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.

...the most consequential American political figure you've never heard of...but should have!

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

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

                               

Jeffrey H. Boutwell

Jeffrey H. Boutwell is a writer, historian, and science policy specialist living in Columbia, Maryland, after a 40-year career in journalism, government and with international scientific research organizations. He has written and spoken widely on issues ranging from nuclear weapons arms control to Middle East peace to environmental degradation and conflict. He's passionate about Shakespeare, Alpine skiing, improving US-Cuba relations, and road trips in his Mini Cooper. Jeffrey and George share a common ancestor, the indentured servant James Boutwell who emigrated in 1632 from England to Salem, Mass. 

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