The pivotal role New York State played in the war is the focus of the 7,000-square-foot exhibition. As the wealthiest and most populous state, the Empire State led all others in supplying men, money, and materiel to the causes of unity and freedom. New York’s experience provides significant insight into the reasons why the war was fought and the meaning that the Civil War holds today. An Irrepressible Conflict will be open through September 22, 2013 in Exhibition Hall.
The exhibition includes objects from the collections of the State Museum, Library and Archives, as well as others from institutions across the state. Among the many significant objects are a Lincoln life mask from 1860, the earliest photograph of Frederick Douglass (a rare 8-by-10-inch daguerreotype image, courtesy of the Onondaga Historical Association) and the only known portrait of Dred Scott.
The exhibition’s title was inspired by an 1858 quote from then U.S. Senator William H. Seward, who also served as governor of New York (1839-42) and secretary of state (1861-69). Seward disagreed with those who believed that the prospect of war between the North and South was the work of “fanatical agitators.” He understood that the roots of conflict went far deeper, writing, “It is an irrepressible conflict, between opposing and enduring forces.”
9:30 Welcome: Peter Feinman, IHARE
9:45 The Civil War in New York: A Grave Experience – Peter Hess, Albany Rural Cemetery
The Civil War was fought in the South but many of the burials occurred in the North including of Confederate soldiers. What is a rural cemetery and who are the people who are buried in the Albany Rural Cemetery, free and slave, North and South, male and female, who are connected to the War?
10:30 “An Irrepressible Conflict: The Empire State in the Civil War”: The New York State Museum Exhibition Civil War Workshop – Truemaster Trimingham, Museum Educator-NYSM. Teacher Resources
11:30 “An Irrepressible Conflict: The Empire State in the Civil War”: Guided tour of the exhibit with Robert Weible, the New York State Historian
12:30 Lunch (bring your own)
1:00 The Civil War in New York: The Columbia County Experience – Diane Shewchuk
Executive Director/Curator and Ina Griffin-Guilzon Museum Educator, Columbia County Historical Society
An overview of the exhibition Civil War Panorama: Columbia County 1860-1865 will highlight specific objects. While the exhibition focuses on men and women from Columbia County, the experiences and the themes are not unlike those from residents of all over New York State. Participants will be guided through the online resources developed in conjunction with the exhibition.
2:00 Exhibitor Display Walk Through – New York State Museum has invited numerous historical organizations to set up display tables in the Museum as part of its annual Museum Day program. Participants will have the opportunity to see these display tables during this time slot.
3:00 Teaching the Civil War in New York Wrap Up: Peter Feinman
What do you teach at present on the Civil War? How might the session today change that? What would you like to see in the Common Core Curriculum? Should the 7th grade curriculum continue to end with the Civil War or should be extended to include the Reconstruction
New York State Museum
Cultural Education Center
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Photo: A brass slave collar, inscribed “J.S. Glenn/ GLENN/ Montgomery Co NY.” (New York State Museum photo).