Old Southampton

My second book, Old Southampton: Politics and Society in a Virginia County, 1834-1869 (University Press of Virginia, 1992), examined a Southern microcosm for which uniquely good records survive.  Southampton’s poll lists—the best for any locality in the United States—reveal partisan allegiances over time (voting was a public act in Virginia before the Civil War).  The book gains a human face because Southampton was home to two diligent diarists, Elliott L. Story and Daniel W. Cobb, whose journals tell much about everyday life.  Southampton also was home to the famed slave rebel, Nat Turner, and to the most accomplished Southern-born general in the Union army, George Henry Thomas.  Old Southampton was brought to the attention of the wider reading in public in Virginia Cavalcade (Winter 1993).