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Our Man in Charleston
Our Man in Charleston: Britain's Secret Agent in the Civil War South | Christopher Dickey
7 posts | 3 read | 19 to read
Between the Confederacy and recognition by Great Britain stood one unlikely Englishman who hated the slave trade. His actions helped determine the fate of a nation. When Robert Bunch arrived in Charleston to take up the post of British consul in 1853, he was young and full of ambition, but even he couldnt have imagined the incredible role he would play in the history-making events to unfold. In an age when diplomats often were spies, Bunchs job included sending intelligence back to the British government in London. Yet as the United States threatened to erupt into Civil War, Bunch found himself plunged into a double life, settling into an amiable routine with his slavery-loving neighbors on the one hand, while working furiously to thwart their plans to achieve a new Confederacy. As secession and war approached, the Southern states found themselves in an impossible position. They knew that recognition from Great Britain would be essential to the survival of the Confederacy, and also that such recognition was likely to be withheld if the South reopened the Atlantic slave trade. But as Bunch meticulously noted from his perch in Charleston, secessions red-hot epicenter, that trade was growing. And as Southern leaders continued to dissemble publicly about their intentions, Bunch sent dispatch after secret dispatch back to the Foreign Office warning of the truththat economic survival would force the South to import slaves from Africa in massive numbers. When the gears of war finally began to turn, and Bunch was pressed into service on an actual spy mission to make contact with the Confederate government, he found himself in the middle of a fight between the Union and Britain that threatened, in the boast of Secretary of State William Seward, to wrap the world in flames. In this masterfully told story, Christopher Dickey introduces Consul Bunch as a key figure in the pitched battle between those who wished to reopen the floodgates of bondage and misery, and those who wished to dam the tide forever. Featuring a remarkable cast of diplomats, journalists, senators, and spies, Our Man in Charleston captures the intricate, intense relationship between great powers on the brink of war. From the Hardcover edition.
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The subtitle annoys me enough that I can‘t help but knock this book down a notch; there was nothing secret about Robert Bunch‘s mission. Sure, Southerners were largely unaware of his efforts to communicate the horrors of slavery and the slave trade to London. But he was no spy or secret agent. Overall, Bunch‘s correspondence with London makes for an interesting and important read.

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My daughter is in her 3 hour dance class so I get to hangout at the local used book store

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#TBRtemptation post 10! Between the Confederacy and British recognition stood one man who hated slavery. He was Robert Bunch, the young British consul in South Carolina. He reported back to the Crown all the slave trade-related dealings the Confederacy said it wasn't doing, while convincing Southerners that he was sympathetic to them. Diplomats, senators, journalists, spies, presidents, kings, acted on his decisions. #blameLitsy #blameMrBook 😎

rwmg Umm, queens, surely 2y
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This book stands out from other books about the Civil Wat because its focus is on Britain and the man partly responsible for keeping Great Britain out of the Civil War, Robert Bunch. As the British Consul in South Carolina he was able to provide first hand knowledge to the crowd regarding the slave holders and the atitude of the South both before and during the war. This was very well written, well researched and enjoyable, informative read.

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"It concerned itself entirely and exclusively with slavery... the issue of states' rights came down to the very specific right of white people in some states of the former United States to own slaves"

Notafraidofwords This book looks intriguing. 3y
TheNextBook It is very interesting. I have never concerned myself with learning anything about Britain's involvement in the Civil War and the slave trade so this account is very eye opening. 3y
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I haven't posted much. I'm reading this when I can focus and enjoy the wonderful writing and the interesting story. But my mind and heart are heavy. I'm not sure what the future holds and I'm bothered. Litsy has been a safe haven and for that I'm grateful. I'm here but my mind is racing and I'm just trying to make it through the days.

Notafraidofwords I'm going through the same thing. I feel uncertain and afraid and heavy. I haven't made my bed in days and I feel like all the people I love will be in total darkness for the next four years. 3y
DeeLew 💜💜💜 3y
moranadatter I wish you were here. 💗💗💗 3y
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glp4766 I have had such a feeling of doom and gloom...sad days 3y
LeahBergen ❤️❤️ to you!! 3y
Foxyfictionista Hugs!! ❤️💙💜💛💚💖💕 3y
Suet624 I feel you. I feel as if my country does not have the same moral values that I do. 3y
TheNextBook @Notafraidofwords @glp4766 I've been running between so many emotions! Fear, anger, rage, confusion, sadness. It's been so frustrating!!!! @LeahBergen @Foxyfictionista @DeeLew ❤️❤️❤️ thanks guys! What the world needs now is love buy its so hard when you know the hate is there and now out in the open! 3y
TheNextBook @kmdartist I wish I was there so bad! It would be so nice to have an escape in a medium that I love. I am happy though to be home with the kid and my hubs but it would have been amazing to hang out with you guys! You guys are going to have such a great time. 3y
TheNextBook @Suet624 It's more than just moral values. It's a history of hate and bigotry that people chose to ignore still existed and now it's front and center in our face and its too late. 3y
Suet624 @TheNextBook, I agree completely. 3y
Bibliogeekery Sending love and care 💓 3y
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The next book on my list is... *sigh* books help bring me peace. After last night I need some peace. I'm not ok. I don't know when I will be ok. But I have my book. So I'll read my book.

MicheleinPhilly ❤️ 3y
Godmotherx5 We will get through this. Keep swimming 🏊🏻‍♀️🏊🏼🏊🏻‍♀️🏊🏼 3y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa #ImWithYou #IStandWithYou because we are always #StrongerTogether. One day at a time, lots of self care, and then we pick up and keep going forward 3y
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TheNextBook @MicheleinPhilly ❤️ @Godmotherx5 I'm trying. I really am. It's hard right now. @Riveted_Reader_Melissa thank you. This just sucks so much. I've been in my emotions all day. Now is the time to fight! I feel my gryffindor qualities coming out 3y
Foxyfictionista @TheNextBook I've been super emotional too. I was able to work from home yesterday and the tears just kept coming. I'm emotionally exhausted. I hope I don't burst into tears during my client meeting today. But it will get better. It has to. We have to fight. But take care of yourself first. That's the most important thing. Sending you hugs. 💙 3y
BookishFeminist 💖💖💖 you always have my number & support. It's been rough. 3y
TheNextBook @Foxyfictionista I realized yesterday how imporatant it will be in the next 4 years to take a stand and to fight. And as terrified as I may be, I am ready for the fight ahead. Like @Riveted_Reader_Melissa we are #strongertogether! 3y
TheNextBook @BookishFeminist It has been rough. Thank you for being there and for being a friend. I didnt realize I would form friendships like this on Litsy but I'm happy for it. The comraderie I've seen from everyone here is one of the few sectors of humanity I've found anywhere. 3y
BookishFeminist it has been rough and it's bound to get rougher, but we all have each other. I never expected these friendships from Litsy either but I am so goddamn grateful for them. Thank you for being there for me too. I hope for the best for everyone and am nervous of the reports I hear but I am ready to fight. Love you. 😘 3y
TheNextBook ❤️😘(invisible hugs) 3y
Karkar They need a hug emoji. Hugs to you! 3y
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