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Dawn Bakken
Indiana Magazine of History

Last modified: Wednesday, March 24, 2010

State history journal re-examines the Civil War military trial of an Indiana civilian

March 24, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The March 2010 issue of the Indiana Magazine of History leads with an article by IUPUI archivist Stephen E. Towne on the 1863 military trial of Indiana state Sen. Alexander Douglas.

In a case with interesting parallels to today, Douglas was arrested on charges of treason after speaking at an anti-war rally. He was tried by a military court, not a civilian court, was found not guilty and released.

Alexander Douglas

Alexander Douglas in later life

Douglas was a popular lawyer and politician in Columbia City, Ind., and his arrest and trial provoked strong reaction from his Whitley County neighbors and friends. Towne, an archivist at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, has resurrected this nearly forgotten chapter of Civil War history, and the incident provides new insight into the legal challenges faced by the Lincoln administration in light of popular discontent with the war.

Elsewhere in the issue, Donna J. Drucker looks at correspondence between IU professor and sex researcher Alfred Kinsey and one of his former graduate students to further understand how the famous biologist moved from work on gall wasps to his studies of male and female sexuality. Finally, Susan Roth Breitzer examines the role that social reformer Jane Addams and her Hull House colleagues played in the Chicago garment workers' strikes and analyzes how their work shaped relations with both German and Eastern European Jewish immigrants.

The Indiana Magazine of History is published quarterly by the Department of History of Indiana University Bloomington in cooperation with the Indiana Historical Society. The magazine's Web site can be found at For general information on the articles, contact the editorial office at 812-855-4139.