Years of Anguish I: The Coming Storm. November 20, 2010

This event is free.  Pre-registration is strongly suggested. Click here to register.

Here we go. The first of what will surely be dozens of events associated with the Sesquicentennial has been announced. 

The Baptist Church, setting for Years of Anguish I: The Coming Storm

On November 20, 2010, the Fredericksburg Area Museum, The NPS, and the University of Mary Washington will sponsor Years of Anguish: The Coming Storm, a speaker’s forum that will explore the secession and the election of 1860. As with all eight of the planned speaker’s forums, this will look at the question from a national, state, and local perspective.


Bill Freehling

We are very fortunate to have two of the nation’s pre-eminent scholars on secession and the Southern nation:  George Rable and Bill Freehling.  George will look at the secession crisis as it played out across the South. Bill will explore Virginia’s struggle with the secession question (explored fully in his book Showdown in Virginia).  And NPS historian John Hennessy will look at how the issue played out in the Fredericksburg region–engaging, along the way, some debaters to help present the issues.  The program will run from 1-5 p.m. in the  historic sanctuary Fredericksurg Baptist Church, 1019 Princess Anne Street in Fredericksburg.  Admission is free.  But did we say that pre-registration is highly recommended? 


George Rable

Following the programs, the Fredericksburg Area Museum will host a reception and book signing for Drs. Freehling and Rable.  They are author to some of the most influential books of our age as it relates to the Civil War. 

The afternoon’s program will be preceded by a walk-around on the grounds at Brompton, the home of the region’s delegate to the 1861 secession conventions, John L. Marye. Today Brompton is the home of the president of the University of Mary Washington, and is generally not open to the public. But from 10:30 till noon that morning, NPS historians will be spread across the grounds to interpret the site both with respect to Marye and the secession movement, but also Brompton’s role as a home, battle landmark, hospital, and the venue of some of the great photographs taken during the Civil War.

This morning walk on the grounds of Brompton is free. No pre-registration is required.  Pedestrian entrance to the site will be from Hanover Street.

The famous Brompton Oak--scene of some of the famous photographs of the Civil War


About John Hennessy

John Hennessy is the Chief Historian (Chief of Interpretation) at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park
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