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ing conclusions. It has also led him into fascinating by-ways of American literary history. Patriotic Gore is marred by a quixotic and bitter introduction in which Mr. Wilson parades an intellectual, literary version of thinking about history that is not only far right but also far out. But the book (not die introduction) is the thing—and a very fine thing. Mr. Wilson can have his introduction. I wish I had written the book. Richard Harwell Bowdoin College Lion of White Hall: the Life of Cassius N. Clay. By David L. Smdey. (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1962. Pp. 294. $6.00.) The career of Cassius Marcellus Clay, the Lion of White Hall, is a study in frustration and fadure. His one ambition in life was to obtain political power and public office, but widi the exception of three short terms in die Kentucky legislature he was never able to gain an office. He was elected to his first term in the legislature in 1835 at the age of twenty-five, and his last term five years later. He lived sixty-three years after this last success, but despite numerous attempts he was never elected again. Quick tempered and fearless, he was involved in many gory fights with his opponents. One man lost his life and anodier lost an eye and an ear when they tangled widi Clay's bowie knife. Bom into a slaveholding Kentucky famdy, Cassius Clay fought slavery until its extinction—though his motives were not humanitarian. He gave economic reasons rather than love for the Negro. Slavery, he claimed, was an evd working against the economic development of die states in which it existed. He hoped to gain die support of the non-slaveholding white laborers by his stand. Clay began his career as a Whig. He won his only publicoffices as a member of the Whig party. In die presidential election of 1844 Cassius campaigned for his famous cousin Henry, and dien four years later opposed him. During this intervening period he published an emancipation newspaper, The True American, and stirred the wrath of proslavery Kentuckians. In 1851, after regaining some of his lost popularity by his Mexican War service, he was nominated for governor of Kentucky on the Emancipationist ticket. Although he polled only 3 per cent of the votes cast, it was enough to throw the election to the Democrats. After this experience Clay was convinced that state politics held no rewards for him and he turned his attention to die national scene. He became an outspoken member of the Republican party in 1856. Unsuccessful in his efforts to gain the nomination for vice president in 1856, he was again hopeful in 1860. Clay had no positive program for the free states other than resistance to slavery expansion. His outspoken advocacy of war made him a liability to die party. Failing to receive the nomination, he expected a cabinet ap101 102CIVIL WA R HISTORY pointaient as a reward for his work. His appointment as minister to Russia came as a disappointment. This took him safely out of the country while Lincoln maneuvered to save Kentucky for the Union. By August, 1862, Clay was back in the United States and had joined die Radical opposition group in criticizing the administration. Lincoln handled this situation witii his usual finesse. He won the egotistic Clay by a little flattery and then sent him back to Russia. Weighing his chances for advancement in 1869, when he returned to die United States, Clay cast his lot widi diose who opposed die Radicals dien in power. He joined with Horace Greeley in criticizing the Grant administration . By 1875 he had joined die Democratic party and made his last bid for political power. His usual luck prevaüed. In 1880 he again supported die Democrats, but in 1884 rejoined die Republican party. Cassius Clay's first marriage ended in divorce in 1876; at the age of eightyfour he married a fourteen-year-old girl. This marriage lasted only a few years. Lonely, sick, and tortured by insane fears, the pathetic old man died in 1903. Although the author has done a good job of research and writing, the subject...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 101-102
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-02
Open Access
No
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