Many years ago in Austin, Texas, Gary Gallagher and Mike Parrish invited me to do the volume on the 1860–61 secession crisis for the Littlefield Sesquicentennial History of the Civil War. They seemed to expect that I, like my graduate school mentor Ken Stampp, could do creditable historical research and analysis both north and south of the MasonDixon Line and Ohio River. They may have also hoped that my earlier work as a transatlantic comparative historian, published as Masters and Lords: Mid-19th-Century U.S. Planters and Prussian Junkers (1993), indicated that I could treat accurately and fairly both southern secessionists and northern Unionists on the eve of the Civil War. Readers and reviewers, of course, will decide for themselves whether I have succeeded. I regret that Ken Stampp did not live to see the final product; my appreciation for his scholarship and guidance only grew as we aged.
Mike Parrish and Bill Link provided scorching yet hopeful commentary on an earlier version of the book, and Mike frequently made helpful recommendations and even gifts of particular articles and monographs. Like all scholars, I could not have completed this project without the invaluable aid of many librarians and archivists. Particularly helpful over the past decade were staff members at Berea College, the Chicago Historical Society, the Huntington Library, the New York Public Library, the New-York Historical Society, the Newberry Library, the University of Kentucky Library, the University of Texas at Austin Library, and the Virginia Historical Society.
During the many years in which I researched, composed, and revised this book, a number of friends and colleagues provided support and encouragement at opportune moments: Tighe and Hugh Antrim, Kathy DeBoer, Bill Freehling, Chesley and Lee Garrett, David Hamilton, Helen and Steve Kelly, Bruce Levine, Howard Miller, Bob Moeller, Jim Oakes, Mark Pittman, Jim Sidbury, and Mark Summers. Because I have asked none of them to read and comment on any chapter of this book, they are all absolved of any responsibility for knowing exactly what to expect, much less agreeing with it.
Lee Willey Bowman, Kate Bowman, and Willis Bowman never seriously doubted that someday the book would be finished and even published. After all, nearly two decades passed before my initial vision of a monographic study juxtaposing planters and Junkers became a reality.
Although editor in chief David Perry of UNC Press may have had occasional doubts that this volume would ever make it into print, he was and is too much the consummate professional to let those doubts surface. Zach Read helped shepherd the manuscript along when it was submitted to the Press.
My siblings and their spouses probably wondered whether a book on the secession crisis was worth the expenditure of so much time and energy, but they still expressed hopeful interest in the final product. Because John and Ginny Bowman, Jane and John Fain, Susan and David Reynolds, John and Andrea Willey, and Willis and Vance Willey