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The best understanding of America or so it seems to us. That this nation is young yet. Even now America is man's greatest adventure in time and. The University of North Carolina presents American Adventure a study of man in the new where his values and his characteristics who he is. What he believes what he lives by. American Adventure is produced on a grant in aid from the National Association of educational broadcasters made possible by the educational television and radio center written by John directed by John Clayton. Today's program presents Phil Johnston as Archibald Murphy and leader of a dream. His name was Archibald Murphy. Archibald Debo
Murphy. And the year of his fall from power was 1830. Just put him in here. There you are Mr. Murphy. Is anything wrong with him. Well put on no data but it's a funny thing. The shout goes up to Murphy while he's upstairs in the court room. Just finished a right good case vocal and the show tells him he's under risk. You know what I'm waiting to find that out. Murphy just picks up his briefcase and comes with us. Yang said nothing yet. Not at all. No look at it just just sitting there on his cot as if he's stupid. Very well that's all. Get back to work man ever saw anything like it before. I'll just put your crutches over here Mr. America. Don't expect you'll need them in a cell the small. Did those men hurt you any. I don't know what to say except what I was told You're here because you'll demand some money and couldn't pay. All I know I'd offer to get you a lawyer but I've always heard that you're
the best one in the state. So I reckon you know better than most what can be done. Nothing could be done. How's that sir. I said nothing can be done so long as the state maintains a barbaric law that locks a man in prison for his debts. I'm sorry to hear that sir. I was hoping you'd be elected to the U.S. Senate. There isn't anything at all you can do. When you don't have to talk if you don't want to I suppose. Just trying to be polite. I don't want to talk to anyone if I talk right now I get angry. How Ted out in this jail with my crutches. I paid on my debts but ten solid years at them almost paid they lock me up at the debtors prison trying to ruin us so now I just be quiet was tomorrow. Everything will be alright but they will draw to me they won't be able to do it. I tell you when I get out. When I lived out here just just try to take it easy.
He's previously missed America. I have to be calm and you certainly do Mr Murphy. You're as pale as a sheet. My doctor says that I cannot get excited. Yes I just lie still most American. I'm all right now. At least from that Edelman. But I wonder if you would help me lift my leg on to the cot. My rheumatism is more persistent than my cough. Yes sir. Oh I'm sorry sir. It's all right. Didn't those men hurt you when they brought you down here with your leg like that. It was all I could do to keep from screaming. But a man must learn you must learn to keep his mouth shut and you do the same. Yes sir. I have to keep on as much to do and the people I knew I could hardly move. I seems to American debts to pay you and many plans for the state that have to be completed. They have to be just lie still sir. I'll go get a blanket for you.
Thank you. There's one thing North Carolina has that her false leaders have not been able to take away from. One thing is left. What's that kind people. Where else would you find a jailer who would nurse a tired old man. Where else could you find a jailer who could wait on the greatest man in his state in his jail. I came as soon as I heard Murphy. I'm always glad to see you. I would have been earlier but if I were rode my horse at the start. What did you tell me you won't miss this man $2000. I've come to you so many times what we need you. This ruins you what ruins your entire program. But just as soon as I'm well again even so I hope what man is going to vote for a senator who has just come out of a debtors prison.
