Through the stories of enslaved ancestors and notable relatives, The Thompson Family: Untold Stories from The Past (1830-1960), chronicles the rich history of a prominent African American family from Salley, South Carolina features stories of individuals who were enslaved, a woman served as an enslaved cook during the Civil War, and agricultural life.
Martha Kitchings Seawright Ellison was born enslaved on November 20, 1849, in Aiken County, South Carolina. This presentation tells the contextualized story of her life, featuring local history of the antebellum period and Civil War in South Carolina during Martha’s enslavement; a historical account of Martha’s life during the Reconstruction Era; the circumstances that involved … Read more
This presentation explores the reasons why South Carolina used African American labor during the war; the diverse roles of African American labor during the war; SC approval of Confederate pensions for African Americans; notable features of the pension application; and notable South Carolina African American Confederate Pensioners.
Lavinia was born enslaved on June 3rd, 1844, in Aiken County, and this presentation tells her personal story of slavery and survival during the Civil War. Lavinia would follow her master into battle in the Civil War, serving the Confederate army as a cook. Six decades later, she would be among about 100 black South … Read more
More than sixty years have transpired between US involvement in the Vietnam War and our current engagement in the Ukraine. There are similarities in the circumstances that have led us to oppose Russian aggression in the heart of Europe, but there are also some significant differences. Olin Sansbury examines those similarities and differences and identifies … Read more
Since even before America became an independent country, novelists have used their storytelling skills to help us understand our system of governance and our relationships with one another—sometimes with humor, sometimes with irony. Political novels have advocated causes or ideas, have recorded successes and issued warnings. They have revealed our flaws and trumpeted our strengths. … Read more
Covert Action is “an activity or activities of the US government to influence political, economic, or military conditions abroad, where it is intended that the role of the US government will not be apparent or acknowledged publicly.” Such actions have been taken frequently in modern American history and not always successfully. Olin Sansbury examines some … Read more
Counter to the national narrative which championed the patriotic manhood of soldiering from the Civil War through the 1920s, Dr. Pinheiro, Jr.’s research reveals that African American veterans and their families’ military experience were much more fraught. Economic and social instability introduced by military service resonated for years and even generations after soldiers left the … Read more
I served in the US Army guarding convoys on the sometimes bomb-strewn and often chaotic streets of Iraq. On December 2, 2006, the armored vehicle I was driving struck an Improvised Explosive Device, or IED. The blast severely wounded me and one other soldier in the vehicle while luckily only lightly injuring a third. The … Read more