Our Federal Union: the United States from 1816 to 1865

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OUR FEDERAL

UNION BY ISAAC ASIMOV Oue is

of Isaac Asimov's

history

and

to

it

many

enthusiasms

he brings his

unique perspective along with

and a

balance, wit

His

clarity,

lively writing style.

two volumes on American

first

own

his-

The Shaping of North America

tory,

(which dealt with the early period) and

The Birth of the United States

(the

and

pe-

Revolutionary

Constitutional

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)

.

read

.

with pleasure as well as with

it

learning.

With

short

declarative

tences, lively vocabulary

sen-

and pertinent

anecdotes, he organizes history into a

smooth yet sprightly prose. ".

.

.

Dr. Asimov writes with a broad

perspective.

He

everything.

And

Dr. Asimov of the Civil

is

writes about absolutely he's certainly not dull."

not dull

War

when he

writes

period either. In

Our

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

is

another highly readable book.

BOSTON (

PUBLIC LIBRARY

OUR FEDERAL UNION

HISTORIES BY

ISAAC ASIMOV

Ancient

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

OUR FEDERAL

UNION The United

States

from 1816 to 1865

ISAAC ASIMOV Houghton

Mifflin

Company Boston 1975

EB



To

Steve Odell and Victor Serebriakoff,

who brought

history nearer to

me

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data

Asimov, Isaac, 1920Our Federal Union. Includes index.

SUMMARY:

Traces American history between 1816 and

Includes the beginnings of political division and

1865.

the origins and battles of the Civil War.

United States

1.

War, 1861-1865 — — History — 1815— — History United — History — War, 1861-

— History —

Civil

Ju-

venile literature. 2. United States



1861 Juvenile literature. [1. 1815-1861. 2. United States 1865]

I.

States

Civil

Title.

E468.A84 973.7 ISBN 0-395-2283-3

COPYRIGHT

©

74-32378

1975 BY ISAAC ASIMOV

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO PART OF THIS WORK MAY BE

REPRODUCED OR TRANSMITTED

IN

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

w

1

4

10

1384

98765432

CONTENTS

1

2

3

THE BEGINNING OF DIVISION UNIONISM VERSUS STATES* RIGHTS

1

THE VIRGINIA DYNASTY CONTINUES

6

FLORIDA

12

THE ERA OF GOOD FEELING?

15

THE MISSOURI COMPROMISE

19

COLONIES AND TARIFFS THE MONROE DOCTRINE

24

THE FIVE-MAN ELECTION

29

THE TARIFF OF ABOMINATIONS

33

THE PASSING OF THE OLD

36

ANDREW JACKSON THE RETURN MATCH

40

DEMOCRACY EXPANDS

43

"OUR FEDERAL UNION

—"

47

THE FRENCH AND THE INDIANS

52

THE BANK AND REELECTION

55

NULLIFICATION

59

4

5

UNEASY BORDERS THE ABOLITIONISTS

64

REBELLION IN TEXAS

66

MARTIN VAN BUREN

71

REBELLION IN CANADA

74

LOG CABINS AND HARD CIDER

78

FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA TYLER, TOO

84

BLACKS, WHITES,

AND NATIVISM

TEXAS AND POLITICS TEXAS AND

WAR

MEXICO

6

7

87 91

98 103

THE LAST COMPROMISE THE NEW WEST

110

MIDCENTURY

114

CLAY AND WEBSTER

118

THE FUGITIVE SLAVES

123

OVERSEAS

128

COLLISION COURSE IMPERIALISM

132

SQUATTER SOVEREIGNTY

138

TERROR IN KANSAS

142

THE LAST DOUGHFACE

145

POLITICS IN KANSAS

148

8

THE UNION DIVIDES ABRAHAM LINCOLN

152

THE GROWING IMBALANCE

156

THE CRUCIAL ELECTION

162

SECESSION

165

THE CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA

9

10

169

THE WAR BEGINS FORT SUMTER

173

CHOOSING SIDES

177

BULL RUN

182

GETTING READY

188

THE RISING FURY RELUCTANT W/VRRIORS

193

UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER

197

PINCHING THE MISSISSIPPI

200

IRON SHIPS

205

MCCLELLAN

FAILS

207

11

12

ROBERT

E.

LEE

POPE FAILS

214

COUNTERINVASION

217

BURNSIDE FAILS

221

HOOKER FAILS

226

TURNING POINT

231

ULYSSES

S.

GRANT

ROSECRANS FAILS

237

THE GIANTS CLASH

241

RENOMINATION

245

REELECTION

250

VICTORY

— AND

DEATH

255

TABLE OF DATES

259

INDEX

269

1

THE BEGINNING OF DIVISION UNIONISM VERSUS STATES

RIGHTS

In 1816, the United States celebrated the fortieth anniversary of

its

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,

it

enough power to make a central government

strong enough to control the nation.

The

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

power,

exists in clearly written form,

but

its

words

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

were

essentially theirs, while the Federal

Union of

states

had only those

£

OUR FEDERAL UNION

rights specifically granted

it

by the

view can be said to stand for

On

Constitution.

the other hand, there were those

Union were granted certain

rights,

who maintained

it

was natural

Federal Union also had implied powers that

They

practice.

actually forbidden

people can be

the Union had

felt that it

and reserved

known

Those who held

to this

"states' rights."

made

all

that

if

the Federal

to suppose that the

those rights workable in

possible rights except those

to the states

by the Constitution. Such

as "Unionists."

In the early years after the adoption of the Constitution, two parties

formed.

One was

the Federalist party, which, as

its

name

believed in a powerful Federal Union and was Unionist in

The other was the Democratic-Republican

party,

its

indicates,

philosophy.

which stood

for states'

rights.

For twelve years, the Federalists were

in control,

under Presidents

Washington and Adams, and the course of the nation was established

in

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

more democratic

in spirit in those years, the

became

accomplishments of Federal-

ism were not dismantled.

Under the

first

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

States.

A

Democratic-Republican. Yet

this didn't

Everyone might

mean

call

that everyone

was

in

agreement on everything.

himself Democratic-Republican, but some people

still

believed in a strong Union and some in states' rights. Oddly enough, while it

was the •

For

states' rights

details

party that had

on the early period of our

of the United States (Houghton

won

out and survived,

nation's history, see

Mifflin, 1974).

it

was the

my book, The Birth

THE BEGINNING OF DIVISION

6

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.

owned Bank

of the United States

of Alexander Hamilton, the

first

had been

set

up

A

privately

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

it

a device whereby foreign investors in

it

combination with the commercial interests of the Northeast tyrannized the rest of the nation.

In 1811, then,

when

the twenty-year chapter of the bank expired, the

Democratic-Republicans, then in complete control of the government, did not renew

structure of

it,

and the Bank of the United

1812

went out

States

however, weakened the United

nonexistence,

Its

and made

it

efficiently.

of existence.

States'

financial

considerably harder for the nation to fight the After the war,

then,

Democratic-Republican party decided

to

War

the Unionist wing of the try

to

correct

what they

considered to have been a mistake. In the last year of the war, President Madison, disturbed over the increasing disorganization of of the Treasury,

on June

of Jamaica

Treasury.

21,

American finance and the in

virtual

bankruptcy

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

United

had brought

its feet,

and recommended the

revival of the

Bank

of the

States.

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

fight

was a

Kentuckian

brilliant

politics

from the time he

first

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

his

Senate seat for election to the House of

Representatives (then considered the more prestigious branch of Congress).

As Calhoun and Clay had worked

to bring

on the

War

of 1812, so now,

OUR FEDERAL UNION

4

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

Among

who opposed

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

the

bill

dregs of that discontent produced some lingering traces of states' rights

sentiment in Webster.

On

April 10, 1816, the

was passed and the second Bank of the

bill

United States was established, with a charter that was to hold good for

twenty years. One-fifth of

government and

The

rest

was

its

one-fifth of

$35 million was supplied by the

capital of

directors

its

in private hands.

Like the

were government-appointed. first

bank, the second had

headquarters in Philadelphia. Operations began on January States' rights

advocates were not entirely defeated.

1,

its

1817.

Individual states

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

to

were unconstitutional, and by 1819 the dispute had reached the Supreme Court. Sitting

Virginia,

as

Federalist.

Federalists

1801 and was a confirmed and stubborn

Adams

Though the were almost

alive, active,

The

in

on September

President John

was

24,

was John Marshall (born in Germantown, 1755). He had been appointed to the post by

chief justice

and

as

Federalist party all

either

much

had died and though individual

dead or

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

He

American

listened to the

down what was one

history.

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

it

he

said,

The

federal

even though the

could, because in order to

THE BEGINNING OF DIVISION govern effectively, that necessary,

not do

it

had

to

5

have the power to establish a bank

and the Constitution did not say

specifically that

if it felt it

could

so.

Furthermore, since the federal government could establish the bank,

meant

that no state could destroy

could tax

it,

destroy."

Going

it,

and

that, in turn,

as Marshall said, "the

for,

power

meant

to tax

is

it

that no state

the power to

government was

further, Marshall held that the federal

not responsible to the states, but directly to the people.

While the bank was intended internally, another

The

situation.

move

intention

at

was

American economy

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

home.

or a tax

tariff,

on imported

materials.

were

Tariffs

powers of the Federal

clearly within the constitutional

Union, but the original purpose of such a tax on imports was merely to raise revenue.

since

Therefore,

tariffs

were generally made

as small as possible,

they were too high, they would cut off trade altogether and

if

revenue would decline.

But now the purpose was to

limit trade.

If

the

were

tariff

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

though the

latter

might not be as good

Then, as the American

in quality.

found themselves flooded with orders, they would prosper,

factories

expand, improve the quality of their products, and better

off.

Since such a

tariff

was designed

to protect

such things as leather, paper, hats,

textiles,

American manufacturers of

and so on from competition

with their more advanced counterparts abroad, tariff."

first

April 27. This

was another Unionist

called a "protective

its

huge and undeveloped

also

proved

difficult for

still

territory.

another direction. The difficulties in

What was

moving

difficult for

its

War of armies

purposes

purposes of trade; the tracklessness of the

wilderness limited prosperity and also got in the

government.

became law on

victory.

Clay and Calhoun moved together in

war

was

protectionist tariff in the nation's history,

1812 had shown that the nation had serious

of

it

Again Calhoun and Clay were strongly in favor, and the Tariff of

1816, the

across

Americans would be

all

way of an effective

federal

OUR FEDERAL UNION Clay therefore advanced what he called the "American system" (dealing with the entire nation and not just

He

this or that state).

proposed

"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

government.

Calhoun

tried

to

Bank

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

vetoed

itself if

the

bill

became

although Marshall's decision in McCullough a strong federal government, the states' defeated.

It

had

its

power

to

law.

Although Unionist sentiment was strong after the v.

War

of 1812,

and

Maryland set the pattern

rights

side

was not

for

totally

partisans and, as in the case of Madison's veto,

its

In fact, over the next forty years, the quarrel between Unionism

victories.

and

because he

it

the federal government would be taking an unwarranted

states'

rights

was

to

grow stronger and would eventually

all

but

destroy the nation. It is

barely this

the course of that quarrel

managed

— and the way in which the United States the theme of brought on — that

to survive the crisis

it

is

book.

THE VIRGINIA DYNASTY CONTINUES The year 1816 was not merely tariff.

It

was an election

United States, was in the

He was

first

Jefferson,

last

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

year, too.

its

own

eyes the most important by

far.

In fact,

four presidents of the United States, three (Washington,

and Madison) had been Virginians and each had served two

THE BEGINNING OF DIVISION

7

terms.

The only break had come with

Adams

of Massachusetts.

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

who had

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

28, 1758),

state

fought in the revolutionary war and was

under Madison

1811, remaining in that post

in

till

the end of

Madison's administration.

When the

Democratic-Republican members of Congress got together to

nominate a candidate, not everyone was content with Monroe,

who

in the

course of representing the nation in France and elsewhere had occasionally

overstepped his powers in a rash way.

William Harris Crawford.

He,

too,

The younger members wanted

was Virginian by

(Amherst

birth

County, February 24, 1772). His family had moved to Georgia, however,

and

he had become senator from that

in 1807,

Madison's cabinet

first

In 1815, he entered

state.

as secretary of war, then as secretary of the

Treasury.

Despite presidential support for Monroe, and despite the fact that

Crawford did not campaign, Crawford got 54 votes evidence of

less

to

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.

To balance

in a year

the ticket (that

is,

when

that

to have

two

candidates from different sections of the nation), the vice-presidential

nomination went to the governor of in Scarsdale,

What tial

New York,

Daniel D. Tompkins (born

June 21, 1774).

Federalists

candidate the

still

existed in Congress

New Yorker Rufus

nominated

as their presiden-

King (who had unsuccessfully run

for

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

was

strictly

no contest. The Federalists could take only Massachusetts

and Connecticut. All

else

went

to the Democratic-Republicans.

Monroe

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

8

count in the Senate was 34 to 10 in favor of the Democratic-Republicans, while the figure in the House was 141 to 42.

The

nation's

growth continued,

entered the Union as the nineteenth its

name

On December

too.

As a

state.

11, 1816,

territory,

before the time of the Louisiana Purchase,

when

the best-organized Indian tribes remaining on American

Within three years, three more

states

were added

on the eastern banks of the lower reaches of the

Indiana

had received was the site of

it

it

soil.

to the

list.

Mississippi,

river of that

name, came

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

on December

Both

14, 1819.

1818; and

3,

"Illinois"

the regions by indigenous Indian tribes.

The continuing

increase in states

about the American stripes

and

stars

meant

that something

had

to

be done

There had been the feeling that the number of

flag.

ought to

reflect the

number

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

was

stripes.

clear, If

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

was decided,

red and

six

it

in color

therefore, to

fix

the

number

To

and eleven white

end of 1819, the

from a distance.

white) and to increase only the

ber of states increased.

stripes

existed at the

On

flag

April 4, 1818,

of stripes at thirteen (seven

number

of stars as the

num-

that rule the United States has adhered ever

since.

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

by the

first

census in 1790, only three decades before. Both

now had

Philadelphia

New York and

populations in excess of a hundred thousand.

Steamships were beginning to navigate the Mississippi River and the

The

Great Lakes.

American

ship, the

Though the

first

steamship ever to cross the Atlantic was an

Savannah, which made the

federal

government could not finance internal improve-

ments, several of the states did. canal from Lake Erie to the

could extend

all

the

trip in 1819.

way

Ocean.

(It

material

by water than by

New York,

Hudson River

in particular,

across the Great Lakes

was, in those days, land.)

much

began to build a

so that a continuous water-route

easier

and out

to the Atlantic

and quicker

to transport

OUR FEDERAL UNION

10

The

nation

was able

to adjust

its

boundaries with reasonable success,

too.

As Monroe entered

and Mexico

controlling Florida It

United States had two foreign

his presidency, the

neighbors: Great Britain, controlling

Canada

and Spain,

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,

seemed

that a race

Britain

would each

would begin

in

it

which the United States and Great

try to outstrip the other in the militarization of the

The prospect

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

military incidents

lie

ahead.

Fortunately, neither the United States nor Great Britain had any great appetite for such a state of

and that

affairs,

John Quincy Adams (born

largely thanks to

July 11, 1767), the

American minister

to

come

did not

it

in Braintree,

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

War of

1812 and thus had not

shared in the Federalist party's declining fortunes.

He had

served as

minister to Russia under Madison and had eventually helped negotiate the

Treaty of Ghent, which ended the the

London

War of

1812.

He was

then appointed to

post.

Easily the most capable diplomat in the country at the time,

the

most capable

in

the

nation's

history,

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

in

Monroe

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.

He

dealt with Charles Bagot,

minister to the United States.

Together they

in

THE BEGINNING OF DIVISION

11

Bagot Treaty, which was approved by the Senate on April All the

Rush-Bagot Treaty did was

to support

end the treaty

months' notice.

If

1818.

for policing

said about the land frontier,

after six

16,

each side was

on the Great Lakes, allowing only a small number

and customs duty. Nothing was side could

limit the naval vessels

and

either

there had been

continuing enmity between the two powers, the treaty would have done

no good

As

it

at

all.

was, however, both sides so clearly profited by disarmament that

changes thereafter were always in the direction of

still

all

further reduction of

forces. The boundary between the United States and Canada eventually became the longest unfortified boundary in the world and remained a

way

continuing example of the

even though disputes might

And

in

arise

which nations could remain

between them.

there were disputes. For instance, there

between the United

States

at peace,

and the

British

was no

definite

boundary

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

British

still

uncertain, the

Canada had been

fixed

by

that treaty.

In

1803, however, the United States

Territory from France, that

territory

had purchased the Louisiana

and no one knew what the northern boundary of

might be.

The

region had never even been properly

explored.

The United

States

had thought the most reasonable way of

settling the

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

The

make

that line the

line of

49°

boundary between

Canada and extend it all the way to the Pacific. on two counts. In the region of the Lake of the

British disagreed

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.

The

region to the west of the mountains (the "Oregon

Territory") they claimed

down

to 42°

north latitude, which was the

northern limit of Spanish-controlled territory. In the end, the British backed

away from

their

Lake of the Woods

OUR FEDERAL UNION

12

demand, which the United

States

would on no account agree

to,

while the

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

As

Oregon

for the

Territory, that

American occupation; the

issue

was

to remain

was not

finally

this day.

under settled

joint British-

for

another

quarter-century.

FLORIDA To

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

illegally

taken the

Furthermore, the United States had interpreted the

area from Spain.

purchase broadly and had unilaterally seized the Gulf Coast region of

"West

Florida," including the city of Mobile,

which

it

took by force in

1813.

Then,

too,

though Spain, out of enmity to Great

United States win

own

to her

its

Britain,

had helped the

independence, the American example was dangerous

increasingly shaky hold over Mexico, Central America,

of South America.

and half

So though Spain made no overt moves against the

United States, she was certainly

in

no mood to help out the Americans

against their enemies.

Among

those enemies were the Indians in the American Southwest.

These Indians had warred against the United States

War

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

Some

where American forces •

New

Orleans on January

8,

1815.*

of the defeated Indians, however, retreated to northern Florida, forces could not legally follow them,

saw no reason

to

move

See The Birth of the United

against them.

States.

and where Spanish

Joining the Indians were

THE BEGINNING OF DIVISION

13

Blacks escaping from slavery.

Together the Indians and Blacks called

themselves "Seminoles" (from an Indian word meaning "runaways").

Running southward through western Florida and

mouth

at the

British

of that river,

is

the Apalachicola River,

two hundred miles

east of Mobile, the

had established Fort Apalachicola during the War

Seminoles had taken over

and used

this fort

it

Worse

the countryside of Georgia and Alabama.

of these states, the existence of Fort Apalachicola for slaves to

The

of 1812.

on

as a base for raids yet,

from the standpoint

was a constant incentive

run away.

In 1816, therefore, the United States sent an armed force into Florida and,

on July 27, destroyed the

This produced

fort.

repercussions since, although the territory

were no Spanish forces

in the vicinity,

was

no particular

theoretically Spanish, there

and though Spain was probably

make a

helping the Seminoles surreptitiously, she was not ready to issue of

The Seminoles fought back, however, and what followed First

real

it.

Seminole War.

effectively

if

is

called the

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.

On December

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

if

he

seize

war under President Monroe was John C. Calhoun. Neither he nor the president saw

all

fit

of Florida from top to tip in sixty days.

to

answer Jackson's

letter.

Presumably the notion was to

let

could count on him to act boldly). not work,

Secretary of

Jackson do as he wished (and they

If

it

worked, well and good.

If it

did

Monroe and Calhoun could say he acted without orders and

throw him to the wolves. Jackson took silence for consent

swooped on

May

into Florida.

He

took

(as

St.

the government

knew he would) and

Marks on April l y 1818, and Pensacola

24, occupying the entire northwestern

These were not Indian posts he took,

either,

panhandle of the region.

but Spanish

fortifications.

This was happening at the very time that John Quincy Adams, secretary of state under Monroe,

now

was negotiating with Luis de Onis, the

Spanish minister to the United States, over the matter of disputed

OUR FEDERAL UNION

14

boundaries and over the manner in which Spain was allowing Florida to be

used as an Indian refuge.

would upset Adams but

It

might seem that Jackson's vigorous offensive

in actual fact

it

did not.

He

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

it

was worth.

But then Jackson went too

far.

Coming

across

two

British subjects,

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

there illegally.

and the other hanged.

all this,

and the Americans were

soil,

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

ment chose

to

do nothing,

vehemendy, and while the

British govern-

British public opinion reacted furiously,

and

it

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

adventure was

proving enormously popular with the American public

adventures always do with any public

backed Adams Instead,

at last

offensive,

it

it

He defended

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

By now,

Monroe

a note to the Spanish government, in which

and offered Spain the

and orderly or ceding

military

accusing the Spanish of fostering anarchy and

anti- American activity in Florida.

self-defense

(as

long as they work).

and Jackson was not reproved.

Adams composed

he took the

— as

This

Spain's face

territory

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

made

into law.

THE BEGINNING OF DIVISION

By

15

was ceded

that treaty, Florida

to the

United

States,

and three

centuries of Spanish rule (except for the period from 1763 to 1783

was

Florida

British)

came

to an end.

The United

Florida, but agreed to take over five million dollars'

had been payable by Spain

to

American

when

pay

States did not

for

worth of debts which

citizens.

In addition, the treaty established a firm boundary line

all

across the

continent from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean, one that separated the United States from Spanish territories

had been

line that

to last

all

along the

set in the north, this one, in the south

Unlike the

line.

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

prosperity.

There was disarmament

at

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,

Tariff of

particularly for

New

England, which prospered behind the

from commerce to industry.

the

summer

of

1817,

that

Federalism, to say nothing of

its

When Monroe

visited

prospering region forgot near-treason during the

greeted the president with great enthusiasm.

On

feeling,"

New its

War

wall as

it

it

England

legacy of

of 1812,

July 12, 1817, a

newspaper, the Columbian Centinel, heralded what

good

tariff

and

Boston

called an "era of

and Monroe's administration has gone down by that name

in

the history books.

There seemed some cause sional elections of

for such a characterization.

1818 saw a further decrease

in party strife

The

congres-

— or at least a

further increase in the lopsided Democratic-Republican majority.

number

new

The

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.

When actually

the time

and

came

literally

for the presidential election of 1820, there

no contest

for

the

first

(and

last)

was

time since

OUR FEDERAL UNION

16

Monroe and Tompkins were renominated by the Demo-

Washington.

cratic-Republicans, but the Federalists simply didn't bother to nominate

anyone.

It

was a one-party

On December 6, Monroe would Plumer (born

New

get in

election

and there was no campaign.

1820, the electoral votes were cast and

it

was

clear that

232 of them. One man, however, objected. William

all

Newburyport, Massachusetts,

Hampshire who was

an elector from

in 1759),

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

that

felt

(William Plumer

New

important in American history in another respect.

is

Hampshire's oldest and best-known college, Dartmouth, was under a

Federalist board of trustees. fight to

convert

it

Plumer, a Democratic-Republican, led the

into a state university, so that

political persuasion,

could be added.

new trustees,

Dartmouth

resisted

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

and therefore

could not interfere with the college. This was an important limitation by the

Supreme Court on the power

of the

government and an equally

important safeguard of the rights of the governed.)

And

yet,

though things appeared to go so swimmingly during the

years of Monroe's presidency, there were problems, and a surface

it

was no era

First, prosperity

had led

of

good feeling

had come

at

little

all.

to a sudden halt

in 1819.

National optimism

to speculation in western lands with the use of

exuberantly printed by state banks. With

were willing

all

that

money

paper money

available, people

to bid high for land in the expectation of selling

higher prices.

In fact,

first

below the

it

for

still

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

this

— farmers and land speculators in the West and

THE BEGINNING OF DIVISION South

— naturally

17

blamed the bank.

In the forefront of the antibank

clamor was Thomas Hart Benton (born near Hillsborough, North Carolina,

on March

He was

14, 1782).

as

tough a

man

as

Andrew

Jackson, and

men were originally friends, they had quarreled over a men had violent tempers and there was a duel in

although the two

misunderstanding. Both

which Jackson was nearly

killed.

the next year with his arm in a

Benton had moved to

newspaper

editor,

(Jackson had to lead his Indian campaign

sling.)

Louis, Missouri, in 1815,

St.

began to move

He spoke of the bank who opposed it.

government.

name It

the

to all

was quite

clear that the

and

in the panic,

crisis,

as "the

South Carolina, on September

He

there, as a

American

Monster" and that became

its

Bank of the United States had mismanaged it came near to destruction itself. A new

president was found in the person of

Representatives.

and

for a greater western role in

Langdom Cheves

17, 1776),

(born in Abbeville,

a former Speaker of the House of

reorganized the bank, adopting a supercautious

policy of retrenchment, and under his strong leadership

it

was restored

to a

firm basis.

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

Philadelphia,

Pennsylvania, on January

1786),

8,

alliance with the conservative business elements of the nation or

indifference to the rural elements.

its

therefore remained good politics

It

throughout the South and West to be antibank.

The panic led to a split

of 1819

and the years of depression that followed might have

between the southern and western

sections of the nation

on

one side and the northeast section on the other. This would have been similar to the sectional split

which

in

Washington's time had led to the

founding of the Federalist and the Democratic-Republican parties.

Such a

split

would have been bad enough, but

kind of sectionalism arose on other ground serious

it

did not happen.

— one

and helped to make the apparent era of good

from 1816 to 1819, the

last

the nation

involved the question of slavery and

The matter

of slavery

it

was

to

know

came about

had not been taken very

A new

which was much more feeling, the period

for a long time.

in this

by most of the The Constitution

seriously

nation at the time the Constitution had been accepted.

It

way.

OUR FEDERAL UNION

18

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

— the

"slave trade" — could be stopped twenty was adopted. And twenty years after, the

years after the Constitution slave trade It

not.

was

was indeed stopped,

left to

When

as of January

each state to decide for

itself

1808.)

1,

whether to permit slavery or

the population of a territory petitioned the government to be

admitted as a

state,

could

it

decide whether

itself

wanted

it

permitting slavery or a state not permitting slavery.

was the

territory north of the

to

be a

state

(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 accepted.

It

was taken rather

inferiors to Whites, mentally

at the

time the Constitu-

for granted that Blacks

and morally, and that taking them from

were their

barbarous lands and giving them the benefits of civilization and Christianity

was

for their good.

There was, however, an increasing number of people who slavery

was wrong and should be abolished; they were known,

felt

that

therefore, as

Little by little, they won out in the northern states. By had been outlawed in those states north of the Mason-Dixon

"Abolitionists."

1819, slavery

line (the east-west line

Maryland).

The

marking the boundary between Pennsylvania and

states to the south

still

permitted slavery.

Thus, the

nation was divided into "free states" and "slave states."

The

however, were increasingly

Abolitionists,

slave states at all included

existence of slavery

among

anywhere

dissatisfied at

the United States.

in the nation

They

was a disgrace

having any

felt that

the

to all the states,

free as well as slave. It is

way even

conceivable that

all

the northern states had, for there in those states that

instance, but

many

become free in the same was some Abolitionist sentiment

the states might have

were

still

slave.

Virginia

eventually freed their slaves. Again, there were

who were prominent

was a

slave state, for

Virginians (Washington and Jefferson, for example)

in

movements designed

men from

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,

if

the coast of Africa's western bulge. There the nation of Liberia

— from the

THE BEGINNING OF DIVISION

19

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.

With

this

economic motive

for holding

on to

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

fearful.

were encouraging Blacks

It

seemed

to revolt,

to

them

that the

and the history of

slave

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

for Whites.

The people

of the slave states, stung

fearful of the possibility of slaughter

by accusations of inhumanity and

and outrage

at the

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

first

they were on the defensive. area

— 450,000

falling

behind

term, the slave states were fully aware that

Though the

slave states

were

square miles to 300,000 for the free states

in population.

At the time of the

first

larger in

— they

were

census, in 1790, the

20

OUR FEDERAL UNION

population of those states that were later free was roughly equal to those that

were

later slave,

but by 1820, there were 5 million people in the free

and only 4.4 million

states

What's more,

in the slave states.

fully 1.5 million of the slave-state population

and the Constitution allowed only toward representation

in the

House

three-fifths of

them

to

of Representatives. This

were

slaves,

be counted

meant

that in

the House, where free and slave states had had about equal representation in 1790, free-state

by a It

congressmen

now outnumbered

slave-state

congressmen

ratio of three to two.

was obvious that

The

worse.

this lopsidedness in

free states

population was bound to get

were undergoing

industrialization

still

and offered

greater opportunities for immigrants,

who were coming from Europe

considerable numbers. There seemed

little

the slave states,

was

industrial labor

The

where

agricultural labor

more

upper

classes),

aristocratic,

but

point in immigrants' going to

was performed by Blacks and

nonexistent.

slave states retained a greater

older,

it

homogeneity of population and an

and more gracious way of

was the

free states that

prosperous. Slaves and cotton proved a trap

life (for

those in the

were growing

whereby the

economic peonage to the bankers and

into a state of

in

rich

and

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

number

of electors equal to the total

representatives.

This meant that the free

given a

number of presidents. To be greater

Jefferson,

representatives,

with a substantially in the election of

sure, of the first five presidents, four (Washington,

Madison, and Monroe), elected a

from the slave

states,

had a greater say

total of eight times,

state of Virginia, while only

had come

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

Abolitionist

movement.

There seemed only one rampart of protection Senate.

Each

state

had two

setts,

Rhode

and that was the

senators, regardless of population, and, as

happened, the number of slave

There were eleven of each

left

states

in 1819:

Island, Connecticut,

was equal

it

to that of the free states.

New Hampshire, Vermont, MassachuNew York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,

THE BEGINNING OF DIVISION Ohio, Indiana, and

Illinois

were

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

states.

states

This meant that there were

and twenty-two from the

slave

states.

As long

as the slave-state senators held firm, nothing insupportable to

the slave states could be passed, regardless of what happened in the House

who

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

White House.

It

therefore

slave states.

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

moment

from the

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.

Of

course, Maine, as part of Massachusetts,

before,

and

it

was a matter of course that

it

had outlawed slavery long

would enter the Union

as a

free state.

Meanwhile, that section of the Louisiana Territory centered about the Missouri River's lowermost course, with the flourishing

St.

Louis as

its

22

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

1818.

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

hundred Union

The

slaves there.

inhabitants therefore petitioned to enter the

as a slave state.

Until then,

it

had always been supposed that a

Union either slave or

free as

it

territory could enter the

chose; so the slave-staters were horrified

when

Representative James Tallmage of

New

York introduced an amend-

ment

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.

The

Fifteenth Congress dissolved and the

After a

summer

in

new

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).

It

Thomas

proposed by Senator

of Illinois (born in Shepherdstown, Virginia, in

was pushed through by Henry Clay (who was eventually

become known free-state

finally

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

and the

revival of

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 °

to

of the

There

is

an amusing

sidelight

passion, there uprose Felix Walker,

"bunkum," then

to "bunk,"

and

is still

with us today.

THE BEGINNING OF DIVISION

23

By the "Missouri Compromise"

of 1820, then, Missouri

was allowed

to

enter as a slave state and Maine as a free state. This was a victory for the

who

slave states,

power

thus retained equal

and twenty-four senators on each

states

But then,

too,

with twelve

in the Senate,

side.

an agreement was reached by a narrow margin which

stated that from this point on, slavery

would be excluded from

all

remaining territories of the United States, not yet organized as

which were north of 36°30

/

— the

north latitude

line

the

states,

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

all

north of the line would comprise

Why,

American borders south

or most of three states, while the territory all

or most of eleven states.)

For one

then, did the slave states agree?

was a

thing, there

widespread feeling that the northern part of the Louisiana Territory,

which was a

treeless prairie,

be formed

there.

was "desert" and

would not

that states

Secondly, the Spanish hold on

its

readily

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

settle the

matter and to offer a formula for preventing similar problems in the future. Instead,

moment

it

handed down a legacy of

on,

saw

that

it

trouble.

The

slave states,

was only by increasing the power

from that

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

result,

states' rights

fight for all

Unionism began to wither

in the slave states

philosophy began to flourish in

Unionism versus

the states. After 1820,

States' rights it

came

its

states, in

for the slave states.

place.

and a

solid

Prior to 1820, the

had been conducted vigorously

in

to be, increasingly, a sectional issue, with

the free states strong for Unionism and the slave states strong for states' rights.

Indeed, steadily issue

little

by

little,

every issue withered and disappeared before the

growing menace of that one great

was not

to

be

issue

— free versus

settled quickly, easily, or, alas, peacefully.

slave.

That

COLONIES AND TARIFFS THE MONROE DOCTRINE The hope, on

the part of

many people

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

United

States, the rest of its

American empire was

breaking up.

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

Napoleon,

who had

his

own

brother, Joseph Bonaparte, declared king of

Spain.

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

in

their independence.

1814 Ferdinand was restored to

But then

his throne.

At once Ferdinand tried to turn back the clock altogether, declaring the old colonies to be



still

colonies.

COLONIES AND TARIFFS

25

This the no-longer-colonies would not accept. Region by region, various parts of

what had once been a Spanish empire

in

North and South America

continued to maintain and extend their claims to independence. At the

same time, huge

Many states

Brazil rebelled against her

mother country, Portugal.

people in the United States were delighted at

were particularly eager

Hemisphere altogether. Left

American

nations

suitable areas for

Naturally, the

would be

to see Spain

all this.

The

slave

and Portugal out of the Western

to themselves, the

newly independent Latin

easier to deal with

and might perhaps be

American expansion.

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,

when

revolution broke out in the

home country

itself.

For a while, the Spanish monarchy tottered, and Mexico broke away.

On

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

as 1818,

Only when Florida had

the negotiations over Florida were underway.

been formally annexed and occupied by the United States was Then, on December

further.

Mexico

as

12,

it

safe to

go

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

itself,

did not bother the United States. Spain was in

such a state of paralysis that, whatever her reaction, she could do nothing.

Beyond

Spain, however, lay the rest of Europe.

who had

defeated Napoleon after

Britain, Prussia, Austria-Hungary,

many

Napoleon and once more under her old The

of

Even France, now

line of kings,

Europe

— chiefly,

and Russia — were determined

the continent secure and peaceful thereafter.

°

The powers

years of fighting

agreed to

to

regions south of the United States are referred to as Latin America

which

is

a Germanic language.

keep

free of

this.

because the languages spoken there are Spanish and Portuguese tongues related to Latin, rather than English,

Great

26

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

and

it

looked as though a more liberal monarchy would

be established

there, the other nations stepped in.

on the matter

in

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

I

fanatically antirevolution nation

of Russia

any demons believing call

had emotionally called

was

for a

in the principles of liberty

Russia.

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

it.

What made Russia

the Holy Alliance seem particularly dangerous was that

the ringleader, had a foothold on the American continent.

itself,

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

country.

Baranov, Russian influence expanded. In 1799, Baranov founded, as his capital,

New

Archangel, on the Pacific coast well to the south of the

Alaskan peninsula century and

and

in 1811,

is

itself.

(The town remained the Alaskan capital for a

known today

one was

as Sitka.) Forts

were

built

built (temporarily) just north of

even farther south,

San Francisco.

In 1821, the Russian czar announced that Russia claimed as her Pacific shore

down

own

the

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

for

itself.

Foreign ships,

including American ships, were forbidden to approach within a hundred miles of the Russian-claimed shore.

COLONIES AND TARIFFS

The United

States

27

was

but what could

furious,

it

do?

