Escaping Richmond

By the time it was over, both Browns and Mitchells had escaped Richmond. In 1859, a man known to Julia Mitchell as her slave, Stepney, ran away. Mitchell, a widow of jeweler William Mitchell, Jr., likely lived on Franklin Street, across from where Greenleaf’s Pool Room is now in that year. William had died in … More Escaping Richmond

“Statements Which Do the South No Good”

John Mitchell, Jr. didn’t directly denounce the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Memorial when white Richmond unveiled the granite shaft on Libby Hill in 1894. The editor of the Richmond Planet had greeted the Lee Memorial on Monument Avenue four years before with a broadside of sarcasm and deadpan so pungent that his quips are frequently … More “Statements Which Do the South No Good”

The church where Mary-Cooke Munford worshipped

Thanks to the intervention of my now-dear friend Beth O’Leary, I joined St. Paul’s in Richmond when I moved here a year ago. Beth also drew me into St. Paul’s then-developing process of research and reflection about the church’s particularly close association with the Confederacy, manifested in a series of memorial windows and tablets, and … More The church where Mary-Cooke Munford worshipped

Southern white Christians were not confused about slavery

The Rev. William Sachs, of Richmond’s St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church recently reviewed R. David Cox’s new religious biography of Robert E. Lee in the RTD. The book traces the development of Lee’s religious beliefs and explores how those beliefs shaped his courses of action in the secession crisis, war, and post-war world. I haven’t actually … More Southern white Christians were not confused about slavery

Southern white Christians and Race in Reconstruction Richmond

This is called “Rethinking Moral and Religious Education in Reconstruction Richmond”—which is a terrible title for a public talk—and I delivered it today as part of the American Civil War Museum’s Civil War and Emancipation Day program. This represents some preliminary thoughts I’m trying to bring together for a side project, and I’m aware that … More Southern white Christians and Race in Reconstruction Richmond