the potomac. exactly what we see now as the white house. brian: you talk about some kind of structure being built where i think slaves lived, right in the spot where andrew jackson's statue is across from the white house. jesse: when they were constructing the white house, the slaves had to live somewhere. over aroundhanties lafayette park. this was where the workman lived. there were quite a few other buildings around the white house that are not there now. i would love to see a map where all of these were.
there was an ice house. stables. shanties for slaves to live in while they were working on the white house. there were houses for freed men while they worked on the white house. they were all on the white house campus but they are all gone today. what the white house looks like today and what it looked like back then, that area is completely different. it would be great to see a map. brian: presidents hid the fact that they bought slaves. james polk bought 19 slaves in the white house. boughthe came in and slaves while he was in the white house. he was one of the few people --t decided that he did not that he needed the extra help while he was here in washington. he had slaves of his own back on the plantation in tennessee and he needed help while he was here in washington. he decided he was going to buy more and bring them and train
them to work inside the white house. brian: what is the story of elias polk. he was a conservative that wanted to run for office. slave he was a faithful for james pulled. when he went back to tennessee, he becomes a political figure. he decides he wants to run for office as a conservative. today, there are not as many conservatives in the african-american community running for office as there are liberals. olk was one of the first conservatives that ran for office as an african-american. it was not very popular in tennessee. a lot of people saw him standing on the side of the slaveowners
and former slaveowners instead of being with the people. while he was a big person in politics accident from it does not seem like he was very popular among his own people and the regular people. were to get a gold star out to someone who had -- letthat lived up to him go and make him free. who would get a gold star? jesse: i would have to give andrew jackson a gold star. not because he freed as many slaves as he should have but he actually was willing to put himself on the line for his slaves. he actually made sure that heves like gracie that bought here in washington, after he died, gracie and her husband were able to stay on the
hermitage and become part of that community. jackson, time and time again stood up for the slaves who worked for him and the freed men who worked for him. even during the snow here in dce, there was an freed man whoan worked for jackson in the white house. the mobs came for him. brian: those were after beverly snow. eatinghe owned an establishment here in washington, d.c. there was different talk about how that riot started. one discussion was that the riot again because of a drunk slave who took an ax and went after a household and then it snowballed from there. thatended up happening was a lot of the african-american establishment in washington and up being destroyed during this riot.
inot of african-americans washington were killed. one of the people they went after worked for andrew jackson in the white house but jackson said no, you will not taken. brian: we are almost out of time. if you had to put your finger on one source of information that helped you the most in finding the stories, what would that be? jesse: the library of congress. stories like these are always found within the margins. very few of these slaves got to tell their own stories. their stories, you have to go back and read the owners' stories. the greatest repository of that information came from the library of congress. i don't want to give short shrift to any of the people that
helped me at the presidential plantations. i was surprised at how willing they were to help me find this information. at thee i came across presidential plantations including mount vernon and the hermitage were all willing to open their records and let me look at them. the majority of my work took place at the library of congress. the best people in the world are library is. they want you there. they will give you whatever help in the world that you need. my mom retired as a library. isan: the name of the book "the invisibles: the untold story of african american slaves in the white house". our guest is ap reporter jesse holland junior. and we thank you very much. jesse: thank you.
>> for free transcripts or to give us your comments about this program, visit us at q&a.org. q&a programs are also available as a spam podcast. -- as c-span podcast. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] week q&a enjoyed this interview with jesse holland, here are some other programs you might like. discoversen harris that discusses his film, a look at how african-americans have been portrayed in progress. , thetephen on the book caning, the assault that drove america to civil war.
>> on the next washington journal the latest new hampshire polls and the role that independence play a primary. why he supports donald trump. a discussion of heroin use in the state. your phone calls. you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. >> the road to the white house. in iowa c-span brought you candidates speeches. meet and greets. town halls.