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The only principles of public conduct that are worthy of a gentleman or a man are to sacrifice estate, ease, health, and applause, and even life, to the sacred calls of his country… James Otis

As if an enemy’s country : the British occupation of Boston and the origins of revolution Richard Archer Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2010 Hardcover. 1st ed., later printing. xviii, 284 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. [233]-273) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

A sensationalized portrayal of the skirmish, later to become known as the "Boston Massacre," between British soldiers and citizens of Boston on March 5, 1770. On the right a group of seven uniformed soldiers, on the signal of an officer, fire into a crowd of civilians at left. Three of the latter lie bleeding on the ground. Two other casualties have been lifted by the crowd. In the foreground is a dog; in the background are a row of houses, the First Church, and the Town House. Behind the British troops is another row of buildings including the Royal Custom House, which bears the sign (perhaps a sardonic comment) "Butcher's Hall." Beneath the print are 18 lines of verse, which begin: "Unhappy Boston! see thy Sons deplore, Thy hallowed Walks besmeared with guiltless Gore." Also listed are the "unhappy Sufferers" Saml Gray, Saml Maverick, James Caldwell, Crispus Attucks, and Patrick Carr (killed) and it is noted that there were "Six wounded; two of them (Christr Monk & John Clark) Mortally."

A sensationalized portrayal of the skirmish, later to become known as the “Boston Massacre,” between British soldiers and citizens of Boston on March 5, 1770. On the right a group of seven uniformed soldiers, on the signal of an officer, fire into a crowd of civilians at left. Three of the latter lie bleeding on the ground. Two other casualties have been lifted by the crowd. In the foreground is a dog; in the background are a row of houses, the First Church, and the Town House. Behind the British troops is another row of buildings including the Royal Custom House, which bears the sign (perhaps a sardonic comment) “Butcher’s Hall.” Beneath the print are 18 lines of verse, which begin: “Unhappy Boston! see thy Sons deplore, Thy hallowed Walks besmeared with guiltless Gore.” Also listed are the “unhappy Sufferers” Saml Gray, Saml Maverick, James Caldwell, Crispus Attucks, and Patrick Carr (killed) and it is noted that there were “Six wounded; two of them (Christr Monk & John Clark) Mortally.”

In the dramatic few years when colonial Americans were galvanized to resist British rule, perhaps nothing did more to foment anti-British sentiment than the armed occupation of Boston. As If an Enemy’s Country is Richard Archer’s gripping narrative of those critical months between October 1, 1768 and the winter of 1770 when Boston was an occupied town.

Print shows section of newspaper column with illustration of four coffins bearing skull and crossbones and the initials of those killed: Samuel Gray, Samuel Maverick, James Caldwell, and Crispus Attucks.

Print shows section of newspaper column with illustration of four coffins bearing skull and crossbones and the initials of those killed: Samuel Gray, Samuel Maverick, James Caldwell, and Crispus Attucks.

Bringing colonial Boston to life, Archer deftly moves between the governor’s mansion and cobblestoned back-alleys as he traces the origins of the colonists’ conflict with Britain. He reveals the maneuvering of colonial political leaders such as Governor Francis Bernard, Lieutenant Governor Thomas Hutchinson, and James Otis Jr. as they responded to London’s new policies, and he evokes the outrage many Bostonians felt towards Parliament and its local representatives.

Print shows section of newspaper column with illustration of the coffin bearing skull and crossbones and the initials of Patrick Carr, who died from wounds received during the Boston Massacre.

Print shows section of newspaper column with illustration of the coffin bearing skull and crossbones and the initials of Patrick Carr, who died from wounds received during the Boston Massacre.

Archer captures the popular mobilization under the leadership of John Hancock and Samuel Adams that met the oppressive imperial measures – most notably the Sugar Act and the Stamp Act – with demonstrations, Liberty Trees, violence, and non-importation agreements. When the British government decided to garrison Boston with troops, it posed a shocking challenge to the people of Massachusetts. The city was flooded with troops; almost immediately, tempers flared and violent conflicts broke out. Archer’s vivid tale culminates in the swirling tragedy of the Boston Massacre and its aftermath, including the trial and exoneration of the British troops involved.
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The pay is thirteen dollars a month; their diet: beans and hay. Maybe horsemeat before this campaign is over. Fight over cards or rotgut whiskey, but share the last drop in their canteens. The faces may change… the names… but they’re there: they’re the regiment… the regular army… now and fifty years from now.

