Teaching through our historic sites

State Capitol

Glossary of Terms

Abraham Lincoln – elected the 16th president of the United States in 1860, he served from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865.

Fire-Eater - a person who displays very militant or aggressive partisanship; in this time period, it refers to a group of extremist pro-slavery politicians who urged secession.

Fort Sumter - the opening shots of the Civil War were fired on April 12, 1861 at this fort just off Charleston, SC; named for South Carolina Revolutionary War patriot Thomas Sumter.

objective information – information that deals with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations.

primary source – a source of information that is direct or firsthand knowledge; can be a document or object that was written or created at the time that is being studied.

secession – to withdraw formally from an organization; in the case of the American Civil War, the southern states exercised their perceived right to secession by withdrawing from the United States.

secession convention – convention of delegates from across the state who came to debate and vote on whether the state should withdraw from the United States; North Carolina voted for secession on May 20, 1861.

secondary source – a source of information that relates or discusses information originally presented elsewhere; a secondary source studies or interprets primary sources and is not of the immediate time or event being studied.

subjective information – information that is modified or affected by personal views, experience, or background.

Unionist – one who held views that their state should remain in the Union.

writ of habeas corpus – a legal concept that requires authorities to justify why a prisoner is being held; a protection against illegal imprisonment.

Other glossary terms related to the North Carolina State Capitol can be found here.


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