James Shepherd Pike: Republicanism and the American Negro, 1850-1882

James Shepherd Pike: Republicanism and the American Negro, 1850-1882

James Shepherd Pike: Republicanism and the American Negro, 1850-1882

James Shepherd Pike: Republicanism and the American Negro, 1850-1882

Excerpt

T he original question which prompted this study was this: How did James S. Pike come to write The Prostrate State: South Carolina under Negro Government? The book, published in 1873, is a classic indictment of Radical Reconstruction and the Negro's role in it. Indeed, in his allegations and implications about the Negro, not merely the Negro voter and office-holder but the race, Pike goes as far as any "Conservative," white-supremacy Southerner of that era could possibly have wished.

Yet Pike was a Republican from Maine. He had first become famous as one of Horace Greeley's fire-eating antislavery writers on the New York Tribune. When it came to attacking slavery, slaveholders, and "Doughface" Northern Democrats in the 1850's, Pike managed to be even more extreme than Editor Greeley. After the Republicans won the presidential election of 1860 , Pike realized a long-sought goal by securing a diplomatic appointment as President Lincoln's minister to the Netherlands. He watched the entire Civil War from there, seeing men and events, both in Europe and the United States, in an unusual, Radical Republican light. Returning to this country in 1866, he sympathized with and supported the Radical program but finally bolted the Republican party, behind his friend Greeley, to join the Liberal Republican movement of 1872.

An obvious purpose which Pike had in his writings about Reconstruction in South Carolina was to continue the attack of the disappointed Liberal Republicans on the Grant administration and its Southern supporters. But a more fundamental due to Pike's position, in the 1850's no less than in the 1870's . . .

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.