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Frontier crossroads : Fort Davis and the West Robert Wooster College Station : Texas A&M University Press, c 2006 Hardcover. 1st ed. xii, 210 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. [145]-200) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

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The idea of the West conjures images of tenacious men and women, huge expanses of unclaimed territory, and feelings of both adventure and lonesome isolation. Located astride communication lines linking San Antonio, El Paso, Presidio, and Chihuahua City, the United States Army’s post at Fort Davis commanded a strategic position at a military, cultural, and economic crossroads of nineteenth-century Texas. Using extensive research of long forgotten records, Wooster brings his readers into the world of Fort Davis, a place of encounter, conquest, and community.

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The fort here spawned a thriving civilian settlement and served as the economic nexus for regional development Frontier Crossroads schools its readers in the daily lives of soldiers, their dependents, and civilians at the fort and in the surrounding area. The resulting history of the intriguing blend of Hispanic, Anglo, and European immigrants who came to Fort Davis is a benchmark volume that will serve as the standard to which other post histories will be compared.

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The military garrisons of Fort Davis represented a rich mosaic of nineteenth-century American life. Each of the army’s four black regiments served there following the Civil War, and its garrisons engaged in many of the army’s grueling campaigns against Apache and Comanche Indians. Characters such as artist and officer Arthur T. Lee, William “Pecos Bill” Shafter, and Benjamin Grierson and his family come alive under Wooster’s pen. Frontier Crossroads will enrich its readers with its careful analysis of life on the frontier.

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What came in the end was only a small war and a quick victory; when the farmers and the gentlemen finally did coalesce in politics, they produced only the genial reforms of Progressivism; and the man on the white horse turned out to be just a graduate of the Harvard boxing squad, equipped with an immense bag of platitudes, and quite willing to play the democratic game… Richard Hofstadter, The Age of Reform

For the people : American populist movements from the Revolution to the 1850s Ronald P. Formisano Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c 2008 Hardcover. viii, 315 p. ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. [217]-298) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

formisano001A bust portrait of a young man representing the nativist ideal of the Know Nothing party. He wears a bold tie and a fedora-type hat tilted at a rakish angle. The portrait is framed by intricate carving and scrollwork surmounted by an eagle with a shield, and is draped by an American flag. Behind the eagle is a gleaming star. The flag hangs from a staff at left which has a liberty cap on its end. The Citizen Know Nothing figure appears in several nativist prints of the period and is probably an idealized type rather than an actual individual. The publishers, Williams, Stevens, Williams & Company, were art dealers with a gallery on Broadway.

For the People offers a new interpretation of populist political movements from the Revolution to the eve of the Civil War and roots them in the disconnect between the theory of rule by the people and the reality of rule by elected representatives. Formisano seeks to rescue populist movements from the distortions of contemporary opponents as well as the misunderstandings of later historians.

formisano002An anti-Catholic cartoon, reflecting the nativist perception of the threat posed by the Roman Church’s influence in the United States through Irish immigration and Catholic education. The “Propagation Society” is probably the Catholic proselytizing organization, the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. At right, on a shore marked “United States,” Brother Jonathan, whittling, leans against a flagpole flying the stars and stripes. “Young America,” a boy in a short coat and striped trousers, stands at left, holding out a Bible toward Pope Pius IX, who steps ashore from a boat at left. The latter holds aloft a sword in one hand and a cross in the other. Still in the boat are five bishops. One holds the boat to the shore with a crozier hooked round a shamrock plant. Pope: “My friend we have concluded to take charge of your spiritual welfare, and your temporal estate, so that you need not be troubled with the care of them in future; we will say your prayers and spend your money, while you live, and bury you in the Potters Field, when you die. Kneel then! and kiss our big toe in token of submission.” Brother Jonathan: “No you dont, Mr. Pope! your’e altogether too willing; but you cant put ‘the mark of the Beast’ on Americans.” Young America: “You can neither coax, nor frighten our boys, Sir! we can take care of our own worldly affairs, and are determind to “Know nothing” but this book, to guide us in spiritual things.” (“Know nothing” is a “double entendre,” alluding also to the nativist political party of the same name.) First bishop: “I cannot bear to see that boy, with that horrible book.” Second bishop: “Only let us get a good foot hold on the soil, and we’ll burn up those Books and elevate this Country to the Same degree of happiness and prosperity, to which we have brought Italy, Spain, Ireland and many other lands.” Third bishop: “Sovereign Pontiff! say that if his friends, have any money, when he dies; they may purchase a hole, for him in my cemetery, at a fair price.” Fourth bishop: “Go ahead Reverend Father; I’ll hold our boat by this sprig of shamrock.” The Gale catalog lists another, smaller print issued by Currier in 1853, entitled “The Propagation Society–More Freedom than Welcome.”

