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UNION BY ISAAC ASIMOV Oue is
of Isaac Asimov's
he brings his
unique perspective along with
lively writing style.
two volumes on American
The Shaping of North America
(which dealt with the early period) and
The Birth of the United States
were greeted with enthusiasm by reviewers. As Elizabeth Coolidge said about them in the Boston Globe: ". Isaac Asimov can be counted on to marshal an enormous wealth of material in such a way that young people can riod)
with pleasure as well as with
tences, lively vocabulary
anecdotes, he organizes history into a
smooth yet sprightly prose. ".
Dr. Asimov writes with a broad
Dr. Asimov of the Civil
writes about absolutely he's certainly not dull."
period either. In
Federal Union he covers this critical time in our history. It was an era that was peopled with fascinating personalities and filled with monumental events. Asimov makes the most of them all and the result
another highly readable book.
OUR FEDERAL UNION
THE GREEKS THE ROMAN REPUBLIC THE ROMAN EMPIRE
THE EGYPTIANS THE NEAR EAST THE LAND OF CANAAN Medieval
THE DARK AGES
THE SHAPING OF ENGLAND CONSTANTINOPLE
THE SHAPING OF FRANCE
Modern THE SHAPING OF NORTH AMERICA
THE BIRTH OF THE UNITED STATES OUR FEDERAL UNION
UNION The United
from 1816 to 1865
ISAAC ASIMOV Houghton
Company Boston 1975
Steve Odell and Victor Serebriakoff,
history nearer to
Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data
Asimov, Isaac, 1920Our Federal Union. Includes index.
Traces American history between 1816 and
Includes the beginnings of political division and
the origins and battles of the Civil War.
War, 1861-1865 — — History — 1815— — History United — History — War, 1861-
— History —
venile literature. 2. United States
1861 Juvenile literature. [1. 1815-1861. 2. United States 1865]
E468.A84 973.7 ISBN 0-395-2283-3
1975 BY ISAAC ASIMOV
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO PART OF THIS WORK MAY BE
REPRODUCED OR TRANSMITTED
ANY FORM BY ANY MEANS,
ELECTRONIC OR MECHANICAL, INCLUDING PHOTOCOPYING AND RECORDING, OR BY ANY INFORMATION STORAGE OR RETRD2VAL
SYSTEM, WITHOUT PERMISSION IN WRITING
FROM THE PUBLISHER.
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
THE BEGINNING OF DIVISION UNIONISM VERSUS STATES* RIGHTS
THE VIRGINIA DYNASTY CONTINUES
THE ERA OF GOOD FEELING?
THE MISSOURI COMPROMISE
COLONIES AND TARIFFS THE MONROE DOCTRINE
THE FIVE-MAN ELECTION
THE TARIFF OF ABOMINATIONS
THE PASSING OF THE OLD
ANDREW JACKSON THE RETURN MATCH
"OUR FEDERAL UNION
THE FRENCH AND THE INDIANS
THE BANK AND REELECTION
UNEASY BORDERS THE ABOLITIONISTS
REBELLION IN TEXAS
MARTIN VAN BUREN
REBELLION IN CANADA
LOG CABINS AND HARD CIDER
FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA TYLER, TOO
TEXAS AND POLITICS TEXAS AND
THE LAST COMPROMISE THE NEW WEST
CLAY AND WEBSTER
THE FUGITIVE SLAVES
COLLISION COURSE IMPERIALISM
TERROR IN KANSAS
THE LAST DOUGHFACE
POLITICS IN KANSAS
THE UNION DIVIDES ABRAHAM LINCOLN
THE GROWING IMBALANCE
THE CRUCIAL ELECTION
THE CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA
THE WAR BEGINS FORT SUMTER
THE RISING FURY RELUCTANT W/VRRIORS
PINCHING THE MISSISSIPPI
THE GIANTS CLASH
TABLE OF DATES
THE BEGINNING OF DIVISION UNIONISM VERSUS STATES
In 1816, the United States celebrated the fortieth anniversary of
had won that worked out a then arms, of force Britain by Great independence from Constitution establishing a complex federal form of rule whereby the Declaration of Independence.
individual states surrendered
In those forty years,
enough power to make a central government
strong enough to control the nation.
exact nature of the federalism so established remained in dispute,
how much power had the states surrendered? Exactly how much power had the federal government gained? If there were an however. Exactly
argument over whether the
state or the federal
who was to decide? To be sure, the Constitution
government had a certain
exists in clearly written form,
can be shaded and interpreted in one direction or another. Some might claim that the states were the ultimate authority and that the basic rights
essentially theirs, while the Federal
had only those
OUR FEDERAL UNION
rights specifically granted
view can be said to stand for
the other hand, there were those
Union were granted certain
Federal Union also had implied powers that
people can be
the Union had
felt that it
Those who held
to suppose that the
those rights workable in
possible rights except those
to the states
by the Constitution. Such
In the early years after the adoption of the Constitution, two parties
the Federalist party, which, as
believed in a powerful Federal Union and was Unionist in
The other was the Democratic-Republican
For twelve years, the Federalists were
Washington and Adams, and the course of the nation was established
the direction of increasing centralization and a stronger and stronger union. There followed sixteen years of Democratic-Republican rule under
Presidents Jefferson and Madison, but though the United States
in spirit in those years, the
accomplishments of Federal-
ism were not dismantled.
four presidents, the United States rode out a difficult
period of revolution and warfare in Europe, and then survived a second
war against Great Britain. That second war, the War of 1812, was one in which the United States won no clear victory but suffered no clear defeat either.*
And now in
seemed over. Europe was at peace and so welcome veil of peace even seemed to fall over internal party strife. The Federalist party had been mortally wounded during the War of 1812 because it seemed to have entertained treasonous notions, and in the wake of the war's end, fewer and fewer people would admit to being Federalists. The nation was becoming, it seemed, entirely 1816, the struggle
was the United
agreement on everything.
himself Democratic-Republican, but some people
believed in a strong Union and some in states' rights. Oddly enough, while it
was the •
party that had
on the early period of our
of the United States (Houghton
out and survived,
nation's history, see
my book, The Birth
THE BEGINNING OF DIVISION
Unionist wing of the party, in the days following the war, that was the stronger.
For instance, there was the question of a national bank.
of the United States
of Alexander Hamilton, the
in 1791 at the suggestion
secretary of the Treasury
and the most
The Democratic-Republicans had viewed
brilliant of all the Federalists.
with alarm for they considered
a device whereby foreign investors in
combination with the commercial interests of the Northeast tyrannized the rest of the nation.
In 1811, then,
the twenty-year chapter of the bank expired, the
Democratic-Republicans, then in complete control of the government, did not renew
and the Bank of the United
however, weakened the United
considerably harder for the nation to fight the After the war,
Democratic-Republican party decided
the Unionist wing of the try
considered to have been a mistake. In the last year of the war, President Madison, disturbed over the increasing disorganization of of the Treasury,
American finance and the in
Alexander James Dallas (born on the island
1759, of Scottish parents) as secretary of the
Dallas at once persuaded Congress to vote higher taxes, put
the Treasury on
and recommended the
revival of the
up such a bank began at once in Congress and leading the young congressman, John Caldwell Calhoun (born in Abbeville, South Carolina, on March 18, 1782). He had married into money and was elected to the House of Representatives in 1811. There he immediately established himself as one of the leading "war hawks" hot for war with Great Britain. Also among the war hawks was Henry Clay of Kentucky (born in Hanover County, Virginia, on April 12, 1777). Clay had been active in Efforts to set
from the time he
traveled west to that state at the
age of twenty-three and had served in the Senate on two different occasions. In 1811,
he gave up
Senate seat for election to the House of
Representatives (then considered the more prestigious branch of Congress).
As Calhoun and Clay had worked
of 1812, so now,
OUR FEDERAL UNION
worked together on the Unionist wing of the party to establish a second Bank of the United States. Calhoun introduced the bill to establish the bank and Clay labored to push it through. after the war, they
was Daniel Webster (born in Salisbury, New Hampshire, on January 18, 1782), who had entered the House of Representatives in 1813. New England had been generally disaffected from the rest of the Union during the War of 1812, and the those
dregs of that discontent produced some lingering traces of states' rights
sentiment in Webster.
April 10, 1816, the
was passed and the second Bank of the
United States was established, with a charter that was to hold good for
twenty years. One-fifth of
$35 million was supplied by the
in private hands.
were government-appointed. first
bank, the second had
headquarters in Philadelphia. Operations began on January States' rights
advocates were not entirely defeated.
could take action. In Maryland, for instance, state laws were passed which
placed severe taxes on the branch of the bank which had been set up in Baltimore.
The bank refused
comply with these laws on the ground that they
were unconstitutional, and by 1819 the dispute had reached the Supreme Court. Sitting
1801 and was a confirmed and stubborn
Though the were almost
was John Marshall (born in Germantown, 1755). He had been appointed to the post by
Federalist party all
had died and though individual
retired or converted, Marshall
a Federalist as ever.
Supreme Court as McCullough v. Maryland, since James W. McCullough was the cashier of the Baltimore branch who had refused to comply with the Maryland law. By now Daniel Webster had become Unionist enough to serve as one of case reached the
the lawyers on behalf of the bank.
The Supreme Court
arguments, and then Marshall handed judicial decisions in
listened to the
down what was one
took up the Unionist position of implied powers.
government had the power
of the key
to establish a bank,
Constitution did not say specifically that
even though the
could, because in order to
THE BEGINNING OF DIVISION govern effectively, that necessary,
have the power to establish a bank
and the Constitution did not say
if it felt it
Furthermore, since the federal government could establish the bank,
that no state could destroy
that, in turn,
as Marshall said, "the
that no state
the power to
further, Marshall held that the federal
not responsible to the states, but directly to the people.
While the bank was intended internally, another
to strengthen the
about the same time aimed at the external to limit
American dependence on manufac-
tured products from abroad in order to encourage industrialization at
This could be done by means of a
or a tax
powers of the Federal
clearly within the constitutional
Union, but the original purpose of such a tax on imports was merely to raise revenue.
were generally made
as small as possible,
they were too high, they would cut off trade altogether and
revenue would decline.
But now the purpose was to
set so high
became too expensive for Americans to buy, buy home-manufactured products instead, even
that the imported products
they would be forced to
might not be as good
Then, as the American
found themselves flooded with orders, they would prosper,
expand, improve the quality of their products, and better
Since such a
such things as leather, paper, hats,
American manufacturers of
and so on from competition
with their more advanced counterparts abroad, tariff."
April 27. This
was another Unionist
called a "protective
huge and undeveloped
another direction. The difficulties in
War of armies
purposes of trade; the tracklessness of the
wilderness limited prosperity and also got in the
became law on
Clay and Calhoun moved together in
protectionist tariff in the nation's history,
1812 had shown that the nation had serious
Again Calhoun and Clay were strongly in favor, and the Tariff of
Americans would be
way of an effective
OUR FEDERAL UNION Clay therefore advanced what he called the "American system" (dealing with the entire nation and not just
this or that state).
"internal improvements," a thoroughgoing system of roads, bridges,
and by which people and goods could be moved from one part of the country to another. This could not be done by the separate states since it would be almost impossible to ensure cooperation and since some states were less wealthy than others. It would have to be done by the federal canals
of the United States.
Madison was felt
bill by which money would be money that was to be administered by the The bill passed Congress, but President
put through a
appropriated for this purpose,
essentially a states' rights
man and he
although Marshall's decision in McCullough a strong federal government, the states' defeated.
Although Unionist sentiment was strong after the v.
Maryland set the pattern
partisans and, as in the case of Madison's veto,
In fact, over the next forty years, the quarrel between Unionism
the federal government would be taking an unwarranted
grow stronger and would eventually
destroy the nation. It is
the course of that quarrel
— and the way in which the United States the theme of brought on — that
to survive the crisis
THE VIRGINIA DYNASTY CONTINUES The year 1816 was not merely tariff.
was an election
United States, was in the
James Madison, fourth president of the
year of his second term.
a Virginian, born in the state that had been the oldest colony,
the most populous, and in of the
the year of the bank and the protectionist
eyes the most important by
four presidents of the United States, three (Washington,
and Madison) had been Virginians and each had served two
THE BEGINNING OF DIVISION
The only break had come with
the single-term presidency of John
Madison favored a continuation of the "Virginia Dynasty" and supported James Monroe (born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, on April
wounded at the Battle of Trenton. A close friend of Thomas Jefferson, Monroe was a strong states' rights advocate. He had been among those who negotiated the Louisiana Purchase under Jefferson, and he finally became secretary of
fought in the revolutionary war and was
1811, remaining in that post
the end of
Democratic-Republican members of Congress got together to
nominate a candidate, not everyone was content with Monroe,
course of representing the nation in France and elsewhere had occasionally
overstepped his powers in a rash way.
William Harris Crawford.
The younger members wanted
was Virginian by
County, February 24, 1772). His family had moved to Georgia, however,
he had become senator from that
In 1815, he entered
as secretary of war, then as secretary of the
Despite presidential support for Monroe, and despite the fact that
Crawford did not campaign, Crawford got 54 votes evidence of
Monroe's 65. This
than overwhelming popularity did not alter the fact that
Monroe was the Democratic-Republican nominee party's candidate could not lose.
in a year
the ticket (that
candidates from different sections of the nation), the vice-presidential
nomination went to the governor of in Scarsdale,
Daniel D. Tompkins (born
June 21, 1774).
existed in Congress
New Yorker Rufus
as their presiden-
King (who had unsuccessfully run
had John Eager 1752), who was a
vice-president in 1804 and 1808). For vice-president, they
Howard (born in wounded veteran
Baltimore, Maryland, on June 4, of the revolutionary
war and had served
his state as
governor and senator. It
no contest. The Federalists could take only Massachusetts
and Connecticut. All
to the Democratic-Republicans.
received 183 electoral votes to King's 34, and the Virginia Dynasty continued. In the Fifteenth Congress, which was elected at the same time, the
OUR FEDERAL UNION
count in the Senate was 34 to 10 in favor of the Democratic-Republicans, while the figure in the House was 141 to 42.
entered the Union as the nineteenth its
before the time of the Louisiana Purchase,
the best-organized Indian tribes remaining on American
Within three years, three more
on the eastern banks of the lower reaches of the
had received was the site of
river of that
December 10, 1817; Illinois as the twenty-first Alabama as the twenty-second on December and "Alabama" are versions of the names given
twentieth state on
in as the
the regions by indigenous Indian tribes.
increase in states
about the American stripes
There had been the feeling that the number of
of states; so the original
design of thirteen stripes and thirteen stars had been shifted to fifteen of
each after the admission of Vermont and Kentucky. It
though, that one could not further increase the number of
one were to introduce eleven red
stripes to reflect the situation as
would seem a uniform pink it
and eleven white
end of 1819, the
from a distance.
white) and to increase only the
ber of states increased.
existed at the
April 4, 1818,
of stripes at thirteen (seven
of stars as the
that rule the United States has adhered ever
The 1820 census showed the population of the United States to be some two-and-a-half times over the figure given
9,638,453, an increase of
census in 1790, only three decades before. Both
New York and
populations in excess of a hundred thousand.
Steamships were beginning to navigate the Mississippi River and the
steamship ever to cross the Atlantic was an
Savannah, which made the
government could not finance internal improve-
ments, several of the states did. canal from Lake Erie to the
trip in 1819.
by water than by
across the Great Lakes
was, in those days, land.)
began to build a
so that a continuous water-route
to the Atlantic
OUR FEDERAL UNION
boundaries with reasonable success,
As Monroe entered
controlling Florida It
United States had two foreign
his presidency, the
neighbors: Great Britain, controlling
to the north,
to the south.
might have appeared that Great Britain would be the more
troublesome, since she was the stronger of the two powers and since a war
with her had just been concluded. Indeed, in the aftermath of the war,
that a race
which the United States and Great
try to outstrip the other in the militarization of the
Great Lakes and Lake Champlain.
of a heavily fortified
border, intensely expensive to each nation and giving rise to frequent
and threats of war, was what seemed to
Fortunately, neither the United States nor Great Britain had any great appetite for such a state of
John Quincy Adams (born
largely thanks to
July 11, 1767), the
was Massachusetts, on to pass
Great Britain at the time.
John Quincy Adams was the eldest son of John Adams,
who had been
the second president of the United States. As a boy of eight, the younger
Adams had watched the Battle of Bunker Hill being fought, and in 1781, when he was still only fourteen, he had made his first trip to Europe. He had
later served as minister to the
Netherlands under Washington, and as
minister to Prussia under his father.
He had been
a Federalist to begin with but had switched to the
Democratic-Republican side well before the
1812 and thus had not
shared in the Federalist party's declining fortunes.
minister to Russia under Madison and had eventually helped negotiate the
Treaty of Ghent, which ended the the
then appointed to
Easily the most capable diplomat in the country at the time,
and one of
he pushed the notion of
disarmament on the Great Lakes. In early 1816, he managed to persuade the British government to accept the principle. Negotiations on the matter
were continued Serving
Washington, D.C., once Monroe became president. as acting secretary of state
was Richard Rush (born
who had been attorney who was the British hammered out the Rush-
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on August 29, 1780),
general under Madison.
dealt with Charles Bagot,
minister to the United States.
THE BEGINNING OF DIVISION
Bagot Treaty, which was approved by the Senate on April All the
Rush-Bagot Treaty did was
end the treaty
said about the land frontier,
each side was
on the Great Lakes, allowing only a small number
and customs duty. Nothing was side could
limit the naval vessels
there had been
continuing enmity between the two powers, the treaty would have done
was, however, both sides so clearly profited by disarmament that
changes thereafter were always in the direction of
further reduction of
forces. The boundary between the United States and Canada eventually became the longest unfortified boundary in the world and remained a
continuing example of the
even though disputes might
which nations could remain
there were disputes. For instance, there
between the United
dominions west of the Lake of
The Lake of the Woods, some 250 miles west of Lake marked the northwest corner of the United States according to
the Woods. Superior,
the Treaty of Paris of 1783, which had ended the revolutionary war.
Except for the northern boundary of Maine, which was
boundary between the United States and
Canada had been
1803, however, the United States
Territory from France, that
had purchased the Louisiana
and no one knew what the northern boundary of
region had never even been properly
had thought the most reasonable way of
matter would be just to continue the existing line due westward from the
Lake of the Woods. Since the Lake was centered about the north latitude, the suggestion was to the United States and
that line the
Canada and extend it all the way to the Pacific. on two counts. In the region of the Lake of the
Woods, they wanted the boundary well south of the 49° line so that the uppermost course of the Mississippi River would be on British soil. Secondly, they would not allow the line to extend past the Rocky Mountains.
region to the west of the mountains (the "Oregon
Territory") they claimed
north latitude, which was the
northern limit of Spanish-controlled territory. In the end, the British backed
Lake of the Woods
OUR FEDERAL UNION
demand, which the United
would on no account agree
United States acceded to the Rocky Mountains demand. The boundary was set along the 49° line from the Lake of the Woods to the Continental Divide and that boundary has remained unchanged to
American occupation; the
the south, matters were different. Spain had not been at war with
the United States, but neither was she friendly. She resented the American
purchase of Louisiana from France, since France had
Furthermore, the United States had interpreted the
area from Spain.
purchase broadly and had unilaterally seized the Gulf Coast region of
Florida," including the city of Mobile,
took by force in
though Spain, out of enmity to Great
United States win
had helped the
independence, the American example was dangerous
increasingly shaky hold over Mexico, Central America,
of South America.
So though Spain made no overt moves against the
United States, she was certainly
no mood to help out the Americans
against their enemies.
those enemies were the Indians in the American Southwest.
These Indians had warred against the United States
in the course of the
and had been defeated by that tough Tennessean, Andrew Jackson (born on the Carolina frontier, on March 15, 1767), who then went on to become a national hero by winning an enormous victory over the of 1812
British at the Battle of
where American forces •
Orleans on January
of the defeated Indians, however, retreated to northern Florida, forces could not legally follow them,
saw no reason
See The Birth of the United
and where Spanish
Joining the Indians were
THE BEGINNING OF DIVISION
Blacks escaping from slavery.
Together the Indians and Blacks called
themselves "Seminoles" (from an Indian word meaning "runaways").
Running southward through western Florida and
of that river,
the Apalachicola River,
two hundred miles
east of Mobile, the
had established Fort Apalachicola during the War
Seminoles had taken over
the countryside of Georgia and Alabama.
of these states, the existence of Fort Apalachicola for slaves to
as a base for raids yet,
from the standpoint
was a constant incentive
In 1816, therefore, the United States sent an armed force into Florida and,
on July 27, destroyed the
repercussions since, although the territory
were no Spanish forces
in the vicinity,
theoretically Spanish, there
and though Spain was probably
helping the Seminoles surreptitiously, she was not ready to issue of
The Seminoles fought back, however, and what followed First
Since the United States could not fight the war
the Indians used Florida as an untouchable sanctuary, the
American army received orders
to pursue the Seminoles into the peninsula
as far as the actual Spanish posts.
command of the army was given to the Andrew Jackson. His instructions seemed to
26, 1817, the
vigorous and totally unsubtle
him unclear and he wrote to Washington for clarification. He asked had permission to do what he thought best, saying that if so he could
war under President Monroe was John C. Calhoun. Neither he nor the president saw
of Florida from top to tip in sixty days.
Presumably the notion was to
could count on him to act boldly). not work,
Jackson do as he wished (and they
worked, well and good.
Monroe and Calhoun could say he acted without orders and
throw him to the wolves. Jackson took silence for consent
knew he would) and
Marks on April l y 1818, and Pensacola
24, occupying the entire northwestern
These were not Indian posts he took,
panhandle of the region.
This was happening at the very time that John Quincy Adams, secretary of state under Monroe,
was negotiating with Luis de Onis, the
Spanish minister to the United States, over the matter of disputed
OUR FEDERAL UNION
boundaries and over the manner in which Spain was allowing Florida to be
used as an Indian refuge.
would upset Adams but
might seem that Jackson's vigorous offensive
in actual fact
could deplore the
matter to the Spanish minister, but he was quite aware that Jackson was
showing Spain that Florida could not be long held and was more trouble than
But then Jackson went too
Alexander Arbuthnot and Robert C. Ambruster, he decided that they were supplying the Seminoles with war materiel. Perhaps they were, but they
were not Americans and not on American Disregarding
and the other hanged.
and the Americans were
Jackson had one of the traders shot
Then, without asking anyone's permission, he
appointed a military governor of Florida and returned home. Naturally, Spain protested
vehemendy, and while the
British public opinion reacted furiously,
looked as though the war clouds were gathering.
Monroe had to decide what to do and consulted his cabinet. Most of the was for backing down, and Calhoun in particular favored court-martialing Jackson as a way of appeasing Spain and Great Britain. In addition, the more cautious faction in Congress, led by Henry Clay, cabinet
thought Jackson should be censured.
Adams, however, supported Jackson's actions and argued strongly that the United States should follow a tough no-backing-down policy.
view was made more palatable by the
fact that the Florida
proving enormously popular with the American public
adventures always do with any public
backed Adams Instead,
Jackson as having acted in
alternative of keeping Florida peaceful
to the United States.
Then he saved
which Jackson had taken. was clear to Spain that she would have
by restoring the
a note to the Spanish government, in which
and offered Spain the
and orderly or ceding
accusing the Spanish of fostering anarchy and
anti- American activity in Florida.
long as they work).
and Jackson was not reproved.
he took the
to give Florida to the
United States voluntarily or suffer the humiliation of having the United it by force. On February 22, 1819, therefore, the secretary of and the Spanish minister signed the Adams-Onis Treaty, which was
States take state
quickly ratified and
THE BEGINNING OF DIVISION
that treaty, Florida
centuries of Spanish rule (except for the period from 1763 to 1783
to an end.
Florida, but agreed to take over five million dollars'
had been payable by Spain
States did not
worth of debts which
In addition, the treaty established a firm boundary line
continent from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean, one that separated the United States from Spanish territories
set in the north, this one, in the south
and west, was not
more than a generation.
THE ERA OF GOOD FEELING f Monroe's administration seemed to be proceeding swimmingly. There
was peace and
There was disarmament
some borders and
peacefully fixed boundaries elsewhere, with just a small bit of safe military glory for seasoning.
The shifted in
1816 was followed by a few years of economic expansion,
England, which prospered behind the
from commerce to industry.
Federalism, to say nothing of
prospering region forgot near-treason during the
greeted the president with great enthusiasm.
July 12, 1817, a
newspaper, the Columbian Centinel, heralded what
called an "era of
and Monroe's administration has gone down by that name
the history books.
There seemed some cause sional elections of
for such a characterization.
1818 saw a further decrease
in party strife
— or at least a
further increase in the lopsided Democratic-Republican majority.
of Federalists in the Senate decreased from ten to seven in the
Sixteenth Congress, and in the House, the
number decreased from
forty- two to twenty-seven.
for the presidential election of 1820, there
OUR FEDERAL UNION
Monroe and Tompkins were renominated by the Demo-
cratic-Republicans, but the Federalists simply didn't bother to nominate
was a one-party
On December 6, Monroe would Plumer (born
and there was no campaign.
1820, the electoral votes were cast and
232 of them. One man, however, objected. William
Hampshire who was
an elector from
just finishing his third
term as governor of that
voted for John Quincy Adams. His reason was that he no American other than George Washington should ever be elected unanimously — And to be sure, to this day, none has. state, deliberately
important in American history in another respect.
Hampshire's oldest and best-known college, Dartmouth, was under a
Federalist board of trustees. fight to
Plumer, a Democratic-Republican, led the
into a state university, so that
could be added.
of the proper
and the case
reached the Supreme Court. Daniel Webster, an alumnus of Dartmouth,
defended the college eloquently, and John Marshall, that hard-bitten Federalist, held that a state could not violate a contract
could not interfere with the college. This was an important limitation by the
Supreme Court on the power
government and an equally
important safeguard of the rights of the governed.)
though things appeared to go so swimmingly during the
years of Monroe's presidency, there were problems, and a surface
was no era
to a sudden halt
to speculation in western lands with the use of
exuberantly printed by state banks. With
to bid high for land in the expectation of selling
prices for everything were bid upward and there
was, as always under such conditions, a galloping inflation.
With everything heading for chaos, the Bank of the United States took was at once too drastic and too late. It stopped handing out new loans, called in many loans it had already made, and demanded payment of those loans in hard coin, not in paper. The state banks, who were indebted to the Bank of the United States, had to close; mortgages were foreclosed; farm prices dropped drastically; factories closed. It was action that
the 'panic of 1819."
The people hurt by
— farmers and land speculators in the West and
THE BEGINNING OF DIVISION South
blamed the bank.
In the forefront of the antibank
clamor was Thomas Hart Benton (born near Hillsborough, North Carolina,
men were originally friends, they had quarreled over a men had violent tempers and there was a duel in
although the two
which Jackson was nearly
the next year with his arm in a
Benton had moved to
(Jackson had to lead his Indian campaign
Louis, Missouri, in 1815,
began to move
He spoke of the bank who opposed it.
clear that the
in the panic,
South Carolina, on September
there, as a
Monster" and that became
Bank of the United States had mismanaged it came near to destruction itself. A new
president was found in the person of
for a greater western role in
(born in Abbeville,
a former Speaker of the House of
reorganized the bank, adopting a supercautious
policy of retrenchment, and under his strong leadership
In January 1823, one of the directors of the bank, Nicholas Biddle (born
became its third president, and under his efficient and conservative management the bank continued to flourish. The bank never understood the importance of public relations, however. Its management never bothered to hide its in
Pennsylvania, on January
alliance with the conservative business elements of the nation or
indifference to the rural elements.
therefore remained good politics
throughout the South and West to be antibank.
The panic led to a split
and the years of depression that followed might have
between the southern and western
sections of the nation
one side and the northeast section on the other. This would have been similar to the sectional split
Washington's time had led to the
founding of the Federalist and the Democratic-Republican parties.
would have been bad enough, but
kind of sectionalism arose on other ground serious
did not happen.
and helped to make the apparent era of good
from 1816 to 1819, the
involved the question of slavery and
had not been taken very
which was much more feeling, the period
for a long time.
by most of the The Constitution
nation at the time the Constitution had been accepted.
OUR FEDERAL UNION
it nowhere mentioned the word. Nowhere in the Bill of Rights was there listed a right not to be enslaved. Nor was the federal government empowered to pass any laws regarding slaves. (The one exception was that the importation of African Blacks
accepted the fact of slavery, though
destined for enslavement
"slave trade" — could be stopped twenty was adopted. And twenty years after, the
years after the Constitution slave trade It
was indeed stopped,
as of January
each state to decide for
whether to permit slavery or
the population of a territory petitioned the government to be
admitted as a
permitting slavery or a state not permitting slavery.
territory north of the
(The one exception
Ohio River, where slavery had been
forbidden before the Constitution was drawn up and accepted.)
Very few people thought slavery was wrong, tion
was taken rather
inferiors to Whites, mentally
time the Constitu-
for granted that Blacks
and morally, and that taking them from
barbarous lands and giving them the benefits of civilization and Christianity
for their good.
There was, however, an increasing number of people who slavery
was wrong and should be abolished; they were known,
Little by little, they won out in the northern states. By had been outlawed in those states north of the Mason-Dixon
line (the east-west line
marking the boundary between Pennsylvania and
states to the south
nation was divided into "free states" and "slave states."
however, were increasingly
slave states at all included
existence of slavery
the United States.
in the nation
was a disgrace
to all the states,
free as well as slave. It is
the northern states had, for there in those states that
become free in the same was some Abolitionist sentiment
the states might have
eventually freed their slaves. Again, there were
who were prominent
slave state, for
Virginians (Washington and Jefferson, for example)
the slave states
to restore Blacks to African
American freedom could not be obtained for them. (In 1816, the American Colonization Society was founded, and Blacks were taken to freedom,
the coast of Africa's western bulge. There the nation of Liberia
— from the
THE BEGINNING OF DIVISION
Latin word for "freedom" — was founded and a capital city, Monrovia, named for President Monroe, established. The nation still exists today, is still named Liberia, and still has its capital at Monrovia.) But something had happened to change that situation. The Connecticut inventor Eli Whitney had, in 1793, invented the cotton gin, which made it
very easy to pluck cotton fibers from the seeds. This removed the chief bottleneck to cotton production, which then began to expand enormously.
With each year, the slave states in the south began to depend more and more on income from cotton which fed the mills of New England and Great Britain, and that cotton was picked by Black slaves. Since cotton was the economic backbone of most of the southern states, they came to consider slavery vital to their prosperity.
their slaves, the people of
the slave states began to defend the practice as a positive good.
Furthermore, as the Abolitionist movement in the free states gained, the
people of the slave states became Abolitionists revolts revolts
were encouraging Blacks
and the history of
was a dreadful one. In the previous century there had been Black on the island of Santo Domingo, and it had been a time of horror
of the slave states, stung
fearful of the possibility of slaughter
by accusations of inhumanity and
hands of rebelling
It became impossible to preach abolitionism in the became sacrosanct there; it was not to be questioned. So by the time the so-called era of good feeling had arrived, there were remarkably few good feelings left between the free states and the slave states. A sectional division had begun that was to become steadily worse and more dangerous over the next forty years.
Blacks, closed ranks. slave states. Slavery
THE MISSOURI COMPROMISE By
the end of Monroe's
they were on the defensive. area
term, the slave states were fully aware that
square miles to 300,000 for the free states
At the time of the
census, in 1790, the
OUR FEDERAL UNION
population of those states that were later free was roughly equal to those that
but by 1820, there were 5 million people in the free
and only 4.4 million
in the slave states.
fully 1.5 million of the slave-state population
and the Constitution allowed only toward representation
of Representatives. This
the House, where free and slave states had had about equal representation in 1790, free-state
by a It
ratio of three to two.
was obvious that
this lopsidedness in
population was bound to get
greater opportunities for immigrants,
who were coming from Europe
considerable numbers. There seemed
the slave states,
point in immigrants' going to
was performed by Blacks and
slave states retained a greater
homogeneity of population and an
and more gracious way of
free states that
prosperous. Slaves and cotton proved a trap
those in the
economic peonage to the bankers and
into a state of
slave states fell
industrialists of the
free states, but slave-owners refused to face that fact.
by electors, with each state number of their senators and
Presidents of the United States were elected
of electors equal to the total
This meant that the free
number of presidents. To be greater
with a substantially in the election of
sure, of the first five presidents, four (Washington,
Madison, and Monroe), elected a
from the slave
had a greater say
total of eight times,
state of Virginia, while only
John Adams, elected once,
came from the free state of Massachusetts. It was not likely, though, that this trend would continue, and thoughtful slave-staters noted that it would become increasingly likely that the free states would supply the presidents and that the office of the presidency would eventually get behind the
There seemed only one rampart of protection Senate.
and that was the
senators, regardless of population, and, as
happened, the number of slave
There were eleven of each
to that of the free states.
New Hampshire, Vermont, MassachuNew York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
THE BEGINNING OF DIVISION Ohio, Indiana, and
21 free states; Delaware, Maryland, Virginia,
North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Kentucky were slave
twenty-two senators from the free
This meant that there were
and twenty-two from the
as the slave-state senators held firm, nothing insupportable to
the slave states could be passed, regardless of what happened in the House
became essential to slave-staters to see to it that as new states were added to the Union, the number of free states was not allowed to outstrip the number of
of Representatives or
sat in the
Nor were the people in the free states blind to the situation. They became increasingly reluctant to allow additional slave states into the Union. Few of the people in the free states were actually Abolitionists. Most were willing to allow the slave states to remain slave, but that did not mean they wanted more slave states. In 1819, the matter came to a head over the question of Maine. That region, the northeasternmost extension of the United States
had been part of the colony war and part of the state of Massachusetts afterward. Maine was not tyrannized by the government sitting in Boston, but it was not connected with Massachusetts proper by land and it felt itself to be distinct in its interest. It was neither as rich nor as populous as Massachusetts, and its Democratic-Republican population had been drowned out, politically, by Federalist Massachusetts in the early years of the republic. Maine had continually pushed for separate statehood, and the movement had accelerated after the War of 1812. of independence to the present day,
of Massachusetts before the revolutionary
Massachusetts could not really expect to benefit greatly from a sparsely settled district separated from itself by sea, especially if that district became increasingly discontented; so it finally agreed, on June 19, 1819, to allow Maine to seek statehood. There seemed no reason for the rest of the Union to refuse if Massachusetts was willing to agree, so no one in Maine
expected any trouble.
course, Maine, as part of Massachusetts,
was a matter of course that
had outlawed slavery long
would enter the Union
Meanwhile, that section of the Louisiana Territory centered about the Missouri River's lowermost course, with the flourishing
OUR FEDERAL UNION
chief town, wished to enter the of the region, led
Union as the state of Missouri. The people by Benton, had petitioned to that effect in December
As it happened, the territory had allowed slavery since the days before it was part of the United States. Most of the emigrants into the territory had come from slave states, and by 1819, there were already some twenty-five
inhabitants therefore petitioned to enter the
as a slave state.
had always been supposed that a
Union either slave or
territory could enter the
chose; so the slave-staters were horrified
Representative James Tallmage of
York introduced an amend-
to the bill accepting Missouri as a state
— an amendment by which
the slaves already in Missouri would be gradually freed and no additional slaves allowed to enter.
The amendment was accepted by
the House of
Representatives but was, of course, rejected by the Senate.
The slave states saw this move as realizing their worst fear. It was clear them that the Abolitionists were going to prevent the addition of new slave states and would thus take over the Senate, the last slave-state defense. The slave states prepared for a fight to the death and were determined that Maine would not enter the Union as a free state unless to
Missouri entered as a slave state.
Fifteenth Congress dissolved and the
which public passion on both
Sixteenth Congress met. sides reached unprece-
dented heights, the matter was taken up again in hot and heavy debate.*
There had to be a compromise, and one was Jesse Burgess 1777).
proposed by Senator
of Illinois (born in Shepherdstown, Virginia, in
was pushed through by Henry Clay (who was eventually
become known free-state
as "the Great Compromiser"),
who won some
Democratic-Republicans over to the necessity of a compromise
by threatening them with the breakdown
of the party
the Federalists. on that debate. In the midst of the anger and a newly elected representative from Buncombe County in North Carolina, who embarked on a long and tedious speech that was completely wide of the issue. When his audience grew impatient and unruly, he shouted at them, "I am making this speech for the folks back home in Buncombe." At once "Buncombe" swept the nation as a term meaning nonsense or foolish talk. The word was shortened first to °
passion, there uprose Felix Walker,
with us today.
THE BEGINNING OF DIVISION
By the "Missouri Compromise"
of 1820, then, Missouri
enter as a slave state and Maine as a free state. This was a victory for the
thus retained equal
and twenty-four senators on each
in the Senate,
an agreement was reached by a narrow margin which
stated that from this point on, slavery
would be excluded from
remaining territories of the United States, not yet organized as
which were north of 36°30
making up the
southern boundary of Missouri. This was a victory for the free states, for this boundary was set far to the south.
(Eventually, the unorganized area within
would make up
of the line
north of the line would comprise
American borders south
or most of three states, while the territory all
or most of eleven states.)
then, did the slave states agree?
widespread feeling that the northern part of the Louisiana Territory,
which was a
was "desert" and
Secondly, the Spanish hold on
territory to the
southwest of the United States was steadily weakening, and the slavestaters
looked forward to expansion in the direction of Mexico, where,
under the terms of the compromise, they could establish any number of additional slave states.
So for the moment, the Missouri Compromise seemed to
matter and to offer a formula for preventing similar problems in the future. Instead,
handed down a legacy of
was only by increasing the power
of the states
themselves that they could find safety. The federal government was sure to
be dominated by the more and more heavily populated free
which case a strong Union would prove ruinous As a
fight for all
Unionism began to wither
in the slave states
philosophy began to flourish in
the states. After 1820,
States' rights it
for the slave states.
Prior to 1820, the
had been conducted vigorously
to be, increasingly, a sectional issue, with
the free states strong for Unionism and the slave states strong for states' rights.
Indeed, steadily issue
every issue withered and disappeared before the
growing menace of that one great
— free versus
settled quickly, easily, or, alas, peacefully.
COLONIES AND TARIFFS THE MONROE DOCTRINE The hope, on
the part of
in the slave states, for eventual
expansion to the west and south was no far-off fantasy. Even as Spain was selling Florida to the
States, the rest of its
American empire was
There had been insurrections here and there
in the Spanish colonies in
had been put down. In the first decade of the nineteenth century, however, Spain underwent the hurricane of the Napoleonic wars. In 1807, Ferdinand VII of Spain was deposed by the eighteenth century, but these
brother, Joseph Bonaparte, declared king of
The Spanish colonies in America refused to accept the new ruler, and when it began to look as though the Napoleonic domination of Spain might be long-enduring, various colonies declared
Napoleon was defeated, and
1814 Ferdinand was restored to
At once Ferdinand tried to turn back the clock altogether, declaring the old colonies to be
COLONIES AND TARIFFS
This the no-longer-colonies would not accept. Region by region, various parts of
what had once been a Spanish empire
North and South America
continued to maintain and extend their claims to independence. At the
same time, huge
Brazil rebelled against her
mother country, Portugal.
people in the United States were delighted at
were particularly eager
Hemisphere altogether. Left
suitable areas for
to see Spain
and Portugal out of the Western
to themselves, the
newly independent Latin
easier to deal with
and might perhaps be
most important region of the Spanish empire
as far as the
United States was concerned was Mexico, which joined the American border to the south and west. There, Spain managed to maintain a shaky authority until 1820,
revolution broke out in the
For a while, the Spanish monarchy tottered, and Mexico broke away.
February 24, 1821, she declared herself independent of Spain.
Henry Clay was pushing for American recognition of the new republics. Such recognition would enable the United States to extend help to them in their battles against Spain, as once France had recognized and helped the rebelling United States against Great Britain. Secretary of State Adams, however, refused to push matters as long as As early
Only when Florida had
the negotiations over Florida were underway.
been formally annexed and occupied by the United States was Then, on December
1821, the United States recognized
an independent nation.
The question was whether the United States was committing itself to war over the matter. As Spain had not yet recognized the independence of her colonies, it was possible that she might view the United States' act of recognition as a hostile act.
This possibility, in
did not bother the United States. Spain was in
such a state of paralysis that, whatever her reaction, she could do nothing.
Spain, however, lay the rest of Europe.
defeated Napoleon after
Britain, Prussia, Austria-Hungary,
Napoleon and once more under her old The
Even France, now
line of kings,
and Russia — were determined
the continent secure and peaceful thereafter.
years of fighting
regions south of the United States are referred to as Latin America
a Germanic language.
because the languages spoken there are Spanish and Portuguese tongues related to Latin, rather than English,
OUR FEDERAL UNION These various nations
felt that all their troubles with Napoleon had begun with the French Revolution of 1789; so they decided that at all costs revolutions must be crushed at the start. Thus, when Spain underwent her
revolution in 1820
looked as though a more liberal monarchy would
there, the other nations stepped in.
on the matter
down the revolution.
Spain to put
They held a conference
1822 and agreed to permit France to send an army into This France did without trouble, and by
August 31, 1823, the revolution was over.
The most Alexander
fanatically antirevolution nation
any demons believing call
had emotionally called
in the principles of liberty
In fact, Czar
"Holy Alliance" against
and republicanism. The
accomplished nothing. Other nations signed up to please Russia, but
none of them intended to go crusading to the ends of the earth or to police the entire planet.
The United States, however, feared they might. The Holy Alliance became a nightmare to Americans. Once the Spanish monarchy was again set up in its completely unenlightened form, might not the Holy Alliance next move to restore the revolting Spanish colonies to the home country? Might not the Holy Alliance even decide that the United States had been formed by illegal revolution and try to restore it to Great Britain? This was most unlikely, of course, but Americans were nervous enough to worry about
What made Russia
the Holy Alliance seem particularly dangerous was that
the ringleader, had a foothold on the American continent.
Through the 1700s, Russians had engaged in the fur trade along the coasts of Alaska, and by 1800, Russia had begun a serious occupation of the
Under the leadership of a competent governor, Alexander
Baranov, Russian influence expanded. In 1799, Baranov founded, as his capital,
Archangel, on the Pacific coast well to the south of the
Alaskan peninsula century and
(The town remained the Alaskan capital for a
as Sitka.) Forts
built (temporarily) just north of
even farther south,
In 1821, the Russian czar announced that Russia claimed as her Pacific shore
to the line of 51° north latitude. This claim reached to
the northern tip of Vancouver Island and was well within the Oregon Territory,
which the United States had claimed
including American ships, were forbidden to approach within a hundred miles of the Russian-claimed shore.
COLONIES AND TARIFFS
but what could
well fight the entire Holy Alliance.
As a matter of fact, Great Britain sided with the United States regarding the new Latin American countries. As long as Spain and Portugal had held their empires, small,
Great Britain's chance of trading with those regions was
but once the Latin American nations were independent, British
ships could trade freely there; so
of Great Britain to
to the great commercial advantage
Great Britain did not wish to recognize the colonies as independent for
was a monarchy and did not wish
make no enemies in Europe. She didn't mind having the United States do the dirty work for her, and she was perfectly willing to protect the United States while the dirty work
republicanism too openly. She also wished to
nation could as
Britain controlled the sea,
an army to the Americas without British
permission, let alone fight a
no other European
the United States was
British foreign minister,
George Canning, even offered to
the United States in a declaration to the effect that no European invasion of the Americas Britain,
would be permitted. The American minister
Richard Rush (who had negotiated the Rush-Bagot agreement),
the news got back to President Monroe, he was also
tempted, as were Jefferson and Madison, to
But Secretary of State Adams stood out firmly against joining with Great Britain.
the United States and Britain were to issue a joint declaration,
the world would view
look like nothing
as entirely British
more than a
and the United States would
ridiculous "me-too" midget.
Great Britain joined in the declaration, she herself would not be subject to it.
insisted that the
against Great Britain as
United States make the declaration on
Great Britain would support
the declaration out of self-interest, so that no other nation could seriously
sort of bribe.
would promise not
to interfere in the
foster revolution in
Europe or attempt
power overseas. While American government
be accompanied by a
argued among themselves, the
OUR FEDERAL UNION
British gradually lost interest; they really
to understand that
no one was
planning to invade the Americas.
