Did the Confederate South use a child’s doll to smuggle drugs past the Northern blockade? The PBS series “History Detectives” will investigate a family legend about a drug-smuggling doll in its Aug. 30, 2011, episode.
In 1923, the descendents of Confederate Major General James Patton Anderson donated “Nina,” a composite doll, to the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Va. The family says the general’s niece carried the doll past a Northern blockade with morphine and quinine inside her hollow head. The drugs would aid sick and injured Confederate soldiers.An X-ray confirmed the head is hollow, but the museum has no other documentation to prove the family’s claim.
Sharon M. Scott, the author of “Toys and American Culture: An Encyclopedia“ will join “History Detectives” expert Professor Gwen Wright to discuss female spies and the ways they used toys to get medicines to their soldiers and their families as part of the investigation.
“History Detectives” is devoted to exploring historical mysteries, searching out the facts, myths and conundrums that connect local folklore, family legends, and interesting objects using traditional investigative techniques, modern technologies, and plenty of legwork by the “History Detectives” team of experts. Each hour-long episode features three investigations. Check your local listings for broadcast times.
See a preview of the episode at http://www.pbs.org/show/history-detectives/