Category Archives: Economics

On The Eve Of War: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Before it was the Steel City, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was known as the Gateway to the West. The hilly city perched above three swift rivers had a population of 50,000, making it then as now the second largest city in the … Continue reading

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On The Eve of War: Williamsburg, Virginia

In 1860 the former capital of Virginia still had many tangible remnants of its colonial past, and would become quickly swept up in the coming war. Williamsburg had 1,895 residents in 1860, with 864 black and 1,031 white. Of the … Continue reading

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The Secession of Mississippi

January 9, 2020, is the 160th anniversary of the secession of Mississippi Named for war hero Andrew Jackson, Jackson, Mississippi, was founded in 1821 at the intersection of the Natchez Trace and the Pearl River. Jackson himself had come through … Continue reading

Posted in 160th Anniversary, Antebellum South, Economics, Politics, Primary Sources, Slavery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Maggie Walker and how she valued history

The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article about African American banker Maggie Walker and her impact on the banking industry. I’m always glad to see her get recognition for her hard work in banking and her leadership in civil … Continue reading

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Granger’s Juneteenth Orders and the Limiting of Freedom

Juneteenth is recognized as the symbolic end of slavery in the United States. Galveston, Texas, held out as a Confederate stronghold after Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. Once occupied by Union forces, Major General Gordon Granger established his headquarters … Continue reading

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BookChat with Leon Reed, author of No Greater Calamity for the Country

I was pleased to spend some time recently with No Greater Calamity for the Country: North-South Conflict, Secession, and the Onset of Civil War, a new release by Leon Reed from Little Falls Books. Leon was kind enough to take a … Continue reading

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BookChat with Brian Luskey, Author of Men is Cheap

I was pleased to spend some time recently with a new book by historian Brian Luskey, associate professor of history at West Virginia University. Luskey is the author of Men Is Cheap: Exposing the Frauds of Free Labor in Civil War … Continue reading

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Book Review: “The Limits of Loyalty: Ordinary People in Civil War Mississippi”

Easy as it is to imagine the Confederacy made up of a solid group of Union-hating slave owners and their friends, the reality of the situation is much more complex. Jarrett Ruminski, a freelance writer, researcher, and consultant, investigates this … Continue reading

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The Homestead Act, Early Republicans, and the Coming of the Civil War

Nearly everyone knows that the Emancipation Proclamation became effective on January 1, 1863.  This document formally established abolition of slavery as one of the Union’s goals in fighting and winning the Civil War and enabled the North to recruit African … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Emerging Civil War, Lincoln, Reconstruction, Slavery | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

The Historic Harbors

A couple of weeks ago I attended a leadership retreat where a speaker touted the longtime importance of Hampton Roads as a harbor and host to very important events in American history. This got me thinking: what are the most … Continue reading

Posted in Antebellum South, Battlefields & Historic Places, Economics, Navies, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments