Past "From Fights to Rights" Exhibits

  • Playing, learning and surviving during the Civil War: These are the stories of Charley, Willie, Nell, Lizzie and many others.
  • Although there were isolated incidents of arrests and bad feelings, the occupation of the Historic Triangle was neither cruel nor oppressive.
  • This exhibit features letters, reports, and images relating to the 1862 fire in the Wren Building.
  • At the beginning of the Civil War, there were very few hospitals around the country. Washington, the nation’s capital, had no military hospitals. Neither the Union nor the Confederacy was well prepared to treat wounded soldiers, let alone the high numbers of casualties that Civil War battles produced.
  • This exhibit examines how Virginia responded to the Supreme Court’s momentous 1954 decision overturning “separate but equal” schools.
  • The Battle of Williamsburg was a rear-guard action fought in rain and mud on May 5, 1862.
  • The years before the Civil War were not always stable ones for William & Mary. The university contended with changes in presidents, resignations and deaths of professors, an end to the chair of law, and the continuing needs for repairs to buildings and fundraising. The 1858-1859 session opened with 47 students. The campus buildings had been extensively repaired and despite the decline in enrollment from the previous year, the future seemed as secure as it ever had for William & Mary. Then, in the early hours of February 8, 1859, the Wren Building went up in flames after a fire began in the north wing and within four hours the building was gutted. William & Mary’s faculty, students, Visitors, townspeople, and supporters would rally to support and rebuild. Then, the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 forced the closure of William & Mary.