Civil War Pathways in the Pacific Northwest
February 17 - July 6, 2014
- Should nonwhites live in Washington?
- Should Washington become a separate nation?
- How should the government deal with political dissenters?
These were the debates of the day in our area during the Civil War. Many people assume the Civil War happened "back East." This misperception neglects the impact the war had on other areas of the country, including the Pacific Northwest. In fact, the Civil War was a national war about radically different ideas -- slavery, state's rights, political dissent, and federal power -- not just a regional war on eastern battlefields. The people of the Pacific Northwest made choices and went different ways. This exhibit is about those choices and where they led -- the pathways people took. These pathways were discovered through a large crowd-sourcing project that turned everyday citizens into historical researchers, allowing the collection of valuable references to Civil War -era life in Washington.
On display will be over 150 original artifacts including rare items such as an early photograph of Abraham Lincoln, Isaac Stevens's sword, rare manuscripts, drawings from the U.S. National Archives, and a host of weapons, maps, sketches, and photographs. Together with the stories gleaned from the research project, visitors will experience a powerful exhibit connecting the issues of the past to those of today.
Search our Collections for a variety of Civil War artifacts. You can also purchase the digital images.
Download the Pathways to Freedom PowerPoint presentation to supplement your discussion of the Civil War Pathways exhibit.
Civil War Book Club
Read each of the selected works and join the author for a special presentation on the readings. This is a wonderful opportunity to talk directly with the story tellers. Purchase the book ahead of time in our Museum Store and come prepared with for discussion. See the covers of the books at the right of this page.
March 15: "Wilderness" by Lance Weller, Washington native and award-winning author
All books for the Civil War Book Club will be available for purchase in the Museum Store.
Great article about "Free Boy" and author Lorraine McChonaghy -- also the curator of the Civil War Pathways exhibit. You can purchase "Free Boy" in our Museum Store.