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90CIVIL WAR HISTORY quately summarizes the report by using almost as many pages as the original letters. Notes for the essays are conveniently placed at the bottom ofthe page, while notes to the letters are awkwardly placed at the end of each letter which causes some letters to begin or end in the middle ofa page. The "Preface," "Prologue," and "Epilogue" are instructive and contribute to the volume. The index is useful. According to the editors, this compilation ofletters from Chase, Schurz, Waterson, Truman, and Grant "was intended to make readily available the fruits of[their] efforts to garner information" (Preface, xii). This statement was the only explanation for publishing a "Special Volume No. 1. . . ." Four pages later, the editors acknowledge that these letters were variously published in the North Carolina Historical Review (1950), the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (1960), the Tennessee Historical Quarterly (1959), and the Georgia Historical Quarterly (195 1). The letters ofSchurz and Truman were published as Senate Executive Documents and Schurz's report was published by a commercial press in 1969. While the present volume provides a convenient source for these esoteric letters, this reviewer remains puzzled about the unexplained bibliographical information that this is "Special Volume No. 1 ofthe Papers of Andrew Johnson." Are we to expect a "Special Volume No. 2"? Harry P. Owens University of Mississippi CarpetbaggerofConscience:A Biography ofJohn Emory Bryant. By Ruth Currie-McDaniel. (Athensand London: University ofGeorgia Press, 1987. Pp. 238. $30.00.) Characterizing John Emory Bryant as "an aggressive personality, yet one with deeply held tenets of morality and reform," Ruth Currie-McDaniel seeks to cast new light on this carpetbagger from Maine. Bryant's career in Georgia, Currie-McDaniel asserts, offers a measure ofthe "expectations and accomplishments" of Republicans operating locally in the Reconstruction -era South. Moreover, she argues, examination of his triumphs and failures points to the strengths and weaknesses in Northern and Southern Republican party leadership. The endnotes and bibliography indicate that Currie-McDaniel thoroughly canvassed Bryant's letters, speeches, and personal and public records for this study. The strength of this biography is its treatment of Bryant's childhood in Maine during the 1830s and 1840s. His mother and father, a Methodist minister, instilled John with New England Christianity and respect for education . At the same time, the family impoverishment forced the boy to earn supplementary cash. Meanwhile, he pursued his education: first with BOOK REVIEWS91 his father, and later at the Kent Hill Wesleyan Seminary. As CurrieMcDaniel observes, deprivation and his love oflearning convinced Bryant that education was the key to upward mobility. While at the seminary, Bryant also taught school. In Currie-McDaniel's judgment, Bryant's penchant forexcessively strict discipline indicates Bryant's iron will and singlemindedness . Currie-McDaniel also describes how the temperance and abolitionist movements ofthe 1 850s shaped his thinking. This rendering, then, enhances understanding of the young Bryant. This biography, however, is less successful in treating John Emory Bryant 's subsequent career in founding the Georgia Equal Rights Association, editing newspapers, practicing law, participating in the 1867 state constitutional convention, serving in the state legislature, running for the United States Congress, heading the Republican state central committee, and holding several federal patronage positions, before retiring in New York. As to form, too often Currie-McDaniel does not present these endeavors clearly. Many are mentioned initially only in passing, while later references presume knowledge of particulars. Bryant's 1868 election to the "house of representatives," which the author fails to identify as the lower house of Georgia's General Assembly, is a case in point. The inadequate index offers no remedy. Readers uninitiated in Georgia history will be baffled. Examining the labyrinth of postbellum Georgia politics, CurrieMcDaniel writes of"moderate"and "radical" Republicans. Shifting political alignments during Reconstruction, particularly in Goergia, however, rendered these terms obfuscatory. While she notes the slipperiness ofthese labels, Currie-McDaniel uses them nonetheless, rather than explicating how the political divisions followed from alliances built around personalities . On another matter, at the outset of the book Currie-McDaniel asserts without qualification that the Northern Republican leadership had a strong commitment to developing a national constituency. According to the author, Bryant was part ofthe...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 90-92
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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