It

couldn't very

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

keep them

it

was

to the great commercial advantage

free.

Great Britain did not wish to recognize the colonies as independent for

nations,

was a monarchy and did not wish

she

to

encourage

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

was going

on.

While Great

nation could as

much

Britain controlled the sea,

an army to the Americas without British

as ship

permission, let alone fight a

no other European

war there

— so

really,

the United States was

safe.

The

British foreign minister,

George Canning, even offered to

join with

the United States in a declaration to the effect that no European invasion of the Americas Britain,

would be permitted. The American minister

to

Great

Richard Rush (who had negotiated the Rush-Bagot agreement),

was tempted.

When

the news got back to President Monroe, he was also

tempted, as were Jefferson and Madison, to

whom Monroe

turned for

advice.

But Secretary of State Adams stood out firmly against joining with Great Britain.

If

the United States and Britain were to issue a joint declaration,

the world would view

look like nothing

it

as entirely British

more than a

and the United States would

ridiculous "me-too" midget.

Besides,

if

Great Britain joined in the declaration, she herself would not be subject to it.

Adams

insisted that the

against Great Britain as

United States make the declaration on

much

as

anyone

else.

its

own,

Great Britain would support

the declaration out of self-interest, so that no other nation could seriously

challenge

it.

sort of bribe.

Furthermore,

The United

Eastern Hemisphere.

It

Adams

suggested that

States

would promise not

to interfere in the

foster revolution in

Europe or attempt

would not

power overseas. While American government

it

be accompanied by a

to gain

officials

argued among themselves, the

OUR FEDERAL UNION

28

grew

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.

Adams

to send copies of the declaration to the various important

War Calhoun

Some governments might choose

to

wisely argued

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

wished

to.

December 2, 1823, he announced what, be called the "Monroe Doctrine."

This Monroe did; on

would come

to

The Monroe Doctrine announced

that the

years later,

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

holdings).

to attempt to subvert

government by methods short of war. In

It also

stated that

American forms of

return, the United States

would

not interfere with the European colonies in America then in existence, nor

would

it

strictly

meddle

in the internal affairs of the

European powers or engage

in

European wars.

"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

of

fleet.

Fortunately for the United States, Great Britain, for her reasons, carried out a policy that

own

selfish

went along with the Monroe Doctrine,

so

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

United States

Great Britain did the United States another favor, disturbed by Russia's expansion

down the

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

proudly.

COLONIES AND TARIFFS

29

THE FIVE-MAN ELECTION But Monroe's second administration was coming

to a close,

already a well-established tradition that no president served

The question

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.

rights It

man

seemed

of a successor

mode

in the old-fashioned

to

Monroe

that

of Jefferson, Madison,

and Monroe.

Crawford would best carry on the

traditions of

the Virginia Dynasty.

In the past, the usual

been

for the various

together in what

is

way

of nominating a presidential candidate

congressmen of a particular

called a caucus

had

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

many

different points of

many Democratic-Republicans

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

last

Protests against the system

nominated Crawford.

It

total

was an

nominating caucus ever held.

had been

rising all over the country.

The

caucus seemed to be a way of keeping control in the hands of professional politicians

who would

play

it

safe,

choosing one old wheel horse after

There would never be room

another.

for popular heroes outside the

congressional tradition.

Even of

War

1821,

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,

Kentucky

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

much

for that.

The most vigorous

cry came, however, from Tennessee. There the cry

30

OUR FEDERAL UNION

was not

for a cabinet

had made

his

mark

member or

for a

at the Battle of

as July 20, 1822, the

congressman but

New

for a

war hero who

Orleans and in Florida. As early

Tennessee legislature had nominated Jackson for

president; they then sent

him

to

Washington

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

all

Quincy Adams, the architect

A

candidate was nominated on was a home-state notable, John of the Monroe Doctrine. He was the only

slave states.

15, 1824, in Boston.

fifth

Again

it

free-stater in the race.

Never before and never again were there

five

strong candidates

contesting for the presidency, and the "era of good feeling"

came

to a

crashing end.

In the course of the campaign, matters were slightly simplified

when

Calhoun, judging the situation with a practiced eye, decided he would not

He

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

and these

electors

were usually chosen by the

many from each

state,

state legislatures.

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

by

little,

though,

it

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

The two

how

the general

felt. first

in

basis, receiving

which a popular vote

is

recorded,

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. *

Actually,

once

in a while

COLONIES AND TARIFFS votes apiece, however,

31

and that kept Jackson's lead from being a

clear

popular majority; he had received only 43.1 percent of the votes.

Of

course,

it

was the

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

and was

Adams and

Jackson,

won

182 electoral votes

elected.)

For the second time

American

in

history,*

an election ended with no

presidential candidate possessing a clear majority.

Constitution, this

According to the

meant that the three top runners had

vote in the House of Representatives. Clay,

who

to face a deciding

ran fourth, was excluded.

Since Clay could not be president, he had the privilege of choosing

whom

to support of the remaining three,

and

was

his support

influential

Since he was a Unionist, he was utterly out of sympathy with

indeed.

Crawford, a strong politically,

states'-righter.

and Clay did not

Jackson was an

unknown

Adams, on the other

particularly like him.

hand, was closest to Clay's Unionist views; so Clay, taking of his considerable influence

among

quantity

full

advantage

the representatives, pushed hard for

Adams.

Each

had one vote

state

in this case,

the vote taken on February 9, 1825,

and when Clay was through and

it

turned out that thirteen of the

twenty-four states voted for Adams, while Jackson got seven and Crawford This meant that although

four.

Adams was second

in the

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

is

the only

case in American history of a father and son both attaining the presidency.

John Adams, still

alive

who had been

and approaching

Jackson's supporters tives

were

had done and were Although

Clay.

principle, this

Many

we can

was not

insisted that

the second president of the United States, was

his ninetieth birthday.)

horrified at

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

by Henry

were motivated by

some

by anger.

sort of position

under Adams; and Jackson himself, a strong hater who never forgot and never forgave, seemed to believe that. •

The

first

time was in 1800 (see The Birth of the United

States).

OUR FEDERAL UNION

32

Adams,

like his father,

had enormous

ability

and

integrity,

and

quite

it is

inconceivable that he would have engaged in underhanded maneuvers to

win the in tact

doubt

However, he was

election.

and

political horse sense.

his honesty,

Adams

consummate

Clay, a

also, like his father,

markedly deficient

Unable to imagine that anyone would

offered Clay the position of secretary of state.

politician,

circumstances, he had better stay

must have realized that under the

away from Adams

congressional election had died down.

the temptation of that high

He

till

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

all

Jefferson,

held the

Madison, office

of

secretary of state before winning the presidency. Naturally, the Jacksonians' thunderous outcry reached a

Many

shouted, "Corrupt bargain!" and

many

believed

it.

new

pitch.

There was no

chance of reconciliation. Jackson's supporters moved into the opposition with such force that

it

was

as

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

Jacksonians.

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.

On

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

and was

to

chose to follow his political integrity toward political suicide. *

This party

come

is

not the present-day Republican party; the latter would not

into existence for another quarter-century.

be

He He kept men

a great congressman in the future, proved to be a poor president.

COLONIES AND TARIFFS

33

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

election process.

The

states

had

originally

had property requirements

for

voting which had kept the vote mostly in the hands of the rich and

educated,

new

who were that

states

The

not likely to be swayed by popular enthusiasms.

had come

in

since

the

War

1812 lacked such

of

requirements and the old states began to remove them. Naturally, anything that

made

it

easier for everyone to vote

worked

in

favor of Jackson, a popular hero.

THE TARIFF OF ABOMINATIONS Adams's unpopularity and the unrelenting hatred Jacksonians blocked

most expert

— foreign

history as a diplomat

that

him everywhere, even affairs.

and

It is

even

felt for

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

republics; but

^Nls^

Monroe Doctrine,

in the fate of the Latin

his efforts in that area

American

went wrong.

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.

had).

Great Britain did not need to colonize Latin America or to subvert

its politics;

to

she needed only to trade with the

new

nations and reduce

them

economic servitude. Great Britain had enormous advantages over the United States at

time,

since

this

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

States

and could therefore be

34

OUR FEDERAL UNION

much more

helpful.

Thus when Simon

Bolivar,

one of the leaders of the

Latin American revolution, called an inter- American congress at

Panama

designed to fashion means of mutual protection, he invited Great Britain

but did not invite the United States.

Some

Latin American

of the

nations

Mexico, which

(particularly

bordered on the United States and did not wish to make an unnecessary

enemy) invited the United

Adams and Clay were

States, too.

quick to

accept the offer and nominated two delegates to attend.

The only

trouble

was

that the Jacksonians

were not prepared

to accept

anything that the administration proposed. They would not appropriate the costs of the mission, and the wrangle was long and exhausting.

The

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

Adams

It

was a humiliating

in particular.

British-American rivalry in Latin America might have continued and

grown dangerously were not

bitter,

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

— and

nians' anger involved the

The

a

sufficiently.

American

factories

at

sense.

much worse one — arising from

British

had

not, in actual fact, protected

products

disadvantage.

a

still

competed

The

tariff

commodities were raised in 1818 and 1822 but were industrial states of the Northeast

introduce further increases. agricultural,

the Jackso-

tariff.

protective tariff of 1816

industries

The

in that region

he had been. Once again, the United States won out by

The

stiffly

levels still

American and

left

on certain

found wanting.

were pressuring the government

slave states, however,

were strongly against such

increases,

to

which remained

preferring cheaper

manufactured products from Great Britain to more expensive products from the Northeast. To them

it

seemed

clear that higher tariffs

would

increase the prosperity of the industrial Northeast at the expense of the rural

West and

South.

In the last days of the Nineteenth Congress, with the administration in control (but

knowing already that

it

would

incoming Twentieth), an attempt was made to force those through before

it

was too

late.

The

tariff

still

lose that control in the tariff

increase passed the

increases

House and

then received a tie-vote in the Senate.

Calhoun, as vice-president, presided over the Senate and had the

COLONIES AND TARIFFS

35

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

He

now.

it

voted against the

tariff

increase and killed the

Then, when the Twentieth Congress met for the the

Jacksonians,

first

Machiavellian scheme. They worked up a

tariff

time later in 1827,

worked out a

themselves in control,

finding

bill.

truly

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

on December

5, 1782),

in

Congress was, of course, Calhoun.

Van Buren

(born in Kinderhook,

a state's rights senator from

Van Buren had supported

New

New York,

York since 1821.

the state-financed Erie Canal in

New York,

a

project completed in October 26, 1825, thanks to the vigorous prosecution of

De Witt

Governor

on March

1769,

2,

Clinton. (Clinton, born in Little Britain,

was the nephew

of

made New York

The Erie Canal was

New York's phenomenal growth and made it,

most remarkable

a huge

City the chief port through which trade could

be carried on between Europe and the American to

York,

George Clinton, who had been

vice-president under Jefferson and Madison.)

success and

New

United States

city in the

interior.

This access led

eventually, the largest

— and,

in

many ways,

and

in the

world.

Van Buren had sharpened

De Witt

Clinton and had

his political teeth in a

won

out in the end.

One

establish a system of faithful underlings (a "party

home

state while

he himself was

off in

longtime struggle with

of the

first

politicians to

machine") to run his

Washington, he was an early

example of a "party boss." Since he was a short

winning

men

Magician."

man and

a great charmer

who knew

the art of

over by soft and smiling speech, he was called "the Little

(In later life,

he was called "Old Kinderhook"

after his

36

OUR FEDERAL UNION

birthplace,

and the use of campaign buttons with the

supposed to have given

rise to

OK

initials

is

the universal use of the term in the United

States to indicate "Yes" or "All right" or "Everything

is

well.")

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

after the

stronger

Jacksonian than he thereafter.

With

his

accustomed

skill,

Van Buren

quietly

moved

the

protective tariff through congress. Cleverly, he blocked the

congressmen to

make

the

vote for the signed

it

more

tariff

men

Jackson

at every turn,

sensible.

Enough

and on May

The appalled

It finally

New

went

votes were cast for

19, 1828,

it

to the vote and, as the

became

it

to

else to go,

own

law.

country called

The Jacksonians were

trap.

to

be passed. Adams then

states'-righters of the rural sections of the

they had fallen into their

anywhere

a high

England

England representatives decided

the act the "Tariff of Abominations." less;

New

whenever they offered amendments designed

smiled smugly, the

bill.

bill for

left

speech-

Their followers, had they had

would have deserted the Jacksonians there and

then.

THE PASSING OF THE OLD The unexpected particularly those

result of the tariff

which were

maneuvering had

slave, in the highest

left

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

would have

Adams and

the industrial Northeast, the slave

to vote for Jacksonianism, the record of

which had

so far

been rather poor. It

began to look

forever

as though,

be outvoted by the

more, the western tradition

states,

one way or another, the slave

states

industrial interests of the Northeast.

even those with

slaves,

which put them out of sympathy with the

would

Further-

had a democratic aristocratic flavor of

COLONIES AND TARIFFS

37

the older coastal states;

be

it

was doubtful,

therefore,

whether the West could

trusted.

This feeling of distrust for most or

where the

Carolina,

spirit of

South Carolina

thing.

still,

all

other states was strongest in South

old-fashioned aristocracy was

still

a living

for instance, chose presidential electors

vote of the state legislature rather than through popular election.

Carolina was therefore slave states in it

its

— not

surprisingly

hostility to the majority forces

in the rest of the Union.

A

On

July 2,

felt

the president of South Carolina

in a public speech,

states

the

could see arrayed against

whether

it

would ever be

possible for South Carolina to receive proper consideration of

from a hostile coalition of

South all

states' rights.

Thomas Cooper,

1827,

had questioned,

it

most extreme of

growing number of South Carolinians

they could find safety only in extreme

College,

— the

by a

with traditions different from

its its

just

needs

own, and

whether the choice was not becoming one of either "submission or separation."

The passage many southern its

On December

reaction.

resolutions

of the Tariff of Abominations state legislatures,

denouncing the

had roused

protests from

but South Carolina was most extreme in

19, 1828, the tariff in

South Carolina legislature passed

strong terms.

At the same time, an essay entitled "South Carolina Exposition and Protest"

written

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

really sovereign

— that

which had the

The Union created by the

questions of law.

but

it

had been

who had now

states' rights.

argument was that

is,

it,

of the United States,

it

was the

final

states

which

say on deciding

Constitution was just a

voluntary agreement between the various states, and no state could be

bound by any law

it

that a state, faced

by

law (declare

it

felt to

be

in violation of that agreement.

a federal law

not to

exist)

within

it

found unendurable, could

its

own

This was not a brand-new notion.

This meant nullify that

boundaries.

in 1798, when, under John Adams, the United States had passed repressive laws limiting the freedom

of speech

and the

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,

time,

Back

38

OUR FEDERAL UNION

Madison, certain elements in

New

England had

virtually defied

and

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

lived

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.

a

draw

War

in the

growing wealthier, breaking

and

size

it

up

of 1812;

into regions or individual states

and destroying the strength

and wealth that came with the Union was becoming increasingly

insupportable.

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

— not

"We, the

its

that the Constitution

The preamble to began "We, the making up the United

states.

creation,

states

of the states."

Moreover, John Marshall, that hard-bitten Federalist

who

still

warmed

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

states,

could decide whether a law was unconstitutional or not

had become accustomed

The it

difficult for

Other its

to considering Marshall's

word

to

be law.

passing of the old feeling for states, rather than for the Union,

states

South Carolina to

rally

support about

itself

on the

made

tariff issue.

might sympathize, but they would not join South Carolina

extreme view, and South Carolina remained

Only men of

in

isolated.

remember the days before the Constitution but now, during Adams's administration, there were some sixty

and more could

really

poignant reminders of those old days.

On August

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

States.

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.

He was

sixty-seven years old

had taken part

in the

and had fought

for liberty all his

French Revolution as an ardent

He

life.

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.

On

June

17, 1825, as

Daniel Webster delivered an oration, Lafayette

laid the cornerstone of the

September death on

8,

May

had led him,

Bunker

20, 1834,

Monument

Hill

he returned to Europe and

On

in Charlestown.

more

there, for nine

years,

till

his

he maintained, unfalteringly, the same views that

as a volunteer, to fight with the

Americans

independence

for

and freedom over half a century before.

A

sadder mark of the passing of time came on July

two

only,

Thomas

had become presidents of the United

Jefferson.

They had been

they had

become

friends

life

1826, the fiftieth

of the signers,

and

States

— John Adams

and

bitter political

the century, but in retirement, with

4,

Two

anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

opponents

at the turn of

mellowing and passions subsiding,

and had corresponded frequently and warmly

over a period of thirteen years.

As the

fiftieth

had passed It

ill.

anniversary of independence approached, John

his ninetieth birthday, Jefferson his eighty-third;

was questionable,

in fact,

anniversary, but he held on to

midnight, that

it

"Jefferson

life

survives!" Alas,

live to see the

long enough to acknowledge, after

was the Fourth; then he

John Adams died a few hours still

whether Jefferson would

Adams

and both were

let

himself die.

later, his last

he did

words being a whispered

not.

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

of the

Declaration remained alive

in

American

Jefferson,

— Charles

is

surely one

history.

only one signer of the

Carroll of Maryland,

who was

eighty-nine at the time, having been born in Annapolis, Maryland, on

September

19, 1737.

He and two

surviving signers of the Constitution,

Rufus King and James Madison, were still

alive.

now

the only "Founding Fathers"

ANDREW JACKSON THE RETURN MATCH No one doubted of 1824.

In fact,

that the presidential election of 1828 it

was a continuation of 1824,

would be a replay

for that old battle

had

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,

filled all

of John

Quincy Adams's term of

office.

By October

only seven months after Adams's inauguration, the Tennessee

legislature

had already nominated Jackson

had resigned from the Senate

so

that

for president again

and Jackson

he could concentrate on

his

campaign.

Chosen

to run with him, eventually,

vice-president.

Calhoun had run on Jackson's

ticket as well as Adams's.

The National Republicans, now Adams, of course, and chose Rush,

who was

was Calhoun, who was Adams's

This was not quite an example of betrayal, for in 1824

definitely a separate party,

renominated

as their vice-presidential candidate

serving as secretary of the Treasury under Adams.

Richard

ANDREW JACKSON

41

The gradual democratization

of the voting process

and increased the numbers of those 350,000

men

eligible

had removed

barriers

Whereas some

to vote.

voted in 1824, over 1,150,000 were to vote in 1828

— an

expansion of the franchise by some three and a quarter times. The era

when

were

elections

well-to-do

was

in the

hands of the educated and comparatively

over.

This meant politicians had to vie for the votes of the uneducated and

and

unsophisticated; tions,

and outright

The 1828

elections

tactics that the

for instance,

meant that wild

that, in turn,

lies

were the

first

to involve the kind of dirty

United States has been accustomed to ever

one of the most honest

charged with

all

kinds of corruption

men ever to be in by men who knew

when they made the charges. Another new factor was the appearance

Up

accusations, exaggera-

could be used profitably.

of a

to 1828, parties in the United States

new

public

activity.

Federalists

— for

was

kind of party.

had acted on some broadpolitical beliefs

There had always been two of these parties

important and opposite sets of views

Adams, life,

they were lying

gauged philosophy cutting across the entire spectrum of

and

campaign

since.

instance, the

and the National Republicans versus the

at a time,

with

Unionism of the

states' rights beliefs of

the Democratic-Republicans and the Democrats. In 1826, however, a party

narrow

issue,

and

was established

for a while

that

was based on a

grew with amazing speed.

it

connection with an organization called the Freemasons

which met

in secret,

conferred offices on

mysterious but essentially harmless

Freemasonry traces prominent

its

origins

its

It

arose in

organization

members, and engaged

in

rites.

back

to medieval times;

in the British Isles in the early 1700s

to the rest of

— an

single

Europe and the American

it

had become

and had spread from there

colonies.

In 1734, for instance,

Benjamin Franklin became grand master of the Philadelphia Freemasons.

Many

the

of

figures

of

the

revolutionary

Washington, were Freemasons; there

period,

may have been

including

George

many

as three

as

dozen among the Founding Fathers.

The

great flaw in the

the fact that the

Freemason organization was

members

objection to enhancing their

mysterious

aims and

rites

own importance by

and powers. As a

activities;

and

their secrecy

rejoiced in that clandestinity

result,

their denials, in

hinting at

— and

and had no all

kinds of

they were suspected of seditious

view of their insistence on secrecy,

42

OUR FEDERAL UNION

were not believed. Thus, be behind

all

in

Europe, Freemasons were widely believed to

revolutionary activity.

In the United States, there were vague suspicions, too, and these

head through the

to a

activity of

County, Virginia, in 1774), a veteran of the Battle of

New

came

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,

exposing

On

York, in 1823.

all its secrets.

September

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

certain,

for

arose



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

activities.

turned out, as people began to investigate the matter, that most of the

New

York government

officials,

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

— whether

Freemasons were not secretly ruling the United States

for their

the

own

mysterious and hidden aims.

A New

York

Green County,

journalist

New

and

named Thurlow Weed (born in November 15, 1797) founded an Anti-

politician

York, on

Masonic party, which spread from

New York

to neighboring states. It

was

a party without principles or interests aside from being against Freemasons

— and

it

came out

against Jackson, since

The Anti-Masonic party was States

and

last).

By

also the

1828,

it

first

the

first

of the "third parties" in the United

"one-issue" party

had already

he too was a Freemason.

(it

was by no means

risen in strength to the point

threatened to lose Jackson the state of

New

York.

to

be the

where

Van Buren had

it

to offer

himself for the post of governor and campaign in the state as hard as he

could in order to hold

it

for Jackson.

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.

On March

4,

1829, Jackson

the United States.

He

was inaugurated

as the seventh president of

also controlled Congress,

for the Twenty-first

ANDREW JACKSON

43

Congress that opened

its

was Democratic by 26

sessions in 1829

to

22

in

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

Where

earlier presidents

growth of the voting

in a log cabin; his success (and the

among

the less well-to-do)

politicians to boast of

humble

education and refinement.

origins

made

and

(Wealth was

a certain suspicion of

could boast of family, Jackson

it

virtually obligatory for

to disclaim

any pretensions to

all right in itself

— politicians

could be rich, as long as they were crude.) In fact, the Jacksonian Democrats' contempt for education was such

Republicans took to

symbolizing

the

Democratic party with a donkey, and that symbol has remained to

this

that

the

embittered

National

day.

Jackson was the presidents

first

colorful president of the United States. Before him,

had been inaugurated

invited the public into the

in dignified seclusion; Jackson,

White House

enthusiasm, the shouting, liquor-filled

to help

men

him

celebrate,

however,

and

in their

completely ruined the furnish-

ings.

Nor did Jackson stand on

his dignity

executor of laws passed by Congress.

and serve merely

He

actively

wanted and unhesitatingly vetoed laws he didn't

pushed

like;

president to be the kind of powerful and active leader

as the grave for laws

he was the

he

first

we have grown

44

OUR FEDERAL UNION

accustomed

on them

relied

He knew he had

to these days.

to

the people with him, and he back him against Congress and even against the Supreme

Court.

The gradual growth

of democracy,

in the character of the

ways. Radical notions

new

which made

was

president,

came

to

most successful show

its

also being manifested in other

be introduced

into the

American current of

ideas.

For instance, a "Workingmen's party" was founded

by unemployed laborers phia the year before. anything, but

succeeded

it

The party

in publicizing certain

didn't last long first

new

and the abolition of imprisonment ridiculous at the time,

Then,

York City

and didn't accomplish

attempt to organize labor.

It also

— such as free public schools debt — which, though considered

notions

for

would eventually be accepted.

too, the notion of the abolition of slavery

American notions of

New

attempt in Philadel-

in 1829, following a similar

represented the

in

liberty

and equality

to all

men

and the extension of

reached a

new

level of

intensity.

Prior to the 1830s, the

who

those

word

"Abolitionist"

was scarcely known, and

believed in ending slavery were gentle philosophers and

Quakers content to reason peaceably. Benjamin Lundy

Hard wick,

New

on January

Jersey,

organized the Union

Humane

4,

(a

Quaker born

in

1789) was such a man; he had

Society in 1815 and published an antislavery

newspaper advocating gradual emancipation of Blacks and

their return to

Africa.

In

1829,

he met William Lloyd Garrison (born

in

Newburyport,

Massachusetts, on December Garrison, however, tion but

went

immediate and

all

12, 1805) and converted him to the cause. the way. He did not want gradual emancipa-

total

freedom

become free Americans equal in word "abolitionism" came into

all

for Blacks,

who were

respects to Whites.

and with him

being,

impatient, extreme, and violent language which

made

it

then to

With him, the it

adopted an

hard for the cause

to gain converts.

On most

January part,

1,

1831, Garrison founded The Liberator, which, for the

was financed by

free Blacks.

Although

its

circulation never

exceeded three thousand, The Liberator became the foremost organ of the Abolitionist

movement

in the country.

It

opposed not only

slavery,

but

war, Freemasonry, imprisonment for debt, and the use of alcohol and tobacco.

Garrison denounced churches as being organs of the Establish-

ANDREW JACKSON

45

ment; he was even for the equality of sexes (while most

men who wanted

were completely against any attempt

to free the Blacks

Garrison typified

all

feared.

women). Nor were he

in the free states.

Few citizens

and

that the slave states hated

and other Abolitionists particularly popular

to free

there were particularly upset about slavery elsewhere, and hardly any of

them believed (or

in giving Blacks equality

— as

radical — for

Garrison was a disturbing

free-stater,

long as there were no slaves

To

was enough.

Blacks) in their neighborhood, that

all

the average

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,

New

in religion, too.

December

Thus, Joseph Smith (born in

who

23, 1805),

spent his youth in western

He

York, claimed to have seen visions there.

September 22, 1827, near Palmyra,

New York,

maintained that on

he had found golden plates

inscribed in Egyptian characters, which he translated with divine help.

The

result

was the "Book of Mormon" (published

purported to give the history of a group of Jews Jerusalem is

now

when

it fell

in

who escaped from

Nebuchadnezzar and eventually arrived

to

which

1830),

in

what

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

in origin.

Another aspect of the new democracy came about with Jackson's belief in the

average man.

which man

man

filled

It

seemed

to Jackson a matter of

which governmental

could do the job, so

why

job. Since

shouldn't

it

all

little

importance

men were

just

equal, any

go to a friend rather than to an

enemy? Until Jackson's inauguration, presidents had, principle of allowing

men

to stay in their

they displayed incompetence.

Adams, there had been a had served

or

less,

followed the

government jobs unless and

But then, from Jefferson

to

until

John Quincy

series of four presidents, the last three of

in the cabinets of their predecessors.

one president could

more

whom

The men who had served

easily serve the next.

Now came Jackson, however, who was a bitter enemy of his predecessor and wanted nothing

to

do with the henchmen of the former regime.

Why

46

OUR FEDERAL UNION

not kick them out, without regard to competence and experience, and

fill

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

dead This

New

who was

York,

1832,

a loyal ally of Martin

delivered a speech defending

by Henry Clay. Speaking of

spoils." Spoils refers to the

soldier,

way

by William on December 12,

forever

1831, he entered the Senate for a brief stay and there, on

New

method of rewarding the men of their own ments, Marcy said, "They see nothing wrong belong the

name

in Southbridge, Massachusetts,

York

Van Buren

against

and

politicians

their

side with political appointin the rule that to the victor

armor and other equipment of a

who

which, by long usage, belongs to the soldier

killed him.

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

American

in

efficiency

politics,

with which government work was done,

incalculable loss. Furthermore, officials

amuck

lowering the quality of office-holders and the

burdened

it

all

the

to

nation's

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

mightily

in

strength.

The census

of

1830 placed

its

population

12,866,020, roughly equal to that of Great Britain at the time. States

at

The United

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

That

because

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



made of

difficulties

to travel along

land

— could

the "steam locomotive"

pull along a train of cars

behind

travel

it.

smooth metal

over

thus

rails,

uneven ground.

not only

Thus was born

move

itself, it

This

could

the "railroad train."

Great Britain had led in the development of the locomotive, but the United States was not

far behind.

In 1825, one John Stevens built the

locomotive in the United States to run on his

home

in

Hoboken,

New

Jersey.

rails

first

— on a half-mile track near

ANDREW JACKSON

47

In 1827, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was chartered. 1828,

began building the

it

United

States,

first

and the ground was broken by Charles

surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence

May 24,

1830, the

first

thirteen miles of track

States entered the railroad age.

On

July 4,

passenger and freight railroad in the Carroll, the last

(now ninety-two).

On

were opened and the United

Within ten years,

its

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

slave states

made



'

the best of Jackson's election. His politics were

uncertain, but he opposed the Northeast industrialists, he state (as

had been four of the

six

was from a

presidents preceding him), and he

slave

was a

slave-owner.

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

Tariff of

ately after Jackson's election.

Carolina, said,

Abominations came out almost immediStephen D. Miller, governor of South

announced boldly that slavery was not a national

on the contrary, a national

evil; it

But what South Carolina needed was support from the other

made every

effort to gather the states of the

slave or free)

behind

its

the Northeast

fell

prey to

its

own

— that the growing West might eventually drown

the states of the Northeast, where the fought, a disregarded minority.

December 29,

states;

it

South and West (whether

leadership and to isolate the Northeast.

One chance came when uneasiness

was, he

benefit.

It

war

for

was with

it

particular

out, leaving

independence had this fear in

mind

first

been

that,

on

1829, Senator Samuel A. Foot of Connecticut suggested that

the sale of western lands be restricted in order to cut

down on westward

migration.

Senator Benton of Missouri, opposed to any possibility of western

48

OUR FEDERAL UNION

growth being held back, charged, on January

18, 1830, that the

Northeast

was conspiring against the West. Joyfully there arose to

back him Senator Robert Young Hayne of South

November

Carolina (born in Colleton District, South Carolina, on

he supported Benton's stand, pushing

1791). Vigorously,

of South

and West against the Northeast. In doing

twist his

argument

10,

combination

Hayne managed

so,

into a strong statement for states' rights

He

strong Union.

for a

to

and against a

spoke eloquently in words written for him by the

greatest states'-righter of

them

all,

Calhoun.

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

nation's history,

states'

rights

Unionism, just as

to

direction.

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

states or

by the people; whether or not

agreement that could be ended

at will

by any

whether

state;

freedom could best be served by the Union, or whether a its

liberty

might not be

justified in leaving the

days before phonographs, radios, television it

it

was an

liberty

and

state in search of

Union.

On January 26 and 27, 1830, Webster delivered by common consent, was considered his greatest. how

Each delivered

states' rights.

a two-day speech that, (Alas, this

was

in the

— we have no way of knowing

sounded, except through the admiring reports of those

who heard

him.)

Uncompromisingly, Webster proclaimed the Federal Union to be

He

superior to the states and responsible only to the people.

insisted that

the Union alone could ensure liberty and prosperity, that in disunion lay

only disaster.

Union. cease

There was no way of

He hoped he would

differentiating

never see the day

between

when

liberty

the Union should

— and here are the last long sentences of his speech: When my heaven,

eyes shall be turned to behold for the

may

I

last

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

civil

feuds or drenched,

and

it

may

be, in

ANDREW JACKSON

49 Let their

fraternal blood!

feeble

last

and lingering glance rather

behold the gorgeous ensign of the repubhc, throughout the earth,

still full

streaming in their original single

star

delusion and

all

folds, as

is all

"Liberty

folly,

where, spread

ample

"What

float

arms and trophies

first

its

motto,

no such miserable

worth?" nor those other words of

this

and Union afterwards"; but every-

over in characters of living

they

its

not a stripe erased or polluted, nor a

luster,

bearing for

obscured,

interrogatory as

now known and honored

high advanced,

light,

blazing on

wind under the whole heavens, that other sentiment, dear true

all its

over the sea and over the land, and in every

American heart — Liberty and Union, now and

forever,

to every

one and

inseparable!

The speech had a profound ringing all,

down

in history,

effect

on many

in the nation

and has gone

but South Carolina remained unaffected. After

Webster was an enemy senator from the hated Northeast;

could be ignored.

What

his

words

counted was President Jackson.

really

Hayne arranged with Benton

for a Jefferson

Day

dinner to be held on

April 13, 1830, the eighty-seventh anniversary of Jefferson's birth. to serve as a demonstration of the

new

was invited and attended, and

was expected that on

would place himself on the

it

unity of

side of states'

West and rights

was

It

South. Jackson

this

occasion he

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.

states' rights

He had

with

carefully

planned what he would say when his turn came.

He

Finally, eyes turned to him.

harshly,

"Our Federal

And when

Jackson said

United States extent of his

Union —

who

it

it

rose, lifted his glass,

and

said, firmly

must be preserved!"

must be preserved, there was no one

in the

could have the slightest doubt that he would use the

power

to see that

it

and

full

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.

Calhoun,

for

he knew

his

vice-president

to

be the very fount of

nullification.

Calhoun, flustered and disheartened, tried to neutralize the effect of Jackson's toast

by

also

honoring the Union, but in far

less absolute terms.

50

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

had come

to

men

the breaking point, and with Jackson's well-developed

capacity for hatred, there was no chance of his supporting any doctrine of Calhoun's.

The trivial

trouble between Jackson and Calhoun

had begun over a more

matter.

Jackson, with his passion for the his cabinet

with nonentities

Buren, having run for governor of

Jackson and having been

except for Martin

New

York

in staffing

Van Buren. (Van

in order to hold the state for

elected, quickly resigned in order to serve as

secretary of state, a post that

highway

common man, had succeeded

— all

was

at that time

still

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

1828.

Many rumors

clung to Peggy O'Neale; to respectable

women

a "tavern

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

who

this,

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

living

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

sin.

Even

if

there

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

with the

ANDREW JACKSON to

marry

51

his love.

The marriage took place on January

1,

1829, and then

Eaton was made secretary of war.

Now, though,

it

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

bend

most

fire-eating could force

v ves of his cabinet members, walled in by superrespecta;

to a tavern

wench.

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

to

be

trifled with,

suit.

but the nervous

It

was

men

to

clear

of his

administration could do nothing with their wives.

Only Van Buren could play up

to the

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.

The

Little

Magician dutifully bowed and scraped to Mrs. Eaton, and Jackson saw and appreciated his courtesy.

But Calhoun wasn't

falling

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,

through Florida,

it

when

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,

who

passed the story on

out of enmity to Calhoun.)

Jackson had always thought that Calhoun had supported him and that

it

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,

he had

allied himself

He demanded

mad.

succeed in

It

an explanation from Calhoun, and Calhoun

re-

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

letter

off.

was very

likely that

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.

It

was

— as Jefferson and Madison had been

clear that this support

under any circumstances, go to Calhoun.

would now never, never, never,

OUR FEDERAL UNION

52

Calhoun knew

this,

and with the

loss of all possible

presidency, any lingering affection he might have expired.

From

this point on,

As

Van Buren, he

cabinet, over the Mrs.

at the

for the

Union

he was a South Carolinian through and

through and his only interests were those of his for

felt

chance

state.

offered to ease the intolerable situation in the

Eaton

affair,

by

resigning.

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

Eaton abroad

as ministers, the former to

Great Britain and the

latter to

Spain.

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

him.

Given

difficulty

United States.

It

was

clear that France felt that the

young republic across

the sea could be safely ignored.

Jackson was not the

man

to bear such treatment patiently;

press for a settlement with increasing harshness.