Monroe agreed wanted him
therefore to issue a purely American declaration.
governments of the world, but Secretary of against that.
to send copies of the declaration to the various important
Some governments might choose
be offended and refuse to
receive the communication. Instead, Calhoun suggested, since the president's annual address to Congress
was due soon, why not merely make
the declaration part of the address?
The world could
listen, if it
December 2, 1823, he announced what, be called the "Monroe Doctrine."
This Monroe did; on
The Monroe Doctrine announced
American continents were
closed to further colonization by European powers (a caution aimed chiefly at Russia's efforts to
expand her Alaskan
European powers were not
to attempt to subvert
government by methods short of war. In
American forms of
return, the United States
not interfere with the European colonies in America then in existence, nor
in the internal affairs of the
European powers or engage
"You leave us alone and we'll leave you alone." The Monroe Doctrine was not taken seriously by any nation — not even by the new Latin American republics, who preferred to rely on the British It
was a case
Fortunately for the United States, Great Britain, for her reasons, carried out a policy that
went along with the Monroe Doctrine,
American proclamation seemed to work. Eventually, of course, the United States grew strong enough to make it work even without Great that the
Britain's cooperation. too.
She was as
Pacific coast as the
Great Britain did the United States another favor, disturbed by Russia's expansion
was, and her displeasure could be demonstrated more forcefully. Russia
decided the matter wasn't worth the quarrel and, on April 17, 1824, agreed to withdraw her claim to 54°40' north latitude, that being the northern
boundary of the Oregon Territory. This concession looked very much like a
response to the Monroe Doctrine and American breasts swelled
COLONIES AND TARIFFS
THE FIVE-MAN ELECTION But Monroe's second administration was coming
to a close,
already a well-established tradition that no president served
and it was more than
came up and Monroe himself favored his secretary of the Treasury, William H. Crawford (who had so nearly taken the nomination away from Monroe eight years before). Crawford, although a Georgian, was Virginia-born and was a states' twice.
of a successor
in the old-fashioned
of Jefferson, Madison,
Crawford would best carry on the
the Virginia Dynasty.
In the past, the usual
for the various
together in what
of nominating a presidential candidate
congressmen of a particular
called a caucus
political party to get
and vote on the matter. This time,
though, the old system wasn't going to work. There were no Federalists to
hold a caucus, and there seemed to be too maintaining too
different points of
view to hold one.
But a small caucus was held nonetheless, 66 congressmen out of a of 216,
and on February
14, 1824, they
unimpressive show, and the
Protests against the system
nominating caucus ever held.
rising all over the country.
caucus seemed to be a way of keeping control in the hands of professional politicians
choosing one old wheel horse after
There would never be room
for popular heroes outside the
inside the government, the caucus
had meant nothing. Secretary
who had been maneuvering for the presidency since had declared himself a candidate. And on November 18, 1822, the Calhoun,
state legislature had, on its own, nominated Kentucky's pride, Henry Clay, for president. Clay, an extremely skilled politician, had maneuvered the Missouri Compromise through Congress and deserved
The most vigorous
cry came, however, from Tennessee. There the cry
OUR FEDERAL UNION
for a cabinet
at the Battle of
as July 20, 1822, the
war hero who
Orleans and in Florida. As early
Tennessee legislature had nominated Jackson for
president; they then sent
as a senator.
There was no
question but that his kind of rough and vigorous activism pleased a large part of the nation.
These four candidates were from Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee,
and Kentucky — February
Quincy Adams, the architect
candidate was nominated on was a home-state notable, John of the Monroe Doctrine. He was the only
15, 1824, in Boston.
free-stater in the race.
Never before and never again were there
contesting for the presidency, and the "era of good feeling"
In the course of the campaign, matters were slightly simplified
Calhoun, judging the situation with a practiced eye, decided he would not
therefore withdrew and accepted nominations
by both the Adams and the Jackson forces for the vice-presidency. Then Crawford had a stroke of some sort and underwent a degree of paralysis. Though he refused to retire from the race, his position was weakened. The 1824 election gained a new complication in addition to the number of candidates. There was virtually a new form of voting. Until then, the be elected.
president had been chosen by a group of electors, so
were usually chosen by the
many from each
became more common for the people of each The majority generally elected one of the competing slates of electors, all of whom were pledged to vote for the Thus, in 1824, there was particular candidate desired by that majority. Little
state to vote for the electors.
not only an electoral vote, which actually elected a president, but also a
"popular vote" (that of the people), which showed population
In the 1824 election, the
Jackson led on that
which a popular vote
153,544 votes to 108,740 for Adams.
others in the race, Crawford and Clay, received just over 45,000
no elector was — or is — compelled to vote in any given way. Every an elector will decide to go against the vote of his state. It has never happened to such an extent, though, that some candidate who was thought to have been elected in theory was not elected in practice. *
in a while
COLONIES AND TARIFFS votes apiece, however,
and that kept Jackson's lead from being a
popular majority; he had received only 43.1 percent of the votes.
electoral votes that counted, but here the situation
was the same. Jackson had 99 electoral votes, Adams 84, Crawford 41, and Clay 37. Since 131 votes were required for a majority, no one qualified as having been elected. (The case was different in the vice-presidential race;
Calhoun, supported by both
182 electoral votes
For the second time
an election ended with no
presidential candidate possessing a clear majority.
According to the
meant that the three top runners had
vote in the House of Representatives. Clay,
to face a deciding
ran fourth, was excluded.
Since Clay could not be president, he had the privilege of choosing
to support of the remaining three,
Since he was a Unionist, he was utterly out of sympathy with
Crawford, a strong politically,
and Clay did not
Jackson was an
Adams, on the other
particularly like him.
hand, was closest to Clay's Unionist views; so Clay, taking of his considerable influence
the representatives, pushed hard for
had one vote
in this case,
the vote taken on February 9, 1825,
and when Clay was through and
turned out that thirteen of the
twenty-four states voted for Adams, while Jackson got seven and Crawford This meant that although
Adams was second
running in both
the popular and the electoral vote, he was elected and, three weeks later,
inaugurated as the sixth president of the United States. (This
case in American history of a father and son both attaining the presidency.
John Adams, still
who had been
Jackson's supporters tives
had done and were Although
the second president of the United States, was
his ninetieth birthday.)
what the House of Representa-
particularly bitter at the role played
see that Clay's actions
so visible at the time to those blinded
Clay had sold
his influence for
were motivated by
sort of position
under Adams; and Jackson himself, a strong hater who never forgot and never forgave, seemed to believe that. •
time was in 1800 (see The Birth of the United
OUR FEDERAL UNION
like his father,
inconceivable that he would have engaged in underhanded maneuvers to
win the in tact
However, he was
political horse sense.
also, like his father,
Unable to imagine that anyone would
offered Clay the position of secretary of state.
circumstances, he had better stay
must have realized that under the
away from Adams
congressional election had died down.
the temptation of that high
the furor of the
was, however, unable to resist
office, especially since in
those days, serving as
secretary of state led directly to the presidency.
Monroe, and John Quincy Adams himself had
secretary of state before winning the presidency. Naturally, the Jacksonians' thunderous outcry reached a
shouted, "Corrupt bargain!" and
There was no
chance of reconciliation. Jackson's supporters moved into the opposition with such force that
though two parties had been formed: one
headed by the administration, under Adams and Clay, and one by the
The campaign for the 1828 election began at once. The apparent party division became one in actual fact. Clay was soon to form a National Republican party, thus named in order to differentiate his followers from Jackson's Democratic-Republicans. Over the course of the
next few years, the difficulties involved in having two kinds of Republicans
were such that the Jackson forces came to accent the first half of their name; they became simply Democrats, and that name has persisted to the present day.
the whole, the National Republicans* tended to be Unionist, and the
Democrats leaned to the
states' rights side.
The Nineteenth Congress,
elected in 1824, was proadministration, with
the Jacksonian forces outnumbered 26 to 20 in the Senate and 105 to 97 in
The effects of the "Corrupt bargain!" outcry, however, were shown in the midterm elections of 1826, when the Twentieth Congress swung over to Jackson; he now had a majority of 28 to 20 in the Senate and the House.
119 to 94 in the House.
Adams, who had been a great secretary of
state in the past
chose to follow his political integrity toward political suicide. *
not the present-day Republican party; the latter would not
into existence for another quarter-century.
He He kept men
a great congressman in the future, proved to be a poor president.
COLONIES AND TARIFFS
who had worked against him, on the ground that they did their jobs well. He appointed his opponents, on the ground that they were qualified. He refused to engage in any of the political games that make friends and weaken enemies — so he weakened friends and made enemies. Also working against Adams was the continuing liberalization of the in office
had property requirements
voting which had kept the vote mostly in the hands of the rich and
who were that
not likely to be swayed by popular enthusiasms.
1812 lacked such
requirements and the old states began to remove them. Naturally, anything that
easier for everyone to vote
favor of Jackson, a popular hero.
THE TARIFF OF ABOMINATIONS Adams's unpopularity and the unrelenting hatred Jacksonians blocked
history as a diplomat
him everywhere, even affairs.
in the field in
him by the
which he was
only natural, in view of Adams's long
his record as designer of the
he would be particularly interested
in the fate of the Latin
his efforts in that area
Canning, the British foreign minister, was also interested in Latin
He had offered to go along with the United States on what became the Monroe Doctrine and had been rejected. He felt a certain annoyance over that and was more or less determined to beat out the United States in its own backyard. Nor did he have to violate the Monroe Doctrine to do so (though it probably wouldn't have bothered him if he America.
Great Britain did not need to colonize Latin America or to subvert
she needed only to trade with the
nations and reduce
economic servitude. Great Britain had enormous advantages over the United States at
the Latin American nations themselves preferred British
protection and British trade to those of the United States. Great Britain
was both stronger and richer than the United
and could therefore be
OUR FEDERAL UNION
Thus when Simon
one of the leaders of the
Latin American revolution, called an inter- American congress at
designed to fashion means of mutual protection, he invited Great Britain
but did not invite the United States.
bordered on the United States and did not wish to make an unnecessary
enemy) invited the United
Adams and Clay were
accept the offer and nominated two delegates to attend.
that the Jacksonians
were not prepared
anything that the administration proposed. They would not appropriate the costs of the mission, and the wrangle was long and exhausting.
administration finally won, but by that time one of the delegates was dead
and anyway, the Panama meeting had adjourned. affair for
the United States, and for
was a humiliating
British-American rivalry in Latin America might have continued and
grown dangerously were not
of the world as
but Canning died in 1827 and his successors
competing with the United States
as interested in
good fortune rather than by good Another problem
nians' anger involved the
much worse one — arising from
not, in actual fact, protected
commodities were raised in 1818 and 1822 but were industrial states of the Northeast
introduce further increases. agricultural,
protective tariff of 1816
in that region
he had been. Once again, the United States won out by
were pressuring the government
slave states, however,
were strongly against such
manufactured products from Great Britain to more expensive products from the Northeast. To them
clear that higher tariffs
increase the prosperity of the industrial Northeast at the expense of the rural
In the last days of the Nineteenth Congress, with the administration in control (but
knowing already that
incoming Twentieth), an attempt was made to force those through before
lose that control in the tariff
increase passed the
then received a tie-vote in the Senate.
Calhoun, as vice-president, presided over the Senate and had the
COLONIES AND TARIFFS
privilege of voting to break a time.)
tie. (Indeed, he could not vote at any other As a member of the administration and as a Unionist, he might have
been expected to vote
However, he had also run on was more a Jacksonian than an administration he had begun to switch from Unionism to states' rights, and for the tariff increase.
the Jackson ticket, and he
man. Besides, he showed
voted against the
increase and killed the
Then, when the Twentieth Congress met for the the
Machiavellian scheme. They worked up a
time later in 1827,
worked out a
themselves in control,
with extremely high rates
way as to work against New England wherever possible. The New England representatives and senators would be bound to vote against it and would be blamed for the failure of the bill. The Jacksonians, on the other hand, would be able to tell those in favor of the high tariff that they themselves had introduced the bill, while they could tell those opposed that they had contrived to kill it. The end result, the Jacksonians were sure, would be that everyone would be for Jackson and no one for designed in such a
Adams. Leading the Jacksonian strategy Abetting him ably was Martin
Congress was, of course, Calhoun.
(born in Kinderhook,
a state's rights senator from
Van Buren had supported
York since 1821.
the state-financed Erie Canal in
project completed in October 26, 1825, thanks to the vigorous prosecution of
Clinton. (Clinton, born in Little Britain,
was the nephew
made New York
The Erie Canal was
New York's phenomenal growth and made it,
City the chief port through which trade could
be carried on between Europe and the American to
George Clinton, who had been
vice-president under Jefferson and Madison.)
city in the
This access led
eventually, the largest
Van Buren had sharpened
Clinton and had
his political teeth in a
out in the end.
establish a system of faithful underlings (a "party
he himself was
longtime struggle with
machine") to run his
Washington, he was an early
example of a "party boss." Since he was a short
a great charmer
the art of
over by soft and smiling speech, he was called "the Little
(In later life,
he was called "Old Kinderhook"
OUR FEDERAL UNION
and the use of campaign buttons with the
supposed to have given
the universal use of the term in the United
States to indicate "Yes" or "All right" or "Everything
had been Van Buren who had called the last political caucus of congressmen in 1824 and had maneuvered the nomination of Crawford. It
Van Buren, however, could clearly see the direction of the wind election; he moved into the Jackson camp. There was no
Jacksonian than he thereafter.
protective tariff through congress. Cleverly, he blocked the
vote for the signed
at every turn,
and on May
votes were cast for
to the vote and, as the
else to go,
The Jacksonians were
be passed. Adams then
states'-righters of the rural sections of the
they had fallen into their
England representatives decided
the act the "Tariff of Abominations." less;
whenever they offered amendments designed
smiled smugly, the
Their followers, had they had
would have deserted the Jacksonians there and
THE PASSING OF THE OLD The unexpected particularly those
result of the tariff
slave, in the highest
the rural states,
degree of frustration.
The 1828 presidential election was coming and it would surely be Jackson versus Adams in a rematch of the hotly disputed 1824 decision. Since they could not possibly vote for states
the industrial Northeast, the slave
to vote for Jacksonianism, the record of
been rather poor. It
began to look
be outvoted by the
more, the western tradition
one way or another, the slave
industrial interests of the Northeast.
even those with
which put them out of sympathy with the
had a democratic aristocratic flavor of
COLONIES AND TARIFFS
the older coastal states;
whether the West could
This feeling of distrust for most or
other states was strongest in South
old-fashioned aristocracy was
for instance, chose presidential electors
vote of the state legislature rather than through popular election.
Carolina was therefore slave states in it
hostility to the majority forces
in the rest of the Union.
the president of South Carolina
in a public speech,
could see arrayed against
would ever be
possible for South Carolina to receive proper consideration of
from a hostile coalition of
most extreme of
growing number of South Carolinians
they could find safety only in extreme
with traditions different from
whether the choice was not becoming one of either "submission or separation."
The passage many southern its
of the Tariff of Abominations state legislatures,
but South Carolina was most extreme in
19, 1828, the tariff in
South Carolina legislature passed
At the same time, an essay entitled "South Carolina Exposition and Protest"
was published. No author's name was on
by Calhoun, the vice-president
completed the transition from Unionism to
The main were
thrust of Calhoun's
which had the
The Union created by the
questions of law.
who had now
argument was that
of the United States,
say on deciding
Constitution was just a
voluntary agreement between the various states, and no state could be
bound by any law
that a state, faced
in violation of that agreement.
a federal law
found unendurable, could
This was not a brand-new notion.
This meant nullify that
in 1798, when, under John Adams, the United States had passed repressive laws limiting the freedom
press, the state of
Kentucky had passed resolutions
Those resolutions had also been by the vice-president of the United States — at that Thomas Jefferson. What's more, under Presidents Jefferson and
supporting the notion of nullification. written, anonymously,
OUR FEDERAL UNION
Madison, certain elements in
nullified federal law.
With each decade, however, the notion of nullification was becoming A half-century had passed since independence had been declared, and a third-century had passed since the Federal Union had harder to support.
been established under the Constitution.
Most Americans, by now, had been born and had
They were used
under the Union.
to thinking of themselves as Americans, rather than as
The United States had fought Great Britain to it had gained vast new territories; it was stronger, and more populous daily. The thought of
natives of a particular state.
growing wealthier, breaking
into regions or individual states
and destroying the strength
and wealth that came with the Union was becoming increasingly
Nor would most of the nation accept the theory was merely the product of an agreement between the Constitution, setting forth the reasons for
people of the United States" States" or
"We, the people
that the Constitution
The preamble to began "We, the making up the United
of the states."
Moreover, John Marshall, that hard-bitten Federalist
the seat of the chief justice of the Supreme Court, had firmly declared that the federal government was responsible to the people, and not to the
and that only the Supreme Court, and not the individual states, — and Americans
could decide whether a law was unconstitutional or not
had become accustomed
to considering Marshall's
passing of the old feeling for states, rather than for the Union,
South Carolina to
might sympathize, but they would not join South Carolina
extreme view, and South Carolina remained
Only men of
remember the days before the Constitution but now, during Adams's administration, there were some sixty
and more could
poignant reminders of those old days.
14, 1824, there arrived in
New York a living memorial of that
war. This was none other than the Marquis de Lafayette, who, as a young
man, had fought under Washington and had played a particularly important role at the climactic Battle of Yorktown.* He had been invited •
See The Birth of the United
COLONIES AND TARIFFS
by the United States
39 he had helped found, and here he
to visit the land
was, with his son, to be honored and acclaimed during a year-long tour.
sixty-seven years old
had taken part
and had fought
for liberty all his
French Revolution as an ardent
disciple of freedom,
had been driven out of the nation when the revolution became too extreme to care for freedom, and had returned under Napoleon. He had remained anti-Napoleon and had then fought for his liberal views after Napoleon's fall.
17, 1825, as
Daniel Webster delivered an oration, Lafayette
laid the cornerstone of the
September death on
had led him,
he returned to Europe and
there, for nine
he maintained, unfalteringly, the same views that
as a volunteer, to fight with the
and freedom over half a century before.
sadder mark of the passing of time came on July
had become presidents of the United
They had been
1826, the fiftieth
of the signers,
— John Adams
the century, but in retirement, with
anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
at the turn of
mellowing and passions subsiding,
and had corresponded frequently and warmly
over a period of thirteen years.
had passed It
anniversary of independence approached, John
his ninetieth birthday, Jefferson his eighty-third;
anniversary, but he held on to
live to see the
long enough to acknowledge, after
was the Fourth; then he
John Adams died a few hours still
whether Jefferson would
and both were
later, his last
words being a whispered
That the two signer-presidents should die on the same day and that that day should be the semicentennial of American independence
more remarkable coincidences With the deaths of Adams and
Declaration remained alive
only one signer of the
Carroll of Maryland,
eighty-nine at the time, having been born in Annapolis, Maryland, on
He and two
surviving signers of the Constitution,
Rufus King and James Madison, were still
the only "Founding Fathers"
ANDREW JACKSON THE RETURN MATCH No one doubted of 1824.
that the presidential election of 1828 it
was a continuation of 1824,
would be a replay
for that old battle
never halted. Jackson was firmly resolved to reverse an election he was
convinced had been stolen from him, and the Jacksonian campaign for the presidency 1825,
Quincy Adams's term of
only seven months after Adams's inauguration, the Tennessee
had already nominated Jackson
had resigned from the Senate
for president again
he could concentrate on
to run with him, eventually,
Calhoun had run on Jackson's
ticket as well as Adams's.
The National Republicans, now Adams, of course, and chose Rush,
was Calhoun, who was Adams's
This was not quite an example of betrayal, for in 1824
definitely a separate party,
as their vice-presidential candidate
serving as secretary of the Treasury under Adams.
The gradual democratization
of the voting process
and increased the numbers of those 350,000
voted in 1824, over 1,150,000 were to vote in 1828
expansion of the franchise by some three and a quarter times. The era
hands of the educated and comparatively
This meant politicians had to vie for the votes of the uneducated and
tactics that the
meant that wild
that, in turn,
to involve the kind of dirty
United States has been accustomed to ever
one of the most honest
kinds of corruption
men ever to be in by men who knew
when they made the charges. Another new factor was the appearance
could be used profitably.
to 1828, parties in the United States
kind of party.
had acted on some broadpolitical beliefs
There had always been two of these parties
important and opposite sets of views
they were lying
gauged philosophy cutting across the entire spectrum of
and the National Republicans versus the
at a time,
Unionism of the
states' rights beliefs of
the Democratic-Republicans and the Democrats. In 1826, however, a party
for a while
was based on a
grew with amazing speed.
connection with an organization called the Freemasons
conferred offices on
mysterious but essentially harmless
Freemasonry traces prominent
members, and engaged
to medieval times;
in the British Isles in the early 1700s
to the rest of
Europe and the American
and had spread from there
In 1734, for instance,
Benjamin Franklin became grand master of the Philadelphia Freemasons.
Washington, were Freemasons; there
may have been
dozen among the Founding Fathers.
great flaw in the
the fact that the
Freemason organization was
objection to enhancing their
own importance by
and powers. As a
rejoiced in that clandestinity
their denials, in
and had no all
they were suspected of seditious
view of their insistence on secrecy,
OUR FEDERAL UNION
were not believed. Thus, be behind
Europe, Freemasons were widely believed to
In the United States, there were vague suspicions, too, and these
head through the
County, Virginia, in 1774), a veteran of the Battle of
William Morgan (born in Culpeper
New Orleans who had
He had been
a Freemason but announced that he had broken with the order and was preparing a book settled in Batavia,
York, in 1823.
all its secrets.
12, 1826, he disappeared, and to this day no one knows, what happened to him. Of course, the rumor at once and was widely believed — that the Freemasons had kidnapped
and murdered him. Virtual hysteria followed, especially when the first part of Morgan's book was published a few weeks later and proved to be filled It
with lurid details of the Freemasons' alleged conspiratorial
turned out, as people began to investigate the matter, that most of the
including the governor himself, were
Freemasons. The question arose as to whether there might not be a nation within the nation, a government within the government
Freemasons were not secretly ruling the United States
mysterious and hidden aims.
named Thurlow Weed (born in November 15, 1797) founded an Anti-
Masonic party, which spread from
to neighboring states. It
a party without principles or interests aside from being against Freemasons
against Jackson, since
The Anti-Masonic party was States
of the "third parties" in the United
he too was a Freemason.
was by no means
risen in strength to the point
threatened to lose Jackson the state of
Van Buren had
himself for the post of governor and campaign in the state as hard as he
could in order to hold
Thanks to Van Buren, Jackson did carry
New York, but the election was
very close, 140,000 to 135,000. In the nation as a whole, Jackson carried all
the South and
West and won by a handsome
majority: 650,000 to
500,000 by the popular vote, and 178 to 83 by the electoral vote. The events of 1824 were avenged.
the United States.
as the seventh president of
also controlled Congress,
for the Twenty-first
Congress that opened
was Democratic by 26
sessions in 1829
the Senate and 139 to 74 in the House.
DEMOCRACY EXPANDS Jackson's inauguration Until then, the presidency
marked a strong break in American tradition. had been held by men of the upper classes, bred
in the cultivated tradition of the coastal regions.
In the forty years since
by men from and by men from Massachusetts for eight
the Constitution had been adopted, the office had been held Virginia for thirty-two years years.
Jackson was from Tennessee and had been only sketchily educated. Violent and tough, he was widely
he was as hard and rugged as the believer in the
common man — which meant he had
the educated man.
was born population
known as "Old Hickory," indicating that wood of the hickory tree. He was a great
growth of the voting
in a log cabin; his success (and the
the less well-to-do)
politicians to boast of
education and refinement.
a certain suspicion of
could boast of family, Jackson
virtually obligatory for
any pretensions to
all right in itself
could be rich, as long as they were crude.) In fact, the Jacksonian Democrats' contempt for education was such
Republicans took to
Democratic party with a donkey, and that symbol has remained to
Jackson was the presidents
colorful president of the United States. Before him,
had been inaugurated
invited the public into the
in dignified seclusion; Jackson,
enthusiasm, the shouting, liquor-filled
completely ruined the furnish-
Nor did Jackson stand on
executor of laws passed by Congress.
and serve merely
wanted and unhesitatingly vetoed laws he didn't
president to be the kind of powerful and active leader
as the grave for laws
he was the
we have grown
OUR FEDERAL UNION
He knew he had
to these days.
the people with him, and he back him against Congress and even against the Supreme
The gradual growth
in the character of the
ways. Radical notions
most successful show
also being manifested in other
American current of
For instance, a "Workingmen's party" was founded
by unemployed laborers phia the year before. anything, but
in publicizing certain
didn't last long first
and the abolition of imprisonment ridiculous at the time,
and didn't accomplish
attempt to organize labor.
— such as free public schools debt — which, though considered
would eventually be accepted.
too, the notion of the abolition of slavery
American notions of
attempt in Philadel-
in 1829, following a similar
and the extension of
Prior to the 1830s, the
was scarcely known, and
believed in ending slavery were gentle philosophers and
Quakers content to reason peaceably. Benjamin Lundy
organized the Union
1789) was such a man; he had
Society in 1815 and published an antislavery
newspaper advocating gradual emancipation of Blacks and
their return to
he met William Lloyd Garrison (born
Massachusetts, on December Garrison, however, tion but
12, 1805) and converted him to the cause. the way. He did not want gradual emancipa-
become free Americans equal in word "abolitionism" came into
respects to Whites.
and with him
impatient, extreme, and violent language which
With him, the it
hard for the cause
to gain converts.
1831, Garrison founded The Liberator, which, for the
was financed by
exceeded three thousand, The Liberator became the foremost organ of the Abolitionist
in the country.
opposed not only
war, Freemasonry, imprisonment for debt, and the use of alcohol and tobacco.
Garrison denounced churches as being organs of the Establish-
ment; he was even for the equality of sexes (while most
men who wanted
were completely against any attempt
to free the Blacks
women). Nor were he
in the free states.
that the slave states hated
and other Abolitionists particularly popular
there were particularly upset about slavery elsewhere, and hardly any of
them believed (or
in giving Blacks equality
radical — for
Garrison was a disturbing
long as there were no slaves
Blacks) in their neighborhood, that
the causes he so
(On October 21, 1835, Garrison was nearly lynched by a Boston mob; he had to be jailed and temporarily escorted out of the city in order to keep him alive.)
loudly supported, not antislavery alone.
There were new ideas Sharon, Vermont,
in religion, too.
Thus, Joseph Smith (born in
spent his youth in western
York, claimed to have seen visions there.
September 22, 1827, near Palmyra,
maintained that on
he had found golden plates
inscribed in Egyptian characters, which he translated with divine help.
was the "Book of Mormon" (published
purported to give the history of a group of Jews Jerusalem is
who escaped from
Nebuchadnezzar and eventually arrived
the United States.
up a group of believers — popularly, but inaccurately, called "Mormons" — who formed the nucleus of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Coming into existence on April 6, 1830, Mormonism was the first important religious movement to Subscribing to this account there grew
be completely American
Another aspect of the new democracy came about with Jackson's belief in the
to Jackson a matter of
could do the job, so
go to a friend rather than to an
enemy? Until Jackson's inauguration, presidents had, principle of allowing
to stay in their
they displayed incompetence.
Adams, there had been a had served
government jobs unless and
But then, from Jefferson
series of four presidents, the last three of
in the cabinets of their predecessors.
one president could
The men who had served
easily serve the next.
Now came Jackson, however, who was a bitter enemy of his predecessor and wanted nothing
do with the henchmen of the former regime.
OUR FEDERAL UNION
not kick them out, without regard to competence and experience, and
the posts with faithful Jacksonians?
This was done, and the process was given a
Learned Marcy (born
1786), a lawyer based in Troy,
Van Buren. In January 24, accusations
a loyal ally of Martin
delivered a speech defending
by Henry Clay. Speaking of
spoils." Spoils refers to the
by William on December 12,
1831, he entered the Senate for a brief stay and there, on
method of rewarding the men of their own ments, Marcy said, "They see nothing wrong belong the
in Southbridge, Massachusetts,
side with political appointin the rule that to the victor
armor and other equipment of a
which, by long usage, belongs to the soldier
of looking at public office as booty rather than as responsibility
has therefore been called the "spoils system" ever since.
Jackson actually used this system only moderately, but he established the precedent. For half a century afterward, the spoils system ran
with which government work was done,
incalculable loss. Furthermore, officials
lowering the quality of office-holders and the
highly placed government
with the task of apportioning the "spoils," which subjected them
from minor politicians and office-seekers and needlessly consumed their time. And, of course, everyone who was turned down became an enemy, and not everyone who was accepted became a friend. Under Jackson, despite all this, the United States was still waxing to endless requests
12,866,020, roughly equal to that of Great Britain at the time. States
had caught up at last and would no doubt forge ahead. it would do so was certain not only because of its vast territory but
new methods were being devised
to penetrate those territories. In
the early 1800s, the steam engine had been used to turn the wheels of a vehicle which could be
removing the device
to travel along
the "steam locomotive"
pull along a train of cars
Thus was born
the "railroad train."
Great Britain had led in the development of the locomotive, but the United States was not
In 1825, one John Stevens built the
locomotive in the United States to run on his
— on a half-mile track near
In 1827, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was chartered. 1828,
began building the
and the ground was broken by Charles
surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence
thirteen miles of track
States entered the railroad age.
passenger and freight railroad in the Carroll, the last
were opened and the United
Within ten years,
miles of railroad track
numbered twenty-eight hundred, within thirty years thirty thousand. The railroad would open the interior far beyond the capacity of the rivers and canals to do so and would make of the vastness of the United States a matter not of
weakness but of strength.
''our federal union The
the best of Jackson's election. His politics were
uncertain, but he opposed the Northeast industrialists, he state (as
had been four of the
was from a
presidents preceding him), and he
On the whole, his election was enough to make the extreme states'-righters of
South Carolina take the offensive. The "South Carolina Exposition
and Protest" against the
ately after Jackson's election.
Abominations came out almost immediStephen D. Miller, governor of South
announced boldly that slavery was not a national
on the contrary, a national
But what South Carolina needed was support from the other
effort to gather the states of the
slave or free)
— that the growing West might eventually drown
the states of the Northeast, where the fought, a disregarded minority.
South and West (whether
leadership and to isolate the Northeast.
One chance came when uneasiness
independence had this fear in
1829, Senator Samuel A. Foot of Connecticut suggested that
the sale of western lands be restricted in order to cut
down on westward
Senator Benton of Missouri, opposed to any possibility of western
OUR FEDERAL UNION
growth being held back, charged, on January
18, 1830, that the
was conspiring against the West. Joyfully there arose to
back him Senator Robert Young Hayne of South
Carolina (born in Colleton District, South Carolina, on
he supported Benton's stand, pushing
and West against the Northeast. In doing
into a strong statement for states' rights
and against a
spoke eloquently in words written for him by the
greatest states'-righter of
At once, Daniel Webster of Massachusetts met the challenge, and there followed the "Hayne- Webster debate," the greatest display of oratory the nation had ever seen. Webster, beyond dispute the greatest orator in the
had moved from Calhoun was moving in the opposite
Unionism, just as
Webster denied that the Northeast was
West and, because
hostile to the
he was on shaky ground here, welcomed the chance to follow Hayne's lead
and take up the matter of Unionism versus several speeches
on the fundamental questions: whether the Constitution
was created by the
by the people; whether or not
agreement that could be ended
freedom could best be served by the Union, or whether a its
might not be
justified in leaving the
days before phonographs, radios, television it
state in search of
On January 26 and 27, 1830, Webster delivered by common consent, was considered his greatest. how
a two-day speech that, (Alas, this
— we have no way of knowing
sounded, except through the admiring reports of those
Uncompromisingly, Webster proclaimed the Federal Union to be
superior to the states and responsible only to the people.
the Union alone could ensure liberty and prosperity, that in disunion lay
There was no way of
He hoped he would
never see the day
the Union should
— and here are the last long sentences of his speech: When my heaven,
eyes shall be turned to behold for the
time the sun in
not see him shining on the broken and dishonored
fragments of a once glorious Union; on states dissevered, discordant, belligerent;
on a land rent with
feuds or drenched,
49 Let their
and lingering glance rather
behold the gorgeous ensign of the repubhc, throughout the earth,
streaming in their original single
arms and trophies
no such miserable
worth?" nor those other words of
and Union afterwards"; but every-
over in characters of living
not a stripe erased or polluted, nor a
now known and honored
wind under the whole heavens, that other sentiment, dear true
over the sea and over the land, and in every
American heart — Liberty and Union, now and
The speech had a profound ringing all,
in the nation
and has gone
but South Carolina remained unaffected. After
Webster was an enemy senator from the hated Northeast;
could be ignored.
counted was President Jackson.
Hayne arranged with Benton
for a Jefferson
dinner to be held on
April 13, 1830, the eighty-seventh anniversary of Jefferson's birth. to serve as a demonstration of the
was invited and attended, and
was expected that on
would place himself on the
side of states'
West and rights
and behind South
Carolina, isolating the Northeast into powerlessness.
Twenty-four toasts were offered, most of them hailing
swimming emotion, while Jackson
sat silently waiting.
planned what he would say when his turn came.
Finally, eyes turned to him.
United States extent of his
rose, lifted his glass,
must be preserved!"
must be preserved, there was no one
could have the slightest doubt that he would use the
to see that
was. Jackson always meant what he said,
and there could be no doubt, now, that he was a Unionist. It
was a matter of principle with Jackson, to be sure, but there was When he gave his toast, he stared hard at
another factor involved.
be the very fount of
Calhoun, flustered and disheartened, tried to neutralize the effect of Jackson's toast
honoring the Union, but in far
less absolute terms.
OUR FEDERAL UNION
He said: "Our Union, next to our liberty, most dear. May we always remember that it can only be preserved by distributing the benefits and burdens of the Union."
But Jackson's grim glare neither wavered nor softened. The two
the breaking point, and with Jackson's well-developed
capacity for hatred, there was no chance of his supporting any doctrine of Calhoun's.
trouble between Jackson and Calhoun
had begun over a more
Jackson, with his passion for the his cabinet
Buren, having run for governor of
Jackson and having been
except for Martin
Van Buren. (Van
in order to hold the state for
elected, quickly resigned in order to serve as
secretary of state, a post that
common man, had succeeded
at that time
looked upon as the
to the presidency.)
For secretary of war, however, Jackson chose a personal friend of long standing but small distinction, a wealthy Tennessee senator, John Henry in Halifax, North Carolina, June 18, 1790). His wife had been ward of Jackson's but she was dead now, and the widower's gaze fell upon the ripe charms of thirty-two-year-old Margaret ("Peggy") O'Neale. She was the daughter of an innkeeper and her first husband had died in
Eaton (born a
clung to Peggy O'Neale; to respectable
wench" was bound to represent a person of low morals. It was suggested that she was Eaton's mistress, and some said that her husband had cut his throat in despair over his wife's infidelity.
Jackson believed none of naive) gentleman
however. Not only was he a gallant (and
always liked to believe in the shining purity of
women, but he had gone through a similar heart-breaking experience with his own wife. He had been her second husband, and some question had arisen as to the legality of her divorce
and whether she were not
had been a fault with the divorce, it was were to blame; nevertheless, the vilification inseparable from a dirty presidential campaign had led, Jackson felt, to her death out of shame and heartbreak. Jackson was sure that the slurs cast on Peggy O'Neale were cast by the
with Jackson in
clear that neither Jackson nor his wife
who had hounded his own wife, and he defended the former same vigor with which he had upheld the latter. He urged Eaton
sort of villains
ANDREW JACKSON to
The marriage took place on January
1829, and then
Eaton was made secretary of war.
became a question
of Mrs. Eaton's social acceptability.
Jackson might pronounce her pure and chaste from the height of the presidential chair, but not even Jackson at his
the aristocratic bility, to
fire-eating could force
v ves of his cabinet members, walled in by superrespecta;
to a tavern
Floride Calhoun, the wife of the vice-president,
would have nothing
do with Mrs. Eaton, and the other cabinet wives followed that Jackson
was no man
but the nervous
administration could do nothing with their wives.
Only Van Buren could play up
barmaid wife /mistress of the
secretary of war, and he could do so because he was a widower and
therefore didn't have to deal with a wife's sensitivities.
Magician dutifully bowed and scraped to Mrs. Eaton, and Jackson saw and appreciated his courtesy.
But Calhoun wasn't
from favor only because he couldn't
persuade his wife to do the reasonable thing. At just about the time that Jackson was withering his vice-president with his glance and demanding that the Federal
Union be preserved, he was
time, that a decade before,
also finding out, for the first
the future president had been whirling
had been Calhoun who had
called for Jackson's
court-martial. (Jackson learned this through the deliberate talebearing of
William Crawford, one of the candidates of 1824,
passed the story on
out of enmity to Calhoun.)
Jackson had always thought that Calhoun had supported him and that
was John Quincy Adams who had moved for court-martial. The discovery that he had been mistaken, that it was the other way around, and that, out of ignorance,
an explanation from Calhoun, and Calhoun
which beat around the bush and did not fooling the president. All relations between the two men were
sponded with a long broken
with his enemy drove Jackson almost
Jackson was popular enough in the country
generally to be able to swing the succession to the presidency through his
support of one candidate or another able to do.
— as Jefferson and Madison had been
clear that this support
under any circumstances, go to Calhoun.
would now never, never, never,
OUR FEDERAL UNION
and with the
loss of all possible
presidency, any lingering affection he might have expired.
this point on,
Van Buren, he
cabinet, over the Mrs.
he was a South Carolinian through and
through and his only interests were those of his for
offered to ease the intolerable situation in the
Jackson didn't want to
Van Buren, but the latter explained that if he resigned, Eaton could easily be made to follow and Jackson could then reorganize the cabinet and make a fresh start. Jackson, again grateful for Van Buren's shrewd guidance, carried this plan through and, in the spring of 1831, supplied himself with a new cabinet, retaining only the postmaster general. He sent Van Buren and lose
as ministers, the former to
Great Britain and the
some months, Van Buren's nomination was finally voted on by the Senate. The vote was a tie and it fell to Vice-President Calhoun to cast the deciding vote on January 25, 1832. Calhoun had nothing to lose so he struck out at the presidential favorite by voting in the negative. Van Buren lost the ministry, but it didn't matter, for Jackson had other and better gifts After
at his disposal.
THE FRENCH AND THE INDIANS It is
fortunate that while Jackson
was president, there was profound
peace abroad and virtually no problems in foreign relations rose to trouble his hasty temperament and firm resolution, any foreign would have escalated quickly into serious trouble. There was, for instance, the case of American claims against France for damage done to American property during the Napoleonic wars. Other nations had claimed damage and France had paid them all — all except the
clear that France felt that the
young republic across
the sea could be safely ignored.
Jackson was not the
to bear such treatment patiently;
press for a settlement with increasing harshness.
July 4, 1831, France
ANDREW JACKSON finally
agreed to pay twenty-five million francs in
but only provided her legislature approved the settlement.
legislature refused to
and the French government
the United States they were very sorry but they could do nothing. Jackson at
once placed the navy on a war footing and called for strong measures,
including reprisals against French property in the United States.
Thereupon the French broke if Jackson
humiliation by the
— and, for a while,
more obvious humiliation
to vote the
remarks he had made, thus covering
man — Jackson merely
France had the wrong
of the American.
France's considerable discomfort) as
though there would be war. Fortunately, Great Britain offered to mediate. France paid her claims,
Jackson forced himself to growl out some sourly gracious remarks, and by the spring of 1836,
In Jackson's administration, the long martyrdom of the Indians reached a
By now, for the
the Indians remaining in the various states of the
part, helpless before the organized
White Man. They could no longer
they could only appeal to
gold was discovered in Georgia on land which had been assigned
Indians were torn
both before and
as callously as
The Indians sued and the
went to the Supreme Court. Eventually, old John Marshall decided that it was the federal government that ruled over Indian territories and that Georgia's laws against the Cherokees were unconstitutional. Georgia defied the judgment and Jackson refused to do anything about it.
That old Indian-fighter was not
in office to
uphold the Red
the preceding age were passing away.
July 4, 1831, the fifty-fifth anniversary of the nation's birth, James Monroe,
human links to
president of the United States, died.
president to die on Independence Day. general,
Charles Carroll, the
(born in Hanover County, Virginia, on August 14,
1832, having nearly reached his ninety-eighth birthday.
last surviving signer of
14, 1832, at the
the Declaration of Independence,
age of ninety-five. Finally, on June 28,
1836, at the age of eighty-five, James Madison,
president of the United States, and
died just one
the third (and
who had been
the last of the Founding Fathers,
the sixtieth anniversary of the nation's birth.
OUR FEDERAL UNION
White Man. He is reported to have now let him enforce it!"
said, "J onn
Indeed, what Jackson pushed for was the gradual and complete transfer of
Indians to lands west of the Mississippi.
This was accomplished,
gradually, but not entirely peacefully.
There was, on the
for instance, the case of Black Illinois side of
had no love
had fought on the
west of the Mississippi. Black result of
British side during the
Americans who had steadily hounded
and back. In 1831, the been the
Hawk, the head of a tribe that Black Hawk, born in
the Mississippi River.
he brought a thousand of
of 1812 and
maintained that the agreement had
and when famine struck west of the
his tribe, including
the old Illinois grounds in the hope that they might be allowed to remain there.
converted the matter into what
of Illinois called out the state troops and is
called the Black
the Indians were pursued and massacred without
volunteered for service and led a company of
saw neither Indians nor action) was a young storekeeper
named Abraham Lincoln
(born in a cabin near what would
Hodgenville, Kentucky, on February 12, 1809).
captured he was placed in the charge of a recent West Point graduate, Lieutenant Jefferson Davis (born in what
Fairview, Kentucky, on
The one place in the East where the Indians could still fight was in which was not yet a state. The Seminoles of that state were ordered evacuated but many refused to go. They had fought General Andrew Jackson in 1818 and were ready to fight President Andrew Jackson now. In November 1835, under the leadership of Osceola (born near the Tallapoosa River, Georgia, about 1800), they took up arms, and the Second Florida,
Seminoles, with the Everglades as their sanctuary, held off the
American army throughout Jackson's presidency. Osceola was taken •
Lincoln and Davis, both involved in
puny, inglorious "war," had careers
were destined to intertwine far more fatefully a quarter-century later. The two were born about thirty miles apart in space and nine months apart in time. This is another of the more peculiar coincidences of American history. that
October 1837, when the American army treacherously violated a
truce, but the Seminoles continued to fight until very nearly their last
14, 1843, the
announced the end of the
war, and the peace of near-extermination rested over Florida. There was
no formal peace
however, and to
this day, the
might be considered,
the United States.
The whole twenty million
some was the most expensive Indian War the United
thing cost the Americans fifteen hundred lives and dollars.
States ever fought.
THE BANK AND REELECTION But France and the Indians were
Other matters concerned
Jackson far more. One, for instance, was his war with Calhoun
merely personal matters such as Calhoun's
— not over
call for court-martial in
Mrs. Calhoun's snubbing of the fair Peggy Eaton, but over the matter of
Unionism versus After
the Tariff of Abominations of 1828 was driving South Carolina Its faltering
economy could be blamed on too
on cotton farming and an
inefficient slave-labor system,
South Carolinians saw the situation that way. The state preferred to blame all
nullification of the tariff
Jackson could not allow nullification.
but he law.
was not up
Only Congress could remove the would be more acceptable
did not like the
to the individual states to tariff.
or any federal
So Jackson openly declared
the Tariff of 1828 to be constitutional, then set to that
to the slave states,
best he could do in this direction
to South Carolina in
Tariff of 1832.
This act reduced some of the more offensively high rates of 1828 but was still
It utterly failed to satisfy
and the specters of
over the nation.
the nullifiers of South
and chaos continued
OUR FEDERAL UNION
and a new presidential election approached, a new problem
came to the fore. This was the Bank of the United States. Under Nicholas Biddle, the bank was well and efficiently run; it kept the American economy on an even keel. Nevertheless, it always acted in the interests of the conservative tight
businessmen of the Northeast.
for the rich
was widespread resentment West and South.
for the poor.
