Abraham Lincoln & James Getty – The 16th President

In 1995, James A. Getty, who appears in public as Abraham Lincoln, visited Ukiah, California and joined us in the studios of Radio Curious. In talking with President Lincoln about his life, the events of his time and about his presidency, the conversation focused upon the economics of the mid-19th century. I asked Mr. Lincoln to give us his opinion about the effect that Eli Whitney’s cotton gin had on the spread of slavery.

Abraham Lincoln and James Getty recommend “Malice Toward None,” by Steven Oats.

Originally Broadcast: March 7, 1996

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Dickinson, Emily & Norris, Wendy — Emily Dickinson: Hiding in Her Own House

History remembers poets of past eras as windows into the civilization of their time.  A poet’s words reveal life and feelings we would otherwise never know.  New England, in the mid-19century, was the center of a renaissance of American poetry.  Emily Dickinson, better known now than she was then, was known for her phrases which sang out in a multitude of forms, meters and styles.  Her words presented her innermost feelings and thoughts.  A passionate and witty woman, she made a craft and an art of her words and her life.

I met with Emily Dickinson in the person of actress Wendy Norris, in the parlor of the Dickinson family home, magically carried from Amherst, Massachusetts, to the stage of the Willits Community Theater, in Willits, California, where the belle of Amherst told her story.  We began our conversation when I asked Emily Dickinson why she chose not to receive visitors in her home for so many years.

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Maria Stewart – Professor Sandra Kamusukiri: A Visit With A Free Black Woman – Boston, 1840

Maria W. Stewart, was a free black woman who lived in Boston, Massachusetts, from the early 1820s to the early 1840s. She was the first American born woman to lecture in public on political themes and likely the first African-American to speak out in defense of women s rights.

A forerunner to Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglass, she was intensely religious and was regarded as outspoken and controversial in her time.  For more than a century Maria W. Stewart’s life’s contributions have remained obscured, illustrating the double pressures of racism and sexism on the lives of African-American women.

The life of Maria W. Stewart, a free black woman who lived in Boston, Massachusetts, from the early 1820s to the early 1840s is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.

Maria W. Stewart was personified by Chautauqua Scholar, Professor Sandra Kamusukiri, during the 1996 Democracy in American Chautauqua held in Ukiah, California.  Professor Kamusukiri is an Associate Vice President Emeritus, of the Emeritus English Faculty of the California State University at San Bernardino. I met with her, posing as Maria W. Stewart, and began our visit when I asked Maria W. Stewart to explain the differences between the lives of free black women in the northern states and black women who were slaves in the southern states.

The book that Maria W. Stewart recommends is the Bible.

 

The book that Sandra Kamusukiri recommends is “Maria W. Stewart, America’s First Black Woman Political Writer: Essays and Speeches,” edited by Marilyn Richardson

The program was originally broadcast in 1996.

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Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner: Survival Is Indigenous

The consequences of the control of reproduction and the reproduction of daily life that began about the time of the creation of the moveable type printing press, in approximately the year 1440 is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.

Our guest is Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner, the Founding Director of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation in Fayetteville, New York and member of the Adjunct Faculty at Syracuse University, in Syracuse, New York.   Sally Roesch Wagner was one of the first two women to receive a doctorate for work in women’s studies, with a Ph.D. awarded to her in 1978 from the history of consciousness program by the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Wagner, a Radio Curious veteran guest is the author of “Survival Is Indigenous,” a book that describes the consequences of the societal control shortly after the development of the printing press, fomented by western religions, which she argues exists to the present time.

Sally Roesch Wagner and I visited in the Radio Curious studios on January 6, 2016, to discuss “Survival Is Indigenous,”  and began our conversation when I asked her what is indigenous about survival.

The books Dr. Wagner recommends are “Braiding Sweetgrass:  Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants,” by Robin Will Kimmerer; and “My Life on The Road,” by Gloria Stienem.

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Pico, Pio & Garza, Robert — Meet the Last Mexican Governor of California

Radio Curious goes back into California history about 165 years, and visits with the last Mexican governor of California, Pio Pico. Born at the San Gabriel Mission in 1801, Pico was of Spanish, Italian, Indian and African ancestry. Both as a politician and as an entrepreneur, he espoused the views of many native-born “Californarios” over distant seats of government.

As the last Mexican Governor of California, he presided over the secularization of the missions, and turned over their vast land holdings to private hands. Although he fled California during the American takeover, Pio Pico returned to build the first major hotel in Los Angeles. Later, he served on the Los Angeles City Council.

I met with Pio Pico, portrayed by Roberto Garza, in February of 1998.  When Pio Pico and I met in the person of Roberto Garza we began when I asked him to tell us about his life.

The book Pio Pico recommends is “Pio Pico, A Historical Narrative,” by Pio Pico. Roberto Graza recommends “Pio Pico Miscellany,” by Martin Cole and “The Decline of the Californios: A Social History of the Spanish-Speaking Californians, 1846-1890,” by Leonard Pitt.