On

he began

to

July 4, 1831, France

ANDREW JACKSON finally

53

agreed to pay twenty-five million francs in

six

annual installments,

but only provided her legislature approved the settlement.

The

legislature refused to

approve

it

and the French government

told

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

their

own

would apologize

humiliation by the

— and, for a while,

and agreed

it

more obvious humiliation

looked

(to

money,

to vote the

remarks he had made, thus covering

man — Jackson merely

France had the wrong

words

off relations

for certain

of the American.

intensified

harsh

his

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,

was

all

well.*

In Jackson's administration, the long martyrdom of the Indians reached a

new

stage.

Union were,

By now, for the

the Indians remaining in the various states of the

most

part, helpless before the organized

White Man. They could no longer

fight wars;

power

of the

they could only appeal to

the courts.

When

gold was discovered in Georgia on land which had been assigned

Cherokee

to the

Indians were torn

both before and

up

Man moved

the White

tribe,

as casually

and

in,

and the

as callously as

The Indians sued and the

were

treaties all

with the

such treaties

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.

after.

That old Indian-fighter was not

in office to

case

uphold the Red

Man

against

the preceding age were passing away.

On

July 4, 1831, the fifty-fifth anniversary of the nation's birth, James Monroe,

fifth



Meanwhile, the

last

human links to

president of the United States, died.

He was

president to die on Independence Day. general,

Thomas Sumter

1734), died

on June

Charles Carroll, the

died on

November

1,

The

last,

so far)

revolutionary

war

(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

last living

week before

who was

who had been

the fourth

the last of the Founding Fathers,

the sixtieth anniversary of the nation's birth.

54

OUR FEDERAL UNION

the

White Man. He is reported to have now let him enforce it!"

said, "J onn

Marshall has

made

his

decision,

Indeed, what Jackson pushed for was the gradual and complete transfer of

Indians to lands west of the Mississippi.

all

This was accomplished,

gradually, but not entirely peacefully.

There was, on the

lived

Illinois in

for instance, the case of Black Illinois side of

1767,

had no love

had fought on the

for the

tribe

west of the Mississippi. Black result of

British side during the

War

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.

an

was persuaded

Hawk

illegal trick,

he brought a thousand of

to leave

its

his

of 1812 and

people back

move

land and

maintained that the agreement had

and when famine struck west of the

his tribe, including

women and

children,

river,

back to

the old Illinois grounds in the hope that they might be allowed to remain there.

They

weren't.

The governor

converted the matter into what

of Illinois called out the state troops and is

called the Black

the Indians were pursued and massacred without

One

Illinois resident

soldiers (but

who

Hawk War,

much

in

which

trouble.

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).

When

Black

become

Hawk was

captured he was placed in the charge of a recent West Point graduate, Lieutenant Jefferson Davis (born in what

June

is

now

Fairview, Kentucky, on

3, 1808).°

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,

Seminole

The

War

began.

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

this

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

in

ANDREW JACKSON

55

October 1837, when the American army treacherously violated a

flag of

truce, but the Seminoles continued to fight until very nearly their last

man

was gone.

On

August

14, 1843, the

United States

finally

announced the end of the

war, and the peace of near-extermination rested over Florida. There was

no formal peace

who remain

however, and to

treaty,

in Florida

this day, the

might be considered,

thousand Seminoles

be

legalistically, to

at

war with

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.

It

States ever fought.

JWW]

THE BANK AND REELECTION But France and the Indians were

side-issues.

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

1818 or

Mrs. Calhoun's snubbing of the fair Peggy Eaton, but over the matter of

Unionism versus After

all,

to distraction.

reliance

states' rights.

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,

great a

but few

South Carolinians saw the situation that way. The state preferred to blame all

its

ills

upon the

tariff,

nullification of the tariff

and, led

grew

by Calhoun,

Jackson could not allow nullification.

but he law.

felt it

was not up

He

Only Congress could remove the would be more acceptable

particular.

The

demand

did not like the

to the individual states to tariff.

for the

remove

it,

tariff himself,

or any federal

So Jackson openly declared

the Tariff of 1828 to be constitutional, then set to that

their

louder.

to the slave states,

work and

best he could do in this direction

to

produce another

to South Carolina in

was the

Tariff of 1832.

This act reduced some of the more offensively high rates of 1828 but was still

strongly protective.

Carolina,

It utterly failed to satisfy

and the specters of

over the nation.

nullification

the nullifiers of South

and chaos continued

to

hang

56

OUR FEDERAL UNION

And

as 1832

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

money

policy that

and bad

for creditors

businessmen of the Northeast.

was good

for debtors,

for business

good

for the rich

was widespread resentment West and South.

Naturally, there

the

and bad

It

maintained a

good

for farmers,

and bad

for the poor.

bank throughout

against the

Senator Benton of Missouri, a longtime bank foe, launched a strong attack on the

bank

in a

speech delivered in February 1831, and

it

was

clear

he had the backing of President Jackson. Biddle might have ignored the matter. bank's charter would not arrive

The time

1836.

till

for the

renewal of the

Much might happen

in five

Jackson's popularity

seemed

years.

Biddle was not sure he dared, however.

overwhelming, and

would be no chance

if

he had

for

five years to consolidate his position, there

renewing the charter. Might

now, quickly, catching the Jacksonians by

surprise,

it

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

Jackson.

conscious of the forthcoming election.

A bill

who

to recharter the

by March 1832

it

He

very

also

told Biddle to go ahead.

bank was therefore introduced

into Congress

and

had passed both houses, thanks to the open support of

Clay and Webster, and the conviction, but in order to

less

weaken

open support of Calhoun

(not out of

Jackson).

Now the bill came to Jackson for signature, placed the president in a dilemma.

If

and by Clay's reasoning, that he signed the bill, the bank was

secure and the forces of anti-Jacksonism would be strengthened.

vetoed the

bill,

he could be accused of

fiscal

If

irresponsibility in

he the

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.

He

deliberately to

Northeast.

vetoed the all

bill

with a vigorous message that catered

the prejudices of the South and

Though Clay did not

see

it,

for

West

against the

he had not yet come to

ANDREW JACKSON

57

new democracy,

understand the

was Jackson who had the better of the

it

deal.

In the election that

was

in the field.

first

New

York State

national party,

was coming up, however, neither Jackson nor Clay party, which had made its mark in

The Anti-Mason

had spread

in 1828,

and

it

to the point

where

it

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

state legislatures,

it

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

all

over the nation to

decide upon a candidate.

On

September 26, 1831,

members from

met

in Baltimore in a "national convention,"

and

this

set

thirteen states

a fashion.

The Anti-Masons had

enduring contribution to American

politics,

for

fully

inadvertently

116 party

made an

from that time on,

all

nominations for the presidency have been carried through by such national conventions.

Many

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.

Such a

however, would have buried

coalition,

the Anti-Mason party; they decided to run an independent candidate. choice,

on the

first

ballot,

Bladensburg, Maryland, on

fell

November

and capable attorney general

Amos Ellmaker vice-president.

of

The

on William Wirt of Virginia (born 8, 1772),

for twelve years

Pennsylvania (born in

who had been an

at

efficient

under Monroe and Adams. 1787)

was nominated

for

Another innovation made by the Anti-Masons was to adopt

a political platform, outlining party principles. This, too,

became a

regular

feature of presidential campaigns.

The National Republicans, adopting the convention notion, also met in They might have gone along with Wirt and united the

Baltimore.

anti-Jackson forces, but they could not

nominated Clay, who now prepared

abandon

for his

their leader, so they

second try at the presidency.

58

OUR FEDERAL UNION

For vice-president, they chose John Sergeant of Pennsylvania (born

member

1779), the surviving

of the ill-fated delegation sent to the

in

Panama

Congress by Adams.

As

for the Democrats, they

nominated Jackson

met

in Baltimore

on

May

21, 1832,

and

For vice-president, they

unanimously.

(of course)

followed Jackson's orders and, with somewhat less enthusiasm, nominated

Martin Van Buren. Here was the in the

Eaton

politically

months

affair.

installment of his reward for loyalty

Calhoun's deliberate attempt to destroy

by voting him out

earlier thus

first

Van Buren

of his post as minister to Great Britain four

boomeranged.

The Democratic Convention adopted a

two-thirds rule,

whereby no one

could be nominated for president without the affirmation of two-thirds of

The

the membership.

rule

was designed

to

produce nominees who would

be strong favorites of the party; nevertheless,

it

was a source of endless

troubles for the Democratic party over the course of the next century.

Clay,

still

convinced that the bank veto was a

that the great issue of the campaign. Jackson

Jackson

who was

against Clay

liability to

right in his estimate of popular feeling.

was the Anti-Mason

party,

Jackson,

met him head-on, and

who hurt the

made it

was

Also working

National Republicans

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

its

11 votes for John

Floyd of Virginia. Jackson retained hold of the House of Representatives by the same majority,

more or

less,

that

had prevailed

in the

two Congresses

of his

first

term; but the National Republican minority withered, since no less than fifty-three seats

were taken by people

calling themselves Anti-Masons.

(No

other third party has ever done as well in Congress.) In the Senate, the

Democrats and National Republicans had twenty

seats apiece

and the

Anti-Masons eight.

The

election

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

party,

ANDREW JACKSON

59

divide themselves into separate parties. In 1834, a

new

anti-Jackson party

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

was needed

— something

for the party

short, snappy,

and

meaningless (so that the party need not be committed to anything other

than anti-Jacksonism). The

name

of one of the

was the

Tories, a

two

name

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.

it

had been

Perhaps the

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

toward

states' rights,

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

was going

it

its

its

electoral votes for Jackson

own way.

was an

Neither the furor over the

bank nor the presidential campaign turned South Carolina's attention

away from the

tariff.

nullification dispute It

was

not, after

was approaching the

all,

the South Carolinians;

Many

Indeed, even as the campaign was proceeding, the

it

crisis stage.

matter of the

just the

was the

tariff

that

was eating away

in the slave states felt certain that the Abolitionists in the free states

were deliberately encouraging

slave rebellions

very lives of Whites in the slave

and were endangering the

states.

That the danger of slave rebellions was

real

seemed

to

be proven by an

incident in Virginia.

There a Black slave named Nat Turner (born

Southampton County,

Virginia, in 1800),

to

be divinely guided, decided

21, 1831,

and

at

feeling of being part of a hostile nation.

who saw

in

and

felt

himself

to lead his people out of slavery.

On

August

visions

he and seven followers broke into the house of Turner's master

killed him, along with five other

members

of the family.

60

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

fifty-five

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.

innocent). others,

Although no Abolitionist had had anything to do with although

many

slaves

had fought

effect

on the slave

whom

free-state agitators

states.

own

causing him to look upon his

he

felt

It is

it

was

called,

had a

frightened every slave-master,

It

slaves with suspicion

and to detest the

were unsettling those

measures against slaves were tightened, and the

on the

and

to protect their masters in the course of

that brief day of horror, the "Turner Insurrection," as

tremendous

this incident,

last

hope

slaves.

for

Police

moderation

issue in the slave states vanished.

not surprising, then, that South Carolina should feel

safe unless

it

hold within

had the power

its

to decide for itself

what

it

could not be

federal laws

would

borders. Calhoun continued his active and able support of

governor of the

nullification, as did the

Charleston, South Carolina, on

May

8,

state,

1786).

James Hamilton (born

in

In October 1832, state

elections in South Carolina utterly crushed Unionist sentiment in the state

and Hayne

(of

the

Hayne-Webster debate) was elected Hamilton's

successor.

As soon

as the election

legislature for the

was

over,

Hamilton called a special session of the

purpose of considering

meeting on October 22, Columbia, the state

nullification.

The

in turn called for a state convention,

capital,

on November

legislature,

which met

At that convention, an ordinance was passed declaring the 1828 and 1832 to

be unconstitutional and

boundaries of South Carolina.

February Court,

1,

It

nullifying

if

government to use force to

Tariffs of

them within the

forbade any collection of duties after

1833, forbade anyone to carry the question to the

and stated that

at

19.

Supreme

any attempt were made by the federal collect those duties, South Carolina

would

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-

ANDREW JACKSON

61

burg, Virginia, on June 13, 1786),

who had done

and was America's most capable

soldier.

On December right of

any

10,

well in the

of 1812



Jackson issued a forceful proclamation denying the

state to nullify laws or to leave the Union.

his post as

Nullification

and would be treated

secession were, in Jackson's eyes, treason

Hayne, taking

War

and

as such.

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

tion.

who had

placed under ex-governor Hamilton,

And on December

28, Calhoun, with only

dency remaining, resigned rightly felt

own, and these were

fought in the

two months

in order to take over

he could do more

its

War

is

He

Hayne's Senate post.

an active

for South Carolina's cause as

senator than as vice-president. (This

of 1812.

of his vice-presi-

the only example in the history of

the United States of a president or vice-president resigning his office under

honorable conditions.)

South Carolina was also doing join

in its stand,

it

but here

its

failed.

it

best to persuade other slave states to

There was considerable sympathy

the embattled state but a definite disinclination to take action on

its

South Carolina's isolation strengthened Jackson's position,

for

behalf.

and on

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.

There

is

no question but that with that law giving him the power,

Jackson would have sent an army into South Carolina if

necessary. Jackson backing

was

down was

— leading

unimaginable.

it

himself,

The United

States

at the brink of civil war.

But no one wanted a

civil

war, really, and even while Jackson was

imperiously pushing through the Force busily.

Of

these, the chief

was Clay

Bill,

Clay was perfectly willing to allow the Force principle might

be established that a

compromisers were working

himself, the Great

state

Bill to

pass in order that the

cannot take the law into

hands. At the same time, he urged that the

tariff

See The Birth of the United

States.

its

own

be lowered, so that South

Carolina might have a chance to back out gracefully. •

Compromiser.

62

OUR FEDERAL UNION This was done.

A

lower

was

tariff

hastily

pushed through, which

also

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

and the

was

at the

also signed the

new

same time presented with the

stick

Force

Bill,

he

carrot.

South Carolina decided to accept the carrot. Grudgingly, the operation of to

its

Nullification

pay customs duties

Ordinance on March

Thus there was no need

again.

it

suspended

15, 1833,

and began

to use force.

On

the

other hand, South Carolina saved face, three days later, by "nullifying" the

Force

The

Bill.

crisis

was over and both

had shown themselves ready Carolina had dropped

its

sides could claim victory.

to use force

The

Unionists

and could point out that South

nullification stand.

South Carolina had shown

her resolution and could point out that the federal government had

abandoned

The states

its

high

chief point,

tariff.

however

— whether

who were supreme — had

again in another and far

more

it

was the Union or the individual

not been settled. That was to

come up

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

its

bank even before

its

made him

grimly determined

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,

which he

felt

would be

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

War of

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

McLane

(born in Smyrna,

ANDREW JACKSON Delaware, on

63

May

1786), felt the removal of the deposits to

28,

economically unwise and refused to authorize the measure.

be

Jackson

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

to

withdraw the

deposits.

Jackson, in a fury, fired

Duane and on September

Now

himself secretary of the Treasury.

removed the deposits and placed them banks, thus effectively killing the

The

result

was a howling

fight

Bank

there

23, 1833,

was no

made Taney

trouble.

Taney

in twenty-three different state

of the United States.

with the Senate, which demanded a look

communications that had passed between the president and

at the

cabinet in the course of his long struggle to

bend two

his

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

to

back down but, on March 28, 1834, censured the

President and refused to confirm the appointment of

Treasury Department. (Senator Benton

finally

Taney

to

the

maneuvered the removal of

the censure from the Senate journal on January 16, 1837, as Jackson's term of office

was

expiring.

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.

by the

Jackson did not forget his

friends.

On

July 6, 1835, John Marshall died in Philadelphia, just short of his

eightieth birthday.

He had

served as chief justice for thirty-four years (a

record never since surpassed) and had helped it

make the United

States

was by his uncompromisingly Federalist decisions. On March 15, 1836, Jackson appointed Taney to take Marshall's

what

place.

In the course of his presidency, Jackson had, in fact, appointed five

Supreme Court that

justices

and had put an end

had marked the Court's

Court tended to favor in the

first

states' rights

stormy years ahead.

to the Federalist domination

forty years.

The Jacksonian Supreme

— a bent which would prove important

4

UNEASY BORDERS THE ABOLITIONISTS Although the

had been

tariff issue

laid to rest

and the

had passed, there was by no means peace among the no

worry about,

tariff to

argument among the

The

became

was

in

met with

the

slave

increasingly states

In fact, with

quite plain that the great point of

slavery.

the free states, with Garrison leading

rise of abolitionist feeling in

the way, was offices

it

states

nullification crisis

states.

stiff

refused

resistance in the slave states. Post to

handle

abolitionist

mail

and

Abolitionists themselves entered the slave states at the risk of their lives.

The

federal

government sided against the

Abolitionists.

Jackson pro-

posed a law that would prevent the circulation of antislavery material through the mails. states'-righters

The

federal

This

was defeated

bill

wanted such control

government might,

in the

after

all,

in

Congress because the

hands of the individual

change

its

states.

mind someday; the

slave states, never.

Congress

itself

received numerous petitions from Abolitionist groups;

these were usually referred to

some inconspicuous committee and

buried.

UNEASY BORDERS

By

65

1836, however, the slave-state senators and congressmen were so

annoyed by the constant flow of denunciations of slavery and so

fearful of

future slave insurrections like that of Nat Turner that they insisted on

arranging some automatic device to prevent any petition from finding

way onto

its

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

to begin

with in a "gag rule" that was renewed year after year.

The

was

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. After

his retirement

Adams was no

Abolitionist,

offered

from the presidency

but he

knew

in 1829,

that the First

Amendment

to

the Constitution allowed citizens the right to petition. Those petitions had to

be considered before

consideration held,

was

was

deny them even the most cursory

refusal; to

to violate the First

Amendment. The gag

In session after session,

Adams presented

abolitionist petitions

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

rule.

more

Man

While

it

existed,

was a

vicious

Just

as

would have

(born

abolitionist

Albion,

agitation

created

Maine,

in his statements until a Black,

which then, without

trial,

in his antislavery stance

Alton, Illinois.

He

an

hostility involved Elijah

on November

9,

1802),

Presbyterian minister. Lovejoy had published a religious newspaper in Louis, in the slave state of Missouri.

far

they had

states.

example of the growing

at

if

states, so slave-state intransigence

strengthened the abolitionist cause in the free

Lovejoy

an end to the

as before.

ever-hardening resistance in the slave

Parish

effectively as to

however, the antislavery petitions received

cycle.

particularly tragic

one after

Eloquence."

publicity through Adams's actions than they

One

Adams

as the nature of

to lead this fight for eight years, finally forcing

been calmly received and rejected It

rule,

clearly unconstitutional.

disliked slavery but

a St.

had been mild

accused of murder, was caught by a

mob

lynched him. Lovejoy had then become firmer

and threats had forced him

to cross the river into

66

OUR FEDERAL UNION There, in a free

However,

he adopted a stronger

state,

abolitionist position.

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

Many

mob and he

in the slave states rejoiced at the

had a martyr and

November

7,

1837,

himself was killed.

news, but the Abolitionists

now

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

new

state

being admitted to the

Union, so that the count of states remained twelve slave and twelve

On

June

15,

twenty-fifth state, and, state.

Half a year

compromise

line,

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,

thirteen

REBELLION American

free.

however, Arkansas entered the Union as the

1836,

IN

and thirteen

— all even again.

TEXAS

territory south of the Missouri

for the formation of slave states

was quite

Compromise

fine

limited; indeed,

it

still

available

was confined

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

numbers.

West

of Louisiana, for instance,

Americans considered to be

rightfully

Louisiana Purchase of 1803. Florida, the United States

but It

its

was the province of Texas, which many American

territory according to the

In 1819, at the time of the purchase of

had formally relinquished

all

claims to Texas,

population since then had grown and was almost entirely American.

didn't seem,

then, that the decision of 1819 need be considered

permanent.

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.

On

January 17,

UNEASY BORDERS

67

was

1821, while Mexico

in the

still

hands of Spain, Austin

faltering

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

By

carried on the project.

10, 1821,

while

still

Mexico was gaining

and the younger Austin traveled to Mexico City

He

on November

in Austinville, Virginia,

that time,

but his son,

in Missouri,

its

3, 1793),

independence,

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

newborn nation

establish rule over the

happened

in the far

to settle there.

By

1834, there

compared with only

as

Mexico were

of

were twenty thousand Americans thousand

five

The

were Catholics and then

— so

were from slave

states

in

By now,

it

after Texas.

After

Mexico

all,

the

in

Texas

their slaves with them.

in 1834.

Mexico, however,

1831 and demanded there be no slavery in Texas.

had become

million dollars.

sure,

Most of the American

and had brought

(Great Britain, which finally abolished slavery in 28, 1833, supported

Texas

built Protestant churches.

There were two thousand Black slaves

had abolished slavery

in

the Americans entering

real trouble, though, arose over slavery.

colonists

To be

Mexicans.

immigrants were supposed to be Catholics said they

what

indifferent to

north of the country and willing to allow immigrants

all

her colonies on August

in this.)

clear to

Mexico that the United States hankered

Jackson had offered to buy the territory for

Mexican pride came

immigration of Americans into Texas

alive.

(this

five

Mexico forbade any further

continued

illegally)

and began

to

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.

The Texan

settlers did

not want trouble.

They asked only

themselves and to be allowed to keep their slaves.

Mexico City to explain thrown

this to

in jail for his pains

Santa

Anna

and kept there

but,

to

be

left to

Austin traveled to

on January

3, 1834,

was

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

for

independence.

UNITED UNORGANIZED TERRITORY ARKANSAS

LOUISIANA

GULF OF MEXICO

Texas in Rebellion

MEXICO

One

new immigrants was Samuel ("Sam") Houston (born in 2, 1793). He had served with

of these

Rockbridge County, Virginia, on March

Andrew Jackson thereafter

He had

had

against the southern Indians during the

consistently sided with

them

against

War

White

of 1812 but exploitation.

served in Congress and, from 1827 to 1829, had been governor of

Tennessee.

UNEASY BORDERS In

December

1832, he

had gone

permanently and

fight for

forty- third birthday,

days

and had decided

On March

independence.

to stay there

1836, Houston's

2,

he put through a declaration of independence; two

he was chosen commander

later,

on behalf of the United States

to Texas

to negotiate treaties with Indian tribes

in chief of the

Texan army.

Meanwhile, however, Santa Anna had led a Mexican army of about 4000

men northward

and, on February 23, 1836, had begun a siege of the

Alamo, an old chapel

in

San Antonio, about three hundred miles west of

the American border. The Alamo had been

occupied by some 187 (born near

men under

Red Banks, South

Bowie (born

the

Carolina,

in

and was

of William Barret Travis

on August

Burke County, Georgia,

in

jerry-built into a fort

command

6,

1809) and James

1799), reputed to

be the

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

had come

to Texas in 1835.

For twelve days, the embattled defenders held but on March

6,

still

Santa Anna's army,

1836 (four days after Texan independence had been

declared), the fort

who were

off

was taken

in a final assault

alive died fighting.

some three hundred Texans

in the

On March

and those of 20, Santa

its

defenders

Anna captured

town of Goliad, 110 miles southeast

of

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

The events

of

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

siesta

"Remember

then

fell

upon them, achieving complete

surprise.

the Alamo!" the Texans virtually destroyed the

70

OUR FEDERAL UNION

Mexican army selves.

in

twenty minutes, while suffering only nine dead them-

The next day they took Santa Anna

see the usefulness of granting Texas

being

May

With the

Anna

Santa

set free.

ence on

its

prisoner and persuaded

independence

him

to

exchange for

in

signed a treaty recognizing Texan independ-

14, 1836.

Texan independence was won and the

Battle of San Jacinto,

nation of Texas took

its

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.

The

new over the old is shown by the fact that on Sam Houston was elected president of Texas, over

victory of the

September

1,

1836,

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

It is

now

be named

Once Texas

site

of the Battle of San Jacinto,

named

the sixth-largest city in the United States and the for

an American.

established

independence, the question for the United

its

States was what to do with the

annexation.

is

The

territory.

logical

answer was

Texan independence had been won by Americans, and the

Texans did not

really

want independence; they wanted

to

be part of the

United States.

The

slave states

were wild with enthusiasm over the

had already legalized slavery and would enter enough, perhaps, to make several

But

this the

slave-state

Texas

was

large

each with two senators.

people of the free states also realized. They did not object

expanding the nation

to

states,

possibility.

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

Texan

states,

and

rebellion for the sole

purpose of expanding slavery.

There was enough

plausibility in this

argument to make the

issue of

annexation rather explosive, and with the 1836 presidential election in

move

progress, Jackson hesitated to

He was right to hesitate,

for the

conflict over slavery, a conflict all

other concerns.

On May

too boldly.

Texas issue was

now part of the growing

which was slowly and

25, 1836, five

weeks

irresistibly

absorbing

after the Battle of

San

UNEASY BORDERS Jacinto,

71

John Quincy Adams

— now

recognized as the foremost congres-

sional representative of the antislavery viewpoint

— delivered an important

speech against the annexation of Texas.

The

slave-staters

resolution that

were

furious.

July

1,

1836, Calhoun entered a

Texan independence be recognized.

be done, annexation would follow to retake the region.

The

hesitated and did not act

March

On

3, 1837, his last

later,

could

resolution passed Congress, but Jackson

until after the election.

day

If this, at least,

whenever Mexico should threaten

in office, that Jackson

In fact,

it

still

was not

completed the

till

official

American recognition of Texas as an independent nation.

MARTIN VAN BUREN Although Jackson was old and term even

if

tradition

own man succeed him. Martin Van Buren, who now received

determined to have vice-president,

and would not have run

ailing

had not debarred him from doing

his

for a third

he was

so,

Jackson chose his his final

reward for

his faithful services.

The Democratic

New

party, as a whole,

was

far less enthusiastic

about the

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,

site

of

as their standard-bearer.*

For vice-president, the Democrats selected Richard Mentor Johnson (born in Beargrass, Kentucky, on October 17, 1780).

War of

He had

fought in the

1812 and was credited with an important contribution to victory at

the Battle of the Thames, and

had

since served in Congress.

The

real

source of his fame, though, was his claim to the dubious credit of having killed the Indian statesman,

*

Tecumseh.

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,

The

invention of

then radio and television, has made shorter presidential

campaigns possible.

OUR FEDERAL UNION

72

The newly-formed Whig forces,

party, designed to

had not yet coalesced

to the point

combine the anti-Jackson

where

it

could hold a national

convention. Thus, as the anti-Jackson forces were not yet united, different

nominated

sections of the country

different candidates to

oppose Van

Buren.

New

England's choice was Daniel Webster. The western states chose

Hugh Lawson White

of Tennessee

(born in Iredell County,

North

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

own

hands.

another candidate was William Henry Harrison of Ohio (born in

Charles City County, Virginia, on February

9, 1773),

the son of Benjamin

He,

Harrison, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

too,

had

fought the Indians, winning a narrow and unremarkable victory against

Tecumseh's tribe

at

Tippecanoe River

in 1811.

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

among

the three of them, keep

Van Buren from winning an

outright

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

New

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.

Mangum

for 14 votes;

South Carolina handed

its

White took Tennessee and 11 votes to Willie Person

(born in Orange County, North Carolina, on

for Harrison,

May

10, 1792).

As

he proved a surprising vote-getter and collected the 73

electoral votes of seven states.

Nevertheless,

Van Buren managed

to

win

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.

The

situation

against Johnson

York (born

was different in the vice-presidential race. Running were two opponents. One was Francis Granger of New

in Suffield, Connecticut,

on December

1,

1792), a

congressman

who had been a prominent anti-Mason. Another was John Tyler (born

in

UNEASY BORDERS Greenway, Virginia

73

on March 29, 1790), who had served

Virginia,

and then

as

its

senator. Tyler

was a strong

He had broken

opposed the South Carolina extremists. the removal of the deposits from the

Bank

as governor of

states'-righter

but had

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

The two

vote to

lift

that censure.

anti- Jackson vice-presidential candidates did rather better

than

the three anti- Jackson presidential candidates and did to Johnson what the

Whigs had hoped would be done

Van Buren. Johnson was held down

to

147 electoral votes, just one short of a majority. For the in the history of the

United

States,

had

and only time

no vice-presidential candidate received

By

a majority of the electoral votes. Constitution, the Senate

first

to

the Twelfth

Amendment

to the

between the two candidates with

to choose

the highest votes.

Second to Johnson had been Granger, with 77

On

third with 47.)

February

8,

votes. (Tyler

had

finished

1837, the Senate voted 33 to 16 for

Johnson.

On March

1837, then, Martin

4,

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).

He was

the

first

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.

He became

president just in time to suffer the bitter harvest of Jackson's

mistake in connection with the bank.

An expanding America found

a great

land and internal improvements.

westward

flood

new

into the

It

states

was

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,

who

also

bought to

sell at

a further profit, and so

on.

In order to do

The

all this

banks multiplied and issued

state

money from the banks. paper money recklessly under the

buying, they borrowed

assumption that the nation's expansion and increase of wealth would pay

back

all.

Of

course, in the end,

could no longer

sell at

many people would be

left

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

happened.

OUR FEDERAL UNION

74

Had

the

Bank

of the United States

financial control over the state (It

still

existed,

it

banks and prevented

might have exerted

this

wild speculation.

might then, of course, have been accused of acting to inhibit the growth

of the

As

West

it

in the interest of the Northeast.)

was, the mountain of cheap

spiraled.

Everyone

— states

money

and

rose ever higher

as well as individuals

— was

inflation

operating on

debts.

On July

11, 1836, Jackson, fearing that the steady decline of the value of

paper money would leave the federal government

itself

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

profits

game before

collapsed, started calling in debts; and, of course, every debt called in

punctured the balloon

By May

in a

new

place and hastened

10, 1837, shortly after

York had begun to

fail,

Van Buren's

The panic

of 1837

collapse.

inauguration, banks in

and a whole rash of bank

before the end of the year.

its

failures followed

was the

start of

New

— 618

a seven-year

economic depression.

REBELLION The panic had by the

IN

CANADA

international repercussions as well. It

fact that times

were hard

which had invested heavily

in

in

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

policy

between the nations heightened

War

to the

most dangerous

level seen since the

of 1812.

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

place in

at the time.

UNEASY BORDERS

now know

75

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

much

Massachusetts and Virginia a half-century

like that circulated in

began

earlier,

to

be heard.

That the idea did not

Canada

really catch

on

in

American colonies was probably due

in

part to the fact that

as

had

it

in the

many

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

States

had

1812, in which the Americans of

Lake

several times invaded the territory north

Erie.

The Rush-Bagot agreement danger of border incidents. demilitarized.

There were

of 1818 had, for the most part, Still,

forts

removed the

the border was not yet completely

manned by

soldiers

on both

sides of the

border, and there were over five thousand British troops stationed in

Canada.

Then

trouble

came

in the

person of William Lyon Mackenzie (born near

Dundee, Scotland, on March 1820 and there, as a

12, 1795).

journalist,

He had come

had begun

to agitate

experienced some success, becoming mayor of the 1835, but

He

felt that

Canada cord.

had

to rise,

show

and

of force,

fiasco,

between the United which

is

own

he

set

4,

1837, he led eight hundred

so

December

Despite this

city of

Toronto

in

perhaps some show of force might cause the people of

On December

Buffalo on

new

despaired of getting anywhere by peaceful means.

finally

government buildings barest

Upper Canada in for home rule. He had to

about creating his

Lexington-and-Con-

men toward

the

The band was easily put to flight by the and Mackenzie managed to flee across the border to in Toronto.

7.

Mackenzie did not give up.

States

and Canada, there

lies

On

the Niagara River

the small

Navy

Island,

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

76

OUR FEDERAL UNION

witnessing a full-fledged rebellion and determined to

make

of themselves a

set of Lafayettes.

Van Buren disorders, but

proclamation of neutrality in the

a

issued

Americans widely disregarded

it.

Canadian

American volunteers

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

men were

sent

to destroy the Caroline.

The in

idea was to catch the boat on the island, since that would place her

Canadian

territory

and put the Canadians completely

plan miscarried; so the Canadians, on the night of

The

in the right.

December

29, 1837,

decided to go on to the American side of the river and seize the ship while it

was

in its dock,

and

project, but not without

and one was midriver,

killed.

in American territory. They succeeded in this some violence. Several Americans were wounded

The Caroline was then

and allowed

Without the Caroline, Mackenzie was forced

to

January 13, 1838, he again fled to American arrested.

on

set

pulled out into

fire,

to sink.

For a year or two, the two

sides

abandon the

island.

On

where he was

territory,

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

were

clearly

coming

and

finally

to nothing,

forth,

petered

and partly

because the situation in Canada was changing. Microscopic though Mackenzie's rebellion had been, useful result.

On May

it

brought about a

29, 1838, the various provinces of British

North

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

recommending

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

its

move toward

— that

the cord not

self-government and

UNEASY BORDERS

77

eventually attained

it fully,

while remaining loyally subject to the British

crown. (Had there been a Lord fate of the

By

American

1840, then,

when a

trouble,

deputy

Durham

in 1770, this

might have been the

colonies.)

appeared that the Caroline incident had passed without

it

ridiculous event took place.

One Alexander McLeod,

from Niagara, Canada, while drinking himself

sheriff

silly

a

in a

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,

arrested

on November

12, 1840,

New

by the

York authorities and charged with arson and murder. For some reason,

They demanded

this

that

proved the

McLeod be

last

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

threatened war

if

McLeod were

certainly not

convicted and executed. in the extreme.

McLeod

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

he

as a

government. Great Britain actually

The American government was embarrassed was

if

it

government could not

Canadian was not

state of

New

in the

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.

and serious

failure of the federal system.

Fortunately,

it

turned out that

McLeod was

could not possibly have taken part in the raid.

October

12, 1841,

and vanished from

to grant a halfhearted apology for the

history.

a foolish braggart

He

who

was acquitted on

Great Britain

finally

agreed

burning of the Caroline, the United

States agreed to apologize for the Caroline's activities before the burning,

and

it

was

all

To prevent

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

in

northern Maine.

The boundary between Maine and New Brunswick had never been

OUR FEDERAL UNION

78 settled.

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

New

Maine and

after the

end of the revolutionary war, both

Brunswick had claimed a twelve-thousand-square-mile

chunk of

territory.

William

of the Netherlands for arbitration,

I

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

not.

lingered on largely because the area

was

populated and seemed so unimportant to either nation that

postpone the matter than to argue

it

line

it

so sparsely

was

easier to

out.

In the 1830s, however, the population had increased, and the coming of the railroad had opened the area to both sides. rebellion

Scotia to

had made Great

Quebec

Nova

be more

easily

Canadian

so that the

reached by troops

if

Moreover, the Canadian

Britain anxious to run a railroad from

necessary

— and

interior could

the best route ran through the

disputed territory.

By

1838,

New

Brunswick lumberjacks cutting timber along the Aroos-

took River found themselves fighting Americans. This "Aroostook involved no bloodshed, but

it

War"

did demonstrate the necessity of coming to

some agreement. The matter was taken up again and eventually

carried

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.

Under the

stress of the depression, the

Democratic party was beginning to come apart. Its

more

radical

section,

following

Jacksonian

notions,

wanted a

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

UNEASY BORDERS

March

79

31, 1840, prevailed

upon Van Buren

public works to ten hours. This

was the

workday on federal

to limit the

direct action ever taken

first

by

the federal government to better labor conditions.