Senator Benton of Missouri, a longtime bank foe, launched a strong attack on the
speech delivered in February 1831, and
he had the backing of President Jackson. Biddle might have ignored the matter. bank's charter would not arrive
renewal of the
Much might happen
Biddle was not sure he dared, however.
would be no chance
five years to consolidate his position, there
renewing the charter. Might
now, quickly, catching the Jacksonians by
not be best to act
and push through the
renewal before the opposition knew what was happening? Biddle consulted Clay, the wily politician
led the opposition to
Clay knew the temper of Congress and he was
conscious of the forthcoming election.
to recharter the
by March 1832
told Biddle to go ahead.
bank was therefore introduced
had passed both houses, thanks to the open support of
Clay and Webster, and the conviction, but in order to
open support of Calhoun
(not out of
Now the bill came to Jackson for signature, placed the president in a dilemma.
and by Clay's reasoning, that he signed the bill, the bank was
secure and the forces of anti-Jacksonism would be strengthened.
he could be accused of
forthcoming election and the people, afraid of monetary chaos, would vote against him.
Either way, Clay reasoned, Jackson would be weakened.
But while Clay relied on reason, Jackson, as always, appealed to emotion.
vetoed the all
with a vigorous message that catered
the prejudices of the South and
Though Clay did not
he had not yet come to
was Jackson who had the better of the
In the election that
in the field.
was coming up, however, neither Jackson nor Clay party, which had made its mark in
to the point
was now a
decided to put forth a candidate for the presidency.
The anti-Masonry that had served as its excuse had become muted, and other viewpoints had been added. It was nationalist and wanted internal improvements, and, by and large, it was antislavery and antialcohol. Numerous newspapers expressing the Anti-Mason point of view had been founded; the party had influenced and won local elections; why not a national effort then?
Since the Anti-Masons had no congressional representation to speak of
and controlled none of the
methods of nominating a presidential candidate or legislative vote).
The Anti-Masons were
could not adopt the older (the congressional caucus
therefore forced to call a
conference of active members of the party from
over the nation to
decide upon a candidate.
September 26, 1831,
in Baltimore in a "national convention,"
The Anti-Masons had
enduring contribution to American
from that time on,
nominations for the presidency have been carried through by such national conventions.
Henry Clay, since, on the come to be close to those of
of the Anti-Masons wished to nominate
whole, the views of the Anti-Mason party had the National Republicans.
however, would have buried
the Anti-Mason party; they decided to run an independent candidate. choice,
Bladensburg, Maryland, on
and capable attorney general
Amos Ellmaker vice-president.
on William Wirt of Virginia (born 8, 1772),
for twelve years
Pennsylvania (born in
who had been an
under Monroe and Adams. 1787)
Another innovation made by the Anti-Masons was to adopt
a political platform, outlining party principles. This, too,
feature of presidential campaigns.
The National Republicans, adopting the convention notion, also met in They might have gone along with Wirt and united the
anti-Jackson forces, but they could not
nominated Clay, who now prepared
their leader, so they
second try at the presidency.
OUR FEDERAL UNION
For vice-president, they chose John Sergeant of Pennsylvania (born
1779), the surviving
of the ill-fated delegation sent to the
Congress by Adams.
for the Democrats, they
For vice-president, they
followed Jackson's orders and, with somewhat less enthusiasm, nominated
Martin Van Buren. Here was the in the
installment of his reward for loyalty
Calhoun's deliberate attempt to destroy
by voting him out
of his post as minister to Great Britain four
The Democratic Convention adopted a
whereby no one
could be nominated for president without the affirmation of two-thirds of
produce nominees who would
be strong favorites of the party; nevertheless,
was a source of endless
troubles for the Democratic party over the course of the next century.
convinced that the bank veto was a
that the great issue of the campaign. Jackson
right in his estimate of popular feeling.
was the Anti-Mason
met him head-on, and
who hurt the
more than they did the Democrats, by siphoning away many votes which might otherwise have gone to Clay. The result was a Jackson victory. Jackson had 687,502 votes to Clay's 530,189. The votes for Wirt, though few in comparison, cost Clay several states, so that in the electoral college, the vote was 219 for Jackson against only 49 for Clay. The Anti-Mason party managed to carry one state, Vermont, and obtained 7 electoral votes. What's more, the South Carolina far
legislature (which did the voting for the state) cast
11 votes for John
Floyd of Virginia. Jackson retained hold of the House of Representatives by the same majority,
term; but the National Republican minority withered, since no less than fifty-three seats
were taken by people
calling themselves Anti-Masons.
other third party has ever done as well in Congress.) In the Senate, the
Democrats and National Republicans had twenty
meant the end of the
short-lived National Republican
which had twice been beaten by Jackson. Jackson's victory alarmed conservatives throughout the land; they now saw that it was foolish to
divide themselves into separate parties. In 1834, a
was formed combining both the National Republicans and the Anti-Masons. (The Anti-Masons at once disappeared, only two short years after their meteoric rise to national importance.)
A new name
for the party
meaningless (so that the party need not be committed to anything other
than anti-Jacksonism). The
of one of the
name chosen was "Whig," which was also the The other British party
parties in Great Britain.
well-hated in the United States since
given to the pro-British loyalists in revolutionary days.
American Whigs hoped that Jackson's party would be splattered with that label.
For a quarter-century
after Jackson's reelection,
struggle in the United States lay
then, the political
between the Democrats, who leaned
and the Whigs, who leaned toward Unionism.
NULLIFICATION South Carolina's refusal to cast
ominous sign that
electoral votes for Jackson
Neither the furor over the
bank nor the presidential campaign turned South Carolina's attention
away from the
nullification dispute It
was approaching the
the South Carolinians;
Indeed, even as the campaign was proceeding, the
matter of the
was eating away
in the slave states felt certain that the Abolitionists in the free states
were deliberately encouraging
very lives of Whites in the slave
and were endangering the
That the danger of slave rebellions was
be proven by an
incident in Virginia.
There a Black slave named Nat Turner (born
Virginia, in 1800),
be divinely guided, decided
feeling of being part of a hostile nation.
to lead his people out of slavery.
he and seven followers broke into the house of Turner's master
killed him, along with five other
of the family.
OUR FEDERAL UNION
By the next
band had grown to fifty-three, and in the more Whites were killed. By that time, though, armed Whites had gathered and dispersed the band. These Whites day, Turner's
course of that day
proceeded to hunt down suspect Blacks,
killing about a hundred (mostly Nat Turner was taken on October 30 and, along with sixteen hanged on November 11.
Although no Abolitionist had had anything to do with although
on the slave
causing him to look upon his
frightened every slave-master,
slaves with suspicion
and to detest the
were unsettling those
measures against slaves were tightened, and the
to protect their masters in the course of
that brief day of horror, the "Turner Insurrection," as
issue in the slave states vanished.
not surprising, then, that South Carolina should feel
had the power
to decide for itself
could not be
borders. Calhoun continued his active and able support of
governor of the
nullification, as did the
Charleston, South Carolina, on
James Hamilton (born
In October 1832, state
elections in South Carolina utterly crushed Unionist sentiment in the state
Hayne-Webster debate) was elected Hamilton's
as the election
legislature for the
Hamilton called a special session of the
purpose of considering
meeting on October 22, Columbia, the state
in turn called for a state convention,
At that convention, an ordinance was passed declaring the 1828 and 1832 to
be unconstitutional and
boundaries of South Carolina.
government to use force to
them within the
forbade any collection of duties after
1833, forbade anyone to carry the question to the
and stated that
any attempt were made by the federal collect those duties, South Carolina
secede from the Union altogether.
Even while the push for had been coming to a head in October, Jackson had placed the Charleston Harbor under war footing. Over the army forces in
Jackson reacted with characteristic vigor. nullification forts in
South Carolina he put Major General Winfield Scott (born near Peters-
burg, Virginia, on June 13, 1786),
who had done
and was America's most capable
On December right of
well in the
Jackson issued a forceful proclamation denying the
state to nullify laws or to leave the Union.
his post as
and would be treated
secession were, in Jackson's eyes, treason
governor on December 13, did not flinch but
maintained the Nullification Ordinance in the face of Jackson's proclama-
South Carolina began to raise troops of
placed under ex-governor Hamilton,
And on December
28, Calhoun, with only
dency remaining, resigned rightly felt
own, and these were
fought in the
in order to take over
he could do more
Hayne's Senate post.
for South Carolina's cause as
senator than as vice-president. (This
of his vice-presi-
the only example in the history of
the United States of a president or vice-president resigning his office under
South Carolina was also doing join
in its stand,
best to persuade other slave states to
There was considerable sympathy
the embattled state but a definite disinclination to take action on
South Carolina's isolation strengthened Jackson's position,
January 16, 1833, Jackson asked Congress to pass what came to be called
empower him to collect tariff duties at bayonet point, if necessary. The bill was passed by Congress and was signed by Jackson, becoming law on March 2, 1833, two days before the "Force Bill," which would
Jackson's second inauguration.
no question but that with that law giving him the power,
Jackson would have sent an army into South Carolina if
necessary. Jackson backing
at the brink of civil war.
But no one wanted a
war, really, and even while Jackson was
imperiously pushing through the Force busily.
these, the chief
Clay was perfectly willing to allow the Force principle might
be established that a
compromisers were working
himself, the Great
pass in order that the
cannot take the law into
hands. At the same time, he urged that the
See The Birth of the United
be lowered, so that South
Carolina might have a chance to back out gracefully. •
OUR FEDERAL UNION This was done.
pushed through, which
included a provision for further lowering of duties over a ten-year period.
On the same day that Jackson signed the tariff,
so that South Carolina
also signed the
same time presented with the
South Carolina decided to accept the carrot. Grudgingly, the operation of to
pay customs duties
Ordinance on March
Thus there was no need
to use force.
other hand, South Carolina saved face, three days later, by "nullifying" the
was over and both
had shown themselves ready Carolina had dropped
sides could claim victory.
to use force
and could point out that South
South Carolina had shown
her resolution and could point out that the federal government had
who were supreme — had
again in another and far
was the Union or the individual
not been settled. That was to
serious crisis a quarter-century later.
Jackson was delighted to be able to place the nullification crisis behind him and turned to face the real battle — the one against the bank. He had been antibank to begin with, and Nicholas Biddle's maneuverings with Clay to defeat Jackson in 1832 to destroy the
bank even before
charter expired in 1836.
Much of the bank's stability rested in the fact that the government kept own reserves deposited there; the bank could use this money to control
the national economy. Jackson determined to remove those government deposits
and place them
in various state banks,
more responsive to the needs of the people. He was supported in this move, and even urged on to it, by his capable states'-righter attorney general, Roger Brooke Taney (born in Calvert County, Maryland, on March 17, 1777). Taney (who was, incidentally, married to the sister of Francis Scott Key, the writer of "The Star-Spangled Banner") had been a Federalist till he split with the party to support
became a Jacksonian and, like Calhoun, moved toward the states' rights position. He had supported Jackson's veto of the renewal of the bank charter and had written much of the veto the
1812. In the 1820s, he
message. Jackson's secretary of the Treasury, Louis
(born in Smyrna,
ANDREW JACKSON Delaware, on
1786), felt the removal of the deposits to
economically unwise and refused to authorize the measure.
McLane to the post of secretary of state and got himself a new secretary of the Treasury in the person of William John Duane (born in Ireland on May 9, 1780). Duane considered the matter and also refused therefore switched
Jackson, in a fury, fired
Duane and on September
himself secretary of the Treasury.
removed the deposits and placed them banks, thus effectively killing the
was a howling
in twenty-three different state
of the United States.
with the Senate, which demanded a look
communications that had passed between the president and
cabinet in the course of his long struggle to
secretaries to his will.
Jackson refused on the ground that the legislature had no power over the executive
where only lawful dealings within the various executive
departments were concerned.
The Senate had
back down but, on March 28, 1834, censured the
President and refused to confirm the appointment of
Treasury Department. (Senator Benton
maneuvered the removal of
the censure from the Senate journal on January 16, 1837, as Jackson's term of office
They had long been enemies, ever since Benton had now became friends again. This was
nearly killed Jackson in a duel, but
one of the few times that Jackson ever forgave a personal enemy.) Like Senate,
Van Buren two
years before, Taney, forced into retirement
bounced the higher
for this reversal.
Jackson did not forget his
July 6, 1835, John Marshall died in Philadelphia, just short of his
served as chief justice for thirty-four years (a
record never since surpassed) and had helped it
make the United
was by his uncompromisingly Federalist decisions. On March 15, 1836, Jackson appointed Taney to take Marshall's
In the course of his presidency, Jackson had, in fact, appointed five
Supreme Court that
and had put an end
had marked the Court's
Court tended to favor in the
stormy years ahead.
to the Federalist domination
The Jacksonian Supreme
— a bent which would prove important
UNEASY BORDERS THE ABOLITIONISTS Although the
laid to rest
had passed, there was by no means peace among the no
argument among the
In fact, with
quite plain that the great point of
the free states, with Garrison leading
rise of abolitionist feeling in
the way, was offices
resistance in the slave states. Post to
Abolitionists themselves entered the slave states at the risk of their lives.
government sided against the
posed a law that would prevent the circulation of antislavery material through the mails. states'-righters
wanted such control
Congress because the
hands of the individual
mind someday; the
slave states, never.
received numerous petitions from Abolitionist groups;
these were usually referred to
some inconspicuous committee and
1836, however, the slave-state senators and congressmen were so
annoyed by the constant flow of denunciations of slavery and so
future slave insurrections like that of Nat Turner that they insisted on
arranging some automatic device to prevent any petition from finding
by accident. In the Senate, a system was established whereby the petitions, when received, were automatically rejected. In the House, beginning on May the floor
were not even received but were refused
26, 1836, the petitions
with in a "gag rule" that was renewed year after year.
by John Quincy Adams had returned to public life in November 1830 as a congressman, to which post he was reelected every other year till his death. (As a congressman he was more effective and far happier than he had ever been as President.) firmest resistance to this gag rule
Adams was no
from the presidency
that the First
the Constitution allowed citizens the right to petition. Those petitions had to
be considered before
deny them even the most cursory
to violate the First
Amendment. The gag
In session after session,
Each time he was declared out of order as soon the petition was discerned, and each time he protested so another.
earn for himself the sobriquet "Old
Adams was gag
in his statements until a Black,
which then, without
in his antislavery stance
hostility involved Elijah
Presbyterian minister. Lovejoy had published a religious newspaper in Louis, in the slave state of Missouri.
example of the growing
states, so slave-state intransigence
strengthened the abolitionist cause in the free
an end to the
ever-hardening resistance in the slave
effectively as to
however, the antislavery petitions received
publicity through Adams's actions than they
as the nature of
to lead this fight for eight years, finally forcing
been calmly received and rejected It
disliked slavery but
had been mild
accused of murder, was caught by a
lynched him. Lovejoy had then become firmer
and threats had forced him
to cross the river into
OUR FEDERAL UNION There, in a free
he adopted a stronger
Abolitionists weren't exactly popular in the free states, either.
His presses were destroyed several times and, on Lovejoy's office was attacked by a
mob and he
in the slave states rejoiced at the
had a martyr and
himself was killed.
news, but the Abolitionists
was strengthened. While the struggle for men's minds continued, there remained the question of political strength. Since the Missouri Compromise of 1820, their cause
sixteen years passed without a single
being admitted to the
Union, so that the count of states remained twelve slave and twelve
twenty-fifth state, and, state.
Half a year
The count was
by the terms
of the Missouri
Compromise, a slave
on January 26, 1837, Michigan, far north of the entered the Union as the twenty-sixth state, and free. later,
however, Arkansas entered the Union as the
— all even again.
territory south of the Missouri
for the formation of slave states
what now makes up the states of Florida and Oklahoma. The slave-staters, however, were not unduly concerned. They were looking to
beyond the borders of the United
States for future recruitments to their
of Louisiana, for instance,
Americans considered to be
Louisiana Purchase of 1803. Florida, the United States
was the province of Texas, which many American
territory according to the
In 1819, at the time of the purchase of
had formally relinquished
claims to Texas,
population since then had grown and was almost entirely American.
then, that the decision of 1819 need be considered
The first American involved in Texan history was Moses Austin (born in Durham, Connecticut, on October 4, 1761). He had lost a fortune in the panic of 1819 and thought he might recoup farther west.
1821, while Mexico
hands of Spain, Austin
obtained a charter from the Spanish government permitting him to bring three hundred American families into Texas.
Moses Austin died on June Stephen Fuller Austin (born
carried on the project.
Mexico was gaining
and the younger Austin traveled to Mexico City
in Austinville, Virginia,
but his son,
to reaffirm the charter.
then brought in the American families and settled them on the lower
reaches of the Brazos River, about a hundred miles southwest of what was
then the American border.
Texas was practically empty, and the different factions trying to
establish rule over the
in the far
to settle there.
compared with only
were twenty thousand Americans thousand
were Catholics and then
were from slave
their slaves with them.
1831 and demanded there be no slavery in Texas.
Most of the American
and had brought
(Great Britain, which finally abolished slavery in 28, 1833, supported
built Protestant churches.
There were two thousand Black slaves
had abolished slavery
the Americans entering
real trouble, though, arose over slavery.
immigrants were supposed to be Catholics said they
north of the country and willing to allow immigrants
her colonies on August
Mexico that the United States hankered
Jackson had offered to buy the territory for
Mexican pride came
immigration of Americans into Texas
Mexico forbade any further
garrison the province. Matters grew worse when an adventurer, Antonio
Lopez de Santa Anna, who strongly opposed the Texans, seized control of the Mexican government.
not want trouble.
They asked only
themselves and to be allowed to keep their slaves.
Mexico City to explain thrown
in jail for his pains
and kept there
Austin traveled to
for eight months.
By the time Austin was released and allowed to return to Texas, there was no longer any chance of a peaceful settlement. Americans were now flooding into Texas, calling themselves Texans and clamoring for a fight and
UNITED UNORGANIZED TERRITORY ARKANSAS
GULF OF MEXICO
Texas in Rebellion
new immigrants was Samuel ("Sam") Houston (born in 2, 1793). He had served with
Rockbridge County, Virginia, on March
Andrew Jackson thereafter
against the southern Indians during the
consistently sided with
of 1812 but exploitation.
served in Congress and, from 1827 to 1829, had been governor of
UNEASY BORDERS In
forty- third birthday,
and had decided
to stay there
he put through a declaration of independence; two
he was chosen commander
on behalf of the United States
to negotiate treaties with Indian tribes
in chief of the
Meanwhile, however, Santa Anna had led a Mexican army of about 4000
and, on February 23, 1836, had begun a siege of the
Alamo, an old chapel
San Antonio, about three hundred miles west of
the American border. The Alamo had been
occupied by some 187 (born near
Red Banks, South
of William Barret Travis
Burke County, Georgia,
jerry-built into a fort
1809) and James
1799), reputed to
inventor of the "Bowie knife."
Also in the fort was David ("Davy") Crockett (born in Washington
County, Tennessee, on August 17, 1786).
Like Houston, Crockett had
fought with Jackson in the Indian wars and favored decent treatment of the Indians. insistence
In fact, he had broken with Jackson over the latter's
on moving American Indians west of the Mississippi River.
Crockett had served in the House of Representatives for three terms and
to Texas in 1835.
For twelve days, the embattled defenders held but on March
Santa Anna's army,
1836 (four days after Texan independence had been
declared), the fort
in a final assault
alive died fighting.
some three hundred Texans
and those of 20, Santa
town of Goliad, 110 miles southeast
March 27, he ordered them massacred. March were disheartening indeed and the old settlers began to flee eastward. Just the same, all was not going Santa Anna's way. The assaults on the Alamo cost him a quarter of his army; and during the time he spent taking the fort and then restoring his army, Houston had managed to gather a small force, which he led eastward, hoping to draw Santa Anna after him until an appropriate time came for a counterattack. Santa Anna played into Houston's hands. With 1600 men, he pursued Sam Houston's 750. Houston retreated to the banks of the San Jacinto the Alamo, and, on
American border and about 250 miles east of the Alamo. There, on April 21, 1836, he waited till the Mexican troops River, 75 miles west of the
were enjoying a Yelling
upon them, achieving complete
the Alamo!" the Texans virtually destroyed the
OUR FEDERAL UNION
Mexican army selves.
twenty minutes, while suffering only nine dead them-
The next day they took Santa Anna
see the usefulness of granting Texas
prisoner and persuaded
signed a treaty recognizing Texan independ-
Texan independence was won and the
Battle of San Jacinto,
nation of Texas took
The war had been who had the war. The older settlers, who had
brief place in the history books.
fought almost entirely, from beginning to end, by Americans
entered the region primarily to fight
lived in the region for ten years or more, did not participate.
new over the old is shown by the fact that on Sam Houston was elected president of Texas, over
victory of the
Stephen Austin. Houston was inaugurated on October 22 and appointed Austin his secretary of state, but Austin died two months later on
December 27. The capital
of Texas, ever since 1839, has been Austin, but the largest
city in Texas,
founded on the
Houston. largest to
of the Battle of San Jacinto,
the sixth-largest city in the United States and the for
independence, the question for the United
States was what to do with the
Texan independence had been won by Americans, and the
Texans did not
want independence; they wanted
be part of the
were wild with enthusiasm over the
had already legalized slavery and would enter enough, perhaps, to make several
each with two senators.
people of the free states also realized. They did not object
expanding the nation
as a slave state. It
— as long as that did not represent an increase in
power. The Abolitionists loudly accused the slave
Jackson as well, of having engineered the
rebellion for the sole
purpose of expanding slavery.
There was enough
plausibility in this
argument to make the
annexation rather explosive, and with the 1836 presidential election in
progress, Jackson hesitated to
He was right to hesitate,
conflict over slavery, a conflict all
Texas issue was
now part of the growing
which was slowly and
25, 1836, five
after the Battle of
UNEASY BORDERS Jacinto,
John Quincy Adams
recognized as the foremost congres-
sional representative of the antislavery viewpoint
— delivered an important
speech against the annexation of Texas.
1836, Calhoun entered a
Texan independence be recognized.
be done, annexation would follow to retake the region.
hesitated and did not act
3, 1837, his last
resolution passed Congress, but Jackson
until after the election.
If this, at least,
whenever Mexico should threaten
in office, that Jackson
American recognition of Texas as an independent nation.
MARTIN VAN BUREN Although Jackson was old and term even
own man succeed him. Martin Van Buren, who now received
determined to have vice-president,
and would not have run
had not debarred him from doing
for a third
Jackson chose his his final
his faithful services.
party, as a whole,
far less enthusiastic
Yorker than Jackson was, but Jackson's word was law. In 1836, no
Democrat could have won had Jackson declared against him. On May 20, 1835, therefore, the Democrats gathered in a nominating convention at what seemed to be becoming the traditional Baltimore and chose
Van Buren, unanimously,
as their standard-bearer.*
For vice-president, the Democrats selected Richard Mentor Johnson (born in Beargrass, Kentucky, on October 17, 1780).
fought in the
1812 and was credited with an important contribution to victory at
the Battle of the Thames, and
since served in Congress.
source of his fame, though, was his claim to the dubious credit of having killed the Indian statesman,
This was a year and a half before the election.
Such a lead time was
necessary then, in the days before electric communication. the telegraph,
then radio and television, has made shorter presidential
OUR FEDERAL UNION
The newly-formed Whig forces,
party, designed to
had not yet coalesced
to the point
combine the anti-Jackson
could hold a national
convention. Thus, as the anti-Jackson forces were not yet united, different
sections of the country
different candidates to
England's choice was Daniel Webster. The western states chose
Hugh Lawson White
(born in Iredell County,
White had succeeded to Jackson's seat in the Senate but had fallen out with him when Jackson designated Van Buren as his successor. Like Johnson, White also claimed to have killed an Carolina, on October 30 1773). ;
Indian chief (Kingfisher, of the Cherokees) with his Still
another candidate was William Henry Harrison of Ohio (born in
Charles City County, Virginia, on February
the son of Benjamin
Harrison, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
fought the Indians, winning a narrow and unremarkable victory against
was clear that none of the three candidates running against Martin Van Buren could be elected. The Whigs hoped, however, that one or the other of them would win this or that state and that, in the end, they would, It
the three of them, keep
Van Buren from winning an
The election would then be thrown into the House of Representatives, and who could say what might happen there? It was a possibility. Van Buren was far less popular than Jackson had majority of the electors.
been, and even though the
Yorker ran an almost slavishly Jacksonian
campaign, he ended up with only 765,483 votes against 739,795 for the various Whigs.
Webster took Massachusetts Georgia for 26.
for 14 votes;
South Carolina handed
White took Tennessee and 11 votes to Willie Person
(born in Orange County, North Carolina, on
he proved a surprising vote-getter and collected the 73
electoral votes of seven states.
Van Buren managed
majorities in fifteen of the
twenty-six states, receiving 170 electoral votes altogether, to the combined
124 votes for his opponents; so he was elected.
was different in the vice-presidential race. Running were two opponents. One was Francis Granger of New
in Suffield, Connecticut,
who had been a prominent anti-Mason. Another was John Tyler (born
UNEASY BORDERS Greenway, Virginia
on March 29, 1790), who had served
was a strong
He had broken
opposed the South Carolina extremists. the removal of the deposits from the
as governor of
with Jackson over
of the United States, voted to
censure the president, and resigned from the Senate rather than follow his state's instructions to
anti- Jackson vice-presidential candidates did rather better
the three anti- Jackson presidential candidates and did to Johnson what the
Whigs had hoped would be done
Van Buren. Johnson was held down
147 electoral votes, just one short of a majority. For the in the history of the
and only time
no vice-presidential candidate received
a majority of the electoral votes. Constitution, the Senate
between the two candidates with
the highest votes.
Second to Johnson had been Granger, with 77
third with 47.)
1837, the Senate voted 33 to 16 for
1837, then, Martin
eighth president of the United States.
Van Buren was inaugurated as the He was the first president who was
not of English descent (he was of Dutch descent).
president to have been born after the Declaration of Independence and therefore to be born a citizen of the United States, rather than a subject of
the British crown.
president just in time to suffer the bitter harvest of Jackson's
mistake in connection with the bank.
An expanding America found
land and internal improvements.
many chances to
for speculation in
be assumed that people would
and that there would be new farms,
towns, roads, canals, railroads. People therefore bought land in order to sell at
a profit to others,
a further profit, and so
In order to do
banks multiplied and issued
money from the banks. paper money recklessly under the
buying, they borrowed
assumption that the nation's expansion and increase of wealth would pay
course, in the end,
could no longer
many people would be
with land they
a profit and debts they couldn't pay back, but each
person gambled on the chance that he would be able to unload before that
OUR FEDERAL UNION
of the United States
financial control over the state (It
banks and prevented
might have exerted
might then, of course, have been accused of acting to inhibit the growth
in the interest of the Northeast.)
was, the mountain of cheap
rose ever higher
as well as individuals
11, 1836, Jackson, fearing that the steady decline of the value of
paper money would leave the federal government
with a worthless
income, issued what was called the "Specie Circular," which ordered that public lands sold by the government be paid for in gold or silver ("specie").
At once, land became hard to get and the prospect of wild disappeared. it
The banks, hoping
to get out of the speculative
collapsed, started calling in debts; and, of course, every debt called in
punctured the balloon
place and hastened
10, 1837, shortly after
York had begun to
inauguration, banks in
and a whole rash of bank
before the end of the year.
REBELLION The panic had by the
international repercussions as well. It
fact that times
which had invested heavily
had been hastened
Great Britain also and British banks,
American land speculation, had been forced
American loans. To Americans, it seemed that this British had helped precipitate the panic, while to the British it seemed that American defaulting had led to the bank failures in London. Bad feelings to call in their
between the nations heightened
level seen since the
This situation was
made worse by
certain troublesome events taking
Canada was divided
into six provinces: Canada Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Lower Canada, and Upper Canada (the last two corresponding to what we
at the time.
Quebec and Ontario, respectively.) Since the American Revolution, Great Britain had ruled these provinces very tightly. During the 1820s and 1830s, however, some Canadians began to display as
a growing interest in greater self-rule, and separatist propaganda, sounding
Massachusetts and Virginia a half-century
like that circulated in
That the idea did not
American colonies was probably due
part to the fact that
Canadians valued a strong British presence out of fear and distrust of the
Many of the Canadians were descended from American who had been driven out of — or had voluntarily left — the United after the revolutionary war; and many remembered the War of
United States. loyalists
1812, in which the Americans of
several times invaded the territory north
The Rush-Bagot agreement danger of border incidents. demilitarized.
of 1818 had, for the most part, Still,
the border was not yet completely
sides of the
border, and there were over five thousand British troops stationed in
person of William Lyon Mackenzie (born near
Dundee, Scotland, on March 1820 and there, as a
He had come
experienced some success, becoming mayor of the 1835, but
between the United which
1837, he led eight hundred
perhaps some show of force might cause the people of
despaired of getting anywhere by peaceful means.
government buildings barest
Upper Canada in for home rule. He had to
about creating his
The band was easily put to flight by the and Mackenzie managed to flee across the border to in Toronto.
Mackenzie did not give up.
and Canada, there
the Niagara River
considered part of Canada. There Mackenzie established what he
Government of Upper Canada." Mackenzie's government was an outright farce and could not have maintained itself for a day, had not the Americans on the New York and Vermont borders, remembering traditional hatreds and angered by what they considered British contributions to the panic, decided they were called the "Republican
OUR FEDERAL UNION
witnessing a full-fledged rebellion and determined to
of themselves a
set of Lafayettes.
Van Buren disorders, but
proclamation of neutrality in the
Americans widely disregarded
Navy Island until his force amounted to a thousand men. They were supplied by an American-owned, American-op-
flocked to help Mackenzie on
erated steamboat based in Buffalo, the Caroline.
This aid was, strictly speaking, an act of war on the part of Americans,
and the Canadian authorities were
seriously annoyed. Fifty
to destroy the Caroline.
idea was to catch the boat on the island, since that would place her
and put the Canadians completely
plan miscarried; so the Canadians, on the night of
in the right.
decided to go on to the American side of the river and seize the ship while it
in its dock,
project, but not without
and one was midriver,
in American territory. They succeeded in this some violence. Several Americans were wounded
The Caroline was then
Without the Caroline, Mackenzie was forced
January 13, 1838, he again fled to American arrested.
pulled out into
For a year or two, the two
where he was
conducted a war of pinpricks,
the worst of these being the burning of a Canadian steamship in reprisal for the Caroline.
Fortunately, neither the British nor the American government had any intention of going to war; so though protests flowed back
nothing further developed. The American raiding efforts out,
partly because they
because the situation in Canada was changing. Microscopic though Mackenzie's rebellion had been, useful result.
brought about a
29, 1838, the various provinces of British
America were appointed a new governor — John George Lambton, first earl of Durham — who treated the rebels leniently and, on February 11, 1839, wrote a report
that the provinces
be allowed a form
of representative government.
This system was adopted in time, and Great Britain showed that she had learned the great lesson of the American Revolution
loosened will break. Canada began
the cord not
while remaining loyally subject to the British
crown. (Had there been a Lord fate of the
in 1770, this
might have been the
appeared that the Caroline incident had passed without
ridiculous event took place.
One Alexander McLeod,
from Niagara, Canada, while drinking himself
barroom on the American
side of the river, boasted that he had been part had burned the Caroline. Indeed, said he, it was he the American who had died in the affair.
of the expedition that
who had killed He was, in consequence,
York authorities and charged with arson and murder. For some reason,
straw for the British government.
released on the grounds that
committed the act (which they admitted they doubted), he did soldier following the legal orders of his
convicted and executed. in the extreme.
worth a war, and they would have been glad to release
him with some face-saving
bluster except that the
hands of the federal government, but of the federal
government. Great Britain actually
The American government was embarrassed was
government could not
Canadian was not
York, and the
interfere with the process of justice within a
Nor could New York deal with the British, for all foreign negotiations were reserved to the federal government. It was an important state.
failure of the federal system.
turned out that
could not possibly have taken part in the raid.
and vanished from
to grant a halfhearted apology for the
a foolish braggart
was acquitted on
burning of the Caroline, the United
States agreed to apologize for the Caroline's activities before the burning,
over. similar federal-state complications in the future, Congress
passed a law on August 29, 1842, whereby aliens charged with crimes
committed under the authority of a foreign government would come under federal jurisdiction.
Meanwhile, the Canadian disorders also complicated the situation
The boundary between Maine and New Brunswick had never been
OUR FEDERAL UNION
This was the only part of the boundary between the United States
and Canada, east of the Rocky Mountains, that had not yet been carefully defined.
For some half a century
end of the revolutionary war, both
Brunswick had claimed a twelve-thousand-square-mile
of the Netherlands for arbitration,
In 1831, the matter had been submitted to King
and he had drawn a
which Great Britain accepted but the United States did
The matter had
lingered on largely because the area
populated and seemed so unimportant to either nation that
postpone the matter than to argue
In the 1830s, however, the population had increased, and the coming of the railroad had opened the area to both sides. rebellion
had made Great
so that the
reached by troops
Moreover, the Canadian
Britain anxious to run a railroad from
the best route ran through the
Brunswick lumberjacks cutting timber along the Aroos-
took River found themselves fighting Americans. This "Aroostook involved no bloodshed, but
did demonstrate the necessity of coming to
some agreement. The matter was taken up again and eventually
through to a settlement.
LOG CABINS AND HARD CIDER While Van Buren struggled with the annoying troubles on the Canadian border and the perplexing problem of Texas, he also had to face the calamity of depression at home.
stress of the depression, the
Democratic party was beginning to come apart. Its
complete separation of banks and government. They wanted governmental
The radicals also They supported the unemployed and, on
funds deposited in independent subtreasuries.
inherited the notions of the "workingmen's parties."
measures designed to relieve the suffering of
31, 1840, prevailed
upon Van Buren
public works to ten hours. This
workday on federal
to limit the
direct action ever taken
the federal government to better labor conditions.
The conservative section Whigs in opposition to
of the Democratic party, however, united with
the subtreasury plan and
for a long time.
The competition between
Democrats held a meeting icals
the two branches of the party was fiercest in
York, where the radicals were strongest. in
might seize control of the party.
October 29, 1835, the
looked as though the rad-
The chairman, who was
conservative faction, therefore adjourned the meeting and put out the gaslights.
which they then
Triumphantly, they produced candles,
with new-fangled friction matches called
ing" or "locofoco" matches (possibly from the Italian "fire.")
were called "Locofocos"
with the depression creating
word fuoco, meaning
for years afterward.
havoc among the Democrats and
clearly unable to exert the proper leadership, the
scented victory at
Their great weakness, of course, was that they
represented a vague coalition of northern industrialists, southern plantation-owners, and dissatisfied Democrats.
they would have to appeal to
That meant Henry Clay was in
they were to win a victory,
He had been beaten
both in 1824 and
1832 so that the aura of defeat clung to him; furthermore, in the course
of his active congressional
he had made any number of enemies.
when the Whig nominating convention met at Harrisburg, December 4, 1839, Clay bowed out of the race with as
grace as he could muster.
who had been one of course, but
of their candidates in 1832.
That he had shown himself to be
completely undistinguished in the course of his during a
stint as minister to
meant nothing it
years in Congress and
new South American
to the Whigs. In fact, let
He had been defeated then,
nation of Colombia
Clay was pleased with that fact since
himself be guided by the
Harrison was a war hero of
His triumph had been the
doubtful and half-forgotten Battle of Tippecanoe a quarter-century before,
but that was enough to make him into a kind of
OUR FEDERAL UNION
The nickname "Old Tippecanoe" Hickory") was wished on him.
Then, as a special sop to the the
Whigs chose John Tyler
wing of the Democratic
as their vice-presidential nominee. Tyler
run for the vice-presidency in 1832 on an anti-Jackson platform and had
made a strong showing. Now he would have another chance. The Democrats held their convention at the customary site of Baltimore on May 5, 1840, and had no choice but to renominate Van Buren. They could not agree to renominate Johnson for vice-president, however, as he
had made too many enemies; he had to run independently.
The Democratic platform
ence with slavery, maintaining that
not Abolitionists and was practically universal in the slave
common enough among
themselves should handle. This point of view was those
was a problem only the
time that the slavery issue had been introduced
into the platform of a major party.
was another, more important development in this respect — the Abolitionists had established a party of their own. It was a third party, Also, there
in the tradition of the
have the abolition of slavery as
weaker), and the
chief reason for existence.
presidential candidate of this "Liberty party," as
was James Gillespie Birney (born in Danville, Kentucky, on February 4, 1792). Born in a slave state, Birney had been brought up in a society that took slavery for granted, and, indeed, he had
had grown interested this in turn
he freed It
in the notion of sending
Black slaves back to Africa;
to an increasing belief in abolitionism. Finally, in 1834,
to propagandize abolition openly.
under these conditions, he could not remain
Kentucky; so he crossed the Ohio River and began to publish an abolitionist
free state of offices
just as hostile,
had been raided by a mob and
Undismayed, Birney moved on to direct political action, rather than
1836. Sentiment in the
however, and within half a year his presses
into the river.
York and began to push
mere argument. He carried the more
moderate Abolitionists with him.
nominee, and the Liberty party, with abolition
paigned vigorously against the annexation of Texas.
ultimate goal, cam-
election of 1840, however,
on any other. The Whigs could win only
be fought out on that
were mentioned, since
there were no issues on which the various factions of the party could agree. It
to their interest, then, to concentrate their efforts
maintaining the personal unpopularity of Martin
on creating and
the accidental boon of an editorial
published in a Democratic newspaper, the Baltimore Republican, on
There Harrison's incapacity was derided and he was
proclaimed to be unfit for anything but retirement. In implied, that
wanted; he was running for the presidency
only to satisfy the ambition of others and "upon condition of his receiving a pension of $2,000 and a barrel of cider
would no doubt consent
his days in a log cabin
on the banks of
This was a most unfortunate remark for the Democrats, for the Whigs seized
political circus in
turning the campaign of 1840 into the
presidential campaigns ever since
set a pattern for
kind of mixture of revelry
"Old Tippecanoe" was touted everywhere content with log cabins and hard cider, while
of the people,
Van Buren was pictured
champagne in the luxury of the White House. "Log cabins and hard cider" became the campaign motif; everywhere there were badges and emblems and parties and placards and rallies and every kind of propaganda device, all revolving about log cabins and hard cider. It was "Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too," "Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too," over and over till the whole nation was roaring. Exactly why Harrison should be voted in and Van Buren out was never made clear and didn't have to be. It was depression time, hard cider was flowing freely, and Old Tippecanoe was an honest soldier who was plain-spoken and without frills — what more did anyone want? It was this campaign, added on to the memory of Jackson, that encouraged later politicians running for office to pretend to be poorer, coarser, and more ignorant than they really were. (Many of them managed this very an effete
In actual fact, of course, Harrison had had
do with log cabins
He was born on a Virginia plantation; prominent statesman who had been elected governor of
and Was not a man of the people.
OUR FEDERAL UNION
when young William was eight years old. What's more, it was the who were backing Harrison now. But who cared
wealthy conservatives about logic in
this particular election?
nation (a habit
Whig hopes and slogan that
by the way, of the
goes, so goes the nation"
than the rest of the
and the Whig candidate
handily. This victory heightened
the Democrats. slogan,
local elections several
notable failures in future years.)
came on December
the electoral vote, a landslide for Harrison.
1840, and was, in terms of
carried nineteen of the
twenty-six states for 234 electoral votes against 60 for
also took over the
28 to 22
Van Buren.° The
Twenty-seventh Congress, leading the Democrats
Senate and 133 to 102 in the House.
Yet the electoral vote was no true measure of the
the whoop-de-do and foolishness, the
Whigs had achieved a shallow victory. In terms of the popular vote, Harrison had 1,275,000 to Van Buren's 1,129,000.*° As for Birney and the Liberty party, they After
received only 7059 votes
Van Buren's economic nation.
totally insignificant figure,
which was thus closing
witnessed the continuing growth of the
The 1840 census showed
but a beginning.
in political as well as
the population of the United States to be
fourfold increase in half a century.
largest city in the nation with a population of 312,000,
populous as the renowned city of Vienna.
There were twenty-eight thousand miles of railroads States;
Industrial Revolution, advancing rapidly,
effects in agriculture.
In 1834, Cyrus Hall
Rockbridge County, Virginia, on February
had always been involved
1809) had patented a
horse-drawn mechanical reaper rendering unnecessary cutting that
the bending and
in the process.
In 1836, Samuel Colt (born in Hartford, Connecticut, on July 19, 1814) * Martin Van Buren was the third president (following John Adams and John Quincy Adams) to be defeated for reelection. ° This score represents a continuing fact of American politics which has
contributed to the health of the two-party system.
has almost never scored losses.
been quite close; the minority party than 40 percent and has remained strong despite
electoral vote, the popular vote has always
had patented a weapon which greatly multiplied the
Haven, Connecticut, on
kind of rubber suitable for commer-
grew tacky with heat nor stiff with cold). period, too, the American artist Samuel Finley Breese Morse
who had brought
process of photography from Europe to America, was working on
the electric telegraph; he was aided in this by Joseph
1800) accidentally discovered a process for vulcanizing
(born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, on April 27, 1791), the
In 1839, Charles Goodyear (born in
something endlessly memorialized
thousands of "Western stories" in print and on
York, 1797), the
scientist of the first
emerge since Benjamin Franklin.
The two men spent more time
in trying to get
Congress to support so
obviously beneficial an advance than in solving the scientific problems. Finally, in 1843,
Congress agreed to pay for the construction of the
telegraph line, from Baltimore to Washington.
24, 1844, the
"What hath God wrought?"
across the wires:
quotation from the Bible (Num. 23:23).
leadership in technological advance, which had been British for the
was little by little passing to the United became apparent to the world.
item that was immediately spectacular was the voyage of Charles
Wilkes (born in the
York City on April
action of the kind
surveying expedition in the South Pacific.
loaded to the States in
Under Wilkes, the expedition,
all sorts, left
August 1838 and sailed down the coast of South America and
across the Pacific to Australia, stopping at
In 1836, Congress, in
had ever taken, authorized an exploring and
January 1840 (the antarctic midsummer),
on a number of occasions.
Bits of the
had been sighted before, but Wilkes was the justified in
Wilkes sailed southward to the limits of the South Polar
then sailed along
South Polar continent
was a continent and not
he, as well as anyone,
a group of
discoverer of Antarctica. '
coastal area of Antarctica, south of the Indian
Wilkes Land in his honor.
FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA TYLER, TOO On March
Henry Harrison was inaugurated as the It was a bitterly cold day, and Harrison had written an inaugural address of incredible length and dullness. Daniel Webster went over it and persuaded the new president to cut it down, but even so it took nearly two hours to deliver. Harrison, who had just celebrated his sixty-eighth birthday (the oldest man ever to be inaugurated as president), insisted on delivering his speech wearing neither 4,
ninth president of the United States.
hat nor overcoat.
bronze statue would have caught cold under those conditions, as
In the course of a damp and frigid March in the drafty White House, the cold became pneumonia, and then the doctors got at
him. Harrison might have survived the pneumonia, but no
days could survive the concentrated attentions of a number of doctors.* °
was still almost entirely what we would today was not till the development of the germ theory of the 1860s that medicine became a lifesaving art.
practice of medicine
consider quackery; disease in
FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA
April 4, Harrison died, having been president for just thirty days
incumbency on record
The event was an unexpected ever before died in
disaster to the
The Whigs had more
had not entered
or less taken
for granted that
Harrison would remain safely in Clay's vest pocket; indeed, the cabinet
which Harrison had chosen consisted Daniel Webster as secretary of
Clay followers (plus
"Tippecanoe" was dead and "Tyler, Too" was president. What
would Tyler be
entirely of loyal
not a Whig.
only been nominated in order to pick up
conservative Democrats, for he himself was a
was expected that, like all vice-presidents in American then, he would remain a cipher and his politics wouldn't
But now he was president. Some
tried to consider
him only an "acting
president," but Tyler insisted he was president, in the
through the death of the elected president have
been considered to have
the powers and rights that would have accrued
them had they themselves been Although the great
sense of the
out, setting a precedent; ever since Tyler, vice-presidents
succeeding to the
victory of 1840
the party with a
— rather optimistically — worked on the assump-
would go along with Whig principles. Clay put a repeal of the subtreasury system that the Van Buren administration had managed to set up in its last days through Congress and then devised a bill intended to establish a national bank very much like the one that Biddle had led and tion that Tyler
Jackson had destroyed.
had passed both houses and was it and found that in this
forwarded to Tyler's desk. Tyler thought about respect,
among would It
he was a Jacksonian other things,
on the ground
violated states' rights, since the individual states
find themselves saddled with
bank branches they could not
takes a two-thirds majority in both houses to override a presidential
The veto was upheld. watered down in such a way as to
veto and Clay could not find the necessary votes.