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Franklin, Benjamin – Archbold, Ralph — Two Visits with Benjamin Franklin Part Two

We continue with the second of two archive visits with Benjamin Franklin, as portrayed by Ralph Archbold. Archbold has made a career of interpreting Benjamin Franklin for over 30 years.  

In part one of this series we discussed Benjamin Franklin’s early life, his inventions, his role in the secession from England and in the formation of the Confederation and later the United States of America.

This second part was recorded in July 1994, at the City Tavern, as it has been called since it opened in 1774.  It quickly became a center of political events of the times.  Paul Revere went there to announce the news that the British government closed the Port of Boston.  Many influential people in the colonies gathered in Philadelphia to decide on a response to the British government’s closing of Boston’s port and other acts.  When John Adams, who later became the second President of the United States, went to Philadelphia in August of 1774 to attend the first Continental Congress, he was greeted by leading citizens and immediately taken to the City Tavern.  He characterized it as “the most genteel tavern in America.”  For the next decades, the City Tavern would be a familiar sight to leading figures of the American Revolution.

When Benjamin Franklin, as portrayed by Ralph Archbold, and I visited at the City Tavern over lunch, we considered many aspects, past and present, of American life.   We began our conversation when I asked Benjamin Franklin about the history of the City Tavern.

The book Benjamin Franklin and Ralph Archbold recommend is “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.”  

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Franklin, Benjamin – Archbold, Ralph — Two Visits with Benjamin Franklin Part One

This is the first of two archived visits with Benjamin Franklin, as portrayed by Ralph Archbold.

Benjamin Franklin arrived in Philadelphia as a young man and became an inventor, printer, scientist, author, governor, activist in the war for independence from England, an ambassador to France, and the first post master general in the United states, among a multitude of many other accomplishments. Ralph Archbold has portrayed Benjamin Franklin in theater, for conventions, and in the media for over 30 years.

Benjamin Franklin, through the person of Ralph Archbold, met with me in Franklin Court where his home and printshop were located, in Philadelphia. We met on July 18, 1994. We discussed his early life, his inventions and his role in the cessation from England and the formation of the United States. We began our conversation when I first asked him when he first came to Philadelphia.

The book Benjamin Franklin and Ralph Archbold recommend is “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.”  

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Jefferson, Thomas & Jenkinson, Clay — The Author of the Declaration of Independence

Radio Curious revisits a 1994 conversation with Thomas Jefferson, 3rd president of the United States as portrayed by Chautauqua scholar Clay Jenkinson.  

Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States of America, stands as one of the lead political theorists of American history.  His ward republican theory required an agrarian population, a government originating in the individual household, and a consistently questioning and rebellious public.My guest in this edition of Radio Curious is Mr. Jefferson, personified by Clay Jenkinson.We discussed what has gone wrong in the US since Mr. Jefferson was President and addressed some of his concepts of what are necessary for a democracy.

The book Thomas Jefferson recommends is “The History of the Peloponnesian War,” by Thuclydides.

The book C. Jenkinson recommends is “In the Absence of the Sacred,” by Jerry Mander.

Originally Broadcast: May 21, 1994

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Muir, John — An Early American Conservationist

One of the greatest early conservationists of America was a Scottish immigrant named John Muir who, as a young boy, went first to Wisconsin and then later, as a young man in the 1860s, he moved onward to California. A friend of president Theodore Roosevelt, he successfully sought to preserve the spectacular Yosemite Valley and the Sierra Nevada range, it was joy in his lifetime. Yet the loss of the equally spectacular Hetch Hetch Valley to a dam to provide water for San Francisco was his greatest sorrow. John Muir founded the Sierra Club and is credited with founding the National Park system in the United States.

I visited with John Muir in the person of Lee Stetson in the studios of Radio Curious in October of 1995 and discussed his life and observations.

Originally Broadcast: October 1995.

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Wagner, Sally Roesch — Suffragist, Matilda Gage, Almost Jailed for Voting

This program is about Matilda Joslyn Gage, who lived from 1826 to 1892 and was a vibrant and leading figure in the suffragist movement of that century.

Matilda Joslyn Gage, an outspoken leader for women’s rights, and an advocate to abolish slavery and religious bigotry, became historically invisible in pursuit of her liberty to think and speak as she thought proper.  She was threatened with jail for voting in New York in 1871, and later was inducted into the Iroquois nation after publicly declaring Christian theology to be a primary source of the oppression of women.

Historian and chautauqua scholar Sally Roesch Wagner, who portrays Matilda Joslyn Gage, brought Gage into the limelight by creating the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation, based in Fayetteville, New York.  The Gage Foundation is dedicated to educating current and future generations about Gage’s work and the power of her work to drive contemporary social change.

I met with Sally Roesch Wagner in the studios of Radio Curious in December 1996.  Our conversation began when I welcomed Matilda Joslyn Gage to Radio Curious.

The book Matilda Joslyn Gage recommends is “The Secret Doctrine:  The Synthesis of Science, Religion and Philosophy,” by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky.

The book Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner recommends is “Women, Church and State,” by Matilda Joslyn Gage.

This program was recorded in December 1996.

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