Search using this query type:

Advanced Search (Items only)


A common misunderstanding when it comes to the Civil War and the secession of the southern states is that secession was not only supported by the southern governments, but also supported by most southern citizens as well. While in many states a majority of southern citizens did support secession, it cannot be said for all the states of the Confederacy. The state of North Carolina seceded on May 20, 1861 – the last state to do so – a full one month and eight days after the first shots at Fort Sumter. North Carolinians resisted pressure from the Confederate Government all the way to secession. This exhibit argues that North Carolina’s secession was not the outcome the majority of its citizens wanted. Instead, the citizens of North Carolina preferred to work out a constitutionally valid compromise to remain in the Union. North Carolina newspaper editorials from the 1850s through 1861 demonstrate the pro-Union stance of North Carolinians in their views on the United States government, their criticism of secession and its consequences, and their condemnation of the tyranny of the state government.