Fuming, he prepared another
meet some of
Tyler's constitutional scruples.
grant individual states the right to bar the establishment of branches
within their territory, since such state powers would render the bank
OUR FEDERAL UNION
passed as before; Tyler vetoed
Congress failed to override the veto as before.
The Whig September
went almost mad with frustration and fury. On day after the second failure to override, Tyler's
11, 1841, the
cabinet (which he had inherited from Harrison) resigned en masse
cept for Webster,
stayed on to continue with the delicate diplomatic
negotiations in which he
The Whig party disowned Tyler party had already done.
as a double-dealer, as the
years, therefore, Tyler
Democratic remained a
president without a party, demonstrating, in the process, the constitutional strength of an American president.
mean he had
impeachment and conviction,
which mere unpopularity or
cooperate with Congress were insufficient grounds. Tyler remained president, with the power to appoint veto legislation at
he had no support
could not be removed, except by failure to
So for three years,
while the Whigs could do nothing.
in Tyler's cabinet
because he was determined to
Maine boundary, still under dispute with Great Britain. In 1831, the United States had turned down the quite favorable decision reached through the arbitration of the king of the Netherlands, but now Webster settle the
willing to accept rather less
and give Great Britain the
in order to build her railway line
was getting the
from the coast to the
states of Massachusetts
to the plan.
Great Britain was eager to cool the anti-British simmer along the United States'
northern borders, so she sent in Alexander Baring,
Ashburton, with orders to be conciliatory.
maneuver the have about
thousand square miles of
of the provinces of
Quebec and New Brunswick. The United
along the northern frontier.
which now form parts
southern seven thousand square miles,
conceded the American case
for all other disputed points (minor ones)
the result, the federal government
compensated Maine and Massachusetts with $150,000 each
American claims were supported by old maps drawn the time of the close of the revolutionary war — but Webster had no
Actually, the larger at
FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA
access to these maps, as they were in British hands.
United States gave up some territory
need not have. Nevertheless, a few
square miles seemed worth the improvement in relations and a firm border, especially since American gains farther west in Minnesota were
found, only two years later, to possess enormous iron mines.
The boundary between Canada and the United States from the Atlantic Ocean to the Rocky Mountains established by the Webster-Ashburton Treaty (signed on August day.
Only the Oregon
1842) has been maintained, exactly, to this
Rocky Mountains, remained
Territory, west of the
between the United
BLACKS, WHITES, AND NATIVISM The Maine boundary settlement did not wipe out all anti-British feeling fact, there was a constant danger of incidents at sea reminiscent of the bad days before the War of 1812, when the British had been stopping American ships and searching them for deserters. Now they
by any means. In
searched for something else
— kidnapped African Blacks.
by common consent of the civilized world of the 1800s, was considered a vile activity to be stopped at all costs. Even the United States, which allowed slavery within its borders, expected new slaves to arrive only through birth from old slaves. In 1808, the United States had forbidden American ships to engage in the slave trade and had made the
importation of slaves from Africa
The nation most concerned with enforcing the laws against the slave trade was Great Britain, whose navy controlled the seas. Great Britain had abolished the slave trade in 1807 and had freed
under the British
flag in 1833.
ships to halt
She worked out
had outlawed the
and search suspected
slaves held in
with various foreign
slave trade) allowing British
even when they carried a
Only the United
States refused to sign such a treaty, since
countenance foreign search. The result was that
illegal slave traders
OUR FEDERAL UNION American
to flying the
and the banner hailed by Americans
belonging to "the land of the free" was used to protect slavers the world over.
slavers ran their risks, of course.
Sometimes the slaves rebelled. In
1839, for instance, on board the Spanish ship, Amistad, Blacks brought illegally to
Africa had mutinied, killing the captain and one
crewman, then placing the
who were to
rest of the
crew ashore, except
guide the ship back to Africa. The navigators had managed to
fool the Blacks
northward from Cuba to
to guide the ship
Connecticut. There the ship had been taken into custody by the American authorities.
Van Buren was ready slavery
that the Blacks be given
but the Abolitionists argued that since
in Connecticut, the Blacks
not be delivered back into slavery and possible execution.
Supreme Court, five members of which — including Chief Justice Taney — were from slave states. Arguing on behalf of freedom for the slaves was John Quincy Adams. So compelling were
case reached the
Adams's arguments to the
effect that the slave trade
American and Spanish law and that the Blacks were therefore back against kidnapping, that the Supreme Court on March
by both striking 9,
supported freedom. The Blacks were returned to Africa. This decision was exceedingly unpopular with the slave-staters.
them most was that the Blacks were set free though they had white men. However dreadful the life of the slave, we must not
forget the ordeal of the slave-master,
who must live forever in the dread of own rebelling slaves. Slavery debases
the masters as well as the slaves.
The Amistad decision seemed, in the slave states, to be an invitation to mutiny and murder by Blacks, and this fear seemed justified when, on October 27, 1841, about half a year
after the decision, a similar event took
ship, the Creole,
Roads, Virginia, to
the ship, killing a white
was carrying 130
and freed the
the slaves mutinied and took over
Islands, a British possession.
was then taken
British held the actual mutineers
rest of the slaves.
The American government argued
FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA
Creole had been carrying not African Blacks but American
Blacks born into slavery.
Nor was the Creole a
merely carrying slaves from one point in a country to another. The however, disregarded American protests (though eventually,
awarded Americans some $110,000
into a fever of indignation against Great
and sent them
insufficient to stir the rest of the nation as
long as the dispute centered on the issue of slavery. section of the
Naturally, the Creole affair roused the slave states to fury
In fact, a sizable
American population actually sided with Great Britain
Joshua Reed Giddings (born at Tioga Point, Pennsylvania, on October 1795) was serving as a ery,
Whig congressman from
he used the occasion not to fulminate against the British but to
resolutions against slavery
Ohio. Violently antislav-
and the use of coastal shipping
Congressmen from attack (as
resolutions but offered
were being drawn more and more
by Whites, not by Black
revolt in this period, but
in the slave
but in the staid old free state of Rhode Island.
Oddly enough, there was indeed a
was becoming lower and more unforgiving.
carried out states
and carried through a motion of censure against the
election as a direct test of
beyond expression by
Giddings at once resigned and put himself up for
They not only persuaded Congress
to them) on the victims of slave rebellion and of British
some ways the most conservative
of the twenty-six
alone had not participated in the Constitutional Convention; and
was the thirteenth and
Constitution and join the
Union — not
doing so until Washington was
president and a not-so-veiled threat of punitive economic measures had
which provided that vote.
had adopted the Constitution, its state conducted under its old colonial charter of 1663, only those owning a certain amount of land could
Less than half the adult males of Rhode Island qualified, and the
OUR FEDERAL UNION
rest of the
population was completely ignored by those established in
The voteless, increasingly restive under this situation, found a leader Thomas Wilson Dorr (born in Providence, Rhode Island, on November
1805), a lawyer
qualified for the vote.
Dorr had been agitating
extended suffrage since 1834, when he was elected to the Rhode Island legislature,
he had organized a "People's party"
Representatives of the People's party, meeting in 1841, had prepared
and passed a new
state constitution allowing all adult
People's party controlled northern
male Whites to vote.
Island; so they
them, voted Dorr in as governor on April
inaugurated him at Providence.
government of Rhode Island
reelected Governor Samuel
For a while, there were two governments
held elections and
inaugurated at Newport.
in the tiny state (the smallest
Union, both then and now), but there was no question that from a
strictly legal standpoint, it
King declared Dorr a
was King who was the legitimate governor.
rebel, initiated martial law,
and called out the
made ready to resist. Both sides appealed to who urged some sort of accommodation but made it clear
that as president
he had no choice but
to support the legal
That doomed the "Dorr Rebellion," as
halfhearted attempt to seize the
government of a
Dorr made a
Island state arsenal on
1842, then fled the state. Returning on October 31, 1843, he voluntarily
gave himself up and was tried for treason. sentenced to
June 25, 1844, he was
imprisonment but was amnestied and released the next
was a fiasco if judged by the military deeds of the rebels, which were nil. However, Dorr had won in a larger sense, for the Rhode Island Establishment, realizing it could continue on the old style no longer, called
a constitutional convention and accepted a
allowing an extended suffrage.
even though they were free men;
however. Blacks nor
foreign-born, even though they might be citizens.
The continuing restriction on the foreign-born in the new Rhode Island was a manifestation of the "nativism" which has occasionally
FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA
plagued the United States. immigrants,
seems odd that
in a nation
often been a great deal of opposition to
immigrants on the part of those
themselves perhaps no more
than one or two generations removed from immigrants. Often, this attitude
stemmed from changing patterns
group of countries, was
kind of immigration, from one country or
but that the line should be drawn against
those from other countries or groups of countries with languages, religions,
from their own to be suspect.
In the 1830s and 1840s, there was increasingly heavy immigration from
and the new immigrants were mostly Catholic.
Anti-Catholic prejudices soon emerged
and movements arose
the older settlers,
to prevent the
citizens too easily, entering political
or gaining political and
To oppose commitment
Catholics as such was difficult in view of the strong
to religious freedom in the Constitution. It
troublesome to oppose them simply as foreign-born
— the Constitution said
nothing about tolerating foreigners.
nativism began to figure in American politics. As early as
1837, a "Native American Association"
June 1843, the "American Republican party" City,
Washington, and in
with a political platform opposing easy citizenship, voting, or
office-holding for foreigners.
power themselves, though in 1844 a York, and in 1845 another was elected
Nativists never achieved real
was elected mayor of
strong enough at times, however, to hold the
balance of power and were catered to by politicians who, though not themselves Nativists, dared not altogether abandon the Nativist vote.
TEXAS AND POLITICS The catastrophe
of Tyler's succession
midterm elections of 1842. The Whigs retained
effects clearly in the
on the Senate,
OUR FEDERAL UNION
where a change
hard to bring about since only
up for election at any one time. In the House, membership stands for election, the Democrats
however, where the entire
returned to power with a crushing 142 to 79 in the Twenty-eighth Congress.
31, 1842, Clay resigned
himself to rebuilding the
from the Senate
in order to devote
— a necessity surely not
the time of the party's great victory only a year and a half before.
visible decline of the
party raised Tyler's hopes for a political
Though elected by the Whigs, he had ruined himself with them. If he wished to be reelected in his own right, his only chance lay in a future.
reconciliation with the Democrats.
The Democrats had been growing Jackson's time.
was the chief
states' rights issue,
— always strong in the direction of states' rights — increasingly
favored leaving the slavery issue to the individual states and tried to
a national issue.
toward the Whig party.
This meant the slave states were becoming solidly Democratic (and
remain so for a century), so that
Tyler planned to win over the
Democratic party, he would have to concentrate on an
issue popular in the
up the matter of the annexation of Texas. Ever since 1837, when Jackson had recognized Texan independence, popular opinion in the slave states had been feverishly proannexation. Only the intransigence of the vocal antislavery elements in the free states had stood in the way. slave states.
Meanwhile, Texas maintained
Mexico steadily refused
recognize Texan independence.
expand Texan easily,
independence only precariously, for
and would not
Texas had to find strength elsewhere.
mind, Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar (born in Warren County,
Georgia, on August 16, 1798), Jacinto
to confirm Santa Anna's surrender
territory to the Pacific.
led the cavalry at the Battle of San
had become Texas's second president, attempted
Lamar then sought
Mexico blocked that move rather recognition from the European
powers, and there he succeeded. France recognized Texan independence in
October 1839, Great Britain
followed suit soon
1840, and lesser powers
British recognition, particularly, intensified the
United States' expan-
FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA
The argument was
such annexation, Texas would become a British puppet and the
for the annexation of Texas.
United States would then find British influence as strong on the southern border
on the northern. Canadian
anti-British over the
troubles, this consideration bid fair to
strengthening the slave states.
Tyler decided that, on the whole, Texan annexation would be far more
popular than unpopular in the United States and prepared to ride to another term on that all
Whigs had abandoned him, had no
clung to Tyler
intention of being the
agent through which a slave Texas might be brought into the Union; so he resigned as secretary of state on
The next month, Tyler replaced him with
his secretary of the navy,
Parker Upshur (born in Northampton County, Virginia, on June 17, 1791).
once began to negotiate with Sam Houston, who
begun a second term
as president of Texas.
was whether any
pushed through the Senate, which was
treaty of annexation could
under Whig control. Upshur
justification, assured Houston the Senate would go met Texas's concern over Mexican threats by promising that the United States would take over the defense of Texan borders. Before the matter could be settled, however, Upshur went on a cruise
with the president and other high government
warship U.S.S. Princeton.
on board the
February 28, 1844, during the ceremonial
one of the large guns, an accidental explosion
and Upshur was among those
By now, though,
Tyler's favoring of the slave-state cause
one old feud within the Democratic party could be healed. Calhoun
who had broken away in the could now return. On March
South Carolinian followers,
the nullification controversy,
Calhoun consented to become secretary of
course of 6,
state in order to preside over
the annexation of Texas.
April 12, Calhoun signed the treaty of annexation that Upshur
negotiated and then triumphantly
order to assure
clear that the treaty would,
strengthen the slave states.
annexation, he said, was that in
of the virtues of
would keep Texas from abolishing slavery
of British help against Mexico.
OUR FEDERAL UNION
antislavery elements reacted wrathfully
than ever to block annexation
and were more determined
The slave-staters had an ace up their sleeves, however. Beyond the Rockies was the Oregon Territory, stretching from 42° north latitude (the boundary with Mexico) up to 54° 40', the southernmost extension of Alaska.
Since 1818, the territory had been considered to be under combined British- American control,
begun pouring American
but in the early 1840s, American immigrants had
and by 1845, there were
into the territory,
have the section south
river itself with
In response there arose in the United States a strident
willing to let the United States
Columbia River but wanted
control wasn't going to
the Oregon Territory, expressed in the slogan "Fifty-four
Forty or Fight."
Shrewdly, the slave-staters, with Calhoun at their head, encouraged
hoping that the directions
free-staters, anxious to increase
where slavery was not an
would accept the price of
annexing Texas as well. So the 1844 election was fought over expansionism in two directions
Texas and Oregon
the antislavery spokesmen were placed in the
uncomfortable position of having to be opposed to making the United States larger
The Whigs, with
their increasing strength in the free states,
Texan annexation; they would nominate no one who had not declared himself to be firmly against annexation.
That meant Henry Clay. a
stepped aside in 1840 in order to assure
and that had brought catastrophe.
do that again. Therefore, on April 27, 1844, he published a he opposed the annexation of Texas. That settled things party was concerned.
The Whig convention met
and nominated Clay by acclamation.
nominee was harder, but
as far as the
on the Democratic
on a vice-presidential Whigs chose Theodore on March 28, 1787), the son
after three ballots, the
Frelinghuysen (born in Millstone, of a revolutionary
not minded to letter in
was more complicated.
FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA All of Tyler's affections.
maneuverings had not helped him win back Democratic
They would not accept the
traitor of 1840.
Tyler arranged to
have himself nominated by a handful of supporters meeting in Baltimore
27, 1844, but his case
he abandoned the
Tyler was the
renominated for a second term.
president who, after serving a single term, was not
years afterward, no president
so manifestly hopeless that
a temporary precedent; for twenty
second term, and for a
looked as though the one-term president was to become an
American 27, the
Democratic party gathered
candidate would have been
Van Buren, who was
the leader of the
Van Buren, from
enthusiastic for the annexation of Texas to
remove the matter
was not himself
and had wanted most desperately
issue in the election.
Magician had therefore decided to pull a coup.
He had come
agreement with Clay; on the same day that Clay published tion letter,
and that Clay would be the Whig candidate, the
Van Buren had published
a similar letter of his own.
candidates were opposed and the issue would be canceled out.
Van Buren had
miscalculated badly, however. His agreement with Clay
might have helped him once the presidential campaign had begun, but
Van Buren could run for president he had to be nominated, and was now impossible. The slave-state Democrats, outraged by Van Buren's stand, prepared to fight his nomination stubbornly. Van Buren
had a majority of the
he needed two-thirds, and
reporters sending out accounts
electric telegraph for the
time, the Democratic party, meeting at Baltimore
went through eight
they sat there forever.
Van Buren would not
Knox Polk of Tennessee November 2, 1795). Polk was not a well-known man, though he had served ably in the House of Representatives and as governor of Tennessee. He had also always had the strong support of his fellow Tennessean, Andrew Jackson. the eighth ballot, a few votes went to James
(born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, on
OUR FEDERAL UNION
With Van Buren out
of the question after eight ballots, there
sudden and surprising stampede to Polk on the ninth, and he was nominated, thus becoming the
"dark horse" candidate in American
For vice-president, the Democrats eventually selected George
Dallas (born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 10, 1792), the son of
Alexander James Dallas
Madison) and himself a former senator and minister to Russia. (The city of
Dallas, Texas, his
honor a couple of years
into being at this time,
in the field
once again nominated by the
Liberty party and running on the Abolitionist platform.
to the Whigs, immediately after the nominations, that they
had the election against a virtual
in the bag.
unknown. Indeed, the
well-known Clay was running
slogan for the year
James K. Polk?" In June 1844, therefore, the Whig-con-
trolled Senate turned
the Texas annexation treaty
worked out by
Upshur and Calhoun, and Texas was once again barred from joining the United as a
(Great Britain was delighted and, hoping to win Texas over
Senate's refusal, however, did not help Clay's cause after
enjoyed the backing of the aged, but
initiated a vigorous
Jackson, and the
new success proved a new land, many Americans, and many in the free states were
The hip-hurrah thoughts powerful attraction to
anxious to have the United States expand even at the cost of strengthening slavery.
feel the tide turning against
in favor of the
In July, therefore, Clay wrote a pair of letters to an Alabama
to explain that
he was not
of Texas, only against tearing the
really against the annexation
only there were some
is one whose abilities in racing are unknown, wager can be made upon him. The term, first used for an unexpected winner in a horse race in a popular novel written by Benjamin Disraeli (a future British prime minister) in 1831, has come to be used in
In racing slang, a "dark horse"
a nominee not considered a possibility before the
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to annex Texas "without dishonor, without war, with the
consent of the Union,"
were widely and
convinced no one and
terrible mistake, for they
desperate and unprincipled
then he would approve.
quoted by the Democrats as the act of a
trying to talk out of both sides of his
Indeed, the two letters drove away some of Clay's
supporters and proved his ruin. In the election, held on
1844, Clay, running against the
for the presidency for the third time.
was the most heartbreaking of Clay's defeats because received 1,300,097 votes to Polk's 1,338,464
difference of only
38,000 votes. In fact, had Birney not been in the
and had those who voted
the Liberty party voted for Clay (as they certainly would have done in
preference to Polk), Clay would have had the majority. Birney received
very few, but nearly nine times what he had received
in 1840, a sign of the
Birney's votes electoral vote loss
growing strength of abolitionism.
would have counted even
for Polk against
105 for Clay, and the
York's 36 electoral votes.
Clay's side, the electoral vote
in the electoral college.
New York by
Had New York ended on
would have been 141
to 134 in his favor.
only 5,080 votes; votes for Birney which might
otherwise have gone to Clay amounted to 15,812. It is
very likely that some of those
voted for Clay had
not been for the Alabama
which thus turned
out to be one of the worst miscalculations in an American presidential
campaign. The entire process was an excellent object lesson in the power of a small group in an otherwise evenly divided electorate;
to secure the election of
what was, from
their standpoint, the worst alternative.
(The election of 1844 was the on, election in
December. From then
day was established as the Tuesday following the
November, anywhere from the 2nd
has stayed ever since.)
to the 8th of the
month; and there
OUR FEDERAL UNION
TEXAS AND WAR The first consequence of Polk's victory was that Tyler (still president till March 4, 1845) announced it to be a mandate for annexation. There was still no possibility of annexing Texas by means of a treaty, for that required a two-thirds majority in the Whig-controlled Senate; so he proposed a joint resolution of Congress,
which required only a bare majority
Whigs could not passed the Senate 27 to 25 and then
In the demoralization that followed their defeat, the stop this measure.
Great Britain had pendence, but
Democratic House. finally
persuaded Mexico to recognize Texan indelate.
Texas had not yet committed
Britain and, given the chance to join the United States, rushed to
to the punch. Florida
March 3, term.* Texas, entering on December 29,
the Union as the twenty-seventh state on Tyler's
1845, the last full day of 1845,
was the twenty-
(By that time, Polk was serving as the eleventh presi-
dent.) Briefly, there
fifteen slave states
and only thirteen
However, Iowa entered the Union on December
twenty-ninth state and Wisconsin on
Iowa and Wisconsin outlawed slavery
in their constitutions, so the
29, 1848, as the thirtieth.
and slave states was again tied, at fifteen apiece. The annexation of Texas, however, was not likely to be carried through without a war with Mexico. Mexico had warned that annexation would mean war, and the slave-state expansionists rather wanted one, since still more territory could then be taken from Mexico and converted into slave of free states
of 1845, John L. O'Sullivan, a magazine editor,
written of "the fulfillment of our manifest destiny to overspread the
continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions." *
The phrase manifest whose
to signify the
had played so important a part and then died on June 8, 1845.
acquisition of Florida, lived to see this
FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA
inevitability of the continuing
growth of the United States
and who knew where
— to the Pacific
the United States' "manifest destiny" were to be carried through,
be done a step
at a time.
could not quarrel simultaneously with Mexico over Texas and with Great over Oregon.
having been elected on an expansionist
program, strongly supported the "Fifty-four Forty or Fight" attitude
compromise over Oregon. For one foe,
one or the other had to go, Polk intended to
for another, Polk
Great Britain was the stronger
the Southwest than in the Northwest.
Great Britain might, in view of the United
have driven a very hard bargain, but she was having trouble, too; there was famine in Ireland and bitter unrest among the British laboring
willing to consider a reasonable compromise.
accepted an extension of the 49° boundary fine to the Pacific Ocean, thus giving the United States approximately three-fifths of the
by Buchanan (born near Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, was on Polk's desk. Polk sent it on to the Senate, which
1846, the treaty containing this compromise, negotiated
Secretary of State James
on April 23, 1791),
appreciated the danger in the South and dared not risk a northern quarrel as well.
19, 1846, the treaty
was formally accepted and the American The northern boundary of the
reached the Pacific Ocean.
United States with Canada, from the Atlantic to the it
has been ever since. Seventy years after the United States had
"from sea to shining sea."
But while negotiations were proceeding with England, the
South was coming to a climax.
American eyes turned eagerly coast south of
to California, that section of the Pacific
Oregon which had been
by the Spanish, moving
north from Mexico, at about the time that the United States was fighting the revolutionary war.
While Mexico was winning °
independence from Spain, California had
the well-known phrase from Katherine Lee Bates's
the Beautiful," published in 1893.
Treaty Line 1846
v '"^> \
had joined Mexico only reluctantly, after it was clear that the Spanish power had been broken, and had rebelled against Mexican governors a number of times. By 1840, the westward flood of Americans (many of them driven by the depression of remained loyal to the mother country.
1837) had begun to penetrate California as well as Oregon.
FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA
were seven hundred Americans ought to take over somehow. destiny" to do
in California, comprising 10 percent of the
There was a considerable feeling that the Americans
the United States "manifest
were not only on Texas but on
Polk's eyes, therefore,
took action in both directions.
was the question of boundaries. The Mexican province in the land between the Red and the Nueces rivers
In Texas, there of Texas
now makes up
sure, virtually all the
the eastern half of the state of Texas). And, to be
Texan population was contained within that
The Texans, however, claimed territory
the land to the Rio Grande, a total
about three times as large as the province and somewhat larger
than the modern
of the disputed land consisted almost entirely of Indians.
Neither Texans nor Mexicans could lay claim to the territory by virtue of actual possession, but Polk took the plain that
to accept the invitation to join the Union, Polk
ordered an occupation of the disputed territory.
troops sent south of the Nueces River on
hostile action against
a declaration of war), were under the (born in Orange County, Virginia, revolutionary war
Harrison), the Black
course of the
1845 (with orders
in the disputed territory prior to
Hawk War, and
of General Zachary Taylor
fought in the
of 1812 (under
the Second Seminole War.
he had gained the nickname "Old Rough and Ready,"
honoring his unpolished manners and his fighting
Taylor took his forces to Corpus Christi, just south of the mouth of the
Nueces River and there largest
one place since the
hundred men, the
use of John Charles Fremont
Savannah, Georgia, on January 31, 1813), a colorful and flamboyant explorer who, in 1841, had married the daughter of powerful Senator
Benton of Missouri. In 1842, with the Oregon question coming to the
Fremont had headed an exploring expedition through the region. Now, in the spring of 1845, he was sent westward on what purported be another exploring expedition, but he carried secret instructions as what
in case of
war with Mexico.
reached California in
1845, and there, in the spring of 1846, while the nation waited
OUR FEDERAL UNION war along the Rio Grande, Fremont encouraged a
Californians proclaimed a "Bear Flag Republic," so called because
showing a grizzly bear and a
on a white back-
With an army south
himself to be in a good position.
Nueces and California headed
he might be able to gouge
what he wanted out of Mexico without an actual war. He therefore sent Congressman John Slidell of Louisiana (born in New York City in 1793) to Mexico
to offer to
buy various portions
Mexico's northern provinces for up to forty million dollars. It
might have worked. Texas had long since been
northern provinces were virtually empty.
been able to negotiate
However, the news of
and the other
the Mexican government had
an agreement might have been reached. mission leaked and Mexican popular
opinion proved so hostile that he could not even be received. In March 1846, Slidell
Mexico was being egged on to
(not true) that
the Oregon dispute had not yet
As soon the
United States, Great Britain, with
to leave Mexico,
States reached feverish heights
he realized that Mexico would not
treat with Slidell or
demands peaceably, Polk escalated the
confrontation by ordering Zachary Taylor to take his troops southward to
the Rio Grande.
the end of March, four thousand American soldiers
were near the
of the Rio Grande,
Matamoros were concentrated
The Mexican commander
north bank. Just across the
sent a message to Taylor
to the Nueces, and Taylor refused. Thereupon, sixteen hundred Mexican
cavalrymen crossed the Rio Grande and, on April 25, 1846,
captured a reconnoitering party of sixty-three Americans,
Taylor at once sent a message to
Polk was already in the process of preparing a war message to Congress.
When news effect that
of the clash arrived,
Mexico had invaded American
12, 1846, all the formalities
and Mexico were formally
message to the
and shed American blood.
had been completed; the United
FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA
seemed an even war
at the start.
than the United States in area, and
American army. Mexico was France (which, in the end,
Mexico was not too much smaller army was six times as large as the
on help from Great Britain and
Such a division did indeed
in the free states
opposed "Mr. Polk's war." (One of the more vocal dissenters was a young congressman from
named Abraham Lincoln.) and knew also that he needed
the opposition in the free states crystallized and
before Great Britain could decide
wary of such a
yet he also had to be
ought to interfere.
swift victory, for successful
generals often gained considerable political influence, and the supreme
of the army, Winfield Scott,
was a Whig.
Polk therefore decided to keep Scott in Washington and leave the
conduct of the war to Taylor,
Whig, but perhaps
Polk was wrong. Old Rough and Ready was a capable general.
not wait for a formal declaration of war; having been attacked by the
Mexicans, he counterattacked at once and quickly superior
numbers north of the Rio Grande. These two victories showed that completely overcame any possible Mexican
what the Americans had
advantages: better-trained soldiers and greater progress in the technological aspects of war, particularly in artillery.
Taylor then crossed the Rio Grande, and by May 18, a week after the war had formally begun, Texas had been cleared of the enemy and Taylor
Matamoros, with the Mexicans
successful offensive hero,
and volunteers from
in full retreat.
the United States was fighting a
Taylor found himself a war
over the United States (except for hostile
England) began to pour into the army. Nor was Polk forgetting California. Colonel Stephen Watts Kearny
The Mexican War
(born in Newark,
on August 30, 1794) led a force from Fort
Leavenworth, Kansas, westward to California.
seventeen hundred men, and by August 18 had reached and taken Santa Fe, the chief Mexican California.
in the northern provinces
There he heard that
by Fremont, had taken
in California, the
between Texas and
Santa Fe on September 25, with
only 120 men, and hastened westward. Arriving in
southern California in early December, he found the
be very shaky. Assuming command, he capably and
forcefully pressed forward,
were defeated. Kearny's
and within a month the Mexicans
came with Fremont, who did not
wish to relinquish control of California. reinforcements, he arrested Fremont,
and convicted despite the intermediation of Benton.
eventually court-martialed his father-in-law,
FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA
while Kearny (without too
Zachary Taylor was continuing to move onward south of the Rio Grande.
Mexican army had
fortified itself in
Monterey, a hundred
During the summer, Taylor, having up and polished his army, followed carefully with sixty-six hundred men. Finally, on September 21, he was ready, driving his main attack on Monterey from the east, while contingents totaling two thousand men attacked from the west. The Mexican forces resisted bravely, contesting
miles southwest of the Rio Grande. built
every inch. The fighting lasted for days, with every house a battlefield, but
the American artillery was not to be withstood.
Monterey was forced Taylor's losses
dead and 368 wounded
heavy (heavier than the Mexican
low and he was deep
Furthermore, his supplies were
therefore prudently agreed to
Mexico's request for an eight-week armistice, to give himself time to recover.
When Polk heard of this,* required a quick victory. especially since the
Delays were dangerous, as he
already very suspicious of Taylor,
midterm elections had shown an increase
power. The Whigs had gained control of the House of Representatives in the thirtieth Congress, and there
talk of running Taylor for
president in 1848.
Polk therefore decided to use the armistice as an anti-Taylor handle.
would force Taylor
to discontinue the struggle, thus letting his inconven-
ient glory fade.
Yet though Taylor was to be forced into inactivity, the campaign could not be dropped altogether, for Mexico showed no sign of weakening.
the northern half of the country
the Mexicans had fought
with disturbing resolution at Monterey.
coup which Polk had
ruled Mexico at the time of the Texas rebellion, had been in exile.
encouraged him to return, hoping that Santa Anna would then
negotiate peace. Santa Anna, returning on August 16, 1846, seized
power and prepared
to continue the war.
Meanwhile General Scott kept pointing out over and over that Mexican ° It still
took a long time for news to travel; the United States wasn't yet able up telegraph communication in connection with moving armies.
OUR FEDERAL UNION
strength lay in the south and that Mexico could not be conquered unless
Mexico City, were occupied.
distance from Monterey to
Mexico City was eight hundred miles over very rugged country — out of the question, even if Polk had been willing to let Taylor try, which he certainly
Scott pointed out, however, that one could get closer to Mexico City
the sea and was already blockading
Vera Cruz, on Mexico's eastern
Mexico City would be only 220 miles away. Polk feared Taylor enough by
sent Scott to Vera
Cruz with a strong army
to put Scott into the in
defensive at Monterey.
further ordered Taylor to transfer nine thousand of his
Taylor was to retire from the war and leave the victory to Scott.
harsh frontal attack on Taylor's possible candidacy was to have a backlash;
Whigs promptly began to play Taylor up as a martyr. The Mexican commander, Santa Anna, intended to martyrize Taylor still further. Santa Anna was not worried about Vera Cruz. The couple of hundred miles to Mexico City would not be easy, and if Scott were delayed till the yellow fever season had begun, he would be forced to retire. What Santa Anna wanted to do was to crush Taylor. The American general, after all, had only some five thousand men left him and clearly bore a the
grievance against his government that might be reflected in his fighting.
Taylor could be handed a major defeat and sent reeling back to
Texas, American opposition to the it
high enough so as to end
on Mexican terms. So on January 28, 1847, even while Scott was taking
Vera Cruz, Santa Anna hastened northward with
Taylor, aware of Santa Anna's approach, and aware also that he
outnumbered by about three the
any American army had yet faced. to one, took
up a strong defensive
forty miles west of Monterey.
February 22, 1847, Santa Anna reached Taylor's
Anna attacked, and the Battle of Buena Vista The Mexicans attacked bravely and Santa Anna handled his men rather well, so that the outnumbered Americans gave way here and there. An attempt by Santa Anna to send cavalry around the American flank
refused to surrender, Santa
FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA However, the American
be gainsaid, and every lunge
forward on Santa Anna's part cost him heavily in terms of casualties. In the end, he found that he could not break the American lines as they
under the calm generalship of the unruffled Taylor, and he dared
not accept further losses.
February 24, Santa Anna hastened southward again with half
army gone. Taylor had won
his greatest victory despite Polk's deliberate
attempt to cripple him. This victory, snatched from the hated Santa Anna (the
Alamo had not been
would be running
absolutely certain that Taylor
for the presidency the next year.
Indeed, he had no
intention of taking any further risks; so he returned to the United States, at his
On March 9,
landed south of Vera Cruz. city
after the Battle of
and be gone from the coastal area before yellow fever he could not afford a direct and instant
conserve his army for the task ahead.
the one hand, he was anxious to take the
— he had
therefore placed Vera
bombardment from both land and sea (an action deplored an atrocity) and, on March 29, took the city with scarcely any
loss to himself.
amphibious operation ever carried out by the
United States was a complete success.
From Vera Cruz, fortifying a position
march on Mexico City
Scott prepared to
Santa Anna, fresh from his Buena Vista defeat, was
quickly as he could.
on the Mexico City road
northwest of Vera Cruz; the rapid
Cerro Gordo, forty miles
of that port
however, and the American army was on him before he had
Gordo on April 18 was bungled, but the Mexicans, caught unprepared, were forced to retreat anyway.
attack on Cerro
Scott pressed on and, on of
of volunteers halt, in
reached Puebla, only eighty miles east attrition of the
campaign and the
signed up for brief periods forced him to
order to regroup, and to wait for reinforcements.
Mexico City. By then, though, the
in the offensive, Scott
Jefferson, then to
plagued with a
clerk, Nicholas Philip Trist (born in Charlottesville,
in his time,
been private secretary
had sent Trist along with the army to negotiate a treaty was won and to act as a kind of watchdog over the
of peace once victory
OUR FEDERAL UNION
"Old Fuss and Feathers")
Naturally, Scott (nicknamed
quarreled with Trist and fretted over the situation.
had been brought by General Franklin Pierce on November 23, 1804, and one of the
(born in Hillsboro,
fighting in this war), Scott
in a quandary.
could not at the same time guard the long lines leading back to Vera
Cruz and advance further on Mexico
City; either the lines or the
Scott decided to
his lines of
and gamble on the chance of a quick victory making those
1847, he finally
in the southern
From San against very
resistance, as Santa
Anna put up
— all American
found himself two miles outside the southwestern edge of the
last battle finally
again and ten days later
Agustin, eight miles south of the city, Scott pushed northward
three weeks and three battles
suburbs of Mexico City.
placed the American army in Mexico City on
Mexico City ended the war. Santa Anna
attack the small American garrison at Puebla, failed, and fled the country again.
Mexicans could not continue
Although they had fought well, they had northern provinces were irretrievably
every single battle, their
their capital city
sign; so Trist
he had sent to
terms of peace, on
took the chance, disregarded Polk's orders, and stayed on to
negotiate a peace treaty at the
north of Mexico City.
however, the Mexicans were nearly ready to
Guadalupe Hidalgo, four miles
1848, the treaty
the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Mexico agreed to give
broad stretch of territory from Texas to California
southwestern quarter of the United States.
Southwest brought four times
United States had gained in Oregon and the area to some three million square miles
territory at the
was now a giant
winning of independence. The United States
nation, almost equal in area to
In return the United States agreed to pay Mexico fifteen million dollars
to take over
Mexican debts to American
FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA
Polk was irritated and annoyed at Trist's over the treaty did not see
accepted the treaty on March
10, 1848, the
could have been improved.* The Senate
Mexican Congress on
The Mexican War cost the United States about as many casualties as the War of 1812. Whereas the War of 1812, however, had been a narrow draw, the Mexican War was a smashing victory, resulting in an enormous accession of territory.
Furthermore (though Americans could not know served as a training ground for officers who,
to fight the
most dangerous and
this at the time),
little more than a decade later, war the United States was ever
Some Americans, dazzled
of Mexico, but such a
had begun to clamor
move would have been
for the annexation
disastrous, since the
Mexicans would surely never have accepted the situation and the United States would have had to make infinite and unavailing efforts to try to keep order. The land the United States acquired was largely empty; it could therefore be filled with Americans and made an integral and satisfied part of the nation.
THE LAST COMPROMISE THE NEW WEST The
antislavery elements in the United States
with the vast
territories of the
Texas was a slave
That was a
four slave states, each with
were by no means happy
and could not be
might possibly be
too, half the
acquired territory west of Texas was below the line of 32° 30' north latitude
by the Missouri Compromise, open
Antislavery elements in the free states were simply not willing to endure this.
They were determined that Texas be the last slave state ever to enter After all, by Mexican law, slavery was outlawed in the
the Union. territories
west of Texas. Should the United States be in the position of it
fifteen slave states.
have more than
THE LAST COMPROMISE
imposing slavery on territory which had been legally free?
thought not was a Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania, David
at Bethany, Pennsylvania,
push through an appropriation for
Mexican leaders such terms.
war had begun, Polk was trying to two million dollars with which to bribe
1846, soon after the
Anna into agreeing to a peace on American amendment — the "Wilmot Proviso" — to
rose to offer an
the effect that slavery
any territory that might be
ceded to the United States by Mexico. Polk tried to compromise by applying the Wilmot Proviso only to land north
but most of the free-state congressmen,
by a war
in the interests of
the slave states (while Oregon was being compromised), would have none of that.
Though the Wilmot Proviso passed the House, it was blocked in the and precisely the same thing happened again when it was brought up a second time in 1847. Siding with the slave-state senators were several free-state senators who wanted Senate, with Calhoun leading the attack;
keep the slave
issue out of national politics.
of the latter, Senator Lewis Cass of Michigan (born in Exeter,
Hampshire, on October
whether to be free or
territory could vote free.
made be made
themselves nor have for a territory to
1782), maintained that only states could decide
them by Congress.
the decision for
into a state, then the people living in the
state either slave or
This approach he called "popular sovereignty" and on
Wilmot Proviso had to be turned down. By the principle of "popular sovereignty," slave-owners and their slaves could move into any territory and no one could stop them. Then, when the time came to turn the territory into a state, the slave-owners and those sympathizing with them could make a slave state out of it anywhere in the Union — north of the Missouri Compromise line, as well as south. The proposal must have seemed attractive to most slave-staters, but it took for granted that slave-owners and their slaves would move westward in large enough numbers to make slave states possible. This was doubtful, and certainly, of two important strands of westward immigration in the 1840s, neither
be of any help
at all to the slave-state cause.
smaller migration involved the Church of Jesus Christ of
OUR FEDERAL UNION
Latter-Day Saints (commonly
described earlier, had been founded in
Mormons, with disconcerting
church), which, as
State in 1830.
odd notions and intense missionary
to Ohio, establishing a
in 1836. Financial
hardships stemming from the depression of 1837 forced them farther west, to Missouri, the at
westernmost bastion of the slave-state philosophy, where,
they prospered and multiplied.
Soon, however, the Missourians, believing the immigrants from the free states to
Finally, in 1839, a large
free state of Illinois river,
and founded the
a hundred miles west of
There the Mormons, founded the
hound them from place
group of Mormons crossed the Mississippi into the city of
Nauvoo on the
bank of the
under the leadership of Joseph Smith, who had
For a time, Nauvoo,
thousand hard-working Mormons, was the largest city
ary activities continued not only within the United States but abroad.
Brigham Young (born
Whitingham, Vermont, on June
Smith's earliest converts and a leader in the founding of Nauvoo, had been sent as a missionary to Great Britain in 1840
and was sending back
The Mormons came to hold the balance of power in Illinois between the Whigs and Democrats and thus became unpopular with both. Unfortunately, in 1843,
Smith played into the hands of the surrounding "gentiles"
by permitting the practice of polygamy, thus giving non- Mormons the opportunity to accuse the
of sexual immorality. Then, too, Smith
denied his followers the freedoms guaranteed them by the Constitution. (For instance, he had ordered an anti-Smith newspaper published by
Nauvoo suppressed.) up mob violence against the Mormons, therefore, and in June 1844, Smith organized Nauvoo for self-defense. For this, he was accused of treason and arrested by order of the Illinois governor. He and his brother, Hyrum Smith, were jailed in Carthage, twenty miles southeast of Nauvoo. There, on June 27, 1844, a mob stormed the jail and murdered certain It
both Smith and his brother. It
In fact, the Illinois
Brigham Young arrived from Great Britain and
THE LAST COMPROMISE
assumed leadership. He decided isolated
undesirable — that
so far, to a place so
they would never be
crossed the ice-covered Mississippi.
After a hard winter on the banks of the Missouri River, on the
present-day Omaha, they resumed the trek.
There the Mormons stopped, and made
permanent home, founding
the right place."
of slave-state formation.
mass migration into the
even while the Mexican
contingents reached the region of the Great Salt Lake. is
July 24, 1847, advance
from Mexico (occurring
raged) was a blow against the possibility
The Mormons, while
their religious doctrines
remain, distressingly anti-Black, were not slave-owners.
and more clamorous migration took place
as the result of
events in early 1848. In California, one of the large landowners was Johann Augustus Sutter (born in the
Baden on February
in Switzerland, Sutter
settled in Missouri for a while,
15, 1803). After
to the United States in 1834,
and had then moved on
to California in
There he had grown wealthy under Mexican protection but had,
however, shrewdly cooperated with Fremont when the Bear Flag Republic
This meant that he was able to keep his land
While the Mexican-American peace treaty was being negotiated, Sutter set
about building a
January 24, 1848, in the course of
the building operations, the supervisor, James Wilson Marshall (born in
Jersey, in 1810),
across gold nuggets in the
stream at a place about forty miles northeast of the modern city of
Sacramento. Sutter tried to keep the discovery a secret, but unsuccessfully;
and the country went wild. Nothing symbolizes wealth and the thought of
lying around to
be picked up had a maddening
on people. There began a "gold rush" much
frenzied search, three centuries earlier, for the legendary "Eldorado." (Indeed, the area in California
See The Shaping of North America.
gold strike was
United Stales, ai
people flocked to California. They crossed the
wagons or poshed handcarts throu^i
ble hardships and. frequently. Indian hostilitv.
These immigrants eventually ept ower Salter's
arrived in 184
pi opei tv
had a population of a some $200 million worth of gold
of 1849, California of three years
but only a small percentage of the this
than the miners themselves.
This second migration, of course,
elements of the American population who. in die hard
Mexican War. had trek west.
security — and
to lose in
reason for those
few slaveowners cared to make the
clamor for statehood, nearly half of
California, suddenly rich
its first test,
popular sovereignty was
thus Calhoun took to calling
lay to the south of the Missouri
was made not
"squatter sovereignty*" in
bought land, but by a horde of needy immigrants land and claimed ownership by right of occupation.
prepared themselves to block California's entry as a free since this
would break the
die numbers of free and
existed for sixty yt
MIDCE N TURY The probler ever,
hiiuselt to a single
he had made
be faced b
ng the nomination in 1844, had uki%ul
torn and intend
many enemies anions
op that piedc
the free-state Democrats by
OUR FEDERAL UNION
was not only another gallantly
at the Battle of
of 1812 but
the antislavery Democrats, however, Cass was utterly unacceptable.
He had as a
officer-veteran of the
and had been wounded
whose face turned pale
term coined some years as
and was anathematized
earlier to describe a free-
dough before the
threats of the slave-
The Barnburners held
convention in Utica,
June 22, and nominated ex-President Martin Van Buren as their candidate.
