Browsing All Posts filed under »slavery«

Tracing President Lincoln’s Thoughts on Slavery

March 29, 2011 by


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… *Especially interesting when we consider those who try […]

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

March 12, 2011 by


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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 […]

Quick observations on Strother’s “recollections”

May 14, 2010 by


The first thing that strikes me about Strother’s recollections is that, even after the war, he refers to himself as a Virginian, not as a West Virginian. Does this have a purpose or is it simply a projection of who he was, what he was, at the time these events were unfolding? Obviously, he sees […]

Personal Recollections of the Civil War. By a Virginian (D.H. Strother). [Installment 2]

May 12, 2010 by


Picking-up from installment 1… … In the recent election for members of the Convention the people of Virginia have expressed their determination to remain in the Union by an overwhelming majority. Gloriously has the good old State vindicated her honorable traditions and the memory of those noble sons whose effigies fill the chief places in […]

A Unionist Marylander voices his thoughts on slavery as the “ultimate cause” of the “strife”

April 19, 2010 by


… and this same Marylander believed that removing any discussion of emancipation was probably a good idea. Read the following from the January 8, 1862 edition of the Hagerstown Herald of Freedom and Torchlight: Our Union, vs. The Slavery Question MESSRS, EDITORS: – In this degenerate age, when rebellion stalks forth as a thief in […]

Virginia’s John S. Mosby speaks…

April 15, 2010 by


Something to think about… The South had always been solid for slavery and when the quarrel about it resulted in a conflict of arms, those who had approved the policy of disunion took the pro-slavery side. It was perfectly logical to fight for slavery, if it was right to own slaves. – John S. Mosby, […]

Passing thoughts on the “slave times” and “coming to the table”

February 1, 2010 by


In a discussion with a cyber friend off-blog today, I shared some of my thoughts about the idea of “Coming to the Table.” As I believe I have stated in another post here, sometime ago, I have no descended-through-the-generations stories of slaveholding relating to my family, but I have thoughts as a genealogist who has […]

Looking for manumissions… on the part of my family

January 11, 2010 by


A couple of months ago,  I purchased a book that provides information about the African-American manumissions for Washington County, Maryland. The objective… to see if I had any family members who freed slaves in the 1850s and even as late as the early 1860s, in advance of the Emancipation Proclamation. Now, as I mentioned in […]

Clarification about the decline in slave numbers in Washington County, Maryland

October 21, 2009 by


I realized that I should probably clarify something in my post from the other day, that the decline of slave numbers in Washington County should not be thought of in terms of attributable to manumissions alone. It should not be misconstrued as some “Utopia” for slaves, as there were some who continued to escape North […]

Were “Black Republican Proclivities” at play in Clear Spring?

October 14, 2009 by


Before I start with the article, I thought that I should point out… the Hagerstown Mail was a pro-secession publication, unlike Hagerstown’s Herald of Freedom and Torch Light. Apparently, the Mail, seeing all the talk (examples here and here) of strong Unionism in Clear Spring, thought that the town’s strong leanings toward Union might be influenced by […]

“Think of it!” A Confederate reflects on the duties of slaves with the Army of Northern Virginia

September 8, 2009 by


I recently saw this article come across the Web… and, quite naturally, was taken aback by the claim that these people make regarding the “rebel flag” flying “for freedom” and, of course, that “at least 100,000 blacks… fought in the war,” seemingly in the name of freedom as provided courtesy of the flag. So, when I found […]

Confederate ancestor analysis #3 – Joseph Richards

September 2, 2009 by


Joseph Richards was born in 1833 (the third of seven children) to Aquilla and “Millie” Keyser Richards. Aquilla was of Welsh descent (the family having entered Pennsylvania in the late 1600s/early 1700s), while Millie was of German and English ancestry. In the 1850 census, after the death of his father, Aquilla (ca. 1804-ca. 1849), Joseph, […]

Slavery justified… according to the Bible, or at least Joseph Ruggles Wilson’s interpretation of it

March 18, 2009 by


I had forgotten all about this story until I came across it again last night… and that is particularly bad considering I included the story in my book about Staunton and Augusta County, Virginia in the Civil War. Nonetheless… President Woodrow Wilson’s (fyi, his full name was Thomas Woodrow Wilson) father, Joseph Ruggles Wilson (born in Steubenville, […]

Defining Southern Heritage in Civil War Remembrance

February 15, 2009 by


If modern Confederate remembrance does not come close to accurately capturing the true definition of Southern heritage in the Civil War era, what does? I’ll be posting on this in the coming week. In the meantime, hat-tip to Kevin at Civil War Memory for making us aware of a YouTube clip, and a “well-done” to […]

Who’s foolin’ who? More on “black Confederates”

February 4, 2009 by


I was greatly interested in Kevin Levin’s post yesterday about the planned event to honor two “black Confederates” (or is it slaves?) in North Carolina… especially since I was preparing a post addressing my concerns about the way “black Confederates,”  in general, are being represented in remembrance events and “Confederate-friendly” published works. I don’t know enough yet to say […]