George S. Boutwell
George S. Boutwell is the most consequential American political figure you've never heard of. During his career from 1839 to 1905, he was Governor of Massachusetts, served in the U.S. House and Senate, was Treasury Secretary for Ulysses Grant and Commissioner of Internal Revenue for Abraham Lincoln, helped create the Republican Party in the 1850s, and challenged the efforts of Presidents McKinley and Teddy Roosevelt to annex the Philippines in 1900 following the Spanish-American war. He was instrumental in framing the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, initiating the impeachment of Andrew Johnson, and investigating white vigilante violence against Blacks in Mississippi in the 1870s. For seven decades, George Boutwell sought to "redeem America's promise" through racial equality, economic equity, and the humane use of American power abroad.
I am delighted to learn of your work in progress about George Boutwell -- he certainly needs a modern biography, one which takes into account current scholarship on slavery, Reconstruction, imperialism, etc. I wish you every success in pursuing it.
Eric Foner, author of The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade
the Constitution and Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877
A wonderful biography of a most remarkable figure in American history.
Robert D. Putnam, author of The Upswing: How America Came Together a Century Ago and
How We Can Do It Again (with Shaylyn Romney Garrett) and
Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community
I am glad you are doing a biography of George Boutwell, whom I came to admire a great deal.
Richard White, author of The Republic for Which It Stands: The United States
During Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865-1896