The schedule for our fall History and American Studies Symposium is now available. See this link or our History Symposium page above for the full schedule of panels and presentations for our upcoming event on Friday, December 3rd. This symposium is open to all who may be interested in attending.
Years of Anguish: The Coming Storm
The Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center, the National Park Service, and the University of Mary Washington are pleased to announce the first major event of the observance of the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War in Fredericksburg. On November 20, 2010, the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center will present Years of Anguish: The Coming Storm, a speakers’ forum featuring acclaimed historians William W. Freehling and George C. Rable. The program, which will take place at the historic Fredericksburg Baptist Church from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., will feature lively looks at the election of 1860 and secession and disunion as they played out on the national, state, and local level. A book signing and reception will be held after the forum at the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center.
Dr. William Freehling, formerly at the University of Kentucky, is a senior fellow with the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. He is the author of a legendary study of secession and the antebellum South, the two-volume Road to Disunion. His latest book is Showdown in Virginia: The 1861 Convention and the Fate of the Union. He is the recipient of the Bancroft Prize from Columbia University. Dr. Freehling will speak about Virginia’s profound struggle with the question of secession.
Dr. George Rable is Charles Summersell Professor of Southern History at the University of Alabama. He is best known in our area for his book Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg!, which won the 2003 Lincoln prize for excellence in Civil War scholarship. His other work includes The Confederate Republic: A Revolution Against Politics,and Civil Wars: Women and The Crisis of Southern Nationalism. He will speak on the South’s march toward secession and (it was hoped) a new nation in 1860-61.
Years of Anguish: The Coming Storm will also examine the question of disunion as debated in the Fredericksburg region. National Park Service historian John Hennessy will explore some of the characters involved in the local debate and take a vivid look at the rhetoric that kept Fredericksburg, like Virginia, teetering in uncertainty until after Fort Sumter. This program will include a rather lively debate among historic personages.
This program is free, but pre-registration is recommended, www.famcc.org.
As a prelude to the formal program, Brompton’s grounds, the home of John L. Marye, attorney and entrepreneur who represented the Fredericksburg region at both secession conventions in early 1861, will be open to the public. National Park Service historians will be stationed around the grounds to talk about Marye’s cautious approach toward secession, his magnificent house, its later role in the battle of Fredericksburg, and its well-photographed use as a Union hospital in 1864. 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Enter through the pedestrian entrance on Hanover Street. Today Brompton is the home of the President of the University of Mary Washington. This program is made possible by the University. The Brompton Walk-Around is open to both forum attendees and the general public; no pre-registration is required.
Years of Anguish: The Coming Storm is sponsored by the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center and is the first of eight Years of Anguish programs scheduled over the span of the Sesquicentennial.