From the Anti-Federalists to the Know-Nothings, Formisano traces the movements chronologically, contextualizing them and demonstrating the progression of ideas and movements. Although American populist movements have typically been categorized as either progressive or reactionary, left-leaning or right-leaning, Formisano argues that most populist movements exhibit liberal and illiberal tendencies simultaneously. Gendered notions of “manhood” are an enduring feature, yet women have been intimately involved in nearly every populist insurgency. By considering these movements together, Formisano identifies commonalities that belie the pattern of historical polarization and bring populist movements from the margins to the core of American history.

formisano003A sheet music cover illustrated with an ornamental vignette and motifs alluding to the Know Nothing party. In the center a nocturnal procession of men in tricornered hats, holding bayonets and a banner with a skull and crossbones. From the crossbar of the banner hang a raccoon and a cock. The scene is framed by a grouping of American flags with a liberty cap and an eagle and shield (above) and by two trees. A raccoon crouches on the limb of a tree at left. Below are pumpkin vines and a rooster standing on a ledge near cornstalks. The raccoon, pumpkins, and cornstalks, all indigenous to North America and distinctly non-European, symbolize the xenophobic orientation of the nativist party. Winner & Shuster were prolific Philadelphia music publishers.

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It is the strangest thing in the world to me, that this war has developed so little talent in our generals. There is not a single one… fit for a great command… Union Chief of Staff Henry Halleck Aug 13 1862

The war within the Union high command : politics and generalship during the Civil War Thomas J. Goss Lawrence : University Press of Kansas, c 2003 Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. xx, 300 p. ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 273-281) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

goss001Cartoon showing President Abraham Lincoln leaning around a door, his left arm extending toward General Benjamin Butler, shown full-length, facing slightly right, standing with carpet bag labeled, “Butler N.O.” next to his feet, holding a bucket labeled “Suds” in his left hand and a brush in his right hand, a mop, brush, and a sword under his right arm and a long bar of soap under his left arm; he has a tired, dejected look on his face.

With Union armies poised to launch the final campaigns against the Confederacy in 1864, three of its five commanders were “political generals”—appointed officers with little or no military training. Army chief of staff Henry Halleck thought such generals jeopardized the lives of men under their command and he and his peers held them in utter contempt. Historians have largely followed suit.

goss002Scott, Winfield; McClellan, George Brinton;Banks, Nathaniel Prentiss; Wool, John Ellis; United States History Civil War, 1861-1865; Military personnel – Union.

Thomas Goss, however, offers a different assessment of the leadership of Northern commanders. In the process, he denies  the evidence of political generals as superfluous and largely inept tacticians, ambitious schemers, and military failures. Goss examines the reasons why the selection process yielded so many generals who lacked military backgrounds and explores the tense and often bitter relationships among political and professional officers to illuminate the dynamics of Union generalship during the war. As this book reveals, professional generals viewed the war as a military problem requiring battlefield solutions, while appointees (and President Lincoln) focused more emphatically on the broader political contours of the struggle. The resulting friction often eroded Northern morale and damaged the North’s war effort.

goss003Antietam, Md. Allan Pinkerton, President Lincoln, and Maj. Gen. John A. McClernand

Goss challenges the traditional idea that success was measured only on the battlefield by substituting military success for the achievement of Lincoln’s political objectives. Examining commanders like Benjamin Butler, Nathaniel Banks, John McClernand, John Fremont, and Franz Sigel, Goss shows how many filled vital functions by raising troops, boosting home front morale, securing national support for the war— even while achieving significant success on the battlefield. Comparing these generals with their professional counterparts reveals that all had vital roles to play in helping Lincoln prosecute the war and that West Pointers, despite their military training, were not necessarily better prepared for waging political war – even though he is not bold enough to suggest that the political generals could have secured victory.

goss004Female figure of Columbia and Doctor Jonathan conversing about a small man, probably John C. Frémont, with his head labeled “Lincoln.” Columbia says: “Tell me doctor, what is the matter with him? Do you think his brain is affected?” Doctor Jonathan replies: “Oh! No my dear Madam; it’s only a rather aggravated case of Sore Head!”

Whether professional or appointed, Goss reminds us, all Union generals could be considered political. He shows us that far more was asked of Union commanders than to simply win battles and in so doing urges a new understanding of the military failures of those appointed leaders who were thrust into the maelstrom of the Civil War.

goss005Print showing Major General Franz Sigel, full-length portrait, facing right, riding on horseback with troops marching in formation.

