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tv   American Artifacts  CSPAN  September 3, 2016 9:30pm-9:50pm EDT

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>> a much more fragmented media attention in a world of dual screening, multiple platforms stream campaigns need data and analytics and technology to figure out which voters we need to reach, what messages will appeal to them, and how best to reach them. about make them care politics, how do we get them interested in our candidate? >> watch the communicators monday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern. week, american artifacts takes you to museum and historic places. next, we visit arlington house, the robert e lee memorial in the national cemetery to hear from descendents from one of the enslaved families on this plantation. craig syphax.rom
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but first, steven hammond talks about his research on the syphax . >> my name is steve hammond. i'm -- i worked for the u.s. geological survey for about 40 years. the geological survey is a sister agency to a national park service and in my work, i was a deputy associate director that dell was earthquakes, volcanoes, naturales, a variety of hazards. my connection with the syphax family is an interesting one. my third great-grandmother was a slave at the statehouse in washington, d.c. and her brother was a slave here.
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in termsilty way back of their connections to mount vernon and the local area here. was born abouty 1791. and as a young man, he actually was living on the estate with his grandparents and he state whenrlington martha died in 1802. believed he had relations with another slave at mount vernon. together, they had a daughter .amed mariah cawdor
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they both grew up here. charles as a young man had an affinity to watch mariah grow up. they were married in 1821. shortly after that, they began to have children. in first child was born 1823, the second in 1825. william syphax was born. they decided to sell mariah. the folklore in our family always suggested he simply freed
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mariah and her children and gave her 17 acres of property. quakers as you may recall were really evolution is in terms of war and slavery so it was their goal to try and help free slaves in the area. 1845,he deed we had from we know they actually freed mariah and all her children. but this dvd back to a previous father, edward stabler, the apothecary shop iner in alexandria, struck 1820 52 free them. 1825 to free them.
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if you were freed and couldn't support yourself, you needed to leave the state. but george washington parke custis wanted mariah to be close by. , wasusband, charles syphax not free. but overall you and her children were free but were giving set -- given 17 acres of property at the south end of arlington estate where they lived free the rest of their lives and as a result, all of those children were born free as well. there were a couple children prominent in the syphax family. once these children were free, they had an opportunity for education. one of the prominent older know will you must probably educated in alexandria
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as well as a georgetown. he ultimately went to work for the department of interior in the 1850's and worked for a number of secretaries of the interior and actually became a head messenger for the department of the interior and went on to become the first of schools in washington, d.c. there were a number of ancestors and descendents of these folks that made a permanent impact on our country. one example would be pressed and lead, a tuskegee airmen. of women thater went on to teach. we know they attended our university. turned aroundch and became teachers at howard university. we have a well-known surgeon who
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died a couple years ago near the age of 100 who was a very common professor at howard, university. we also have julian dixon, a congressman from california who passed away in 2000 but served in the u.s. congress close to over a decade. have quite a is legacy here. in the 1860's when the civil war , the police left the property. property lee departed and became general in the virginia army. arlington state was taken over by the u.s. army. it was considered a stronghold
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to protect washington dc and was overrun by a number of u.s. army soldiers. theythe police left, believed they would attend here after the war. they felt they would return. , several years later , the u.s. government modify the while mrs. lee could not pay her taxes and person and as a result, the property was taken by the u.s. government. there was no proof that the owned thatly property. some years later about 1866, the oldest son working in the department of interior had the opportunity to work with
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a plea to havee the property returned. mid-1866, the bill was taken up by congress and to this day, we know that a bill was approved and signed by the of 1866, whichne returned 17 acres to mariah syphax. that is a really big deal for the family in terms of knowing they have this compound but couldn't prove they owned it but now we had congress here to prove this was their property. doing family history for close to 40 years. it's really something that has been a passion of mine, something my ancestors passed down to me in terms of understanding a bit more about our history and it has been important to me and my cousins
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to basically pull together with the park service, research staff, the leadership of the white house historical association and a new african-american history museum being open by the smithsonian and month or two to work together to try to tell a more clear, fully laid out story about the african-americans and particularly the syphax family here. i believe well the story of robert e. lee and george washington parker custis is important, they're so much to the story of the enslaved people that live here. job is to inform the public. one of the things we would like to do as a result of the land being taken away is to really recognize the lives and efforts people put into this.
