Welcome to the conversation!

Welcome to the conversation!

Harriet Beecher Stowe's (1811-1896) best-selling anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), made her the most famous American woman of the 19th century and galvanized the abolition movement before the Civil War.

The Stowe Center is a 21st-century museum and program center using Stowe's story to inspire social justice and positive change.

The Salons at Stowe programs are a forum to connect the challenging issues (race, gender and class) that impelled Stowe to write and act with the contemporary face of those same issues. The Salon format is based on a robust level of audience participation, with the explicit goal of promoting civic engagement. Recent topics included: Teaching Acceptance; Is Prison the New Slavery; Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North; Creativity and Change; Race, Gender and Politics Today; How to be an Advocate

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

On the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Olustee, is the Civil War still going on?

“There are some, apparently, who consider this to be a lengthy truce and believe that the war is still going on.”
- Charles Custer

On February 20, 1864, Union forces approached 5,000 Confederate soldiers waiting near Olustee Station, Florida. The bloodiest Civil War battle on Florida soil, the Battle of Olustee resulted in a Confederate victory and the death, wounding or disappearance of 2,000 Union and 1,000 Confederate soldiers.

Today, the Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park features three monuments to Confederate soldiers but no commemoration of the Union lives lost. As a result of visitors to the site asking time after time about a monument to Union soldiers, the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War last year requested permission from the state parks department to place an obelisk in honor of Union soldiers on the battlefield. What ensured was "an online call to arms...issued by the national Confederate group’s leader to oppose the “Darth Vader-esque obscene obsidian obelisk” in what the group’s members see as the Second Battle of Olustee."

In The New York Times' "Blue and Gray Still in Conflict at a Battle Site," Lizette Alvarez tells the story of this "Second Battle of Olustee" as descendants of both Union and Confederate soldiers, as well as other Florida residents, debate whether the Union should be memorialized on the site of a Confederate victory. In the words of John W. Adams, a member and former division commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans: “Old grudges die hard...And feelings run deep.”

What are your reactions to this article and story? Are we still a nation divided over a war fought 150 years ago?

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