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:
This type of content is made possible by listeners like you. Please consider partnering with us and help enrich the lives of all our listeners nationwide.
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.