The conservative section Whigs in opposition to

of the Democratic party, however, united with

managed

the subtreasury plan and

the

to block

it

for a long time.

The competition between

New

Democrats held a meeting icals

the two branches of the party was fiercest in

On

York, where the radicals were strongest. in

New

York, and

might seize control of the party.

it

October 29, 1835, the

looked as though the rad-

The chairman, who was

of the

conservative faction, therefore adjourned the meeting and put out the gaslights.

The

radicals

were prepared.

which they then

lit

Triumphantly, they produced candles,

with new-fangled friction matches called

ing" or "locofoco" matches (possibly from the Italian "fire.")

The

What

radicals

were called "Locofocos"

with the depression creating

Van Buren

this

"self-light-

word fuoco, meaning

for years afterward.

havoc among the Democrats and

clearly unable to exert the proper leadership, the

scented victory at

last.

Whigs

Their great weakness, of course, was that they

still

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

If

they were to win a victory,

all.

out.

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.

life,

when the Whig nominating convention met at Harrisburg, December 4, 1839, Clay bowed out of the race with as

Consequently,

Pennsylvania, on

much

grace as he could muster.

With Clay

eliminated, the

who had been one of course, but

Whigs turned

to William

of their candidates in 1832.

had done

surprisingly well.

That he had shown himself to be

completely undistinguished in the course of his during a

stint as minister to

meant nothing it

the

meant

that Harrison

Then,

too,

would

six

years in Congress and

new South American

to the Whigs. In fact, let

Henry Harrison,

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

sorts.

Whig

leaders.

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

Whig

version of

Andrew

80

OUR FEDERAL UNION

The nickname "Old Tippecanoe" Hickory") was wished on him.

Jackson.

Then, as a special sop to the the

Whigs chose John Tyler

anti- Jackson

(in imitation

of Jackson's

wing of the Democratic

"Old

party,

as their vice-presidential nominee. Tyler

had

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

specifically

ence with slavery, maintaining that

this

opposed congressional

who were

states,

but

not Abolitionists and was practically universal in the slave

was the

it

states

common enough among

themselves should handle. This point of view was those

interfer-

was a problem only the

first

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

Anti-Masons (but

in the tradition of the

to

have the abolition of slavery as

The

first

much

weaker), and the

first

party

called

itself,

chief reason for existence.

its

presidential candidate of this "Liberty party," as

it

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

had led

his slaves

was

in the notion of sending

owned

slaves himself.

He

Black slaves back to Africa;

to an increasing belief in abolitionism. Finally, in 1834,

and began

clear that,

to propagandize abolition openly.

under these conditions, he could not remain

in

Kentucky; so he crossed the Ohio River and began to publish an abolitionist

newspaper

free state of offices

Ohio was

in Cincinnati

on January

just as hostile,

had been raided by a mob and

Undismayed, Birney moved on to direct political action, rather than

1,

1836. Sentiment in the

however, and within half a year his presses

New

thrown

his

into the river.

York and began to push

for

mere argument. He carried the more

moderate Abolitionists with him.

Thomas Earle

of Pennsylvania

was the

Abolitionists' vice-presidential

nominee, and the Liberty party, with abolition

its

paigned vigorously against the annexation of Texas.

ultimate goal, cam-

UNEASY BORDERS

The

81

election of 1840, however,

was not

on any other. The Whigs could win only

to

if

be fought out on that

no

issues

issue or

were mentioned, since

there were no issues on which the various factions of the party could agree. It

was

to their interest, then, to concentrate their efforts

maintaining the personal unpopularity of Martin

What came

their

way was

on creating and

Van Buren.

the accidental boon of an editorial

comment

published in a Democratic newspaper, the Baltimore Republican, on

March

There Harrison's incapacity was derided and he was

23, 1840.

proclaimed to be unfit for anything but retirement. In implied, that

was

all

he

really

fact,

the editorial

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

withdraw

his pretensions,

and spend

.

.

would no doubt consent

.

his days in a log cabin

to

on the banks of

the Ohio."

This was a most unfortunate remark for the Democrats, for the Whigs seized

upon

it

gleefully,

political circus in

marked and

turning the campaign of 1840 into the

American

history.

They

presidential campaigns ever since

set a pattern for

—a

first

what has

kind of mixture of revelry

dirt.

"Old Tippecanoe" was touted everywhere content with log cabins and hard cider, while

as a

man

of the people,

Van Buren was pictured

as

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

aristocrat, drinking

convincingly, too.)

In actual fact, of course, Harrison had had

his father

was a

little

to

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.

82

OUR FEDERAL UNION

when young William was eight years old. What's more, it was the who were backing Harrison now. But who cared

Virginia

wealthy conservatives about logic in

this particular election?

Maine held

its

nation (a habit

won

governor

it

to

abandon

till

(This

"As Maine

was an

early example,

earlier

Whig hopes and slogan that

for

depressed

by the way, of the

—a

goes, so goes the nation"

than the rest of the

and the Whig candidate

1958),

handily. This victory heightened

the Democrats. slogan,

months

local elections several

was not

political

was

to

have

notable failures in future years.)

The

national election

came on December

2,

the electoral vote, a landslide for Harrison.

1840, and was, in terms of

He

carried nineteen of the

twenty-six states for 234 electoral votes against 60 for

Whigs

also took over the

28 to 22

in the

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

Whig party's

strength.

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

all

received only 7059 votes

Van Buren's economic nation.

—a

totally insignificant figure,

administration,

which was thus closing

witnessed the continuing growth of the

disaster, nevertheless

The 1840 census showed

17,069,453

—a

but a beginning.

in political as well as

the population of the United States to be

New

fourfold increase in half a century.

largest city in the nation with a population of 312,000,

York,

now

the

was nearly

as

populous as the renowned city of Vienna.

There were twenty-eight thousand miles of railroads States;

show

and the

its

Industrial Revolution, advancing rapidly,

effects in agriculture.

In 1834, Cyrus Hall

Rockbridge County, Virginia, on February

15,

McCormick

had always been involved

United to

(born in

1809) had patented a

horse-drawn mechanical reaper rendering unnecessary cutting that

in the

was beginning

all

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.

less

However lopsided

the

been quite close; the minority party than 40 percent and has remained strong despite

electoral vote, the popular vote has always

UNEASY BORDERS

83

had patented a weapon which greatly multiplied the

or

revolver,

cial

use

(it

During

new

Haven, Connecticut, on

29,

producing a

sulfur,

new

kind of rubber suitable for commer-

grew tacky with heat nor stiff with cold). period, too, the American artist Samuel Finley Breese Morse

neither

this

who had brought

process of photography from Europe to America, was working on

the electric telegraph; he was aided in this by Joseph

Albany,

in

1800) accidentally discovered a process for vulcanizing

(born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, on April 27, 1791), the



film.

New

In 1839, Charles Goodyear (born in

rubber with

users' effectiveness

something endlessly memorialized

"six-shooter,"

thousands of "Western stories" in print and on

December

its

New

York, 1797), the

first

American

Henry (born

scientist of the first

in

rank to

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.

message winged

its

way

On May

24, 1844, the

"What hath God wrought?"

across the wires:

first first

—a

quotation from the Bible (Num. 23:23).

The

leadership in technological advance, which had been British for the

past century,

was little by little passing to the United became apparent to the world.

States.

This process

only gradually

One

item that was immediately spectacular was the voyage of Charles

Wilkes (born in the

first

New

York City on April

action of the kind

it

surveying expedition in the South Pacific.

loaded to the States in

rails

with

scientific

From

Under Wilkes, the expedition,

gentlemen of

all sorts, left

the United

August 1838 and sailed down the coast of South America and

across the Pacific to Australia, stopping at

ice,

In 1836, Congress, in

3, 1798).

had ever taken, authorized an exploring and

Australia,

it

in

en route.

January 1840 (the antarctic midsummer),

on a number of occasions.

Bits of the

had been sighted before, but Wilkes was the justified in

islands

Wilkes sailed southward to the limits of the South Polar

then sailed along

sighting land

many

maintaining that

ice-choked islands.*

Thus

it

first

South Polar continent

to see

enough of

was a continent and not

he, as well as anyone,

may be

just

it

to feel

a group of

considered the

discoverer of Antarctica. '

The

coastal area of Antarctica, south of the Indian

Wilkes Land in his honor.

Ocean,

is

therefore called

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,

1841, William

ninth president of the United States.

hat nor overcoat.

A

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

Harrison did.

him. Harrison might have survived the pneumonia, but no

man

in those

days could survive the concentrated attentions of a number of doctors.* °

The

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

it

FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA

On

85

April 4, Harrison died, having been president for just thirty days

shortest

incumbency on record

to date.

The event was an unexpected ever before died in

office,

disaster to the

and the

Whigs.

possibility

The Whigs had more

calculations.

— the

No

president had

had not entered

or less taken

it

their

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

Now

Clay followers (plus

"Tippecanoe" was dead and "Tyler, Too" was president. What

would Tyler be

among

votes

entirely of loyal

state.)

not a Whig.

up

history

He had

like?

only been nominated in order to pick up

conservative Democrats, for he himself was a

Democrat and

was expected that, like all vice-presidents in American then, he would remain a cipher and his politics wouldn't

It

to

matter.

But now he was president. Some

tried to consider

him only an "acting

president," but Tyler insisted he was president, in the

word.

He won

through the death of the elected president have

office

been considered to have

all

the powers and rights that would have accrued

them had they themselves been Although the great

Democrat

sense of the

out, setting a precedent; ever since Tyler, vice-presidents

succeeding to the

to

full

in office,

Whig

Clay

elected.

victory of 1840

had

left

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.

By August

6,

1841, the

new bank

bill

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,

it

after

all.

He

vetoed

it

on the ground

that,

violated states' rights, since the individual states

find themselves saddled with

bank branches they could not

control.

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

bill,

Tyler's constitutional scruples.

However,

it

still

did not

grant individual states the right to bar the establishment of branches

within their territory, since such state powers would render the bank

86

OUR FEDERAL UNION

powerless.

The second

passed as before; Tyler vetoed

bill

it

as before;

and

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

leadership

11, 1841, the

cabinet (which he had inherited from Harrison) resigned en masse

cept for Webster,

who

— ex-

stayed on to continue with the delicate diplomatic

negotiations in which he

was engaged.

The Whig party disowned Tyler party had already done.

as a double-dealer, as the

For three

years, therefore, Tyler

Democratic remained a

president without a party, demonstrating, in the process, the constitutional strength of an American president.

mean he had

did not

impeachment and conviction,

The mere

He

to resign.

fact that

which mere unpopularity or

for

cooperate with Congress were insufficient grounds. Tyler remained president, with the power to appoint veto legislation at

will,

Webster remained

he had no support

could not be removed, except by failure to

So for three years,

men

to office

and

to

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

was

willing to accept rather less

wanted

The

and give Great Britain the

in order to build her railway line

difficulty

was getting the

territory she

from the coast to the

interior.

and Maine

to agree

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

New

five

England

the

finally

acceptance and

thousand square miles of

of the provinces of

retained

states into

Webster

territory,

let

Great Britain

Quebec and New Brunswick. The United

along the northern frontier.

to

which now form parts

southern seven thousand square miles,

conceded the American case

Lord

first

managed

States

and Ashburton

for all other disputed points (minor ones)

To sweeten

the result, the federal government

compensated Maine and Massachusetts with $150,000 each

for

lost

property.

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

87

access to these maps, as they were in British hands.

United States gave up some territory

it

Consequently, the

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

in dispute

9,

1842) has been maintained, exactly, to this

Rocky Mountains, remained

Territory, west of the

between the United

States

and Great

Britain.

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

The

slave trade,

importation of slaves from Africa

illegal.

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.

governments

of which

ships to halt

(all

She worked out

had outlawed the

and search suspected

all

slaves held in

treaties

any land

with various foreign

slave trade) allowing British

slave-traders

even when they carried a

foreign flag.

Only the United

States refused to sign such a treaty, since

countenance foreign search. The result was that

it

would not

illegal slave traders

took

88

OUR FEDERAL UNION American

to flying the

flag,

and the banner hailed by Americans

as

belonging to "the land of the free" was used to protect slavers the world over.

The

slavers ran their risks, of course.

Sometimes the slaves rebelled. In

1839, for instance, on board the Spanish ship, Amistad, Blacks brought illegally to

Cuba from

Africa had mutinied, killing the captain and one

crewman, then placing the

who were to

rest of the

crew ashore, except

two men

for

guide the ship back to Africa. The navigators had managed to

fool the Blacks

and

northward from Cuba to

to guide the ship

New Haven,

Connecticut. There the ship had been taken into custody by the American authorities.

Spain had

demanded

Van Buren was ready slavery

was forbidden

that the Blacks be given

to

do

this,

up

President

as pirates.

but the Abolitionists argued that since

in Connecticut, the Blacks

were now

and could

free

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

The

case reached the

Adams's arguments to the

effect that the slave trade

was

illegal

American and Spanish law and that the Blacks were therefore back against kidnapping, that the Supreme Court on March

by both striking 9,

1841,

supported freedom. The Blacks were returned to Africa. This decision was exceedingly unpopular with the slave-staters.

What

them most was that the Blacks were set free though they had white men. However dreadful the life of the slave, we must not

disturbed killed

forget the ordeal of the slave-master,

torture all,

and death

at the

hands of

his

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

place.

An American

ship, the Creole,

Roads, Virginia, to

New

the ship, killing a white

Bahama

Orleans,

man in

was carrying 130

when

and freed the

from Hampton

the slaves mutinied and took over

the process.

Islands, a British possession.

slaves

The

The

ship

was then taken

to the

British held the actual mutineers

rest of the slaves.

The American government argued

that the

Amistad

affair

was no

FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA

The

precedent.

89

Creole had been carrying not African Blacks but American

Blacks born into slavery.

Nor was the Creole a

slave-trading ship;

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

however,

flag was,

Britain.

they

and sent them

The

insult

the

to

insufficient to stir the rest of the nation as

long as the dispute centered on the issue of slavery. section of the

in 1855,

in compensation).

Naturally, the Creole affair roused the slave states to fury

American

was

it

British,

In fact, a sizable

American population actually sided with Great Britain

in the

matter.

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

6,

Ohio. Violently antislav-

and the use of coastal shipping

offer

in interstate

slave-trading.

Congressmen from attack (as

seemed

it

slave states

resolutions but offered

by a

lines

home

sentiment.

On May

8,

1842, he

was

were being drawn more and more

The

sharply.

politics of

by Whites, not by Black

revolt in this period, but

slaves,

and

it

came not

it

was

in the slave

but in the staid old free state of Rhode Island.

Rhode it

Giddings's

reject

large majority.

Oddly enough, there was indeed a

states.

to

was becoming lower and more unforgiving.

carried out states

this

and carried through a motion of censure against the

election as a direct test of

The

beyond expression by

Giddings at once resigned and put himself up for

Ohio congressman.

slavery

horrified

They not only persuaded Congress

aggression.

reelected

were

to them) on the victims of slave rebellion and of British

It

Island

was

in

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

last

of the

Union — not

original

states

to

adopt the

doing so until Washington was

president and a not-so-veiled threat of punitive economic measures had

been made.

Now, a

government was

still

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

half-century after

it

Less than half the adult males of Rhode Island qualified, and the

90

OUR FEDERAL UNION

rest of the

population was completely ignored by those established in

power.

The voteless, increasingly restive under this situation, found a leader Thomas Wilson Dorr (born in Providence, Rhode Island, on November

who

1805), a lawyer

qualified for the vote.

Dorr had been agitating

in 5,

for

extended suffrage since 1834, when he was elected to the Rhode Island legislature,

and

in 1840,

he had organized a "People's party"

to take

action.

Representatives of the People's party, meeting in 1841, had prepared

and passed a new

The

state constitution allowing all adult

People's party controlled northern

elections, held

Rhode

male Whites to vote.

Island; so they

them, voted Dorr in as governor on April

announced and

18, 1842,

inaugurated him at Providence.

The

official

government of Rhode Island

reelected Governor Samuel

W.

King,

who was

For a while, there were two governments

also

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

in the

strictly legal standpoint, it

King declared Dorr a

was King who was the legitimate governor.

rebel, initiated martial law,

and called out the

state

militia.

President Tyler,

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

Dorr and

state.

his followers

to support the legal

That doomed the "Dorr Rebellion," as

halfhearted attempt to seize the

Rhode

it

was

government of a

called.

Dorr made a

Island state arsenal on

May

18,

1842, then fled the state. Returning on October 31, 1843, he voluntarily

gave himself up and was tried for treason. sentenced to

life

On

June 25, 1844, he was

imprisonment but was amnestied and released the next

year.

The

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

rebellion

a constitutional convention and accepted a

allowing an extended suffrage.

could

not

vote,

It

was not

new

full suffrage,

even though they were free men;

constitution

however. Blacks nor

could the

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

constitution

FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA

91

plagued the United States. immigrants,

there has

It

seems odd that

in a nation

descended from

often been a great deal of opposition to

so

immigrants on the part of those

who were

themselves perhaps no more

than one or two generations removed from immigrants. Often, this attitude

many,

it

seemed

stemmed from changing patterns

that their

group of countries, was

own

of immigration.

To

kind of immigration, from one country or

but that the line should be drawn against

fine,

those from other countries or groups of countries with languages, religions,

and cultures

sufficiently different

from their own to be suspect.

In the 1830s and 1840s, there was increasingly heavy immigration from

Germany and

Ireland,

and the new immigrants were mostly Catholic.

Anti-Catholic prejudices soon emerged

and movements arose

largely Protestant,

becoming

among

the older settlers,

to prevent the

citizens too easily, entering political

life,

who were

newcomers from

or gaining political and

economic power.

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

was

safer

and

less

— the Constitution said

nothing about tolerating foreigners.

As a

result,

nativism began to figure in American politics. As early as

1837, a "Native American Association"

was founded

June 1843, the "American Republican party" City,

in

Washington, and in

was founded

in

New

York

with a political platform opposing easy citizenship, voting, or

office-holding for foreigners.

The

Nativist

mayor

power themselves, though in 1844 a York, and in 1845 another was elected

Nativists never achieved real

was elected mayor of

of Boston.

They were

New

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

showed

midterm elections of 1842. The Whigs retained

its

effects clearly in the

their hold

on the Senate,

92

OUR FEDERAL UNION

where a change

domination

in party

membership

one-third the

is

hard to bring about since only

up for election at any one time. In the House, membership stands for election, the Democrats

is

however, where the entire

returned to power with a crushing 142 to 79 in the Twenty-eighth Congress.

On March

31, 1842, Clay resigned

himself to rebuilding the

Whig

party

from the Senate

in order to devote

— a necessity surely not

foreseen at

the time of the party's great victory only a year and a half before.

The

visible decline of the

Whig

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.

Democrats

Now

that slavery

steadily

more conservative

was the chief

since

states' rights issue,

the

— always strong in the direction of states' rights — increasingly

favored leaving the slavery issue to the individual states and tried to

remove

it

as

a national issue.

distasteful gravitated

As a

result,

those

who found

slavery

toward the Whig party.

This meant the slave states were becoming solidly Democratic (and

were

to

remain so for a century), so that

if

Tyler planned to win over the

Democratic party, he would have to concentrate on an

He

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.

therefore took

Meanwhile, Texas maintained

Mexico steadily refused

recognize Texan independence.

With

this in

and

in 1838,

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

its

to confirm Santa Anna's surrender

who had

territory to the Pacific.

however.

led the cavalry at the Battle of San

had become Texas's second president, attempted

Lamar then sought

to

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

in

November

1840, and lesser powers

after.

British recognition, particularly, intensified the

United States' expan-

FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA

93

The argument was

sionist

demands

failing

such annexation, Texas would become a British puppet and the

for the annexation of Texas.

that

United States would then find British influence as strong on the southern border

as

Among

on the northern. Canadian

anti-British over the

outweigh the

the

northerners

now

savagely

troubles, this consideration bid fair to

strengthening the slave states.

risk of

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

the other

issue.

Daniel Webster,

who had

Whigs had abandoned him, had no

clung to Tyler

when

intention of being the

agent through which a slave Texas might be brought into the Union; so he resigned as secretary of state on

May

8,

1843.

The next month, Tyler replaced him with

his secretary of the navy,

Abel

Parker Upshur (born in Northampton County, Virginia, on June 17, 1791).

Upshur

at

once began to negotiate with Sam Houston, who

begun a second term

The

factor

critical

in

1841 had

as president of Texas.

was whether any

pushed through the Senate, which was

treaty of annexation could

still

be

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

and without

eagerly,

He

along.

also

with the president and other high government

warship U.S.S. Princeton.

On

officials

on board the

February 28, 1844, during the ceremonial

firing of

one of the large guns, an accidental explosion

number

of officials,

and Upshur was among those

killed or

killed.

wounded

a

(Tyler himself

was unharmed.)

By now, though,

Tyler's favoring of the slave-state cause

was

so clear

that

one old feud within the Democratic party could be healed. Calhoun

and

his

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,

1844,

state in order to preside over

the annexation of Texas.

On

April 12, Calhoun signed the treaty of annexation that Upshur

negotiated and then triumphantly

was intended

to,

order to assure

it

clear that the treaty would,

strengthen the slave states.

annexation, he said, was that in

made

itself

it

One

had and

of the virtues of

would keep Texas from abolishing slavery

of British help against Mexico.

94

OUR FEDERAL UNION

The

antislavery elements reacted wrathfully

than ever to block annexation

if

and were more determined

they could.

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

The

settlers there.

some

longer;

but in the early 1840s, American immigrants had

division

British

and by 1845, there were

into the territory,

were

Combined

would have

to

all

to

have the section south

keep the

river itself with

its

In response there arose in the United States a strident

salmon-fishing.

clamor for

thousand

work much

be made.

willing to let the United States

Columbia River but wanted

of the

five

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

issue,

American

this,

territory in

would accept the price of

annexing Texas as well. So the 1844 election was fought over expansionism in two directions

Texas and Oregon

— and



the antislavery spokesmen were placed in the

uncomfortable position of having to be opposed to making the United States larger

and

stronger.

The Whigs, with

their increasing strength in the free states,

were against

Texan annexation; they would nominate no one who had not declared himself to be firmly against annexation.

That meant Henry Clay. a

Whig

victory

He had

stepped aside in 1840 in order to assure

and that had brought catastrophe.

He was

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

The

situation

war

as far as the

in Baltimore

New Jersey,

colonel.

on the Democratic

side

which

Whig

on May

1

on a vice-presidential Whigs chose Theodore on March 28, 1787), the son

Settling

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.

95

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

May

on 20,

was

27, 1844, but his case

he abandoned the

Tyler was the

first

race.

renominated for a second term.

it

by August

president who, after serving a single term, was not

years afterward, no president

time

so manifestly hopeless that

It set

a temporary precedent; for twenty

was renominated

for a

second term, and for a

looked as though the one-term president was to become an

established

On May

American 27, the

tradition.

Democratic party gathered

candidate would have been

in Baltimore.

Van Buren, who was

still

The

logical

the leader of the

party.

Van Buren, from

the

free

of

state

enthusiastic for the annexation of Texas to

remove the matter

against annexation

as

an

New

York,

was not himself

and had wanted most desperately

issue in the election.

Knowing

Magician had therefore decided to pull a coup.

He had come

agreement with Clay; on the same day that Clay published tion letter,

that Clay

and that Clay would be the Whig candidate, the

Van Buren had published

was

Little

to

an

his antiannexa-

a similar letter of his own.

Now both

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

before that

had a majority of the

delegates, but

he needed two-thirds, and

this

was

denied him.

With first

reporters sending out accounts

by the

electric telegraph for the

time, the Democratic party, meeting at Baltimore

was

went through eight

ballots.

nomination even

they sat there forever.

On

if

It

clear that

on

May

27, 1844,

Van Buren would not

get the

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

96

OUR FEDERAL UNION

With Van Buren out

was a

of the question after eight ballots, there

sudden and surprising stampede to Polk on the ninth, and he was nominated, thus becoming the

first

"dark horse" candidate in American

history.*

For vice-president, the Democrats eventually selected George

Mifflin

Dallas (born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 10, 1792), the son of

Alexander James Dallas

(secretary

the

of

treasury

under President

Madison) and himself a former senator and minister to Russia. (The city of

which was

Dallas, Texas, his

just

honor a couple of years

One

other

man was

coming

into being at this time,

was named

in

later.)

in the field

— Birney,

once again nominated by the

Liberty party and running on the Abolitionist platform.

seemed

It

to the Whigs, immediately after the nominations, that they

had the election against a virtual

"Who

was

The

in the bag.

skillful,

unknown. Indeed, the

well-known Clay was running

derisive

Whig

slogan for the year

James K. Polk?" In June 1844, therefore, the Whig-con-

Is

trolled Senate turned

down

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

States.

dependable

ally,

worked hard

to persuade

Mexico

to recognize

Texan

independence.)

The

Senate's refusal, however, did not help Clay's cause after

enjoyed the backing of the aged, but

Democrats

initiated a vigorous

stressing

new

all.

Polk

Jackson, and the

American expansionism.

new success proved a new land, many Americans, and many in the free states were

The hip-hurrah thoughts powerful attraction to

campaign

still-idolized

of

strength,

anxious to have the United States expand even at the cost of strengthening slavery.

Clay could

feel the tide turning against

him and

in favor of the

unknown

In July, therefore, Clay wrote a pair of letters to an Alabama

Polk.

newspaper trying

to explain that

he was not

of Texas, only against tearing the

Union

really against the annexation

apart.

If

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"

so that

no

American

intelligent

politics

convention.

for

a nominee not considered a possibility before the

FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA

way

97

to annex Texas "without dishonor, without war, with the

consent of the Union,"

These

were a

letters

were widely and

why

at once.

convinced no one and

terrible mistake, for they

derisively

desperate and unprincipled

mouth

common

then he would approve.

quoted by the Democrats as the act of a

man

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

unknown

December

was defeated

Polk,

4,

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

was

This

Clay

difference of only

some

—a

so close.

it

38,000 votes. In fact, had Birney not been in the

field,

and had those who voted

for

the Liberty party voted for Clay (as they certainly would have done in

preference to Polk), Clay would have had the majority. Birney received

62,300 votes



still

very few, but nearly nine times what he had received

in 1840, a sign of the

Birney's votes electoral vote loss

was

growing strength of abolitionism.

would have counted even

was 170

that of

New

for Polk against

lost

105 for Clay, and the

York's 36 electoral votes.

Clay's side, the electoral vote

Clay had

in the electoral college.

New York by

latter's

The key

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

it

who voted

not been for the Alabama

for Birney

letters,

might have

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;

how

the Abolitionists

managed

to secure the election of

it

also explains

what was, from

their standpoint, the worst alternative.

(The election of 1844 was the on, election in

last to

be held

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

first

Monday

month; and there

it

98

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

in

each house.

Whigs could not passed the Senate 27 to 25 and then

In the demoralization that followed their defeat, the stop this measure.

romped home

The

in the

Great Britain had pendence, but

it

resolution

Democratic House. finally

was too

persuaded Mexico to recognize Texan indelate.

Texas had not yet committed

itself to

Britain and, given the chance to join the United States, rushed to

Another slave

state

had

just

beaten

it

to the punch. Florida

March 3, term.* Texas, entering on December 29,

the Union as the twenty-seventh state on Tyler's

eighth state.

do

so.

had entered

1845, the last full day of 1845,

was the twenty-

(By that time, Polk was serving as the eleventh presi-

dent.) Briefly, there

were

fifteen slave states

and only thirteen

However, Iowa entered the Union on December

28,

free states.

1846,

twenty-ninth state and Wisconsin on

May

Iowa and Wisconsin outlawed slavery

in their constitutions, so the

as

29, 1848, as the thirtieth.

the

Both

number

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

states.

In the

summer

of 1845, John L. O'Sullivan, a magazine editor,

had

written of "the fulfillment of our manifest destiny to overspread the

continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions." *

Andrew

Jackson,

The phrase manifest whose

actions

destiny

came

to signify the

had played so important a part and then died on June 8, 1845.

acquisition of Florida, lived to see this

in the

FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA

99

inevitability of the continuing

Ocean,

certainly,

growth of the United States

and who knew where

— to the Pacific

else?

the United States' "manifest destiny" were to be carried through,

If

however,

would have

it

to

be done a step

at a time.

The United

States

could not quarrel simultaneously with Mexico over Texas and with Great over Oregon.

Britain

having been elected on an expansionist

Polk,

program, strongly supported the "Fifty-four Forty or Fight" attitude

he did

said

— but

if

compromise over Oregon. For one foe,

and

— or

one or the other had to go, Polk intended to

for another, Polk

was a

thing,

Great Britain was the stronger

slave-stater

and was

more

interested in

States' difficulty

with Mexico,

far

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

was therefore

Britain

Great

class.

willing to consider a reasonable compromise.

She

accepted an extension of the 49° boundary fine to the Pacific Ocean, thus giving the United States approximately three-fifths of the

Oregon

Terri-

tory.

By June

6,

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.

On

June

flag finally

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

Pacific,

became what

has been ever since. Seventy years after the United States had

independence,

it

finally stretched

"from sea to shining sea."

won

its

*

But while negotiations were proceeding with England, the

crisis in

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

settled

by the Spanish, moving

north from Mexico, at about the time that the United States was fighting the revolutionary war.

While Mexico was winning °

This

is

its

independence from Spain, California had

the well-known phrase from Katherine Lee Bates's

the Beautiful," published in 1893.

poem "America

The Oregon

Territory

BRITISH POSSESSIONS

w~

\

\

OREGON ^^

\

Treaty Line 1846

_______

\

COUNTRY

(

UNITED STATES

v '"^> \

PACIFIC

OCEAN

:jW

N \

—^-

___

MEXICO

U.

"••*$

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.

It

1837) had begun to penetrate California as well as Oregon.

By

1845, there

FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA

101

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

total population.

It

was, after

all,

the United States "manifest

so.

were not only on Texas but on

Polk's eyes, therefore,

California,

and he

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

(which

had consisted

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

all

area.

the land to the Rio Grande, a total

about three times as large as the province and somewhat larger

than the modern

state.

The population

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

it

was going

Texan

As soon

side.

as

Texas made

it

to accept the invitation to join the Union, Polk

ordered an occupation of the disputed territory.

The

troops sent south of the Nueces River on

to take

no

hostile action against

Mexicans

a declaration of war), were under the (born in Orange County, Virginia, revolutionary war

colonel, Taylor

Harrison), the Black

course of the

latter,

November

had

1845 (with orders

in the disputed territory prior to

command

Hawk War, and

May 28,

of General Zachary Taylor

The son

24, 1874).

fought in the

War

of a

of 1812 (under

the Second Seminole War.

In the

he had gained the nickname "Old Rough and Ready,"

honoring his unpolished manners and his fighting

qualities.

Taylor took his forces to Corpus Christi, just south of the mouth of the

Nueces River and there largest

In

American force

California,

Polk

in

built

them up

to thirty-five

one place since the

made

War

hundred men, the

of 1812.

use of John Charles Fremont

(born in

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

fore,

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

to

do

December

in case of

war with Mexico.

He

to to

reached California in

1845, and there, in the spring of 1846, while the nation waited

102 for

OUR FEDERAL UNION war along the Rio Grande, Fremont encouraged a

settlers' revolt.

The

Californians proclaimed a "Bear Flag Republic," so called because

adopted a

showing a grizzly bear and a

flag

it

on a white back-

star

ground.

Polk

felt

With an army south

himself to be in a good position.

Nueces and California headed

of the

he might be able to gouge

for rebellion,

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

in

November

1845.

was

Slidell

to offer to

buy various portions

of

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

secretly,

However, the news of

If

lost

and the other

the Mexican government had

an agreement might have been reached. mission leaked and Mexican popular

Slidell's

opinion proved so hostile that he could not even be received. In March 1846, Slidell

was forced

Mexico was being egged on to

— particularly

its

whom

at the

news

in the

United

(not true) that

that traditional

enemy

of the

the Oregon dispute had not yet

settled.

As soon the

by

defiance

United States, Great Britain, with

been

and indignation

to leave Mexico,

States reached feverish heights

as

he realized that Mexico would not

United States'

treat with Slidell or

demands peaceably, Polk escalated the

meet

military

confrontation by ordering Zachary Taylor to take his troops southward to

By mouth

the Rio Grande.

the end of March, four thousand American soldiers

were near the

of the Rio Grande,

river at

Matamoros were concentrated

The Mexican commander

on

five

its

north bank. Just across the

thousand Mexican

sent a message to Taylor

soldiers.

demanding he

retire

to the Nueces, and Taylor refused. Thereupon, sixteen hundred Mexican

upon and

cavalrymen crossed the Rio Grande and, on April 25, 1846,

fell

captured a reconnoitering party of sixty-three Americans,

killing eleven

and wounding

five in

Washington that

the process.

hostilities

Taylor at once sent a message to

had begun.

Polk was already in the process of preparing a war message to Congress.

When news effect that

By May

of the clash arrived,

he

at

once revised

Mexico had invaded American

12, 1846, all the formalities

and Mexico were formally

at war.

soil

his

message to the

and shed American blood.

had been completed; the United

States

FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA

seemed an even war

It

103

at the start.

than the United States in area, and

American army. Mexico was France (which, in the end,

its

Mexico was not too much smaller army was six times as large as the

also counting

on help from Great Britain and

and on

didn't receive)

it

Such a division did indeed

the Americans.

exist;

internal division

many

among

in the free states

opposed "Mr. Polk's war." (One of the more vocal dissenters was a young congressman from

knew

Polk victory

his

— before

dangerous, and

And

Illinois

named Abraham Lincoln.) and knew also that he needed

difficulties

the opposition in the free states crystallized and

before Great Britain could decide

wary of such a

yet he also had to be

it

a quick

became

ought to interfere.

swift victory, for successful

generals often gained considerable political influence, and the supreme

commander

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,

who was

also a

Whig, but perhaps

less

dangerous.

Polk was wrong. Old Rough and Ready was a capable general.

He

did

not wait for a formal declaration of war; having been attacked by the

Mexicans, he counterattacked at once and quickly superior

won two

battles against

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

was

in

Matamoros, with the Mexicans

For the

first

time in

successful offensive hero,

New

war

its

in

and volunteers from

history,

enemy all

in full retreat.

the United States was fighting a

territory.

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

PACIFIC

OCEAN'"

'•;'•$

The Mexican War

(born in Newark,

New

Jersey,

on August 30, 1794) led a force from Fort

Leavenworth, Kansas, westward to California.

He

left in

May

1846 with

seventeen hundred men, and by August 18 had reached and taken Santa Fe, the chief Mexican California.

town

in the northern provinces

There he heard that

by Fremont, had taken

over.

in California, the

Kearny

left

between Texas and

Americans, encouraged

Santa Fe on September 25, with

only 120 men, and hastened westward. Arriving in

southern California in early December, he found the

American control

to

be very shaky. Assuming command, he capably and

forcefully pressed forward,

were defeated. Kearny's

and within a month the Mexicans

real troubles

came with Fremont, who did not

wish to relinquish control of California. reinforcements, he arrested Fremont,

As soon

who was

and convicted despite the intermediation of Benton.

in California

as

Kearny received

eventually court-martialed his father-in-law,

Senator

FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA

And

105

while Kearny (without too

victories)

was winning

for the

much

the

in

United States

all

way

of spectacular

the territory

wanted,

it

Zachary Taylor was continuing to move onward south of the Rio Grande.

The

retreating

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

On

the American artillery was not to be withstood.

