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296CIVIL WAR HISTORY struggled merely to survive. Always a dynamic advocate in the courtroom and an astute businessman, Doniphan recovered his fortunes after the war, but he had become an embittered and cynical man. This is a good biography that could have been better with the help of an alert editor. Awkward sentence structure, imprecise language, omitted words, and simply wrong word choice (bristled for grizzled) are distracting. For those not familiar with Missouri counties, a map would help. One can also argue with some generalizations. That "the Navajos had no understanding of the idea of surrender " is a questionable assertion; that the 1 860 Republican platform called for "eventual abolition where it [slavery] presently existed" is inaccurate (130, 241). Despite these caveats, the book makes a significant contribution to understanding the intricacies of Missouri politics in the antebellum period and the utter frustration felt by those moderates who could not, would not, take up arms against their countrymen. Virginia J. Laas Missouri Southern State College John Archibald Campbell: Southern Moderate, 1811-1889. By Robert Saunders Jr. (Tuscaloosa: University ofAlabama Press, 1997. Pp. vi, xii, 285. $39.95.) Usually branded as a fire-eater, John A. Campbell emerges from this biography as anything but. Best known as an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court ( 1 853-1 860), Campbell disagreed with contemporary extremists—both fireeaters and abolitionists. The most consistent theme in his career as a politician, jurist, and attorney was his determination to protect two seemingly conflicting causes: states rights and the U.S. Constitution. He was a slaveholder who never defended the institution, who urged the South to modernize and industrialize in order to compete successfully with the North, who favored education and decent treatment of slaves, who deplored Northern extremism, who understood that the sectional crisis of the nineteenth century was as much the result of the Industrial Revolution as it was of slavery. What a pity there were not more Americans like him in 1 860. Campbell's Highland Scot ancestors migrated to colonial North Carolina and then to frontier Georgia, where Campbell spent his childhood. His father's death ended the son's brief career at West Point. Campbell next read law in Florida and was admitted to the Georgia bar. Then he followed the westward migration from the Broad River area to the frontier of central Alabama, settling in Montgomery , where he married and began a family. A successful lawyer, he was elected to the Alabama legislature, where he spearheaded banking reform. Wheelingdealing politics quickly disillusioned this idealist who left elected office permanently in the 1 840s but remained politically involved the rest of his life. He opposed nullification and served as a delegate to the 1 850 Nashville Convention , where he contributed to the convention's written document. Here he was BOOK REVIEWS297 associated with William Lowndes Yancey and forever tarred as a fire-eater. In reality it was here that Campbell's political philosophy matured and focused on states rights and the decline of the South's political influence in the Union. On the U.S. Supreme Court after 1853 he was an activistjudge, adamant in support of states rights and convinced that secession would be calamitous. He resigned from the court in 1 861, practiced law in New Orleans, and became Confederate assistant secretary of war, although he felt the South had signed its death warrant with secession. The freshest and most fascinating information in the book is the detailing of the activities of Campbell and the other commissioners in the Hampton Rodes Conference in February 1865. Hoping that the North would agree to an armistice and to the South's return to the Union on lenient terms, they met with Abraham Lincoln andWilliam H. Seward.The peace effort failed when Jefferson Davis refused to allow negotiation on any grounds other than Northern recognition of the legality of secession and Southern independence. Equally fascinating are the details of Campbell's meeting with Lincoln in Richmond in April 1865 and the revelation of Lincoln's early thoughts on plans for Reconstruction . Campbell thought he had been authorized to assemble the Virginia legislature , and after Lincoln's assassination Campbell was arrested...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 296-297
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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