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Final Farewells: Signing a Yearbook on the Eve of the Civil War

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US History Age Level High School (16 to 18 years old)

In this issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom, students examine farewell messages written in an 1860 Rutgers College yearbook. The yearbook's owner was a southerner at a northern college--a Texan who would die for the Confederacy. On close study, the messages from his northern classmates reveal much about the complexities of this "brother's war."

Click the PDF icons to download the issue and additional materials. Take a look at two other yearbooks here for a comparison of yearbook styles through the years.