Monterey was forced Taylor's losses

25, 1846,

to surrender.

— 120

dead and 368 wounded

heavy (heavier than the Mexican

low and he was deep

September

in

enemy

losses).

territory.

— had

been moderately

Furthermore, his supplies were

He

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

he was

Delays were dangerous, as he

furious.

He was

already very suspicious of Taylor,

midterm elections had shown an increase

in

Whig

power. The Whigs had gained control of the House of Representatives in the thirtieth Congress, and there

was already

talk of running Taylor for

president in 1848.

Polk therefore decided to use the armistice as an anti-Taylor handle.

would force Taylor

He

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.

With

all

the northern half of the country

lost,

the Mexicans had fought

with disturbing resolution at Monterey.

A political

coup which Polk had

tried

had

failed.

Santa Anna,

who had

ruled Mexico at the time of the Texas rebellion, had been in exile.

had

secretly

encouraged him to return, hoping that Santa Anna would then

negotiate peace. Santa Anna, returning on August 16, 1846, seized

Polk

power and prepared

had promptly

to continue the war.

Meanwhile General Scott kept pointing out over and over that Mexican ° It still

set

took a long time for news to travel; the United States wasn't yet able up telegraph communication in connection with moving armies.

to

106

OUR FEDERAL UNION

strength lay in the south and that Mexico could not be conquered unless

The

Mexico City, were occupied.

capital,

its

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

was

not.

Scott pointed out, however, that one could get closer to Mexico City

The United

sea.

Mexican

ports.

States

If

commanded

by

the sea and was already blockading

Vera Cruz, on Mexico's eastern

coast, could

be taken,

Mexico City would be only 220 miles away. Polk feared Taylor enough by

He

field.

sent Scott to Vera

now

to

be willing

Cruz with a strong army

to put Scott into the in

command and

to remain

on the

strict

He

January 1847.

men

to Scott's

defensive at Monterey.

In short,

further ordered Taylor to transfer nine thousand of his

Taylor was to retire from the war and leave the victory to Scott.

This

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.

And

Taylor could be handed a major defeat and sent reeling back to

if

Texas, American opposition to the it

war might

rise

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

was the

largest force

fifteen

his

army toward

thousand men.

Taylor, aware of Santa Anna's approach, and aware also that he

outnumbered by about three the

Buena

On

Vista

It

any American army had yet faced. to one, took

Ranch about

up a strong defensive

was

position at

forty miles west of Monterey.

February 22, 1847, Santa Anna reached Taylor's

lines.

Taylor

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

was

on.

nearly succeeded.

FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA However, the American

107

artillery

was not

be gainsaid, and every lunge

to

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

rallied

not accept further losses.

On

February 24, Santa Anna hastened southward again with half

army gone. Taylor had won

his

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

forgotten),

made

it

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

own

on November

request,

On March 9,

1847, only

landed south of Vera Cruz. city

26.

two weeks

On

after the Battle of

and be gone from the coastal area before yellow fever he could not afford a direct and instant

other,

conserve his army for the task ahead.

under in

Buena

Vista, Scott

the one hand, he was anxious to take the

He

struck;

frontal attack

on the

— he had

therefore placed Vera

to

Cruz

bombardment from both land and sea (an action deplored an atrocity) and, on March 29, took the city with scarcely any

artillery

Europe

as

loss to himself.

This

amphibious operation ever carried out by the

first

United States was a complete success.

From Vera Cruz, fortifying a position

march on Mexico City

Scott prepared to

just as

Santa Anna, fresh from his Buena Vista defeat, was

quickly as he could.

on the Mexico City road

northwest of Vera Cruz; the rapid

fall

at

Cerro Gordo, forty miles

of that port

was unexpected,

however, and the American army was on him before he had

finished.

Gordo on April 18 was bungled, but the Mexicans, caught unprepared, were forced to retreat anyway.

The

attack on Cerro

Scott pressed on and, on of

of volunteers halt, in

At State

who had

15,

reached Puebla, only eighty miles east attrition of the

campaign and the

loss

come

to a

signed up for brief periods forced him to

order to regroup, and to wait for reinforcements.

moment

this difficult

Department

Virginia,

to

May

Mexico City. By then, though, the

on June

Thomas

in the offensive, Scott

2, 1800),

who had,

Jefferson, then to

confidence. Polk

was

also

plagued with a

clerk, Nicholas Philip Trist (born in Charlottesville,

in his time,

Andrew

been private secretary

Jackson, and

was now

first

in Polk's

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

108

OUR FEDERAL UNION

Whig

"Old Fuss and Feathers")

Naturally, Scott (nicknamed

general.

quarreled with Trist and fretted over the situation.

Even

New

few

He

had been brought by General Franklin Pierce on November 23, 1804, and one of the

after reinforcements

(born in Hillsboro,

New Hampshire,

England generals

fighting in this war), Scott

was

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

would have

abandon

Scott decided to

to go.

his lines of

advance

communication

and gamble on the chance of a quick victory making those

lines

unnecessary.

On was

August

1847, he finally

7,

in the southern

From San against very

A

city.

resistance, as Santa

stiff

8,

Anna put up

— all American

a last-ditch

victories

fight.

— before

It

took

Scott,

on

found himself two miles outside the southwestern edge of the

last battle finally

September

again and ten days later

Agustin, eight miles south of the city, Scott pushed northward

three weeks and three battles

September

moved westward

suburbs of Mexico City.

placed the American army in Mexico City on

14.

The occupation

of

Mexico City ended the war. Santa Anna

tried to

attack the small American garrison at Puebla, failed, and fled the country again.

It

was

clear that

the

Mexicans could not continue

Although they had fought well, they had northern provinces were irretrievably

and

lost,

fighting.

every single battle, their

lost

their capital city

had been

taken.

Polk recalled

November

16.

sign; so Trist

Trist,

By

whom

this time,

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.

By

settle the

however, the Mexicans were nearly ready to

town

By February

2,

of

Guadalupe Hidalgo, four miles

1848, the treaty

was ready.

the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Mexico agreed to give

broad stretch of territory from Texas to California

now

up the

comprising the

southwestern quarter of the United States.

The

territories

Southwest brought four times

its

the its

United States had gained in Oregon and the area to some three million square miles

territory at the

was now a giant

— nearly

winning of independence. The United States

nation, almost equal in area to

all

of Europe.

In return the United States agreed to pay Mexico fifteen million dollars

and

to take over

Mexican debts to American

citizens.

FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA

109

Polk was irritated and annoyed at Trist's over the treaty did not see

how

accepted the treaty on March

On

July 4,

it

was proclaimed

it

10, 1848, the

to

illegal

action but

upon looking

could have been improved.* The Senate

be

Mexican Congress on

May

25.

in effect.

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,

were

to fight the

most dangerous and

tragic

this at the time),

it

little more than a decade later, war the United States was ever

to suffer.

*

Some Americans, dazzled

of

all

at victory,

of Mexico, but such a

had

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

new

with the vast

territories of the

Texas was a slave

What's more,

it

was

That was a

state.

so

huge that

four slave states, each with

two

were by no means happy

Southwest.

it

fixed fact

and could not be

might possibly be

senators.

Then,

split into

altered.

three or

too, half the

newly

acquired territory west of Texas was below the line of 32° 30' north latitude

and

formation of

therefore, still

more

by the Missouri Compromise, open

for

the

slave states.

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

*

As

west of Texas. Should the United States be in the position of it

happened,

fifteen slave states.

it

was.

The United

States

was never

to

have more than

THE LAST COMPROMISE

HI

imposing slavery on territory which had been legally free?

who

One

of those

thought not was a Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania, David

Wilmot (born

On

August

at Bethany, Pennsylvania,

push through an appropriation for

Mexican leaders such terms.

Wilmot

on January

20, 1814).

war had begun, Polk was trying to two million dollars with which to bribe

1846, soon after the

8,

as Santa

Anna into agreeing to a peace on American amendment — the "Wilmot Proviso" — to

rose to offer an

the effect that slavery

was

to

be outlawed

any territory that might be

in

ceded to the United States by Mexico. Polk tried to compromise by applying the Wilmot Proviso only to land north

of

the

36° 30'

increasingly embittered

line,

but most of the free-state congressmen,

by a war

that

seemed

to

be only

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;

to

keep the slave

One

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.

slave; territories

made be made

themselves nor have for a territory to

9,

it

on a

New

1782), maintained that only states could decide

for

could neither

them by Congress.

make

the decision for

When

the time

came

into a state, then the people living in the

state constitution

making the

state either slave or

This approach he called "popular sovereignty" and on

its basis,

the

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

The

first,

was

to

be of any help

at all to the slave-state cause.

smaller migration involved the Church of Jesus Christ of

OUR FEDERAL UNION

112

Latter-Day Saints (commonly

known

as the

described earlier, had been founded in

Mormons, with disconcerting

church), which, as

State in 1830.

odd notions and intense missionary

their

and

neighbors,

their

to

Mormon

New York

hostility

The

proved

zeal,

forced them

early

steadily

westward.

They

first

moved

to Ohio, establishing a

temple there

in 1836. Financial

hardships stemming from the depression of 1837 forced them farther west, to Missouri, the at

first,

westernmost bastion of the slave-state philosophy, where,

they prospered and multiplied.

Soon, however, the Missourians, believing the immigrants from the free states to

be hated

Abolitionists,

Finally, in 1839, a large

free state of Illinois river,

and founded the

a hundred miles west of

There the Mormons, founded the

began

to

hound them from place

to place.

group of Mormons crossed the Mississippi into the city of

Nauvoo on the

east

bank of the

Peoria.

under the leadership of Joseph Smith, who had

still

religion, flourished.

For a time, Nauvoo,

thousand hard-working Mormons, was the largest city

filled

with twenty

in Illinois.

Mission-

ary activities continued not only within the United States but abroad.

Brigham Young (born

in

Whitingham, Vermont, on June

1,

1807),

one of

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

converts.

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

Mormons

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

Mormon

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

was easy

dissidents in

to stir

both Smith and his brother. It

was necessary

government

insisted

for the

on

it.

Mormons

to

move

again.

In fact, the Illinois

Brigham Young arrived from Great Britain and

THE LAST COMPROMISE

113

assumed leadership. He decided isolated

— and,

necessary,

if

move

to

the

Mormons

undesirable — that

so far, to a place so

they would never be

bothered again.

On

February

4,

1846, the

Mormons

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.

On

There the Mormons stopped, and made

said,

"This

their

permanent home, founding

This

first

the right place."

War

of slave-state formation.

were, and

A much

Salt

mass migration into the

even while the Mexican

still

of

Brigham Young

contingents reached the region of the Great Salt Lake. is

site

July 24, 1847, advance

Lake

City.

territory taken

from Mexico (occurring

raged) was a blow against the possibility

still

The Mormons, while

their religious doctrines

remain, distressingly anti-Black, were not slave-owners.

larger

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

youth

his

had

German

state of

Baden on February

in Switzerland, Sutter

had come

settled in Missouri for a while,

1839.

spending

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

was

established.

war was

This meant that he was able to keep his land

when

the

over.

While the Mexican-American peace treaty was being negotiated, Sutter set

new

about building a

sawmill.

On

January 24, 1848, in the course of

the building operations, the supervisor, James Wilson Marshall (born in

Hunterdon County,

New

Jersey, in 1810),

came

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

it

lying around to

so

much

it

leaked

as gold,

be picked up had a maddening

on people. There began a "gold rush" much

like the

effect

Spanish explorers'

frenzied search, three centuries earlier, for the legendary "Eldorado." (Indeed, the area in California

now known

as

where the

Eldorado County.)

See The Shaping of North America.

initial

gold strike was

made

is

114

everywhere

United Stales, ai

in the

people flocked to California. They crossed the

wagons or poshed handcarts throu^i

trackless,

dry

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

— and

women

these were

more

likely to

be

storekeepers.

than the miners themselves.

This second migration, of course,

was

elements of the American population who. in die hard

Mexican War. had trek west.

little

There was

their

security — and

to lose in

little

reason for those

few slaveowners cared to make the

trip

slav-

Thus

in I860,

when

clamor for statehood, nearly half of

In

it

California, suddenly rich

its

people wanted

its first test,

popular sovereignty was

thus Calhoun took to calling

the decision

it

in as

lay to the south of the Missouri

was made not

|

it

and populous.

a free

Cornpromise on

making ar^anM

the

"squatter sovereignty*" in

in his

view by

settled.

bought land, but by a horde of needy immigrants land and claimed ownership by right of occupation.

The

slave

prepared themselves to block California's entry as a free since this

had

would break the

tie in

die numbers of free and

existed for sixty yt

MIDCE N TURY The probler ever,

far

tornia

Folk.

hiiuselt to a single

he had made

so

had

to

be faced b

ng the nomination in 1844, had uki%ul

torn and intend

many enemies anions

op that piedc

ae thing.

the free-state Democrats by

ms

_•:

:.-

-:

-

-r:

:-_

:- -_

OUR FEDERAL UNION

116

was not only another gallantly

To

War

at the Battle of

of 1812 but

had fought

Monterey.

the antislavery Democrats, however, Cass was utterly unacceptable.

He had as a

officer-veteran of the

and had been wounded

consistently voted

"doughface"

—a

on the

whose face turned pale

stater

slave-state side

term coined some years as

and was anathematized

earlier to describe a free-

dough before the

threats of the slave-

staters.

The Barnburners held

their

own

convention in Utica,

New

York, on

June 22, and nominated ex-President Martin Van Buren as their candidate.

The

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

Buren.

Thus Van Buren ran under the standard chose as Francis

its

vice-presidential

Adams

of the "Free-Soil party,"

which

nominee the Conscience Whig Charles

(born in Boston, Massachusetts, on August 18, 1807), the

only surviving son of the recently deceased John Quincy Adams.

The It

Free-Soil party

was not

as radical as the Liberal party

it

replaced.

did not stand for abolition outright, but for a halt to any further

extension of slavery. followers

were more modest,

If its goals

it

and was therefore the more threatening to the

Meanwhile, the Whig party met in convention

attracted

more

slave-staters.

in Philadelphia

on June

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,

1848.

Millard Fillmore of 1800), an important

anti-Mason and

York

New

York (born

Whig

who had

leader

in Locke,

New

who had begun

York, on January

his political life as

narrowly missed being elected governor of

7,

an

New

in 1844.

The

election, held

"election day"), 1,220,000,

was

and the

close.

7,

1848 (the

first

on what

we now

call

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.

on November

in eight years, the

Whigs had elected a war hero

as

THE LAST COMPROMISE

The

Free-Soil party

117

had garnered 291,000

comparison with the votes of the major

was small

votes. This figure

parties,

but

it

in

represented another

nearly five-fold increase over the antislavery vote in the previous election;

indeed,

could

amounted

it

to 10 percent of the entire vote.

No

slave-state leader

to note this index of the steeply rising force of antislavery

fail

sentiment in the free

states.

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

in

Cass would have carried all

over again, only in the other direction.

On March

1849, Zachary Taylor

4,

States to

be elected

political experience

solely

on

whatever.

was inaugurated

He was

president of the United States.

the

first

as the twelfth

president of the United

He was

not to be the

last.

Although the Whigs had gained the presidency, the Democrats the Thirty-first Congress

House. There were no

— 35

less

25

to

in the Senate

or Democrats,

making

New

Ohio (born

in Cornish,

been active

in antislavery causes

In

1 12 to

still

held

109 in the

is,

they could vote either with the

either the majority).

There were two Free-Soil senators,

party,

and

than 9 Free-Soilers in the House, however, and

they held the balance of power (that

Whigs

have no

his military record, the first to

too.

One, Salmon Portland Chase of

Hampshire, on January

13, 1808),

had long

and had been a member of the Liberty

though he indignantly denied being an Abolitionist of Garrison's

all

respects but the growing

and heightening quarrel over

midcentury seemed to mark a golden age for the United

Mexican increased

War had been its

territory

ilk.

slavery, the

States.

The

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.

The population

in

1850 had topped twenty-three million;

than that of Great Britain at

last,

though

still

it

was greater

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

revolution-torn attracted

California gold.

of the

These European immigrants fleeing oppressive govern-

ments were strongly ters

Britain,

antislavery,

and

this

was another trend the

slave-sta-

viewed with growing alarm.

On September

10, 1846, Elias

July 9, 1819) patented the

first

Howe

(born in Spencer, Massachusetts, on

practical sewing machine.

This was the

118

OUR FEDERAL UNION

most important step yet to apply the techniques of the Industrial Revolution toward freeing women from stultifying chores.

New

Telegraphic communication was established between

York and

Chicago. American cotton supplied the world. Railroads were expanding

and so was foreign

trade.

vessels with high masts

American clipper ships

and an enormous

most beautiful ships on the

were the

they could travel from

sea;

California around the southern tip of South

London around the southern

narrow wooden

(long,

area)

sail

and

fastest

New

York to

America or go from China

tip of Africa in less

But marring and spoiling everything was the

to

than a hundred days.

issue of slavery.

CLAY AND WEBSTER In the thirty years since the Missouri Compromise, attitudes on slavery

had

so

states

hardened that a head-on

Union had weakened. Parity

seemed

collision

viewed with concern the manner in the

in

which

The

inevitable.

slave

their status within the

Senate was their

and that

last defense,

was vanishing. California

wanted

to

be a

free state, the sixteenth against only fifteen

Moreover, the sparsely settled remainder of the land

slave states.

from Mexico moved toward organization as

were planning

to

was there a new ment, and

War

close only to to the

territories,

and the

in their territorial constitutions.

slave state in sight unless Texas submitted to

settlers

Nowhere

dismember-

this she refused to do.

The aggrieved Mexican

ban slavery

won

end

slave states felt that they

against free-state opposition

have the free restrictions

states reap the profits.

on slavery and

growing opposition to slavery

The word

had supported and fought the and brought

if

to a triumphant

it

They prepared

to resist

they were overborne by the

in the free states,

then

.

.

.

"secession" began to be heard again. Prominent

among

the

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

moved

into a strong states' rights position.

Yancey

of

tried to organize a

THE LAST COMPROMISE secession

119

movement, maintaining

justice within the

He

interference.

Union and had

that the slave states could never receive to pursue their

way

of

life

free of outside

— for the moment.

failed

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

rebuilding the

means of Union.

settling the dispute or see the gathering controversy destroy the

He had

way

to find a

to give each side something that

it

wanted

badly enough to allow the other side to have something, too.

To begin Union

with, for instance, California

was

to

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

territories

without the prior outlawing of slavery. This meant the free states would

have to give up on the Wilmot Proviso and accept the

possibility of

additional slave states.

The second

pair of resolutions dealt with Texas,

which would have

to

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

Texas, which

the territories that might eventually

make up

state

slave states.

and added

to

In return, the

United States would accept responsibility for the debts Texas had incurred in its short history of

The

independence.

third pair dealt with the District of Columbia,

Many

territory.

free-state

slave markets within sight of the Capitol.

slave-trading

be outlawed

interference with slavery

there

Finally,

came

was

was not

up more

to set

The portion states to state,

in the District of

Columbia, but that there be no

itself.

a fourth pair of resolutions, which were not

One was

to the effect

to interfere with the interstate slave trade; the other

of the suggested

compromise most

difficult for

the slave

swallow was the unbalanced admission of California as a free

free states

tie in

the Senate.

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,

states.

effective provision for the return of fugitive slaves.

breaking the long

The

slave

Clay therefore suggested that

balanced but were both in favor of the slave that Congress

which was

congressmen were appalled by the existence of

120

OUR FEDERAL UNION

George Mason, who,

in revolutionary

war

days,

had been the greatest of

the civil libertarians and a strong antislavery statesman.

The matter

was

of fugitive slaves

sensitive indeed

— on both

sides.

For

years a drizzle of escaping slaves had found relative safety in the free states

— relative

because the slaves remained property and had to be

returned to their masters

Many

antislavery

if

detected.

Whites labored to prevent

this detection

and were

ready to swear falsely that the Blacks in question were free Blacks

known

them from birth, or, if this were not practical, to move them north to Canada where they would be permanently free.

farther

to

Thousands of antislavery Whites throughout the free

worked

states

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

state of

was

Maryland had a standing

financially ruined

by a

offer of

fine

$10,000 reward for his

levied against

him

in

continued in his work. Another Quaker, Levi Coffin (born in

North Carolina, on October 28, 1789), was so active

He

arrest.

1848, but he

New Garden,

in the operation

he

was called the "president" of the Underground Railroad.

The Blacks themselves picturesque and daring of

Black woman, Harriet

about 1821),

also contributed to the effort. all

Tubman

who escaped from

slave states about

Perhaps the most

the underground railroaders was an

illiterate

(born in Dorchester County, Maryland,

slavery in 1849 but actually returned to the

twenty times

(far

more dangerous

for her

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 '

less

who escaped

in 1838.

The Underground Railroad did not

saved

own

was the eloquent

really rescue that

many

slaves.

It

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

felt

121

that as long as the

Underground Railroad

be constantly tempted to run away or

The

existed, Blacks

would

on the other hand,

felt it

rebel.

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

it

seemed

whether there would be enough moderates on both

to



be a tossup push

sides to

it

through.

The

fight

reached

its

had been prominent years

— ever since

peak

where two great old men who

in the Senate,

Congress and in national

in

the days of the

War

of 1812

for

politics

— now met each

forty

other for

the last time.

On

February 5 and

6,

1850, Clay rose to introduce his resolutions.

was seventy-three years old and showed

it,

argue with mountain-moving fervor for concessions on both

asked the free states not to harass the slave states to consider that there

was no

He

but he found the strength to

states,

sides.

and he begged the

He slave

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

free California.

He wanted

the slave states

guaranteed an equality of power with the free states for constitutional

amendment,

presidents, a free-stater other.

He

also

as the only

if

and a

wanted an end

way

in

necessary,

slave-stater,

and even

if

it

time — by meant two

all

each able to veto the acts of the

to all antislavery agitation in the free states,

which the slave

states

could possibly feel secure within

the Union.

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.

failure of

a month,

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

New

York, on

May

16,

1801).

Seward had entered

an anti-Mason, had then become a Whig, and had served four

122

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

liberal ideas;

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.

made

his

mark

as a strong

antislavery senator.

On March

11, 1850,

of slave territory.

he expressed intransigent

Even

were admitted

if it

hostility to the

that,

by the Constitution,

Congress had the power to permit extension of slavery into the this still

could not be done,

He meant

Constitution."

for,

he

insisted, "there

is

expansion

territories,

a higher law than the

the law of God, of course

—a

vague law on

which there has never been general agreement.

The most important, and perhaps

deciding,

speech, however, was

Daniel Webster's, coming between those of Calhoun and Seward; delivered on of

March

7,

1850, and

is

was

it

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

Webster strove

when

slavery

to achieve the

emotional intensity.

And he

same

was not primarily effect in a

in question.

time of

much

Now

greater

succeeded!

Like Clay, he called for concessions on both

sides,

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,

which

all

and outside which everything, on

particular,

he

matters could finally be

either side,

must

fail.

In

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

and climate.

It

was

felt

that

where

large-scale farming

was not

soil

possible,

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."

slaves

This, the last

compromise between the

saved the Union and staved

For

his pains,

and the slave

states,

catastrophe for ten more years.

however, Webster was cast into the outer darkness by the

appalled antislavery forces, the enemy.

off the

free states

who

felt that in his

This sentiment found

its

old age, he had deserted to

clearest expression in a

"Ichabod" (from a Hebrew expression meaning "the glory

is

poem,

departed";

THE LAST COMPROMISE

123

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

1

Sam.

4:21),

Massachusetts, on

requiem to one

December

whom

the Abolitionists considered a fallen hero reads:

So fallen! so

the light withdrawn

lost!

Which once he wore! The glory from

his gray hairs

gone

Forevermore!

Webster was accused of kowtowing

hope of

to the slave states in the

gaining their support for his presidency, but he was sixty-eight years old

and

his ambitions in that direction,

one more 1852.

stint to

He was

He had

any, must have been feeble.

if

perform as secretary of

state,

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.

On Day

was forced

July 4, 1850, President Taylor

to listen to

Independence

oratory under the broiling sun. (The orator, speaking for two hours,

was Senator Henry Stuart Foote of Virginia, in 1804). Taylor,

by eating cucumbers,

cherries,

born

Mississippi,

now aged

sixty-five,

in

Fauquier County,

chose to cool off afterward

and large quantities of iced

milk.

He

got a

severe stomachache from which he might have recovered had not the

doctors descended

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

On

July

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.

He had

favored

tyt — H

z w sj O O H Z

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:

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MISSOURI

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STATES

COI TEXAS

LA.

FLA-

war. That

made them more

slave states,

Of

these,

hundred states.

in the

reluctant to cast their lot with the remaining

and they didn't — not officially, Delaware

slaves within

Its legislature

Union, and

it

at least its

anyway.

was no problem.

borders,

it

was the

With only eighteen

least slave of all the slave

had voted unanimously on January

3,

1861, to remain

never wavered thereafter.

Maryland was a more

ticklish proposition.

It

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

if

it

a stunning blow to the Union cause.

The

majority in Maryland was Unionist, but there was a strong minority

sympathetic to the Confederacy concentrated in Baltimore.

On

1861, a Massachusetts regiment marching through Baltimore on

April 19,

its

way

Washington was attacked by a mob of Confederate sympathizers; before

to it

THE WAR BEGINS could be beaten Since the

179 four soldiers were killed and thirty-six wounded.

off,

bombardment

of Fort Sumter

had been

bloodless, these

were the

War.

casualties of the Civil

first

Divided between a pro-Union governor and a pro-Confederate

Maryland seemed to be pushing

ture,

government coulJ scarcely allow that

for

neutrality,

legisla-

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

when its

it

pushed

for neutrality, Lincoln

territory, at least temporarily.

was

willing to

keep the army out of

For a few months, the

state did

remain

effectively neutral.

Missouri,

still

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

one

it

was a small

had helped foment

in

background of the greater

Oddly enough, a a secession

fifth

movement

civil

war within the

civil

war

outside.

border state was created of

its

state (worse than the

Kansas four years before), played against the

when Virginia underwent

own. The Appalachian counties

in western

had long been out of sympathy with the richer plantation lands in the east. Those western counties were economically part of the Ohio Virginia

valley state,

and not of the

slave society.

With

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

met

at

Wheeling on the Ohio River on June

11, 1861.

There they

organized a Unionist government and elected a governor on June 19. The federal

government encouraged

Virginia,

of course, as a

this,

and eventually the region was invited

thirty-fifth state

way

of

to enter the

weakening

Union

as a

— West Virginia.

Despite the unrest in

its

western counties, however, Virginia took

natural position as the leader of the Confederacy.

The

its

capital of the

Confederacy was transferred from Montgomery, Alabama, to Richmond, Virginia,

on

May

21, 1861,

Congress met there for the

and there first

it

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.

Each

side focused

object of offensive war, and on

its

on

own

this in itself

was

the capital of the other as

to

an

as the object of defensive war.

180

OUR FEDERAL UNION

Neither side sensed the fact that the capitals were overvalued; important

were totally ignored Washington-Richmond struggle. strategic principles

The

secession of Virginia

had a more subtle

happened, the best generals

on January

effect

on the war,

United States

and

first

Scott's staff during the

distinction,

it

a general of the

19, 1807),

Lee had served on winning great to 1855;

in the

at that

These included Robert Edward Lee (born

Virginians. Virginia,

in a wild concentration

and

in

on the

too.

As

it

time were Stratford,

rank.

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

commanding

in

Texas when the secession

Washington on February

to

(who was

officer

in

command

4,

crisis

1861.

of the United States

although a Virginian, unswervingly loyal to the Union),

He

offered

It

Lee the command

of the

began, and he

Scott, Lee's old

knew

Army

and,

Lee's worth.

Union army.

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

the federal

army and became an

and not the Union.

his state

officer in the

Another Virginian who resigned

his

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

Virginia,

resigned.

A

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

third Virginian

Virginia

— in

January 21,

resigned his commission in 1851 and Military Institute,

become a

which was second only

to

professor at the Virginia

West

Point

among

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

States

Civil

the

THE WAR BEGINS

181

When

nation's military colleges.

Virginia seceded,

he

once joined the

at

Confederate army. Besides prompting these desertions, the events in Virginia hurt the

Union army

The came

in

another way.

still

fighting in the

first

war (except

for the

mob

assault in Baltimore)

western Virginia, where the Union forces were intent on

in

supporting the dissident Virginians attempting to set up a Unionist

government.

At the head of the Union forces

in Ohio,

with the responsibility of

supporting the Virginia mountaineers, was George Brinton McClellan (born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on

seemed of Napoleonic

brilliance to

some

December

Lee, had

and graduated second

won

He had

considerable distinction in the process.

1857 to become a railroad executive but rejoined

in

McClellan led

his

On June 3,

resistance.

Civil

fifteen

in

Like Lee, he had fought with Scott on the road to Mexico and,

his class.

army

McClellan

(especially to himself),

had entered West Point when he was only like

A man who

3, 1826).

War

forces

into

1861, in the

left

western Virginia against very first

the

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

among

this

Still,

made

men

hurt

the Confederate contingents.

was the

the most of

first it.

meeting of the opposing

He had

overblown phraseology and would see to received

maximum

publicity.

and McClellan

forces,

men

a habit of addressing his

In

this,

it

in very

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

when

his forces

won

another

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

badly.*

Undoubtedly,

establish

its

also,

— as it,

McClellan's victories helped

a matter of

failed rather

West

Virginia

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

utter gentleman;

182

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

The

sides

compared to 5.5 were also present

of the

million in the

last to

America had reached

had been chosen and the

What remained

were the

lines

take place; by

its

maximum

May

extent.

drawn.

Union had a population of some 22 million Whites

Confederacy.

in the

To be

as

sure, there

Confederacy 3.5 million Blacks who did not revolt

but aided the Confederate war

effort

with their labor.

On

the other hand,

the influx of immigrants to the Union did not cease during the Civil War,

and a quarter of the

The population

soldiers

disparity

who

fought for the Union were foreign-born.

meant

throughout the war, the Union

that,

could suffer greater casualties than the Confederacy and yet repair the

damage more

easily.

In addition, the Union was economically.

The Union was

much

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

1850.)

The Union

also

had a

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

its

army, especially since

its

railroad

network was

meager. Nevertheless, the Confederacy counted overconfidently, as

it

turned out.

some

For one

withering of Unionist resolution, since

it

felt

factors in

thing,

there

its

own

favor



it counted on the was a great deal of

Virginia in the Civil

War Norfolk

sympathy certainly,

for its cause

among

the Union population.

but never enough to disrupt the Union war

The Confederacy

also felt

it

had a trump card

lower reaches of the Mississippi River. could only trade by

way

It

in

There was some,

effort. its

possession of the

reasoned that the Middle West

of the river and

would have

to support the

Confederacy as the only way of keeping from being strangled to death.

184 (This

OUR FEDERAL UNION had been true up

to 1850, but since then, the railroads

had connected

the Middle

West

the river.

This the Confederacy, which was out of tune with the

to the Atlantic Coast

and relieved

it

of

its

dependence on

new

industrialization, did not realize.)

Finally, the

run her

mills,

Confederacy

would come

felt

to

that Great Britain, desperate for cotton to

its

aid.°

had bought,

trouble for years and

But the

stored,

British

had been expecting

and hoarded

all

could prior to the outbreak of the Civil War, and the slave collect

the cotton she

eager to

states,

payment, had not had the foresight to keep Great Britain on short

supply. Great Britain also found alternate sources of cotton in Egypt

Worse

India.

yet,

it

than she needed cotton, and surplus during the

and

turned out that Great Britain needed wheat worse

war

it

was the Union

had a good wheat

that

years.

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.

pro-Unionism

felt

even when they were suffering

in the depression that

eventually followed the pinch of the cotton shortage. cases (not often found in history)

desire to

It

was one

of those

where principle rose above the needs of

the pocketbook.

The British issued a this was dangerous to crisis as

declaration of neutrality on

the Union.

It

May

but even

13, 1861,

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.

latter,

difference in

mind when

The

British

their foreign minister,

seemed

Lord John

to

have

Russell,

this

met

with Confederate agents, presumably to discuss the cotton trade. Lincoln had to

make

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

called

Free-Soil ticket in 1848

*

"Cotton

is

king," the slave staters

were fond of

saying.

THE WAR BEGINS

185

firmness with tact, to keep Great Britain in line. His

was one

of the least

enviable tasks of the Civil War.

Meanwhile, Lincoln was doing

his best to

work out some way

of dealing

with the Confederacy from the military standpoint. Raising an army was easy; training

much

them and making them

into

an effective instrument was

harder.

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

He

count on land campaigns.

trump

strangled;

its

The Confederacy, he

card.

ports

would have

to

it

was, did not think

it

favored the use of the American navy thought, would have to be

be blockaded more and more

tightly

while the land armies concentrated on taking the Mississippi River, thus

He

cutting the Confederacy in two.

calculated that the process

would

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

the Confederacy.

begin with

— and

He

did set up the blockade, however

— largely bluff to

hoped no European nation would

try

to break

it.

Meanwhile, he also inaugurated a desperate program of naval building, hoping to make the blockade steadily

The program worked

perfectly, but

tighter. it

was a race with time

— and with

British intentions.

Worse

yet, public opinion in the

Union wouldn't

sit still

blockade. Millions of people, totally ignorant of military

slow

for a long,

affairs,

clamored

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

thousand

men

at the

town

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,

at the

moment, the great

military hero of the

Confederacy because he had taken Fort Sumter three months before. additional twelve thousand

miles

men were under

northwest of Manassas.

connected by

railroad.

J.

E. Johnston, about

The two Confederate

positions

An fifty

were

OUR FEDERAL UNION

186 In Washington were thirty-five thousand

men under

Irvin

McDowell

(born in Columbus, Ohio, on October 15, 1818), a veteran of the Mexican

McDowell found

War.

himself at the head of green soldiers with two

months' training, and with these he was ordered to march on Beauregard's position.

On

half days to

Run from

side of Bull

and

McDowell began his advance; it took march twenty miles to Centerville, on the other

the afternoon of July 16, 1861,

him two and a

Beauregard's forces.

It

was a clumsy, undisciplined,

march, not helped by the fact that the

tiring

political

came along

leaders of Washington, in high good humor,

to

and

social

watch the

battle.

Naturally, a second

Union force had been sent

to block Johnston

prevent him from joining forces with Beauregard.

Johnston was not so

however.

easily blocked,

As

and

his cavalry

commander, Johnston had James Ewell Brown Stuart 6, 1833), generally known,

(born in Patrick County, Virginia, on February

from

his

as

initials,

"J eD

suppression of the John

"

brilliant Virginians to resign his state.

He was

He had

served under Lee in the

insurrection

and was another of those

Stuart.

Brown

commission in the Union army to serve

his

to prove the most flamboyant and effective cavalry leader of

the war.

On

occasion, Jeb Stuart

this

effectively, so

force here, there,

his

horsemen galloped about so

and everywhere, that the main Confederate body could

board the railroad Beauregard.

and

completely confusing the Union forces with their show of

trains

without opposition and

move eastward

Leading one of the brigades that thus arrived

at

to join

Manassas

was Thomas Jackson. Johnston's forces did not arrive at the scene

had time

to hit

till

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

make

a real

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

attack

till

the 21st, by which time

and pushed back the Confederate firm leadership of William

on February

8,

it

left flank slightly.

