Browsing All Posts filed under »slavery«

Otho Nesbitt: Southern Unionist, but… wanted to free slaves? Eh, not so much…

May 21, 2011 by

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While the house you see is, in this photo, adorned for Christmas, imagine if you will… an American flag… two yards long, draped from the middle garret window. Can you envision it? In fact, in April 1861, Otho Nesbitt had hired a seamstress to make that flag for him… a statement to all those around […]

Letcher, the politician in search of votes, distances himself from the Ruffner Pamphlet

May 14, 2011 by

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I figured that I would follow-up on my post from this morning, and briefly tackle the continued role that the Ruffner Pamphlet played, up through the governor’s race in Virginia, in 1859. During the Democratic nomination run-off for the governorship of Virginia, in 1859, John Letcher may have regretted his stand on the Ruffner Pamphlet […]

Another Southerner who wanted to free slaves… but…

May 14, 2011 by

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… his motivations weren’t centered on freeing slaves as an issue of morality. Dr. Henry Ruffner was well-educated (Washington College, and Princeton, where he received his D.D.), and headed several Presbyterian pastorates in Rockbridge County, Virginia (not to mention one near his family’s salt works in the Kanawha Valley). He was also a fairly active […]

“Submission is Ruin.”

April 10, 2011 by

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I’ll let a pro-secession paper in Virginia speak for itself… Nothing could be more preposterous, nothing more stupid, than the dogma that slavery is a curse to the country. On the contrary, the heaviest calamity that could befall any slave State on this continent, the greatest curse that an angry Providence could inflict upon the […]

A quest to know more about my Virginia ancestor who spoke out against secession

April 3, 2011 by

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As I mentioned yesterday, after posting a few items focused on anti-secession rhetoric in Virginia (during this time of the year, 150 years ago) this past week, I began thinking again about an ancestor of mine who also spoke out against secession at this same time. John Shuler (1815-1908) was a well-to-do farmer in Grove […]

John B. Baldwin on the threatened right(s?) of Virginians

March 31, 2011 by

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From the Virginia Convention, Thursday, March 21, 1861… we catch Mr. Baldwin in the middle of his presentation to the members of the Convention (as documented by someone present)… She [Augusta County] was identified with every interest of the Commonwealth; and if there were extremes of opinion or prejudice in one quarter or another, Augusta […]

A reason why Virginians might fear an alignment with the “Northern Confederacy”

March 29, 2011 by

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From the Staunton Vindicator, March 29, 1861: Mr. Bennett, one of the financial officers of the State [Virginia], has already called for an increase of 20 cents in the one hundred dollars on the present rate of taxation. If the policy of the submissionists is adopted, and Virginia becomes a part of the Northern Confederacy, her […]

Tracing President Lincoln’s Thoughts on Slavery

March 29, 2011 by

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I meant to post this last month, but just now getting around to it. Eric Foner on Lincoln and slavery… to include abolition, emancipation, colonization, & etc. Very worthwhile stuff when considering some of the discussions within the blogosphere in the last few months. From NPR… http://www.npr.org/v2/?i=133372512&m=133783285&t=audio *Especially interesting when we consider those who try […]

In search of… the grave of a slaveholder, killed by his slaves

March 12, 2011 by

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Just a quick note this morning, before I head out. Among the things I have on the calendar for today is a visit to a cemetery. This isn’t just an ordinary cemetery, but one in which rests a slaveholder who was killed (February 14, 1842) by two of his slaves (“Captain” and “Martin”). I visited […]

Lincoln on compensated border state emancipation, coupled with colonization

February 27, 2011 by

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Considering relatively recent discussion in the blogosphere (and mentions elsewhere, on the Web) regarding compensated emancipation and colonization of freed blacks, I thought I’d offer some thoughts of my own, but based on something that I found over a year ago. While I haven’t conducted that much research on the topic, I believe an article […]

Were some Union soldiers fighting to preserve slavery?(!)

