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292CIVIL WAR HISTORY and his speeches and writings on the subject earned him recognition within the Republican party. Eventually, the free labor platform was adopted by the Republicans , and the Blairs supportedAbraham Lincoln's 1 860 bid for the presidency. The Civil War brought new political and military challenges for Blair. His first concern was that Missouri, as a border slave state, should remain with the Union. However, many of Blair's subsequent political actions left him with enemies. He alienated German voters and Radical Republicans over the immediate emancipation policy that John C. Fremont enacted while Missouri was under martial law. He wanted a gradual emancipation policy along with colonization , but he decided to support Lincoln's compensation plan. Blair also rejected the idea ofallowing blacks tojoin the military, but Parrish fails to explain why he later changed his mind on this policy. By 1 862 Blair was Lincoln's chief conservative spokesman in Congress and emerged as the Radicals main opponent . Moreover, Parrish believes that Blair was one of the better political generals . He proved himself to be a very capable and fearless leader atVicksburg. He also established a good rapport with General William T. Sherman during the Atlanta Campaign and, as commander of the 17th Corps during the March to the Sea, helped bring total warfare to the deep south. Blair resumed political activity in the post-war period to challenge Radical Reconstruction. Angered by Radical congressional control, he began aligning himself with the Democrats once again. He later helped form a Democratic alliance with the Liberal Republican party. This conservative coalition urged quick reconciliation, local self-government, and de-emphasized civil rights for blacks. However, during this same period, Blair suffered a stroke that affected his mental and physical capabilities to conduct political affairs. He died in July 1875. This biography addresses Blair's pivotal role in local, state, and national politics during the nineteenth century. Parrish's book is a welcome contribution and addition to the understanding of Missouri history. Gayla Koerting University of Missouri, Rolla The PetticoatAffair: Manners, Mutiny, andSex in AndrewJackson s White House. By John F. Marszalek. (New York: The Free Press, 1997. Pp. viii, 296. $25.00.) "You may think this Very strange," wrote one observer, "that the admission of a certain Female into respectable Society atWashington should be made the basis of political orthodoxy by one branch of the reigning party, and her rejection Equally So by the other, but strange as it may appear, it is no less Strange than true" (123). From the Jacksonian Era to the present, the controversy over Margaret Eaton— the author asserts that she was never called Peggy—has fascinated students of American history. The "PetticoatAffair" has been the subject of several popular books, scholarly articles, and plays; but this thoughtfully conceived, carefully BOOK REVIEWS293 researched, and well-written study will stand out as the definitive account of this nineteenth-century Washington drama. The essence ofthe story is well known. Margaret, the vivacious daughter of a prominent Washington boardinghouse owner, had scandalized Washington society with her behavior even before she married naval purser John Timberlake. While he was on duty with the Mediterranean Squadron,Timberlake died by his own hand. Though he had financial embarrassments and suffered from ill health, Washington rumormongers held thatTimberlake had committed suicide because he could not bear stories of Margaret's infidelity with John H. Eaton, U.S. senator from Tennessee and close friend of presidential aspirant Andrew Jackson. Eaton's marriage to Margaret after an inappropriately brief period appalled Washington, and when President Jackson placed Eaton in his cabinet, social warfare erupted. Respectable ladies—including not only the wives of his cabinet members but even Jackson's much-loved niece andWhite House hostess, Emily Donelson—refused to include Mrs. Eaton in society despite the president's insistence . In the end, the affair led to Jackson's break with Vice President John C. Calhoun, the selection of Martin Van Buren as Jackson's heir apparent, and the disintegration of the cabinet. Edward Pessen suggested some years ago that the main principle in the Eaton Affair was "the power of the nation's Chief Executive to make something close to...


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