United States History 1800-1900
Featured Items
Winfield Scott Hancock: A Soldier's Life
Winfield Scott Hancock
A Soldier's Life
Paperback      ISBN: 0253210585

. . . detailed, well-written and thoroughly documented. --The Journal of Military History

. . . comprehensive, well-written, and thoroughly researched . . . --Booklist

. . . the definitive work on the life of Winfield Scott Hancock . . . --Blue and Gray

At last we have a complete life of [Hancock], and it, too, is superb. --The Philadelphia Inquirer

Jordan's careful attention to detail and excellent use of sources highlight a lively writing style to make a highly readable book. --America's Civil War

Jordan's study of Hancock is an important contribution to both military and political history. --Journal of Southern History

The Great Tax Wars: Lincoln to Wilson : The Fierce Battles over Money and Power That Transformed the Nation
The Great Tax Wars
Lincoln to Wilson : The Fierce Battles over Money and Power That Transformed the Nation
Hardcover      ISBN: 0684850680

A major work of history, "The Great Tax Wars" is the gripping, epic story of six decades of often violent conflict over wealth, power, and fairness that gave America the income tax. It's the story of a tumultuous period of radical change, from Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War through the progressive era under Theodore Roosevelt and ending with Woodrow Wilson and World War I. During these years of upheaval, America was transformed from an agrarian society into a mighty industrial nation as great fortunes were amassed, militant farmers and workers rebelled against concentrations of vast wealth and power, class war was narrowly averted, and America emerged as a global power.

Award-winning journalist Steven R. Weisman begins his narrative with the Civil War, when Lincoln imposed the nation's first income tax to pay the Union Army and dampen dangerous resentment against bankers, merchants, and factory owners who profited from the war. Repealed by Congress after the war, the tax was reenacted in 1894 to deal with the nation's worst economic collapse until that time. By reducing the government's heavy reliance on tariffs for revenue, the tax benefited farmers in the West and South who were rebelling against the high cost of imports and goods manufactured in the North and East. But a year later, the Supreme Court declared the income tax unconstitutional, plunging the court into one of the worst controversies it has endured and once again pitting region against region and workers and farmers against industrialists. The court's decision also handed populist congressman William Jennings Bryan of Nebraska, who was a champion of the tax, a major issue in his unsuccessful campaign forpresident in 1896.

The turn of the century brought an outpouring of progressive reforms under President Roosevelt. Toward the end of his term, T.R. proposed an income tax to help break the excessive power of the wealthy and the trusts and banks they controlled, but it took a deal between President William Howard Taft and Congress in 1909, and then ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution, to finally get the tax enacted in 1913. The tax took effect just as Wilson entered the White House and in time to finance America's involvement in World War I.

"The Great Tax Wars" features an extraordinary cast of characters, including the powerful men who built the nation's industries and the politicians and reformers who battled them -- from J. P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie to Lincoln, T.R., Wilson, Bryan, and Eugene Debs. From their ferocious battles emerged a more flexible definition of democracy, economic justice, and free enterprise largely framed by a more progressive tax system. Drawing on their words and on newspaper and magazine accounts of the time, Weisman shows how the ever-controversial income tax transformed America and how today's debates about the tax echo those of the past.

The Death of Crazy Horse: A Tragic Episode in Lakota History
The Death of Crazy Horse
A Tragic Episode in Lakota History
Paperback      ISBN: 0803273258

On May 7, 1877, less than a year after his overwhelming victory at Little Big Horn, Crazy Horse, the charismatic Oglala Sioux whose name had become the epitome of Indian resistance to white encroachment, surrendered at Camp Robinson, Nebraska Territory. A young man of slight build and quiet ways dramatically at odds with his extraordinary influence and stature, he was viewed by the military as a potential civil leader of all Sioux. What happened between May 15, 1877, when, anticipating a visit to the president in Washington, Crazy Horse was sworn in as a noncommissioned officer in the U.S. military, and September 5, 1877, when he was bayoneted in the back by a military guard, is the stuff of rumor and legend. And yet, reliable accounts of the last days of Crazy Horse do exist. The interviews collected in this book describe in stark detail the surrender and death of Crazy Horse from the perspective of Indian and mixed-blood contemporaries. Supplemented by military orders, telegrams, and reports, and rounded out with dispatches from numerous newspaper correspondents, these eyewitness accounts make up a unique firsthand view of the events and circumstances surrounding this tragic episode in Lakota history.

