When I began writing Diary of a State: 1860, I wanted to capture the essence of the general malaise that Arkansawyers faced as the new decade began. Amidst great tensions as 1860 began, I go the distance to show that the enemy of the Southerner at this moment in our history was abolitionism. As the sectional strife between the north and south mounted, this rendition of the Arkansas state seal personifies the fears that Arkansas harbored.
Though I believe this seal was designed in 1861, it really goes the distance in symbolizing unfounded and real fears alike. As the reader, you will always in in control of your own theories and arguments as to what the seal means and what each primary source in the book relates to. This graphic is printed on the copyright page of the book.
Diary of a State: 1860 is composed largely of transcribed 1860 newspapers from across the state relating editorials to readers over 150 years later. Aside from transcriptions of newspapers, I have added for the Arkansas Civil War historian’s ease of use the 1860 Arkansas militia code and a cross reference chart of the militia units, their commanders, and county from which they hailed.
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