Teacher Lesson Ideas

Williams Explains Reasons for Secession

This lesson allows students to gain first-hand feelings for secession from a person who signed the Ordinance of Secession. The students read letters from Williams Middleton, last member of the Middleton family to live at Middleton Place, and his brother-in-law J. Francis Fisher, of Philadelphia. Even though Williams is writing to a very dear brother-in-law, his views are expressed in no uncertain terms. Despite their disagreements, when the war is over this Northern brother-in-law gives financial support to Williams. The lesson uses these letters from the Middleton Place Foundation Archives to illustrate the personal conflicts Northerners and Southerners faced during the Civil War.

Vicki Wettstein
Berkeley Alternative School, SC
2003 Lowcountry Institute

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