Lucius Q. C. Lamar, Secession and Reunion

Lucius Q. C. Lamar, Secession and Reunion

Lucius Q. C. Lamar, Secession and Reunion

Lucius Q. C. Lamar, Secession and Reunion

Excerpt

This biography represents an attempt to make use of much recently accessible material (particularly letters in a score of MS collections) in the portrayal of the career of Lucius Q. C. Lamar--perhaps the most gifted statesman that the South gave to the nation from the close of the Civil War to the turn of the century, and the man to whom was due, more than to any other, the death of sectionalism and the healing of the wounds of the fratricidal war.

One of America's few authentic political philosophers, Lamar's career touched every phase of post-Civil War life, and in his constructive and liberal statesmanship he anticipated the future in a wide diversity of fields. A product of the pre-war South and one who went with his people in their attempt to found a new nation, he lived to have a major part in delivering them from the horrors of carpetbag rule, and, as the first truly reconstructed statesman either North or South, to become the leading exponent of fraternalism between the sections. His character and personality, indeed, combine everything that was best in the Old South with a liberalism that is timeless because its virility had its inception in an attitude of mind (the only true liberalism) and not in a mere body of beliefs which, however progressive in one generation, tend to seem conservative or even reactionary in the next. A great teacher, orator, legislator, administrator, and jurist, Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar placed his impress upon four decades of American life.

The original and constructive quality of his thinking was never more strikingly evident than in the decisive part (here fully told for the first time) which he played in the settlement of the disputed presidential election of 1876; in his exhaustive discussion of the Matthews Resolution and the Bland Silver Bill, the constitutionality of both of which he conceded while oppos-

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