Slavery and the Civil War
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- What did she think about the issue of slavery in the United States? Should it have been allowed? Should it have been abolished completely? What were her opinions on the several acts that were passed to control slavery and to limit where it could be practiced?
- The Dred Scott case was a landmark decision in the history of slavery, declaring that slaves were not citizens and therefore couldn't sue for their freedom. What was her opinion on it? What influenced her thoughts?
- After Lincoln's election in 1860, several states seceded, because, among other reasons, they feared his intentions towards slavery. Did she live in one of those states? Was she opposed to or for secession? Why? Did war seem inevitable at this point?
- The Civil War began with the attack on Fort Sumter in April of 1861. What was her reaction to this attack? Did she believe that the issues could be resolved quickly and that the war would soon be over? Did it seem necessary to preserve the union?
- The Battle of Bull Run was fought outside of Washington--spectators attended, believing that the Union Army would crush the Confederates. However, the Union suffered a defeat, and spectators and soldiers alike fled. Was she a witness to this? What happened to her that day?
- The Emancipation Proclamation freed African-Americans from their enslaved state. It was made public in January of 1863. What did she think of it? Was it for the best? Did she have any worries about political or social problems that it might cause?
- Thousands of people died or suffered casualties during the war. What did she think about this? In her opinion, was saving the union worth the lost lives? Why or why not?
- Lincoln gave his Gettysburg address after a particularly bloody battle. Many people found this to be an inspirational speech. What did she think of it?
- There were riots because of the Union Army draft. People felt it was unfair because those who had money could buy their way out of serving. Was she involved in these riots? If so, what happened to her?
- What did she think about African-Americans serving in the army? Many felt they would not make good soldiers, while others felt they were courageous. What did she think before the war? Did her opinions change afterwards? Did it change her ideas about slavery?
- The Union Army marched through the South, leaving a path of destruction behind them. What were her feelings on this? Was so much destruction needed? Why or why not?
- The Confederate Army's surrender took place at Appomattox, Virginia in April, 1865. What did this represent to her? What did she feel had been accomplished?