Murphy why did you speculate speculate yourself into bankruptcy. Because I believed in this intolerable state. Because I thought North Carolina would throw off the shackles of a genny it and build it own ports and markets their own banks in cities build roads begin public schools I'm going to leave this state. Just as soon as I get out of this jail you know I'm going to find a place to go. I've heard that before. And each time I said it I was worse off than before. And North Carolina was more dependent on our neighbors. Stop talking or talking too much. What about what am I going to do lie here and rot away afraid to speak afraid to move a muscle because of pain. There is so much to do and who's to do it well and knows who. I was reading a history of this nation the other day and I when I tell you it dealt with North Carolina as if she hadn't existed either as a colony or a
state. And for years I've gathered the material for a history that will tell the truth about this state. Well you get it. But how can I write it now with with a thousand battles brewing in my brain here. Relax now control yourself a moment. There must be a way out there tell me then. First admit what we have to admit that you'll never be elected to the Senate and you may as well withdraw your name. I want a way to win not to surrender I'm telling you the truth. Might be able to start public schools in North Carolina. No hope for them now. My bill is to construct roads and canals for commerce. Perhaps next year for 25 years I've heard perhaps next year maybe perhaps next year next year and now and what for. Next year and. Next year. These passed slowly and many friends called but there was little
hope in what they told. Those days the state legislature elected the US Senate. And the legislature the campaign was shaping up. Of the six candidates Murphy would be up for six. Each day the jails seem to grow smaller and it was on the sixth day that Murphy had a strange car. Who was the man outside Mr Murphy His name is ne Peter NE but I don't want to see him folks say rode into town three days ago in the tavern last night he made some wild claims he is a Frenchman and used to be my secretary. Fact of the matter is he claims to be a field marshal or NE of Napoleon's army. He is deep to this country. That's what he says when he's drunk is it. Yes but he looks like a same feet same Alben hair same build. He has the same battle scars in the habit of correcting his pre-booked with marginal notes. I rather believe he is Napoleon Field-Marshal a very pleasant summation of
my claims Mr. Watt. Look I told you Mr Murphy didn't want to see you Mr.. You told me that yesterday and the day before but I know what it's like to be unclear. I think Judge Murphy may want to see me today. Do you Mr. Murphy. I see very well I. May be alone in jail or yes or. No. How are you Renee. I have fully recovered physically and use it. I wonder I have lived eight years since Napoleon died and I sent Helena my hopes died on St. Helena too. You were a bit drunk guys my normal condition. It helps me forget it dulls what I remember and it makes my mission here easier. Why did you come here. Nay because I like you regardless of what you think of me because you are almost the only man in this
state with whom I can ever carry on a conversation about anything other than farming. Because I sympathize with you in your position for now Judge Murphy we are alike. We don't be angry. It was a time when to be compared with Napoleon's general was a compliment. I have my own views on Napoleon. Well hold on there yourself then. But recognize these we are both of us lately fallen from high places. I from France and you from the south. Both of us now grovel in the dust of our fate. I see though I know you will go back to Ali and fight your battles. I know if you can borrow a horse you will go home and write your great books. If you can find a secretary to work for you for you have charge for your hand is too lame to hold a pin. You will again make your speeches before great audiences. If you can be carried to the most better your home is gone. Your wife is dead
your children are away from you and your library it was borrowed from your creditor. Please go. You will come back will you. I know you will come back to CO. What can I do. Nay. What is that to do. I know when I consider it day that I can never lead again. I can hardly move. Yet there is so much in my mind. When I came to this country from France I had hope. Someday I thought the podium would roll back his empire and I would be called again to my home in my armies. But that hope died owns and how do I know. And so it was the usual things I complained. I contemplated suicide. Have you no. You mean you have no knife hidden in here under the mattress under the pillow. And I have to bring back sleep again. Jailer
come get me out. I'd better go. Good bye. The days pass slowly minute by taking that. And the knife was under Judge Murphy's got up. There with the other prisoners but Judge Murphy hardly heard them in the world of his own life. Another visit. With William how are you. Oh I'm not bad fun compared to the livestock and wild animals come in that chair is rickety but it will support them and then may crumble with me. Would you leave us please Jane. Yes. You've been celebrating with you for 10 years Judge celebrating the
loss of the family estates and fortune your dental health in mind the death of my mother and now my father's disgrace. I've suffered one additional taught you disappointment in my oldest son in whom I have my highest reach. That has always been your great fault. Judge you selected poor subjects for your dream. I fear that's an oversimplification with you. You go out and see a mountain that needs to be moved so you look around and there's a man with a shovel and you say mister you believe in progress. And he says yes and you say well move that mountain when you see something that should be done. You start doing it but I would like to have from what I understand you try to do it sometimes with what you don't have. I was thinking the other day what a failure you think I am because I don't try to move mountains. That isn't true and then what a failure I think you are because you are always trying but you never succeed. You know Father you've made speeches you've been in politics you've been a teacher you've been a judge a lawyer a writer and you've read everything ever
written. You've proposed a thousand projects and you haven't done a thing. You'd better go dream or dream or see the world is what it isn't. But actually with their father we too. Where else would you find two men of such hot tempers as we rebelled at each other's dreams lived in separate worlds. When I heard that you had been thrown to prison I felt my world crumble too. I'm not practiced at asking questions such as I'm about to ask. But what I want to ask and I want to ask you Is there anything I can do to make you more comfortable. A moment ago I thought of something you could do. What is it you have just done it. William it.
