William G. Brownlow: Fighting Parson of the Southern Highlands / Edition 1

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Tennessee has had its share of outrageous characters over the years but none more so than William G. Brownlow. A legend in his own time and mythic in times after, Parson Brownlow was a circuit-riding Methodist minister, upstart journalist, and political activist who wielded a vitriolic tongue and pen in defense of both slavery and the Union.

E. Merton Coulter's 1937 biography of Brownlow remains the standard account of the parson and his times. It traces his religious, journalistic, and political career and shows that, wherever he went, Brownlow created a storm, becoming a hero to his admirers and the devil incarnate to his enemies. "If I have any talent in the world," he once wrote, "it is that talent which consists in piling up one epithet upon another."

Coulter drew on a wide range of sources and his own knowledge of southern history to bring Parson Brownlow to life, and his lively prose captures the exaggerated rhetoric with which Brownlow assaulted all enemies--Democrats, abolitionists, Presbyterians, and finally Rebels. Although Coulter's interpretations were biased by racism, his vision of the American South included Appalachians and African Americans at a time when most of his contemporaries ignored those groups.

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Editorial Reviews

Parson Brownlow was a circuit-riding Methodist minister, upstart journalist, and political activist who wielded a vitriolic tongue and pen in defense of both slavery and the Union. This 1937 biography traces his religious, journalistic, and political career. Although his interpretations were biased by racism, Brownlow's vision of the American South included Appalachians and African Americans at a time when his contemporaries ignored these groups. Coulter taught history at the University of Georgia. This edition contains a brief foreword. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572330504
  • Publisher: University of Tennessee Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/1999
  • Series: Appalachian Echoes Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 472
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

The Author: E. Merton Coulter was Regents Professor Emeritus of history at the University of Georgia and editor of the Georgia Historical Quarterly. He was the first president of the Southern Historical Association and the author or editor of nearly thirty books.

Stephen V. Ash is associate professor of history at the University of Tennessee and editor of the Journal of East Tennessee History.

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Table of Contents

I Crusading in the Southern Highlands 1
II A New Parson Rides the Circuit 17
III Personal Journalism 35
IV Religious Warfare Renewed 53
V Black Slaves and Mountain Whites 84
VI Ante-Bellum Politics 110
VII Secession 134
VIII East Tennesseeans Rebel against Rebellion 154
IX In Jail and Out 178
X A Tour of the North 208
XI Back in Tennessee 235
XII A New Governor Seeks Vengeance 262
XIII The Minority Establishes Itself 294
XIV The Reign of the Tennessee Radicals 325
XV The Storm before the Calm 349
XVI The Like Shall Not Be Seen Again 374
Bibliography 401
Index 413
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