Our Man in Charleston

Here’s journalist Christopher Dickey talking about his book, Our Man in Charleston.

The video’s description reads, “Christopher Dickey talked about his book Our Man in Charleston: Britain’s Secret Agent in the Civil War South, in which he recalls the role played by Robert Bunch, British consul assigned to Charleston, South Carolina, in 1853, in the lead-up to the American Civil War. In his book, the author reports that the South knew that acknowledgment by the British government was integral to their future success, and planned to deceive Britain regarding their plans to re-open the Atlantic slave trade to maintain the cotton industry. Bunch, who surreptitiously sent information back to his home country, informed the anti-slavery British government of the South’s hidden motives and recommended that their succession efforts be deterred.”

I think he oversells his case, but I haven’t read the book.




  1. It’s a fascinating story. I agree he oversells a few points, and there are other issues, but the book presents a side of British attitudes on the war that we don’t see much of. The British were adamant that the international slave trade not be re-opened, but Bunch knew many in Charleston who very much wanted it re-opened, and was able to inform his superiors of that.

    1. Thanks, Jim.

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