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The public conviction that a railroad linking the West and the East was an absolute necessity became so pronounced after the gold discoveries of ’49 that Congress passed an act in 1853 providing for a survey of several lines from the Mississippi to the Pacific… John Moody

When Abraham Lincoln was still a failed ex-congressman flailing about for some means of advancing himself Mephistopheles like the railroads came to the fore needing an eager young lawyer to handle titles and conveyances as they dispossessed the poor and the widowed to gain their rights of way and to defend them when their pesky contrivances blew up and killed or maimed dozens at a time. The financial success of Lincoln – without which he would not have been taken seriously as a candidate in anything more than a provincial local election – is tied directly to his representation of the Illinois Central Railroad, among others, from whom he once received a single fee of $5,000 which is the equivalent of about $156,000 today.

South front of the great central railway station, just completed at Chicago, Ill.

South front of the great central railway station, just completed at Chicago, Ill.

Going once again to John Moody we find that in 1850 nearly all the railroads in the United States lay east of the Mississippi River, and all of them, even when they were physically mere extensions of one another, were separately owned and separately managed. The perceived need for a transcontinental railway to distribute the immigrants arriving in the east to western settlements and them supply them with goods from eastern factories required a central government to protect the railroads interests. In the South railroads did not, for the most part, extend beyond State lines being designed for the most part to bring agricultural goods to export points and return with imported goods to the interior markets.

Abraham Lincoln while a traveling lawyer, taken in Danville, Illinois

Abraham Lincoln while a traveling lawyer, taken in Danville, Illinois

In spite of every rational argument that a transcontinental railroad would be easiest to build, least expensive and work best from a mid-atlantic eastern terminus to a southern pacific western terminus the railroad barons were decided that roads would run from Philadelphia and New York to Chicago and from there to San Francisco originally and later to Los Angeles. Lincoln was their lawyer and just as surely as they would bankroll Republicans until Theodore Roosevelt they bankrolled him so this is a history of the country that the railroads built and a very good one.

DETAILED ELEVATION OF SOUTH FACE - Golden Spike, Monument, State or County Road 504, Brigham City, Box Elder County, UT

DETAILED ELEVATION OF SOUTH FACE – Golden Spike, Monument, State or County Road 504, Brigham City, Box Elder County, UT

Rival rails : the race to build America’s greatest transcontinental railroad  Walter R. Borneman Railroads United States History 19th century New York : Random House, c 2010 Hardcover. 1st. ed. and printing. xxiii, 406 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text.  VG/VG

Collis Potter Huntington, 1821-1900, head and shoulders portrait, facing left

Collis Potter Huntington, 1821-1900, head and shoulders portrait, facing left

After the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in 1869, the rest of the country was up for grabs, and the race was on. The prize: a better, shorter, less snowy route through the corridors of the American Southwest, linking Los Angeles to Chicago. In Rival Rails, Borneman lays out in compelling detail the sectional rivalries, contested routes, political posturing, and ambitious business dealings that unfolded as an increasing number of lines pushed their way across the country.

Illustration shows a man [C.P. Huntington] handing money to a Congressional Page to purchase the legislative services of a Congressman; on the left and in the background, Congressmen are shown sitting in the House or Senate chamber with signs advertising their prices, such as "I will do anything for $20,000, I can be bought for $10,000, My price is according to the size of the job, [and] My price is only $5000.00".

Illustration shows a man [C.P. Huntington] handing money to a Congressional Page to purchase the legislative services of a Congressman; on the left and in the background, Congressmen are shown sitting in the House or Senate chamber with signs advertising their prices, such as “I will do anything for $20,000, I can be bought for $10,000, My price is according to the size of the job, [and] My price is only $5000.00″.

Borneman brings to life the legendary business geniuses and so-called robber barons who made millions and fought the elements — and one another — to move America, including William Jackson Palmer, whose leadership of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad relied on innovative narrow gauge trains that could climb steeper grades and take tighter curves; Collis P. Huntington of the Central Pacific and Southern Pacific lines, a magnate insatiably obsessed with trains — and who was not above bribing congressmen to satisfy his passion; Edward Payson Ripley, visionary president of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe, whose fiscal conservatism and smarts brought the industry back from the brink; and Jay Gould, ultrasecretive, strong-armer and one-man powerhouse.

Jay Gould, half-length portrait, facing left

Jay Gould, half-length portrait, facing left

In addition, Borneman captures the herculean efforts required to construct these roads — the laborers who did the back-breaking work, boring tunnels through mountains and throwing bridges across unruly rivers, the brakemen who ran atop moving cars, the track layers crushed and killed by runaway trains. From backroom deals in Washington, D.C., to armed robberies of trains in the wild deserts, from glorified cattle cars to stream liners and Super Chiefs, all the great incidents and innovations of a mighty American era are re-created with unprecedented power in Rival Rails.

