The sectional tensions in the1850s inspired among Southerners a drive to produce their own textbooks to counter the North’s total dominance of the publishing industry. The Southern Commercial Convention of 1856 stated “The books rapidly coming into use in our schools and colleges at the South are not only polluted with opinions and arguments adverse to our institutions, and hostile to our constitutional views, but are inferior . . . to those which might be produced among ourselves.” Washington Baird, a Presbyterian minister from Georgia, wrote The Confederate Spelling Book as part of this effort, one of about ninety school texts produced within the Confederate States.