Several days ago I published a post on Showdown in Virginia: The 1861 Convention and the Fate of the Union, the newly-published book, edited by William W. Freehling and Craig M. Simpson, that contains extracts from the speeches given at the Virginia Secession Convention held between February and April 1861. Although I am not now and have never been a teacher, I ventured to suggest that the volume presented an excellent resource for educators who wanted to expose their students to the use of primary sources. Everyone speculates about the reasons for secession and the causes of the Civil War. Well, here's an opportunity to examine what the participants themselves said to explain and advance their positions.
pleased delighted thrilled to report that Prof. Freehling himself has posted a comment thanking me for the post and indicating that his co-editor and he are hoping that the book will be used by educators as I suggested.
As a huge Freehling fan - I think I've read everything he's published in book form - I happily pass on the news that the editors have established a website for use in conjunction with the book, http://showdowninvirginia.com. The site contains a Teacher resources section that may be particularly useful.
About the illustration:
A man, labeled "West Virginia," pulls a donkey, labeled "East Virginia," by the tail as it tries to jump off a cliff. White envelope with black ink. Image on left. "No folly 'neath the sun surpasses / The folly of these suicidal asses."