Whigs (called "Conscience Whigs" because their conthem go along with the insufficiently antislavery actions of the national party) and those who, in the previous two elections, had voted with the Liberty party joined the Barnburners in backing Van antislavery
sciences wouldn't let
Thus Van Buren ran under the standard chose as Francis
of the "Free-Soil party,"
nominee the Conscience Whig Charles
(born in Boston, Massachusetts, on August 18, 1807), the
only surviving son of the recently deceased John Quincy Adams.
as radical as the Liberal party
did not stand for abolition outright, but for a halt to any further
extension of slavery. followers
were more modest,
If its goals
and was therefore the more threatening to the
Meanwhile, the Whig party met in convention
The perennial campaigner, Henry Clay, was available, but he didn't have a chance this time. It was his fate only to be nominated when Whig prospects were bad, never when they were good. Other aspirants included the two Whig heroes of the Mexican War, Taylor and Scott. On the third ballot Taylor was nominated, as most had been sure he would be from the start. For vice-president, the Whigs chose 7,
Millard Fillmore of 1800), an important
who had begun
York, on January
his political life as
narrowly missed being elected governor of
"election day"), 1,220,000,
Taylor led with 1,360,000 votes against Cass's
electoral college voted 163 for Taylor to 127 for Cass.
For the second time president.
in eight years, the
Whigs had elected a war hero
THE LAST COMPROMISE
had garnered 291,000
comparison with the votes of the major
votes. This figure
nearly five-fold increase over the antislavery vote in the previous election;
to 10 percent of the entire vote.
to note this index of the steeply rising force of antislavery
sentiment in the free
In fact, once again, as in 1844, the antislavery vote had shifted the result
New York. Had the Barnburners voted Democratic instead of Free-Soil, New York and with it the election. It was 1844
Cass would have carried all
over again, only in the other direction.
1849, Zachary Taylor
president of the United States.
as the twelfth
president of the United
not to be the
Although the Whigs had gained the presidency, the Democrats the Thirty-first Congress
House. There were no
in the Senate
in antislavery causes
1 12 to
109 in the
they could vote either with the
either the majority).
There were two Free-Soil senators,
than 9 Free-Soilers in the House, however, and
they held the balance of power (that
his military record, the first to
One, Salmon Portland Chase of
Hampshire, on January
and had been a member of the Liberty
though he indignantly denied being an Abolitionist of Garrison's
respects but the growing
and heightening quarrel over
midcentury seemed to mark a golden age for the United
War had been its
a great triumph; the United States had vastly
and now stretched from the Atlantic
to the Pacific in
a broad fifteen-hundred-mile-thick band.
1850 had topped twenty-three million;
than that of Great Britain at
ten million short of that of
France. Immigrants were flooding in from famine-stricken Ireland, from
Germany, from the Netherlands, from Great by the growing, brawling country, to say nothing
These European immigrants fleeing oppressive govern-
ments were strongly ters
was another trend the
viewed with growing alarm.
10, 1846, Elias
July 9, 1819) patented the
(born in Spencer, Massachusetts, on
practical sewing machine.
This was the
OUR FEDERAL UNION
most important step yet to apply the techniques of the Industrial Revolution toward freeing women from stultifying chores.
Telegraphic communication was established between
Chicago. American cotton supplied the world. Railroads were expanding
and so was foreign
vessels with high masts
American clipper ships
and an enormous
most beautiful ships on the
they could travel from
California around the southern tip of South
London around the southern
America or go from China
tip of Africa in less
But marring and spoiling everything was the
than a hundred days.
issue of slavery.
CLAY AND WEBSTER In the thirty years since the Missouri Compromise, attitudes on slavery
hardened that a head-on
Union had weakened. Parity
viewed with concern the manner in the
their status within the
Senate was their
was vanishing. California
free state, the sixteenth against only fifteen
Moreover, the sparsely settled remainder of the land
from Mexico moved toward organization as
was there a new ment, and
close only to to the
in their territorial constitutions.
slave state in sight unless Texas submitted to
this she refused to do.
The aggrieved Mexican
slave states felt that they
against free-state opposition
have the free restrictions
states reap the profits.
on slavery and
growing opposition to slavery
had supported and fought the and brought
to a triumphant
they were overborne by the
in the free states,
"secession" began to be heard again. Prominent
Alabama (born slave-state in Ogeechee Falls, Georgia, on August 10, 1814), who had been on the Union side in the nullification controversy in Jackson's time but had now "Fire-Eaters" was William Lowndes Yancey
into a strong states' rights position.
tried to organize a
THE LAST COMPROMISE secession
justice within the
Union and had
that the slave states could never receive to pursue their
free of outside
— for the moment.
Henry Clay, the Great Compromiser, having fulfilled his objective of Whig party, was back in Congress. He had put through the Missouri Compromise thirty years before and now had to find another
means of Union.
settling the dispute or see the gathering controversy destroy the
to find a
to give each side something that
badly enough to allow the other side to have something, too.
To begin Union
with, for instance, California
be allowed to enter the
This was what the Californians wanted and could
as a free state.
not long be delayed; the slave states would have to concede. In return, the
remaining land gained from Mexico would be organized as
without the prior outlawing of slavery. This meant the free states would
have to give up on the Wilmot Proviso and accept the
additional slave states.
pair of resolutions dealt with Texas,
which would have
submit to some dissection in order to increase the potential area for
Clay suggested that the northwestern third of
additional slave states.
was nearly uninhabited, be ceded by the
the territories that might eventually
In return, the
United States would accept responsibility for the debts Texas had incurred in its short history of
third pair dealt with the District of Columbia,
slave markets within sight of the Capitol.
interference with slavery
The portion states to state,
in the District of
Columbia, but that there be no
a fourth pair of resolutions, which were not
to the effect
to interfere with the interstate slave trade; the other
of the suggested
swallow was the unbalanced admission of California as a free
would have the
greatest trouble swallowing the Fugitive
drawn up by James Murray Mason (born in Georgetown, on November 2, 1798), the grandson, ironically enough, of
Slave Act, Virginia,
effective provision for the return of fugitive slaves.
breaking the long
Clay therefore suggested that
balanced but were both in favor of the slave that Congress
congressmen were appalled by the existence of
OUR FEDERAL UNION
George Mason, who,
had been the greatest of
the civil libertarians and a strong antislavery statesman.
of fugitive slaves
— on both
years a drizzle of escaping slaves had found relative safety in the free states
because the slaves remained property and had to be
returned to their masters
Whites labored to prevent
ready to swear falsely that the Blacks in question were free Blacks
them from birth, or, if this were not practical, to move them north to Canada where they would be permanently free.
Thousands of antislavery Whites throughout the free
move the Blacks northward along routes and stations which, by 1831, had come to be known as the "Underground Railroad." The movement had begun among the Quakers of Pennsylvania. One of them, Thomas Garrett (born in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, on August 21, 1789), allegedly helped twenty-seven hundred slaves to freedom. The actively to
Maryland had a standing
$10,000 reward for his
continued in his work. Another Quaker, Levi Coffin (born in
North Carolina, on October 28, 1789), was so active
1848, but he
in the operation
was called the "president" of the Underground Railroad.
The Blacks themselves picturesque and daring of
Black woman, Harriet
also contributed to the effort. all
who escaped from
slave states about
Perhaps the most
the underground railroaders was an
(born in Dorchester County, Maryland,
slavery in 1849 but actually returned to the
than for any
White) to lead some three hundred slaves to freedom, including her parents. Another Black active
in the antislavery battle
Frederick Douglass, born near Easton, Maryland, in 1817,
from slavery '
The Underground Railroad did not
was the eloquent
really rescue that
than a thousand a year out of a slave population that had
reached a total of three million and was growing at the rate of seventy
thousand a year. Furthermore, most of the slaves rescued came from the border states where the conditions of slavery were relatively mild. Nevertheless, the people of the slave states were furious at what they
considered to be an outright conspiracy to deprive them of their property.
THE LAST COMPROMISE They
that as long as the
be constantly tempted to run away or
on the other hand,
antislavery elements in the free states,
absolutely inadmissible that they should ever be expected to help return
some unfortunate runaway into the hands of the slave-masters. Extremists on both sides — one group resolutely opposed California, the other as resolutely
to a free
opposed to the Fugitive Slave Act
found the compromise unsatisfactory, and
whether there would be enough moderates on both
be a tossup push
had been prominent years
— ever since
where two great old men who
in the Senate,
Congress and in national
the days of the
— now met each
the last time.
February 5 and
1850, Clay rose to introduce his resolutions.
was seventy-three years old and showed
argue with mountain-moving fervor for concessions on both
asked the free states not to harass the slave states to consider that there
but he found the strength to
and he begged the
constitutional provision for secession
and that any attempt to secede would surely precipitate war. Opposing the compromise was the dying John Calhoun, sixty-eight years ill to speak. He had to sit there, emaciated and glaring, while
old and too his
speech was read by Senator Mason.
Calhoun could not accept a
the slave states
guaranteed an equality of power with the free states for constitutional
presidents, a free-stater other.
as the only
wanted an end
time — by meant two
each able to veto the acts of the
to all antislavery agitation in the free states,
which the slave
could possibly feel secure within
He was asking for the impossible, but he did not live to see the He survived the reading of his speech by less than
his last push.
dying on March 31, 1850.
The opposite extreme was voiced by a younger man, one of the rising generation of politicians now coming to the fore, William Henry Seward (born in Florida, politics as
Seward had entered
an anti-Mason, had then become a Whig, and had served four
OUR FEDERAL UNION
New York. His administration was distinguished for he worked on prison reform, furthered toleration of Catholics and foreigners, and did what he could to hamper the recovery of
years as governor of its
In 1849, he was sent to the Senate by the New York which had come under the control of the Whigs in the wake of
fugitive slaves. legislature,
There, he at once
Taylor's 1848 victory.
as a strong
of slave territory.
he expressed intransigent
hostility to the
by the Constitution,
Congress had the power to permit extension of slavery into the this still
could not be done,
a higher law than the
the law of God, of course
vague law on
which there has never been general agreement.
The most important, and perhaps
speech, however, was
Daniel Webster's, coming between those of Calhoun and Seward; delivered on of
thus always referred to as the "Seventh
March speech." Webster's great speech of 1830 had roused the nation to support "Our
Federal Union" at a time
to achieve the
was not primarily effect in a
Like Clay, he called for concessions on both
appealing to those in
both the slave and the free states to put their prejudices to one side and join to maintain the Union, within settled,
and outside which everything, on
matters could finally be
tried to cool fears concerning the extension of slave power,
maintaining that there was no need to bar slavery from the southwestern territories, as
the possibility would be prevented by the nature of the
would be of only limited use. The Seventh of March speech, more than anything else, pushed Clay's resolutions through Congress, making them the "Compromise of 1850."
This, the last
compromise between the
saved the Union and staved
and the slave
catastrophe for ten more years.
however, Webster was cast into the outer darkness by the
appalled antislavery forces, the enemy.
felt that in his
This sentiment found
old age, he had deserted to
clearest expression in a
"Ichabod" (from a Hebrew expression meaning "the glory
THE LAST COMPROMISE
by John Greenleaf Whittier (born in Haverhill, 17, 1807, of Quaker parents), the most renowned of American poet-abolitionists. The first stanza of this sad see
requiem to one
the Abolitionists considered a fallen hero reads:
So fallen! so
the light withdrawn
Which once he wore! The glory from
his gray hairs
Webster was accused of kowtowing
to the slave states in the
gaining their support for his presidency, but he was sixty-eight years old
his ambitions in that direction,
one more 1852.
any, must have been feeble.
perform as secretary of
but he died on October 24,
spared having to watch the coming tragedy. Clay, too, was
spared, having died on June 29, 1852.
THE FUGITIVE SLAVES Preceding both Clay and Webster into the shadows was the president.
Twice the Whigs had won a military hero;
presidential election; twice they
had elected a
and twice that president died of natural causes before
completing his term.
July 4, 1850, President Taylor
to listen to
oratory under the broiling sun. (The orator, speaking for two hours,
was Senator Henry Stuart Foote of Virginia, in 1804). Taylor,
by eating cucumbers,
chose to cool off afterward
and large quantities of iced
severe stomachache from which he might have recovered had not the
upon him; by the time they were through dosing him
with dubious medicines and bleeding him, however, he was dead. 9,
1850, Vice-President Millard Fillmore
of the United States,
and the second to
became the thirteenth president succeed by virtue of the natural
death of his predecessor.
The change proved
to the advantage of the
been a slave-holder, but rather Jacksonian
compromise. Taylor had
in his views.
tyt — H
z w sj O O H Z
^ \J^T^S%^:^i&v N
^TENNESSEE^ S.C MISS.
made them more
reluctant to cast their lot with the remaining
and they didn't — not officially, Delaware
at least its
was no problem.
With only eighteen
least slave of all the slave
had voted unanimously on January
1861, to remain
never wavered thereafter.
Maryland was a more
lay north of Washington,
had seceded and had made the secession stick, the Union government would have had to leave Washington, which would have been and
a stunning blow to the Union cause.
majority in Maryland was Unionist, but there was a strong minority
sympathetic to the Confederacy concentrated in Baltimore.
1861, a Massachusetts regiment marching through Baltimore on
Washington was attacked by a mob of Confederate sympathizers; before
THE WAR BEGINS could be beaten Since the
179 four soldiers were killed and thirty-six wounded.
of Fort Sumter
casualties of the Civil
Divided between a pro-Union governor and a pro-Confederate
Maryland seemed to be pushing
government coulJ scarcely allow that
but the Union
in the hinterland of the capital city.
were arrested and imprisoned, and by the end of the Many year, Maryland was — and would remain — firmly in the Union camp. Kentucky was in a less crucial position with regard to Washington, and state officials
for neutrality, Lincoln
territory, at least temporarily.
keep the army out of
For a few months, the
farther west, was, like Maryland, largely pro-Union, but
with a strong pro-Confederate minority. In Missouri, both sides resorted to arms, so that there
was a small
had helped foment
background of the greater
Oddly enough, a a secession
war within the
border state was created of
state (worse than the
Kansas four years before), played against the
when Virginia underwent
own. The Appalachian counties
had long been out of sympathy with the richer plantation lands in the east. Those western counties were economically part of the Ohio Virginia
and not of the
three-eighths of the area of the
they contained only one-fiftieth of Virginia's slaves.
Strongly Unionist in sentiment, the western counties called a convention that
Wheeling on the Ohio River on June
organized a Unionist government and elected a governor on June 19. The federal
of course, as a
and eventually the region was invited
to enter the
— West Virginia.
Despite the unrest in
western counties, however, Virginia took
natural position as the leader of the Confederacy.
capital of the
Confederacy was transferred from Montgomery, Alabama, to Richmond, Virginia,
Congress met there for the
and there first
would remain. The Confederate
time on July 20.
This meant that the capital of the Confederate States and that of the
United States were separated by only a hundred miles; influence the war.
object of offensive war, and on
this in itself
the capital of the other as
as the object of defensive war.
OUR FEDERAL UNION
Neither side sensed the fact that the capitals were overvalued; important
were totally ignored Washington-Richmond struggle. strategic principles
secession of Virginia
had a more subtle
happened, the best generals
on the war,
Scott's staff during the
a general of the
Lee had served on winning great to 1855;
These included Robert Edward Lee (born
in a wild concentration
time were Stratford,
march on Mexico City, West Point from 1852
as superintendent of
was he who had taken John Brown
in the latter's abortive
attempt at rebellion at Harpers Ferry.
Lee had been serving was called back
Texas when the secession
Washington on February
of the United States
although a Virginian, unswervingly loyal to the Union),
Lee the command
began, and he
Scott, Lee's old
was the Union's misfortune that Lee would not accept the post. He secession, but he felt his first loyalty to be
was against slavery and against would do.
He therefore waited to see what Virginia When Virginia seceded, Lee at once resigned his commission in
army and became an
and not the Union.
officer in the
Another Virginian who resigned
Confederate army instead.
commission and joined the Confed-
army was Joseph Eggleston Johnston (born in Cherry Grove, on February 3, 1807). Two weeks younger than Lee, Johnston had graduated in the same West Point class and had also served with Scott in Mexico. He was quartermaster general of the federal army when he erate
was Thomas Jonathan Jackson (born at Clarksburg, the section of the state which became West Virginia — on 1824). Jackson had served in the Mexican War but had
resigned his commission in 1851 and Military Institute,
which was second only
professor at the Virginia
War is sometimes called "the last gentleman's war." The United was courteous enough to allow about 270 of its 900 officers to resign from its army in order to make skilled and resolute war on the Union. This was not a privilege they allowed enlisted men, for gentlemanly behavior is usually reserved to gentlemen and not extended to the common herd. Had the United States been ungentlemanly enough to arrest and imprison any officer planning to turn traitor, uncounted thousands of lives might have been saved. °
THE WAR BEGINS
nation's military colleges.
once joined the
Confederate army. Besides prompting these desertions, the events in Virginia hurt the
fighting in the
assault in Baltimore)
western Virginia, where the Union forces were intent on
supporting the dissident Virginians attempting to set up a Unionist
At the head of the Union forces
with the responsibility of
supporting the Virginia mountaineers, was George Brinton McClellan (born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on
seemed of Napoleonic
and graduated second
considerable distinction in the process.
1857 to become a railroad executive but rejoined
On June 3,
Like Lee, he had fought with Scott on the road to Mexico and,
(especially to himself),
had entered West Point when he was only like
A man who
1861, in the
western Virginia against very first
in April 1861. little
skirmish between the armies in the
(seven weeks after the firing on Fort Sumter), Unionist forces
drove a Confederate contingent out of the town of Philippi, about 180 miles northwest of Richmond.
The engagement was
brief and, militarily,
meaningless; there were no Union casualties and only a few
the Confederate contingents.
the most of
meeting of the opposing
overblown phraseology and would see to received
a habit of addressing his
that these statements of his
he was self-consciously imitating
Napoleon, and for a while he was, indeed, called "the young Napoleon of the West."
His reputation was enhanced
small skirmish at Rich Mountain, twenty-five miles south of Philippi.
Undoubtedly, McClellan's campaign was good enough fact,
Robert E. Lee, handling the Confederate end of
— as it,
McClellan's victories helped
a matter of
separation from Virginia.
— the fact that he no one, not even his enemies, could find any fault with this respect. But this meant he was soft with his subordinates and, at crucial times, failed to hold them to the mark. *
Lee's failure here was due to his greatest fault as a general
was an him in
OUR FEDERAL UNION
Nevertheless, the ultimate result was that the Union felt McClellan to be a great general. This was a disastrous mistake, for he was no such thing.
BULL RUN The
secessions of the spring of 1861
20, the Confederate States of
compared to 5.5 were also present
million in the
America had reached
had been chosen and the
take place; by
Union had a population of some 22 million Whites
Confederacy 3.5 million Blacks who did not revolt
but aided the Confederate war
with their labor.
the other hand,
the influx of immigrants to the Union did not cease during the Civil War,
and a quarter of the
fought for the Union were foreign-born.
throughout the war, the Union
could suffer greater casualties than the Confederacy and yet repair the
In addition, the Union was economically.
The Union was
stronger than the Confederacy
industrialized to perhaps ten times the
was and was knit together by a vast railroad network, twice the length and much better connected than the railroads of the Confederacy. (Much of the Union railroad network had been built extent the Confederacy
during the ten-year period of the 1850s, which had been gained for peace
by Clay, Webster, and the Compromise of
prosperous agriculture, a strong financial structure, a merchant marine,
and a navy.
The Confederacy, on the other hand, was almost purely agricultural, less prosperous in that respect than the Union. The Confederate States had virtually no industry, which meant it would always have and
problems of supplying
army, especially since
meager. Nevertheless, the Confederacy counted overconfidently, as
withering of Unionist resolution, since
it counted on the was a great deal of
Virginia in the Civil
for its cause
the Union population.
but never enough to disrupt the Union war
had a trump card
lower reaches of the Mississippi River. could only trade by
There was some,
possession of the
reasoned that the Middle West
of the river and
to support the
Confederacy as the only way of keeping from being strangled to death.
OUR FEDERAL UNION had been true up
to 1850, but since then, the railroads
This the Confederacy, which was out of tune with the
to the Atlantic Coast
industrialization, did not realize.)
that Great Britain, desperate for cotton to
trouble for years and
had been expecting
could prior to the outbreak of the Civil War, and the slave collect
the cotton she
payment, had not had the foresight to keep Great Britain on short
supply. Great Britain also found alternate sources of cotton in Egypt
than she needed cotton, and surplus during the
turned out that Great Britain needed wheat worse
was the Union
had a good wheat
The Confederacy had overlooked another factor, with It was only the British ruling classes who, out of a
respect to British
weaken the United States, were pro-Confederate; the people themselves were strongly pro-Unionist, out of a hatred for slavery, and made that aid.
even when they were suffering
in the depression that
eventually followed the pinch of the cotton shortage. cases (not often found in history)
where principle rose above the needs of
The British issued a this was dangerous to crisis as
declaration of neutrality on
implied that the British viewed the
a matter of threatened war between two nations, instead of as the
suppression of an insurrection by the lawful government of one nation. In the former case, the British could trade with both warring parties; in the
only with the lawful government.
their foreign minister,
with Confederate agents, presumably to discuss the cotton trade. Lincoln had to
sure Great Britain did not go too far; he therefore
upon Charles Francis Adams, who had run for vice-president on the and was one of the Whigs who early joined the Republican party. Adams was appointed minister to Great Britain and arrived in London on the same day that the British proclamation of neutrality was issued. He at once began a tireless program, combining
Free-Soil ticket in 1848
king," the slave staters
were fond of
THE WAR BEGINS
firmness with tact, to keep Great Britain in line. His
of the least
enviable tasks of the Civil War.
Meanwhile, Lincoln was doing
his best to
work out some way
with the Confederacy from the military standpoint. Raising an army was easy; training
them and making them
an effective instrument was
Winfield Scott, the general in chief of the United States, who, despite his
age and obesity, could see the situation for what safe to as the
count on land campaigns.
The Confederacy, he
was, did not think
favored the use of the American navy thought, would have to be
be blockaded more and more
while the land armies concentrated on taking the Mississippi River, thus
cutting the Confederacy in two.
calculated that the process
take two to three years, would be dead sure, and would cost the Union virtually nothing.
Lincoln saw the virtue of the plan, but the navy then consisted of an obsolete group of ships far too few to blockade the long, long coastline of
did set up the blockade, however
— largely bluff to
hoped no European nation would
Meanwhile, he also inaugurated a desperate program of naval building, hoping to make the blockade steadily
The program worked
was a race with time
— and with
yet, public opinion in the
blockade. Millions of people, totally ignorant of military
for a long,
some action that would quickly show the seceding states what was what and put an end to the whole mess. The popular outcry, augmented by the declamations of politicians whose lack of knowledge of military science but accentuated their bloodthirstiness, could not be withstood. Here was the situation. The main Confederate force consisted of twenty for
of Manassas, near the small stream called Bull
Run. These men, only twenty-five miles west of Washington, D.C., were
under Beauregard, who was,
moment, the great
military hero of the
Confederacy because he had taken Fort Sumter three months before. additional twelve thousand
men were under
northwest of Manassas.
E. Johnston, about
The two Confederate
OUR FEDERAL UNION
186 In Washington were thirty-five thousand
(born in Columbus, Ohio, on October 15, 1818), a veteran of the Mexican
himself at the head of green soldiers with two
months' training, and with these he was ordered to march on Beauregard's position.
half days to
side of Bull
McDowell began his advance; it took march twenty miles to Centerville, on the other
the afternoon of July 16, 1861,
him two and a
was a clumsy, undisciplined,
march, not helped by the fact that the
leaders of Washington, in high good humor,
Naturally, a second
Union force had been sent
to block Johnston
prevent him from joining forces with Beauregard.
Johnston was not so
commander, Johnston had James Ewell Brown Stuart 6, 1833), generally known,
(born in Patrick County, Virginia, on February
suppression of the John
brilliant Virginians to resign his state.
served under Lee in the
and was another of those
commission in the Union army to serve
to prove the most flamboyant and effective cavalry leader of
occasion, Jeb Stuart
force here, there,
horsemen galloped about so
and everywhere, that the main Confederate body could
board the railroad Beauregard.
completely confusing the Union forces with their show of
without opposition and
Leading one of the brigades that thus arrived
was Thomas Jackson. Johnston's forces did not arrive at the scene
June 20. McDowell had
Beauregard before the reinforcements came but had lacked
the ability, or the trained men, to do so; he wasn't ready to
was too late, for the combined Confederates now somewhat outnumbered the Union army. What is called the First Battle of Bull Run (or, by the Confederates, the First Battle of Manassas) began when the Union forces crossed Bull Run
the 21st, by which time
and pushed back the Confederate firm leadership of William
left flank slightly.
Tecumseh Sherman (born
in Lancaster, Ohio,
1820) struck the Confederate center particularly hard.
Confederates had time to recover, however, because Jackson's brigade, on
THE WAR BEGINS a hilltop, resisted
attempts to budge
handled and had taken many
General Barnard Bee, trying to shouted, "Look, there
had been roughly
the Confederate side,
Jackson standing like a stone wall. Rally behind
him." (Bee was killed a
but he had made his contribution
to military history with that remark.)
day forward, Thomas Jackson was known only
name do not know what
his real first
possible for the Confederates to launch a
counterattack. Definite uniforms this
so universally referred to in that fashion that
had not been
proved decisive. The Union
and might have
ensured a Union victory, but a Confederate contingent dressed in Union blue got close enough to shoot
late afternoon, the
Union forces were
army were breaking and running;
had a bad
on the untried
effect if little
disorderly as they approached Washington.
further Confederate action forced the
who had accompanied
(who had fought with surprising bravery
in retreat, orderly at
the politicians and the picnickers
at last into a wild rush for
something which could have been dangerous for them, had the
Confederate forces not been themselves too green and too disarrayed by the battle to organize an effective pursuit.
was a clear Union defeat with twenty-nine hundred casualties on the Union side to two thousand for the Confederates. The only Union officer to have shown promise was Sherman, who had made his way through West Point in a constant blizzard of demerits and had chafed in inaction in It
California during the
was generally supposed
be crazy. Certainly he was markedly
crackerjack soldier just the same and Bull
so vile-tempered a redhead
clear to the people of the
nation would have to
sobered the Union.
Union that before anything could be
done about the Confederacy, an army would have healthy.
of the battle confirmed the Confederacy in their easy
assumption that the Union need not be feared, but
his first battle.
an income tax was
be trained and the That, at least, was
3 percent of
OUR FEDERAL UNION
in excess of eight fell least
heavily on the rich.
United States ever experienced
was not graduated, so first income tax the
This was the
— but hardly the last.)
McDowell was removed from command almost immediately after Bull Run, and on July 24, the Young Napoleon of the West, George McClellan, only thirty-five years old, was put in charge of the army defending Washington.
GETTING READY McClellan began the process of training what came to be called the
of the Potomac,
in this, to
and obviously interested
point where he never dared risk
in the welfare of his
in combat), and, in return, his
was, however, incredibly vain, and in his letters to his wife, he
pictured himself, over and over, as the only capable
upon whom all the burden of the war was falling. He felt he could make himself a Napoleonic dictator, but for his own moderation. The rest of 1861 passed without major engagements, though important the one
events took place as both sides got ready for the real contest. There was fighting in Missouri,
commander, Nathaniel Lyon
(born in Ashford, Connecticut, on July 14, 1818), based in realized that although Missouri
ate minority in the southern part of the state
be put down
seized Jefferson City, Missouri's capital, on June 15 and
secession, the pro-Confeder-
he was defeated by an outnumbering Confed-
erate force on August 10, at the Battle of Wilson's
By that time, though, the Confederate cause had been damaged so that Missouri remained under Unionist control
corner of the sufficiently
Kentucky's neutrality lasted for nearly
after Fort Sumter.
south and Union forces to
and each was strongly tempted
There were its
Confederate forces hovering to
forestall the other.
THE WAR BEGINS
Heading the Confederate army was Leonidas Lafayette Polk (born Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1837), a cousin of the late President Polk
an Episcopalian bishop.
Heading the Unionists was Ulysses Simpson Grant (born at Point on April 27, 1832). His name had originally been Hiram Ulysses, but when he entered West Point in 1839, he found his name had
than for the army to correct
Grant had been the best horseman mediocre
in his class although
he was only
finishing twenty-first in a class of thirty-nine.
served in the Mexican
approved of that war and didn't
Grant to accept the mistake
at lonely posts in the
separation from his wife drove
with distinction, but he hadn't After the war, he had
like military life.
West, and there boredom and
to drink and, in 1854, to resign his
commission. After that, he tried to be a farmer and a storekeeper and failed at everything.
But then came the secession
commission; he was ignored, so he drilled an
and did some
fighting in Missouri until the exigencies of
Grant was appointed a brigadier general and put Polk
company war compelled
A West Point graduate could not be passed up. On August
Illinois state militia
the western end of Kentucky.
on the Mississippi River,
he occupied Columbus, Kentucky,
twenty miles south of Cairo. This meant
Kentucky's neutrality had been violated and the Union could feel free to
rapidly, without waiting for orders,
sixty miles east of Cairo,
and on September 6
where the Tennessee River
flows into the Ohio.
In addition to seizing control of
and Kentucky (which
were not members of the Confederate States of America), the Union spent the waning months of 1861 initiating Scott's plan for strangling the
Confederate States by blockade.
in view, the
Union navy began
occupy spots on the
Confederate coastline which could be used for the establishment of blockade bases.
August 28 and 29, for instance, Forts Clark and Hatteras on the
islands off the
North Carolina coast were taken by an expedition under
Kentucky and Tennessee
in the Civil
General Benjamin Franklin Butler of Massachusetts (born at Deerfield,
Hampshire, on November
He had been
which had made him so unpopular
Butler was a politician of
a Breckenridge Democrat in 1860,
in Massachusetts that
for the governorship there that year.
secession came, he
He had been
swiveled into a pro-Unionist of the most extreme type.
of the Massachusetts soldiers
North Carolina islands lent him a spurious
were such that September
in later years his
incompetence had to be endured.
Union forces took Ship
port of Biloxi, Mississippi; and on
attacked in Baltimore.
As a general, Butler was peculiarly incompetent, but
lost a race
Island, ten miles south of the 7,
they took Port Royal, South
Carolina, ninety miles southwest of the lost Fort Sumter.
THE WAR BEGINS
grew stronger and more
on, steadily, the blockade
and slowly (but
acted to strangle the Confederacy.
Confederate ships tried to run the blockade and there were always some successes, but these dwindled with time.
The Confederacy was peculiarly inert in the months after Bull Run. They might have made energetic efforts to import arms in exchange for cotton in the months when the Union blockade was still leaky, or they might have tried to impede the capture of the blockade bases. They did neither because they felt Great Britain
the cotton she needed.
would do what was necessary
welcomed the blockade, since he imagined all the more desperate for cotton.
make the British The Confederate Union
forces might also have conducted dashing raids into
territory in order to dishearten the Unionists
and encourage foreign
but having initiated the shooting, the Confederacy
support for themselves, insisted,
In fact, Davis (who fancied himself a great
now, on a purely defensive war.
There was one
thing, though, the
Confederacy had to do
Confederate government appointed
this end, the
two commissioners: James Mason, the author of the Fugitive Slave Act, was to go to Great Britain to seek aid; John Slidell, who had attempted, unsuccessfully, to win American aims in Mexico without war back in 1845, was
to go to France.
In late October, the
Union warship San
Europe aboard the
and brought them back
Slidell off the Trent
to Boston as prisoners. Wilkes
a hero and was lionized everywhere just the
under Charles Wilkes, the Antarctic explorer.
Wilkes (acting without orders) took Mason and force
1861, however, the Trent was stopped
— but the move was a terrible mistake
had committed the act
force on the high seas
and taking men away
one of the causes of the
of boarding a foreign ship as prisoners.
This had been
the British had done
an act that could be construed as either piracy or warfare, and the British
What's more, the
might well be delighted to use
an excuse to
behind an open attempt to aid the Confederacy. In the United States, too, there were people willing to to extremes.
the American side, for instance, Seward
the matter go (still,
OUR FEDERAL UNION
dreaming of a foreign war that would reunite the Union and the Confederacy) was
defying the British.
There were moderates,
Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, to
managed, though on the point of death,
go over the ultimatum Great Britain was preparing to send the United
enough to make
possible for the United States
the American side, there was President Lincoln,
Seward and ordered Mason and
necessary apology offered.
So on December 26, 1861, the commissioners set their
to Great Britain
Neither accomplished very much, though they remained in Europe
throughout the war and though the European governments were very
They were never officially recognized, however, and the was not of the type to influence the course of the war. Releasing them, then — and by so doing, avoiding real trouble with Great Britain — was the wisest thing Lincoln could have done.
polite to them.
aid they received
THE RISING FURY RELUCTANT WARRIORS by no means
Lincoln's moderation, patience, and good sense were
viewed favorably by everyone. The their
fact that the seceding states
A group of "Radical Republicans," led by
Congressman Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania (born Vermont, April
began to push
immediate emancipation of quered
for stronger military action,
and harsh measures against recon-
Lincoln well until there
was an army powerful enough
divisions, estrange the
Democrats, and hinder the
tion with the Confederacy. Lincoln's task, as If
stronger military action
he was reluctant to emancipate the slaves
throughout the year and had inflicted a major defeat on Union
possibility of reconcilia-
emancipating the slaves would contribute to
emancipate them, but not otherwise.
produce further to preserve the that,
OUR FEDERAL UNION
The Radical Republicans were strengthened when, on October 21, 1861, a Union detachment was beaten at Ball's Bluff on the Potomac River, thirty-five miles upstream from Washington. It was a small engagement and an unimportant one, but being close to Washington, it was another humiliation and some scapegoat was required. The scapegoat was Scott. He was old and ill — and Virginia-born, which alone was enough to make him suspect in Radical eyes. On November 1, 1861, Scott was retired to the superintendency of West Point* and McClellan became general in chief of the Union armies. The Radical Republicans went on to maneuver Congress into setting up a "J omt Committee on the Conduct of the War" on December 20. Dominated by the Radicals, it plagued Lincoln throughout the war with demands for strong (and, usually, injudicious) action.
One thing of worth
exposed the corruption
surrounding Simon Cameron (born in Donegal, Pennsylvania, on March 1799), the secretary of war.
Cameron was a businessman turned
he had become a successful party boss, controlling votes, finagling himself into the Senate in 1845. in 1860, and, failing,
tried for the
his support to Lincoln in return for the
promise of a cabinet post.
showed that Cameron was converting the War graft, Lincoln was glad to get rid of
Lincoln avoided too badly angering Cameron's political
however, by appointing him minister to Russia. (On hearing the news, one
congressman commented that the czar of Russia had better keep an eye on his belongings
once Cameron got
Lincoln had his eyes on Edwin McMasters Stanton (born at SteubenOhio,
Democrat, had voted for Breckenridge Lincoln and
1860 because he despised
a Republican victory would split the Union.
the split came, however, he threw in with the Union with
joined Buchanan's cabinet as attorney general on the very day that South
Carolina seceded and was an element of strength in that pitifully
Lincoln wanted Stanton partly because he was a
"War Democrat" —
one of those willing to cooperate with the Republicans *
Scott held the post for the rest of his
He lived to see
in prosecuting the
war end and the
29, 1866, just short of his eightieth birthday.
THE RISING FURY
war. Indeed, Lincoln, hoping to leave the "Peace Democrats" a helpless
minority and to
war above partisan
was organizing a
"Union party" to include both Republicans and
Stanton accepted the post, after some hesitation, on January 11, 1862,
was speedily confirmed by the Senate, and got to work. Before taking on the task, he had been a dour, vituperative person, expressing dislike of Lincoln openly and in the most embittered fashion. In the cabinet, he did not change but remained utterly unlovable and was roundly hated by
anything to do with him.
honest, however, filled with driving energy, a top-notch administrator, and
very likely the best secretary of war in American history.
with him for the sake of his virtues.
As the months passed, McClellan's army was beginning
become a usable instrument. Unfortunately, McClellan had no thought using
and could not bear
do anything that
McClellan, at this time and afterward, excused inaction by invariably insisting that the
Confederate armies facing him were
organization served as an intelligence force, and
mated Confederate numbers,
By untold damage to tesquely
the Union cause.
budge McClellan. Not only did McClellan refuse
strengthening McClellan's insecurities, Pinkerton did
Lincoln, aware that tried to
he had the help of Pinkerton, the private detective, whose
against the emancipation of slaves.
a political force, and to the Radicals he
be budged, he
be known that he was
beginning to see himself as
seemed a Confederate sympa-
was quite the
West, where Fremont was
Fremont who had been insubordinate
in California in
for Lincoln, in the
This was the same
1845 and had run,
unsuccessfully, on the Republican ticket in 1856.
Fremont was the beneficiary of Lyon's successful campaigning °
Lincoln was, in
respects, almost saintly in his forbearance,
vain McClellan snubbed him.
even when the
Once, when the President came to see him,
McClellan rather ostentatiously went to bed. All Lincoln said was, "I will hold his horse for
only he will bring us success."
OUR FEDERAL UNION
196 Missouri but lacked the ability to extend what Instead, he
August 30, 1861, he freed
the slaves in the territory he controlled.
make an emancipation move and ordered
Lincoln was not ready to
Lyon had accomplished.
kind of political campaigning when, on
November 2, a move which angered the Radical Republicans. To replace Fremont, Lincoln chose Henry Wager Halleck Westernville,
York, on January 16, 1815), a military theorist, whose
textbook on military science was widely used in the Union army during the Civil
much good at applying theory to Whatever he did accomplish was owing to the energy of the under him who, every once in a while, managed to pull loose from
War. Halleck was
his strangling uncertainty.
Working with Halleck, in Ohio, was Don Carlos Buell (born near March 23, 1818), a friend of McClellan's who, much like him, was great on organizing and training armies and almost Marietta, Ohio, on
impossible to force into a
This was too bad because the mountaineers of eastern Tennessee were as
strongly pro-Union as the mountaineers of western Virginia.
Tennesseans tried to establish a pro-Union government, but, receiving no support from Buell, the
Opposite Halleck and Buell was the Confederate general Albert Sidney Johnston* (born in Washington, Kentucky, on February
had taken part
and had even,
served as Texas's secretary of war. At the time the secession
Johnston was in the Far West (having led an expedition against the
He made his way back
to the East
and joined the Confederate
army. Serving under Buell was George Henry
County, Virginia, on July 31, 1816), one of the few Virginia generals who decided to remain with the Union. Because of his birth, Thomas was never completely trusted and never received his just due as one of the most capable and loyal
officers in the
In January 1862, Thomas, then based at Lebanon, Kentucky, about miles southeast of Louisville,
miles farther south, to take care of Confederate forces there. '
be confused with
that other Confederate general, Joseph E. Johnston.
THE RISING FURY
thousand men, he marched through a winter rain which killed or sickened a thousand of his
before he got to his objective.
Thomas camped a dozen miles northeast of where the Confederates lay at Mill Springs on the Cumberland River. The Confederates were under George Bibb Crittenden (born in Russellville, Kentucky, on March 20, 1812), the elder son of the
Kentucky senator who had
tried to arrange a
Crittenden tried to march northward on the night of January 19, 1862, planning to surprise Thomas's sleeping forces.
Unfortunately for him,
was raining harder than ever, and he could not get his entire the Union camp in fighting order. While Crittenden tried to it
gather his men,
Thomas had time
men up and organized. After Thomas launched a strong and
to get his
giving ground a bit in the morning,
well-organized counterattack, and the Confederates broke.
There were only four thousand men on each side Springs, but
decisive victory for the
in this Battle of Mill
served to put Kentucky firmly into Union hands.
UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER Meanwhile, Halleck was facing two Confederate
forts: Fort Henry, on Cumberland River. Both were near the northern border of Tennessee and might have been built further north in better positions, except that this would have placed them in Kentucky, which had managed to remain neutral for a few months. The
the Tennessee River, and Fort Donelson, on the
were about eleven miles
Grant wanted to do something about these of urging
get on with
his part before the ever-cautious
Fort Henry was the easier to take;
took a good deal
which the Civil War split the country is demonstrated by the younger brother, Thomas Leonidas Crittenden (born in Kentucky, on May 15, 1819), served as a general in the Union
fact that George's
Halleck would allow him to
the two *
OUR FEDERAL UNION
ground and very vulnerable February
from gunboats on the
Commodore Andrew September
Tennessee River on transports on
of seven gunboats under
Hull Foote (born in
Haven, Connecticut, on
The gunboats did the job alone. The Confederate commander at Fort Henry saw that there was no point in resistance. He sent as many of his
men as possible who were left.
to Fort Donelson,
and surrendered those
men overland to Fort Donelson, but that was was on high ground and could defend itself well, and the Confederacy, appreciating its importance, had quickly sent in large reinforcements, bringing the number of its defenders to fifteen Grant
took his gunboats
the Tennessee and
then up the Cumberland to get at Fort Donelson, his gunboats were shot out of the water and he himself was badly wounded.
without naval support.
Grant, whose force had off.
risen to twenty-five thousand, did not
Unlike McClellan, Halleck, and Buell, he was able to avoid dwelling
possibility of defeat.
In nominal charge at Fort Donelson was John
Buchanan Floyd (born
on June 1, 1806), who had brought in the reinforcements a week before. As secretary of war under Buchanan, Floyd had Smithfield, Virginia,
his best to
prevent any strong action against secession
then joined the seceders.
He was no
and leaned heavily on
subordinate, Gideon Johnson Pillow (born in Williamson County, Tennes-
on June 8, 1806). Grant drew his lines about Fort Donelson, and when the Confederates
he managed to contain them
thanks in part to Floyd's timorous and premature backing-off
while the issue was yet in doubt.
he were captured (since his
feared a charge of treason
activities as secretary of
He prepared to decamp, who would have none of that,
war had been most
leaving the defense of the fort to
since he preferred to leave, too.
with a small number of men, fled that night to safety (and
two steamers. The command was
THE RISING FURY
Bolivar Buckner (born near Munfordville, Kentucky, on April
With the Confederate garrison demoralized by this desertion and with the knowledge that Grant had been reinforced, Buckner had to consider
able soldier in the fort
self-educated cavalry leader of genius.
Buckner's permission, led his fight
was Nathan Bedford Forrest (born
Tennessee, on July 13,
a slave-trader and
surrender and, with
out of the fort in order to save them to
another day. Only after they had safely escaped did Buckner ask for
What he wanted was
Grant answered that there would be none.
"unconditional and immediate surrender," in default of which he promised
an immediate attack. Buckner had no choice but to complain of Grant's unchivalrous attitude and then capitulate unconditionally.* 16, 1822,
Fort Donelson was taken, with eleven thousand
deal of equipment.
February a great
was the biggest bag of prisoners any American army
day — and many of them might have been ferried to
had the two steamers which had carried
Floyd and Pillow
The result of the loss of the forts was to force Johnston to retreat from much of Tennessee, and Grant was able to take Nashville, the state capital, on February 25.
psychological effect on the Union was great. This was a dramatic
victory for an
the recovery of a good part of one of the seceded states. wild,
and the coincidence
The people went
that Grant's initials stood not only for Ulysses
Simpson, but also for Unconditional Surrender and Uncle Sam, seemed to increase their delight.
Grant was no
idol to his superior, Halleck,
in this victory for the nation
He wanted no subordinate to gain own reputation, and so he began to
drinking and tried to remove him from
the kind of fame that
spread tales of Grant's
war did not make the men enemies, however. When Grant later, Buckner was a pallbearer at his funeral.
died nearly a quarter-century
Buckner lived on ninety.
Lincoln blocked the attempt, however. *
however. Halleck was a small
he served, he saw only a threat to
for another quarter-century
dying in 1914 at the age of
OUR FEDERAL UNION
not afraid to fight
man who had just He promoted Grant to major
so to let go of a
ability in that direction.
PINCHING THE MISSISSIPPI The most was
logical thing for the
Union armies to do
Mississippi, just south of the
What Grant wanted strike
after taking Nashville
and smash him.
to follow the retreating Johnston
do was move up along the Tennessee River and
Johnston without delay before he had readied himself for defense.
most stupid, managed to prevent.
concerned about Confederate forces on the Mississippi River, fearing that they might be strong enough to launch an attack on the right flank of any
Union force moving south. He therefore detached a portion of the Union army and sent it, under John Pope (born in Louisville, Kentucky, on March 16, 1822), westward to attack those positions.