Illustration showing Jay Gould as the Devil holding a paper labeled "Majority of Stock", standing outside an office labeled "Successor to Satan"; he is presiding over the "Hades & World Lightning Transportation Line" which is a railroad train headed for a station labeled "Terminus - President Jay Gould", the locomotive is labeled "Crasher" and uses "Brimstone" for fuel, a passenger car is labeled "Only Anti-Monopolists Carried", also the "Sulphuric Telegraph Co. - Gould Pres." which has many devil-like demons stringing wire cables on telegraph poles and an office where telegraph operators work at desks beneath a sign that states "Any Imp who attempts to strike will be transferred to the Western Union Company", as well as "The Bottomless Pit Roasting Co. - Jay Gould, Pres." where an "Anti-Monopolist editor", "Puck", and "Thurber" are roasted "in effigy". At bottom, a man labeled "Satan Janitor", with bandages, carries a scuttle filled with brimstone?, a watering-can labeled "Kerosene", a broom, and a key ring, skulks down the steps from Gould's office.

Illustration showing Jay Gould as the Devil holding a paper labeled “Majority of Stock”, standing outside an office labeled “Successor to Satan”; he is presiding over the “Hades & World Lightning Transportation Line” which is a railroad train headed for a station labeled “Terminus – President Jay Gould”, the locomotive is labeled “Crasher” and uses “Brimstone” for fuel, a passenger car is labeled “Only Anti-Monopolists Carried”, also the “Sulphuric Telegraph Co. – Gould Pres.” which has many devil-like demons stringing wire cables on telegraph poles and an office where telegraph operators work at desks beneath a sign that states “Any Imp who attempts to strike will be transferred to the Western Union Company”, as well as “The Bottomless Pit Roasting Co. – Jay Gould, Pres.” where an “Anti-Monopolist editor”, “Puck”, and “Thurber” are roasted “in effigy”. At bottom, a man labeled “Satan Janitor”, with bandages, carries a scuttle filled with brimstone?, a watering-can labeled “Kerosene”, a broom, and a key ring, skulks down the steps from Gould’s office.

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Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty… George Washington

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George Washington’s military genius Dave R. Palmer Washington, D.C. : Regnery Pub., 2012 Hardcover. Originally published by Greenwood Press, Westport, CT, in 1975. xvi, 254 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 245-248) and index Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

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1794 : America, its army, and the birth of the nation Dave R. Palmer Novato, CA : Presidio, c 1994 Hardcover. xiv, 290 p. ; 24 cm. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

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The debate is heated. Among the questions to be resolved are: What kind of armed forces does America need in an era of peace? Where will the troops be stationed and the ships be based? How large an army does the United States of America need? What is the best mix of active duty and reserve forces? How much can our country afford to spend on national defense? Should active duty troops be used to help maintain local law and order?

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1794, over two hundred years ago, with the ink barely dry on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, our founding fathers sought solutions to these vexing problems in order to protect the fledgling republic from attack by enemies both foreign and domestic. Their ultimate success can now be measured over centuries. Palmer’s analysis of those tumultuous times shows that both the process that the founding fathers employed and the solutions they reached are just as relevant today as they were at the birth of our country.

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In a revolution, as in a novel, the most difficult part to invent is the end… Alexis de Tocqueville

The rogue republic : how would-be patriots waged the shortest revolution in American history William C. Davis Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011 Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. xv, 400 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p.373-385) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

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When Britain ceded the territory of West Florida — what is now Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida — to Spain in 1783, America was still too young to confidently fight in one of Europe’s endless territorial contests. So it was left to the settlers, bristling at Spanish misrule, to establish a foothold in the area.

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Enter the Kemper brothers, whose vigilante justice culminated in a small band of American residents drafting a constitution and establishing a new government. By the time President Madison sent troops to occupy the territory, assert U.S. authority under the Louisiana Purchase, and restore order, West Florida’s settlers had already announced their independence, becoming our country’s shortest-lived rogue republic.

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Meticulously researched and populated with the colorful characters that make American history a joy, this is the story of a young country testing its power on the global stage and a lost chapter in how the frontier spirit came to define American character. The first treatment of this little-known historical moment, The Rogue Republic shows how hardscrabble frontiersmen and gentleman farmers planted the seeds of civil war, marked the dawn of Manifest Destiny, and laid the groundwork for the American empire.

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