General James W. Singleton: Lincoln's Mysterious Copperhead Ally

 
9781932278736: General James W. Singleton: Lincoln's Mysterious Copperhead Ally
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Abraham Lincoln and James W. Singleton became acquainted during the 1830s. Politics and the law became major sources of contact. Both men had served in the Illinois General Assembly, although not concurrently, and both were members of the Whig party. Their wives, also, were likely acquainted through youthful contacts in Springfield. Singleton and Lincoln had a rocky relationship that revolved around several circumstances in the 1840s. As members of the Whig party, both had been strong admirers and supporters of Henry Clay, the long-time Whig patriarch and statesman from Kentucky. However, they parted ways in 1848 as Lincoln became a supporter of Zachary Taylor for president and later joined the new Republican Party, while Singleton became a Democrat. In 1864, however, Singleton and Lincoln once again worked toward a common goal.

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About the Author:

General James W. Singleton: Lincoln s Mysterious Copperhead Ally, is Peter J. Barry s outstanding biography of one of Illinois most colorful characters. It follows the author s nonfiction book: The Charleston, Illinois Riot: March 28, 1864. The author s interest in writing followed his career as a professor of Agricultural Finance at the University of Illinois. He held the Distinguished Chair in Agricultural Finance, was a University Scholar, and was elected a Fellow of the American Agricultural Economics Association. Retirement has allowed him to pursue his long-time interest in history. The author and his wife divide their time between Illinois and Canada.

Review:

In his lifetime, General James W. Singleton (1811-1892) was well-known nationally as a wealthy Illinois Democratic politician Southern born and Stephen A. Douglas supporter who touched many important lives, including Abraham Lincoln s. Yet today, he is virtually unknown, even to most historians. Professor Peter J. Barry, now retired from the University of Illinois, has rescued him from obscurity with a beautifully written biography filled with much primary research. Despite being a member of the Sons of Liberty and the Copperheads during the Civil War, President Lincoln, an old friend, allowed Singleton to visit Richmond, consult with Confederate officials and speculate in cotton and Tobacco with Union greenbacks! All this in face of the fact that he had made political contact with the Confederate agents in Canada and publically lambasted Lincoln to the point of almost being arrested for treason. This is a fascinating volume and deserves a prominent place in the history of national politics, Illinois and Lincolniana. --Dr. Wayne C. Temple, author of Abraham Lincoln: From Skeptic to Prophet

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