In this video, the third in a series exploring the Civil War’s impact on the University, Yale archivist Judith Schiff and Yale historian David Blight note that the politics of slavery and abolition were complex at Yale in the 1850s, as the University was both a center for the abolition movement and had a substantial population of students from the southern U.S. states.
In one incident on campus a secessionist flag was raised over the old Alumni Hall, prompting a near riot among the students.
“The Civil War and Yale” series celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. The first video in the series focused on Uriah Parmalee, who dropped out of Yale to fight for the Union and was among the war’s last casualties. The second focused on the story of Theodore Winthrop (1848), who was one of the first casualties of the Civil War.
See also: Yale remembers the Civil War