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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 bills of mystery conversations with Abraham Lincoln, William H. Seward, and Stephen A. Douglas -- between others -- within the determined weeks previous 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 verify its authenticity. In A Secession situation 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 line with Crofts, the Diary used to be no longer a diary in any respect yet a memoir, most likely written presently prior to it seemed in print. The mastermind who created it, long island journalist William Henry Hurlbert (1827--1895), effectively perpetrated the most tough feats of old license -- he pretended to were a diarist who by no means existed. Crofts contends, in spite of the fact that, that Hurlbert's paintings was once faraway from fictional. Time after time, the Diary introduces fabric almost most unlikely to manufacture in addition to formerly hid details that was once corroborated in simple terms after its book. The Diary bristles with targeted 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 entire textual content of the Diary in an appendix, deals a daring new standpoint at the frantic scramble to opposite southern secession whereas fending off the abyss of struggle. Hurlbert, a long-forgotten eccentric genius, emerges vividly the following. half detective tale, half biography, and half an in depth narrative of occasions in early 1861, A Secession trouble Enigma provides a compelling resolution to an everlasting secret and brings "The Diary of a Public guy" again into the historic lexicon.

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Proving Who Wrote the Diary 31 eral people to promote his presidential candidacy. Among them was George N. Sanders, a Kentucky native who risked his federal patronage job, as navy agent in New York City, to support the Little Giant. As shall be explained in chapter 4, Hurlbert and Sanders collaborated to make the New York Times a Douglas paper, or to persuade editor Henry J. 28 Following the election, however, the unpredictable Sanders became “a loud and noisy secessionist,” thereby earning a dismissive barb in the Diary (239).

Daniel W. Crofts, Reluctant Confederates: Upper South Unionists in the Secession Crisis (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1989), 289–90. 3 Young Hurlbert This chapter and the two that follow will introduce William Henry Hurlbert and trace his career up through the winter of 1860–61. Readers who want to keep the Diary in sharp focus may be puzzled by this biographical tangent. But these next three Hurlbert chapters are no digression. The Diary cannot be understood unless we know more about the mastermind who pulled it together.

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. D. , New York University, 1953); David L. Anderson, “Robert Milligan McLane,” American National Biography, 15:134–36; New York Times, July 26, Dec. 21, 1859, Jan. 5, 20, Feb. 15, 1860. Ward, unlike Hurlbert, had lived in California, but only Hurlbert had played a prominent role in the tussle over the McLane-Ocampo Treaty.

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