Tecumseh Sherman (born

A brigade

under the

in Lancaster, Ohio,

1820) struck the Confederate center particularly hard.

The

Confederates had time to recover, however, because Jackson's brigade, on

THE WAR BEGINS a hilltop, resisted

187 all

attempts to budge

handled and had taken many

General Barnard Bee, trying to shouted, "Look, there

it

had been roughly

rally the

men on

the Confederate side,

Jackson standing like a stone wall. Rally behind

is

him." (Bee was killed a

though

it,

casualties.

little

while

later,

but he had made his contribution

to military history with that remark.)

From

that

Jackson; he

whom name

is

day forward, Thomas Jackson was known only

Stonewall Jackson

a familiar

is

name do not know what

to

his real first

was.

Jackson's stand

made

it

possible for the Confederates to launch a

counterattack. Definite uniforms this

as Stonewall

many people

so universally referred to in that fashion that

had not been

proved decisive. The Union

and

established,

was

artillery

effective

in

one way

and might have

ensured a Union victory, but a Confederate contingent dressed in Union blue got close enough to shoot

By

late afternoon, the

However,

all

down

the artillerymen.

Union forces were

army were breaking and running;

this

became

retreat

had a bad

men

the

on the untried

effect if little

skill),

disorderly as they approached Washington.

further Confederate action forced the

first.

who had accompanied

(who had fought with surprising bravery

soldiers

safety,

in retreat, orderly at

the politicians and the picnickers

and the

Rumors

of

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

Mexican War.

was generally supposed

that he

eccentric (as

was Stonewall

to

He was

be crazy. Certainly he was markedly

Jackson).

But Sherman,

crackerjack soldier just the same and Bull

The

result

so vile-tempered a redhead

Run was

clear to the people of the

it

nation would have to

(On August

5,

make

sobered the Union.

It

Union that before anything could be

done about the Confederacy, an army would have healthy.

was a

of the battle confirmed the Confederacy in their easy

assumption that the Union need not be feared, but

became

like Jackson,

his first battle.

to

considerable sacrifices.

an income tax was

be trained and the That, at least, was

levied, taking

3 percent of

all

188

OUR FEDERAL UNION

income that

in excess of eight fell least

it

hundred

dollars.

heavily on the rich.

United States ever experienced

The

tax

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

Army was

of the Potomac,

sincerely

and

in this, to

do him

and obviously interested

point where he never dared risk

them

credit,

he was

He

first-rate.

in the welfare of his

men

(to

in combat), and, in return, his

the

men

idolized him.

He

was, however, incredibly vain, and in his letters to his wife, he

pictured himself, over and over, as the only capable

man

in

Washington,

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,

when an

energetic Union

commander, Nathaniel Lyon

(born in Ashford, Connecticut, on July 14, 1818), based in realized that although Missouri

had rejected

ate minority in the southern part of the state

by

force.

He

would have

to

until

Louis,

be put down

seized Jefferson City, Missouri's capital, on June 15 and

headway

considerable

St.

secession, the pro-Confeder-

made

he was defeated by an outnumbering Confed-

erate force on August 10, at the Battle of Wilson's

Creek

in the

southwest

By that time, though, the Confederate cause had been damaged so that Missouri remained under Unionist control

corner of the sufficiently

state.

thereafter.

Kentucky's neutrality lasted for nearly

north,

months

after Fort Sumter.

its

south and Union forces to

and each was strongly tempted

to

make

There were its

five

Confederate forces hovering to

forestall the other.

the

first

move and

THE WAR BEGINS

189

Heading the Confederate army was Leonidas Lafayette Polk (born Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1837), a cousin of the late President Polk

in

and

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

Pleasant, Ohio,

been recorded

incorrectly.

It

than for the army to correct

was

its

easier for

Grant had been the best horseman mediocre

He had

in

most respects,

in his class although

he was only

finishing twenty-first in a class of thirty-nine.

War

served in the Mexican

approved of that war and didn't

been stationed

Grant to accept the mistake

error.

at lonely posts in the

separation from his wife drove

with distinction, but he hadn't After the war, he had

like military life.

him

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

crisis.

Grant applied

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

a colonel's

company war compelled

A West Point graduate could not be passed up. On August

recognition.

Illinois, at

for

Illinois state militia

in

command

7,

at Cairo,

the western end of Kentucky.

moved

first.

On

September

on the Mississippi River,

just

1,

he occupied Columbus, Kentucky,

twenty miles south of Cairo. This meant

Kentucky's neutrality had been violated and the Union could feel free to

occupy the

state.

Grant acted

rapidly, without waiting for orders,

occupied Paducah,

sixty miles east of Cairo,

and on September 6

where the Tennessee River

flows into the Ohio.

In addition to seizing control of

much

of Missouri

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.

With

this

end

in view, the

Union navy began

to

occupy spots on the

Confederate coastline which could be used for the establishment of blockade bases.

On

August 28 and 29, for instance, Forts Clark and Hatteras on the

islands off the

North Carolina coast were taken by an expedition under



MISSISSIPPI

Lexington

GEORGIA

Kentucky and Tennessee

in the Civil

War

General Benjamin Franklin Butler of Massachusetts (born at Deerfield,

New

Hampshire, on November

easygoing principles.

5,

He had been

which had made him so unpopular

Butler was a politician of

1818).

a Breckenridge Democrat in 1860,

in Massachusetts that

for the governorship there that year.

Once

he had

secession came, he

He had been

swiveled into a pro-Unionist of the most extreme type.

command

of the Massachusetts soldiers

who were

North Carolina islands lent him a spurious

On

were such that September

7,

in later years his

luster at

his success

first,

and

on the

his political

incompetence had to be endured.

Union forces took Ship

port of Biloxi, Mississippi; and on

in

attacked in Baltimore.

As a general, Butler was peculiarly incompetent, but

allies

lost a race

had quickly

November

Island, ten miles south of the 7,

they took Port Royal, South

Carolina, ninety miles southwest of the lost Fort Sumter.

THE WAR BEGINS

From then

191

grew stronger and more

on, steadily, the blockade

and slowly (but

surely)

it

acted to strangle the Confederacy.

effective,

Naturally,

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.

strategist) actually

make the British The Confederate Union

it

would

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,

to get

In fact, Davis (who fancied himself a great

now, on a purely defensive war.

There was one

European

help.

thing, though, the

Toward

Confederacy had to do

— angle

for

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.

two headed

In late October, the

On November

Trent.

Union warship San

8,

for

Europe aboard the

Jacinto,

and brought them back

Slidell off the Trent

to Boston as prisoners. Wilkes

a hero and was lionized everywhere just the

by the

under Charles Wilkes, the Antarctic explorer.

Wilkes (acting without orders) took Mason and force

British vessel

1861, however, the Trent was stopped

by

found himself

— but the move was a terrible mistake

same.

The United

States

had committed the act

force on the high seas

and taking men away

one of the causes of the

War

of 1812,

when

of boarding a foreign ship as prisoners.

by

This had been

the British had done

it.

It

was

an act that could be construed as either piracy or warfare, and the British

were bound

to resent

it

What's more, the

bitterly.

might well be delighted to use

it

as

an excuse to

British

government

rally public

opinion

behind an open attempt to aid the Confederacy. In the United States, too, there were people willing to to extremes.

On

let

the American side, for instance, Seward

the matter go (still,

perhaps,

OUR FEDERAL UNION

192

dreaming of a foreign war that would reunite the Union and the Confederacy) was

all for

defying the British.

There were moderates,

too,

on both

Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, to

sides.

Among

the British,

Queen

managed, though on the point of death,

go over the ultimatum Great Britain was preparing to send the United

States

and

to soften

On

it

just

enough to make

it

possible for the United States

the American side, there was President Lincoln,

to accept

it.

overrode

Seward and ordered Mason and

Slidell

released

who

and the

necessary apology offered.

So on December 26, 1861, the commissioners set their

way

to Europe,

Mason

to Great Britain

sail

and

again and

Slidell to

made

France.

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

10

THE RISING FURY RELUCTANT WARRIORS by no means

Lincoln's moderation, patience, and good sense were

viewed favorably by everyone. The their

own

forces

fact that the seceding states

was naturally

infuriating.

A group of "Radical Republicans," led by

Congressman Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania (born Vermont, April

4,

1792),

began to push

immediate emancipation of quered

slaves,

in

Danville,

for stronger military action,

and harsh measures against recon-

territory.

Lincoln well until there

knew

that

it

was

useless to

was an army powerful enough

demand

divisions, estrange the

lest

Democrats, and hinder the

tion with the Confederacy. Lincoln's task, as If

stronger military action

to carry

he was reluctant to emancipate the slaves

Union.

had held

throughout the year and had inflicted a major defeat on Union

it

through.

this

possibility of reconcilia-

he saw

it,

was

emancipating the slaves would contribute to

emancipate them, but not otherwise.

Moreover,

produce further to preserve the that,

he would

OUR FEDERAL UNION

194

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

it

accomplished, however.

It

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,

had given

He had

selling favors,

tried for the

8,

politician;

and

nomination

his support to Lincoln in return for the

promise of a cabinet post.

When

investigation

Department

into a

showed that Cameron was converting the War graft, Lincoln was glad to get rid of

garbage-dump of

Lincoln avoided too badly angering Cameron's political

him.

allies,

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

there.)

Lincoln had his eyes on Edwin McMasters Stanton (born at SteubenOhio,

ville,

on December

19,

1814)

as

Democrat, had voted for Breckenridge Lincoln and

felt that

in

a replacement.

Stanton,

a

1860 because he despised

a Republican victory would split the Union.

the split came, however, he threw in with the Union with

all his

Once

might.

He

joined Buchanan's cabinet as attorney general on the very day that South

Carolina seceded and was an element of strength in that pitifully

weak

administration.

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

Union

restored, dying

on

May

life.

He lived to see

the

in prosecuting the

war end and the

29, 1866, just short of his eightieth birthday.

THE RISING FURY

195

war. Indeed, Lincoln, hoping to leave the "Peace Democrats" a helpless

minority and to

the

lift

war above partisan

was organizing a

politics,

"Union party" to include both Republicans and

War

Democrats.

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

who had

almost everyone

He was

anything to do with him.

incorruptibly

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.

Lincoln bore

*

As the months passed, McClellan's army was beginning

to glitter

and

become a usable instrument. Unfortunately, McClellan had no thought using

He

it.

liked to

might smudge

watch

it

glitter

and could not bear

to

of

do anything that

it.

McClellan, at this time and afterward, excused inaction by invariably insisting that the

own. In

this

Confederate armies facing him were

organization served as an intelligence force, and

mated Confederate numbers,

By untold damage to tesquely

so.

made

than his

supplies,

who

consistently overesti-

— sometimes

and readiness

the Union cause.

some action

— almost

— was

any action

budge McClellan. Not only did McClellan refuse

friends with

gro-

strengthening McClellan's insecurities, Pinkerton did

Lincoln, aware that tried to

far stronger

he had the help of Pinkerton, the private detective, whose

Democratic

and

politicians

against the emancipation of slaves.

He was

a political force, and to the Radicals he

let

it

to

necessary,

be budged, he

be known that he was

beginning to see himself as

seemed a Confederate sympa-

thizer.

The

situation

was quite the

West, where Fremont was

in

reverse,

and

command

Fremont who had been insubordinate

just as

bad

in Missouri.

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

all

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

him

if

only he will bring us success."

in

OUR FEDERAL UNION

196 Missouri but lacked the ability to extend what Instead, he

engaged

in another

August 30, 1861, he freed

all

modify

to

the slaves in the territory he controlled.

make an emancipation move and ordered

Lincoln was not ready to

Fremont

Lyon had accomplished.

kind of political campaigning when, on

his orders.

When Fremont

was

refused, he

November 2, a move which angered the Radical Republicans. To replace Fremont, Lincoln chose Henry Wager Halleck Westernville,

New

fired

on

(born in

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

not,

however,

practice. officers

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

fight.

This was too bad because the mountaineers of eastern Tennessee were as

strongly pro-Union as the mountaineers of western Virginia.

The

Tennesseans tried to establish a pro-Union government, but, receiving no support from Buell, the

movement

failed.

Opposite Halleck and Buell was the Confederate general Albert Sidney Johnston* (born in Washington, Kentucky, on February

had taken part

in the

Texas

War

of Independence

2, 1803).

Johnston

and had even,

served as Texas's secretary of war. At the time the secession

crisis

briefly,

broke,

Johnston was in the Far West (having led an expedition against the

Mormons).

He made his way back

to the East

and joined the Confederate

army. Serving under Buell was George Henry

Thomas (born

in

Southampton

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

Union army.

In January 1862, Thomas, then based at Lebanon, Kentucky, about miles southeast of Louisville,

was ordered

to the

Cumberland

miles farther south, to take care of Confederate forces there. '

Not

to

be confused with

fifty

River, fifty

With

that other Confederate general, Joseph E. Johnston.

five

THE RISING FURY

197

thousand men, he marched through a winter rain which killed or sickened a thousand of his

men

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

compromise when

Kentucky senator who had

the secession

crisis

tried to arrange a

began.

Crittenden tried to march northward on the night of January 19, 1862, planning to surprise Thomas's sleeping forces.

however,

army

to

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

more,

it

it

was the

first

decisive victory for the

in this Battle of Mill

Union

side.

What's

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

two

forts

were about eleven miles

apart.

Grant wanted to do something about these of urging

on

get on with

Of

his part before the ever-cautious

forts,

Fort Henry was the easier to take;

it

took a good deal

Russellville,

it

was

built

on low

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

The manner

in

fact that George's

forces.

but

Halleck would allow him to

it.

the two *

forts,

OUR FEDERAL UNION

198

ground and very vulnerable February

from gunboats on the

the

1862, accompanied

2,

Commodore Andrew September

to fire

men up

seventeen thousand

river.

Grant took

Tennessee River on transports on

by a

of seven gunboats under

fleet

Hull Foote (born in

New

Haven, Connecticut, on

12, 1806).

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,

on February

6,

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

once sent

at

quite another

affair.

thousand. Worse,

his

It

when Foote

took his gunboats

down

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.

subdue the

fort

left to

without naval support.

Grant, whose force had off.

Grant was

now

risen to twenty-five thousand, did not

back

Unlike McClellan, Halleck, and Buell, he was able to avoid dwelling

on the

possibility of defeat.

In nominal charge at Fort Donelson was John

Buchanan Floyd (born

in

on June 1, 1806), who had brought in the reinforcements a week before. As secretary of war under Buchanan, Floyd had Smithfield, Virginia,

done

his best to

prevent any strong action against secession

then joined the seceders.

He was no

soldier

— and

and leaned heavily on

had his

subordinate, Gideon Johnson Pillow (born in Williamson County, Tennes-

on June 8, 1806). Grant drew his lines about Fort Donelson, and when the Confederates

see,

sallied forth

fighting,

on February

15,

he managed to contain them

after

some hard

thanks in part to Floyd's timorous and premature backing-off

while the issue was yet in doubt.

The

day's fight

was enough

he were captured (since his

for Floyd,

who

feared a charge of treason

activities as secretary of

He prepared to decamp, who would have none of that,

if

war had been most

questionable).

leaving the defense of the fort to

Pillow,

since he preferred to leave, too.

Both,

with a small number of men, fled that night to safety (and

Confederate disgrace)

in

two steamers. The command was

left to

Simon

THE RISING FURY

199

Bolivar Buckner (born near Munfordville, Kentucky, on April

1,

1823).

With the Confederate garrison demoralized by this desertion and with the knowledge that Grant had been reinforced, Buckner had to consider

One

surrender.

near Chapel

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,

Hill,

men

1821),

a slave-trader and

He opposed

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

terms.

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.

had taken

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

safety

been

to that

It

On

men and

off

Floyd and Pillow

still

available.

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.

The

psychological effect on the Union was great. This was a dramatic

victory for an

army

that

had

until

now made

little

mark;

the recovery of a good part of one of the seceded states. wild,

and the coincidence

it

had resulted

in

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

man, and

own

idol to his superior, Halleck,

in this victory for the nation

position.

might dim

his

He wanted no subordinate to gain own reputation, and so he began to

drinking and tried to remove him from

The

fortunes of

the kind of fame that

spread tales of Grant's

He needed

a general

who was

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.

his

command.

Lincoln blocked the attempt, however. *

however. Halleck was a small

he served, he saw only a threat to

for another quarter-century

still,

dying in 1914 at the age of

200

OUR FEDERAL UNION

— too

not afraid to fight

demonstrated his

much

man who had just He promoted Grant to major

so to let go of a

ability in that direction.

general.

PINCHING THE MISSISSIPPI The most was

logical thing for the

Union armies to do

concentrating

forces

his

at

Mississippi, just south of the

What Grant wanted strike

to

Corinth,

Tennessee

after taking Nashville

and smash him.

to follow the retreating Johnston

in

the

Johnston was

northeastern

corner

of

line.

do was move up along the Tennessee River and

Johnston without delay before he had readied himself for defense.

This Halleck,

his

at

most stupid, managed to prevent.

He was

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.

Pope

laid

siege

Island

to

No.

a

10,

Confederate position in the

Mississippi River just at the Kentucky-Tennessee border.

Foote's gunboats, he took the island on April

7,

With the

and

five

aid of

thousand

Confederate soldiers along with quantities of supplies were surrendered. It

was another victory

greatly acclaimed

by the Union population. For this lost, he gained a reputation

minor action, which Pope could scarcely have

which

he did not deserve,

(unlike Grant)

sorrow.

In addition,

it

as the

Union was

to learn to

its

gave Johnston time to get set in Corinth while

Grant was deprived of the twenty-five thousand

men

placed under Pope.

Grant moved upriver to Pittsburg Landing, about eighteen miles northeast of Corinth. careless

way and

He

placed his

men west

of the river in a rather

didn't bother to fortify the position.

He was

thinking

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.

Unfortunately, he

miles behind the encampment.

made

his

own

headquarters ten

THE RISING FURY

201

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

surprise.

On

April 3, he began

moving

his

It

took three days of

difficult

marching before

through forested country.

men

forward

the Confederates reached the vicinity of Pittsburg Landing, but they got there at last and

camped within two

miles of the unsuspecting Union

forces. It

was Sunday, April

Sherman were

and a

6,

sizable contingent of

Union forces under

resting in the vicinity of Shiloh Church. It

the brunt of the surprise Confederate attack

fell,

most familiar name, the Battle of Shiloh, though of Pittsburg Landing.

In

was there

that

thus giving the battle it is

its

also called the Battle

second major battle of the war, forty

this

thousand Confederates attacked thirty-three thousand Union men.

When

Both sides were fighting with green troops.

smashed into Sherman's men around

many

units panicked

and

fled.

was quickly disorganized properly. What's more,

The Confederate

in

many

its

the Confederates

Union forces caved

Shiloh, the

in

and

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

recuperating.

Now, when news

surprise.

He had been

on him and was

fallen

of the battle reached him, he took a

steamboat upstream. Coolly and without panic (he never panicked), he surveyed the situation, and adjusted and

moved

his forces, trying to hold a

reasonable defense line against the fierce Confederate attacks. Slowly, the

Union

lines

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.

superficial

sign

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

day.

However, Grant remained on the

field of battle that

night

and planned

" 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.

KENTUCKY

MISSOURI



Nashville

TENNESSEE Memphis

ARKANSAS

GA.

MISSISSIPPI

ALABAMA Vicksburg Jackson

FLORIDA LOUISIANA

The

Mississippi River

in the Civil

to

renew the

fight.

The Confederates had used

had suffered enormously.

Grant had

also

War

their entire

suffered,

army and

it

but he expected

reinforcements; Buell finally arrived before morning with fresh troops

numbering twenty-five thousand. As soon

as

it

was

light,

on the morning of April

7,

the Union

army

THE RISING FURY

203

and now

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

attacked,

then driven back.

it

The weight

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

began to

As

what the war was going

realize just

to

mean

in

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

and

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

Halleck, however,

moved

in to take over

now,

reducing Grant to the humiliating role of disregarded second-in-command. Halleck inched his It

took him a

when he

full

finally

way toward Corinth in the most cautious way possible. to work his way across twenty miles of land, and

month

got to Corinth on

May 30,

the Confederate army was gone,

along with the chance to trap and destroy what was

left

of

it.

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

sure,

was caught

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

To

all

demands

war was

over).

that Grant

Lincoln turned a deaf ear.

be removed from command, however,

He knew

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,

who

little

of the

thought of

nothing but defense and defeat, anyone would have been willing to bear

with the kind of mistakes Grant made. Lincoln

man — he

fights,"

and that was

said, "I can't spare this

that.

Perhaps the most important aspect of Grant's drive from the Ohio

down

through Kentucky and Tennessee in the early spring of 1862 was that

it

weakened the Confederate hold on the Mississippi River. Obviously, if the Union forces could seize the Mississippi River, the Confederacy would be

204

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

be neglected

that the western theater always tended to

— to

axis

the Union's

advantage.

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,

May

on

23, 1824),

who

led twelve thousand

men

in the capture of sections

of the North Carolina coastline.

But

it

was

time,

now, to pass beyond the Atlantic coast of the

Confederacy and into the Gulf of Mexico. There, ships could reach the

mouth

of the Mississippi and launch a drive for

New

Orleans, the great

metropolis of the Confederate West. In

command

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

state

had fought who,

like

in the

who had He

5, 1801),

War

of 1812.

George Thomas, chose the

Union.

The

instructions

and reduce the

from Washington were for Farragut

river forts

he to venture against the for a

downstream from city itself.

New

first

to

bombard

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

worked.

On

outskirts of the difficulty,

The

April 24, 1862, he

now-unprotected

was beyond the

city.

Both

and the Union now had a grip on the

city

and

river

forts

and

forts fell

at the

without

both north and south.

pressure inward from both ends began and the Mississippi River

started to pinch shut.

were, by the

summer

The two

halves of the Confederacy, east and west,

of 1862, connected

of the Mississippi River.

by only a

relatively small stretch

THE RISING FURY

205

IRON SHIPS The strengthening Union navy,

in the spring of 1862,

slowly to strangle the Confederacy, making supplies to reach

it

was beginning

ever more

for

difficult

from outside and discouraging any formal help from

it

sympathetic European powers. Yet the spring of 1862 also saw the Union naval blockade nearly smashed. It

came about

Throughout

in this fashion:

history, the natural material for building ships

had been

wood. As naval guns improved, wood became increasingly ineffective

as

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

protection

against

After

counterfire.

the

war,

the

French

an

built

"ironclad" ship in 1859, and the British in 1861.

The United

States

was interested

in ironclads, too,

and some of Foote's

gunboats at Fort Henry and at Island No. 10 were ironclad. Civil

War

When

the

began, the government asked for designs for ironclads that

would be more than mere plated wooden

ships.

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

ship,

revolving, armor-plated turret

on which were mounted two eleven-inch

guns.° Naval officers were struck personally insisted

it

be

It

very low in the water, with a circular,

tried out

dumb

at the

odd

suggestion, but Lincoln

and the plans were accepted by the Navy

four hours after they were officially submitted.

The

ship,

which Ericsson named the Monitor, was

was Ericsson who had designed the

built at

breakneck

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

warship, but

it is

now

Princeton,

killing Secretary of State

a universal feature of

all

naval vessels.

206

OUR FEDERAL UNION

speed in a hundred days and was ready to move by March 1862. with

when

difficulty;

turret

and a

flat

cheesebox on a

The Monitor either, for the

it

was

in motion, all that

was

deck scarcely above the water

It

floated

circular

looked like a

someone remarked.

raft,

left

line.

It

was the

visible

New

York on March

Confederacy

also

knew

6,

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,

Merrimack,

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

harbor bottom,

it

was

within Confederate reach.

still

During the winter, the Merrimack had been raised and renamed the Virginia (though followed).

The

always called the Merrimack in accounts of what

it is

was then plated with four-inch-thick pieces of

ship

iron

(including a topping of sloping iron to replace the burned-out superstructure)

and

fitted

waterline. This

hardly move;

On March

with ten guns and with a cast-iron ram under the

was

when

all it

very clumsily done.

did

manage

to,

Once

however,

it

iron-clad, the ship could

was a formidable

object.

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

Two Union

ships

were destroyed that day and a

third the next,

and the James River was open.

News

which had

just

received the

depressing news of the loss of Nashville and half of Tennessee.

The Union,

of the event thrilled the Confederacy,

on the other hand, was sent into deep panic. Secretary of

War

Stanton, in

particular, had visions of the Merrimack coming north to bombard

THE RISING FURY

207

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.

Everyone,

it

seems, had forgotten that the Monitor was on

its

way.

On

March

9,

in the

kind of nick-of-time manner one would scarcely dare put into

only one day after the Merrimack's triumph, the Monitor arrived

For the

fiction.

the "Battle of for

first

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.

Were comic

not for the issues involved, the battle might be regarded as a

it

affair.

For nearly

five hours,

from 8 a.m. past noon, the two

each moving and maneuvering with the greatest

vessels,

difficulty, shot at

other without either achieving a clear-cut advantage. dinosaurs slogging through a swamp, each blunting

its

It

was

like

each

two

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

ended

in a

draw, naturally,

when both

ships

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

ordered.

the

direction,

do nothing.

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

to

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

capital,

OUR FEDERAL UNION

208 could be taken rapidly and

At the very

collapse.

brilliantly,

the Confederate States might

there would then be no fear of foreign help for

least,

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

as vastly

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

to

move. McClellan could refuse no longer;

would be

fired.

it

was

he did what he could to

Still,

clear that

he

if

did,

frustrate Lincoln.

he

He

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

less

land to fight through on his

way

to the capital,

to the battle,

and get the navy

to help him.

Lincoln disagreed; while leaving the

it

seemed

enemy

to

him wrong

to take the

Washington. Lincoln had to give permission, however the

man

moving. Lincoln did, however, stipulate that

men, would have to be

army southward

strongly concentrated in the neighborhood of

left

— anything

thirty-five

to get

thousand

behind under McDowell to defend Washington

against a possible Confederate counterattack.

On March efficiency that

17,

McClellan

showed

finally

his skill as

began to move

an administrator

his

at least.

army, with an

On

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

lies

fortifications stretching across the peninsula,

guns covered the York River. Since peninsula,

what followed

is

known

much

and Confederate land-based

of the fighting took place on the

as the Peninsular

Campaign.

THE RISING FURY

Commanding

knew

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

209

in

thousand

his

dazzled McClellan promptly concluded that he was vastly outnumbered

and began

to call for reinforcements.

When he didn't get them, he blamed

succeeding events on that.

McClellan made no

effort to

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

inactive

he try to penetrate the enemy

line

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

4,

he found

way

and when he it

finally

empty. Magruder

of delay

ordered an attack against the felt

and had pulled back

he had done as much

as

he

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

east,

rather than the north.

What's more, Robert E. Lee conceived a

brilliant

diversion.

undoubtedly the best general ever to be born on American

soil

unfortunately, the best general ever to fight against the United States, military adviser to Jefferson Davis at this time.

Lee, and,

was

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

is

easily crossed, only forty miles

Washington. In that valley was Stonewall Jackson with

men. Any enemy army

in the valley

was a

upstream from

fifteen

thousand

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

his troops

up and down the

relentless force that the

bewildered Union

He marched

210

OUR FEDERAL UNION

armies must have thought there were twice as

men, with weary pride, called themselves

many

of them.

Jackson's

his "foot cavalry."

In the space of ten weeks, he defeated one Union contingent after

another in

different battles.

six

The government

in

Washington was

predictably concerned, and McClellan did not get reinforcements in

anything like the quantity he demanded. In

Washington was sent

to the

fact,

Shenandoah Valley

to

some add

of the

to the

army near

Union forces

facing Jackson.

So

it

was

that

when McClellan

finally felt

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

grew

of defeat, always strong,

direction. His sense

The Confederates,

stronger.

westward along the peninsula, fought a

skillful

retreating

rearguard action at

Williamsburg, further delaying McClellan and confirming him in his desire to

move very

slowly.

McClellan might have been helped along useful.

if

the navy had been

more

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

Once

a second time.

moved up

to

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

forts

and had

to

retreat.

McClellan found he could not count on navy support, which further depressed him.

He

finally

reached the Chickahominy River,

By now he had 105,000 men

five miles

against 60,000

men

under Johnston. For McClellan that wasn't enough, of course. His

spies

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

army

in this



As

on the northern side

felt

way was

to

meet the reinforcements

so terrible a need) from risky;

however, when

it

McDowell. Dividing

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

his

turned out that McDowell's

for the Merrimack's great opponent, the Monitor, she sank in a gale off

Cape Hatteras on December 31,

(for

THE RISING FURY

211

men were

not coming but were going to the Shenandoah Valley instead,

McClellan

still

kept his forces divided, which was

idiotic.

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

would be

difficult for

river to

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

made

his orders completely clear

and the

Confederate commander, James Longstreet (born in Edgefield

District,

South Carolina, on January Bull

Run and

8, 1821),

who had

fought with distinction at

Williamsburg, got confused and didn't get his

right place at the right time.

Then,

too,

some

additional

men

Union

into the

units did

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

men

entirely

good notion of

report that McClellan, having

all

told (not always a

good habit

around the Union army, some 150

He was able to army south of the

McClellan was doing.

moved most

Chickahominy River, had nevertheless Fitz-John Porter (born in Portsmouth,

left

of his

part of

New

it

to the north

under

Hampshire, on August 31,

1822).

Lee decided

to attack the small northern portion of McClellan's

army

212

OUR FEDERAL UNION

with his main forces, while leaving a small contingent under Magruder to confront McClelland main army.

In doing

this,

he was confident that

McClellan, always believing himself outnumbered, would

let

himself be

pinned while the northern contingent was wiped out. Again, however, an excellent idea was spoiled in the execution. 26,

various portions of the Confederate

Mechanicsville,

where

cated maneuver,

it

was,

of

Stonewall Jackson,

people,

all

man (now called in from the Shenandoah work was completed), who was six hours late.* foot-cavalry

When

Valley,

the

where

his

a Confederate contingent, tired of waiting for Jackson, desper-

attacked without waiting for proper support,

ately

On June

converge on

to

army was encamped. This was a compli-

Porter's

and

army were

Confederate losses

Battle

this

at

closely-spaced series of battles

were 1500

as

opposed

Had McClellan

to

250

of

lumped together

as the

was repulsed.

it

Mechanicsville

(the

a

of

first

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

him

nates urged

to attack, but

master. All he did

On

was

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,

all

catching Porter before he had crossed the

Again, McClellan remained in place, staring at Magruder, and again

river.

was Stonewall Jackson's slowness.

that saved Porter

Porter's

men

repelled attack after attack until, toward the end of the day, the Union force finally broke

and

hastily retreated.

That night Porter

finally

made

it

across the river.

This battle was also costly for the Confederates, for they had lost 8750 to the Union's 4000; but

it

was a

what there had ever been of

victory,

it,

if

only because McClellan's nerve,

broke completely.

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

pull

back

fifteen miles to a stronger

an re-

he was so slow on

this occasion,

base at Har-

and on several others

in

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

campaign.

it

nothing in the face of inferior numbers,

the next few days. Perhaps his efforts in the Shenandoah Valley had burned

him out

off

THE RISING FURY

213

Landing on the James River, fifteen miles southeast of Richmond. Lee would not allow such a retreat to be carried out undisturbed. He

rison's

followed hard; the Confederates attacked Union contingents at Savage Station, six miles southeast of Gaines' Mill,

Farm,

six

Jackson

miles farther south, on June 30.

(for

on June 29, and at Frayser's both occasions, Stonewall

On

the third and fourth time) was not there

both occasions Lee missed a chance to

inflict serious

when needed, and on damage on the Union

army.

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,

The Confederates,

the river.

The

situation then, at the

Union army had preserved

suffering terrible losses,

end of the Seven Days'

itself intact.

were beaten Battle,

sixteen

that the

Indeed, the Confederate army had

Union under

suffered a total of over twenty thousand casualties, the

thousand — and

was

off.

the Confederate

army could much

less afford

the

loss.

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

It

fighting as

when

there

was no

Throughout

this

fighting.

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

The

result

there, always

and that one

was that the Union army

on the defensive,

in

spirit.

itself to

be

at

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.

11

ROBERT

E.

LEE

POPE FAILS Lincoln came to Harrison's Landing to see McClellan on July

9,

1862,

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.

A new

Union army had been formed

as general in chief

in northern Virginia

and gave

and placed

under Pope, who had taken Island No. 10 four months before. possibility

might have been for Pope's

new army

One

to attack from the north,

while McClellan threatened from Harrison's Landing. Lee's army, caught

between the two, would surely be destroyed.

The

trouble was that Pope was

McClellan.

new

to the area,

Neither Lincoln nor Halleck

felt

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,

was

to

have McClellan take

ROBERT

E.

LEE

215

been done more

easily

Army

Slowly, the

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

end.

was

himself,

in

no hurry

to join Pope.

He had no

McClellan's slowness gave Lee his opening.

intention

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

army had

left

Harrison's Landing, and

Lee followed soon

outnumbered Lee seventy-five thousand

after.

to fifty-five thousand,

and

Pope for a

while he handled himself well. Lee tried to maneuver him into placing his

army with Then,

its

back

one of

in

to the river, but his

Pope

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.

Lee had

to act quickly.

He

attempted a desperate maneuver which,

against a first-rate general, might have

been

suicide.

He

gave Stonewall

Jackson half the Confederate army, twenty-three thousand men, and told

him

to

move around Pope's army

and Washington.

On

in a

wide sweep and get between him

August 26, Jackson did

this

with

all

the old

skill

that

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

had seemed

to leave

was much more than Pope,

it

that.

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,

Pope found

his

communications

Washington dead, and Stonewall Jackson

(where the Battle of Bull

Run had been

cut, his telegraph

at his rear at

Manassas

fought thirteen months before), he

was enraged.

He

decided that Jackson, being isolated from the

rest of the

Confederate

army, could be trapped by energetic action. Therefore, Pope blindly raced °

Pope was fond of addressing

his dispatches

from "Headquarters

in the

Saddle," indicating that he was too busy to get off his horse. Lincoln remarked dryly that

Pope had

his

headquarters where his hindquarters ought to be.

216

OUR FEDERAL UNION

after Jackson,

who evaded and delayed him

a chance to get into position for the

kill.

as long as possible to allow

Finally,

on August

29,

Lee Pope found

Jackson and began attacking headlong.

Pope was position.

angry to keep an eye out for Lee,

far too

who was now

Judging the situation to a nicety, Lee waited

till

in

Pope was

completely engaged and then, on August 30, sent Longstreet against Pope's

Caught by

left flank.

surprise, the flank

as

best he could

on September

and,

2,

now Pope, men together

crumbled, and

attacked from two directions, could do nothing but pull his retreat

to

the environs of

Washington.

The Confederate than at the

victory at this Second Battle of Bull

Run was

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.

He had

greater

with sixteen thousand Union casualties to nine thousand

first,

certainly

made no

perceptible effort to

come

his spe-

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

the Confederacy.

Pope was, of

course,

minor tasks during the

removed from command and was used only

rest of the war.*

for

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

disaster,

incautious campaign.

Public pressure was enormous, and Lincoln, most unwillingly, restored

McClellan on September

1862, as undisputed head of the

5,

Army

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

Pope attempted

it

otherwise might have.

to place the

particularly Fitz-John Porter, year.

Some twenty

blame

for his defeat

on

his

subordinates,

who was court-martialed and convicted later that

years later, Porter

was exonerated and restored

rank, but that gesture could not restore a ruined

life.

to his

army

ROBERT

LEE

E.

