William E. Smith
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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Geschichte
Here is a panorama of life as it was lived and witnessed by one Ohio citizen, his family, and his friends, from 1816-1876. From the diary and correspondence of John H. James of Urbana, Ohio, and from contemporary manuscripts, periodicals, and newspapers, William E. and Ophia D. Smith have created an authentic picture of the times. A Buckeye Titan is not so much a biography of a man as it is an exposition of the contribution of his manuscripts to American history in general and to Ohio history in particular. The point of view presented is that of the protagonist and his friends.Cincinnati and Louisville are seen when slow-moving, square-rigged barges and primate boats propelled by "e;elastic vigor"e; crowded their landings, and when stately floating castles received and discharged passengers and cargoes upon their busy rivers. Lexington, Athens of the West, is portrayed as it was in the lush days of Horace Holley. The sophistication of New Orleans, Philadelphia, and New York sets off the awkward adolescence of such Mid-Western towns as Columbus, Dayton, Urbana, and Indianapolis. Against a background of devious politics and frenzied finance, the Mad River and Lake Erie Rail Road begins in Sandusky and stubbornly fights its way to Springfield. Whigs and Loco Focos engage in a titanic struggle of the establishment of a second banking system.Civil War days are graphically drawn. The tumultuous conflict of opinion, the graft and corruption, the political chicanery in the raising of troops and in the promotion of officers and men, the strength and the weakness of the Northern fighting forces and their leaders-all are here.Statesmen and politicians, reformers and scholars, authors and artists, actors and actresses, soldiers, travelers, bankers and merchants, founders of the first Swedenborgian college in the world, and plain everyday people, as well as intimate glimpses of distinguished characters, appear in these pages.