Saturday, April 9, 2011

Tensions are rising at Fort Sumter

The year 2011 marks the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the most perilous period in American history--the Civil War. This has already been a subject of considerable controversy (and we won't even get to the shots fired on Fort Sumter until next Tuesday), including the actions of the Virginia legislature in omitting slavery entirely from a proclamation regarding the war and some possibly ill-advised Confederate balls over the winter in southern states.

To counter more selective episodes in American memory I have discovered a fascinating series on the NY Times Web site called "Disunion." The site's scholarly contributors are using period accounts and historical analysis to follow the Civil War as it unfolded. You can find a link to the Disunion section of the site here: Disunion. This site explores the developing military conflict, bearing in mind that again, we haven't actually gotten to shots fired--I'm sure more military coverage will come as the anniversaries of those events unfold--but it also examines the wider context of the impending war. I especially enjoyed this post regarding Lucretia Mott and Quaker activism against slavery.

Well worth bookmarking and reading! I may call particular attention to especially cogent articles as the remembrance of the war progresses.

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