Lewis Cass and the Politics of Moderation

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Kent State University Press, 1996 - Biography & Autobiography - 416 pages
Drawing upon Lewis Cass's voluminous private papers, correspondence, and published works, Willard Carl Klunder provides the first comprehensive biography of the man who was the Democratic spokesman for the Old Northwest for more than half a century. A champion of spread-eagle expansionism and an ardent nationalist, Cass subscribed to the Jeffersonian political philosophy, embracing the principles of individual liberty; the sovereignty of the people; equality of rights and opportunities for all citizens; and a strictly construed and balanced constitutional government of limited powers.
Cass was a significant player in American politics, from the Burr conspiracy during Thomas Jefferson's presidency, through the Trent affair of the Lincoln administration. During his career, he served as a prosecuting attorney, state legislator, federal marshal, army officer, territorial governor, secretary of war, minister to France, United States senator, and secretary of state. More than any other individual, he was responsible for the growth of Michigan from a frontier territory to the threshold of statehood.
Aptly named the "father of popular sovereignty," Cass championed this doctrine that provided an expedient solution to the volatile question of slavery expansion for a decade. A vehement opponent of slavery, Cass supported the right of citizens in each state or territory to decide the question for themselves.
Klunder presents a balanced and insightful look into the character and career of this significant 19th-century Michigan politician. Lewis Cass emerges as a bright symbol of antebellum nationalism and political moderation. Lewis Cass and the Politics of Moderation will be of interest to anyone concerned with American biography, White-Indian relations and the coming of the Civil War.
 

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I wish the Mr. Klunder had not pilfered material from a book written in 1922 on the city of Detroit. It is almost verbatim. I found some of that text in the 1922 book not accurate.

Contents

Youth and Soldier 17821813 I Saw the Constitution Born
1
Governor of Michigan Territory 18131831 A More Consummate Politician Will Rarely Be Found
17
Secretary of War 18311836 An Amiable Talented Man
59
Minister to France 18361842 I Have Presumed that I Express the Feelings of the American Government and People
97
Candidate for the Presidential Nomination 18421844 The Best Man Undoubtedly for the Democrats
119
United States Senator 18451848 In These Great Questions of National Bearing I Acknowledge No Geographical Claims
145
Democratic Presidential Candidate 1848 A Statesman Renowned for His Patience Wisdom and Energy
175
The Presidential Election of 1848 The Election of Gen Cass Is Certainbut That of Gen Taylor a Leetle More So
195
United States Senator 18491857 Life Is a CompromiseFrom the Cradle to the Grave
235
Secretary of State and Union Advocate 18571866 I Am Sometimes Filled with ApprehensionI May Yet Outlive the Union and Constitution of My Co...
285
EPILOGUE
313
ABBREVIATIONS
317
NOTES
319
BIBLIOGRAPHY
359
INDEX
407
Copyright

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