February 19, 2011 by

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Yes, you read that correctly. Give me a little time, and I’ll set the stage… As many who follow this blog know, one of my favorite areas of study is western Maryland… most especially, the Clear Spring and Conococheague Districts in Washington County. Likewise, I spend a good deal of time researching the men from […]

Newspapers that reveal something new to popular memory of the Civil War… perhaps…

February 6, 2011 by

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Once again (as can be seen in my post from Friday), I’ve been perusing the Valley of the Shadow site. My focus in that post on Friday was on the two papers in Staunton, Virginia, at this particular time (the first week of February), 150 years ago. One of those papers happened to support secession, […]

Virginia newspapers “doing harm” to sentiments of disunion

February 4, 2011 by

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As Ron Baumgarten pointed out in his post the other day over at “All Not So Quiet on the Potomac”, today marks the 150th anniversary of Virginians voting for delegates to the Virginia Convention of 1861. By the time of the vote, seven states from the deep South had seceded; Texas being the most recent, […]

Recent reenactments and the media

January 23, 2011 by

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We’ve seen a couple reenactments lately, and they haven’t been reenactments of battles. The slave auction reenactment, I think, was high impact. It continues to make an impression on YouTube, but honestly, there are a couple of videos available, and the best is one (=>see a post from a few days ago, in which I […]

On Georgia’s secession, 150 years ago yesterday…

January 20, 2011 by

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As the anniversary of each state’s vote to secede goes by, I see a tweet or two announcing the fact, but little discussion about the same. Occasionally, a newspaper article or editorial appears in a state newspaper’s online edition. Pretty much, it seems at times as if the states seceded… and that was it. They […]

One site, multiple angles for interpretation

December 19, 2010 by

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One of my favorite historic sites in Page County, Virginia is Catherine’s Furnace. Because of efforts made in the early 2000s, the site has one Virginia Civil War Trails marker. I was fortunate to be involved in deciding that the site merited a marker, and I also wrote the text and provided images for the […]

On the notion that emancipation would eventually come in a free and independent Southern Confederacy

December 12, 2010 by

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With the title of this post in mind… this editorial comes from the Staunton Vindicator, December 14, 1860 (courtesy the Valley of the Shadow site). Now, I realize, as an editorial, it is, or may be, just one man’s opinion, but, there appear to be reflections of the attitudes of others. I’ve placed emphasis in […]

Willa Cather’s Civil War Heritage

December 8, 2010 by

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I’m a huge fan of Writer’s Almanac, partly because it’s a great audio morsel that brings back hints of a time long gone, and partly because I’ve enjoyed listening to Garrison Keillor on Prairie Home Companion for years.  Additionally, I enjoy the closing remark, and find it encouraging at the beginning of the work day… […]

Virginia’s textbook ordeal: thinking beyond “Black Confederates”

November 17, 2010 by

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Not long after the controversy over Virginia’s 4th grade history text began, like a number of others, I gave some thoughts about the mention of “Black Confederates” as well, but didn’t go beyond the single post. Yet, in the weeks that followed, I began to think more of what this means. Let’s focus specifically on […]

More on Southerners who relocated to the North and joined the Union army

November 17, 2010 by

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So, in the wake of Sunday’s post, I’ve been thinking. As I pointed out, the Mill Creek Baptist Church in Page County, Virginia split in 1805 over the issue of slavery. In the wake of that split, I’m curious about how many of the children of those people involved, who went to Ohio, ended up […]

It’s complicated…

June 17, 2010 by

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Not the best photocopy, so probably an even worse scan, but consider the following… The caption reads… “Love of master means more than freedom to William Slaughter. Slaughter refused to accept freedom under the emancipation proclamation and remained the servant of W.D. Colvin of Culpeppper, Va. The two attend all Confederate reunions together.” Now, I […]

A Virginia slave in pursuit of freedom

June 3, 2010 by

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I just finished reading something about John M. Washington, a slave who spent some time in Staunton, Virginia in the mid-1850s. To me, finding any account of a slave, for any amount of time in the Valley, is refreshing as it adds new dimensions to an understanding of what life was like here. Regretfully, I […]

Personal recollections of the Civil War. By a Virginian. (D.H. Strother) [Installment 3]

June 1, 2010 by

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Continued from Installment 2… … Although this people has been chiefly occupied in talking politics for eighty years or more, I can not perceive that they have made any advance toward enlightenment on the subject. Not one man in ten of those I meet seems to have the slightest idea of where his duty or […]

What?! No “love” for John Brown?!

May 16, 2010 by

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Just an observation, but May 9 came and went a week ago today with not so much as one post about John Brown. Actually, until earlier this week, I didn’t have a clue that JB was born on May 9 (hmmm, a stubborn Taurus…). Rather, Brown had been defined, at least in my “memory”, by […]