"In the Beginning, all America was Virginia."
William Byrd II
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The Story of Virginia

Civil War Lawyers: Constitutional Questions and Courtroom Dramas

Arthur T. Downey

On September 13, 2012, Arthur T. Downey delivered a Banner Lecture entitled “Civil War Lawyers: Constitutional Questions and Courtroom Dramas.”

Lawyers dominated public life during the first third of American history, and many who were prominent during the Civil War era had tried cases with and against each other before the conflict. The key members of Lincoln’s cabinet were all lawyers, as were many diplomatic appointees and the five men who tried to end the war at the Hampton Roads Peace Conference in February 1865. Civil War Lawyers is a book not just for lawyers — it examines the dramatic issues and courtroom theatrics that played their parts in the story of how the nation divided and went to war against itself.

Arthur T. Downey has taught at Georgetown University Law Center and is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia. (Introduction by Paul Levengood)