Category Secession

Southern Moderates and Secession: Senator Robert M. T. Hunter’s Call for Union

This is an article by William S. Hitchcock in The Journal of American History, Vol. LIX, No. 4, March, 1973, pp. 871-884. The article looks at the writings and beliefs of Senator Robert Mercer Taliaferro Hunter of Virginia, chairman of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, a man many historians refer to as a moderate in the […]

The Ultimatum of Virginia Unionists: ‘Security for Slavery or Disunion’

This is an article by Dean A. Arnold in the Journal of Negro History, Vol.XLVIII, No. 2, April, 1963, pp. 115-129. I’ve previously quoted from this article here. Arnold tells us, “In reality, the Virginia Unionists, as well as other Southern conservatives, were definitely ‘conditional Unionists’ who felt strongly that Negro slavery was more important than […]

The Change of Secession Sentiment in Virginia in 1861

This is an article by James Elliott Walmsley from the American Historical Review, Volume XXXI, No. 1, October, 1925, pages 82-101. It consists of two sets of letters. The first set is from Judge Edward Calohill Burks, of Liberty, Virginia (now Bedford, VA) and Lynchburg, VA, who at this time was a member of the Virginia […]

Virginia’s Reluctant Secession

This is an article by William W. Freehling in Volume 5, Issue Number 4 (May, 2002) of North & South Magazine (pages 80-89) covering the results of his research into Virginia’s secession. Earlier that year, Professor Freehling gave a paper to the University of Richmond’s Douglas Southall Freeman and Southern Intellectual History Conferences titled, “Virginia’s (Reluctant) […]

The President Wonders Why There Was a Civil War

There are three groups you should never trust to give you accurate history: politicians, journalists, and confederate heritage advocates. Don’t trust politicians because they are usually trying to use history to further their agenda. Don’t trust journalists because their historical knowledge is poor and their sense of history extends only as far as last Tuesday. […]

White v. Hart

The citation for this case is 80 US [13 Wall] 646. This case originated in Georgia [35 GA Reports 270] From the facts of the case, on February 9, 1859 John R. Hart and W. D. Davis [Davis signing as security] signed a promissory note to William White Sr. for $1250 in payment for purchase […]

Why Did North Carolina Secede?

North Carolina was another Upper South state whose secession was delayed until after the firing on Fort Sumter. Slavery, while a major factor, didn’t have the same power as it did in the cotton states. One historian put it this way: “Since the soil of the state was not well suited for the growing of […]