Confederate position in the
Mississippi River just at the Kentucky-Tennessee border.
Foote's gunboats, he took the island on April
Confederate soldiers along with quantities of supplies were surrendered. It
was another victory
by the Union population. For this lost, he gained a reputation
minor action, which Pope could scarcely have
he did not deserve,
to learn to
gave Johnston time to get set in Corinth while
Grant was deprived of the twenty-five thousand
placed under Pope.
Grant moved upriver to Pittsburg Landing, about eighteen miles northeast of Corinth. careless
of the river in a rather
didn't bother to fortify the position.
only of attack and did not feel that the Confederates would do more than sit
tight after their retreat
through Kentucky and Tennessee. Nor did he
advance quickly himself, for he was expecting reinforcements from the slow-moving Buell.
miles behind the encampment.
THE RISING FURY
Grant had underestimated the Confederate
spirit. Johnston needed a and he was sure that he could catch the
victory badly after his defeats,
Union army by
April 3, he began
took three days of
through forested country.
the Confederates reached the vicinity of Pittsburg Landing, but they got there at last and
camped within two
miles of the unsuspecting Union
was Sunday, April
sizable contingent of
Union forces under
resting in the vicinity of Shiloh Church. It
the brunt of the surprise Confederate attack
most familiar name, the Battle of Shiloh, though of Pittsburg Landing.
thus giving the battle it is
also called the Battle
second major battle of the war, forty
thousand Confederates attacked thirty-three thousand Union men.
Both sides were fighting with green troops.
smashed into Sherman's men around
was quickly disorganized properly. What's more,
Union forces caved
attacking force, however,
turn and could not be maneuvered
of the famished Confederates stopped to eat
the Union food that had been left behind.
Grant himself had been caught completely by hurt
two days before when a horse had
Now, when news
He had been
on him and was
of the battle reached him, he took a
steamboat upstream. Coolly and without panic (he never panicked), he surveyed the situation, and adjusted and
his forces, trying to hold a
reasonable defense line against the fierce Confederate attacks. Slowly, the
gave and by the end of the day, they had been pushed back
three miles from Shiloh Church, where the battle had begun.
The day ended with every victory.
showing a Confederate
Johnston himself had been hit and had died at about 2:30 p.m.,
but Beauregard, the victor at Fort Sumter and Bull Run, took over and sent
back a jubilant victory message to Richmond
at the close of the
However, Grant remained on the
field of battle that
" After his promising start at Bull Run, Sherman had served in Ohio and behaved so erratically that he was on the point of being discharged. Halleck gave him another chance and assigned him to Grant (to make more trouble for Grant, perhaps?). The two men hit it off, however, and Sherman had no trouble thereafter. They made a good fighting team.
ALABAMA Vicksburg Jackson
in the Civil
The Confederates had used
had suffered enormously.
but he expected
reinforcements; Buell finally arrived before morning with fresh troops
numbering twenty-five thousand. As soon
on the morning of April
THE RISING FURY
was the Confederates' turn to be first surprised and of what was now a nearly two-to-one advantage on the Union side was overpowering. By afternoon, the Confederates were retreating back to Corinth, and the Union army let
then driven back.
them go. They were too exhausted to pursue. It was an appallingly bloody battle, both sides losing a quarter of their forces in killed, wounded, and missing. With a total of 13,700 Union and 10,700 Confederate casualties, both of the embattled groups of states
what the war was going
terms of blood.
was concerned, Shiloh was a draw. Both sides prebattle positions. Strategically, however, it was a Union
far as the battle itself
retained their victory.
The Confederate army had returned
to Corinth cut in half
with the depressing knowledge that the Union army, once rested, would
have the strength to pursue. It
would have done
running the campaign.
so, too, if
Grant had been allowed to continue
in to take over
reducing Grant to the humiliating role of disregarded second-in-command. Halleck inched his It
took him a
way toward Corinth in the most cautious way possible. to work his way across twenty miles of land, and
got to Corinth on
the Confederate army was gone,
along with the chance to trap and destroy what was
Halleck continued to intrigue for the removal of his too-aggressive subordinate, using as his handle the undoubted fact that Grant
napping at Shiloh. To be
he had retrieved the position with bulldog
courage, but at the cost of enormous casualties, and he gained the reputation of being a butcher (a reputation that would stick, for additional reasons, before the
Lincoln turned a deaf ear.
be removed from command, however,
that Grant's mistake
had been that of
concentrating too entirely on the offense and thinking too possibility of defeat.
After half a year of McClellan,
nothing but defense and defeat, anyone would have been willing to bear
with the kind of mistakes Grant made. Lincoln
man — he
and that was
said, "I can't spare this
Perhaps the most important aspect of Grant's drive from the Ohio
through Kentucky and Tennessee in the early spring of 1862 was that
weakened the Confederate hold on the Mississippi River. Obviously, if the Union forces could seize the Mississippi River, the Confederacy would be
OUR FEDERAL UNION
The Confederate armies
cut in half and greatly weakened.
in the East
would be deprived of reinforcement from the West (and vice versa) and of any foreign supplies that avoided the Union blockade by being landed in Mexico. Yet such was the desperate concentration of the Confederate government on the confrontation along the Washington-Richmond
that the western theater always tended to
With the Union forces in a strong position in the Tennessee section of it seemed advisable to launch another campaign from the south. The Union navy had been busily extending its control of the Confederate coastlines. Ben Butler had won an undeserved reputation in the process, and so had Ambrose Everett Burnside (born in Liberty, Indiana, the river,
led twelve thousand
in the capture of sections
of the North Carolina coastline.
now, to pass beyond the Atlantic coast of the
Confederacy and into the Gulf of Mexico. There, ships could reach the
of the Mississippi and launch a drive for
Orleans, the great
metropolis of the Confederate West. In
of the ships detailed for this task
was David Glasgow
Farragut (born in Campbell's Station, Tennessee, on July
gone to sea
at nine and, as a preteen,
was another native of a seceded
had fought who,
who had He
George Thomas, chose the
and reduce the
from Washington were for Farragut
he to venture against the for a
downstream from city itself.
Orleans; only then was
Farragut, after bombarding the forts
week, decided that procedure was useless and conceived the bolder
plan of running past the forts at night. It
outskirts of the difficulty,
April 24, 1862, he
was beyond the
and the Union now had a grip on the
both north and south.
pressure inward from both ends began and the Mississippi River
started to pinch shut.
were, by the
halves of the Confederacy, east and west,
of 1862, connected
of the Mississippi River.
by only a
relatively small stretch
THE RISING FURY
IRON SHIPS The strengthening Union navy,
in the spring of 1862,
slowly to strangle the Confederacy, making supplies to reach
from outside and discouraging any formal help from
sympathetic European powers. Yet the spring of 1862 also saw the Union naval blockade nearly smashed. It
in this fashion:
history, the natural material for building ships
wood. As naval guns improved, wood became increasingly ineffective
became increasingly fragile. An obvious solution was to cover the wooden sides with iron plate as warriors once had been. During the Crimean War, fought by Great Britain and France (as allies) against Russia from 1854 to 1856, the allied nations floated some guns on fixed structures offshore. Over these structures they placed iron plates for protection and warships
"ironclad" ship in 1859, and the British in 1861.
in ironclads, too,
and some of Foote's
gunboats at Fort Henry and at Island No. 10 were ironclad. Civil
began, the government asked for designs for ironclads that
would be more than mere plated wooden
John Ericsson (born in Langbanshyttan, Sweden, on July 31, 1803, and arrived in the United States in 1839) submitted a design in August 1861.
was of a small armor-plated
revolving, armor-plated turret
on which were mounted two eleven-inch
guns.° Naval officers were struck personally insisted
very low in the water, with a circular,
suggestion, but Lincoln
and the plans were accepted by the Navy
four hours after they were officially submitted.
which Ericsson named the Monitor, was
was Ericsson who had designed the
upon whose launching in Upshur (though Ericsson was in no way responsible for that explosion). The revolving turret idea was the invention of Theodore Ruggles Timby (born in Dover, New York, on April 5, 1822). This was the first time the device was actually to be used on a * It
1844 the gun had exploded
killing Secretary of State
a universal feature of
OUR FEDERAL UNION
speed in a hundred days and was ready to move by March 1862. with
cheesebox on a
The Monitor either, for the
in motion, all that
deck scarcely above the water
looked like a
York on March
1862, and not a day too soon,
the value of ironclads.
The most sensitive point on the Confederate coast was the James River, on which Richmond sat, seventy-five miles inland. If the Union army decided to attack by sea (and it might, some day, if Lincoln were able to convince McClellan that there was a war raging somewhere), it would take the route up the James River. The Confederacy was ill-equipped to build ships for defense, but ships already existed. When Norfolk Navy Yard, some miles outside Hampton Roads (the channel at the mouth of the James River) had been abandoned by Union forces which was
at the time of Virginia's secession, the warship,
was burned and scuttled to keep it the Confederates. Though the ship was now at the
in the harbor at the time,
out of the hands of
within Confederate reach.
During the winter, the Merrimack had been raised and renamed the Virginia (though followed).
always called the Merrimack in accounts of what
was then plated with four-inch-thick pieces of
(including a topping of sloping iron to replace the burned-out superstructure)
with ten guns and with a cast-iron ram under the
very clumsily done.
iron-clad, the ship could
was a formidable
moved out of Norfolk, chugging, at 8, its maximum speed of five miles an hour, up the James toward where three Union ships, very powerful for wooden vessels, were enforcing the blockade. They prepared to defend themselves, but there was no way they could. Any cannonballs they fired at the Merrimack simply bounced off. The Merrimack approached steadily, raked the Union ships with cannonfire and rammed one of them, breaking off its own cast-iron ram in the process.
the Merrimack finally
were destroyed that day and a
third the next,
and the James River was open.
depressing news of the loss of Nashville and half of Tennessee.
of the event thrilled the Confederacy,
on the other hand, was sent into deep panic. Secretary of
particular, had visions of the Merrimack coming north to bombard
THE RISING FURY
Washington and destroy the great ports of the Union. Indeed, it seemed that the blockade was broken and that the Confederacy would now be able to trade with Europe and get the kind of help that would preclude defeat.
seems, had forgotten that the Monitor was on
kind of nick-of-time manner one would scarcely dare put into
only one day after the Merrimack's triumph, the Monitor arrived
the "Battle of for
time in history, two ironclad vessels met in conflict at
Hampton Roads," and
the world was never the same again,
on that day, the era of the wooden warship ended.
All the important
navies of the world began to build ironclads only.
not for the issues involved, the battle might be regarded as a
from 8 a.m. past noon, the two
each moving and maneuvering with the greatest
difficulty, shot at
other without either achieving a clear-cut advantage. dinosaurs slogging through a swamp, each blunting
teeth against the
armor of the other.
drew off at last — but a draw constituted a Union victory. The Merrimack was neutralized; its efforts over the two days had caused it to spring a leak and it had to be retired to drydock, from which it never emerged again. The Union blockade was saved, and the James River remained open to It
Richmond might be The Union began to build additional and improved ironclads of Monitor type by the dozens, while the Confederacy could, in this
the Union navy against the time an offensive against
McCLELLAN FAILS Through the early months
of 1862, Lincoln
and earth to get McClellan to move. Victories good and Lincoln was glad city
with an enemy army
defeated. If that
had been moving heaven in the West were all very
have them, but Washington was a frontier
only thirty miles
army were smashed and
away, and he wanted that army if
Richmond, the enemy
OUR FEDERAL UNION
208 could be taken rapidly and
At the very
the Confederate States might
there would then be no fear of foreign help for
the losing Confederacy.
What Lincoln wanted, therefore, was for McClellan to use his force, now adequately trained and much superior to the enemy in numbers, as a battering ram that would force its way across Virginia, smashing the opposition and taking Richmond.
enemy with a magnifying outnumbering him even when the
Unfortunately, McClellan always viewed the glass
and would see them
was true. He was always encumbered with the thought of defeat and was never ready to fight. (So notorious was McClellan's tendency to tremble that Joseph Johnston, whose army was at Bull Run, set up dummy cannons, confident that McClellan would see two real cannons for every wooden fake.) Finally, on March 11, 1862, Lincoln deprived McClellan of all his commands except for the Army of Potomac and then directly ordered him reverse
move. McClellan could refuse no longer;
he did what he could to
decided against the direct overland approach and chose to take his army
by sea and move up one of the rivers that would take him neighborhood of Richmond. In this way, he could avoid an instant have
land to fight through on his
to the capital,
to the battle,
and get the navy
to help him.
Lincoln disagreed; while leaving the
to take the
Washington. Lincoln had to give permission, however the
moving. Lincoln did, however, stipulate that
men, would have to be
strongly concentrated in the neighborhood of
behind under McDowell to defend Washington
against a possible Confederate counterattack.
On March efficiency that
his skill as
began to move
army, with an
April 5, he
between the mouth of the James River and that of the York River, about ten miles to the north of the James. That placed him only sixty-five miles southeast of Richmond. Yorktown, at the mouth of the York, was the anchor for a line of reached the peninsula that
fortifications stretching across the peninsula,
guns covered the York River. Since peninsula,
and Confederate land-based
of the fighting took place on the
as the Peninsular
THE RISING FURY
the Confederate troops in the area was John Bankhead
Winchester, Virginia, on August 15, 1810). He had only men to McClellan's fifty-three thousand, but Magruder opponent. He churned his troops into enormous activity, and the
Magruder (born fifteen
dazzled McClellan promptly concluded that he was vastly outnumbered
to call for reinforcements.
When he didn't get them, he blamed
succeeding events on that.
McClellan made no
bypass Yorktown. The vague threat of the
and immovable Merrimack was enough
to prevent that. Nor did by chancing a sudden assault. Instead, he began to work in as methodical and supercautious a way as possible. In this way, he risked no smashing defeat (which the Union could have afforded) and gave up any hope of a smashing victory (which the
he try to penetrate the enemy
Confederacy could not have afforded). It
took McClellan a month of careful siege before he could take
Yorktown on May fortified line,
could in the
and when he it
ordered an attack against the felt
and had pulled back
he had done as much
in order to fight again later.
While McClellan snail-paced that precious month away, Johnston reorganized the Confederate army so as to cover
Richmond from the
rather than the north.
What's more, Robert E. Lee conceived a
undoubtedly the best general ever to be born on American
unfortunately, the best general ever to fight against the United States, military adviser to Jefferson Davis at this time.
Lee suggested how best
advantage could be taken of the Union fears for the safety of Washington. In western Virginia, the Shenandoah River runs from southwest to northeast through the rich Shenandoah Valley into the Potomac River, at a
point where the Potomac
easily crossed, only forty miles
Washington. In that valley was Stonewall Jackson with
men. Any enemy army
in the valley
direct threat to Washington, so
the Union kept two armies there which, together, outnumbered Jackson three to one.
Lee's notion was to have Jackson do what he could to keep those armies
busy so that the Union, fearful for Washington, wouldn't dream of sending reinforcements to McClellan.
Jackson was glad to oblige.
Shenandoah Valley with such
up and down the
relentless force that the
OUR FEDERAL UNION
armies must have thought there were twice as
men, with weary pride, called themselves
his "foot cavalry."
In the space of ten weeks, he defeated one Union contingent after
predictably concerned, and McClellan did not get reinforcements in
anything like the quantity he demanded. In
Washington was sent
he could move northwestward
toward Richmond, he did so without being able to count on reinforce-
ments or on a diversionary Union attack from another
of defeat, always strong,
direction. His sense
westward along the peninsula, fought a
rearguard action at
Williamsburg, further delaying McClellan and confirming him in his desire to
McClellan might have been helped along useful.
the navy had been
For a while, things had looked good. With McClellan marching
toward Richmond, however slowly, the Confederates had to get out of Norfolk. That it
meant there was nothing
a second time.
do with the Merrimack but sink
that dubious threat
was gone, the Union navy
the James River, but at Drewry's Bluff, seven miles downstream
from Richmond, the Union ships failed to reduce the
McClellan found he could not count on navy support, which further depressed him.
reached the Chickahominy River,
By now he had 105,000 men
under Johnston. For McClellan that wasn't enough, of course. His
north of Richmond.
him what he wanted to hear, and he was convinced that he was outnumbered by nearly three to one. He sent some of his men across the Chickahominy River to the southern told
side but left the rest
which he always
on the northern side
meet the reinforcements
so terrible a need) from risky;
1862, with a loss of sixteen men. The remains were periodically sought, and in the spring of 1974, it was reported, at last, that she had been found fifteen miles south of the Cape in 220 feet of water. It did not seem possible at that time to raise her.
of the Monitor
turned out that McDowell's
for the Merrimack's great opponent, the Monitor, she sank in a gale off
Cape Hatteras on December 31,
THE RISING FURY
not coming but were going to the Shenandoah Valley instead,
kept his forces divided, which was
Johnston decided to attack that part of the army which was south of the
Chickahominy, choosing a time when heavy rains had brought the its
flood stage. It
McClellan to send reinforcements
and the southern portion could be defeated. The Confederates attacked on May 31. The fighting centered around a railroad station named Fair Oaks and a farm called Seven Pines; thus the across the river rapidly,
name. If the Confederate plan had worked perfectly, Union army south of the Chickahominy would have been crushed. the
battle bears either
Johnston, however, had not
his orders completely clear
Confederate commander, James Longstreet (born in Edgefield
South Carolina, on January Bull
fought with distinction at
Williamsburg, got confused and didn't get his
right place at the right time.
manage to get across the Chickahominy in time to take part in the fighting. As a result, the battle, which ended on June 1, was inconclusive. In fact, Confederate casualties were higher than those of the Union, eight thousand to six thousand. One Confederate soldier seriously wounded was Johnston. This, however, was no victory for the north, since stepping into his place was Lee. McClellan, quite predictably, made no move to strike back at the Confederate army while it might have been off-balance with the shift in command. Instead, still convinced that he was outnumbered, he began to prepare for a slow siege of Richmond, and over three more weeks passed. Lee fully intended to strike as soon as he had gotten a grip on the job. He had at his service Jeb Stuart, the cavalry leader who had served with him at Harpers Ferry against John Brown and had fought well at Bull Run. Lee sent Stuart out on a cavalry
raid to report
on the disposition of
McClellan's forces. Stuart flamboyantly did
with him) and rode his miles, getting a
more than he was
good notion of
report that McClellan, having
told (not always a
around the Union army, some 150
He was able to army south of the
McClellan was doing.
Chickahominy River, had nevertheless Fitz-John Porter (born in Portsmouth,
to the north
Hampshire, on August 31,
to attack the small northern portion of McClellan's
OUR FEDERAL UNION
with his main forces, while leaving a small contingent under Magruder to confront McClelland main army.
he was confident that
McClellan, always believing himself outnumbered, would
pinned while the northern contingent was wiped out. Again, however, an excellent idea was spoiled in the execution. 26,
various portions of the Confederate
man (now called in from the Shenandoah work was completed), who was six hours late.* foot-cavalry
a Confederate contingent, tired of waiting for Jackson, desper-
attacked without waiting for proper support,
army was encamped. This was a compli-
closely-spaced series of battles
Seven Days' Battle)
for the Union.
now facing him won an important victory. His subordiwhen it came to inactivity, McClellan was a
attacked the greatly inferior numbers
under Magruder, he might have
to attack, but
master. All he did
to order Porter to retire south of the Chickahominy.
the next day, though, June 27, Lee attacked again at Gaines' Mill,
five miles east of Mechanicsville,
catching Porter before he had crossed the
Again, McClellan remained in place, staring at Magruder, and again
was Stonewall Jackson's slowness.
that saved Porter
repelled attack after attack until, toward the end of the day, the Union force finally broke
That night Porter
across the river.
This battle was also costly for the Confederates, for they had lost 8750 to the Union's 4000; but
what there had ever been of
only because McClellan's nerve,
Having spent two days allowing a small part of his army to hold force, inflicting more damage than
outnumbering Confederate ceived, McClellan,
decided to '
who had done
retreat — to
No one knows why
fifteen miles to a stronger
he was so slow on
base at Har-
and on several others
for a while; or, being a severely neurotic hypochondriac, he may have imagined himself sick and been absorbed by his symptoms in the course of this
nothing in the face of inferior numbers,
the next few days. Perhaps his efforts in the Shenandoah Valley had burned
THE RISING FURY
Landing on the James River, fifteen miles southeast of Richmond. Lee would not allow such a retreat to be carried out undisturbed. He
followed hard; the Confederates attacked Union contingents at Savage Station, six miles southeast of Gaines' Mill,
miles farther south, on June 30.
on June 29, and at Frayser's both occasions, Stonewall
the third and fourth time) was not there
both occasions Lee missed a chance to
when needed, and on damage on the Union
on July 1, the Union army arrived at Malvern Hill just south of the James River, and the Confederates attacked again. This time, though, the Union army had a good position and, besides, the aid of gunships on Finally,
situation then, at the
Union army had preserved
suffering terrible losses,
end of the Seven Days'
were beaten Battle,
Indeed, the Confederate army had
suffered a total of over twenty thousand casualties, the
thousand — and
army could much
That the Union army had done of McClellan. little
this well was by no means to the credit was because McClellan had, throughout, engaged in as possible, and he was always very good at handling an army
campaign, the Union army had been superior in
numbers and equipment least the
to the Confederates
inferior only in its general, else.
and had shown
equal of the Confederates in fighting
and that one
was that the Union army
on the defensive,
The Union army was
factor canceled out everything
be chivied from here to the face of an enemy weaker in number. let itself
Even after McClellan's successful retreat to Harrison's Landing, the Union army was still strong enough to have taken Richmond, if it had been led by a resolute commander. But McClellan was not the man. He was beaten, Lee held the initiative, and the war would continue for nearly three more years.
POPE FAILS Lincoln came to Harrison's Landing to see McClellan on July
and decided there was nothing more to be got from the Peninsular Campaign. On July 11, he appointed Halleck him the task of deciding what to do.
Union army had been formed
as general in chief
in northern Virginia
under Pope, who had taken Island No. 10 four months before. possibility
might have been for Pope's
to attack from the north,
while McClellan threatened from Harrison's Landing. Lee's army, caught
between the two, would surely be destroyed.
trouble was that Pope was
to the area,
Neither Lincoln nor Halleck
and McClellan was
that a two-pronged attack
two men. his army back to Washington and then join Pope. Together they would march on Richmond, attempting to do by sheer weight of numbers what might have requiring skillful cooperation could be entrusted to the Halleck's plan, therefore,
have McClellan take
been done more
five-month attempt to
by better generals engaged in a two-pronged attack. of the Potomac began to move north, and the take Richmond from the east came to its ignominious
McClellan, sullen over his loss and ready to blame everyone but
to join Pope.
He had no
McClellan's slowness gave Lee his opening.
whatever of pulling a McClellan and waiting for the two Union armies to
combine against him. He prepared
to strike at Pope, before that general
could be joined by McClellan. Stonewall Jackson was sent north to jab at Pope even before McClellan's
Harrison's Landing, and
Lee followed soon
outnumbered Lee seventy-five thousand
to fifty-five thousand,
Pope for a
while he handled himself well. Lee tried to maneuver him into placing his
army with Then,
to the river, but his
carefully avoided that position.
flamboyant deeds of derring-do, Jeb Stuart and his
cavalry raided Pope's headquarters and discovered documents showing that
Union reinforcements were on the way.
to act quickly.
attempted a desperate maneuver which,
against a first-rate general, might have
Jackson half the Confederate army, twenty-three thousand men, and told
move around Pope's army
wide sweep and get between him
August 26, Jackson did
him during the Seven Days' Battle. Perhaps what Lee expected was that Pope would retreat hastily and that the Union offensive would have been aborted for a time. What happened
was much more than Pope,
seems, was so anxious to show that he was no McClellan that he
put on an endless show of restless energy.* Furthermore, unlike McClellan,
he wasn't going
When, on August line to
to retreat. 27,
Washington dead, and Stonewall Jackson
(where the Battle of Bull
Run had been
cut, his telegraph
at his rear at
fought thirteen months before), he
decided that Jackson, being isolated from the
rest of the
army, could be trapped by energetic action. Therefore, Pope blindly raced °
Pope was fond of addressing
Saddle," indicating that he was too busy to get off his horse. Lincoln remarked dryly that
headquarters where his hindquarters ought to be.
OUR FEDERAL UNION
who evaded and delayed him
a chance to get into position for the
as long as possible to allow
Lee Pope found
Jackson and began attacking headlong.
Pope was position.
angry to keep an eye out for Lee,
who was now
Judging the situation to a nicety, Lee waited
completely engaged and then, on August 30, sent Longstreet against Pope's
surprise, the flank
best he could
now Pope, men together
attacked from two directions, could do nothing but pull his retreat
the environs of
The Confederate than at the
victory at this Second Battle of Bull
least, the Union army The man who benefited most from the Union
Confederate. This time, at
retreated in good order.
defeat was McClellan.
Throughout Pope's campaign, McClellan had done nothing — cialty.
with sixteen thousand Union casualties to nine thousand
perceptible effort to
to Pope's aid
up a diversion that might impel Lee to split his forces. He had, in fact, surely hoped for Pope's defeat, since he had come to see the war as a matter between himself and Lincoln, rather than between the Union and or to set
Pope was, of
minor tasks during the
removed from command and was used only
rest of the war.*
There was a general feeling that
He himself had fought a cautious and now Pope had shown the results of an
McClellan had been vindicated. campaign, avoiding
Public pressure was enormous, and Lincoln, most unwillingly, restored
McClellan on September
1862, as undisputed head of the
Potomac (though, of course, Halleck remained as general in chief). There was no question but that this move was popular with the army, who saw in McClellan a man who would not throw their lives away uselessly. This was indeed true. The trouble was that he would not throw their lives away usefully, either, so that the war dragged on and cost more lives in the
long run than
otherwise might have.
to place the
particularly Fitz-John Porter, year.
for his defeat
who was court-martialed and convicted later that
years later, Porter
was exonerated and restored
rank, but that gesture could not restore a ruined
COUNTER INVASION In the aftermath of the Second Battle of Bull Run, both the Confederacy
and the Union were faced with the necessity for a gamble, with the attitude of Great Britain and France as the prize. The governments of both nations, together with the ruling
after the failure of the Peninsular
were strongly pro-Confeder-
Campaign and the
the Second Battle of Bull Run, Great Britain offered to mediate the
This meant she was clearly of the opinion that the Union could
not settle the matter by military victory; and she seemed on the point of
Confederate independence and using her navy to
break the Union blockade. It
active participation in the war.
to give Great Britain that last
That something might very well be an
advance into Maryland, an invasion of the Union. proposition, indeed, for Lee's gaunt
and ragged army, which, despite
had absorbed considerable punishment. Lee counted on two however — the sympathies of the Marylanders, who might rise and
join the Confederacy, isolating
Washington, and the certainty that he
could beat McClellan under any circumstances.
enlist the British
the Civil alienate
he was as desperate to stop Great Britain
had no hope of winning the upper
lower and middle classes in his behalf
an antislavery crusade.
July 22, 1862, Lincoln
freeing of certain slaves,
but he could
he could convert
This course, which would
but seemed increasingly imperative.
had prepared a statement announcing the
and he read
Emancipation Proclamation to
was met with cold disapproval. Finally, Seward pointed out announcement at a time when the Union was being defeated on the battlefield would be impolitic; it would seem the desperate act of a government that knew it could not win the war and was therefore trying to rouse the Blacks to rebellion. First let the Union win a great victory — his cabinet. It
that such an
then emancipation would look like the generous grant of a powerful victor,
OUR FEDERAL UNION
who knew good
without ulterior motives. Lincoln,
when he heard
But where was one to find a victory? What came instead was the dismal
of Pope's disaster,
Lee acted with
and now Lee was marching northward.
customary speed. Even while McClellan was taking
over again and beginning to reorganize the beaten
of the Potomac,
Lee was crossing the Potomac River and stepping into Union territory. By September 7, he was at Frederick, Maryland, forty miles northwest of Washington. McClellan, with his customary crawling caution, inched his army
northwestward, keeping between Washington and the Confederate army
— with visions, On
as usual, of
enormous numbers of Confederates
he reached Frederick but
moved westward and
in front of
was empty. The Longstreet was at
northwest of Washington.
failed him: Maryland did not rise. By war was no longer glamorous, and the average Marylander wanted it kept in Virginia and away from his own door. Far from gleefully joining the invading army, Maryland wanted it to go away. And then McClellan got one of those unusual breaks for which there is
one of Lee's hopes had
of 1862, the
no accounting. Lee, in his utter contempt of McClellan, was greedy enough to want to gather in some side victories, too.
He wanted to take
Virginian side of the Potomac River and sweep
Harpers Ferry on the
up the Union contingent
This meant that Lee would have to divide his already
numerically inferior army, but he was willing to do
In fact, he divided
army into four contingents, giving each one complicated instructions as to where and how to move. Some Confederate officer had received a detailing of these special orders and could think of nothing better to do with it than use it as wrapping for his cigars. What was worse, he managed to forget or lose those cigars, with their wrapping, leaving them behind when the Confederates left Frederhis
found the document and were
McClellan posthaste. Thus McClellan learned that Lee's army was
fragments and exactly where each one was. He knew, for instance, that Stonewall Jackson was at Harpers Ferry and was separated from Lee by only 20 miles.
Maryland and Pennsylvania in the Civil
Any halfway decent do was to
general would have seen in a flash that the thing to
strike like a thunderbolt, get
between those various parts of the
Confederate army, defeat one, then turn and defeat the other.
Only McClellan would wait knowledge.
sixteen hours before acting
That gave Lee time to learn that McClellan had the
information and to start moving toward Jackson, while Jackson had time to
OUR FEDERAL UNION
take Harpers Ferry (capturing eleven thousand
men and much
moving north toward Lee.
By the time McClellan made contact with the enemy, he was facing a partially united Confederate army. That contact was made at Antietam Creek, a small stream flowing south into the Potomac eighteen miles west of Frederick. West of the stream, the Confederate army was drawn about the town of Sharpsburg. The battle is known by the name of the creek to the Union and of the town to the Confederacy. McClellan had seventy thousand men to Lee's thirty-nine thousand, but that made no difference; McClellan was half-beaten before he began. He fed his army into the battle piecemeal, without any attempt at overall and a third of his men never got into the fight, even when would have made all the difference. McClellan was content to
coordination, their entry
give vague orders, hoping his subordinates
his victory for him.
Lee, with his usual
men back and
held out while the
met each attack as it was met by superior
forth so that each last
reinforcements from Harpers Ferry
Yet the Union attacks took their
day of September
during the whole of that dreadful
day of the war.
17, 1862, the bloodiest single
Lee's reckless defense had beaten the Union
but at a
of his force, while the
Union army had
suffered 13,700 casualties, a third lost
but 12,350, only a sixth of
to retreat, for only in Virginia could
general than McClellan would have into pursuit,
he recoup. Any other
and would have launched
hoping to catch the exhausted army before
Not McClellan. So certain was Lee of his incredibly cowardly opponent that he refused to leave the field for a whole day. Through all the day of September 18, Lee would not budge, as though to demonstrate that his army could not be driven from a field — and McClellan, with over twenty thousand men who had not yet fought at all and with more reinforcements
dared not attack.
Then, on the night of the 18th, having held the Union army its
up was a draw by
Battle of Antietam
strictly military considerations,
but since Lee was forced to withdraw and the attempted invasion of the
Union was over,
was, strategically, a Union victory. Great Britain and the moment when she might have recognized Confederate independence passed and never returned. What's more,
Lincoln acclaimed battle,
as a victory
and on September
in chief, the slaves in all areas held
would be forever
22, five days after the
a war measure based on his powers as
free as of January
This Emancipation Proclamation had
practical effect as far as the
were concerned. In those areas where slavery was legal and Union forces were in control, the Emancipation Proclamation did not apply. Where freedom was declared, the Confederacy was in control and the slaves
Emancipation Proclamation had no meaning. Therefore, no slaves were freed by the proclamation. It did,
however, influence the British people as Lincoln had hoped so
was no chance
thereafter of direct British interference with the
uplifted the hearts of
and gave them more reason
merely a cynical maneuver, for over, slavery
was by no means
quite clear that once the
would be outlawed everywhere and
BURNSIDE FAILS While Lincoln, with masterly
could maneuver Great Britain out of
the danger area, there was nothing he could do about McClellan.
would have pursued Lee; McClellan did not. He didn't cross the Potomac till six weeks after Antietam and then only at his usual deliberate
longer and relieved
1862, Lincoln could take the reluctant warrior no
or fought another battle.
command. McClellan never
He had done more
than anyone but (perhaps) Lee. Lincoln
turned to Burnside,
who had done
subordinate positions. Lincoln had wanted him to take the job of heading the
after Pope's failure,
and Lincoln had turned,
but Burnside pleaded
reluctantly, to McClellan. Since then,
OUR FEDERAL UNION
men well at Antietam, so Lincoln offered him the and refused to listen when Burnside again said he wasn't
Burnside had handled his job a second time
good enough. alas,
Lincoln decided Burnside was simply being modest, but
he wasn't, he was being accurate.
in the post, Burnside got right to
mistake of overcaution, the
Anxious to avoid McClellan's
new commander moved
directly toward Richmond, by way of Fredericksburg, a town on the Rappahannock River fifty
miles south of Washington and an equal distance north of Richmond.
By November 17, 1862, two days after he had started, Burnside was at Rappahannock River on the bank opposite Fredericksburg. The plan was to cross the river quickly and race southward toward Richmond before Lee could get his men between the Union army and the threatened capital. At the crucial moment, however, Burnside hesitated. It was raining and the
the river was high. Burnside felt he needed pontoons and decided to wait
them to arrive before trying to cross — and it took a whole week for them to come. That gave Lee time to get to Fredericksburg and fortify a practically impregnable position along the heights south of the town. The strongest part of the Confederate position was on the left; there was a sunken road, beyond it a four-foot stone wall shielding riflemen, and beyond that a hill surmounted by artillery covering every square foot of the approach. Attacking at that point was a recipe for suicide, but that is precisely what, on December 13, Burnside insisted the Union army do. Wave after wave of Union soldiers were sent forward and mowed down in a senseless and sickening attempt to do what could not be done and what no general for
mind should have tried to do. By the time Burnside, in a state of helpless shock, was persuaded to break off the battle, there were 12,650 Union casualties against 5,300 Confederate. The Battle of Fredericksburg was an unmitigated Union disaster. The Grand Army of the Potomac was broken and there's no telling what in his right
might have happened
Lee had counterattacked the next
however, perhaps remembering Union powers of recuperation Shiloh) felt
he had done enough and
let it go.
That may have been
as McClellan's mistake after Antietam.
Burnside cultivated a luxuriant growth of facial hair in a style that came to be
called "burnsides" in his honor.
reversal of syllables,
"sideburns," and for this characteristic at least, the author of this book,
grateful to him.
Union morale sank once more
after Fredericksburg, as the
Antietam was largely undone. Lincoln, however, having announced the
Emancipation Proclamation rescind
dubious victory at Antietam, did not
merely because of the catastrophic defeat
This meant Great Britain could not seize the opportunity to intervene
on the Confederate
could do so indirectly, however.
Great Britain, for instance, was allowing the Confederates to build warships on her
one) was that of the Alabama. While that
by no means the only ship was being built, Adams, the
flagrant case (but
The British, managed to order a halt to the Alabama had slipped away to sea in July 1862.
to Great Britain, protested vigorously.
however, twisted, turned, delayed, and the project only after
Under Raphael Semmes (born
September 27, 1809), the Alabama roamed the sea
destroying Union commerce, penetrating even the Indian
She took sixty-four shipping
fear of her
some hundred thousand tons
and of other
British-built raiders virtually
drove the Union merchant marine from the
American shipping never recovered.
The Union was
furious with Great Britain over this matter but could
nothing, and the Alabama's raiding feats
drew As pay
to the thick
for France, she its
had her eyes on Mexico. That nation was unable to war that had arisen when
foreign debts as a result of a civil
conservatives resisted the liberal reforms being put through by Benito Juarez. Great Britain, France,
and Spain sent a
joint force that
Mexico toward the end of 1861. This ran counter to the Monroe Doctrine (if,
indeed, the European powers had given
a thought), and the United
have tried to prevent
the United States was torn in two and could do nothing.
Great Britain and Spain soon withdrew, but France, under Emperor
(who shared the ambitions of
famous uncle, Napoleon
ability), had visions of a Mexican Empire. In April 1862, army began an advance into the interior. The Union protested this action vigorously, but that did not stop the French, and go further than protest, the Union could not. Of course, the war was not going on only in Virginia. Although it was on Virginia, and the battlefields between Washington and Richmond, that all
but none of his the French
OUR FEDERAL UNION
eyes were fixed, there were battles and vast movements far to the
to affect the
economic strength of the Confeder-
acy, thereby affecting events in Virginia, too.
Thus, a Confederate attempt to raid westward from Texas and to bring the
American Southwest, including the state of California, to the side, was defeated in April 1862, so that all the territory west
and north of Texas remained
Again, a Union
army won a battle
corner of the
Pea Ridge, Arkansas,
and the northern
Arkansas in Union hands.
The main sides
theater in the West, however,
had been marking time had then gone on
June 27, 1862, Braxton Bragg (born
was Tennessee, where both
had taken Corinth on May
on March 22, 1817), who had fought with particular distinction Vista, took over the at
of the Confederate
once began to prepare an offensive against Buell
in eastern Tennessee.
Kirby-Smith (born in
northward into Kentucky.
brushed weak Union forces aside and was in
Lexington, Kentucky, by September of the
on July 11. Warrenton, North Carolina,
as general in chief
Ohio River. Bragg
himself, evading the slow-moving Buell,
north along another route, aiming for Louisville on the Ohio River, seventy miles west of Lexington.* Buell,
however, managed to reach Louisville on September 25, beating
Bragg to the target and keeping the Confederates from actually reaching
then moved out to seek battle.
Bragg's forces near Perryville, thirty miles southwest of Lexington. There
followed an accidental, poorly organized, and indecisive battle the next day.
Bragg might have won, had he joined
with Kirby-Smith, but
the two generals did not coordinate well. Bragg joined with Kirby-Smith
only after the battle and, perhaps overestimating the danger he was
As McClellan had
— with Lee in
pursue Lee effectively, so Buell failed to
pursue Bragg, and the result was the same
was relieved of
that the Confederacy must have seemed most Maryland and Bragg in Kentucky.
command on October 30 and
took no further significant part in the war.
Replacing Buell was William Starke Rosecrans (born in Kingston, Ohio,
and he took
as his objective Chattanooga, a
railroad center in southeastern Tennessee.
On December 26,
ready and began his southeastward march.
away, however, and
Chattanooga was 115 miles
could not be reached without a major battle, for
only 30 miles southeast of Rosecrans's base at Nashville there awaited
and delighted by the news of the
great Confederate victory at Fredericksburg.
On December thirty-eight
31, Rosecrans's forty-five thousand
thousand a few miles west of the town of Murfreesboro. The
armies wheeled in a slow circle, as each side tried to envelop the
The Confederates had the better of it on that day, and by Rosecrans was half-convinced he was defeated, while Bragg sent
of the other. nightfall,
a victory message to Richmond.
Rosecrans, however, decided not to retreat and remained on the field in
order to renew the battle the next day.
("Bragg's a good dog," he said Hold Fast's a better.") What happened was a repeat of Shiloh. The Union attack on the second day more than made up for their losses on the first, and it was Bragg who had to break off and retreat. The Confederate retreat made the Battle of Murfreesboro a Union
victory technically, but each side
and Rosecrans Bragg's
had suffered twelve thousand
he needed time
thirty-six miles south of
Through the remainder of the winter, the war
As the new year of 1863 opened, then, there seemed situation to
gladden Union hearts.
indecisive battle against Tennessee
be put up against the
disaster in Virginia.
yet despite the heartbreaking casualties and the morale-shattering
effect of repeated defeats at the
remained strong and was,
hands of a
growing stronger. European immigrants
hundred thousand of them
altogether in the course of the Civil War), so that battle losses created no
was booming, and labor-saving devices were
constantly being introduced.
Union farms were producing bumper
Lincoln a powerful tool for trade abroad. In
1862, Congress passed
OUR FEDERAL UNION Homestead Act, which
offered, at a purely
farmland tract in the western
anyone who would undertake
This act encouraged westward migration, expanded farmland,
and further increased the
Nor did the havoc of war fall directly on Union territory. The great were in Confederate territory, and it was there that the countryside was ravaged — producing a steady economic drain which, unnoticed battles
against the glory of the Confederacy's military victories,
destroying her just the same.
Most important of
all for the Union cause was the character of Lincoln Whatever happened, he never deviated for one moment from the goal he had set before himself — that of saving the Union, whatever the
Others might panic or despair, but Lincoln, though he grew more
heavy-hearted and melancholy as time went on,° remained a staunch and resolute leader.
HOOKER FAILS Yet what Lincoln desperately needed to hearten those
himself was something
more than the inexorable but unnoticeable pressure of economics. He needed the excitement of a victory. Lee still held his army on the Rappahannock River, and another attempt simply had to be made to get through that army to Richmond. Rurnside had to be relieved, of course, but he, unlike McClellan and
his error fighting rather
to continue to participate in the
1863, Joseph Hooker (born
than delaying, so he was allowed
in subordinate positions.
Hadley, Massachusetts, on November 13,
of the Potomac.
Hooker had been fighting, with reasonable distinction, in all the battles in which the Army of the Potomac had been engaged; indeed, he had been wounded at Antietam. He did so well that he had gained the nickname "Fighting Joe." °
Now, with dash and
energy, he reorganized the
After Fredericksburg, he said sadly, "If there
a worse place than Hell,
had been smashed it
and made an
effective instrument of
Toward the end icksburg,
of April, Hooker, with ninety-four thousand
against Lee's fifty-three thousand,
was Hooker's intention
keep him there by feinting an
attack with two-fifths of his army, while the other three-fifths crossed the
Rappahannock River upstream and
on Lee's rear
(he hoped) fell
actually carried this plan through.
across the river.
Lee was held
and Hooker got
April 29, 1863, he reached Chancellorsville
miles due west of Fredericksburg),
which consisted of a by a brick house and surrounded by a stretch of trees
and underbrush, interlaced with streams, called "the Wilderness." Hooker
army eastward to catch Lee, and for once Lee was caught napping. He realized what was happening only too late, and when he turned to meet the new onslaught, he found himself facing disaster. It was at this point that Fighting Joe Hooker lost heart. Perhaps Lee's reputation was too much for him, the memory of past defeats too correctly sent his
overwhelming, the chance of being smashed in the Wilderness too great.
Whatever weighed on Hooker's
at the point
where a forceful Union attack might have smashed Lee and ended the war — and retreated back to Chancellorsville. Lee, realizing that once again he faced a Union
commander who was
half-defeated to begin with, took another long chance.
Union army and attack
right flank while
again, a larger
he dealt with the
and could think of nothing but Union army retreated
Confederate army, and by
army with a lesser
worked. Jackson achieved a complete surprise attack on
two halves and had Jackson swing around the its
was, in effect, an attempt to surround a greater it
May 2. Hooker
in the face of a smaller
the Union had to acknowledge
another defeat, with losses of seventeen thousand as opposed to thirteen
thousand for the Confederate army.
one of those thirteen thousand men, however, was overwhelming for the Confederacy. On the night of May 2, Hooker was
looked as though, by further speed and
increased daring on the part of the Confederate forces, the Union
might be destroyed altogether.
Stonewall Jackson rode forward in the
OUR FEDERAL UNION
darkness to reconnoiter the possibilities for himself, but by that time the
Confederate line was disorganized, too, and in the darkness no one knew for sure
who was where and whether some dim shadow
in the night
be friend or enemy.
When He was
Jackson hurried past, Confederate soldiers fired and Jackson
arm shattered. It had to be amputated, and seemed he might recover, under the primitive
carried back, his left
though for a while
medical treatment of the time he caught pneumonia; on
died at the age of thirty-nine.
