Jefferson Davis’s Lesser-Known Nemesis

Henry Stuart Foote and the Confederate President Supported Slavery—But Loathed One Another

On Christmas morning, 1847, six important men assembled at a large boarding house in Washington, D.C., ostensibly for casual, after-breakfast conversation. In the parlance of the era, it was a “mixed” group, of four Southerners and two Northerners. All served in the United States Senate or the House of Representatives, and because of the climate of the times, they had much to discuss. The United States was about to win the Mexican War, and in the process wrest away from its Southern neighbor a massive tract of land, laying the …

How the ‘Yellow House’ Helped Make Washington, D.C., a Slavery Capital | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How the Yellow House Helped Make Washington, D.C., a Slavery Capital

The Notorious Jail Lent Institutional Support to Slavery Throughout the South

Washington, D.C., was a capital not just of the United States, but of slavery, serving as a major depot in the domestic slave trade. In the District, enslaved men, women, …

The Civil War Chaplains Who Shaped Modern American Patriotism | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Civil War Chaplains Who Shaped Modern American Patriotism

In Prisons and Hospitals, Clergy Tended to Fighters While Stoking Familiar Strains of Nationalism

Chaplain Henry S. White, of the Fifth Rhode Island Heavy Artillery, was a devout Christian—and so when he was captured by the Confederacy, he naturally led a service for his …

The Heartbreaking Love Letters That Spurred an Ohio Blacksmith to Join John Brown’s Raid | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Heartbreaking Love Letters That Spurred an Ohio Blacksmith to Join John Brown’s Raid

Dangerfield Newby’s Enslaved Wife Wrote Increasingly Desperate Missives That Inspired Her Husband to Join the Abolitionist Rebellion

Every October 16 marks the anniversary of John Brown’s historic raid on Harpers Ferry in West Virginia in 1859. Accompanied by 18 supporters, Brown, a radical abolitionist, hoped to …

American History, Theology, and Three Competing Memories of the Civil War

A Yale Historian Explains the Power of Myth and Why History Is Never Over

David W. Blight, a historian at Yale University who has written seven books and edited many more, stopped by Zócalo’s offices in December of 2018. Earlier that day, The New …