Three Roads to the Alamo: The Lives and Fortunes of David Crockett, James Bowie, and William Barret Travis
Three Roads to the Alamo
The Lives and Fortunes of David Crockett, James Bowie, and William Barret Travis
Paperback      ISBN: 0060930942

William C. Davis's Three Roads to the Alamo is far and away the best account of the Alamo I have ever read. The portraits of Crockett, Bowie, and Travis are brilliantly sketched in a fast-moving story that keeps the reader riveted to the very last word. -- Stephen B. Oates

Three Roads to the Alamois the definitive book about the lives of David Crockett, James Bowie and William Barret Travis--the legendary frontiersmen and fighters who met their destiny at the Alamo in one of the most famous and tragic battles in American history--and about what really happened in that battle.

Civil War Poetry and Prose
Civil War Poetry and Prose
Paperback      ISBN: 0486285073

Walt Whitman experienced the agonies of the Civil War firsthand, working, in his forties, as a dedicated volunteer throughout the conflict in Washington's overcrowded, understaffed military hospitals. This superb selection of his poems, letters, and prose from the war years, filled with the sights and sounds of war and its ugly aftermath, express a vast and powerful range of emotions.
Among the poems include here, first published in Drum-Taps (1865) and Sequel to Drum-Taps (1866), are a number of Whitman's most famous works: "O Captain My Captain " "The Wound-Dresser," "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd," and "Come Up from the Fields, Father." The letters and prose selections, including Whitman's musings on the publication of his works, on the wounded men he tended, and his impressions of Lincoln traveling about the city of Washington, offer keen insights into an extraordinary era in American history.

More Civil War Curiosities: Fascinating Tales, Infamous Characters, and Strange Coincidences
More Civil War Curiosities
Fascinating Tales, Infamous Characters, and Strange Coincidences
Paperback      ISBN: 1558533664

More Civil War Curiosities contains strange but true stories from the four-year conflict that raged across a one-thousand-mile battle front with more than three million men in uniform. Anything could and often did happen. Webb Garrison recounts instances of friendly fire casualties, the unperfected art of spying, banishments and deportings, grisly tales of missing limbs, name changes for both people and ships, disguises that worked (and some that did not), and many "firsts" and "lasts."

Fragging, or purposely killing a fellow soldier, was the probable cause of the death of Thomas Wilson, a tyrannical Federal general. He died in action at the battle of Baton Rouge when, according to one account, he was seized by a group of his own men who held him in front of a cannon before it was fired at the enemy.

When Confederate Gen. Jubal Early marched on Frederick, Maryland, he offered not to torch the town for a payment of $200,000. It took the townspeople a day to borrow the money?and 87 years to pay it back. When Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, failed to raise a ransom of $500,000, Early's subordinate, Gen. John McCausland, burned the town to the ground.

The arm of Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson was amputated when he was wounded at the battle of Chancellorsville. Following the operation, Jackson's corps chaplain gave the arm a respectful burial?complete with a gravestone?in his family's cemetery. When the general died a week later, the rest of him was buried in Lexington, Virginia.

Hiram Ulysses Grant was mistakenly listed as Ulysses Simpson Grant by the congressman appointing him to West Point. Grant did not protest, and the name stayed with him all the way to the presidency of the United States.

Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West
Undaunted Courage
Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West
Paperback      ISBN: 0684826976
From the New York Times bestselling author of Band of Brothers and D-Day, the definitive book on Lewis and Clark's exploration of the Louisiana Purchase, the most momentous expedition in American history and one of the great adventure stories of all time.

