Civil War Scrapbooks

Ellen Gruber Garvey

in Writing with Scissors

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780195390346
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979240 | DOI:
Civil War Scrapbooks

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The increasing popularity of scrapbook making had its seeds in the large number of Northerners and Southerners who made scrapbooks during the Civil War to grapple with and articulate their new understandings of nationhood, by saving poetry and battle news. This chapter illustrates how scrapbooks expressed national grief and rage in a private, domestic format. The contrast between the scrapbooks of a Northern abolitionist man who collected newspaper poetry to mourn his son, killed in battle, and a Southern Confederate woman, whose scrapbook is a kind of ideal newspaper where Confederate victories continued and grateful slaves abounded, tells much about the differing ideas of nationhood and the meaning of the war across the divide. Scrapbooks became their own battlefields of propaganda for saving accounts of triumphs and comparing them with emerging realities.

Keywords: scrapbooking; northerners; southerners; nationhood; war; propaganda

Chapter.  17982 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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