News Archive

Civil War Historian to Deliver 2004 Thayer Lecture

Dr. William W. Freehling discusses conspiracies, secession

11/2/2004 1:23:29 PM


William W. Freehling

William W. Freehling, one of America's most distinguished historians of the Old South and the era of the American Civil War, will deliver Randolph-Macon Woman's College's annual Thayer Memorial Lecture in Smith Hall Theatre on Thursday, November 11, at 5 p.m.

In his lecture, "A Forgotten Conspiracy, an Amazing Coincidence, and the Causes of the American Civil War," Freehling will discuss the conspiracy of South Carolina secessionists in 1860, their anxieties as they maneuvered to get other slave states on their side, and the stroke of luck that helped them achieve their goal.

Freehling is Otis A. Singletary Endowed Chair in the Humanities at the University of Kentucky, and currently Emilia Galli Struppa Fellow at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.

Among his numerous publications are his pathbreaking article for the American Historical Review, "The Founding Fathers and Slavery" (1972); his prize-winning first book, Prelude to Civil War: The Nullification Controversy in South Carolina (1966); The Reintegration of American History: Slavery and the Civil War (1994); The South vs. the South: How Anti-Confederate Southerners Compromised the Confederate War Effort (2000); and his epic two-volume work on the course of the South to secession, The Road to Disunion, the first volume of which (Secessionists at Bay, 1774-1854) appeared in 1990, with the concluding volume to appear in 2005.

The lecture is open free to the public.

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CONTACT: Brenda Edson, Director of College Relations