By Daniel W. Crofts
"The Diary of a Public Man," released anonymously in numerous 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--among others--in the determined weeks in advance of the beginning of the Civil conflict. regardless of repeated makes an attempt to decipher the Diary, historians by no means were in a position to pinpoint its writer or make certain its authenticity. In A Secession quandary Enigma, Daniel W. Crofts solves those longstanding mysteries. He identifies the writer, unravels the exciting tale at 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 almost immediately prior to it seemed in print. The mastermind who created it, long island journalist William Henry Hurlbert (1827-1895), effectively perpetrated some of the most tricky 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 almost most unlikely to manufacture besides formerly hid details that was once corroborated in basic terms after its book. The Diary bristles with exact info in regards to the fight to form Lincoln's cupboard and the composition of his inaugural tackle. Crofts's cautious research, observed by means of the whole textual content of the Diary in an appendix, bargains a daring new standpoint 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 main issue Enigma provides a compelling solution to a permanent 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
Anderson’s sleuthing deserves high marks, but his conclusions must now be modified. Careful scrutiny of Anderson’s papers and a variety of other sources shows that Sam Ward was not the author of the Diary, even though he undoubtedly had something to do with it. The alleged diary contains plenty of information that points plainly to Ward. Anderson, however, had little to say about writing style. How does the Diary match up against prose written by Ward? Does it contain patterns of word usage that characterized Ward’s writing?
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. of Texas Press, 1979), 154–57; Walter V. Scholes, Mexican Politics during the Juárez Regime, 1855–1872 (Columbia: Univ.
One other curiosity should be noted—two “-ly” words (“occasionally” and “subsequently”) appeared five times each in the memoir but never in the Diary. 11. 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.