Father I wouldn't worry about getting the Hermitage back. I know how much the plantation meant to you and mother but she can't be hurt now. And you and I can live here in Greensboro in some rented room in the rented room now don't fret yourself about having fallen to the point of renting a room father let your children worry about the money. I wasn't thinking so much of the money. If you hadn't helped pull us out of our debts you would have been able to pay yours. And how did any of us know there'd be a depression 11 years ago. How indeed could we know and I'll stay with you father. Now don't tell me how much you're imposing and all that since Carter died I've been lonely and I'd enjoy taking care of you. Tell me that I can. Well I suppose you can if you like but I'm almost paralyzed. Know why you know that but a man must have a woman to take care of him. Then look at that bed what a mess. Will they ever make it up to look at this pillow. No no don't do that.
Don't touch it going to you but. But didn't you say I could. I only wanted to help you. All right but according to you you can't understand I know but just trust me. Leave the bed. Very well father. Excuse me ma'am. I brought your father his dinner of course. Look father a nice bowl of soup for you. You can bring the rest of the dinner in right away jailer. But father never did care for soup. Well ma'am. This is all the dinner we serve here. So you're. But my father is always right. Can you do that if there's anything else I can get for you Mr. Murphy. No this is fine soup. JAY LENO Yes or excuse me ma'am. Don't cry when you yeah it isn't bad soup.
As a matter of fact I rather grown to like it at home. There was so much to eat. Father do you know what I wish. I expect it's quite a long list by now Cornelia. Just one thing I wish you were well again as you were ten years ago. I wish you were well enough to saddle a horse and ride into the state again as you used to do and I wish that the country store communities could hear once more the Judge Murphy is coming that farmers would leave their work and ride into town to hear you tell them what needs to be done that there is progress in this state if we will demand it and work for it. I should like to hear you speak before the Senate again and see them rise when you'd finished and hear the hear their applause as it thunders out. I would like to see your health come back once more. And you ride out as you used to do.
You must control yourself when you get here. For my sake we must forget the past. We must forget the past. What do you want from my father. Yes explain that William Korn media let the sheriff proceed. Well I came over here to the jail in a bit of business. You know the law just as well as I do now I wouldn't be surprised. Yeah and you know that the law says that you got to spend 20 days in jail then take a pauper's or pauper Zoeth. Well how. Dare you. Perhaps if I was to call it and solve the result you would find it more easy to take considering the high class of people you used to be. You keep us civil with you and or don't be rude. Go ahead Sheriff with your analysis of the law. Yes well you will just stand up there Mr Murphy and lift your right hand. But does the law say I must live my right would.
Yes I think so. Do you know the law. Of course I do it says the debtor must raise his right hand and swear I did I don't see how I can legally take this old for I can't lift my right hand because of rheumatism. Well are you sure quite sure. Well perhaps of one of your kids was to help you. Does a lot not that the debt is to lift his hand. Well it does. Judge Murphy. Well suppose we just use your left hand. Does a law not designate right hand. Now look Judge I know what you don't want to take this of you know political office you could went out of that but you know that the laws are just the same and it's only right that you pay your just debts. Now with this oath pay my debts I say and it will or it won't but it is the law and as a judge or to support the law now I able to debate with you about which hand to use or anything like that. All I want to know is would you take the oath as the law says judgment. Quite well said Cheryl. We must not forget duty.
Father you can't take it. It's the crowning insult. Why why it's a disgrace. Please go a new year or you're going to get judged. I would like to think it over for a while if you please. The best thing to do is just get it done judge. Sometimes they know way out from what a man feels he just has to do no matter how wrong it is. And I hadn't heard him to do it or hurt his children and his friends. There are times when a man's just got his back up again a wall as if it can feel the knife pointing at his heart. Shut up or get out. Leave me alone no time I don't look at people I'm tired of people. I have to think Now don't go ordering me around judge you got nor thought in this jail none at all. And I'm the jailer and I have yet to look at jail. I'm in charge of this jail so I guess I dismiss you as jail on the spot. Want that in writing sheriff so go write it down I'll get. And that goes for the rest of you too Mr Murphy wants you to go. So go back to jail.
Need you William. Yes father. I hope you will forgive my temper of course. I hope that when you think of me you would not think of what I do here. But you will think I think about when we were together at the plantation when the people who would would come to ask us for help. Yessir. We'll go over to the boarding house now father. What can I do anything to help you Mr. Murphy. Would you lift my leg on to the cot. Then leave me alone. Yes sir. There you are sir. You should not have challenged the sheriff as you did. Don't take that away from me sir. It's the best that you have ever done. Some day I hope the people of this state can be more than kind. I hope they can be prosperous
if you please. Before I go sir I'd like to say that I don't know many people in Greensboro but those I do know they have asked about you. The little people like me always knew you was fighting for us. They asked about me. They always say how is Mr. Murphy to day and I always tell them Mr. Murphy is a great man to day. Just here you are father. It's a light dinner. Yeah you'd think there's only so much that I can cook on that size dough but we were lucky to find rooms at this price.
