By Daniel W. Crofts
"The Diary of a Public Man," released anonymously in different installments within the North American evaluate in 1879, claimed to supply verbatim money owed of mystery conversations with Abraham Lincoln, William H. Seward, and Stephen A. Douglas -- between others -- within the determined weeks ahead of the beginning of the Civil battle. regardless of repeated makes an attempt to decipher the Diary, historians by no means were capable of pinpoint its writer or make sure its authenticity. In A Secession hindrance Enigma, Daniel W. Crofts solves those longstanding mysteries. He identifies the writer, unravels the exciting tale in the back of the Diary, and deftly establishes its contents as principally real. in response to Crofts, the Diary was once no longer a diary in any respect yet a memoir, most likely written presently earlier than it seemed in print. The mastermind who created it, big apple journalist William Henry Hurlbert (1827--1895), effectively perpetrated the most tricky feats of old 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 most unlikely to manufacture in addition to formerly hid details that used to be corroborated basically after its ebook. 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, observed by means of the complete textual content of the Diary in an appendix, deals a daring new standpoint at the frantic scramble to opposite southern secession whereas heading off the abyss of struggle. Hurlbert, a long-forgotten eccentric genius, emerges vividly right here. half detective tale, half biography, and half an in depth narrative of occasions in early 1861, A Secession difficulty Enigma provides a compelling solution to an everlasting secret and brings "The Diary of a Public guy" again into the old lexicon.
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Extra info for A Secession Crisis Enigma: William Henry Hurlbert and The Diary of a Public Man
Hurlbert did rate an entry in the Dictionary of American Biography (9:424), but not the recent American National Biography. Proving Who Wrote the Diary 25 known. He became the chief editorial writer for the New York Times in 1857, at the age of thirty. This key assignment continued for three years. By the time of the secession winter, however, Hurlbert had parted ways with the Times. Hurlbert moved to the New York World in 1862, and for seven years starting in 1876 he was its editor-in-chief. At the World he brought his forceful, fluid writing style to bear on a wide range of topics—politics, international affairs, history, and literature.
Quincy, there need be little fear for the results of the collision which he so plainly anticipates between national principles and sectional passions in the Republic. 27 The Public Man referred to others who would have been more familiar to Hurlbert than to Ward. During 1859 and 1860, Stephen A. Douglas enlisted sev27. Hurlbert, “Political Crisis,” 561, 568–69, 574–76; Robert A. 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.
Edelstein, Strange Enthusiasm: A Life of Thomas Wentworth Higginson (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1968), 64. 25. William Henry Hurlbut to Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Sept. 3, 1847, Higginson Papers; Edelstein, Strange Enthusiasm, 77. 26. Thomas Wentworth Higginson to William Henry Hurlbut, Oct. 31, 1852, Higginson Papers. 27. Higginson, Cheerful Yesterdays, 107–11. 44 A Secession Crisis Enigma An Oldport Romance was written and published in 1869 but set a decade earlier in the late 1850s. It cannot be judged a great work of literature.
A Secession Crisis Enigma: William Henry Hurlbert and The Diary of a Public Man by Daniel W. Crofts