Aired: May 1, 2010

Showdown in Virginia

The election of Abraham Lincoln as President touched off a secession crisis in the South.  In his new 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