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June 10, 2013

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Brian Clarke

That is the Lunenburg County, VA courthouse c. 1827.

Bring on the Nat Turner trivia!

Alfred Brophy

Wow, Brian. It's doesn't take you long at all. Very nicely done!

The courthouse is beautiful -- and on the grounds are two (I think they're reconstructed) models of law offices from the 19th century. Lunenburg County occupies a special place in my heart because on of my college history professors, Richard Beeman, wrote a book about in the wake of the Revolution. It focuses on religious ideas and institutions in the county from the late 18th through the 1830s or so. And he relies in important parts on inventories of estates of Lunenburg County residents. Beeman is able to extract a lot of information about the lives of those people from such records. For some reason when I read that book back, I guess it's about 25 years ago at this point, I'd thought that county was closer to the coast.

I want to put up a picture of the Confederate monument on the courthouse lawn, because it's an example of the rather unreconstructed ideas of Confederate memory. The monument has an inscription along the lines of "The principles for which they fought are eternal." Or something like that. I've not until recently paid a whole lot of attention to the power of monuments to shape our current understanding of the past. I guess I'm one of those people who dismisses the significance of public monuments (odd given some of my writings, huh?) But for some reason when I was standing there taking a picture of the monument a couple weeks back I had the sense that maybe the inscription was quite powerful and bold. And I began to wonder about whether that particular statue is not just a part of the background (the wallpaper if you will) of the county, but continues to speak in some more direct way today. Well, something to think about anyway.

Brian says bring on Nat Turner trivia! And it's on it's way -- very soon.

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