By Daniel W. Crofts
"The Diary of a Public Man," released anonymously in numerous installments within the North American evaluation in 1879, claimed to supply verbatim bills of mystery conversations with Abraham Lincoln, William H. Seward, and Stephen A. Douglas -- between others -- within the determined weeks earlier than the beginning of the Civil warfare. regardless of repeated makes an attempt to decipher the Diary, historians by no means were capable of pinpoint its writer or ensure its authenticity. In A Secession main issue Enigma, Daniel W. Crofts solves those longstanding mysteries. He identifies the writer, unravels the interesting tale at the back of the Diary, and deftly establishes its contents as principally real. in line with Crofts, the Diary used to be now not a diary in any respect yet a memoir, most likely written presently ahead of it seemed in print. The mastermind who created it, manhattan journalist William Henry Hurlbert (1827--1895), effectively perpetrated some of the most tough feats of historic license -- he pretended to were a diarist who by no means existed. Crofts contends, despite the fact that, that Hurlbert's paintings used to be faraway from fictional. Time after time, the Diary introduces fabric almost very unlikely to manufacture in addition to formerly hid details that used to be corroborated merely after its e-book. The Diary bristles with targeted information in regards to the fight to form Lincoln's cupboard and the composition of his inaugural tackle.
Crofts's cautious research, observed via the entire textual content of the Diary in an appendix, bargains a daring new standpoint at the frantic scramble to opposite southern secession whereas warding off the abyss of conflict. Hurlbert, a long-forgotten eccentric genius, emerges vividly the following. half detective tale, half biography, and half a close narrative of occasions in early 1861, A Secession trouble Enigma offers a compelling resolution to an everlasting secret and brings "The Diary of a Public guy" again into the old lexicon.
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Additional resources for A Secession Crisis Enigma: William Henry Hurlbert and The Diary of a Public Man
S. presidential election, favors gradual emancipation. ” Stangrave hopes that Republicans will continue to gain strength and win the next election, just three years in the future. ”)8 Stangrave’s European listeners will have none of it. ”9 Stangrave protests. Do his friends realize that they are inviting “disruption of the Union, an invasion of the South by the North; and an internecine war, aggravated by the horrors of a general rising of the slaves, and such scenes as Hayti beheld sixty years ago”?
And yet a torch long burned. Shortly after Hurlbert’s death in 1895, the aged Higginson reread the letter he had sent to his mother half a century before. ”27 Keeping this context in mind, let us turn to Higginson’s only novel. Malbone: 23. Thomas Wentworth Higginson to Louisa Higginson, Sept. 20, 1845, Thomas Wentworth Higginson Papers, Houghton Library, Harvard University. 24. Tilden G. Edelstein, Strange Enthusiasm: A Life of Thomas Wentworth Higginson (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1968), 64.
McCaughey, Josiah Quincy, 1772– 1864: The Last Federalist (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1974), 204–13. The two Diary entries mentioning Quincy purportedly involved persons other than the diarist himself, but Hurlbert had to have the antenna to pick up on these references and make them part of the Diary. Proving Who Wrote the Diary 31 eral people to promote his presidential candidacy. Among them was George N. Sanders, a Kentucky native who risked his federal patronage job, as navy agent in New York City, to support the Little Giant.