Yes it's better than the prison. Oh yes I think of that sometimes. I was thinking last night how close I came to doing something totally bad. Oh I only contemplated doing it but what was that father. No madam it was nothing. What were you writing this morning. A letter to Bob Yancey at the state legislature about what was it about the book. Now do you promise that you would not try one new year. I cannot sit here in these rooms and look at the walls in my mind I see a work that will set down the history of this state together with a huge on climate soil legislation matters and all the rest. I believe that at this moment in my notes and in my mind I have enough material for the first two volumes. First two volume is how many volumes will there be five perhaps six or more. But how much will it cost. I have no idea. Oh father
please consider. That's why I wrote Yancey. I want him to submit a bill to the legislature so that funds will be made available. They won't give you funds father. They may loan them to me at least a low number. How can you ever pay them back. I can get some money in time for the sale of the books will be light and never never pay for themselves. But it can be done in some way. It's a mountain and it's time it was moved out of the way. Oh father father please be realistic or near you it is a dream don't mock you. A dream Indeed it is. Dreams are real. Let it be is big and beautiful and full and free as it should be. Don't mock it. Don't tell me it cannot be done. It can be. Oh father please let's say no more about it all your life all your life. Eat your dinner and then we'll post your letter if there's money to be found to pay for the postage on it. Eat your dinner.
It will be a great series of books cornea. I believe it would take half a million words to get it all down and there are hundreds of people I must talk to about it. Information together in short and evaluate and I'll have to have to have someone come in to write down what I say until I'm better it can hold a pin for more than a few minutes at a time. Yes father I think it would be the greatest thing I've ever done. Cornelia is one of the greatest dreams. It will go on in usefulness for ever will be a landmark. Think of it Cornelia all written down the past the present the dream the dream Cornelia father. Are you strong enough to face the truth. Why. Perhaps Cornelia. What is it that you will never write the books. I know I know. But I I cannot stop Kony video. I must go on
even though I know that mountain stands and will not fall before a dream. Because dreaming is all I know. So let me be can you guess what I am. And don't tell me of a failure for me comes when I stop the dreams. Aren't you bone Murphy never wrote the books on North Carolina. None of his dreams are ever realized. He died a failure but he died undefeated. And years after his death other leaders turned their attention to what he had done and so they carried on his work a generation later. What he wanted was eventually realized but he never knew it. Nor did he ever know that one day he would be listed as one of the greatest minds in the history of his state.
American Adventure is written by John Lee directed by John Clayton and is produced by the communications center of the University of North Carolina. Earlier when director. These programs are produced on a grant in aid in the National Association of educational broadcasters made possible by the educational Radio and Television Center an independent agency established by the Ford Foundation. They are intended for use by educational and commercial radio stations in this and other countries and by schools for in-school listening purposes. They are in almost all cases based on actual events. Today's programme leader of a dream presented Phil Johnston as Archibald Murphy with Hugh Downing as William Jo Ellan weighed as many of you and Bob Price as an eight others in the cast were Jim Sam's George Ben Holts and Tom Owen.
Cast members of American Inventor our students professors and townspeople of the university community. American adventurers produced and recorded in the studios of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Zimmerman speaking. To get. This is the end E.B. network A.
American adventure
Leader of a dream
Producing Organization
University of North Carolina
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program dramatizes the jailing of Archibald Murphey, a 19th century North Carolina politician.
Series Description
This series studies the values and characteristics of notable figures from America's early years. It is written by John M. Ehle and directed by John S. Clayton.
Broadcast Date
Social Issues
North Carolina--Drama.
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Actor: Owen, Tom
Actor: Downing, Hugh
Actor: Simms, Jim
Director: Clayton, John S.
Host: Zimmerman, Ed
Producing Organization: University of North Carolina
Writer: Ehle, John, 1925-
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 54-12-24 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:18
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Chicago: “American adventure; Leader of a dream,” 1955-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 5, 2023,
MLA: “American adventure; Leader of a dream.” 1955-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 5, 2023. <>.
APA: American adventure; Leader of a dream. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from