By Daniel W. Crofts
"The Diary of a Public Man," released anonymously in different installments within the North American assessment in 1879, claimed to provide verbatim debts of mystery conversations with Abraham Lincoln, William H. Seward, and Stephen A. Douglas--among others--in the determined weeks prior to the beginning of the Civil struggle. 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 predicament Enigma, Daniel W. Crofts solves those longstanding mysteries. He identifies the writer, unravels the fascinating tale in the back of the Diary, and deftly establishes its contents as mostly real. in response to Crofts, the Diary was once no longer a diary in any respect yet a memoir, most likely written almost immediately ahead of it seemed in print. The mastermind who created it, long island journalist William Henry Hurlbert (1827-1895), effectively perpetrated probably the most tricky feats of historic license--he pretended to were a diarist who by no means existed. Crofts contends, even though, that Hurlbert's paintings used to be faraway from fictional. Time after time, the Diary introduces fabric almost very unlikely to manufacture besides formerly hid details that was once corroborated merely after its e-book. The Diary bristles with certain info in regards to the fight to form Lincoln's cupboard and the composition of his inaugural deal with. Crofts's cautious research, observed by means of the whole textual content of the Diary in an appendix, deals a daring new point of view at the frantic scramble to opposite southern secession whereas averting 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 quandary Enigma provides a compelling resolution to a permanent secret and brings "The Diary of a Public guy" again into the old lexicon.
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Additional info for A Secession Crisis Enigma: William Henry Hurlbert and
13. Anderson, Mystery, 134–35, 169–70. 26 A Secession Crisis Enigma Hurlbert’s enormous printed output facilitates comparisons. The Diary abounds with striking parallels to his distinctive writing style. ”15 His editorials written for the New York Times in 1859 repeatedly anticipate the vocabulary of the Diary. As will be more fully explained in chapter 4, he considered John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry the work of a lone fanatic—“a wilder and more hopeless project” could not have been imagined.
This was the most extensive prose venture he ever undertook (he was a frustrated would-be poet). His resources at this time were slender, and he needed the money. Ward’s charming and evocative recollections were published in fourteen installments in Porter’s Spirit of the Times, a New York weekly, starting on January 22, 1861. 6 4. Anderson, Mystery, 126–35, quotations on 130, 134. 5. , 145–68, quotation on 145. A notation in Box 39 of the Frank Maloy Anderson Papers, Library of Congress, shows that in February 1930 he was trying to track Hurlbert’s movements during the secession winter.
22 Anderson’s cut-and-paste theory may have merit, so far as the substance of the Diary is concerned, but stylometry indicates that only one writer put words on paper. There is, therefore, scientific basis for validating the “common sense” impression created by the Diary—its entries all are part of the same literary whole. Who might the one writer have been? Holmes cast a wide net. 23 He also considered James E. Harvey, James C. Welling, Richard Grant White, and John W. 24 The evidence promptly eliminated Rice, Weed, Welling, White, and Forney.