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All Exhibits

Exhibits draw upon arguments and evidence from secondary sources to interpret primary sources from the collections of primary sources from postwar North Carolina. Students in history classes at North Carolina State University authored the exhibits.

"A White Man's State": White Supremacy, "Negro Domination," and the Political Debate over Disfranchisement, 1898-1901

Laws and Resolutions of the State of North Carolina General Assembly 1900.PNG

In August of 1900, the voters of North Carolina ratified an amendment to the state constitution designed to disfranchise thousands...

"Cartoons Are For All": Visual Representations of the Disfranchisement Movement

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During the 1900 political campaign the Raleigh News and Observer, which was owned and edited by prominent Democrat Josephus Daniels,...

1862: Similarities and Differences in the Register and Standard’s Coverage of the Civil War

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By the beginning of 1862, the progression of the Civil War had slowed tremendously, and it became obvious that it...

35th USCT: Enslavement to Soldiering and Citizenship

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This exhibit looks at the men of the First North Carolina Volunteers, who would later be known as the 35th...

A Civil War Soldier: Joseph J. Hoyle's Motivation to Fight

A common sentiment for supporting the Confederate cause during the Civil War included supporting slavery and states’ rights. Such national...

A Discussion of Rationale for Confederate Desertion

This exhibit examines the political, social, and personal factors that contributed to desertion of Confederate soldiers in North Carolina. The...

A Second Redemption: The Democratic White Supremacy Campaign and Disfranchisement in North Carolina, 1898-1901

In the context of the Civil War and Reconstruction, it is often thought the white Southern Democrats, known as the...

A Wish to Compromise, Not Secede

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In May of 1861, delegates from North Carolina voted to secede from the United States of America and join the...

Albion Tourgee's Analysis of Perceptions of African Americans in the Civil War and Reconstruction Eras

This exhibit will describe the interpretation of Albion Tourgee, an author and carpetbagger who previously served as a solider in...

Battle on the Homefront

This exhibit is about the threats that Confederate wives faced in the absence of their husbands. Through the eyes of...

Chowan River Basin Loyalty

The subject of wartime loyalties can be a tricky one, with many vested interests governing what is acceptable and encouraged...

Delicate Ladies and Brave Gentlemen: The Gendered Experience of the Civil War in North Carolina

This exhibit uses gender as a lens to look at the South during the Civil War. Examining the antebellum and...

Desertion in the Tar Heel State

This exhibit is about the desertion crisis that took hold of the Confederate South during the Civil War, taking a...

Finding, Reading, and Interpreting Newspapers as Primary Sources

This tutorial offers a brief overview on using newspaper articles in historical research. The first section provides background information on...

Following Sherman's March in Blue and Grey 1864-1865

This activitytracesGeneral WilliamSherman,of the Union Army, and his men as they marched through Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina near...

Forcing Confederate War Guilt, Displaying National Triumph: Salisbury Prison and the Salisbury National Cemetery

The Salisbury National Cemetery was built as a triumph to Union victory and attempted to force guilt on the former...

From Power to Impeachment: William Woods Holden, The Ku Klux Klan, and Impeachment, 1868-1871

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The end of the Civil War would begin an era of Reconstruction that lasted from 1865 to 1877. The goal...

Goldsboro during Sherman's Occupation, March and April 1865: Citizen Accounts from the Outskirts and City

This exhibit discusses Goldsboro and it's occupation by General Sherman and his 100,000 plus troops during the weeks of March...

Harriet Jacobs and the God that Saved Her

This exhibit focuses on the extraordinary life of Harriet Jacobs, a slave from North Carolina during the years before the...

Henry Berry Lowry: An Examination of the Outlaw’s Influence of Post Civil War Media and Reconstruction Era Politics

The purpose of this exhibit is to better understand the conditions that led to the creation of Henry Berry Lowry...

How Can You Use Political Cartoons as Primary Sources?

Political cartoons appear in newspapers across the country everyday, but they cannot be "read" in the same way as editorials...

How to Use Legal Documents as Primary Sources

Legal documents, such as statutory laws and court cases, provide historians with a rich primary source base upon which they...

In the Face of Reconstruction, North Carolina Newspapers Shaped Public Opinion through Political and Cultural Misconceptions

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This exhibit examines multiple North Carolina newspapers during the first six years of Reconstruction, mainly focused on the three federal...

James Rumley and the Union Occupation of Eastern North Carolina

During the initial phase of the Civil War and the debates over secession, North Carolina was widely regarded as a...

Journalistic Coverage of Wilmington Riot

A look at two newspapers the Raleigh News and Observer and the Richmond Planet and their treatment of the Wilmington...

Kirk-Holden War: Desperate Diseases Require Desperate Remedies

In 1870 Governor William Woods Holden of North Carolina put the Shoffner Act into effect which gave him the ability...

Newspaper Accounts of Desertion, 1862

This activity explores newspaper accounts from theWeekly Raleigh Registerand theRaleigh Standardon desertion from the Confederate army in 1862. The first...