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one of the goals i have for this is that -- to be able to say this area here is where the syphax is live and they had a prominent role with many other enslaved americans who are now free and have done things for our country. >> american artifacts is at arlington house, the robert e. lee memorial in washington cemetery. hear from craig syphax. he discusses friedman's village, which was built on the grounds of the original 1100 acre estate. >> i am craig syphax, president of the black heritage museum of arlington. the black heritage museum has a are a -- one of our goals is to enrich the story of freeman's village.
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we have worked with marymount university, with the smithsonian in getting research and understanding the freeman story. formed inntity that weather was an outbreak of smallpox because of the emancipation. everyone migrated to the washington, d.c. area and created an outbreak of smallpox. during this outbreak, the army contacted the american military association, a group of women who were nurses that cared for injured soldiers and they asked them what was the best way to contain the smallpox and they came up with an idea to put them all in one area of containment that way and that created friedman's village. the residents were emancipated
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slaves who came this way because there were jobs in the washington, d.c. area for that they were building the capital, the monument, federal buildings and things of that sort. washington, d.c. was building up jobsere were construction in this area and everyone heard about it so they migrated to this area. is the actualall 17 acres that is located where friedman's villages. henderson hall is the military base on fort myers today and that is where they told us the 17 acres of friedman's village was. .here is a marker aross the street, there is placard telling the information of friedman's village.
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when they us that list friedman's village, they put in a school, a post office, the citizens directed their own churches. they also had homes for senior citizens and elderly. they had their own little marketplace and everything. the main plan was to teach these people how to read and write and how to survive on their own, how to work, how to create a family and live the american way. they had to9, disband friedman's village because it was on arlington cemetery and at the time, they were bringing slaves in the direction of the house.
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friedman's village was in between where they started all the way to the house. they said you have to disband and go somewhere else while we to put gravesrty on. when friedman's village disbanded in 1898, the citizens created the african-american communities of arlington and these neighborhoods were created , thesethe land owners neighboring farms outside of friedman's village allowed these people to parcel the land to bring their church so the church was erected there first. a built houses around the church to create a community. one people passed away in friedman's village, they had a burial ground, which is today called section 27. it is adjacent to the memorial
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and right inside the wall is that isction 27 is an where the slaves that were here during arlington house days before friedman's village and the friedman village expiry's well.uried as the graves are marked. there isn't anything special about them. emancipation,r you were a citizen. therefore, a resident. the friedman's village model that was here on this site at arlington cemetery was the first model for the rest of the country. this was the first design and they improved on it through the south as time went on. the story is one that tells how
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the american government tried to help the newly freed slaves build a life and stay over here. they didn't deport anyone, they just had to work with these people because they realized they still needed a workload. inthey already had a system place for people here. they just wanted them to blend in together. in the slave quarters, there is a model of the original friedman's village that howard university architectural students did for the black heritage museum of arlington. we had it commissioned to be done and our chairman at the time was the leader in making that happen. truth we found out was a resident of freeman's village for possibly two years.
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when she was here, she told stories of the underground railroads and how people were empowered to get out of slavery and go north where they could be free. teachs someone who would how to read and write and she was a stop on the way, pushing people through the underground railroad. i am a direct descendent through the syphax family. charles and mariah's son, ennis. he had a son as well, my grandfather. he had children and one of his was archie, my father. when i walk the grounds of this estate, i sometimes feel like i'm in the shoes of those that were here before me and i look around and i feel empowered sometimes and i feel a new
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strength to want to carry on with the work i am doing. and other want this american artifacts programs by visiting our website. our comcast cable partners work with c-span cities tour staff when we travel to denver, colorado to explore its history. learn more about denver all weekend here on american history tv. >> the colorado state capital was built by 19 one. -- 1901. construction started 10 years after colorado joined the union. the capitol buildingk


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