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The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive… Thomas Jefferson

Photograph shows portrait of newspaper editor, minister, and Southern anti-secessionist William Gannaway Brownlow.

Photograph shows portrait of newspaper editor, minister, and Southern anti-secessionist William Gannaway Brownlow.

Quite often the South is portrayed as a monolith – a rigid government that brooked no dissent and forced the poor to carry the burden of a rich man’s fight – and while the casualty lists carried a disproportionate number of poor names it also carried the names of the first families south of the Mason-Dixon line. In reality it was in the north that Lincoln suspended habeas corpus, imprisoned his opponents including a member of the Democratic ticket of 1864 and ignored any ruling of the Supreme Court he did not agree with. These two books give vivid evidence that the traditions of Washington and Jefferson were alive and well in Dixie long after the voices of dissent had been stifled in the north.

Born 1842 in Indiana; served as Private in Company D, 6th Minnesota Infantry Regiment from 1862 to 1865; started The Chronicle in 1866, which became The Tribune (probably The Minneapolis Tribune) in 1867; died October 16, 1910.

Born 1842 in Indiana; served as Private in Company D, 6th Minnesota Infantry Regiment from 1862 to 1865; started The Chronicle in 1866, which became The Tribune (probably The Minneapolis Tribune) in 1867; died October 16, 1910.

Southern unionist pamphlets and the Civil War  edited by Jon L. Wakelyn  Columbia : University of Missouri Press, c 1999 Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. xiii, 392 p. ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

Reading the war news in Broadway, New York

Reading the war news in Broadway, New York

During the Civil War, many southerners expressed serious opposition to secession and openly entreated their fellow southerners to maintain support for the Union. A number of these unionists actively opposed the Confederacy while remaining within its borders; others fled their homes and the South, becoming exiles in northern cities and the border slave states.

Abraham Lincoln. Seated portrait, holding glasses and newspaper, Aug. 9, 1863

Abraham Lincoln. Seated portrait, holding glasses and newspaper, Aug. 9, 1863

The southern unionist leaders used their oral and written communication skills to proclaim their opposition to the Confederacy, often producing pamphlets that circulated in the North, in the border states, and in the heart of the Confederacy itself. Jon L. Wakelyn unites the voices of these southern unionists in the first comprehensive collection of their written arguments — Southern Unionist Pamphlets and the Civil War.

Newsboy in camp

Newsboy in camp

Including eighteen pamphlets and a discussion of twenty-two others, this book provides a representation of the southern unionists and their concerns. Written between 1861 and 1865, the pamphlets were compiled by local and national political leaders, including three federal congressmen and future vice president and president Andrew Johnson, as well as concerned private citizens and members of the military and clergy. Except for Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia, all Confederate and border slave states are represented in this collection.

Atlanta, Ga. Atlanta Intelligencer office by the railroad depot

Atlanta, Ga. Atlanta Intelligencer office by the railroad depot

The topics discussed and the events described in the pamphlets cover a wide range of subjects. The authors discuss their motivation to remain loyal to the union, the actions of their friends and enemies, the perilous life of unionists behind military lines, their continued support for the federal government, and their hopes for a restored Union. Aware that their northern allies would read these pamphlets, the unionists also wrote to solicit northern aid, to renew efforts to defeat the Confederacy, and to gain sympathy for the plight of their people behind enemy lines.

Southern secessionists raise flag at Yale College. Illus. in: Frank Leslie's illustrated newspaper, v. 11, no. 271 (1861 February 2), p. 173.

Southern secessionists raise flag at Yale College. Illus. in: Frank Leslie’s illustrated newspaper, v. 11, no. 271 (1861 February 2), p. 173.

A remarkable collection of primary source material, Southern Unionist Pamphlets and the Civil War provides the most detailed study of the internal resistance to the Confederacy available to date.

Hon. Robert Barnwell Rhett, of South Carolina

Hon. Robert Barnwell Rhett, of South Carolina

A South divided : portraits of dissent in the Confederacy  David C. Downing  Nashville, Tenn. : Cumberland House, c 2007  Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. 240 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 225-233) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

 Soldier lying on the ground reading letter or newspaper.

Soldier lying on the ground reading letter or newspaper.

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