Civil War Lawyers: Constitutional Questions and Courtroom Dramas

Time Period
1861 to 1876
Media Type
Civil War
Politics & Government
Arthur T. Downey

On September 13, 2012, Arthur T. Downey delivered a Banner Lecture entitled "Civil War Lawyers: Constitutional Questions and Courtroom Dramas."

Lawyers dominated public life during the first third of American history, and many who were prominent during the Civil War era had tried cases with and against each other before the conflict. The key members of Lincoln's cabinet were all lawyers, as were many diplomatic appointees and the five men who tried to end the war at the Hampton Roads Peace Conference in February 1865. Civil War Lawyers is a book not just for lawyers. It examines the dramatic issues and courtroom theatrics that played their parts in the story of how the nation divided and went to war against itself.

Arthur T. Downey has taught at Georgetown University Law Center and is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia.

The content and opinions expressed in these presentations are solely those of the speaker and not necessarily of the Virginia Museum of History & Culture.

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