Author Archives: Blythe Forcey Toussaint

About Blythe Forcey Toussaint

I have studied 19th Century American history and culture for many years, including a 1992 PhD in 19th Century American Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder. My academic career included several years as faculty at North Carolina State University and some visiting assignments at the University of North Carolina. I chose to leave academe for industry over fifteen years ago, and have built a career around marketing, training, and business writing. I founded my own consulting company, Performance Trajectories LLC over four years ago and now balance my time between consulting projects and fiction writing. I recently published Year of Disunion: A Novel of the Dawn of the American Civil War. (Available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.) This novel tracks the life of a family in 1861 as the Civil War begins, and as some of them were to be among the civilians who went to watch the Battle of Bull Run/Manassas thinking it would be a fun picnic. This novel also includes events in Washington, Baltimore, Cairo, Raleigh, and Hatteras Island. I am at work on my next novel, working title Gilead’s Fate: The Life of a House that is set in upstate New York beginning in 1811. I come from a line of writers including my grandmother, Anya Seton and great grandfather, Ernest Thompson Seton. I now live in Longmont, CO with my husband and three dogs and finds a lot of writing inspiration hiking the mountains there.

Only Victims and Villains? Evolution of Slavery in America, Part I


As I grew up in Upstate New York, on a main line of the Underground Railroad and near the Harriet Tubman Home and Research center, I learned the lessons of slavery from the point of view of the Yankee victors. I spent … Continue reading

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Dressing for 1861 – Wearing a Corset


When I was preparing for my full-costume author visit to Manassas in honor of the sesquicentennial last year, I wanted to be as authentic as possible.  I have described in a previous post how the hoop crinoline was actually surprisingly … Continue reading

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Southern Views of What Really Started the Civil War, Part I


Introduction – Moving from North to South For my past three posts, I have been discussing Northern views  of potential causes of the war and and have covered how impacts of Cultural & Economic Pressures, the rise of the Abolitionist … Continue reading

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Northern Views of What Really Started the Civil War, Part III


Most often Cited Causes of the War Economic and Cultural Differences Federal vs. States Rights-Secession Growth of the Abolition Movement Growth of the Abolition Movement Fugitive Slave Act and Law Uncle Tom’s Cabin Underground Railroad Abolitionists It is important to … Continue reading

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Northern Views of What Really Started the Civil War, Part II


Most often Cited Causes of the War Economic and Cultural Differences Federal vs. States Rights–Secession Growth of the Abolition Movement Federal vs. States Rights – Secession Preserving the Union Federal Rights State Rights Secession was based on the idea of … Continue reading

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Northern Views of What Really Started the Civil War, Part I


Before you read this blog, see what you think the strongest answer is.  After you finish this first series of blog posts on the Northern Views, you’ll have a chance to try again! Most often Cited Causes of the War … Continue reading

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Blog Series on “Social Realities of the American Civil War” Kick Off


I am currently providing a series of lectures on “Social Realities of the Civil War” and realize this is great content to apply to a parallel series of blogs. The first three are, “What Really Started the Civil War: Northern … Continue reading

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