The United tactician but
man who was
fated to use his
to humiliate the armies of the
Lee and Jackson, which had fought and triumphed
together for a year, was thus dissolved, and Lee, though he maintained his military genius to the end,
would never win another
At the moment, though, Lee had Battle of Bull Run,
he wanted to follow
Longstreet wanted a
his victory, and, as after the
The question was: How?
for out there,
Vicksburg was in trouble.
Vicksburg was the strongest remaining Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River.
Vicksburg, two hundred miles upstream from
Orleans, could be taken, the Confederacy would be split in two.
held out against a purely naval takeover
after the fall of
now Grant wanted
was not going
gained fame, was
Orleans and had been turned back. But
by land. 1862, he was given the go-ahead, but to take
be a simple still
too, Vicksburg's position
and would not make
easy for him.
was strong by nature and strongly fortified, it were skillfully led; they would not
and the Confederate forces holding
Finally, political pressures
appointment of John
Alexander McClernand (born near Hardinsburg, Kentucky, on 1812) to share the
with Grant. McClernand had fought along
with Grant at Fort Donelson and Shiloh, and had demonstrated himself to
be a glory-hound who did not scruple
to intrigue against Grant. Obviously,
Grant could not expect McClernand
role in battles or
easy for him either.
Lincoln had no illusions about McClernand's competence, but, as a
229 important and had to be courted — especially by Lee strengthened the hand of the Peace Democrats, end the war and accept the destruction of the Union.
Democrat, he was
since every victory
who wanted to To the Union
willing to prosecute the war, the Peace
Democrats were "Copperheads," named
for the poisonous snake that,
unlike the rattlesnake, strikes without warning. Chief of the Copperheads in New Lisbon, Ohio, on July 29, As representative from Ohio, Vallandigham had campaigned vigorously and effectively against the war, and as long as he stumped the country there was always the danger that various parts of the Union — par-
was Clement Laird Vallandigham (born 1820).
ticularly the states north of the
Lincoln and his Union party had
and Vallandigham had been defeated
— would refuse to fight further.
the congressional elections of 1862
but that was after
Antietam and before Fredericksburg. Copperheads remained strong and
remained precious to Lincoln.
Grant, a simple soldier (then, and political necessities.
general, another of the likely to ruin
all his life),
was not concerned with
only that McClernand was an imcompetent that plagued the Union,
and that he was
which he was given too much
therefore hastened to aim a stroke at Vicksburg
— he himself attacking by
— before McClernand could Too hastily planned and carried through, the attack failed on December 29, 1862, adding to the gloom pervading the Union since
land and his loyal partner, Sherman, by river arrive.
Grant was in a bad western
He was on
the wrong side of the river, the
twenty miles upstream from Vicksburg. From
possibility of a direct assault;
eastern side of the river. Furthermore,
he led a portion of the Union troops into Arkansas.
Grant had great
this side, there
Vicksburg rested on the heights of the
McClernand was now on hand, and
in a useless, glory-seeking expedition
difficulty in getting
come back and
tend to business.
But to retreat was
alien to Grant's philosophy.
position or not, he
poured on the pressure. For the three winter months, Grant kept
busy trying to find some way to cross the broad Mississippi.
sharp-edged and ready, and
around Vicksburg from
kept the Confederate forces in and
Grant made four different attempts to cross the involved an attempt to divert the river's course, and
one of which
OUR FEDERAL UNION and
April 1863 came,
Hooker was making ready
to launch his ill-fated
staring at Vicksburg across the river.
Many people must have
felt, by then, that Vicksburg could not be taken, at by Grant, but Grant himself was not among the doubters. For one thing, spring would dry out the swampy ground around Vicksburg and maneuvering would become easier. For another, Grant had a new and daring idea.
attempts at crossing the river had been north of
were made south of the
be caught by
could be maintained with the lines of
which led northward. But suppose the crossing
— the Confederates, not expecting this, might
would mean a break in the lines of felt he could simply have his
communications, but what of that? Grant
live off the land.
Grant arranged to have Sherman make a covering thrust
keep Confederate attention
throughout the region to tear up railroads and make Confederates to concentrate
in the north to
next sent cavalry raiding parties
harder for the
Following that, he slipped southward and waited for the river boats to join him.
There, he was not disappointed.
(born in Chester, Pennsylvania, on June
Under David Dixon Porter 1813),
Orleans, the river boats forced their
Vicksburg, and Grant was ready.
On April 30,
farther east, the opposing armies
ready for the Battle of Chancellorsville, Grant, with twenty thousand men, finally
crossed the Mississippi River, twenty-five miles south of Vicksburg.
was under the command of John
(born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on August 10, 1818), while Joseph
who had recovered from his wound in the Peninsular Campaign and was now in command in the West, was forty miles east of Vicksburg at
Pemberton nor Johnston
Grant would dare leave
the neighborhood of the river, on which he depended for supplies; so neither took vigorous action.
But now Grant had elbowroom, and he proceeded to show that one
at least, could strike
with the power and speed of Lee.
Himself without lines of communication and supply, Grant made sure that the forces at Vicksburg would be without
hastily led his
northeastward, and Pemberton, surprised at this
move, struck uselessly southward
Johnston was harried out of the
in a search for a nonexistent line of
Grant reached Jackson, and a surprised city.
had now placed himself between
Johnston and Pemberton, thus cutting the one route by which supplies and reinforcement could easily reach the siege,
and Grant proceeded
Vicksburg was virtually under
the siege an
In the process, from crossing the river to forming siege lines
about Vicksburg by handling his army
five victories in three
TURNING POINT was
and the approaching
confronted Lee after the Battle of Chancellorsville.
Should he, as Longstreet suggested, march his army westward into
Kentucky and Tennessee, crush Rosecrans, and force Grant to
siege of Vicksburg?
Lee thought otherwise. He was not sure he could move and
enough on the battered
Besides, he did not
(Lee fought only for his year before It
to leave Virginia
railroad lines of the Confederacy.
naked against a Union attack.*
reverted therefore to his notion of the
— another thrust northward.
might be argued that Lee did not have to conquer the Union or even
he needed to do was to win one great
Chancellorsville-fashion, and, follow, the
amid the general Union panic that would
Peace Democrats would be able to force an end to the war.
the Union would not be asked to surrender territory
the Confederacy go. * Ironically, it
— only to let
such a victory might even be enough to gain
was not the Union
in splitting during the
summer's campaign but rather Lee's home state, Virginia. On June 20, 1863, West Virginia officially entered the Union as the thirty-fifth state, with a constitution calling for the gradual emancipation of slaves.
was the only
This division of
change resulting from the Civil
OUR FEDERAL UNION
British help at last,
case that the Union insisted on
in the unlikely
was perhaps not far off the mark. Defeats in battle had Union volunteering, up and Lincoln had been forced, on March 1,
In this hope, Lee dried
1863, to announce a compulsory draft. Congress draft law:
anyone could buy himself a substitute
had passed a most vicious hundred dollars,
which meant that poor men were drafted while the well-to-do could buy themselves out of the war and sit at home making fat profits in the war industries.
gave grafting politicians an opportunity to take
care of their friends.
not surprising, then, that there were riots and that the war reached
a peak of unpopularity. 1863,
when New York
occurred from July 13 to 16,
City underwent four days of anarchy.
Irish-American population, incensed at being dragged into the army to fight for
Black freedom while Blacks
jobs for lower wages,
home were used and
were lynched by
the hundreds, while millions of dollars' worth of property was destroyed. It
took armed contingents of soldiers, withdrawn from the battlefield, to
As for Great Britain, she was still indirectly helping the Confederacy. Through the spring of 1863, British shipyards were working on two armored steamers, each with a piercing ram
the Union blockade, which had, by now,
strong and tight.
On June 7, 1863, The Confederacy could also month after the Battle of Chancellorsville, a French army occupied count on France
bow; these super-Merri-
hands of the Confederate seamen, very possibly break
could not possibly hope to hold Mexico
Union won, so he would be sure
Mexico as a base from which
keep the Confederacy supplied with food and ammunition.
perhaps, in mind, Lee began shifting his army
and then northward, while Hooker was
waiting on the Rappahannock
The Confederate army — hungrier than ever and hoping, at the very least, to get food and clothing — headed north up the Shenandoah River.
Jeb Stuart, the great cavalry commander of the Confederate army, kept his
the army's right flank, masking
movements from Hooker and
keeping aware of possible countermovements by the Union forces.
two years of the war, the Confederate cavalry had
far superior to the
Union cavalry, so that
always been the Confederates
in the great battles,
always the Union forces
— a strong factor in Confederate victories.
cavalry was gradually improving, however, and on this
Union horsemen under John Buford (born Woodford County, Kentucky, on March 4, 1826) encountered Stuart on
occasion, a large contingent of in
June 9 at Brandy Station, about thirty miles west of Fredericksburg. There followed the largest cavalry battle in the history of the American continents, with ten thousand
the better of
but only after he had been rather roughly handled by the
surprisingly aggressive Buford.
There were two aware, for the feelings
results of that battle.
army was made Stuart's
having been so nearly defeated, so he decided to do
something to convince himself he was world: he took his
time, of Lee's northward
for a gallant
the best cavalry leader in the
on a wide foray
around the Union army.
show, but the result was that at a crucial point in
Lee's northward march, he was without the benefit of cavalry reconnaissance. Stuart's self-love helped ruin the Confederacy.
to strike at
that a Confederate victory
and that having a Union army fact.
Richmond while Lee was
of the Potomac,
the north, but Lincoln
Hooker was therefore ordered
might very well end the war
Richmond wouldn't change army and to keep
to follow Lee's
army, and not Richmond, as his objective.
army did more than merely penetrate Maryland as they had the year before. So far, invasions of Union territory had been confined to the border slave-states of Missouri, Kentucky, and Maryland. Now, for the first time, in the closing days of June 1863, a Confederate army crossed Lee and
soil of a free state. Lee marched into Pennsylvania. Unbeknownst to Lee, Hooker was now following him as quickly as he dared. With Jeb Stuart gone, Lee was blind, and by the time he found out that he was being pursued, his communications were being threatened and some of his freedom of maneuver was gone. But Hooker was not exactly enchanted with the thought of encountering Lee again. On June 28, he sent in his resignation, and it was accepted at once (though he continued to fight, worthily, in more subordinate positions). In his place, an equally reluctant George Gordon Meade (born
OUR FEDERAL UNION Cadiz,
of American parents,
on December 31, 1815) was
Meade had fought
in every battle in Virginia,
had been wounded during
the Peninsular Campaign, and had tried to get Hooker to attack
Meade followed Lee
into Pennsylvania, intending to
He did his best to be what Lee was planning to do. Lee, without Stuart, couldn't tell exactly where Meade was and thus wasn't sure what he should be planning to do. Each army was waiting and trying to between the Confederates and Washington. cautious, trying to figure out
outguess the other while also trying to keep from being surprised. Lee's
be centering about Cashtown, about twelve miles
north of the Mason-Dixon line and about
miles northwest of
Meade sent forth the Union cavalry under Buford to see what was happening. The cavalry clattered through Gettysburg, six miles Baltimore.
southeast of Cashtown.
happened, a Confederate brigade, mostly
barefoot by now, had heard there were lots of shoes stored at Gettysburg
and had gone there to pick them up.
They encountered Buford's cavalry on June
30. Buford, recognizing the
strength of Gettysburg's position, fought off the brigade.
however, proved to be a whirlpool which drew in more and more soldiers
Over the next three
fought — the
days, the Battle of Gettysburg
greatest battle of the Civil
greatest battle ever
fought on the American continents, and a battle neither side had planned.
Both armies were scattered and concentrate
At the end of the
had the better of
know where the Union too many chances until
were concentrated, and he dared not take
didn't even reach the battlefield
second day), but Lee was fighting blind. forces
was a matter of who could
forces, they recognized the
importance of the heights
south of Gettysburg and occupied them during the afternoon of July
(Had Lee planned the these heights himself
fight at this site,
he hadn't and that made
July 2, the second day of the battle, the Confederate
their only choice
to attack the strong
argued against doing so
he would certainly have occupied
Union positions on the
remain on the
army wouldn't cooperate. They could
outwait the hungry Confederates and they proceeded to do
midafternoon, the Confederates attacked desperately. for hours,
but the Union lines held, and both armies again halted for the
and Meade was not sure whether he ought not to withdraw. A council of war was held that night and Meade decided to stay. As for Lee, he had to make one last effort. Longstreet Both
Lee overruled him.
Fresh troops had reached the Confederate army, under George Edward Pickett (born at Richmond, Virginia,
use these troops in a charge that would, he hoped, break through the
and send enough of the enemy
into a disorderly retreat to infect
the rest of the battlefield and leave the Confederates with the ground and the tactical victory. Although what followed it
called "Pickett's Charge,"
was under Longstreet's command. At 3 p.m. on July
thousand Confederate soldiers moved
forward across the fourteen hundred yards of open line
entrenched on top of the heights. The Confederate
hours in preparation,
toward the Union artillery
but their shots had gone over the heads of the
which now prepared
to take their revenge for Fredericks-
waited until the Confederates'
charge brought them into easy range, and then the guns began to
The Confederate charge simply withered. reached the heights where the Union army waited, only to
inconsiderable fraction survived. Pickett's
acy," as though
sometimes called "the high noon of the Confeder-
had been a reach
which missed by an
Actually, the charge didn't have a chance.
to retreat, having suffered a clear defeat.
Again, he remained on the battlefield the day after, as though to himself unbeaten, but then he his
He had endured
wearily south with what was
show left of
twenty-eight thousand casualties out of his
reaching the Potomac, he found
This would have been the
rain-swollen and impassable.
straw for Lee's army, had
and Lincoln desperately ordered Meade
However, the Union army had been heavily
Meade pursued to
OUR FEDERAL UNION
thousand casualties out of the eighty-eight thousand
That, combined with the rains that were falling and the terror that Lee
always inspired in Union generals,
he simply could not
to Virginia to fight another day,
and by August
armies were again in the positions they had been occupying for the past
Lincoln mourned the
could not remove a general
chance, but he did not
army desperately wounded and in retreat, word came that after a relentless six-week bombardment by the resolute Grant, Vicksburg, with its thirty-thousand-man garrison, had to surrender. July 4, 1863, with Lee's
and the entire letter written
Port Hudson, 130 miles south of Vicksburg, also gave up
was in Union hands. (Lincoln said, in a "The Father of Waters again goes unvexed to the
That July of 1863 was a clear turning point, and though the draft riots in edge off the triumph, everyone could see it for
New York took some of the what
The armored rams were was building could
to sail as
being built in Great Britain, but the Union
the British government coldly that
the rams were allowed
meant war. In the aftermath of Gettysburg, risk war and took the rams into the British navy
Great Britain chose not to instead.
ships that could serve as privateers at a great rate;
France, too, stopped supplying ships for the Confederacy; and,
with the Mississippi in Union hands, there was no chance of Lee's army ever getting supplies from Mexico.
ROSECRANS FAILS During the entire
victory at Murfreesboro,
half of 1863, Rosecrans, after the narrow
had remained on the defensive. Again,
Even the he decided he was
case of Lincoln pleading for action and getting nowhere. of discharge couldn't get Rosecrans to It
the fight that
was a threat
June 26, 1863, with the armies in the east maneuvering for
to explode in Gettysburg, that Rosecrans felt ready
There followed two months of smooth marching and clever
maneuvering on the part of the Union army,
supply lines and forced the Confederate army to retreat and retreat. After ten weeks of virtually bloodless maneuver, the Confederates had nearly
been chivied out of Tennessee without a
Rosecrans took Chattanooga,
Rosecrans, lulled by his successes and thinking Bragg shattered, ordered a general pursuit. fidently, in
Rosecrans sent his army moving forward overcon-
widely separated columns.
OUR FEDERAL UNION
The Confederacy, however, was smarting over
defeats at Gettysburg
and Vicksburg, and Jefferson Davis personally ordered Longstreet with strong forces, from Lee's army to Bragg's.
Bragg, not one of the Confederacy's better generals, missed a couple of
chances to defeat the Union army in just the
same, for he
but he was preparing for battle
an almost unique position for a Confederate general
— he would have
the advantage of numbers. As for Rosecrans, he realized too late that his
separated divisions were in danger and had to pull them together at
breakneck speed, exhausting
rattling himself badly.
Confederate army attacked near Chickamauga
in northwest Georgia, ten miles south of
tangled with forest and undergrowth that the general on either side to see what indecisively,
virtually impossible for
The day ended
and Bragg had the pleasure of seeing Longstreet
the second day, Rosecrans, realizing he was outnumbered, began to
give under the strain.
His orders became overhasty and his control over
the battle line grew shaky.
Longstreet was preparing to strike hard at the Union order from Rosecrans was misinterpreted in such a the Union
line, just as
that a section of
actually pulled itself out of the line, leaving a gap.
Longstreet found himself moving right through the gap and the entire right flank of the
Union army crumbled.
Rosecrans began a hasty retreat, wiring Lincoln in panic that he had suffered a complete disaster center,
— but that assessment was premature.
George Thomas and
Confederates long enough to make
stood immovably, fighting off the
possible for the
an orderly retreat to Chattanooga. (Thomas has been called "the Rock of
see what was happening and
Rosecrans had the coolness and nerve to
around Thomas, the battle might have
Chickamauga was a Confederate
Confederate losses were actually higher than those of the Union rather unusual situation for a Civil
were 18,450 to 16,170
War battle. The
were therefore not in army traveled the ten miles northward
for the Union. Bragg's forces
a position to pursue, and the Union
— again a
men had under
recovered, however, Bragg advanced on Chattanooga siege.
Lincoln had congratulated Grant on the
capture of Vicksburg and had promoted him to major general; on October
Lincoln placed Grant in charge of
the armies west of the
to replace Rosecrans with
then came to Chattanooga himself and saw that the city was almost surrounded, that
supply lines were completely insufficient, and that the
Union army might very well be starved
reacted with characteristic energy,
seizing territory along the
Tennessee River, then throwing a pontoon bridge across adequate
Hooker and Sherman and began While
to prepare for an offensive.
traveling to Gettysburg.
had been converted
of that great battlefield
into a cemetery
thousands of dead soldiers were
on November tial
still being interred. It was to be dedicated and Edward Everett, who had been vice-presiden-
candidate on the Constitutional Union ticket three years before, was to
make one asked
of those long
he would lend
speech and delivered
and grandiose orations then
presence to the ceremony, had agreed.
He had memorized
over a period of two hours with
the flourish and
polish of an accomplished orator.
Lincoln arose and delivered a three-minute speech
containing no triumph of victory, no call to hatred against the enemy.
spoke sadly of death and of the price
men must pay
assumed, calmly and surely, that liberty was worth
Address history its
perhaps the shortest of
— and perhaps the greatest.
true to us today, although
and requoting. Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought continent, a
nation, conceived in Liberty,
are created equal.
are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that
nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.
met on a
great battle-field of that war.
dedicate a portion of that
the great speeches preserved by
It still rings
every phrase has become part of the
as a final
have come to
resting place for those
OUR FEDERAL UNION here gave their
lives that that nation
and proper that we should do But, in a larger sense,
— we who
say here, but
— we cannot consecrate
The brave men,
struggled here have consecrated
The world will little
be dedicated here
remember what we
note, nor long
fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.
It is for
which they gave the
work which they
to the unfinished
rather for us to
be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us these honored dead
above our poor power to
can never forget what they did here.
living, rather, to
take increased devotion to that cause for
— that we here — that this freedom — and that
measure of devotion
highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain nation,
have a new birth of
government of the people, by the people,
for the people, shall not
perish from the earth.
Lincoln had scarcely returned to Washington front exploded. left
On November 24,
resistance, for the
They slogged away
Confederate army (outnumbered
strongly defensible position.
particularly difficult for the
Missionary Ridge, which would be
renewed the next day. At that time, Thomas's men
in the center,
who had been among
fought and lost at Chickamauga and were chafing under the
sneers of the
new men who had
joined the army, were sent against the
Confederate guns on the base of Missionary Ridge. The Union contingents, absolutely without orders, charged wildly crest.
sight of the wild
toward them, apparently oblivious to the
Confederate forces broke. situation,
was a foolhardy move, but the Confederate
happened, could take no more. recklessly
aiming for the soldiers,
artillery firing at
Charge" that worked,
Grant took instantaneous advantage of the
pouring in further attacks, and Bragg had to retreat into Georgia.
The Battle of Chattanooga was a Union victory (with the Confederate army suffering sixty-seven hundred casualties to the Union's fifty-eight hundred) which completely
nullified the defeat at
Grant was now the complete hero of the day
personal thanks. Grant
and untrue, rumors that he was a drunkard
a complaint reached him, "I wish
send a few cases to
a most unimpressive appearance but no one
could harm him no more; Lincoln laid them
to receive a medal, another promotion,
knew what brand he
THE GIANTS CLASH
knew that he had finally found the general he sought. He needed one who would attack, would continue attacking if defeated, and would pursue vigorously if victorious. In Grant he had his man; on March 9, 1864, Lincoln made Grant commander of all the Union armies. Halleck, once Grant's superior officer and his enemy, was now Grant's subordinate. With Grant in charge, two things happened. The separate Union armies Lincoln
were, for the
time, unified into a single force.
proceed according to
in other theaters.
now and he meant Sherman
were under Grant's
longer did each
wishes without regard to what
any longer, not even Richmond. His target was the Confederate
armies; once they
were destroyed, the
northwestern corner of Georgia, had as his mark Joseph replaced Bragg after the Battle of Chattanooga. As for
Grant himself, he was going to accompany Meade's army straight for the redoubtable
didn't intend to let go
Grant spent March and April organizing generals. it,
Secondly, Grant was not aiming at
in Georgia, in particular.
On May 4,
army (Meade was
but he and Grant worked very closely together) headed south, and on
Sherman's army moved southward
was Grant's intention
again and again, and then fight
Lee's flank, force
of Grant's choosing,
doing to him what Rosecrans had done to Bragg nearly a year before in Tennessee. Lee, however, was no Bragg.
caught Grant's army on
OUR FEDERAL UNION
5 in the Wilderness, the rugged tree-tangled country where the Battle of Chancellorsville
had been fought and
by the Union
impossible for Grant to
use of his greater mass of men, and the Confederates
the land better.
was counting on the coordinated movement of a Union army on the Virginia coast, but these troops were under the command of In addition, Grant
the utterly incompetent Butler,
Grant had to
without the aid of the flank attack and
never managed to get them moving.
which he had counted.
In two days of fighting, Lee used his smaller army with his usual consummate skill, taking advantage of every bit of cover and receiving dribbles of reinforcements as needed.* By the time the battle had petered out, the total Union casualties numbered nearly eighteen thousand against
a confederate loss of only ten thousand. Lee, however, had no cause for jubilation.
any other he had ever fought, since
for the first time the
had been unlike opposing general
him no room for maneuver, no chance for the kind of razzle-dazzle that had broken the Union spirit at Second Bull Run and at Chancellorsville. The Union forces had been sent in relentlessly and he had been pinned. If that sort of thing continued, he would eventually be beaten. Would it continue, however? Until then, every time Lee had beaten a Union army, it had slunk back to Washington. The Union soldiers left
themselves expected this to happen now.
grimly accepted the losses and got ready to
did not. again,
move southeastward, and
but in order to do
he had to
the two armies met once more at Spotsylvania,
eleven miles southeast of Chancellorsville.
armies fought here in
what was probably the most strenuous and prolonged
battle ever to take
It was a repeat of the Wilderness, with Grant Lee parrying skillfully. Again Grant's casualties were far in excess of Lee's, and again Grant had no thought of retreat. When the fighting died down, Grant grimly sent a message back to
place on American
slugging relentlessly and
tried to lead
some of these reinforcements into battle, they till Lee agreed to remain behind — where
stopped dead and would not go on
Washington to the takes
243 effect that "I
out along this line
Grant continued to receive reinforcements, and Lee's
skill was finally by the sheer superior weight of a bulldog opponent who would not let go. Even the Confederate cavalry was failing at last. The Union cavalry leader, Buford, had died in bed the previous December but was succeeded by the even greater Philip Henry Sheridan (born in Albany,
none other than Jeb
March 6, 1831, of Irish immigrants). Sheridan had fought through the war in Tennessee, winning promotion after promotion. Finally, under Grant's eyes, it was Sheridan who led that mad charge up the ridge that had won the day at the Battle of Chattanooga. Now Grant made him commander over the Union cavalry and obliged the bantam general (he was only 5'3") by letting him take off Stuart.
Sheridan and Stuart met on
Yellow Tavern, about ten miles
The Union cavalry greatly outnumbered the Confedand swept them aside, killing Stuart. From then on, it was the
north of Richmond. erates
Union cavalry that dominated the
fought in close cooperation with Grant's infantry, rather than trying to out-Stuart Stuart, Grant's push might have
bloody for the Union.)
the fighting at Spotsylvania died down, Grant again
around Lee's right
and again Lee moved
to prevent this. This time,
Lee carefully prepared the next holding point. The two armies slipped and slid
southeastward, and on June
Lee reached that prepared point
than ten miles east of Richmond.
McClellan's army had fought in this area and, although only very lightly
damaged, had retreated.
was Grant's army
bruised, yet never backing away.
Here Grant made a bad mistake. Feeling that the Confederate army so damaged in the previous battles that one good strong push
might crumple position,
and misestimating the strength of the Confederate all across the line on June 3, 1864.
he ordered a general advance
was a bad butchery. In less than an hour, Grant suffered seven thousand casualties, to no more than twenty-five hundred for the It
Confederates, and had to call off the attack.
Despite his success at Cold Harbor, Lee found the situation very grave. In a
had reached the neighborhood of Richmond. Grant had suffered heavy losses, but so had Lee. In fact, Lee's
of fighting, Grant
OUR FEDERAL UNION
losses had been the heavier in proportion to the men he had available. His army was turning into a ragged, starving ghost of what it had been, while Grant had a seemingly endless supply of men, food, and materiel. At all costs, Grant's hand had to be taken from the Confederate throat. If
bloody battles did not succeed, Lee meant to see whether the hearts of
the politicians back in Washington were perhaps less stalwart than
decided to send an army up the Shenandoah Valley and have
as close to
as possible, in the
hope that Grant would
then be recalled.
was placed under Jubal Anderson Early (born in November 3, 1816), who, like Lee, had strongly opposed secession but had gone with his state. On July 2, 1864, diversionary attack
Franklin County, Virginia, on
bloody assault on Cold Harbor was being prepared, Early
just as the small,
some twenty thousand men northeastward toward Washington.
Speed was all-important. Early had to reach Washington surprise city
and before any force could be mobilized against him. Only
were caught unawares and made
defenselessness could he
count on a frightened government crying out for Grant's protection.
July 9, Early
had crossed the Potomac and was
River, only forty miles west of Washington; there
Wallace (who, twenty years
in Brookville, Indiana,
would write the
Hur) had fought at Fort Donelson and Shiloh;
he encountered a Union on April
was on July 9, 1864, the Battle on the Monocacy, that he most nearly did his part it
for the nation.
Wallace was outnumbered by better than two to one, but he put up a
Though eventually defeated, he accomplished two things. Washington was forewarned of what was happening, and Early was delayed by two days, during which time Grant managed to get troops into staunch
Early reached Washington on July 11, the most he could
do was exchange some Early's raid brought
with Union soldiers and then leave.*
back a badly needed supply of looted material
Lincoln himself watched the skirmish, and as he stood there his 6'4" height
his usual tall hat
made him an
moment, seized his arm, shouting, "Get down, you fool!" After the danger had passed, Lincoln turned to the lieutenant and said, with his usual sad smile, "I'm glad to see you know how to talk to lieutenant, in the heat of the
245 Confederate hearts, but the foray had not
accomplished what Lee had hoped.
Grant was not going to
powder-flash of that raid drive him away from Lee's throat, nor was
Lincoln going to
come home. make another attempt
Indeed, after Cold Harbor, Grant decided to fourth) to
Lee's right flank. Against Halleck's advice, Grant
crossed the James River on June 12, handling this difficult
was his intention to capture Petersburg, twenty miles south of Richmond, and from there hammer
again at Lee.
The plan was
movement brought him
Petersburg that was virtually undefended.
commanders on the for
without Grant there to drive them on, delayed
one reason or another, and night
However, the various Union
before they could actually bring
That night, Lee desperately poured
and by morning outskirts costing
After a four-day
Grant eight thousand more men, he
down, on June 19, to a siege of the city. Meanwhile, during May and June, while Grant and Lee had been
each other, Sherman had been carrying through an
advance very much
enemy very much
Grant's in northwestern Georgia, against an
Sherman slipped around the
Sherman slugged and Johnston parried; and Johnston retreated; then Sherman
slugged and Johnston parried again.
Sherman had worked
a hundred miles southeast of Chattanooga and only thirty miles north of Atlanta,
which was the most important
acy south of Virginia. Now,
railroad center left the Confederat
Cold Harbor, Sherman decided
come for a direct frontal attack. The result was the same. The Union army suffered 2000 casualties compared to 270 for the the time had
Confederacy. But Sherman,
RENOMINATION Grant and Sherman were destroying the Confederacy, but
at a great
OUR FEDERAL UNION
and the destruction was not very apparent to the anxious Union. Although the Confederacy was being bled white and could scarcely maintain itself, it seemed to many of the people at home that Grant and cost,
Sherman were merely battering themselves blind without producing any worth mentioning.
Grant's reputation, in particular, plummeted. His popularity casualty
He became "Grant
the Butcher" and no notice was
taken of the fact that Lee's losses had actually been higher in proportion to
that Lee's great
army had been battered
to the point
could never take the offensive again.
surprising, then, that as
1864 wore on, the Democrats grew
stronger and the clamor for peace, even at the price of Confederate
for the Radical Republicans, they
at Lincoln for
not taking some sort of vengeance against those parts of the Confederacy already under Union control and for not preparing a harsh peace against the day
some Radical Republi-
cans held a convention in Cleveland and nominated Fremont as their presidential candidate.
Lincoln grew sorrowfully aware that
be reelected. Furthermore,
opponent was bound to run on a
peace platform and then proceed to destroy the Union. It
occurred to Lincoln that he could try to have the election postponed
in the face of the national
had taken place
provision for postponing an election, of 1864
might be argued that the situation
had never been envisaged by the designers of
Lincoln, however, could not bring himself to election schedule was, after
Liberty" was set,
no previous presidential
and though the Constitution made no
part of what "this nation, conceived in
the precedent of a postponed election was
the device could be used again and again for lesser and lesser
became merely a way
of perpetuating an unpopular
party in power. There would then be no "government of the people," and the Union would have been defeated even people, after
to take the
did win the war.
chance of letting their freedom destroy
the people deserved freedom, this would not happen.
So the world was treated to the spectacle of a nation in a life-and-death
emergency going through a
and open election procedure, with
opponents of the administration at liberty to denounce government policy — as though the deepest peace and greatest security prevailed.
and the war
States has rarely shone as brightly in the world as
did at this
the Union party (Republicans and
Republican, and the Union Party had to prove that as
He was a Radical was nonpartisan and
of those crucial Democratic votes as possible.
wanted, then, was a
1840 to run for reelection.
Hannibal Hamlin was not renominated, however.
Lincoln was renominated, thus becoming
President since Martin
War Democrat, and
the likely choice was
Johnson (born at Raleigh, North Carolina, on December 29, 1808).
Johnson had grown up in abysmal poverty and was utterly without an education.
he had taught himself to read,
he was married that he was taught how to write by
Johnson was a young man, his family had moved to eastern
Tennessee, where the mountaineers, like those in western Virginia, were not proslavery. Entering politics as governor of
as a congressman,
later, in 1857, as
he had then served
Johnson had opposed secession and had carried his beliefs to the point
the slave-state senators, abandoned his state and
United States Senate.
Tennessee was largely
retaken by the Union armies, Lincoln had appointed Johnson to the post of military governor of the state.
Johnson's loyalty to the Union was thus proven, and
nominate him for vice-president,
But nomination meant at the polls in
as living proof that the
little if it
November. Lincoln had
development that would make
sense to existed.
be a step toward defeat
to wait for
clear that the
some good news, some
Union was winning the
The wait seemed a useless one and it was a hard summer for him. The report of the Union slaughter at Kennesaw Mountain arrived three weeks after the nomination, and then came the particularly unsettling news of Early's raid. What's more, the fighting in both Georgia and war.
to a crawl.
Sherman had finally reached the environs of Atlanta. Davis, annoyed with Johnston's masterly retreat, had relieved Jefferson him, replacing him on July 17 with John Bell Hood (born in Owingsville, In Georgia,
OUR FEDERAL UNION
Kentucky, on June
1831). Davis felt
Hood, who had been wounded
Gettysburg and at Chickamauga, would be more aggressive than Johnston.
That he was. Three times he slammed into Sherman's army toward the end of July, and three times he might as well have bitten at steel. He was
thrown back with heavy
losses and had to retreat to Atlanta. was Sherman able to follow up these victories with any spectacular advances. He had to settle down to a siege of Atlanta.
now going on seven weeks, was work on the Union side. Burnside (who, since the disaster at Fredericksburg, had labored away well enough) had authorized the planting of a mine under a section of Petersburg's defenses. The necessary tunnel was dug and four tons of gunpowder were placed under an exposed salient of the Confederate lines, marked by a
the siege of Petersburg,
particularly stupid piece of
with a 510-foot fuse leading back to the Union
a big hole in the Confederate lines and then send
cover of an artillery bombardment designed to increase Confederate confusion.
On July 30, all was ready. After some trouble with the fuse, the gunpowder went off, blowing up a battery of Confederate guns and several hundred men. Now it was necessary for Union troops to charge through the gap in the Confederate line. Of course, a huge crater — 170 feet long, 60 feet wide, and 30 feet deep — had been formed by the explosion; so the sensible thing to do would have been to send men around the crater on either side, since the Confederate survivors near the crater were in hopeless confusion. Burnside, however, having messed into the crater.
artillery support, sent his
While they were struggling
to climb the farther Up, the
Confederates recovered and, finding they had a large mass of soldiers helpless in a hole, killed as
nearly four thousand men.
as they could.
at last Burnside
cost to the
was taken out of the
political front that
summer was no
Radical Republicans, convinced they could not get Lincoln to impose a °
Generals are, as a matter of course, allowed to be far more idiotic than
a military man.
are permitted to be, but this
The beleaguered Lincoln
managed such a coup, wringing one victory."
was going too
observed, "Only Burnside could have spectacular defeat from the jaws of
savage punishment on the seceded states, therefore prepared a which would take the "reconstruction" of the seceded states out of Lincoln's hands and place the responsibility on Congress — in which sufficiently
Radical Republicanism was powerful.
passed both houses on July
before Congress had ended
1864, but Lincoln refused to sign
in effect, vetoing
earned him a fresh access of fury on the part of the Radicals, and to
though Fremont might draw a
work within Lincoln's
Salmon Portland Chase had proved a most
effective secretary of the
Treasury but was eagerly hoping to replace Lincoln as president and
more and more openly toward that end. He was a short-tempered man and so overconvinced of his indispensability that on several occasions he had offered to resign — and Lincoln had refused, valuing intrigued
Chase's ability above his intrigues.
June 28, 1864, however, Chase
again offered to resign over some small, easily reconciled difference, and on
June 29 Lincoln calmly accepted the resignation.
was there anything
to lighten the
gloom of that hard
The Confederate raider Alabama was located at last in Cherbourg, France, by the Union naval vessel Kearsarge, whose captain was John Ancrum Winslow (born in Wilmington, North Carolina, on November 19, 1811). The Kearsarge waited for the Alabama outside the port; when she emerged, the ships dueled for an hour and a half, and the Alabama sank under the force of the Kearsarge s superior artillery. Progress was also made at the port of Mobile, Alabama, one of the last summer.
important coastal points remaining in Confederate hands. Farragut, who, over two years before, had taken Bay.
of his ships
was sunk when
collided with a floating explosive
container (now called mines, but then called torpedoes), and Farragut was
urged by some of his
hold back. Furiously, Farragut shouted,
speed ahead, he quickly seized
control of the bay and forced the forts on
shore to surrender.
OUR FEDERAL UNION
REELECTION The two items these events were for
news involving sea-power were welcome, but at the edge of the war, so to speak, and did not make up the apparent failure in Virginia and Georgia after so much time and so
August 29, 1864, then,
the Democrats finally
convincing a nation to accept defeat could be called victory.
convention was controlled by outright defeatists,
himself wrote that part of the campaign plank calling for a cease-fire.
The Democrats then of strategy
what they considered a notable
by nominating none other than McClellan
could be touted as the great general
winning the war by Lincoln's uniform but
who had been
jealousy and incapacity.
as their candidate.
McClellan did not quite have the face to accept the peace platform and, repudiating
called for continuation of the
could doubt that once president, given his innate inability to
his certain failure to
move forward who would
withstand the Peace Democrats
surround him, he would bring the Civil
an end and grant the
independence of the Confederate States of America?
For vice-president, the Democrats nominated a defeatist congressman from Ohio, George Hunt Pendleton (born
in Cincinnati, Ohio,
on July 29,
1825, but descended from an old Virginia family).
then, almost immediately after the Democrats, riding high,
concluded their convention, everything began to All during the
apart for them.
Sherman had been methodically until, as the month ended and the
extending his lines around Atlanta,
Democrats were meeting, he was on the point of surrounding the altogether. *
So sure was Lincoln of
fully after the latter's
swear to cooperate with
expected victory in November,
the war be concluded before his inauguration in March. If the Union were not
saved by then, said Lincoln,
could not be saved afterward.
army out of the city, and on September The news of the capture of Atlanta drove the
to a height of hysterical enthusiasm.
Other good news began to pour continued to
forays along the
Shenandoah Valley such
had frightened Washington. Stuart,
While the army
before Petersburg, Grant was determined that there be no
was sent out
as that with
who had put an end to do the job. He was to drive
Confederate troops out of the valley and then devastate
use as a food store for Lee's army.
Sheridan went to work with a jpare
In theory, his army was supposed to
noncombatants and avoid destroying anything not of war-use. But
>uch considerations were scarcely valid
or over three years with soldiers on both sides
aiming the beautiful and Sheridan's
began to destroy everything
fruitful valley into
sweep through the
war had been going on looting and committing
capture of Atlanta, and Union hearts
scorched earth. The news of
to that of Sherman's
were further gladdened.
Early was sent in to stop Sheridan, but the Union cavalry was •upreme.
Sheridan defeated Early at Winchester in the
lortheastern reaches of the valley, eighty miles west of Washington, and Jien again at Fisher's Hill, twenty-five miles southwest of Winchester,
devastation being conducted by Sheridan's troops continued, but
south of Winchester, and Sheridan, returning from a
The Union army was
Cedar Creek, twenty visit
Washington, stopped over in Winchester, certain that the Confederates
Early did attack, however, on October 19, 1864, and began to drive
back the scattered Union
which had been taken by
Sheridan, informed of this development, hastened to the scene, spurring like a
madman when he came
men, who went wild with joy °
to the final stretch. at the sight of him,
for instance, a gambler, thief,
caught his retreating
and led them back
and murderer named William
Clarke Quantrill (born in Canal Dover, Ohio, on July 31, 1837), who, having a captain's commission in the Confederate army, led a troop of guerrilla raiders
on civilians. His most notorious raid was on Lawrence, Kansas, on August 21, 1863, when he slaughtered over 150 men, women, and children. in onslaughts
OUR FEDERAL UNION
the battle and to complete victory.
The Confederacy was driven out
"Sheridan's Ride" also served to increase the spirits of the Union
which, for so long, had heard only of Confederate derring-do.
The glamour popular at
of these victories
The nation began
weight of disaster after
remained firm while
time to make Lincoln
he alone, under the
Fremont abandoned the Radical Republican
race, and, to a
to flock to Lincoln again, while the
audiences begin to cool.
Slave states continued to diminish, free states to expand. 13, 1864,
for the Radical Republicans
Maryland adopted an antislavery constitution and became a
state (the twenty-first, including
had neither bent nor buckled but had the little men had howled about him. On
man, the Radicals began felt their
to realize that
to outlaw slavery in the United
amendment, thus ending
purpose, they needed more votes in the Senate.
with a growing population due to
and even though
mines, was ardently antislavery,
population had not yet reached the required level,
state of the
Union (and the twenty-second
Union on October 31, 1864, becoming the free state,
won, becoming the
1864, the presidential election first
president to be reelected since Jackson in 1832. In
terms of the popular vote, Lincoln scored 2.2 million (55 percent of the total)
1.8 million for McClellan.
Confederacy did not vote, even where their control.
The eleven territory
states of the
was under Union
the remaining twenty-five states, McClellan
electoral votes of
Delaware and Kentucky, plus
both houses of the
also increased their hold in
Thirty-ninth Congress, scoring 42 to 10 in the Senate and 149 to 47 in the
House. The Democratic party, which had been the majority party
United States for over it
did not regain that position for another sixty years.
The Confederacy was now clearly in its last days. Confederate leaders spoke bravely of forcing Sherman to leave Atlanta by cutting off his lines of communication and demolishing him in his retreat, but that was not to be.
• Nashville TENNESSEE
q Atlanta GEORGIA
Georgia and the Carolinas
sent contingents into Tennessee to destroy those lines of
but the Rock of Chickamauga, Thomas, was waiting for them.
in the Civil
Hood's army was defeated
one Confederate cavalry leader never defeated
at Nashville (despite prodigies of )
reeled out of Tennessee never to return.
Meanwhile, Sherman had decided to forget about
his lines of
to retreat but to
cation altogether (as he and Grant had done at Vicksburg).
farther into Georgia.
march of some 270 miles whatever was
swept locust-clean then
with an army of sixty thousand men, he began a to the sea, living off the land
In his path, a swath of land 60 miles wide was set ablaze.
Sherman had no illusions as to the villainies his men were committing. is hell!" he said. So it is; and it is too bad that human beings have never seemed to learn that most obvious and most often repeated of all
the news to Lincoln as a Christmas present. *
Forrest's recipe for victory
was "to get there first with the most." This is which Forrest was not guilty — "git there
usually given as a land of illiteracy of fustest
with the mostest."
OUR FEDERAL UNION
Another portent of the closing year was the death of that old Jacksonian, Chief Justice Taney, who had written the fateful Dred Scott decision.
Taney died on October
12, 1864, after twenty-eight years as chief justice.*
who had hoped movement would succeed. He would have used the strike down many of Lincoln's (probably unconstitu-
died in despair, for he was a Confederate sympathizer
that the secession
assumptions of war powers but was never given the chance.
Lincoln selected Chase
As 1865 opened, then, the was confined shrink rapidly.
and the Carolinas, and
of the Confederacy
he took and burned Columbia, the
South Carolina. The next day he took Charleston, where
over four years before.
Wilmington on February
Even now, however, was
lost or that
capital of all
Jefferson Davis refused to
concede that the war
make terms. He had made Lee the Confederate army on January 31, 1865, and,
the Confederacy must
in chief of the
the war was not over.
So Lincoln approached his second inaugural on March flickering faintly
then went on to North Carolina, taking
indeed, while Lee remained in the
Savannah and began
and with Lee
1865, with the
greatest soldier in a losing
cause the world had seen since Hannibal, over two thousand years before
the approach of the end was no time for partisan
rejoicing or triumph over a fallen foe
Lincoln — undoubtedly
spoke of enemies
put up so marvelous a
the greatest American
none, with charity for
with firmness in the right as
work we are
gives us to see
peace among ourselves and with
closed his inaugural
up the him who shall have borne the battle and for orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just
wounds, to care
Gettysburg Address: "With malice toward
the right, let us strive on to finish the nation's
cease being enemies the
stopped and once again be fellow Americans. speech with words to match
Marshall had headed the Supreme Court, in succession, for over sixty
years, a remarkable record of stability for an elective democracy.
— AND DEATH
of 54,000 could not long hold Petersburg
and untiring pressure of Grant, whose army had now 115,000 men. Systematically, Grant pounded and pounded.
against the relentless risen to
dead, he decided he would have to abandon Petersburg and join Johnston's
army, which was
North Carolina. Together, they might carry on
his troops out of
and the Confederate government
both Petersburg and Richmond;
left its capital, too.*
object being not to try to destroy
remain between Lee and Johnston until Lee and
battle but simply to his
move no more. In
he succeeded, and on April
Lee, with his army shrunk to thirty
and unable to move another
Appomattox Court House,
step, surrendered to
west of Petersburg.
