Invincible Duff Green: Whig of the West

Invincible Duff Green: Whig of the West

by Steve Belko
     
 

He made a name for himself in the Missouri territory as a land speculator, entrepreneur, lawyer, militia officer, politician, and newspaper editor. He went on to take part in many of the events that shaped the young republic, and his name became a household word. But Duff Green has not found his rightful place in history—until now. W. Stephen Belko has written

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Overview

He made a name for himself in the Missouri territory as a land speculator, entrepreneur, lawyer, militia officer, politician, and newspaper editor. He went on to take part in many of the events that shaped the young republic, and his name became a household word. But Duff Green has not found his rightful place in history—until now. W. Stephen Belko has written the first full-scale political investigation of this important figure, examining Green’s fundamental role in the politics, society, and economy of Jacksonian America.

Duff Green emerged on the national stage when he became editor of the United States Telegraph, an organizer of the fledgling Democratic Party, and one of Andrew Jackson’s chief advisers. He broke bitterly with Jackson over his feud with Vice President John C. Calhoun, then later found a place as a diplomat in John Tyler’s administration and emerged as a key figure in the popularization of Manifest Destiny and the annexation of Texas. Green also played a major role in the transportation revolution as a developer of canal and railroad projects.

Belko presents a balanced appraisal of Green’s career, particularly from 1815 to 1850, delving into his personality to tease out the motivations for his pursuit of such wide-ranging ventures. Drawing on a wealth of previously unexploited primary sources, he not only chronicles Green’s labyrinthine career but also illuminates Green’s rise in the Democratic Party; his role in the creation and development of the Whig Party; and his considerable influence on national debates regarding slavery, nullification, the National Bank, territorial expansion, and foreign relations.

For all his influence, Green has until now been either ignored or portrayed as a Calhoun minion and proslavery sectionalist in the Fireater mold. Belko revises these assessments of Green’s role in the making of Jacksonian America, showing him to be an independent westerner who was politically moderate—even less fanatical on the slavery issue than many have supposed. Belko’s research uncovers a Duff Green who was an aggressive and buoyant person, to be sure, but a democratic man of principle who is rightly called a quintessential Jacksonian.

The story of Jacksonian America cannot be fully told without Duff Green. This long-awaited study is a compelling narrative for scholars and aficionados of political or Missouri history, offering a fresh view of his crucial contributions to the antebellum era and shedding new light on the true nature of Jacksonian democracy.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780826216472
Publisher:
University of Missouri Press
Publication date:
04/28/2006
Edition description:
illustration, bibliography, index
Pages:
496
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.50(d)

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