Kentucky, 1861: Loyalty, State, and Nation

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As one of the northernmost slaveholding states, Kentucky plays a pivotal role in the crisis unleashed by Lincoln’s election in 1860. Student roles include political leaders, newspaper editors, and militia leaders. Opening with a special session of the legislature, Kentucky, 1861 forces students to struggle with the complex and divided loyalties of their roles. They must determine how to reconcile varied motivations, interests, and ideologies with an unprecedented and intensely combustible situation. Informed by assorted speeches, debates, and political tracts, students debate the cultural, economic, and political concepts driving secession while reacting to a constantly shifting political and military situation. Through the use of rhetoric, the press, and paramilitary action, they struggle to alter the fate of the nation.

About the Designer:

Nicolas W. Proctor teaches history and administers the first-year program at Simpson College. He is author of Bathed in Blood: Hunting and Mastery in the Old South, and is currently working on several projects for the Reacting to the Past series including Forest Diplomacy: War and Peace on the Colonial Frontier and Modernism vs. Traditionalism: Art in Paris, 1888-89 (with Gretchen McKay and Michael Marlais). Proctor is Chair of the "Reacting to the Past" Editorial Board.