The Coming of the Civil War in Virginia


Books & Media:

Berson, Charles. Virginia. New York: Harcourt. 2002.
Basic text for fourth grade for basis of instruction. Any other basal would also be applicable.

Foner, Eric . “Slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction” in The New American History. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1997.
Chapter offers a good overview and shares multiple perspectives on the subject.

Gevinson, Alan, Kelly Schrum and Roy Rosenzweig. History Matters: A Student guide to US History Online. Boston: St. Martins, 2005.
Useful to consult, as well as the History Matters website, for descriptions of vetted websites on the period.


Wonderful easy-to read narrative of Tubman and Underground Railroad with broadside and drawings.
Use for posters of abolition movement and Nat Turner.
This site includes information on the abolitionist movement, sectionalism, and major events of the war.
Used to locate relevant web sites on causes of the Civil War. Also has numerous primary sources and ideas. Digital Blackboard links helpful.
Used for Virginia secessionist debates of 1860-61 and creation of West Virginia. Links to newspapers, maps, images.
Used for 1832 slavery debate in the Virginia General Assembly and other primary sources for and against slavery.
Used for a Nat Turner exploration, this is an interesting site of winning student-created sites.
Used for John Brown pictures and song.
Used for students matching the three abolitionists.
Used for more John Brown narratives and maps. Also covers Nat Turner and Harriet Tubman.
This incredible site details the story of Virginia in simple terms. The “Becoming Southerners” area offers great background. The “Becoming Confederates” area begins with an east-to-understand explanation of the Compromise of 1850 through Dread Scott and also has a brief overview of John Brown. The discussion of the 1860 election could be a postscript to this unit.
Used for talking points and map of vote on West Virginia secession. Part of a video series.
Valley of the Shadow website used for Thompson and Brammer letters and Harper’s Ferry picture.