Civil War Issues in Philadelphia, 1856-1865

Civil War Issues in Philadelphia, 1856-1865

Anniversary Collection

by William Dusinberre

Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.

198 pages, 140.00 x 210.00 x 0.00 mm

  • ISBN: 9781512811353
  • Published: January 1965



Philadelphia, before the Confederate bombardment of Fort Sumter, was not simply a "Northern" city. Unlike proslavery Washington but also unlike antislavery Boston, Philadelphia lay in the "Northern border area," where mixed sympathies led to divided loyalties and to frequent convulsions over the great issues that preceded the war.

In Civil War Issues in Philadelphia, 1856-1865, author William Dusinberre examines three traditional interpretations of the war and shows how each has to be modified to fit Philadelphia's experience. In Part I he portrays the fundamental Philadelphia attitudes as they appeared in 1856 and the two main controversies—the fugitive slave question and the territorial issue—as they developed until 1858. Part II is devoted to the John Brown affair and the secession crisis. Part III analyzes wartime issues: the treatment of dissenters, the Negro question, and the recruitment of short-term soldiers when Confederate armies approached Pennsylvania.

From this investigation emerges a vivid portrait of the North's second greatest city and its leading citizens—racist sympathizers with the South, cautious conciliators, firm conservatives, unconstrained anti-Southerners, outnumbered idealists—contending with the crisis of the Civil War periods.