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

By Brenda Wineapple

Extraordinary in scope, Ecstatic Nation illuminates the most dramatic and momentous chapters in America's prior, whilst the rustic dreamed titanic, craved new lands and new freedom, and was once bitterly divided over its nice ethical unsuitable: slavery.
With a canvas of impressive characters, resembling P. T. Barnum, Walt Whitman, Frederick Douglass, and L. C. Q. Lamar, Ecstatic Nation brilliantly balances cultural and political historical past: It's a riveting account of the sectional clash that preceded the Civil conflict, and it astutely chronicles the advanced aftermath of that conflict and Reconstruction, together with the promise that ladies might proportion in a new  definition of yankee citizenship. It takes us from photographic surveys of the Sierra Nevadas to the invention of gold within the South Dakota hills, and it indications the painful, exciting start of contemporary America.

An epic story via award-winning writer Brenda Wineapple, Ecstatic Nation lyrically and with precise originality captures the optimism, the mess ups, and the tragic exuberance of a renewed Republic.

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Frémont’s timing was once bad. His personal big name were falling. Accused of peremptoriness, imperiousness, and indulgent dwelling, Frémont were speedily wasting the aid of Missouri’s Blair relations in an internecine squabble that might have nationwide implications, specially because the clever and voluble Montgomery Blair, previously the suggestions for Dred Scott, used to be now Lincoln’s postmaster common, and his brother Frank Blair, a number one Missouri Republican, was once the chair of the home Committee on army safeguard. Lincoln were thinking about Frémont’s army prowess besides. whilst the redheaded, rash Brigadier basic Nathaniel Lyon were shot within the middle on the conflict at Wilson’s Creek, it used to be Frémont who have been blamed, even if he had steered Lyon to retreat till reinforcements arrived. yet with casualties excessive and morale low, the clicking desired to comprehend why Frémont had no longer strengthened Lyon faster. His solution was once that he had fewer troops below his command than he had enable on and they have been had to protect St. Louis. Lincoln, who had now not been notified previous to Frémont’s proclamation, knew that if he accepted Frémont to unfastened the slaves of Missouri rebels, he risked wasting credibility with all of the border states, and he wanted them, if no longer on his part, to be impartial. As Lincoln’s buddy Joshua pace (a Kentucky slaveholder) reminded the president, “You had besides assault the liberty of worship within the north or the perfect of a mum or dad to coach his baby to read—as to salary conflict in a slave kingdom on one of these precept. ” So in a personal verbal exchange to Frémont, Lincoln asked that he revise the proclamation to comply to the Confiscation Act. In reaction, Frémont demanded Lincoln brazenly order him to take action, which might strength Lincoln to signify publicly that he used to be opposed to emancipation. Jessie Frémont went to Washington to carry her husband’s answer in individual. As she recalled, she had rushed to the White apartment with out altering out of her dusty outfits. Lincoln didn't ask her to sit down. in its place, he listened to her allure and browse the general’s letter; later he stated he had needed to muster all his “awkward tact” simply to be well mannered. He should have been livid at Frémont’s cheek. whilst she back attempted to argue with him approximately her husband’s proclamation, he referred to as her “quite a feminine politician”—not precisely a compliment—and advised her “it was once a battle for an outstanding nationwide suggestion, the Union, and that normal Frémont shouldn't have dragged the negro into it—that he by no means may if he had consulted with Frank Blair. ” Refusing to provide her one other interview, Lincoln ordered her husband to retract the proclamation. a number of days later, Frémont arrested Frank Blair for insubordination. That was once the ultimate straw. Vilified as imperious, incompetent, a negative normal, a corrupt administrator, or even as an opium eater, Frémont was once pressured out of the dept of the West. Elizabeth Blair Lee, the sister of Montgomery and Frank, had already accused Frémont of enjoying to “the abolition horde within the north.

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