A Secession Crisis Enigma: William Henry Hurlbert and by Daniel W. Crofts

By Daniel W. Crofts

"The Diary of a Public Man," released anonymously in numerous installments within the North American assessment in 1879, claimed to supply verbatim debts of mystery conversations with Abraham Lincoln, William H. Seward, and Stephen A. Douglas--among others--in the determined weeks ahead of the beginning of the Civil warfare. regardless of repeated makes an attempt to decipher the Diary, historians by no means were in a position to pinpoint its writer or ensure its authenticity. In A Secession problem 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 mostly real. based on Crofts, the Diary was once no longer a diary in any respect yet a memoir, most likely written almost immediately sooner than 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, even if, that Hurlbert's paintings used to be faraway from fictional. Time after time, the Diary introduces fabric nearly very unlikely to manufacture besides formerly hid info that used to be corroborated purely after its booklet. The Diary bristles with designated information concerning the fight to form Lincoln's cupboard and the composition of his inaugural handle. Crofts's cautious research, followed by way of the complete textual content of the Diary in an appendix, deals a daring new viewpoint at the frantic scramble to opposite southern secession whereas heading off the abyss of struggle. 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 quandary Enigma offers a compelling resolution to an everlasting secret and brings "The Diary of a Public guy" again into the historic lexicon.

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32 Hurlbert’s fingerprints also may be detected in one of the Diary’s most strik30. Hurlbert to Douglas, Jan. 16, 1860, Mar. 27, 1861, Stephen A. Douglas Papers, University of Chicago. 31. Ward, too, could have picked up information about Douglas because Seward reached out to Douglas during the secession winter, and Ward, as we have seen, knew a great deal about Seward. But Douglas had no reason to share with Seward the glimpses of his cronies that appear in the Diary. 32. Richard N. Sinkin, The Mexican Reform, 1855–1876: A Study in Liberal Nation Building (Austin: Univ.

19 The theme of ambiguous sexual identity is central to the novel. Byng tries to befriend a struggling young artist, Cecil Dreeme, who had a “gentle voice” and a “singular, refined beauty,” and whose paintings had been mistaken for those of a woman. Dreeme’s “feminine element” seemed to exclude him from the world of male sociability. At the end of the novel it suddenly is revealed that Dreeme is Clara Denman in disguise! She had not drowned after all. ”20 The novel ends melodramatically. A secondary character murders Densdeth and is himself killed in the struggle.

Anderson to Elliott, Aug. 31, 1931, Samuel Ward Papers, Houghton Library, Harvard University. 6. , Sam Ward in the Gold Rush (Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press, 1949). ” The series ended when Ward departed for the seceded states in the company of William H. Russell, the famous correspondent for the London Times. , v, 172, 177. 22 A Secession Crisis Enigma Internal evidence reveals that Ward wrote the weekly pieces against a deadline. ” Fearful of a collision and contemptuous of extremists of both parties, Ward observed apprehensively that “Blondin carried a man on stilts across the Niagara chasm; but Mr.

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