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Lincolnites and RebelsA Divided Town in the American Civil War$
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Robert Tracy McKenzie

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195182941

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182941.001.0001

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A Town Dividing

A Town Dividing

Chapter:
(p.50) CHAPTER THREE A Town Dividing
Source:
Lincolnites and Rebels
Author(s):

Robert Tracy McKenzie

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182941.003.0004

This chapter focuses on Knoxville during the seven-month period between the election of Abraham Lincoln and the secession of Tennessee. It outlines the argument for disunion offered by local secessionists, and analyzes the nature of the response by local Unionists. At the heart of the chapter is a refutation of the concept of “unconditional” Southern Unionism during the secession crisis. No such phenomenon existed among East Tennessee's Unionist leaders. Abraham Lincoln's election and the secession crisis that followed forced the townspeople to weigh multiple and sometimes competing loyalties to the Union, to the South, to Tennessee, to their local region, and more particularly to class, race, and political party. Although Knoxville Unionists later attributed their opposition to “unalloyed patriotism”, their strategy during the secession crisis centered on time-tested themes of partisan and regional attachment.

Keywords:   East Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, Abraham Lincoln, secession crisis, secessionists, Southern Unionism, Unionists

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