Author Archives: Donald R. Shaffer

About Donald R. Shaffer

Donald R. Shaffer is the author of _After the Glory: The Struggles of Black Civil War Veterans_ (Kansas, 2004), which won the Peter Seaborg Award for Civil War Scholarship in 2005. More recently he published (with Elizabeth Regosin), _Voices of Emancipation: Understanding Slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction through the U.S. Pension Bureau Files_ (2008). Dr. Shaffer teaches online exclusively (i.e., a virtual professor). He lives in Arizona and can be contacted at donald_shaffer@yahoo.com

U.S. Senate Passage of the 13th Amendment

150 years ago today, the U.S. Senate passed the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, an important milestone on the road to slavery’s final end in the United States. Although the story of its later passage in the U.S. House … Continue reading

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12 Years a Slave – Articles of Interest

Unless you have been out-of-touch since Sunday, you have heard the news that 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture at the Academy Awards. If you read my thoughts on the movie when it came out that should come as no … Continue reading

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Braving Alligator Infested Waters to be Free

It is not unusual to encounter dramatic tales of how slaves finally became free. They were a staple of abolitionist slave narratives before the Civil War. To escape slavery was to become a fugitive from the law, facing the full … Continue reading

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Black Confederates: Patrick Cleburne’s Radical Proposal

This blog normally stays away from the bogus controversy over whether armed black soldiers existed in the Confederate Army in significant numbers unless it has something relevant and timely to contribute. There are plenty of other good Civil War bloggers … Continue reading

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“Oh I wish you had staid with me”: December 1863

Interracial worship service, Port Royal, S.C.  Source: The London Illustrated News, 5 December 1863 December 1863 was a busy month in the history of emancipation in the American Civil War. On December 8, President Abraham Lincoln issued the first salvo in … Continue reading

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12 Years a Slave – My Thoughts

I finally had a chance to see to see 12 Years A Slave. Like many other scholars that have opined on the film, I have a generally favorable opinion of it. Director Steve McQueen has made a reasonably faithful adaptation of … Continue reading

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Kidnapping Northern Blacks into Slavery during the Civil War

I confess I have yet to see 12 Years a Slave. It is not from a lack of interest. I long ago read Solomon Northup’s book on his kidnapping and enslavement, and I have seen the Avery Brook’s made-for-television adaptation, Solomon … Continue reading

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