‘Secession on Trial’ During the Prosecution of Jefferson Davis

Cynthia Nicoletti

Drawing on her research from her recent book “Secession on Trial: The Treason Prosecution of Jefferson Davis,” UVA Law professor Cynthia Nicoletti gives an overview of the U.S. government's attempts to prosecute Confederate President Jefferson Davis for treason after the Civil War. Nicoletti describes how conflicting legal theories regarding the constitutionality of secession contributed to the case ultimately being dropped with no conclusion. Nicoletti was the featured speaker at a Law School Foundation Board and Council lunch. F. Blair Wimbush ’80, chair of the Law School Foundation Board of Trustees, introduced Nicoletti.