Johnston surrendered his army to Sherman on April 18, and here and there over the area of the Confederacy, other armed bands laid
that spring. The armies remaining in that part of the Confederacy west of
the Mississippi surrendered on
though Galveston, Texas, did not
over and there was no immediate fury of revenge.
There were no immediate
terms were mild, in line with the tenderness of Lincoln's second inaugural address.
almost a million casualties
All told, there
far the bloodiest
had been losses
proportion to population that the United States had ever suffered, or was to suffer in
And, on April most tragic of *
to this day.
14, 1865, to all those casualties
April 5, Lincoln arrived in
was added one more
Richmond and walked through
striven for so long.
the city for
OUR FEDERAL UNION
a state of high hilarity that day over the news of
Lee's surrender and the knowledge that, except for some routine details,
the war was over. Lincoln, an enormous weight lifted from his shoulders,
decided to see a play at Ford's Theater that night. In the theater was an actor who, being familiar to the place, could
and go Air,
Maryland, on August 26, 1838), a
and the only member of the troupe
This was John Wilkes Booth (born near Bel
be a Confederate
sympathizer, though he had played throughout the Union in the war.
Booth could not reconcile himself to Confederate defeat. Blaming that defeat on Lincoln (and rightly
he apparently decided that something
could be gained by killing the president now, even though
Secret Service guards
who were supposed
box were watching the play instead.
be watching Lincoln's
Booth entered the box, shot the
president point-blank, then leaped from the box to the stage, breaking his
Brandishing a knife, he shouted, "Sic semper
ankle in the process.
tyrannis" ("Thus ever, to tyrants"), which
to get away.
Virginia's state motto,
barn near Bowling Green, Virginia,
and shot on
But what good was that? What did Booth's miserable
or the other?
dead, the of
7:22 a.m. on the morning of the 15th, Lincoln was
belongs to the ages."
Lincoln was killed at the
of victory, having, virtually alone,
provided the backbone and wisdom that had saved the Union. The nation, in its
was thrown into mourning. West Hills, Long Island, New
Walt Whitman (born
1819) expressed the heartbreak in the
O Captain! my The
Captain! our fearful
ship has weather'd every rack, the prize
near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady
keel, the vessel
grim and dating;
O O the bleeding drops of red,
heart! heart! heart!
But Lincoln's assassination was not a personal tragedy
United States and, most of
was a had
for those states that
formed the now-defunct Confederate States of America. Lincoln, with the
enormous prestige of
might have been able to hold back the
Radical Republicans dominating Congress.
might have been able to
arrange the magnanimous peace he wanted and to heal the wounds of the
war before Instead, tried hard,
second term was over.
Andrew Johnson was now
slipped into decades of itself
but he lacked the talents required by the times, and the nation
and leaving behind
corruption, nearly as tragic as the
effects that trouble us
to this day.
A TABLE OF DATES
Second Bank of United States estab-
February 22 Adams-Onis Treaty; United States an-
March 6 James Mon-
as the 19th
state (10th free state)
Population of the United States, 9,638,453
Alabama Union as the
Supreme Court McCullough vs.
roe elected 5th President of the United States ters the
February 2 Supreme Court decides Dartmouth
the Union as the 23rd state
December 26 Andrew Jackson takes command in First Seminole War April 4 Present design of
American April 7
adopted Jackson takes
(12th free state)
receives charter to settle in St.
Texas February 24 Mexico declares its independence from Spain March 5 Monroe's second
Marks, Florida April 16 Rush-Bagot Treaty approved April 29 Jackson hangs
in Florida takes Jackson Pensacola, Florida December 3 Illinois enters the Union as the 21st state (11th free state)
August 10 Missouri enters Union as the 24th state (
12th slave state
A TABLE OF DATES
Hayne debate Church of LatterDay Saints (Mormons) or-
Mexican independence December 2 Monroe Doctrine announced February 14 Last presidential nominating caucus States recognizes
February 9 resentatives
September 26 Anti-Mason Party founded January 9 Biddle moves
doors to American settlers
Texas June 17
United States January 27 William L. March's speech gives name to "spoils system" April 6 Black Hawk In-
Lafayette lays cornerstone of Bunker Hill
Monument October 26 Erie Canal completed July 4 John Adams and
Black Hawk Inends November 14 Charles
August 2 dian
becomes law Baltimore and
September 22 Joseph Smith finds golden plates of the "Book of Mormon" inations"
James Monroe dies 21 Nat Turner's
First 13-mile sec-
January 1 William Lloyd Garrison founds The Lib-
Quincy Adams 6th President of the United States
tion of Baltimore
"Our Federal Union
of Independence, dies
United States) begins con-
olina passes Ordinance of
December 3 Andrew Jackson elected 7th President of the United States March 4 Jackson inaugurated Population of the United States,
issues proclamation against nullification
March 2 Force
Bill into effect
A TABLE OF DATES
March 4 Jackson's second inauguration March 15 South Carolina rescinds Ordinance of Nul-
state (13th free state)
March 3 United States recognizes Texan inde-
Great Britain all her
abolishes slavery in
1 Government removed from
December 4 Mackenzie's
Texas declares its independence of Mexico March 6 Santa Anna (Mexico) takes the Alamo March 15 Roger B. Taney becomes Chief Justice of the Supreme Court April 21 Texan independence established by Battle of San Jacinto May 26 House of Representatives adopts gag rule on slavery June 15 Arkansas enters
Start of Panic of
of the United States Cyrus H. McCormick invents mechanical reaper July 6 John Marshall dies October 29 Locofoco faction of Democrats receives
Michigan enUnion as the 26th
29 Canadians burn the Caroline August 18 Charles Wilkes sets out on Antarctic exploring expedition
February 11 port
Canadian self-rule Feb.-March Aroostook
War September 25 France recTexan independ-
November 13 Liberty Party founded Population of the United States, 17,069,453
the Union as the 25th state
(13th slave state) June 28 James Madison, last of the founding fa-
covers Antarctica March 31 Ten-hour
Specie Circular October 22 Sam Houston becomes first president of
in connection with Caroline affair. War crisis with Great
Buren elected 8th President
of the United States
established in Federal jobs
A TABLE OF DATES
December 2 William Henry Harrison elected 9th President
March 9 Supreme Court decides in favor of Blacks in "Amistad" case April 4 President Harrison dies in office; VicePresident John Tyler becomes 10th President of the
second Bank October 12 quitted.
August 8 Wilmot Proviso August 13 John C. Fremont takes Los Angeles August 18 Stephen W. Kearny takes Santa Fe September 10 Elias Howe patents sewing machine September 14 Santa Anna becomes commander-inchief of Mexican army September 24 Taylor wins Battle of Monterey December 28 Iowa enters the Union as the 29th state
Second Semiends February 28 Secretary of State, Abel P. Upshur, killed in accident May 24 Samuel F. B. Morse sends first telegraph
message Smith 27 Joseph June killed by mob. Mormons flee
Polk elected 11th President
First bloodshed on Mexican border May 9 Zachary Taylor drives Mexicans across the Rio Grande May 13 United States declares war on Mexico
18 Taylor crosses Rio Grande and invades Mexico June 14 Bear Flag Republic declared in California June 15 Oregon Treaty establishes present American-Canadian boundary; United States reaches the
Nauvoo December 3 John Quincy Adams ends gag rule in House on slavery December 4 James K.
October 27 Slave uprising on the Creole May 18 Dorr Rebellion in
as the 28th
state (15th slave state)
August 9 Webster-Ashburton treaty settles American-Canadian border to 1843
3 Florida enters the Union as the 27th state ( 14th slave state
United States August 16 Tyler
(14th free state) Taylor wins
February 23 Battle of
A TABLE OF DATES
Mormons under Brigham Young reach the
Clayton-Bulwer Treaty ends British-American disputes in Central
Great Salt Lake September 14 Scott takes
America 9 President Taylor Vice-President Millard Fillmore succeeds as 13th President of the
January 24 Gold discovered in California of February 2 Treaty Guadelupe-Hidalgo; Mexico cedes entire present
southwest, cluding California
United States September 9 enters the
(15th free state) August 9 Free Soil Party
Pierce elected the 14th
Population of the United
President of the United
Hungarian rebel, arrives in the United States June 29 Henry Clay dies August 24 Uncle Toms Cabin published October 24 Daniel Webster dies
James K. Polk
December 5 suth,
November 7 Zachary Taylor elected 12th President of the United States March 5 Taylor inaugu-
as the 31st
passed September 20 Slave trade abolished in the District of Slave
state (16th free state)
the Union as the 30th state
February 5 Henry Clay's speech on the Compromise March 4 John C. Calhoun's speech on the
Matthew C. Perry and American fleet force
speech on the Compromise March 11 William H. Seward's speech on the
William R. King dies in
Compromise March 7 Daniel Web-
Compromise March 31 John C.
into Tokyo: opens Japan to trade December 30 Gadsden Purchase defines present American-Mexican boundary January 23 Stephen A.
A TABLE OF DATES
June 16 Abraham Lincoln nominated for Senator in Illinois by Republican
sas-Nebraska Bill May 30 Kansas -Nebraska Bill
Republican Party founded October 18 Ostend ManiJuly 6
by Kansas August 27
lature elected in Kansas
of "irrepressible conflict"
party in Nicaragua January 15 Anti-slave legislature elected in Kansas May 21 Pro-slave mob sacks Lawrence, Kansas
state (18th free state)
August 27 Edwin L. Drake drills first oil well in history
Preston S. Brooks beats Senator Charles Sumner unconscious
October 16 John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry December 2 John Brown
John Brown mas-
sacres five pro-slavery
Pottawotamie Creek November 4 James Buchanan elected 15th President of the United States
February 27 Lincoln speaks at Cooper Union April 30 Slave-state delegates walk out of Democratic convention May 9 Constitutional Union convention nomi-
nates John Bell for Presi-
Kansans pass Lecompton
May 16-18 Republican convention nominates Lincoln for President June 18-23 Democratic convention nominates
Buchanan Lecompton Consti-
February 2 backs
Douglas for President June 28 Slave-state Democrats nominate Brecken-
the Union as the 32nd state
(17th free state)
Population of the United States, 31,443,321
gurated March 6 Supreme Court hands down Dred Scott de-
February 14 Oregon enters the Union as the 33rd
May 22 Congressman
Douglas in their debates October 25 Seward speaks
September 3 William Walker lends freebooting
ridge for President
A TABLE OF DATES
Lincoln elected 16th President of the United States December 18 Crittenden
1st state to
from the Union January 9 Mississippi is 2nd state to secede from the Union
20 North Carolina is 10th state to secede from the Union
June 8 Tennessee is 11th (and last) state to secede from the Union June 11 Western counties
January 10 Florida is 3rd state to secede from the
in Baltimore; first
bloodshed of Civil War; Lincoln declares Confederacy blockaded May 6 Arkansas is 9th state to secede from the
4th state to secede from the Union January 19 Georgia is 5th state to secede from the
Union government July
Run. Beauregard (C) de-
Louisiana is 6th state to secede from the
Battle of WilCreek. Lyons (U) dies but secures control of Missouri for Union
Texas is 7th from the
state to secede
Union February 4 Confederate States of America founded February 9 Jefferson Davis becomes president of the Confederacy February 18 Davis inaugurated as Confederate
Butler (U) takes islands off North Carolina coast
1 George B. McClellan made general-
Union armies 8 Mason and Slidell removed from the Trent. Danger of war with
Confederate guns Fort Sumter; Civil War begins April 14 Fort Sumter surrenders April 15 Lincoln calls for volunteers April 17 Virginia is 8th state to secede from the April 12
Great Britain December 9 Committee on the Conduct of the War established by Congress
September 6 Grant (U) occupies Paducah, Kentucky
and controlled by Radical Republicans December 26
A TABLE OF DATES
266 Stanton becomes Secretary of
War John Tyler
January 18 dies
January 19 Battle of Mill Springs, Kentucky. Thomas (U) beats Crittenden (C) February 6 Grant (U) takes Fort
Donelson February 23 Andrew Johnson named military governor of Tennessee February 25 Grant (U) takes Nashville, Tennessee March 8 Merrimack (C) destroys Union ships in James River March 9 Battle of the Monitor (U) and the Merrimack (C) April-May Stonewall Jackson (C) conducts successful campaign in Shenandoah Valley April 5 McClellan (U) places Yorktown, Virginia, under siege April 6-7 Battle of Shiloh. Grant (U) narrowly de-
Clellan July 24
Martin Van dies
July 29 Alabama (C) begins raiding career
Second Lee (C) defeats Pope (U) September 4 Lee (C) crosses Potomac and invades Union September 17 Battle of Antietam. McClellan (U) forces Lee ( C ) to retreat September 22 Lincoln announces Emancipation Battle of Bull Run.
Proclamation October 7 Battle of Perryville, Kentucky. Buell (U)
defeats Bragg (C) December 13 Battle of
Fredericksburg, Virginia. Lee ( C ) defeats Burnside
(U) December 31
Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Rosecrans (U) forces
Congress passes Homestead Act May 30 Halleck (U) oc20
cupies Corinth, Mississippi May 31 Battle of Fair
July 11 Halleck becomes general-in-chief of Union
Johnston dies of wounds April 7 Pope (U) takes Island No. 10 April 25 Farragut (U) takes New Orleans May 4 McClellan (U) takes
Union gunboat Memphis, Ten-
forces surrender of Fort
and Johnston wounded, Robert E. Lee takes over command of Confederate
Bragg (C) 1863
January 1 Emancipation Proclamation goes into
A TABLE OF DATES
Bragg (C) defeats Rosecrans (U) October 16 Grant given command of Union armies
January 30 takes
March 3 Union imposes compulsory draft law April 30 Grant (U) successfully
west of Appalachians
ChanLee (C) defeats Hooker (U) Battle of
(C) March 9
son dies May 22 Grant (U) places Vicksburg under siege June 9 Cavalry battle at
armies May 5-6 Battle of the Wilderness, Virginia.
Brandy Station. Stuart (C) narrowly defeats Buford (U)
Union as the 35th state Lee (C) crosses Potomac second time June 28 Lee (C) invades
Grant (U) forces Lee (C)
Battle of SpotVirginia.
Grant (C) to
31 Radical Republicans nominate Fremont for President June 1-3 Battle of Cold
Harbor, Virginia. Lee (C)
July 1-3 Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Meade
June 7 Republicans renominate Lincoln for President June 12 Grant ( U ) crosses James River June 19 Grant ( U ) places Petersburg under siege; Kearsarge (U) sinks Alabama (C) June 27 Battle of Kenesaw Mountain, Georgia. Johnson (C) defeats Sher-
Gettysburg Address November 23-25 Battle of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Grant (U) defeats Bragg
Turning point of war July 4 Grant (U) takes Vicksburg July 8 Port Hudson, Louisiana, in Union hands. Entire
Union hands July 13-16
York September 8
Tennessee September 19-20 Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia.
man (U) July
A TABLE OF DATES Early (C) raids Washington outskirts July 22 Sherman (U) places Atlanta under siege July 30 Fiasco of the mine July 11
Petersburg August 23
South Carolina February 22 Sherman (U) takes Wilmington, North Carolina March 4 Lincoln's second
takes forts in Mobile
August 29 nominate McClellan
September 2 (
inauguration Confederate government evacuates Rich-
takes Atlanta, Georgia
January 31 Lee appointed commander-in-chief of Confederate armies February 17 Sherman (U) takes Columbia, capital of South Carolina February 18 Sherman
Winchester, Virginia. Sheridan (U) defeats Early
mond Lincoln walks through Richmond April 9 Lee (C) surrenders to Grant (U) at Appomattox Courthouse
(C) September 22 Fremont abandons Presidential race October 12 Supreme Court Chief Justice Taney
October 19 dar
rides to site of battle
Lincoln assassinated by John Wilkes Booth (dies April 15) April 19 Funeral services for Lincoln April 26 Johnston (C) April
defeats Early (C)
October 31 Nevada enters Union as the 36th state
surrenders to Sherman (U);
November 16 Sherman (U) starts march through
John Wilkes Booth caught and shot
Salmon Chase becomes Chief
15-16 Battle Tennessee.
Lincoln buried at
takes Raleigh, North
Battle of Ce-
May 10 Jefferson Davis captured and imprisoned May 26 Kirby-Smith (C)
(C) December 22 Sherman (U) takes Savannah,
surrenders to Canby (U) at New Orleans ending the war west of the Mississippi June 2 Galveston, Texas, surrenders; final act of the
64-66 John Brown and, 159 political parties and, 80
Abolitionists, 18, 44,
secession and, 171
Abominations, Tariff of, 36 Adams, Charles Francis, 116, 184-185, 223, 236 Adams, John, 4, 37 death of, 39 Adams, John Quincy, 10, 32, 33 Amistad incident and, 88 Clay and, 31
115 election of 1820 and, 16 election of 1824 and, 30-31 election of 1828 and, 40-42 of,
gag-rule and, 65
Alabama, 223 sinking of, 249 Alabama, 9 secession of, 168 the,
Albert, Prince, 192 I, 26 "America the Beautiful," 99n American Colonization Society, 18 American Republican Party, 91 American Party, 141 American system, 6 Amistad incident, 88 Anderson, Robert, 169-176 Antarctica, 83
Anti-Catholicism, 91, 141
Antietam, Battle of, 218-220 Anti-Masonic Party, 42 election of 1832 and, 57
Appomattox Court House, 255 Arbuthnot, Alexander, 14 Arkansas, 66 secession of, 177 Armbruster, Robert C, 14 Army of the Potomac, 188 Aroostook War, 78 Ashburton, Alexander Baring, Lord, 86 Atlanta, siege of, 248, 250-251
Austin, Moses, 66 Austin, Stephen Fuller, 67, 70 Austin, 70
Austria-Hungary, 130 Bagot, Charles, 10
194 178-179 Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, 47 Bank of the United States, 3 Benton and, 56 end of, 62-63 Jackson and, 56 panic of 1819 and, 16 Tyler and, 85-86 Baranov, Alexander, 26 Barnburners, 115 Bates, Katherine Lee, 99n Bear Flag Republic, 102 Beauregard, Pierre Gustave Toutant de, 176 Battle of Bull Run and, 185-186 Battle of Shiloh and, 201 Bee, Barnard, 187 Bell, John, 163 Ben Hur, 244 Benton, Thomas Hart, 17, 47-48 Bank of the United States and, 56 Fremont and, 104 Jackson and, 63 Biddle, Nicholas, 17, 56 Birney, James Gillespie, 80, 96 Black Hawk War, 54 Ball's Bluff, Battle of,
Jackson and, 14 Latin America and, 25, 33 Monroe Doctrine and, 27, 28 Texas and, 71
Alamo, siege of Alaska, 26
Apalachicola, Fort, 13
Black Republicans, 146 Blockade, Union, 185, 189-190, 204, 206-
207 Bolivar, Simon,
121 and, 51
29-30 40 Jackson and, 13, 49-50 Monroe Doctrine and, 28 nullification and, 37 Oregon Territory and, 94 election of 1824 and,
Bonaparte, Joseph, 24 Booth, John Wilkes, 256 Borden, Gail, 161
Border Ruffians, 140 Border states, 177 Boundary, Canadian, 11, 87, 99 Boundary, Mexican, 108-109, 134-135 Boundary, Spanish, 15 Bowie, James, 69 Bragg, Braxton, 225 Battle of Chickamauga and, 237-238 Battle of Chattanooga and, 240 Battle of Perryville and, 224 Brandy Station, Battle of, 233 Brazil, 25 Breckenridge, John Cabell, 146, 163-165 Brooks, Preston Smith, 143 Brown, John, 144 rebellion of, 159-160 Buchanan, James, 99 Fort Sumter and, 169 election of 1852 and, 133 election of 1856 and, 146 Lecompton Constitution and, 150 Ostend Manifesto and, 135-136 secession and, 166, 169 Buckner, Simon Bolivar, 199 Buell, Don Carlos, 196 Battle of Perryville and, 224 Battle of Shiloh and, 202 Buena Vista, Battle of, 106-107 Buford, John, 233 Battle of Gettysburg and, 234 death of, 243 Bull Run, Battle of, 186-187 Second Battle of, 215-216 Bulwer, Sir Henry Lytton, 129 Buncombe county, 22n Bunker Hill monument, 39 Burnside, Ambrose Everett, 204 Battle of Fredericksburg and, 222 siege of Petersburg and, 248 Butler, Andrew Pickens, 143 Butler, Benjamin Franklin, 189-190 in Virginia, 242 Butler, William Orlando, 115 Calhoun, Floride, 51 Calhoun, John Caldwell, 3 American system and, 6 Bank of U.S. and, 56
election of 1828 and,
popular sovereignty and, 114 resignation of, 61 tariff
Texas and, 71, 93 Van Buren and, 52
Wilmot Proviso and, 111 California,
capture of, 103-104 gold in, 113-114 rebellion of, 102
statehood and, 114, 118, 119, 125
Cameron, Simon, 194 Canada, 74-76 Canning, George, 27, 33 Capital, Confederate, 179
76-77 47 53n
Carroll, Charles, 39,
Cass, Lewis, 111
Clayton-Bulwer Treaty and, 129 election of 1848 and, 115-116 election of 1852 and, 133
Caucus, 29 Cavalry, Civil War, 233
Cedar Creek, Battle Census of 1820, 9 of 1830, 46 of 1840, 82
of 1850, 117 of 1860, 161 Central America, 128-129, 136 Cerro Gordo, Battle of, 107 Chancellorsville, Battle of,
Chase, Salmon Portland, 117, 249, 254 Chattanooga, Battle of, 240 siege of,
Chickamauga, Battle of, 237-238 Civil War, beginning of, 176 end of, 255 Union blockade and, 185 Clay, Henry, 3 American system and, 6 Bank of U.S. and, 56 Compromise of 1850 and, 119, 121 death of, 123
election of 1824 and, 29-31
Crittenden, George Bibb, 197
57-58 election of 1840 and, 79 election of 1844 and, 95-97 election of 1848 and, 116 Harrison and, 85
Crittenden, John Jordan, 167 Crittenden, Thomas Leonidas, 197n
election of 1832 and,
Crittenden Compromise, 167 Crockett, David, 69 Cuba, 129-130, 135 Curtis, Benjamin Robbins, 148
Latin America and, 25 Missouri
Compromise and, 22
National Republicans and, 32 nullification crisis and, 61
Texas and, 96-97 Whig party and, 92 Clayton, John Middleton, 129 Cleves, Langdon, 17 Clinton,
Cold Harbor, Battle of, 243 Colt, Samuel, 82-S3 Columbia, fall of, 254 Columbia River, 94 Compromise of 1850, 119-122 Comstock Lode, 162 Confederate States of America, 170 population
32 32 21st, 42-43 22nd, 58 27th, 82 28th, 92 19th,
117 32nd, 126 33rd, 134 34th, 141 35th, 146 36th, 156 31st,
37th, 229 39th, 252 Conscience Whigs, 116 Constitution, 1, 37
Dallas, Alexander James, 3, Dallas, Dallas,
Dark horse candidate, 96 Dartmouth, 16 Davis, Jefferson, 54
Confederacy and, 170-171 Gadsden Purchase and, 134 Pierce and, 134 Dayton, William Lewis, 145 Delaware, 178 Democratic Party, 92 Democratic-Republican Party, 2 Disraeli, Benjamin, 96n District of Columbia, 119, 125 Donelson, Andrew Jackson, 145 Dorr, Thomas Wilson, 90 Dorr rebellion, 90 Doughface, 116, 146 Douglas, Stephen Arnold, 129 Dred Scott decision and, 154-155 election of 1852 and, 133 election of 1856 and, 45-146 election of 1860 and, 162-165 Kansas and, 144-145 Kansas-Nebraska Act and, 139 Lecompton Constitution and, 150 senatorial campaign of, 153-156 Douglass, Frederick, 120 Draft riots, 232 Drake, Edwin Laurentine, 162 Dred Scott decision, 147-148 Douglas and, 154-155 Duane, William, 63 Durham, John George Lambton, Lord, 76 Earle,
Constitution, Confederate, 170, 175
Early, Jubal Anderson, 244, 251
Constitutional Union party, 163
Eaton, John Henry, 50 Eldorado County, 113 Election day, 97, 116
Cooper, Thomas, 37 Copperheads, 229
War and, 184 Crawford, William Harris, 7 Calhoun and, 51 election of 1824 and, 29-31
Election of 1816, 7 of 1824, 29-31 of 1828,
Creole incident, 88-89
of 1832, 58
Crimean War, 205
of 1836, 71-72
of 1840, 79-82
Freemasons, 41 Freeport Doctrine, 155 Free-Soil party, 116 Frelinghuysen, Theodore, 94 Fremont, John Charles, 101-102 court-martial of, 104 election of 1856 and, 145-146 election of 1864 and, 246, 252 in Missouri, 195-196
French claims, 52-53
Ellmaker, Amos, 57 Emancipation Proclamation, 217, 221
Fugitive Slave Act, 119-120, 125-127
of 1844, 95-97 of 1848, 115-117 of 1852, 132-133 of 1856, 145-146
of 1860, 162-165 of 1864, 246-247, 250, 252 Election, war-time,
Emerson, John, 147 Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 160 Ericsson, John, 205 Erie Canal, 35 Everett, Edward, 163 Gettysburg Address and, 239 Fair Oaks, Battle of, 211
Farragut, David Glasgow, 204, 228 Battle of Mobile
Bay and, 249
Federalist party, 2
Ferdinand VII, 24 Fillmore, Millard, 123 election of 1848 and, 116
election of 1852 and, 132 election of 1856 and, 145 Japan and, 137 Fire-Eaters, 118, 126, 157, 164, 168 First
Seminole War, 13
"Fifty-Four Forty or Fight," 94 Flag, American,
Flag, Confederate, 174-175 Florida, 15
enters Union, 98 secession of, 168
Floyd, John, 58 Floyd, John Buchanan, 198 Foot, Samuel A., 47
Fort Donelson, surrender of, 199 Fort Henry, surrender of, 197-198 Fort Sumter, 169-170 bombardment of, 176 Forty-niners, 114 Foster, Stephen Collins, 128 France, 92 Mexico and, 223 Franklin, Benjamin, 41 Frayser's Farm, Battle of, 213
Gadsden, James, 134-135 Gadsden Purchase, 135 Gag rule, 65 Gaines' Mille, Battle of, 212 Galveston, surrender of, 255 Garrett, Thomas, 120 Garrison, William Lloyd, 44-45 Geary, John White, 144, 149 Georgia, 53 secession of, 168 Gettysburg, Battle of, 234-236 Gettysburg Address, 239-240 Giddings, Joshua Reed, 89 Gist, William Henry, 157 election of 1860 and, 166 Goliad, massacre at, 69 Good Feeling, Era of, 15 Goodyear, Charles, 83 Graham, William Alexander, 132 Granger, Francis, 72-73 Grant, Ulysses Simpson, 189 Battle of Chattanooga and, 239 Battle of Shiloh and, 200-203 Early's raid and, 245 Forts Henry and Donelson and, 197-199 general-in-chief, 241 Lee's surrender and, 255 Lincoln and, 241 Petersburg and, 245 Vicksburg and, 228-231 Great Britain, 27 Central America and, 128-129 Confederacy and, 217, 221, 223, 232-233, 236 Emancipation Proclamation and, 221 Latin America and, 33 Monroe Doctrine and, 28 Oregon Territory and, 94, 99 Panic of 1837 and, 74 slave states and, 158, 184 slave trade and, 87 Texas and, 92, 96, 98
Trent affair and, 191-192 Great Salt Lake, 113 Great Lakes, disarmament on, 11
election of 1824 and, 30-31 election of 1828 and,
election of 1832 and, 58 election of 1836 and, 71
Hale, John Parker, 133 Halleck, Henry Wager, 196, 203 general-in-chief,
Grant and, 228 Hamilton, Alexander, 3 Hamilton, James, 60 Hamlin, Hannibal, 164, 247 Hampton Roads, Battle of, 207 Harpers Ferry, 159 Harrison, William Henry, 72 death of, 84-85 election of 1840 and, 79-82 Hayne, Robert Young, 48, 60 Hayne- Webster debate, 48-49 Helper, Hinton Rowan, 158-159 Henry, Joseph, 83 Holy Alliance, 26 Homestead Act, 226 Hood, John Bell, 247-248, 250-251, 253 Hooker, 233 Battle of Chancellorsville and, 226-227 Battle of Chattanooga and, 240 Houston, 70 Houston, Samuel, 68 Battle of San Jacinto and, 69-70 presidency, 70 secession and, 166, 168 Texas annexation and, 93 Howard, John Eager, 7 Howe, Elias, 117-118 Hunkers, 115 "Ichabod," 122-123 Illinois, 9 Immigrants, 91, 117, 161, 225
election of 1844 and, 96
Florida and, 13
France and, 52-53 Indians and, 53-54 nullification crisis and,
Texas and, 67, 70-71 Unionism and, 49 Van Buren and, 50-51 Jackson,
218-220 Battle of Bull Run and, 186-187 Battle of Chancellorsville and, 226-228 death of, 228 Peninsular Campaign and, 212-213 Second Battle of Bull Run and, 215-216 Shenandoah Valley and, 209-210 Japan, 136-138 Jefferson, Thomas, 27 death of, 39 nullification and, 37-38 Johnson, Andrew, 247, 257 Battle of Antietam and,
Johnson, Herschel Vespasian, 163 Johnson, Richard Mentor, 71, 79 Johnston, Albert Sidney, 196 Battle of Shiloh and, 200-201
Johnston, Joseph Eggleston, 180 Battle of Bull Run and, 185-186
Kenesaw Mountain and, 245 McClellan and, 208 Peninsular Campaign and, 209-211 siege of Atlanta and, 247 surrender of, 255 Vicksburg and, 230-231 Juarez, Benito, 223 Battle of
of the South, 159
Kansas, 150-151, 171
civil war in, 142-144 Kansas-Nebraska Act, 139 Kansas Territory, 139 Kearny, Stephen Watts, 103-104 Kearsarge, 249 Kenesaw Mountain, Battle of, 245 Kentucky, 179 Key, Francis Scott, 62 King, Rufus, 7 King, Samuel W., 90 King, William Rufus Devane, 133 Kingfisher, 72 Kirby-Smith, Edmund, 224 Know-Nothing party, 141
Indian Territory, 139 Indians,
Iowa, 98 Ironclad ships, 205-207 Island No. 10, siege of, 200 Jackson, Andrew, 12, 43
of U.S. and, 56, 62-63 Benton and, 17, 63 Calhoun and, 49-50 death of, 98n Eaton affair and, 50-51
Kossuth, Lajos, 130
Locomotive, 46 Longstreet, James, 211, 228
Lafayette, Marquis de, 38, 39
Lake of the Woods, 11 Lamar, Mirabeau Bonaparte, 92
Battle of Gettysburg and, 234
Lane, Joseph, 163 Latin America, 25n Latter-Day Saints, 45 migration of, 111-113 Lawrence, sack of, 251n
Chickamauga and, 238
Second Battle of Bull Run and, 216 Lopez, Narciso, 130 Louisiana, 168 Lovejoy, Elijah Parish, 65
Lundy, Benjamin, 44 Lyon, Nathaniel, 188
Lee, Robert Edward, 180 Battle of Antietam and, 218-220
Liberia, 18, 19
Mackenzie, William Lyon, 75-76 Madison, James, 3, 27 American system and, 6 death of, 53n election of 1816 and, 6 Magruder, John Bankhead, 209 Peninsular Campaign and, 212 Maine, 21-23, 82 boundary of, 77-78, 86 Malvern Hill, Battle of, 213 Manifest destiny, 98, 99 Marcy, William Learned, 46 Cuba and, 135 election of 1852 and, 133 Marshall, James Wilson, 113
Liberty Party, 80
Marshall, John, 4, 38
Battle of Chancellorsville and, 226-227 Battle of Fredericksburg and, 222
commander-in-chief, 254 Grant and, 241-245 invasion of Maryland, 218-220 invasion of Pennsylvania, 233-236 Peninsular Campaign and, 209-213 Second Battle of Bull Run and, 215-216 surrender of, 255 West Virginia and, 181 Legree, Simon, 127 Liberator, The,
Lincoln, Abraham, 54 assassination of,
Bank of the U.S. and, 5 Dartmouth and, 16
Battle of Fredericksburg and, 225
Cooper Union speech of, 161 Crittenden Compromise and, 167 Early's raid and, 244n
Indians and, 53
election of 1860 and, 164-165 election of 1864 and, 246, 252
emancipation and, 193, 217-221 Fort Sumter and, 175-177 Fremont and, 195-196 Gettysburg Address and, 239-240 Grant and, 203, 241 Great Britain and, 184 inauguration of, 174 ironclads and, 205 McClellan and, 195, 250 Mexican War and, 103 Mississippi River and, 236 Pinkerton and, 173-174 Radical Republicans and, 248 second inauguration of, 254 senatorial campaign of, 152-156
Maryland, 252 invasion
secession and, 178-179
Mason, George, 120 Mason, James Murray, 119-120 Trent affair and, 191-192 Mason, John Young, 135 Massachusetts, 21
McClellan, George Brinton, 181 Army of the Potomac and, 188
Battle of Antietam and, election of 1864 and, inertia of,
Trent affair and, 192
Lincoln and, 195 Peninsular Campaign and, 208-213 Pinkerton and, 195 retirement of, 221 Second Battle of Bull Run and, 214 McClernand, John Alexander, 228 McCormick, Cyrus Hall, 82 McCullough v. Maryland, 4
Seward and, 175 and, 228-229
Lincoln-Douglas debates, 154-156 Locofocos, 79
Campaign and, 208
McLeod, Alexander, 77 Meade, George Gordon, 233-236, 241 Mechanicsville, Battle
Melville, Herman, 128 Merrimack, 206-207
end of, 210 Mexican War, 102 end of, 108 Mexico, 25 French invasion
Nativism, 90-91, 141
Nauvoo, 112 Nebraska Territory, 139 Nevada, 252 New Archangel, 26 New England Emigrant Aid Company, 140 New Mexico Territory, 125, 138
204 New York City, 35, 82 draft riots in, 232 Nicaragua, 136 North Carolina, 177 Nullification, 37, 55, 60-62 fall of,
Texas and, 92, 102 Mexico City, 106 capture of, 108 Michigan, 66 Miller, Stephen D., 47
Mill Springs, Battle of, 197
162 "Old Fuss and Feathers," 108 "Old Rough and Ready," 101 O'Neale, Peggy, 50 Onis, Luis de, 13 Order of the Star-Spangled Banner, 141 Oregon, 157 Oregon Territory, 11, 12, 94, 138
Minnesota Territory, 138 9 secession of, 168
Mississippi River, 183-184, 203-204,
Missouri, 125 Civil
enters Union, 21-23 secession and, 174 Missouri Compromise, 22-23 unconstitutionality of, 148
Mobile Bay, Battle Moby Dick, 128 Monitor, 205-207 end of, 210n
River, Battle of, 244
Monroe, James, 7 death of, 53n election of 1820 and, 16 election of 1824 and, 29 Jackson and, 13 Monroe Doctrine and, 27-28
Monroe Doctrine, 28 Clayton-Bulwer treaty and, 129 Napoleon III and, 223 Monrovia, 19 Monterey, Battle of, 105 Morgan, William, 42 Mormon, Book of, 45
Mormons, 45 migration of, 111-113 Morse, Samuel Finley Breese, 83 Murfreesboro, Battle of, 225
Nashville, capture of, 199
National Republican Party, 32
Native American Association, 91
division of, 99 Osawotomie, 144 Osceola, 54-55 Ostend Manifesto, 136 O'Sullivan, John L., 98 Otis, Elisha Graves, 128
Panama, Isthumus Panic Panic Panic Party
of 1819, 16 of 1837, 74 of 1857, 158
35 Peace Democrats, 229 Pea Ridge, Battle of, 224 Pemberton, John Clifford, 230 Pendleton, George Hunt, 250 Perry, Matthew Calbraith, 137 Perryville, Battle of, 224 Petersburg, siege of, 245 Pickett, George Edward, 235 Pickett's charge, 235 Pierce, Franklin, 108 election of 1852 and, 133 election of 1856 and, 145 Pillow, Gideon Johnson, 198 Pinkerton, Allan, 173-174 McClellan and, 195 boss,
Plumer, William, 16 Polk, James Knox, 95-97 death of, 115 Mexican War and, 102
Oregon Territory and, 99
election of 1852 and, 132-133
Scott and, 107
Lee and, 180 Mexican War and, 103, 105-108 retirement and death of, 194 Union blockade and, 185
Taylor and, 105
Wilmot Proviso and, 111 Polk, Leonidas Lafayette, 189
Polygamy, 112 Pope, John, 200
Secession, 118, 157
Second Battle of Bull Run and, 214-216 Popular sovereignty, 111 Popular vote, 30 Porter, David Dixon, 230
Seminoles, 13 Senate, slave states and, 20, 21 Sergeant, John, 58
Fitz-John,DBD Second Battle of Bull Run and, 216n Port Hudson, 236 Portugal, 25 Pottawatomie Massacre, 144 Protective tariff, 5 Pullman, George Mortimer, 161-162 Porter,
Quantrill, William Clarke,
Radical Republicans, 193 election of 1864 and, 246
Reconstruction and, 248 Railroads, 46, 82, 134, 162 Civil War and, 182 Reaper, mechanical, 82 Reeder, Andrew Horatio, 142
Republican Party, Revolver, 83
of Chickamauga," 238
Rosecrans, William Starke, 225 Battle of Chickamauga, 237-238 Rubber, vulcanized, 83 Rush, Richard, 10, 27, 40 Russell, Lord John, 184 Russia,
Second Seminole War, 54-55 Seemes, Raphael, 223
Seven Days' Battle, 212 Seventh of March Speech, 122 Seward, William Henry, 121-122 election of 1860 and, 163-164 emancipation and, 217 "irrepressible conflict" and, 157 Lincoln and, 175 Trent affair and, 191-192 Sewing machine, 117-118 Shannon, Wilson, 142 Shenandoah Valley, Jackson in, 209-210 Sheridan, Philip Henry, 243 in the Shenandoah Valley, 251 Sheridan's Ride, 252 Sherman, John, 160 Sherman, William Tecumseh, 186-187 Battle of Chattanooga and, 240 Battle of Kenesaw Mountain and, 245 Battle of Shiloh and, 200 in Georgia, 241, 253-254 siege of Atlanta and, 248, 251 Vicksburg and, 229 Shiloh, Battle of, 200-203 Silver, 162 Sitka,
Slave rebellions, 59-60 Slavery, 17
Monroe Doctrine and, 28
Slave states, 19, 20 Slave trade, 18, 87-88, 119, 160-161
Patrick's Cathedral, 161
San Jacinto, Battle of, 69-70 Santa Anna, Antonio Lopez, 67 death of, 135 Gadsden Purchase and, 135 Mexican War and, 105-108 siege of the Alamo and, 69 Santa Fe, 104 Santo Domingo, 19 Savage Station, Battle of, 213 Savannah, fall of, 254 Scott, Dred, 147 death of, 148n Scott, Winfield, 60-61
John, 102 Trent affair and, 191-192
Smith, Gerrit, 159 Smith,
Smith, Joseph, 45
death of, 112 in Nauvoo, 112 Soule, Pierre, 135-136 South Carolina, 166 Fort Sumter and, 170, 176 nullification and,
Spain, 24, 25
Specie circular, 74 Spoils system, 46
INDEX Spotsylvania, Battle of, 242 Squatter sovereignty, 114 Stanton, Edwin McMasters, 194 Lincoln's death and, 256 Merrimack and, 206-207 Star of the West, 170 States rights, 2
Steamships, 9 Stephens, Alexander Hamilton, 166
Confederacy and, 171
Thomas, George Henry, 196 Battle of
Chicamauga and, 238
Battle of Nashville and, 253
Jesse Burgess, 22 Thoreau, Henry David, 160
Timby, Theodore Ruggles, 205n Tippecanoe, Battle of, 72 "Tippecanoe and Tyler, too," 81 Tokyo, 137 Tompkins, Daniel D., 7, 16
Stevens, John, 46
Topeka Constitution, 142
Stevens, Thaddeus, 193
Travis, William Barret, 69
Stowe, Harriet Elizabeth Beecher, 127 Stuart, James Ewell Brown (Jeb), 186 Battle of Gettysburg and, 233 death of, 243 Peninsular Campaign and, 211
Treaty, Adams-Onis, 14, 15
Sumner, Charles, 127 beating of, 143 Kansas and, 143 Sumter, Thomas, 53n Sutter, Johann Augustus, 113 "Swanee River," 128 Tallmage, James, 22 Taney, Roger Brooke, 62-63 Amistad incident and, 88
Tariff of Abominations,
Tariff of 1818,
Tariff of 1822, Tariff of 1828, Tariff of 1832,
Bank of U.S. and, 85-86 Democrats and, 92 Dorr rebellion and, 90 election of 1840 and, 79-82 election of 1844 and, 95
succeeds to Presidency, 85 Texas and, 92-93, 98
5 34 34 36 55
Taylor, Zachary, 101
Tyler, John, 72-73
secession crisis and, 172
Dred Scott decision and, 147-148 Supreme Court and, 63 Tariff of 1816,
Clayton-Bulwer, 129 Guadelupe Hidalgo, 108 Rush-Bagot, 10, 11 Webster-Ashburton, 87 Trent affair, 191-192 Trist, Nicholas Philip, 107-108 Tubman, Harriet, 120 Turner, Nat, 59-60
Uncle Tom's Cabin, 127
120, 126 Union, population of, 182 Unionist, 2 Union Party, 195 Upshur, Abel Parker, 93, 205n Utah Territory, 125, 138
election of 1848 and, 116
Mexican War and, 103 Tecumseh, 71 Telegraph, 83, 95, 118 Tennessee, 171, 177 Texas, 66ff. American settlement of, 67 annexation of, 70, 92-93, 98
Compromise of 1850 and, 119 enters Union, 98 independence of, 69-70 secession of, 168 slavery and, 67 statehood of, 125 Tyler and, 92-93 Thames, Battle of the, 71
Vallandigham, Clement Laird, 229 Van Buren, Martin, 35 Amistad incident and, 88
Calhoun and, 52 Eaton affair and, 51 election of 1824 and,
election of 1828 and, 42 election of 1832 and, 58 election of 1836 and, 71-72
election of 1840 and, 79-82 election of 1844 and,
election of 1848 and, 116
Jackson and, 50-51 labor and, 78-79
party machine and, 35-36 tariff
of 1828 and, 36
Vera Cruz, 106, 107 Vicksburg, 228 siege of, 231 surrender of, 236 Virginia, 176 secession and, 171, 177, 179
Virginia Dynasty, 7
Walker, Felix, 22n Walker, Robert John, 149-150 Walker, William, 136 Wallace, Lew, 244 War Between the States, The, 176 War Democrats, 194, 228-229 War of 1812, 2 Washington, George, 41 Washington, raid on, 244 Webster, Daniel, 4 Austria-Hungary and, 130-131
Bank of the U.S. and, 4, 56 Bunker Hill monument and, 39 Compromise of 1850 and, 122-123 Dartmouth and, 16
Weed, Thurlow, 42 West Florida, 12 West Virginia, 179 23 In 59 end of, 140 White, Hugh Lawson, 72 Whitman, Walt, 256 Whitney, Eh, 19 Whittier, John Greenleaf, 123 Wilderness, The, 227 Wilderness, Battle of the, 241-242 Wilkes, Charles, 83 Trent affair and, 191-192 Wilkes Land, 83 William I, 78 Wilmington, fall of, 254 Wilmot, David, 111 joins Union,
election of 1852 and, 132
of, 188 251 Winslow, John Ancrum, 249 Wirt, William, 57 Wisconsin, 98 Wood, Fernando, 171 Workingmen's party, 44
Fillmore and, 125
Wyandotte Constitution, 171
election of 1836 and, 72
Harrison and, 84 Hayne and, 48-49 Maine boundary and, 86-87
Texas and, 93 Tyler and, 86
Wilson's Creek, Battle
Yancey, William Lowndes, 118 Yellow Tavern, Battle of, 243 Yorktown, siege of, 209 Young, Brigham, 112-113
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