217

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

and

acy,

classes,

after the failure of the Peninsular

were strongly pro-Confeder-

Campaign and the

disaster of

the Second Battle of Bull Run, Great Britain offered to mediate the

This meant she was clearly of the opinion that the Union could

conflict.

not settle the matter by military victory; and she seemed on the point of

plumping openly

for

Confederate independence and using her navy to

break the Union blockade. It

was up

to

Lee

to

do something

active participation in the war.

to give Great Britain that last

push into

That something might very well be an

advance into Maryland, an invasion of the Union. proposition, indeed, for Lee's gaunt

was a

It

risky

and ragged army, which, despite

its

had absorbed considerable punishment. Lee counted on two however — the sympathies of the Marylanders, who might rise and

victories,

things,

join the Confederacy, isolating

Washington, and the certainty that he

could beat McClellan under any circumstances.

As egg

it

for Lincoln,

enlist the British

the Civil alienate

On

he was as desperate to stop Great Britain

on. Lincoln

War

many

had no hope of winning the upper

lower and middle classes in his behalf

into

an antislavery crusade.

Unionists,

was

July 22, 1862, Lincoln

freeing of certain slaves,

risky

as

classes, if

Lee was

to

but he could

he could convert

This course, which would

but seemed increasingly imperative.

had prepared a statement announcing the

and he read

this

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,

218

OUR FEDERAL UNION

who knew good

without ulterior motives. Lincoln,

sense

when he heard

it,

agreed.

But where was one to find a victory? What came instead was the dismal

news

of Pope's disaster,

Lee acted with

his

and now Lee was marching northward.

customary speed. Even while McClellan was taking

over again and beginning to reorganize the beaten

Army

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

him.

as usual, of

September

Confederates had

13,

enormous numbers of Confederates

he reached Frederick but

moved westward and

Hagerstown, Maryland,

sixty-five miles

it

farther north.

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

At

the

least

fall

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

holding

it.

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

so.

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

ick.

Union it

to

soldiers

found the document and were

intelligent

enough

to bring

McClellan posthaste. Thus McClellan learned that Lee's army was

in

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

War

PENNSYLVANIA •

Gettysburg

WEST VIRGINIA

Chancellorsville

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

upon

his

That gave Lee time to learn that McClellan had the

information and to start moving toward Jackson, while Jackson had time to

220

OUR FEDERAL UNION

take Harpers Ferry (capturing eleven thousand

and then

to begin

men and much

equipment)

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

win

his victory for him.

came, shuttling

He

numbers.

came

Lee, with his usual

men back and

his

would

held out while the

figure out

skill,

what

to

do and

met each attack as it was met by superior

forth so that each last

reinforcements from Harpers Ferry

in.

Yet the Union attacks took their

day of September

By

night,

standstill,

toll

during the whole of that dreadful

day of the war.

17, 1862, the bloodiest single

army

Lee's reckless defense had beaten the Union

but at a

terrific cost.

of his force, while the

He had

Union army had

to a

suffered 13,700 casualties, a third lost

but 12,350, only a sixth of

its

force.

Lee had

to retreat, for only in Virginia could

general than McClellan would have into pursuit,

Virginia

and

known

this

he recoup. Any other

and would have launched

hoping to catch the exhausted army before

it

could reach

safety.

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

coming

in,

dared not attack.

Then, on the night of the 18th, having held the Union army its

contemptible leader)

The

Lee led

up was a draw by

Battle of Antietam

to scorn,

his

army back

(or, rather,

to Virginia.

strictly military considerations,

but since Lee was forced to withdraw and the attempted invasion of the

ROBERT

LEE

E.

221

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,

considered

it

it

so,

Lincoln acclaimed battle,

it

announced

commander

as a victory

as

that,

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

1,

by Confederate

forces

1863.

This Emancipation Proclamation had

little

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

that there

war.

was no chance

It also

thereafter of direct British interference with the

uplifted the hearts of

and gave them more reason

those Unionists

Furthermore,

to fight.

merely a cynical maneuver, for over, slavery

all

it

made

it

who

detested slavery

was by no means

it

quite clear that once the

would be outlawed everywhere and

war was

forever.

BURNSIDE FAILS While Lincoln, with masterly

skill,

could maneuver Great Britain out of

the danger area, there was nothing he could do about McClellan.

Anyone

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

else

crawl.

On November

7,

longer and relieved

1862, Lincoln could take the reluctant warrior no

him

of

or fought another battle.

command. McClellan never

He had done more

for the

led another

army

Confederate cause

than anyone but (perhaps) Lee. Lincoln

now

turned to Burnside,

who had done

respectable

work

in

subordinate positions. Lincoln had wanted him to take the job of heading the

Army

incapacity,

of the

Potomac

after Pope's failure,

and Lincoln had turned,

but Burnside pleaded

reluctantly, to McClellan. Since then,

OUR FEDERAL UNION

222

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.

Once

in the post, Burnside got right to

mistake of overcaution, the

it.

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

if

Lee had counterattacked the next

however, perhaps remembering Union powers of recuperation Shiloh) felt

he had done enough and

let it go.

Lee,

day.

(as

That may have been

as

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.

By a

reversal of syllables,

it

became known

"sideburns," and for this characteristic at least, the author of this book,

wears sideburns,

is

grateful to him.

as

who

at

bad

ROBERT

LEE

E.

223

Union morale sank once more

good

after Fredericksburg, as the

effect of

Antietam was largely undone. Lincoln, however, having announced the

Emancipation Proclamation rescind

dubious victory at Antietam, did not

after the

merely because of the catastrophic defeat

it

at Fredericksburg.

This meant Great Britain could not seize the opportunity to intervene

on the Confederate

directly

side; she

could do so indirectly, however.

Great Britain, for instance, was allowing the Confederates to build warships on her

The most

soil.

one) was that of the Alabama. While that

American minister

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

finally

in

Charles

County,

Maryland,

September 27, 1809), the Alabama roamed the sea

for

destroying Union commerce, penetrating even the Indian

Ocean

She took sixty-four shipping

all told.

vessels, representing

The

fear of her

two

on

years,

to

do

so.

some hundred thousand tons

and of other

of

British-built raiders virtually

drove the Union merchant marine from the

sea,

and

in

some ways

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

its

to the thick

gloom

as

no

1862

disastrous close.

for France, she its

added

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

landed in

Mexico toward the end of 1861. This ran counter to the Monroe Doctrine (if,

indeed, the European powers had given

States

would

ordinarily

a thought), and the United

it

have tried to prevent

this action.

Now, however,

the United States was torn in two and could do nothing.

Great Britain and Spain soon withdrew, but France, under Emperor

Napoleon

III

(who shared the ambitions of

his

famous uncle, Napoleon

I,

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

224

OUR FEDERAL UNION

eyes were fixed, there were battles and vast movements far to the

west

— events

that

were

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

Confederate

and north of Texas remained

firmly

Again, a Union

army won a battle

corner of the

state,

placing

all

at

and permanently

in

Pea Ridge, Arkansas,

of Missouri

Union hands.

in the

northwest

and the northern

half of

Arkansas in Union hands.

The main sides

theater in the West, however,

had been marking time had then gone on

1862, and

On

to

Washington

June 27, 1862, Braxton Bragg (born

was Tennessee, where both

had taken Corinth on May

since Halleck

in

on March 22, 1817), who had fought with particular distinction Vista, took over the at

command

of the Confederate

army

once began to prepare an offensive against Buell

On

August

on

Florida,

14,

Bragg sent

May

campaigning

16,

skillfully,

Edmund

1824)

at

Buena

in Tennessee.

He

in eastern Tennessee.

Kirby-Smith (born in

Augustine,

St.

northward into Kentucky.

Kirby-Smith,

brushed weak Union forces aside and was in

Lexington, Kentucky, by September of the

30,

on July 11. Warrenton, North Carolina,

as general in chief

Ohio River. Bragg

2.

He was

then only

fifty

miles south

himself, evading the slow-moving Buell,

moved

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

He

the Ohio.

then moved out to seek battle.

On

October

7,

Buell

met

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

his forces

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

Kentucky,

just as

Lee had

As McClellan had

left

failed to

Maryland

after another

° It

was

at

this

moment

— with Lee in

battle.

pursue Lee effectively, so Buell failed to

pursue Bragg, and the result was the same

dangerous

drawn

in, left

— Buell

was relieved of

that the Confederacy must have seemed most Maryland and Bragg in Kentucky.

ROBERT

LEE

E.

225

command on October 30 and

took no further significant part in the war.

Replacing Buell was William Starke Rosecrans (born in Kingston, Ohio,

on September

6,

1819),

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

it

1862, he

was

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

Bragg and

army,

his

who were

inspired

and delighted by the news of the

great Confederate victory at Fredericksburg.

On December thirty-eight

31, Rosecrans's forty-five thousand

men met

Bragg's

thousand a few miles west of the town of Murfreesboro. The

armies wheeled in a slow circle, as each side tried to envelop the

left flank

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

afterward, "but

victory technically, but each side

and Rosecrans Bragg's

army

felt

rallied at

casualties

He watched

warily as

Tullahoma,

made no

further move.

marked time

in Tennessee.

but

had suffered twelve thousand

he needed time

to recover.

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

was

all

And

gladden Union hearts.

that could

Murfreesboro,

An

little in

the military

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,

were flooding

into the

in fact,

Union

hands of a

less

numerous

foe, the

Union

growing stronger. European immigrants

steadily (eight

hundred thousand of them

altogether in the course of the Civil War), so that battle losses created no

manpower

shortage. Industry

was booming, and labor-saving devices were

constantly being introduced.

Then,

too,

Union farms were producing bumper

Lincoln a powerful tool for trade abroad. In

May

harvests,

which gave

1862, Congress passed

226

OUR FEDERAL UNION Homestead Act, which

the

offered, at a purely

farmland tract in the western

farm

to

it.

territories to

nominal

a 160-acre

fee,

anyone who would undertake

This act encouraged westward migration, expanded farmland,

and further increased the

harvests.

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,

was

quietly

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

himself.

Others might panic or despair, but Lincoln, though he grew more

cost.

heavy-hearted and melancholy as time went on,° remained a staunch and resolute leader.

HOOKER FAILS Yet what Lincoln desperately needed to hearten those

less firm

than

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

had made

Ruell,

his error fighting rather

to continue to participate in the

25,

1863, Joseph Hooker (born

1814) took

command

of the

in

war

than delaying, so he was allowed

in subordinate positions.

On January

Hadley, Massachusetts, on November 13,

Army

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

in it."

is

a worse place than Hell,

army I

am

that

ROBERT

LEE

E.

227

had been smashed it

and made an

at Fredericksburg

effective instrument of

once more.

Toward the end icksburg,

and

it

men

of April, Hooker, with ninety-four thousand

against Lee's fifty-three thousand,

moved

was Hooker's intention

to

Lee was

south.

at Freder-

still

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

like

a

thunderbolt.

He his

actually carried this plan through.

army

(about

across the river.

six

On

Lee was held

fast

and Hooker got

April 29, 1863, he reached Chancellorsville

miles due west of Fredericksburg),

crossroads occupied

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

heart,

he poised

for a

moment

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.

outnumbered army

into

Union army and attack

right flank while

utterly demoralized

Once

again, a larger

divided his

he dealt with the

and could think of nothing but Union army retreated

Confederate army, and by

May

5,

This

left.

army with a lesser

worked. Jackson achieved a complete surprise attack on

was

He

two halves and had Jackson swing around the its

was, in effect, an attempt to surround a greater it

virtually

one, and

May 2. Hooker

retreat.

in the face of a smaller

the Union had to acknowledge

still

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

The

falling

loss

back

of

in panic

and

it

looked as though, by further speed and

increased daring on the part of the Confederate forces, the Union

might be destroyed altogether.

army

Stonewall Jackson rode forward in the

228

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

might

be friend or enemy.

When He was

Jackson hurried past, Confederate soldiers fired and Jackson

fell.

arm shattered. It had to be amputated, and seemed he might recover, under the primitive

carried back, his left

though for a while

it

May

medical treatment of the time he caught pneumonia; on

10, 1863,

he

died at the age of thirty-nine.

The United tactician but

nation.

had

States

who was

The team

of

man who was

the

lost

fated to use his

skill

perhaps

greatest

its

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

Chancellorsville.

his victory, and, as after the

move westward,

it

Second

The question was: How?

up.

for out there,

on the

Mississippi,

Vicksburg was in trouble.

Vicksburg was the strongest remaining Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River.

If

Vicksburg, two hundred miles upstream from

Orleans, could be taken, the Confederacy would be split in two.

held out against a purely naval takeover

northward

after the fall of

now Grant wanted

On

October 25,

Farragut's ships

was not going

first

gained fame, was

to

had

had come

Orleans and had been turned back. But

by land. 1862, he was given the go-ahead, but to take

this

Then,

New

when

New

It

it

be a simple still

jealous

too, Vicksburg's position

task.

Halleck, under

it

was

whom

and would not make

it

clear that

Grant had

easy for him.

was strong by nature and strongly fortified, it were skillfully led; they would not

and the Confederate forces holding

make

it

easy for

him

either.

had resulted

Finally, political pressures

in the

appointment of John

Alexander McClernand (born near Hardinsburg, Kentucky, on 1812) to share the

command

May

30,

with Grant. McClernand had fought along

with Grant at Fort Donelson and Shiloh, and had demonstrated himself to

own

be a glory-hound who did not scruple

to

to intrigue against Grant. Obviously,

Grant could not expect McClernand

to

make

it

magnify

his

role in battles or

easy for him either.

Lincoln had no illusions about McClernand's competence, but, as a

War

ROBERT

E.

LEE

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

politically

since every victory

who wanted to To the Union

majority

who were

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).

Ohio River

ticularly the states north of the

Lincoln and his Union party had

won

and Vallandigham had been defeated

— would refuse to fight further.

the congressional elections of 1862

but that was after

for reelection,

Antietam and before Fredericksburg. Copperheads remained strong and

War Democrats

remained precious to Lincoln.

Grant, a simple soldier (then, and political necessities.

He knew

general, another of the likely to ruin

many

any campaign

in

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

to do.

Grant

— 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.

Fredericksburg.

Grant was in a bad western

was no

side,

position.

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

him

to

come back and

tend to business.

But to retreat was

alien to Grant's philosophy.

Bad

position or not, he

army

poured on the pressure. For the three winter months, Grant kept

his

busy trying to find some way to cross the broad Mississippi.

kept his

men

sharp-edged and ready, and

around Vicksburg from

it

It

kept the Confederate forces in and

relaxing.

Grant made four different attempts to cross the involved an attempt to divert the river's course, and

river, all

one of which

four failed.

When

230

OUR FEDERAL UNION and

April 1863 came,

march

into Virginia,

as

Hooker was making ready

Grant was

still

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.

least not

Until

then,

Vicksburg,

attempts at crossing the river had been north of

all

contact

that

so

communication,

all

of

were made south of the

city

be caught by

Of

surprise.

could be maintained with the lines of

which led northward. But suppose the crossing

— the Confederates, not expecting this, might

course,

it

would mean a break in the lines of felt he could simply have his

communications, but what of that? Grant

men

live off the land.

Grant arranged to have Sherman make a covering thrust

keep Confederate attention

there.

He

throughout the region to tear up railroads and make Confederates to concentrate

men

in the north to

next sent cavalry raiding parties

rapidly at

it

harder for the

some unprepared

spot.

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 Farragut

New

at

8,

Under David Dixon Porter 1813),

who had

fought well

Orleans, the river boats forced their

way

past

Vicksburg, and Grant was ready.

On April 30,

1863, just

as,

farther east, the opposing armies

were getting

ready for the Battle of Chancellorsville, Grant, with twenty thousand men, finally

crossed the Mississippi River, twenty-five miles south of Vicksburg.

Vicksburg

itself

was under the command of John

Clifford

Pemberton

(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

Johnston,

Jackson. Neither

Pemberton nor Johnston

felt that

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

Union general,

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

He

hastily led his

men

them

as well.

northeastward, and Pemberton, surprised at this

ROBERT

LEE

E.

231

move, struck uselessly southward

On May

communications.

14,

Johnston was harried out of the

What

this

meant was

in a search for a nonexistent line of

Grant reached Jackson, and a surprised city.

that Grant

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

actual one.

to

city.

Vicksburg was virtually under

advance on

it

and

to

make

the siege an

In the process, from crossing the river to forming siege lines

May

about Vicksburg by handling his army

22,

Grant had

won

five victories in three

weeks,

faultlessly.

TURNING POINT was

It

this situation

Vicksburg

— that

— Grant's

victories

and the approaching

siege of

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

raise the

siege of Vicksburg?

Lee thought otherwise. He was not sure he could move and

effectively

enough on the battered

Besides, he did not

want

(Lee fought only for his year before It

to leave Virginia

state.)

He

his

army quickly

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

remain in

its territory.

All

he needed to do was to win one great

Chancellorsville-fashion, and, follow, the

After

all,

victory,

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

And

— only to let

such a victory might even be enough to gain

was not the Union

that

Lee succeeded

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.

Virginia into

War.

two

states

was the only

territorial

This division of

change resulting from the Civil

232

OUR FEDERAL UNION

British help at last,

continuing to

case that the Union insisted on

in the unlikely

fight.

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,

for three

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.

The system

also

gave grafting politicians an opportunity to take

care of their friends.

not surprising, then, that there were riots and that the war reached

It is

a peak of unpopularity. 1863,

when New York

The

fiercest riots

occurred from July 13 to 16,

City underwent four days of anarchy.

The

city's

Irish-American population, incensed at being dragged into the army to fight for

Black freedom while Blacks

jobs for lower wages,

went

at

home were used and

wild. Blacks

to replace

city officials

them

at

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

restore order.

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

macks could,

in the

at the

the Union blockade, which had, by now,

become

strong and tight.

On June 7, 1863, The Confederacy could also month after the Battle of Chancellorsville, a French army occupied count on France

a

bow; these super-Merri-

hands of the Confederate seamen, very possibly break

Mexico

City.

Napoleon

III

for help.

could not possibly hope to hold Mexico

Union won, so he would be sure

to use

if

the

Mexico as a base from which

to

keep the Confederacy supplied with food and ammunition.

With

all this,

perhaps, in mind, Lee began shifting his army

and then northward, while Hooker was

still

first

west

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.

Valley.

Jeb Stuart, the great cavalry commander of the Confederate army, kept his

men on

the army's right flank, masking

its

movements from Hooker and

keeping aware of possible countermovements by the Union forces.

Through the

first

two years of the war, the Confederate cavalry had

ROBERT been

LEE

E.

233

far superior to the

Union cavalry, so that

who saw

always been the Confederates

who

fought blind

The Union

in the great battles,

clearly,

it

had

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

it,

on each

Stuart finally

side.

managed

to get

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.

at

This

made

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

the Union

movement. Second,

time, of Lee's northward

first

were hurt

First,

men

for a gallant

off

still

the best cavalry leader in the

on a wide foray

all

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.

Hooker,

who was

to strike at

still

in

command

that a Confederate victory

on Union

and that having a Union army fact.

of the

Richmond while Lee was

off in

of the Potomac,

wanted

the north, but Lincoln

territory

sitting in

Hooker was therefore ordered

Army

knew

might very well end the war

Richmond wouldn't change army and to keep

to follow Lee's

that that

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

his

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

onto the

234 at

OUR FEDERAL UNION Cadiz,

of American parents,

Spain,

on December 31, 1815) was

appointed.

Meade had fought

in every battle in Virginia,

had been wounded during

the Peninsular Campaign, and had tried to get Hooker to attack

had flinched

latter

when

the

at Chancellorsville.

Meade followed Lee

into Pennsylvania, intending to

keep

army

his

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

army seemed

to

be centering about Cashtown, about twelve miles

north of the Mason-Dixon line and about

miles northwest of

fifty-five

Meade sent forth the Union cavalry under Buford to see what was happening. The cavalry clattered through Gettysburg, six miles Baltimore.

southeast of Cashtown.

As

it

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.

The

fight,

however, proved to be a whirlpool which drew in more and more soldiers

from both

Over the next three

sides.

fought — the

days, the Battle of Gettysburg

greatest battle of the Civil

War, the

was

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

first.

had the better of

it

(Meade himself

fighting, the

He

came

for the

Confederates till

the

know where the Union too many chances until

didn't

were concentrated, and he dared not take

Longstreet

As

day of

didn't even reach the battlefield

second day), but Lee was fighting blind. forces

was a matter of who could

it

first

up.

Union

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

On

fight at this site,

— but

he hadn't and that made

all

the difference.)

July 2, the second day of the battle, the Confederate

their only choice

Longstreet defensive

was

to attack the strong

argued against doing so

— but

the Union

1.

he would certainly have occupied

army found

Union positions on the

— he

wanted

to

heights.

remain on the

army wouldn't cooperate. They could

easily

ROBERT

LEE

E.

235

outwait the hungry Confederates and they proceeded to do

midafternoon, the Confederates attacked desperately. for hours,

The

fight

In

so.

seesawed

but the Union lines held, and both armies again halted for the

night.

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

sides

had

argued against

it

suffered badly,

again, but

Lee overruled him.

Fresh troops had reached the Confederate army, under George Edward Pickett (born at Richmond, Virginia,

on January

25, 1825);

Lee planned

to

use these troops in a charge that would, he hoped, break through the

Union

line

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

is

called "Pickett's Charge,"

was under Longstreet's command. At 3 p.m. on July

3,

fifteen

thousand Confederate soldiers moved

forward across the fourteen hundred yards of open line

for

fields

entrenched on top of the heights. The Confederate

two

Union

hours in preparation,

artillery,

toward the Union artillery

had

fired

but their shots had gone over the heads of the

which now prepared

to take their revenge for Fredericks-

burg.

The Union

artillery, intact

and

silent,

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

A

relentlessly.

fire

few men

die there.

An

inconsiderable fraction survived. Pickett's

Charge

acy," as though

it

is

sometimes called "the high noon of the Confeder-

had been a reach

for victory

which missed by an

inch.

Actually, the charge didn't have a chance.

Once

it

was

over,

Lee had

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

army.

He had endured

moved

wearily south with what was

show left of

twenty-eight thousand casualties out of his

seventy-five-thousand-man army.

Upon

reaching the Potomac, he found

This would have been the

and struck

again,

last

it

rain-swollen and impassable.

straw for Lee's army, had

and Lincoln desperately ordered Meade

However, the Union army had been heavily

hit, too,

Meade pursued to

do

just that.

with twenty-three

236

OUR FEDERAL UNION

thousand casualties out of the eighty-eight thousand

who had

fought.

That, combined with the rains that were falling and the terror that Lee

always inspired in Union generals,

move

fast

made Meade

feel

he simply could not

enough.

Lee escaped

to Virginia to fight another day,

and by August

1,

both

armies were again in the positions they had been occupying for the past

two

years.

He On

Lincoln mourned the

could not remove a general

lost

chance, but he did not

who had

just

fire

Meade.

beaten Lee.

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

Five days

later,

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

Mississippi River

soon

after,

sea.")

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

it

was.

The armored rams were was building could

now

to sail as

tell

being built in Great Britain, but the Union

the British government coldly that

Confederate

if

Adams

the rams were allowed

meant war. In the aftermath of Gettysburg, risk war and took the rams into the British navy

ships,

Great Britain chose not to instead.

still

ships that could serve as privateers at a great rate;

it

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.

12

ULYSSES

S.

GRANT

ROSECRANS FAILS During the entire

first

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

wasn't

till

the fight that

move

till

it

Union

was a threat

ready.

June 26, 1863, with the armies in the east maneuvering for

was soon

to explode in Gettysburg, that Rosecrans felt ready

There followed two months of smooth marching and clever

to attack.

maneuvering on the part of the Union army,

as Rosecrans

aimed

at Bragg's

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

fight,

on September

entirely.

Rosecrans took Chattanooga,

8.

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.

238

OUR FEDERAL UNION

The Confederacy, however, was smarting over

defeats at Gettysburg

its

and Vicksburg, and Jefferson Davis personally ordered Longstreet with strong forces, from Lee's army to Bragg's.

to

move,

Bragg, not one of the Confederacy's better generals, missed a couple of

chances to defeat the Union army in just the

be

same, for he

knew

detail,

that soon

but he was preparing for battle

(when Longstreet

arrived)

an almost unique position for a Confederate general

in

he would

— 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

On

September

Creek

19, the

his

men and

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,

it

Chattanooga

was

— an

area so

virtually impossible for

was going

The day ended

on.

and Bragg had the pleasure of seeing Longstreet

arrive that

night.

On

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

army

way

line, just as

an

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

men

his

Confederates long enough to make

it

In the

stood immovably, fighting off the

possible for the

Union army

to beat

an orderly retreat to Chattanooga. (Thomas has been called "the Rock of

Chickamauga" ever

since.)

Had

see what was happening and

Rosecrans had the coolness and nerve to

around Thomas, the battle might have

rally

ended otherwise.

Though the

Battle of

Chickamauga was a Confederate

victory, the

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

to

were therefore not in army traveled the ten miles northward

for the Union. Bragg's forces

a position to pursue, and the Union

Chattanooga unmolested.

— again a

Confederate casualties

ULYSSES

GRANT

S.

Once

his

and placed

239

men had under

it

That was

it

recovered, however, Bragg advanced on Chattanooga siege.

Lincoln had congratulated Grant on the

for Rosecrans.

capture of Vicksburg and had promoted him to major general; on October

Lincoln placed Grant in charge of

16,

Appalachians. Grant's

act

first

was

the armies west of the

all

to replace Rosecrans with

Thomas.

He

then came to Chattanooga himself and saw that the city was almost surrounded, that

its

supply lines were completely insufficient, and that the

Union army might very well be starved

He

into surrender.

reacted with characteristic energy,

seizing territory along the

first

Tennessee River, then throwing a pontoon bridge across adequate

He

communications.

Hooker and Sherman and began While

this

was going

gathered

next

under

to prepare for an offensive.

on, Lincoln

was

traveling to Gettysburg.

had been converted

of that great battlefield

and establishing

it

reinforcements

A portion

into a cemetery

where

thousands of dead soldiers were

on November tial

19, 1863,

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

if

came

Everett

his

through.

speech and delivered

and grandiose orations then

it

in vogue.

Lincoln,

presence to the ceremony, had agreed.

He had memorized

his thirteen-thousand-word

over a period of two hours with

all

the flourish and

polish of an accomplished orator.

Then,

finally,

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

is

perhaps the shortest of

— and perhaps the greatest.

all

The Gettysburg

it.

true to us today, although

common language

through quoting

and requoting. Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought continent, a

new

proposition that

Now we

nation, conceived in Liberty,

all

men

forth

and dedicated

on

this

to the

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.

We

are

met on a

great battle-field of that war.

dedicate a portion of that

field,

He and

the great speeches preserved by

It still rings

every phrase has become part of the

for liberty,

as a final

We

have come to

resting place for those

who

240

OUR FEDERAL UNION here gave their

lives that that nation

and proper that we should do But, in a larger sense,

— we who

detract.

say here, but

live.

cannot dedicate

altogether fitting

It is

— we cannot consecrate

The brave men,

ground.

struggled here have consecrated

add or

The world will little

it,

far

living

be dedicated here

remember what we

note, nor long

fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.

It is for

we

which they gave the

us the

work which they

to the unfinished

It is

rather for us to

be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us these honored dead

and dead,

above our poor power to

can never forget what they did here.

it

living, rather, to

who

we

— this

cannot hallow

might

this.

— that

from

take increased devotion to that cause for

last full

— that we here — that this freedom — and that

measure of devotion

highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain nation,

under God,

have a new birth of

shall

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,

and Sherman

at the

resistance, for the

1863,

Confederate

when

Hooker struck

right.

the Chattanooga

at the

Confederate

They slogged away

Confederate army (outnumbered

against

this time)

was

stiff

in a

strongly defensible position.

Bragg drew

his

men back

particularly difficult for the

to

Missionary Ridge, which would be

Union forces

to storm,

and the

fighting

was

renewed the next day. At that time, Thomas's men

who had

in the center,

who had been among

those

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.

It

broke

The

sight of the wild

toward them, apparently oblivious to the

their spirit.

It

was a

Confederate forces broke. situation,

hill,

was a foolhardy move, but the Confederate

happened, could take no more. recklessly

up the

"Pickett's

aiming for the soldiers,

as

it

men, moving

artillery firing at

Charge" that worked,

them,

for the

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

Chickamauga.

ULYSSES

GRANT

S.

241

Grant was now the complete hero of the day

came

Washington

to

personal thanks. Grant

Even the

cared.

made

I'd

Union

and untrue, rumors that he was a drunkard

persistent,

all

a complaint reached him, "I wish

send a few cases to

my

He

side.

and Lincoln's

a most unimpressive appearance but no one

could harm him no more; Lincoln laid them

when such

for the

to receive a medal, another promotion,

I

to rest

by remarking,

knew what brand he

dryly,

drank;

other generals."

3SSSSSS7

5

/\\\\\\V\

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.

first

proceed according to

was happening

cities

own commander's

in other theaters.

now and he meant Sherman

its

to

have

all

All

No

were under Grant's

move

once

at

longer did each

wishes without regard to what

— Meade

iron supervision

any longer, not even Richmond. His target was the Confederate

armies; once they

Sherman, Johnston,

were destroyed, the

in the

who had

cities

would

fall

by themselves.

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

Lee and

didn't intend to let go

Grant spent March and April organizing generals. it,

and

in Virginia

Secondly, Grant was not aiming at

in Georgia, in particular.

On May 4,

1864, Grant's

his armies

army (Meade was

as

till it

and

actually

it

headed

was

over.

briefing his

commanding

but he and Grant worked very closely together) headed south, and on

May It

7,

Sherman's army moved southward

was Grant's intention

to

move around

again and again, and then fight

him

at

also.

Lee's flank, force

some point

him

to retreat

of Grant's choosing,

doing to him what Rosecrans had done to Bragg nearly a year before in Tennessee. Lee, however, was no Bragg.

He

caught Grant's army on

May

242

OUR FEDERAL UNION

5 in the Wilderness, the rugged tree-tangled country where the Battle of Chancellorsville

had been fought and

by the Union

lost

just

one year

make

the best

earlier.

The overgrown

terrain

made

it

impossible for Grant to

use of his greater mass of men, and the Confederates

knew

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,

who

Grant had to

without the aid of the flank attack and

diversion on

fight, therefore,

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

The

battle

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.

This time

grimly accepted the losses and got ready to

move forward

around Lee's

to get

Lee countered

it

did not. again,

still

Grant trying

right flank.

this

second

move southeastward, and

effort, too,

but in order to do

so,

he had to

the two armies met once more at Spotsylvania,

eleven miles southeast of Chancellorsville.

For another

five days,

from

May

8 to

May

12, the

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

soil.

slugging relentlessly and

'

When Lee

tried to lead

some of these reinforcements into battle, they till Lee agreed to remain behind — where

stopped dead and would not go on

he belonged.

ULYSSES

S.

GRANT

Washington to the takes

all

243 effect that "I

propose to

fight

out along this line

it

if it

summer."

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,

neutralized

New

York, on

after

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

May

11, at

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

battlefield.

(Nevertheless,

had Sheridan

fought in close cooperation with Grant's infantry, rather than trying to out-Stuart Stuart, Grant's push might have

Once

been

less

bloody for the Union.)

the fighting at Spotsylvania died down, Grant again

around Lee's right

flank,

and again Lee moved

moved

to get

to prevent this. This time,

Lee carefully prepared the next holding point. The two armies slipped and slid

southeastward, and on June

Cold Harbor,

less

1,

Lee reached that prepared point

than ten miles east of Richmond.

Two

at

years before,

McClellan's army had fought in this area and, although only very lightly

damaged, had retreated.

Now

it

was Grant's army

that

was there

— badly

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

had been

might crumple position,

it

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

month

To be

sure,

had reached the neighborhood of Richmond. Grant had suffered heavy losses, but so had Lee. In fact, Lee's

of fighting, Grant

244

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

He

Grant's. it

push

decided to send an army up the Shenandoah Valley and have

as close to

Washington

as possible, in the

hope that Grant would

then be recalled.

The

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,

led

some twenty thousand men northeastward toward Washington.

Speed was all-important. Early had to reach Washington surprise city

as a

complete

and before any force could be mobilized against him. Only

were caught unawares and made

to feel

its

if

the

defenselessness could he

count on a frightened government crying out for Grant's protection.

By

July 9, Early

had crossed the Potomac and was

River, only forty miles west of Washington; there

force under

Lew

Wallace (born

Wallace (who, twenty years

in Brookville, Indiana,

later,

would write the

Hur) had fought at Fort Donelson and Shiloh;

however,

at

at the

Monocacy

he encountered a Union on April

10, 1827).

best-selling novel

Ben

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

the city.

fight.

When

Early reached Washington on July 11, the most he could

do was exchange some Early's raid brought

fire

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

topped by

his usual tall hat

made him an

lost in

thought,

easy target.

A

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

civilians, lieutenant."

for

ULYSSES

S.

GRANT

army;

Lee's

245 Confederate hearts, but the foray had not

raised

this

accomplished what Lee had hoped.

Grant was not going to

the

let

powder-flash of that raid drive him away from Lee's throat, nor was

Lincoln going to

command Grant

to

come home. make another attempt

Indeed, after Cold Harbor, Grant decided to fourth) to

move around

(his

Lee's right flank. Against Halleck's advice, Grant

crossed the James River on June 12, handling this difficult

moved beyond

movement

was his intention to capture Petersburg, twenty miles south of Richmond, and from there hammer

perfectly,

and

finally

Lee.

It

again at Lee.

The plan was

movement brought him

Grant's quick

feasible.

Petersburg that was virtually undefended.

commanders on the for

without Grant there to drive them on, delayed

spot,

one reason or another, and night

themselves to

move

in

army

into Petersburg,

battle

on Petersburg's

to a

However, the various Union

on the

city.

fell

before they could actually bring

That night, Lee desperately poured

and by morning outskirts costing

it

was too

late.

his

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

settled

hammering away

each other, Sherman had been carrying through an

at

advance very much

enemy very much

like

like

Grant's in northwestern Georgia, against an

Lee.

Sherman slipped around the

Sherman slugged and Johnston parried; and Johnston retreated; then Sherman

flank

slugged and Johnston parried again.

By June

27,

Sherman had worked

his

way down

to

Kennesaw Mountain,

a hundred miles southeast of Chattanooga and only thirty miles north of Atlanta,

which was the most important

acy south of Virginia. Now,

like

Grant

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,

like Grant,

advanced anyway.

RENOMINATION Grant and Sherman were destroying the Confederacy, but

at a great

246

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.

results

Grant's reputation, in particular, plummeted. His popularity casualty

He became "Grant

lists rose.

fell

as the

the Butcher" and no notice was

taken of the fact that Lee's losses had actually been higher in proportion to

numbers and

his total

where It

it

that Lee's great

army had been battered

to the point

could never take the offensive again.

was not

surprising, then, that as

1864 wore on, the Democrats grew

stronger and the clamor for peace, even at the price of Confederate

independence, crescendoed.

As

for the Radical Republicans, they

were

just as

annoyed

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

when

victory

was complete.

On May

31,

some Radical Republi-

cans held a convention in Cleveland and nominated Fremont as their presidential candidate.

