Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Reaping the Whirlwind: Virginians on the Eve of War
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Time: 1:00 PM–2:00 PM
Place: Lecture Hall

As a part of the opening of the Union or Secession: Virginians Decide exhibition, Elizabeth Varon discusses the tumultuous period leading to secession. Varon will put Virginians’ views of secession in the context of antebellum debates, with Unionists clinging to images of disunion as inherently chaotic and uncontrollable, while secessionists built the case that only disunion would ensure the state’s control over her own destiny.

Elizabeth R. Varon is a professor in the Corcoron Department of History at the University of Virginia. She is author of the award-winning Southern Lady, Yankee Spy: The True Story of Elizabeth Van Lew, a Union Agent in the Heart of the Confederacy (2003) and We Mean to Be Counted: White Women and Politics in Antebellum Virginia (1998). Sponsored by Middleburg Trust.

Union or Secession: Virginians Decide
Monday, December 06, 2010 — Saturday, October 29, 2011

Time: Monday–Saturday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Place: Library of Virginia, Exhibition Gallery and Lobby Cases

Virginia was central to American identity for its role in the founding of the United States and its political principles. Both the Confederacy and the Union wanted to claim Virginia's historical legacy. Union or Secession explores what Virginians thought and debated as the crisis unfolded. Explore the choices Virginians faced as they decided their fate and that of the nation—Union or Secession.

Through letters, journals, newspapers, official documents and correspondence, and maps and broadsides (the vast majority of these items from the Library's incomparable collections), Union or Secession offers insight into the complex and conflicting geographic, cultural, economic, and political factors that faced Virginians in 1860 and early 1861. The exhibition shows that Virginians' choice on the question of secession was far from certain as dramatic moves were being made outside the state.

The Struggle to Decide: Virginia's Secession Crisis
Monday, December 13, 2010 — Saturday, October 29, 2011

Time: Monday–Saturday 8:00 AM–5:00 PM and Sundays from 1:00–5:00 PM
Place: Virginia State Capitol Visitor Center, 1000 Bank Street, Richmond 23219

An exhibition presented by the Library of Virginia

In the aftermath of the election of Abraham Lincoln as U.S. president in 1860, and the beginning of the secession crisis in December 1860, Virginia had a fateful choice to make: would it remain in, or secede from, the United States of America? In Virginia, the General Assembly called for a state convention to act for Virginia during the crisis. Meeting in February 1861, the 152 men elected to the convention faced the terrible task of deciding the fate of Virginia, and perhaps the nation.

The Struggle to Decide exhibition examines the actions taken by convention delegates and the governor that had a profound effect on Richmond and the Virginia State Capitol.

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