Aired: February 25, 2012

Showdown in Virginia

The election of Abraham Lincoln as President touched off a secession crisis in the South.  In his book Showdown in Virginia, Bill Freehling (Virginia Foundation for the Humanities) focuses on turning points in Virginia’s months-long, bitter battle over whether to secede from the Union.

Also: Historians estimate that of the nearly 5,000 pirates who terrorized America’s Atlantic coast in the early 1700s, twenty-five to thirty percent were of African descent, many of them freed slaves. Cassandra Newby-Alexander (Norfolk State University) argues these black pirates experienced more freedom on their outlaw ships than on ‘civilized’ dry land.

 Want to dig deeper? Explore Encyclopedia Virginia: 

Virginia Convention of 1861



1 Comment on “Showdown in Virginia”

  1. C. Kitchin

    About Poe’s dire state, Prof. McGann says he was the poorest well-known poet of the nineteenth century. John Clare in England though was so poor he could not afford paper. Society London had discarded him after a season or two of modish acclaim as a rural bard, with a fascinating vocabulary of animals and plants. Clare is still anthologized, and stands up well, perhaps aside from his pitiful view of women. I believe both he and Poe lost and agonized their last hopes in that regard.

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