Redeeming America’s Promise:

George S. Boutwell and the Politics of Race, Money and Power, 1818 - 1905

© Jeffrey H. Boutwell, Ph.D.



List of Illustrations and Maps


1) Farm Boy to the Massachusetts State House, 1818 – 1850


Growing up on a Massachusetts Farm

Margaret Fuller and the Education of George Boutwell

Groton, Slavery and Abolition

Boutwell’s Introduction to Washington, D.C.

Slavery as the Bedrock of the Nation’s Capital

Rising through the Ranks in the 1840s

Law, Banking and Education


2) Governor of Massachusetts and Building a Political Base, 1850 - 1854

Ralph Waldo Emerson and the Further Education of George Boutwell

Family Life in Groton

Party Politics in Massachusetts

Slavery and State Politics

King Philip’s War and American Identity

Harvard College and Academic Freedom

Amending the Massachusetts Constitution


3) Slavery Gives Birth to the Republican Party, 1854-1860

Women, Education, and Suffrage

George Boutwell and Lawrence Academy

The American Political Landscape in the 1850s

Anthony Burns and the Fugitive Slave Law

Growth of the Republican Party

The Caning of Charles Sumner

Prominence in the Republican Party

1860 Republican National Convention


4) Lincoln and the Dance of Death, 1860 – 1865

Secession and the Virginia Peace Conference

The Willard Hotel

Forging the Union Army

The Frémont Commission

Internal Revenue – Present at the Creation

George Boutwell and Abraham Lincoln

The 54th Massachusetts "Glory" Regiment

Lincoln’s Final Days

5) The Devil and Andrew Johnson, 1865 - 1869

Congressional v. Presidential Reconstruction

Presidential Pardons and the Legacy of White Supremacy

The Thirteenth Amendment and a “Miserable Idea of Freedom”

Black Suffrage in Washington D.C. and Tennessee

The Fourteenth Amendment

Andrew Johnson Impeached

The 1868 Election and the Fifteenth Amendment

Reconstruction Crippled

6) U.S. Grant and Navigating America’s Economic Future, 1869 - 1873

Reforming the Treasury Department

The Revenue Marine Bureau and U.S. Life-Saving Service

Hiram C. Whitley and the U.S. Secret Service

Reconstruction Violence

Corruption in the Treasury

The National Debt and the "Crime of 1873"

The Gold Ring and "Black Friday," Sept. 24, 1869

The Education of Henry Adams

The Panic of 1873

The Whiskey Ring

Charles Sumner and Ulysses Grant

7) Black Reconstruction and White Redemption, 1873 - 1877

Economic Free Fall

Reconstruction Fatigue and a Wounded Presidency

Mississippi Burning

The Mississippi Senate Report of 1876

Frederick Douglass, Adelbert Ames and George Boutwell

Death Knell of Reconstruction

George Graham Vest and Ronald Reagan

Final Days in the Senate

8) Into the International Arena, 1877 - 1897

Revising the Statutes of the United States

U.S. Military Courts-Martial

French and American Claims Commission and "Champagne Charlie" Heidsieck

Haiti and the “Last of the Ocean Slave-Traders”

The Grant and Boutwell Families

United States and Chilean Claims Commission

Counsel to Hawaii and U.S. Annexation

The Venezuela Border Dispute

9) America Embraces Empire, 1897-1900

Prelude to War

Cuba and America

“The Splendid Little War”

Opponents of Annexation

The Anti-Imperialist League

Mark Twain and Rudyard Kipling

Booker T. Washington and William McKinley

Race, Imperialism and White Supremacy

Stalemate Abroad and at Home

10) From the White Man’s Burden to the Great White Fleet, 1900-1905

William Jennings Bryan and the 1900 Election

Mark Twain to the Rescue?

What to do with Cuba

The Insular Cases

David Starr Jordan and ‘Scientific’ Racism

Fighting a Losing Battle

George Boutwell’s Final Days

Death and Remembrance

The Great White Fleet Sails into the Future

Epilogue: Reflections on Redeeming America's Promise

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