North Carolina and Republican Divisions During Reconstruction

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After the Civil War, during Reconstruction, Republicans were divided on what to do with North Carolina, particularly when it came...

North Carolina and The Nat Turner Slave Rebellion: Whites and their Beloved Enemies

A common defense of slavery in the United States prior to the Civil War was a “patriarchal” one. Slave holders...

North Carolina Constitutions and Western Unionism

In this exhibit, I will argue that the division within North Carolina did not begin with secession or the Civil...

North Carolina Secession Debate

This research paper aims to explore the secession crisis that occurred in North Carolina and why there was so much...

North Carolina's Reaction to John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry

A study in U.S. history will show that John Brown's raid had a substantial impact on the people of Virginia,...

North Carolina's Unionist Newspapers and their Fight Against Secession

While some scholars place great emphasis on the effects of southern newspapers in shaping public opinion in favor of secession...

North Carolinians and the "Peculiar Institution"

The historical record contains seemingly endless writings about slavery in America. These records include many different interpretations of the costs...

One Soldier's Motivation

This tutorial is designed to help students understand what a primary source is and why they are used. Primary sources...

People of the Appalachian Mountains prior to the Civil War

A study of the diverse range of opinions and beliefs of the people residing in the North Carolina Appalachian Mountains,...

Republicans and the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina

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The end of the Civil War brought an era of Reconstruction to North Carolina as well as the rest of...

Salisbury Prison, Another Andersonville?

This exhibit is going to explore the intricate workings of the North Carolina based Confederate prison located in Salisbury, North...

Sherman's March in Blue and Grey, March-April, 1865

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This exhibit traces General William Sherman of the Union Army and over 60,000 of his men as they marched through...

The Benjamin Hedrick Ordeal: A Portait of Antebellum Politics and Debates Over Slavery

This exhibit will look at the dismissal of Benjamin Sherwood Hedrick, from his position as the agricultural chemistry professor at...

The Essential Men of the North Carolina Confederacy

This exhibit examines the personal reflections and motivations of the Captains and Pilots of blockade runners that sailed into and...

The Evolution of Slave Law in Antebellum North Carolina With Special Consideration to Judge William Gaston

It seems that the common understanding of slave law and the feelings behind it was uniform among all North Carolinians...

The Impeachment of Governor William Holden

Governor William Holden was elected as Governor of North Carolina in 1868, seeing his term come to an end in...

The Ku Klux Klan in Reconstruction North Carolina: Methods of Madness in the Struggle for Southern Dominance

The Ku Klux Klan was known to be active in certain parts of North Carolina, but Klan activity and other...

The Morale of Joseph J. Hoyle and the 55th North Carolina Infantry Regiment

Through the examination of Joseph J. Hoyle's letters to his wife Sara Hoyle one can determine what the Civil War...

The Mystery of Endor: Uncovering the Records of 1864 and the Legacy of the Downer Group

This exhibit focuses on the Endor iron furnace, a Civil War era blast furnace which stands on the southern bank...

The Rise and Fall of Fort Fisher

This exhibit intends to focus on the significance of the fall Fort Fisher to the Confederate surrender to end the...

The Significance of Stoneman’s Raid in Surry County - April 1-3, 1865

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This exhibit focuses on the portion of the 1865 raid of General George Stoneman in Surry County, North Carolina, in...

The Significance of Thomas' Legion

This is an examination of Thomas's Legion and its founder, William Holland Thomas in the course of the American civil...

The Soldier’s Burden: A Study of North Carolina Confederate Officers’ Requests for Amnesty

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Throughout Civil War and Reconstruction historiography, little can be found about presidential amnesty. Existing scholarship tends to focus on the...

The Transformation of Southern Womanhood Through The Eyes Of A North Carolinian Woman

This exhibit will analyze and attempt to interpret Catherine Ann Devereux Edmondston's re-defined perception of southern womanhood throughout the course...

The War Within: Interpreting the Civil War in the North Carolina Museum of History

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This exhibit explores "the war within" at the sesquicentennial moment in North Carolina, arguing that the Civil War exhibits in...

Thomas Ruffin's Changing View of Slavery

In 1830, North Carolina Supreme Court Judge Thomas Ruffin made a ruling in the case of State v. Mannthat rang...

Thomas Ruffin's Decision in State v. Mann

Justice Thomas Ruffin gave one of the most controversial rulings in North Carolina history in State v. Mann. Ruffin stated...

Thomas Ruffin’s Public and Private Sentiments Regarding North Carolina Slaves

In remembering the legacy of Supreme Court judge Thomas Ruffin (1783-1870), all too often the legacy of arguably the most...

Using Legal Documents as Primary Sources

Laws and Resolutions of the State of North Carolina General Assembly 1900.PNG

Legal documents, such as statutory laws and court cases, provide historians with a rich primary source base upon which they...

Why was North Carolina Reluctant to Secede from the Union?

North Carolina did not wish to join the other Southern states in secession after Lincoln’s election in 1860.  A major...

Wilmington: Perspectives from the Top

As the Civil War raged on, Wilmington, North Carolina became invalubale as a port of entry for the Confederate Staes...