John L. O'Sullivan and His Times

John L. O'Sullivan and His Times

John L. O'Sullivan and His Times

John L. O'Sullivan and His Times

Synopsis

Sure to be welcomed by scholars of the Jacksonian era and others interested in 19th-century American history, this presents an in-depth examination of O'Sullivan's ideas as expressed in the Democratic Review and other newspapers and literary magazines he edited. Sampson brings to life one of the most enigmatic, romantic, and ultimately tragic characters in American history.

Excerpt

“He was a man of no little importance in his day.”

Two relics of New York City's Jacksonian years passed into history as March 1895 unwound into its final days. Niblo's Theater, an entertainment site dating back to 1828, “closed its doors forever” on the evening of March 23, yielding to a “big office building” rising where minstrels had once cavorted and Daniel Webster's quick wit had preventeda potentially tragic panic in a startled audience. Hours after the Niblo's lights dimmed for the final time, death came to John Louis O'Sullivan, whose life easily matched in color and adventure the most melodramatic of Niblo's offerings.

Little attention was paid to O'Sullivan's passing, which was somewhat ironic considering that the city's newspapers of late March were peppered with editorials and news accounts of the deteriorating situation in Cuba, an island that O'Sullivan had devoted considerable time and money scheming to anneX to the United States. His efforts had only yielded failure and federal indictments. As O'Sullivan lay dying in the Bristol, a residential hotel that advertised “very moderate terms, ” memorial services were under way at St. Mark's Methodist Episcopal Church for Frederick Douglass, whose positions on the abolition of slavery and the Civil War were in stark contrast to those acted upon by his less-remembered contemporary. A particularly well-informed obituary writer familiar with O'Sullivan's writings might have drawn a connection with news accounts of Eugene V. Debs's appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court over the federal government's actions in the Pullman Strike. Fifty years earlier, O'Sullivan had warned about selfish interests gaining control of government.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.