Lincoln grew sorrowfully aware that

be reelected. Furthermore,

it

his victorious

seemed unlikely

that

he would

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

election

had taken place

emergency. After

provision for postponing an election, of 1864

all,

it

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

in wartime,

all

about.

all,

Once

make

that document.

the attempt.

A rigid

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

emergencies until

it

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

them;

if

all,

had

to take the

if it

did win the war.

A

free

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

free

and open election procedure, with

ULYSSES

GRANT

S.

247

opponents of the administration at liberty to denounce government policy — as though the deepest peace and greatest security prevailed.

and the war

The United

States has rarely shone as brightly in the world as

it

did at this

point.

On

June

Baltimore.

the

7,

the Union party (Republicans and

On

the

Van Buren

in

Republican, and the Union Party had to prove that as

many

it

He was a Radical was nonpartisan and

of those crucial Democratic votes as possible.

wanted, then, was a

in

1840 to run for reelection.

Hannibal Hamlin was not renominated, however.

win

Democrats) met

Lincoln was renominated, thus becoming

first ballot,

President since Martin

first

War

War Democrat, and

What was

the likely choice was

Andrew

Johnson (born at Raleigh, North Carolina, on December 29, 1808).

Johnson had grown up in abysmal poverty and was utterly without an education.

but

it

Working

was not

till

as

after

an apprentice

tailor,

he had taught himself to read,

he was married that he was taught how to write by

his wife.

When

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

Tennessee and,

first

as a congressman,

later, in 1857, as

he had then served

a senator.

Johnson had opposed secession and had carried his beliefs to the point

where he

alone, of

remained

in the

all

the slave-state senators, abandoned his state and

United States Senate.

When

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

were merely

November. Lincoln had

development that would make

it

made

Union

still

sense to existed.

be a step toward defeat

to

to wait for

clear that the

it

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.

Virginia

had slowed

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,

248

OUR FEDERAL UNION

Kentucky, on June

1,

1831). Davis felt

Hood, who had been wounded

at

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.

But neither

And meanwhile,

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

side.

a big hole in the Confederate lines and then send

The

men

idea

through

was it

to

blow

under the

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.

up the

artillery support, sent his

While they were struggling

men

to climb the farther Up, the

Confederates recovered and, finding they had a large mass of soldiers helpless in a hole, killed as

many

nearly four thousand men.

as they could.

Now

The

at last Burnside

cost to the

Union was

was taken out of the

army.*

The

situation

on the

political front that

summer was no

better.

The

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

ordinary

human beings

a military man.

are permitted to be, but this

The beleaguered Lincoln

managed such a coup, wringing one victory."

last

was going too

far

even

for

observed, "Only Burnside could have spectacular defeat from the jaws of

ULYSSES

S.

GRANT

249

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

bill

Radical Republicanism was powerful.

The it

bill

passed both houses on July

before Congress had ended

its

1864, but Lincoln refused to sign

4,

— thus,

session

in effect, vetoing

earned him a fresh access of fury on the part of the Radicals, and to

seem

as

though Fremont might draw a

fatal

number

of votes

it.

it

This

began

away from

Lincoln.

The Radical

influence

was even

work within Lincoln's

at

Salmon Portland Chase had proved a most

cabinet.

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.

On

June 28, 1864, however, Chase

again offered to resign over some small, easily reconciled difference, and on

June 29 Lincoln calmly accepted the resignation.

Only

at sea

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.

One

of his ships

New

was sunk when

it

Orleans,

now moved

into Mobile

collided with a floating explosive

container (now called mines, but then called torpedoes), and Farragut was

urged by some of his

"Damn

officers to

the torpedoes!"

hold back. Furiously, Farragut shouted,

Ordering

full

speed ahead, he quickly seized

control of the bay and forced the forts on

its

shore to surrender.

250

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

much

of good

bloodletting.

When

August 29, 1864, then,

the Democrats finally

it

was

mood

a

in

met

of expectant

victory

convincing a nation to accept defeat could be called victory.

convention was controlled by outright defeatists,

on

at Chicago,



if

The

and Vallandigham

himself wrote that part of the campaign plank calling for a cease-fire.

The Democrats then of strategy

He

carried through

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

idle since

who had been

jealousy and incapacity.

bit

as their candidate.

prevented from

McClellan,

still

in

Antietam, accepted.

McClellan did not quite have the face to accept the peace platform and, repudiating

it,

called for continuation of the

war

to victory.

could doubt that once president, given his innate inability to

and

his certain failure to

However, who

move forward who would

withstand the Peace Democrats

surround him, he would bring the Civil

War

to

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).

And

then, almost immediately after the Democrats, riding high,

concluded their convention, everything began to All during the

month

fall

apart for them.

Sherman had been methodically until, as the month ended and the

of August,

extending his lines around Atlanta,

Democrats were meeting, he was on the point of surrounding the altogether. *

Hood dared

not remain.

So sure was Lincoln of

McClellan

had

this that

fully after the latter's

On

he made

September

his cabinet

1,

just after

swear to cooperate with

expected victory in November,

in

order that

the war be concluded before his inauguration in March. If the Union were not

saved by then, said Lincoln,

it

could not be saved afterward.

city

McClel-

ULYSSES

GRANT

Sherman marched

Union

251

Hood

nomination,

lan's 2,

S.

army out of the city, and on September The news of the capture of Atlanta drove the

pulled his

in.

to a height of hysterical enthusiasm.

Other good news began to pour continued to

more

sit

forays along the

from

Virginia.

Shenandoah Valley such

had frightened Washington. Stuart,

in

While the army

before Petersburg, Grant was determined that there be no

was sent out

in

as that with

which Early

who had put an end to do the job. He was to drive

Phil Sheridan,

August to

Confederate troops out of the valley and then devastate

it,

Jeb the

to prevent

its

use as a food store for Lee's army.

Sheridan went to work with a jpare

will.

In theory, his army was supposed to

noncombatants and avoid destroying anything not of war-use. But

>uch considerations were scarcely valid

when

the

:

or over three years with soldiers on both sides

itrocities.°

The Union

aiming the beautiful and Sheridan's

soldiers

began to destroy everything

fruitful valley into

sweep through the

war had been going on looting and committing

valley

capture of Atlanta, and Union hearts

in sight,

scorched earth. The news of

was added

to that of Sherman's

were further gladdened.

Early was sent in to stop Sheridan, but the Union cavalry was •upreme.

On

September

19,

now

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,

on

September 22.

The

devastation being conducted by Sheridan's troops continued, but

Early

made one

miles

south of Winchester, and Sheridan, returning from a

last try.

The Union army was

at

Cedar Creek, twenty visit

to

Washington, stopped over in Winchester, certain that the Confederates

would not

attack.

Early did attack, however, on October 19, 1864, and began to drive

back the scattered Union

forces,

which had been taken by

surprise.

Sheridan, informed of this development, hastened to the scene, spurring like a

madman when he came

men, who went wild with joy °

There was,

to the final stretch. at the sight of him,

for instance, a gambler, thief,

He

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

into

252

OUR FEDERAL UNION

the battle and to complete victory.

Shenandoah Valley

The Confederacy was driven out

of the

forever.

"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

last.

weight of disaster after

remained firm while

September

22,

time to make Lincoln

just in

he alone, under the

Fremont abandoned the Radical Republican

race, and, to a

to flock to Lincoln again, while the

Democrats

audiences begin to cool.

On

Slave states continued to diminish, free states to expand. 13, 1864,

for the Radical Republicans

by

October

Maryland adopted an antislavery constitution and became a

state (the twenty-first, including

States

full

had neither bent nor buckled but had the little men had howled about him. On

disaster,

all

man, the Radicals began felt their

came

to realize that

constitutional

West

Every free

Virginia).

were planning

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

its

its silver

free

state counted,

For

forever.

it

The Nevada

this

Territory,

mines, was ardently antislavery,

population had not yet reached the required level,

was allowed

into the

state of the

Union (and the twenty-second

Union on October 31, 1864, becoming the free state,

now

it

thirty-sixth

that

Maryland

had switched).

On November

8,

won, becoming the

1864, the presidential election first

was

held,

and Lincoln

president to be reelected since Jackson in 1832. In

terms of the popular vote, Lincoln scored 2.2 million (55 percent of the total)

as against

1.8 million for McClellan.

Confederacy did not vote, even where their control.

Of

The eleven territory

states of the

was under Union

the remaining twenty-five states, McClellan

electoral votes of

two border

states,

won

the 21

Delaware and Kentucky, plus

New

both houses of the

new

Jersey.

The Republicans

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

sixty years,

was

so tainted

by

this last

in the

campaign that

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.

KENTUCKY

VIRGINIA

• Nashville TENNESSEE

^

Chattanooga

1

Chickamauga

Kennesaw Mt.

ALABAMA

q Atlanta GEORGIA

Georgia and the Carolinas

OCEAN

sent contingents into Tennessee to destroy those lines of

communi-

but the Rock of Chickamauga, Thomas, was waiting for them.

cation,

December valor

ATLANTIC

War

in the Civil

Hood

;:•

by

16,

Hood's army was defeated

one Confederate cavalry leader never defeated

Forrest, the

On

at Nashville (despite prodigies of )

and

reeled out of Tennessee never to return.

Meanwhile, Sherman had decided to forget about

his lines of

Atlanta

— in

flames



it

was not

to retreat but to

move

communi-

When

cation altogether (as he and Grant had done at Vicksburg).

he

left

southeastward,

farther into Georgia.

On November

16, 1864,

march of some 270 miles whatever was

left over.

swept locust-clean then

with an army of sixty thousand men, he began a to the sea, living off the land

and destroying

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

"War

lessons.

By December

22,

Sherman was

in Savannah,

on Georgia's

coast;

he sent

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."

254

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

He

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

Supreme Court

to

assumptions of war powers but was never given the chance.

tional)

December

Lincoln selected Chase

6,

(his

Radical Republican

rival)

On to

replace Taney.

As 1865 opened, then, the was confined shrink rapidly.

On

northward.

On

effective fighting

power

and the Carolinas, and

to Virginia

February

February

1,

17,

Sherman

left

of the Confederacy

that theater

he took and burned Columbia, the

South Carolina. The next day he took Charleston, where

He

over four years before.

just

Wilmington on February

Even now, however, was

lost or that

commander

had

move

capital of all

begun

22.

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

field,

the war was not over.

So Lincoln approached his second inaugural on March flickering faintly

still

it

to

to

then went on to North Carolina, taking

indeed, while Lee remained in the

war

began

Savannah and began

and with Lee

— the

4,

1865, with the

greatest soldier in a losing

cause the world had seen since Hannibal, over two thousand years before

As



still

undefeated.

for Lincoln,

the approach of the end was no time for partisan

rejoicing or triumph over a fallen foe

Lincoln — undoubtedly

spoke of enemies

who had

put up so marvelous a

the greatest American

who would

none, with charity for

all,

his

his

and

lasting

*

his

the guns

with firmness in the right as

work we are

God in,

gives us to see

to bind

for

peace among ourselves and with

He and

moment

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

widow and

He

Gettysburg Address: "With malice toward

the right, let us strive on to finish the nation's

— instead

cease being enemies the

stopped and once again be fellow Americans. speech with words to match

who

fight.

ever lived

all

nations."

Marshall had headed the Supreme Court, in succession, for over sixty

years, a remarkable record of stability for an elective democracy.

ULYSSES

GRANT

S.

255

— AND DEATH

VICTORY

Lee's ever-weakening

army

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

On

April

Lee

1865,

1,

tried

one

last assault,

and when

it

was stopped

dead, he decided he would have to abandon Petersburg and join Johnston's

army, which was

now

in

North Carolina. Together, they might carry on

somehow.

On April

Lee pulled

2,

his troops out of

and the Confederate government

both Petersburg and Richmond;

Grant pursued,

left its capital, too.*

object being not to try to destroy

Lee

in fire

and

remain between Lee and Johnston until Lee and

his

battle but simply to his

men

could

finally

move no more. In

this,

he succeeded, and on April

thousand,

Grant

at

9,

Lee, with his army shrunk to thirty

and unable to move another

starving

all

Appomattox Court House,

sixty-five miles

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

down

their

arms

that spring. The armies remaining in that part of the Confederacy west of

the Mississippi surrendered on

surrender

The

till

Civil

June

May

26,

though Galveston, Texas, did not

2.

War was

over and there was no immediate fury of revenge.

There were no immediate

trials,

executions, slaughters.

The surrender

terms were mild, in line with the tenderness of Lincoln's second inaugural address.

There had,

after

all,

been enough

almost a million casualties

— by

slaughter.

All told, there

far the bloodiest

American

had been losses

in

proportion to population that the United States had ever suffered, or was to suffer in

war down

And, on April most tragic of *

On

to this day.

14, 1865, to all those casualties

all.

April 5, Lincoln arrived in

which

was added one more

his armies

had

Richmond and walked through

striven for so long.

the city for

— the

256

OUR FEDERAL UNION

Washington was

in

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,

relatively unnoticed.

member

Maryland, on August 26, 1838), a

of a

and the only member of the troupe

family

come

This was John Wilkes Booth (born near Bel

to

renowned

theatrical

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

so),

he apparently decided that something

could be gained by killing the president now, even though

The

Secret Service guards

who were supposed

box were watching the play instead.

to

it

was

all

over.

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

managed

He was

to get away.

October 26

in a

Virginia's state motto,

is

pursued and

finally located

barn near Bowling Green, Virginia,

and

and shot on

sixty-five miles

south

of Washington.

But what good was that? What did Booth's miserable

way

or the other?

dead, the of

War

first

By

matter one

7:22 a.m. on the morning of the 15th, Lincoln was

American president

Stanton,

life

"Now he

be

to

assassinated.

Whispered Secretary

belongs to the ages."

Lincoln was killed at the

moment

of victory, having, virtually alone,

provided the backbone and wisdom that had saved the Union. The nation, in its

moment

was thrown into mourning. West Hills, Long Island, New

of exultation,

Walt Whitman (born

in

1819) expressed the heartbreak in the

first

verse of

York, on

"O

Captain!

Captain!":

O Captain! my The

Captain! our fearful

trip is

done,

ship has weather'd every rack, the prize

The port

is

we sought

won,

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,

But

is

heart! heart! heart!

Where on

the deck

Fallen cold

my

Captain

and dead.

lies,

May

13,

My

ULYSSES

GRANT

S.

257

But Lincoln's assassination was not a personal tragedy

deep defeat

for the

United States and, most of

all,

at

all; it

was a had

for those states that

formed the now-defunct Confederate States of America. Lincoln, with the

enormous prestige of

his victory,

might have been able to hold back the

Radical Republicans dominating Congress.

He

might have been able to

arrange the magnanimous peace he wanted and to heal the wounds of the

war before Instead, tried hard,

his

second term was over.

Andrew Johnson was now

slipped into decades of itself

president.

He was

a good

man who

but he lacked the talents required by the times, and the nation

venom and

and leaving behind

corruption, nearly as tragic as the

effects that trouble us

all

to this day.

war

)

A TABLE OF DATES

1816

Second Bank of United States estab-

April 10

the

1819

College case

lished

April first

27

Tariff

of

February 22 Adams-Onis Treaty; United States an-

1816;

protectionist tariff

27 Seminole

of

Start

July

nexes Florida

First

War

March 6 James Mon-

December 4

decides

Maryland

December 14

December

Indiana en-

enters

the

as the 19th

22nd

state

11

Union

state (10th free state)

Monroe inaug-

March 4

(11th

slave

1820

Population of the United States, 9,638,453

December 10

Mississippi

Union

the

enters

20th

Alabama Union as the

state)

urated

1818

Supreme Court McCullough vs.

roe elected 5th President of the United States ters the

1817

February 2 Supreme Court decides Dartmouth

state

(10th

March 6

the

as

Missouri

Com-

Maine

enters

promise

slave

March

15

state)

the Union as the 23rd state

December 26 Andrew Jackson takes command in First Seminole War April 4 Present design of

December 6

American April 7

adopted Jackson takes

(12th free state)

1821

flag

re-

January 17

Moses Austin

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

two Englishmen

in Florida takes Jackson Pensacola, Florida December 3 Illinois enters the Union as the 21st state (11th free state)

May

Monroe

elected

inauguration

24

August 10 Missouri enters Union as the 24th state (

1822

12th slave state

December 12

United

A TABLE OF DATES

260

Hayne debate Church of LatterDay Saints (Mormons) or-

Mexican independence December 2 Monroe Doctrine announced February 14 Last presidential nominating caucus States recognizes

1823 1824

April 6

Marquis

14

Lafayette

arrives

May

de

December

Presidential

1

House

February 9 resentatives

1831

of

elects

RepJohn

rebellion

Mexico opens

1832

September 26 Anti-Mason Party founded January 9 Biddle moves

Bank

doors to American settlers

to

Texas June 17

United States January 27 William L. March's speech gives name to "spoils system" April 6 Black Hawk In-

in

Lafayette lays cornerstone of Bunker Hill

Monument October 26 Erie Canal completed July 4 John Adams and

Thomas

May

"Tariff of

July 4

ary

the

begins

War

Revolution-

general, dies

Black Hawk Inends November 14 Charles

August 2 dian

Abom-

(first in

of

Thomas Sumter,

1

surviving

last

becomes law Baltimore and

Ohio Railroad

War

dian

Jefferson die

19

recharter

June

September 22 Joseph Smith finds golden plates of the "Book of Mormon" inations"

1830

and Ohio

James Monroe dies 21 Nat Turner's

July 4

rated

March 24

First 13-mile sec-

January 1 William Lloyd Garrison founds The Lib-

August

Adams inaugu-

March 4

24

toasts

—"

erator

Quincy Adams 6th President of the United States

1829

Jackson

railroad completed

election inconclusive

1828

13

completely

tion of Baltimore

the

in

United States

1827

religious sect

"Our Federal Union

August

1826

first

April

held

1825

ganized;

American

War

Carroll,

last

surviving

of the

signer

Declaration

of Independence, dies

the

United States) begins con-

November 24

struction

olina passes Ordinance of

December 3 Andrew Jackson elected 7th President of the United States March 4 Jackson inaugurated Population of the United States,

January

19-27

Nullification

December 5

Webster-

Jackson re-

elected

December 10

Jackson

issues proclamation against nullification

1833

12,866,020

South Car-

March 2 Force

Jackson

puts

Bill into effect

A TABLE OF DATES

261

March 4 Jackson's second inauguration March 15 South Carolina rescinds Ordinance of Nul-

1837

ters the

state (13th free state)

March 3 United States recognizes Texan inde-

lification

August 28

1833

Great Britain all her

pendence

abolishes slavery in

March

possessions

augurated

October deposits

May

1 Government removed from

1835

nole

War

Elijah

by

P.

anti-

mob

December 4 Mackenzie's

William

L.

rebellion

in

Canada December

1838

March 2

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

7

killed

abolitionist

Second Semi-

begins

in-

Start of Panic of

Lovejoy

its

1836

10

November

of the United States Cyrus H. McCormick invents mechanical reaper July 6 John Marshall dies October 29 Locofoco faction of Democrats receives

name November

Van Buren

4

1837

Bank

1834

Michigan enUnion as the 26th

January 26

29 Canadians burn the Caroline August 18 Charles Wilkes sets out on Antarctic exploring expedition

1839

Durham

February 11 port

re-

foundation

lays

for

Canadian self-rule Feb.-March Aroostook

War September 25 France recTexan independ-

ognizes

ence

1840

November 13 Liberty Party founded Population of the United States, 17,069,453

the Union as the 25th state

January

(13th slave state) June 28 James Madison, last of the founding fa-

covers Antarctica March 31 Ten-hour

thers, dies

November

Specie Circular October 22 Sam Houston becomes first president of

McLeod

in connection with Caroline affair. War crisis with Great

Texas

Britain

July 11

Wilkes

19

12

Alexander

arrested

November 13

Buren elected 8th President

ain recognizes

of the United States

pendence

7

day

established in Federal jobs

Martin Van

December

dis-

Great

Brit-

Texan inde-

A TABLE OF DATES

262

December 2 William Henry Harrison elected 9th President

of

the

of the

1845

United

States

1841

March 4

March 4

Harrison inaugu-

rated

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

June 8

Bank

second Bank October 12 quitted.

War

Tyler vetoes

Pacific

Ocean

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

August 14

War

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

the Rockies

Nauvoo December 3 John Quincy Adams ends gag rule in House on slavery December 4 James K.

April 25

the

Rhode Island

1844

en-

May

ac-

ends

October 27 Slave uprising on the Creole May 18 Dorr Rebellion in

nole

Texas

as the 28th

state (15th slave state)

1846

August 9 Webster-Ashburton treaty settles American-Canadian border to 1843

Union

ters the

vetoes

McLeod

Andrew Jackson

December 29

Bill

crisis

Polk inaugu-

dies

Bill

September 9

1842

3 Florida enters the Union as the 27th state ( 14th slave state

rated

United States August 16 Tyler

United States

March

1847

(14th free state) Taylor wins

February 23 Battle of

Buena Vista

A TABLE OF DATES

263

March 29

houn

Winfield Scott

takes Vera

Cruz

Mormons under Brigham Young reach the

Clayton-Bulwer Treaty ends British-American disputes in Central

Great Salt Lake September 14 Scott takes

July

Mexico City

dies;

July 24

1848

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

American

southwest, cluding California

February 23

Adams

May

United States September 9 enters the

September 18

John Quincy

Wisconsin enters

(15th free state) August 9 Free Soil Party

1852

November 2

Kos-

Franklin

Pierce elected the 14th

Population of the United

President of the United

States, 23,191,876

January

Louis

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

dies

1850

December 5 suth,

rated

June 15

Fugitive

Law

Columbia 1851

founded

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

dies

29

California

Union

state (16th free state)

in-

the Union as the 30th state

1849

dies

April 19

29

Compromise

on

Debate of

1850 be-

States

1853

Pierce

inaugu-

rated

gins

April 18

February 5 Henry Clay's speech on the Compromise March 4 John C. Calhoun's speech on the

office

Matthew C. Perry and American fleet force

July 8

way

speech on the Compromise March 11 William H. Seward's speech on the

ster's

Cal-

Vice-President

William R. King dies in

Compromise March 7 Daniel Web-

Compromise March 31 John C.

March 4

1854

into Tokyo: opens Japan to trade December 30 Gadsden Purchase defines present American-Mexican boundary January 23 Stephen A.

A TABLE OF DATES

264

Douglas

June 16 Abraham Lincoln nominated for Senator in Illinois by Republican

Kan-

introduces

sas-Nebraska Bill May 30 Kansas -Nebraska Bill

becomes law

party

August 2

Republican Party founded October 18 Ostend ManiJuly 6

of

by Kansas August 27

festo

1855

March 30

lature elected in Kansas

1856

of "irrepressible conflict"

1859

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

October 4

Kansas adopts

Preston S. Brooks beats Senator Charles Sumner unconscious

anti-slavery

Wyandotte

Constitution

October 16 John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry December 2 John Brown

John Brown mas-

24

sacres five pro-slavery

men

Pottawotamie Creek November 4 James Buchanan elected 15th President of the United States

hanged

at

March 4

1860

February 27 Lincoln speaks at Cooper Union April 30 Slave-state delegates walk out of Democratic convention May 9 Constitutional Union convention nomi-

Buchanan inau-

cision

November 7

Pro-slave

nates John Bell for Presi-

Kansans pass Lecompton

dent

Constitution

Vote

January 4

in

May 16-18 Republican convention nominates Lincoln for President June 18-23 Democratic convention nominates

Kansas

down Lecompton

turns

Constitution

Buchanan Lecompton Consti-

February 2 backs

Douglas for President June 28 Slave-state Democrats nominate Brecken-

tution

May

11

Minnesota enters

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-

1858

February 14 Oregon enters the Union as the 33rd

May 22 Congressman

May

1857

Lincoln traps

Douglas in their debates October 25 Seward speaks

Pro-slave legis-

September 3 William Walker lends freebooting

Final rejection

Lecompton Constitution

ridge for President

1860

November 6

Abraham

A TABLE OF DATES

265

Lincoln elected 16th President of the United States December 18 Crittenden

April

December 20

1861

is

South Carosecede

1st state to

from the Union January 9 Mississippi is 2nd state to secede from the Union

May

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

Union

Alabama

soldiers

Union

January 10 Florida is 3rd state to secede from the

January 11

Union

in Baltimore; first

bloodshed of Civil War; Lincoln declares Confederacy blockaded May 6 Arkansas is 9th state to secede from the

compromise lina

19

mobbed

is

4th state to secede from the Union January 19 Georgia is 5th state to secede from the

of

Virginia

organize pro-

Union government July

21

Battle

of

Bull

Union

Run. Beauregard (C) de-

Louisiana is 6th state to secede from the

feats

Union February

sons'

January 26

1

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

August 28-29

Butler (U) takes islands off North Carolina coast

1861

1 George B. McClellan made general-

Union armies 8 Mason and Slidell removed from the Trent. Danger of war with

in-chief of

November

Lincoln inau-

gurated

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

fire at

Union

September 6 Grant (U) occupies Paducah, Kentucky

November

president

March 4

McDowell (U)

August 10

and controlled by Radical Republicans December 26

Mason and

Slidell released

1862

January 11

Edwin M.

A TABLE OF DATES

266 Stanton becomes Secretary of

Oaks

War John Tyler

January 18 dies

army

January 19 Battle of Mill Springs, Kentucky. Thomas (U) beats Crittenden (C) February 6 Grant (U) takes Fort

Henry

February 16

inconclusive.

is

6

fleet takes

Grant (U)

June 25-July

Lee

Battle.

U

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-

Richmond

May

)

C

)

forces

to retreat

armies, replacing

Mc-

from

Mc-

Clellan July 24

Buren

Martin Van dies

July 29 Alabama (C) begins raiding career

August 29-30

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)

Johnston (C).

defeats Bragg (C) December 13 Battle of

Fredericksburg, Virginia. Lee ( C ) defeats Burnside

(U) December 31

Yorktown

Battle of

Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Rosecrans (U) forces

Congress passes Homestead Act May 30 Halleck (U) oc20

cupies Corinth, Mississippi May 31 Battle of Fair

(

Seven Days

1 (

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-

nessee

1862

Clellan

S.

E.

in Virginia

June

forces surrender of Fort

feats A.

J.

and Johnston wounded, Robert E. Lee takes over command of Confederate

Bragg (C) 1863

to retreat

January 1 Emancipation Proclamation goes into

A TABLE OF DATES

267

Bragg (C) defeats Rosecrans (U) October 16 Grant given command of Union armies

effect

Grant (U)

January 30 takes

command

of drive

against Vicksburg

March 3 Union imposes compulsory draft law April 30 Grant (U) successfully

crosses the

west of Appalachians

November 19

Mis-

sissippi River

May

1-4

ChanLee (C) defeats Hooker (U) Battle of

cellorsville,

May

10

Virginia.

Stonewall

Jack-

1864

(C) March 9

Grant becomes

general-in-chief

of

Union

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)

to retreat

June 20

West

Virginia en-

Union as the 35th state Lee (C) crosses Potomac second time June 28 Lee (C) invades

Grant (U) forces Lee (C)

May

8-12

sylvania,

(U)

ters

retreat

May

erate

army

is

A

Confed-

on

free-state

Battle of SpotVirginia.

Lee

forces

June 24

Pennsylvania.

Grant (C) to

31 Radical Republicans nominate Fremont for President June 1-3 Battle of Cold

Harbor, Virginia. Lee (C)

(U)

soil

repulses Grant

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-

(U) 1863

Lincoln's

Gettysburg Address November 23-25 Battle of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Grant (U) defeats Bragg

Lee

defeats-

(C).

Turning point of war July 4 Grant (U) takes Vicksburg July 8 Port Hudson, Louisiana, in Union hands. Entire

Mississippi

River

in

Union hands July 13-16

Draft

riots in

New

York September 8

(U)

Rosecrans

takes Chattanooga,

Tennessee September 19-20 Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia.

man (U) July

9

Battle

Monocacy land.

River,

Early

Wallace (U)

(C)

at

the

Marydefeats

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

1864

explosion

the siege

at

Petersburg August 23

1865

of

Farragut (U)

(U)

Bay Democrats

South Carolina February 22 Sherman (U) takes Wilmington, North Carolina March 4 Lincoln's second

takes forts in Mobile

August 29 nominate McClellan

for

President

September 2 (

U

)

Sherman

19

Battle

takes Charleston,

inauguration Confederate government evacuates Rich-

takes Atlanta, Georgia

September

January 31 Lee appointed commander-in-chief of Confederate armies February 17 Sherman (U) takes Columbia, capital of South Carolina February 18 Sherman

April 2

of

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

April 5

dies

April 13

October 19 dar

Sheridan

Hill.

rides to site of battle

Carolina 14

(U) and

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

November

Lincoln re-

8

elected

surrenders to Sherman (U);

November 16 Sherman (U) starts march through

John Wilkes Booth caught and shot

Georgia

May

December 6

Salmon Chase becomes Chief

December

15-16 Battle Tennessee.

Nashville,

4

Lincoln buried at

Springfield, Illinois

Justice

of

Sherman (U)

takes Raleigh, North

Battle of Ce-

1865

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

Georgia

Civil

Thomas

(

U

)

defeats

Hood

War

INDEX

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

death

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,

69

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

Alexander

Anti-Catholicism, 91, 141

Antietam, Battle of, 218-220 Anti-Masonic Party, 42 election of 1832 and, 57

end

of,

59

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

Baltimore, riot

at,

270

INDEX

Black Republicans, 146 Blockade, Union, 185, 189-190, 204, 206-

207 Bolivar, Simon,

death

121 and, 51

of,

Eaton

affair

29-30 40 Jackson and, 13, 49-50 Monroe Doctrine and, 28 nullification and, 37 Oregon Territory and, 94 election of 1824 and,

34

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

and, 34-35

Texas and, 71, 93 Van Buren and, 52

Wilmot Proviso and, 111 California,

99-102

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

Caroline

76-77 47 53n

affair,

Carroll, Charles, 39,

death

of,

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,

251-252

of 1850, 117 of 1860, 161 Central America, 128-129, 136 Cerro Gordo, Battle of, 107 Chancellorsville, Battle of,

Charleston,

fall of,

226-228

254

Chase, Salmon Portland, 117, 249, 254 Chattanooga, Battle of, 240 siege of,

239

Cherokees, 53

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

INDEX

271

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,

J.

Q.

Adams

and, 31

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,

CUpper

De

Witt, 35

118 120

ships,

Coffin, Levi,

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

of,

Congress, 15th,

182 9

7,

16th, 15

32 32 21st, 42-43 22nd, 58 27th, 82 28th, 92 19th,

20th,

30th, 105

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,

George 96

Mifflin,

96

96

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,

Thomas, 80

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

Cotton, Civil

Election of 1816, 7 of 1824, 29-31 of 1828,

40-42

Creole incident, 88-89

of 1832, 58

Crimean War, 205

of 1836, 71-72

272

INDEX

of 1840, 79-82

Elector, presidential,

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

Elevator, 128

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,

246 30n

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,

9

Flag, Confederate, 174-175 Florida, 15

enters Union, 98 secession of, 168

Floyd, John, 58 Floyd, John Buchanan, 198 Foot, Samuel A., 47

Foote,

Andrew

Foote,

Henry

Force

Bill,

Forrest,

Hull, 198

Stuart, 123

61

Nathan Bedford,

199,

253

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

Fredericksburg, Battle

of,

222

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

INDEX

273

Trent affair and, 191-192 Great Salt Lake, 113 Great Lakes, disarmament on, 11

election of 1824 and, 30-31 election of 1828 and,

40-42

election of 1832 and, 58 election of 1836 and, 71

Hale, John Parker, 133 Halleck, Henry Wager, 196, 203 general-in-chief,

214

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

Impending

Crisis

election of 1844 and, 96

Florida and, 13

France and, 52-53 Indians and, 53-54 nullification crisis and,

60-62

Texas and, 67, 70-71 Unionism and, 49 Van Buren and, 50-51 Jackson,

Thomas Jonathan

(Stonewall), 180

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

death

of,

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

Imperialism, 129

Kansas, 150-151, 171

Indiana, 9

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,

53-54

Internal improvements,

6

Iowa, 98 Ironclad ships, 205-207 Island No. 10, siege of, 200 Jackson, Andrew, 12, 43

Bank

of U.S. and, 56, 62-63 Benton and, 17, 63 Calhoun and, 49-50 death of, 98n Eaton affair and, 50-51

274

INDEX

Kossuth, Lajos, 130

Locomotive, 46 Longstreet, James, 211, 228

Lafayette, Marquis de, 38, 39

Battle of

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

Lecompton

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

Constitution, 149-150

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,

44

Lincoln, Abraham, 54 assassination of,

256-257

Bank of the U.S. and, 5 Dartmouth and, 16

Battle of Fredericksburg and, 225

death

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

63

of,

Maryland, 252 invasion

of,

218-220

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

218-220 250

Battle of Antietam and, election of 1864 and, inertia of,

207-208

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

War Democrats

McDowell,

Seward and, 175 and, 228-229

Lincoln-Douglas debates, 154-156 Locofocos, 79

Irvin,

Peninsular

McLane,

186-188

Campaign and, 208

Louis, 62-63

INDEX

275

McLeod, Alexander, 77 Meade, George Gordon, 233-236, 241 Mechanicsville, Battle

of,

212

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

New

Orleans, Battle

of,

12

204 New York City, 35, 82 draft riots in, 232 Nicaragua, 136 North Carolina, 177 Nullification, 37, 55, 60-62 fall of,

of,

223, 233

Texas and, 92, 102 Mexico City, 106 capture of, 108 Michigan, 66 Miller, Stephen D., 47

My

Mill Springs, Battle of, 197

"O

Minnesota, 157

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,

Mississippi River, 183-184, 203-204,

Missouri, 125 Civil

War

in,

179, 188

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

Monocacy

of,

249

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

Napoleon Napoleon

I,

24

III,

Captain!

Captain!," 256

Oil,

223, 233

Nashville, capture of, 199

National Republican Party, 32

Native American Association, 91

236

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,

128

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

276

INDEX

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,

251n

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

Rhode "Rock

Island,

1*41

89-90

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

26

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,

26

Slave rebellions, 59-60 Slavery, 17

Monroe Doctrine and, 28

Slave states, 19, 20 Slave trade, 18, 87-88, 119, 160-161

St.

Patrick's Cathedral, 161

Salt

Lake

City, 113

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

Slidell,

Smith, Gerrit, 159 Smith,

Hyrum, 112

Smith, Joseph, 45

death of, 112 in Nauvoo, 112 Soule, Pierre, 135-136 South Carolina, 166 Fort Sumter and, 170, 176 nullification and,

secession

of,

167

Spain, 24, 25

Specie circular, 74 Spoils system, 46

37

277

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

Thomas,

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

death

of,

254

Tariff of Abominations,

Tariff of 1818,

Tariff of 1822, Tariff of 1828, Tariff of 1832,

of,

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

36

5 34 34 36 55

Taylor, Zachary, 101

death

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

123

Uncle Tom's Cabin, 127

Underground Railway,

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

boundary

of,

101

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,

36

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,

95

election of 1848 and, 116

Jackson and, 50-51 labor and, 78-79

party machine and, 35-36 tariff

of 1828 and, 36

278

INDEX

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,

Whig

Party,

Wilmot

Proviso, 111

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

death

of,

123

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

Winchester, Battle

of,

Yancey, William Lowndes, 118 Yellow Tavern, Battle of, 243 Yorktown, siege of, 209 Young, Brigham, 112-113

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