In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson selected his personal secretary, Captain Meriwether Lewis, to lead a voyage up the Missouri River to the Rockies, over the mountains, down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean, and back. Lewis and his partner, Captain William Clark, made the first map of the trans-Mississippi West, provided invaluable scientific data on the flora and fauna of the Louisiana Purchase territory, and established the American claim to Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

Ambrose has pieced together previously unknown information about weather, terrain, and medical knowledge at the time to provide a vivid backdrop for the expedition. Lewis is supported by a rich variety of colorful characters, first of all Jefferson himself, whose interest in exploring and acquiring the American West went back thirty years. Next comes Clark, a rugged frontiersman whose love for Lewis matched Jefferson's. There are numerous Indian chiefs, and Sacagawea, the Indian girl who accompanied the expedition, along with the French-Indian hunter Drouillard, the great naturalists of Philadelphia, the French and Spanish fur traders of St. Louis, John Quincy Adams, and many more leading political, scientific, and military figures of the turn of the century.

High adventure, high politics, suspense, drama, and diplomacy combine with high romance and personal tragedy to make this outstanding work of scholarship as readable as a novel.
1831: Year of Eclipse
1831
Year of Eclipse
Paperback      ISBN: 0809041197

1776, 1861, 1929. Any high-school student should know what these years meant to American history. But wars and economic disasters are not our only pivotal events, and other years have, in a quieter way, swayed the course of our nation. 1831 was one of them, and in this striking new work, Louis Masur shows us exactly how.

The year began with a solar eclipse, for many an omen of mighty changes -- and for once, such predictions held true. Nat Turner's rebellion soon followed, then ever-more violent congressional arguments over slavery and tarrifs. Religious revivalism swept the North, and important observers (including Tocqueville) traveled the land, forming the opinions that would shape the world's view of America for generations to come. New technologies, meanwhile, were dramatically changing Americans' relationship with the land, and Andrew Jackson's harsh policies toward the Cherokee erased most Indians' last hopes of autonomy. As Masur's analysis makes clear, by 1831 it was becoming all too certain that political rancor, the struggle over slavery, the pursuit of individualism, and technological development might eclipse the glorious potential of the early republic--and lead the nation to secession and civil war. This is an innovative and challenging interpretation of a key moment in antibellum America.
William Cooper's Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic
William Cooper's Town
Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic
Paperback      ISBN: 0679773002

William Cooper and James Fenimore Cooper, a father and son who embodied the contradictions that divided America in the early years of the Republic, are brought to life in this Pulitzer Prize-winning book.

William Cooper rose from humble origins to become a wealthy land speculator and U.S. congressman in what had until lately been the wilderness of upstate New York, but his high-handed style of governing resulted in his fall from power and political disgrace. His son James Fenimore Cooper became one of this country's first popular novelists with a book, The Pioneers, that tried to come to terms with his father's failure and imaginatively reclaim the estate he had lost.

In William Cooper's Town, Alan Taylor dramatizes the class between gentility and democracy that was one of the principal consequences of the American Revolution, a struggle that was waged both at the polls and on the pages of our national literature. Taylor shows how Americans resolved their revolution through the creation of new social reforms and new stories that evolved with the expansion of our frontier.
Sacajawea
Sacajawea
Paperback      ISBN: 0806115785

In the saga of early western exploration a young Shoshoni Indian girl named Sacajawea is famed as a guide and interpreter for the Lewis and Clark Expedition to the Far Northwest between 1804 and 1806. Her fame rests upon her contributions to the expedition. In guiding them through the wilderness, in gathering wild foods, and, above all, in serving as an ambassadress to Indian tribes along the way she helped to assure the success of the expedition.

This book retraces Sacajawea's path across the Northwest, from the Mandan Indian villages in present-day South Dakota to the Pacific Ocean, and back. On the journey Sacajawea was accompanied by her ne'er-do-well French-Canadian husband, Toussaint Charboneau, and her infant son, Baptiste, who became a favorite of the members of the expedition, especially Captain William Clark.

The author presents a colorful account of Sacajawea's journeys with Lewis and Clark and an objective evaluation of the controversial accounts of her later years.