FEBRUARY 2012: The Voices of the Civil War is a five-year film series dedicated to celebrating and commemorating the Civil War over the course of the sesquicentennial. Each month, new episodes will cover pertinent topics that follow the monthly events and issues as they unfolded for African Americans during the Civil War.  Within these episodes there are various primary sources – letters and diaries, newspaper reports, and more - to recount various experiences of blacks during this period. We encourage your feedback and commentary through our Voices of the Civil War web blog.

To see the Introduction or Episode 1 Part 1 videos click here.

The American Civil War was one of the most destructive armed conflicts that the United States has ever fought. But, how did this nation, less than one hundred years old in 1865, arrive at the point of Civil War?

In the conclusion to episode 1, "The Original Sin," we travel back to the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787. Here we see disunion already brewing over the issue of slavery. Delegates like James Madison, George Mason, and Benjamin Franklin pontificate on the effects of building a new nation on the backs of tyranny.


Shot 1-7,9,10,12,13,16,19,20,23,24,28,29,31,34,37,38,40-43: Courtesy of the Library of Congress, [lc-uszc2-2354, LC-DIG-ds-00120, LC-DIG-ppmsca-21740, LC-USP6-2415-A, lc-uszc2-2354, LC-USZ62-2276, LC-DIG-cwpb-05635, LC-USZ62-90258, LC-DIG-cwpb-03711, LC-USZC6-45, rbpe 00103300, LC-USZ62-67819, LC-DIG-ppmsca-31705, LC-USZ62-2770, LC-USZC4-7216, LC-USZ62 – 16960, rbpe 00103300, LC-DIG-ppmsca-05453, LC-USZ62-89701, LC-USZ62-90398, LC-USZC6-48, LC-USZC4-2520, LC-USZC4-528, LC-DIG-cwpb-05635, LC-DIG-ppmsca-21740, LC-DIG-ppmsca-10874]

Shot 8: Courtesy of South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, http://library.sc.edu/socar/

Shot 11,18,36: From the collections of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, (Schneider Collection)

Shot 15,30,39: Courtesy National Archives, [ARC Identifier 1656604; ARC Identifier 1667751, ARC Identifier 301682]  

Shot 21: White House Historical Association (White House Collection)

Shot 22: Florida Center for Instructional Technology, http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/

Shot 25: Courtesy of the Virginia Historical Society, http://www.vahistorical.org/

Shot 32,35: Courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol

Shot 33: © Courtesy of the Board of Regents of Gunston Hall