Muster

A Recap of 2018 CLAW’s “Freedoms Gained and Lost” Conference

The 2018 Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World (CLAW) conference is in the books. Reconstruction-era scholars, museum professionals, and non-academics converged on the city of Charleston for an insightful and productive conference. Though the chronology debate remains unresolved, the 2018 CLAW conference was one of the most important conferences on Reconstruction ...
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Editor’s Note: June 2018 Issue

When Judy Giesberg asked me to guest edit a special issue on abolition and solicit essays that would showcase new directions in abolition studies, I welcomed the opportunity. For a field that has been ploughed thoroughly—from global syntheses of the transition from slavery to freedom in the western world by ...
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Author Interview: Elizabeth Belanger

Author Interview: Elizabeth Belanger

This month, we are sharing an interview with Elizabeth Belanger, author of “‘A Perfect Nuisance’: Working-Class Women and Neighborhood Development in Civil War St. Louis,” which appeared in our March 2018 issue. Elizabeth is an associate professor of American Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and has published in ...
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Preventing War after Fort Sumter: The Schleiden-Seward-Stephens Negotiations

Preventing War after Fort Sumter: The Schleiden-Seward-Stephens Negotiations

With the firing on Fort Sumter, the secession crisis escalated into bloody conflict. Weeks of work to mend sectional relations in Congress and with the Peace Conference had failed; Secretary of State William H. Seward’s conversations with the southern peace commissioners had similarly lead to nothing when President Abraham Lincoln ...
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“Starbucks is Not Just a Place To Buy a Cup of Coffee”: Race and the Boundaries of Urban Public Life

“Starbucks is Not Just a Place To Buy a Cup of Coffee”: Race and the Boundaries of Urban Public Life

When Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, two young African American entrepreneurs, entered a Starbucks coffee shop on April 12, 2018, for a business meeting in downtown Philadelphia, neither expected to be caught in the boundary between urban public and private space. The two men arrived at the café and awaited ...
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“Confederate Monuments...What To Do?”:  Historians’ Town-Hall Meeting on Memorialization—and Racial Injustice

“Confederate Monuments…What To Do?”: Historians’ Town-Hall Meeting on Memorialization—and Racial Injustice

Today we conclude our series of reports on relevant panels at the 2018 OAH that will be of interest to readers. Our last entry in the series discusses the future of Confederate monuments in the American landscape, authored by Jonathan Lande. The earlier reports can be found here and here. ...
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Two Visions of Abolition and Emancipation: An OAH “State of the Field” Roundtable

Today we continue our series of reports on the recent Organization of American Historians annual meeting with a concise summation of a lively discussion on abolition and emancipation, recorded by Evan Turiano. Our first report from the 2018 meeting can be found here and the final report on the Confederate monuments ...
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Looking West at the OAH: New Views on Southern Expansion, Slavery, and Imperialism

This week, we are publishing reports on the recent meeting of the Organization of American Historians (OAH) in Sacramento. We are highlighting panels and roundtables that intersect with the Civil War era and that we believe will be of great interest to our readers. Our first comes from Kathleen Logothetis ...
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Beyond Add Women and Stir: Ideas for Teaching about Women, Gender, and Reconstruction

Beyond Add Women and Stir: Ideas for Teaching about Women, Gender, and Reconstruction

For most folks teaching the U.S. survey, just getting to Reconstruction can feel like an accomplishment. The convention of dividing U.S. history surveys at the Civil War often means the postwar period ends up wedged into the last distracted days of the term. Calls to integrate women more fully into ...
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Online Survey from the Society of Civil War Historians

The Society of Civil War Historians Executive Board has created a short online survey to solicit feedback about their organization and about the affiliated journal (i.e. The Journal of the Civil War Era). If you subscribe to the journal and/or are a member of the SCWH, please take a few ...
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Politics of the English Language: Views from 1850

Politics of the English Language: Views from 1850

As a practical tool and a badge of belonging, language is central to our sense of self. The United States has no official language, but the status of its dominant tongue shapes many contemporary conflicts over immigration and national identity. In the name of unity and assimilation, supporters of the ...
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William H. Seward’s Foreign War Panacea Reconsidered

William H. Seward’s Foreign War Panacea Reconsidered

As William H. Seward allegedly stated in 1861, “if the Lord would only give the United States an excuse for a war with England, France, or Spain, that would be the best means of reestablishing internal peace.” This is probably one of the most famous and most widely quoted sentences ...
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Winner of the 2017 George and Ann Richards Prize Announced

Congratulations to Sarah L. H. Gronningsater, winner of the George and Ann Richards Prize! Gronningsater has won the 2017 George and Ann Richards Prize for her article, “‘On Behalf of His Race and the Lemmon Slaves’: Louis Napoleon, Northern Black Legal Culture, and the Politics of Sectional Crisis.” The $1,000 ...
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Exit Through the Gift Shop: Historical Memory and Gift Shops at Civil War Historic Sites

Exit Through the Gift Shop: Historical Memory and Gift Shops at Civil War Historic Sites

When I was a graduate student living in Indiana, I made a point of visiting historical sites connected to the Civil War throughout the state. One of my favorites was the General Lew Wallace Study & Museum in Crawfordsville. Situated in a quiet neighborhood in northwest Indiana, the site preserves ...
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New Field Correspondent at Muster

New Field Correspondent at Muster

The Journal of the Civil War Era editorial staff and board are excited to announce a new field correspondent at Muster--please join us in welcoming Angela Esco Elder to the team! Dr. Elder will be writing dispatches on gender and women's history topics. Christopher Hayashida-Knight, our previous correspondent who focused on ...
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The Life He Should Have Thrown Away: Ambrose Bierce and Soldiers’ Complicity

The Life He Should Have Thrown Away: Ambrose Bierce and Soldiers’ Complicity

In “Still Life: From the Notebooks of Ambrose Bierce, 1862,” twentieth-century poet R. T. Smith presents a sketch artist who, despite being surrounded by the sights and smells and sounds of the aftermath of the Battle of Shiloh, chooses to draw a still life of a peach. An “Illinois corporal” ...
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