Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis, and Compromise, 1848-1877

Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis, and Compromise, 1848-1877

Brenda Wineapple

Language: English

Pages: 623

ISBN: 0061234583

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Dazzling in scope, Ecstatic Nation illuminates one of the most dramatic and momentous chapters in America's past, when the country dreamed big, craved new lands and new freedom, and was bitterly divided over its great moral wrong: slavery.
With a canvas of extraordinary characters, such as P. T. Barnum, Walt Whitman, Frederick Douglass, and L. C. Q. Lamar, Ecstatic Nation brilliantly balances cultural and political history: It's a riveting account of the sectional conflict that preceded the Civil War, and it astutely chronicles the complex aftermath of that war and Reconstruction, including the promise that women would share in a new  definition of American citizenship. It takes us from photographic surveys of the Sierra Nevadas to the discovery of gold in the South Dakota hills, and it signals the painful, thrilling birth of modern America.

An epic tale by award-winning author Brenda Wineapple, Ecstatic Nation lyrically and with true originality captures the optimism, the failures, and the tragic exuberance of a renewed Republic.





















belligerent, Baltimore-born James Ryder Randall called his neighbors to “Avenge the patriot gore / That flecked the streets of Baltimore / And be the battle-queen of yore, / Maryland! My Maryland!” This was the bloody dawn of a new day; dally not. Northerners were “codfish poltroons.” A very popular call to arms, published just days after Sumter in the New Orleans Daily Delta, “Maryland, My Maryland,” was sung to the tune of “O Tannenbaum,” and in 1939 the state of Maryland made Randall’s poem

and diplomats, war correspondents and spies, nurses, office seekers, wire pullers, traitors, parents looking for their sons, and men such as Hawthorne and his editor, who had come from Boston to see the war for themselves, jamming the cigar-smoked corridors of hotels. Generals vied with generals, the radical Republicans wanted to oust Seward, conservatives wanted to oust Chase, the Northern public craved scapegoats on whom they could blame military fiascos. Fat generals looked like stuffed fowls,

expectation of murder, exile, or the lash,” Elliott drily replied, “will deem amnesty an untimely grace.” Northern Republicans such as Greeley wanted to be left alone, or so it seemed, and resented the expenditure of more money in the South. But Grant, who had failed to find a solution to the problem of violence there with his pipe dream about Santo Domingo, was working with his new attorney general, Amos Akerman, on the passage of a Third Enforcement Act, known as the Ku Klux Klan Act, which

Fanatic”: Quoted in David Herbert Donald, Charles Sumner and the Rights of Man (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1970), 382. 481 “most extravagant hostility”: Ibid., 384. 481 “nothing but money making”: Ibid., 385. 481 “man of huge”: Ibid. 482 “What I desired above all”: Quoted in Josiah Bunting III, Ulysses S. Grant: The American Presidents Series: The 18th President, 1869–1877 (New York: Times Books, 2004), 104. 483 “the steamy pursuit of empire”: McFeely, Grant, 339. For the theory about black

Jay Cooke & Co., 551 “jayhawkers,” 328, 330, 331, 532 Jefferson, Thomas, 26–27, 66, 189, 201, 221, 492, 542 Jesup, Morris K., 472 Jesus Christ, 102, 103, 128, 421–22 Jews, 253–54, 291, 477, 543 Joan of Arc, 304 Job, Book of, 7 “John Brown’s Body,” 202–3, 349, 388 Johnson, Andrew, 122, 165, 179, 300, 316–17, 347, 370, 373, 374, 378–79, 381–82, 386, 487, 542 Johnson, Herschel, 166, 174 Johnson, Reverdy, 377 Johnson, William Henry, 163 Johnston, Albert Sidney, 110–11, 253, 275

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