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270civil war history The Papers of Andrew Johnson. Volume 9: September 1865-January 1866. Edited by Paul H. Bergeron. (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1991. Pp. xxviii, 681. $49.50.) This latest volume of The Papers of Andrew Johnson, capably edited by Paul H. Bergeron, carries the story forward from the late summer of 1865 to the period of Johnson's incipient break with Congress in January 1866. The sheer mass of material available for the presidential period necessarily shortens the time span covered by this book, so that the introduction, though excellent, is very brief. But the editor's judicious selection of documents, including newspaper accounts of interviews with the president, makes this volume an indispensable aid to the study of presidential Reconstruction. Copious excerpts from the pardon papers shed light not only on the pressures to which Andrew Johnson was exposed but also on his failure to make use of his powers to exact terms, a shortcoming particularly illustrated in his correspondence with his own provisional governors. Though strongly suggesting policies to them, he never sought their compliance by the use of patronage or the pardoning power, so that arch conservatives appeared in the state legislatures, to say nothing of the claimants for seats in Congress. The most persistent theme in the letters that reached him from Southern sympathizers is a constant demand for the withdrawal of black troops, coupled with complaints about radical machinations and timeserving professions of renewed loyalty to the Union and flattering assurances of admiration for his policies. Correspondence from Louisiana conservatives was especially crass, and it is to be regretted that he never saw it for what it was. To be sure, letters from Southern Unionists also reached the White House, among which the most moving are the anguished pleas for help from freedmen, especially those on Edisto Island about to be deprived of their land by Johnson's orders to Oliver O. Howard to restore property to former owners. But he paid little attention to these warnings for the simple reason that he shared Southern prejudices. As an Alexandria correspondent perceptively wrote to him, "You are a southern man, sir, and well know what is absolutely necessary for a negro—they cannot be left to run wild, and behave decently" (233). Had the president not been so convinced of the rectitude of his own policies and ideas, he would have heeded the admonition of a Savannah dentist who informed him that "before pardons were granted the political instigators of the Rebellion were held in check; they were all endeavoring to see which could do most for the Union & magnifying little acts of courteseys to Union men during the war into great deeds. Now that they all have their pardons they are on the other track; all trying to see which done the most for the rebel cause" (463). book reviews271 The editor has also included correspondence with George Bancroft concerning the draft of the first message to Congress, endless arguments about the fate of Jefferson Davis, family letters from nephews, and material bearing on relations with Native Americans. If there are few letters from Johnson himself and none from his wife or children, the absence of such documents explains the omission. As a whole, the volume furnishes further evidence that the publication of the Johnson papers is still in good hands, and that in Paul H. Bergeron LeRoy P. Graf and Ralph W. Haskins have found a worthy successor. Hans L. Trefousse Brooklyn College and Graduate Center, CUNY The North Carolina Railroad, 1849-1871, and the Modernization of North Carolina. By Allen W. Trelease. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991. Pp. xvi, 486. $37.50.) The North Carolina Railroad extended in an east-west arc across central North Carolina from Goldsboro through Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro, and Salisbury to Charlotte. It was important at its inception as the backbone of the state's east-west transportation system, offering farmers a choice of markets via connecting railroads at Wilmington, Norfolk, or Richmond. It was important in the Civil War as the major supply line from the lower South to Lee's army in Virginia. And it is important now as part of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 270-271
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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