Senator James Murray Mason: Defender of the Old South Robert W. Young

ISBN: 9780870499982

Published: March 1st 1998

Hardcover

320 pages


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Senator James Murray Mason: Defender of the Old South  by  Robert W. Young

Senator James Murray Mason: Defender of the Old South by Robert W. Young
March 1st 1998 | Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, ZIP | 320 pages | ISBN: 9780870499982 | 3.75 Mb

A slaveholding aristocrat and a powerful politician whose ideas and actions helped to shape the antebellum and Civil War periods, James Murray Mason built a career that encompassed virtually all of the critical events and issues of his day. In theMoreA slaveholding aristocrat and a powerful politician whose ideas and actions helped to shape the antebellum and Civil War periods, James Murray Mason built a career that encompassed virtually all of the critical events and issues of his day.

In the first full-scale biography of Mason, Robert W. Young traces the fascinating life of power politics led by this quintessential representative of the Old South. Through his examination of the conservative causes that Mason consistently championed -- strict Constitutional interpretation, states rights, and slavery -- Young opens a window onto the early-nineteenth-century southern society in which Mason lived.As Young demonstrates, Masons rise to a position of political strength and his later humiliating fall from power paralleled the fate of the South.

Between 1826 and 1861, Mason became an active member of the Virginia legislature, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the U.S. Senate. Young shows how thoroughly Masons southern perspective informed his conduct in office, which included writing the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, chairing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and leading a Senate investigation into the insurrection at Harpers Ferry.When Virginia seceded, Mason resigned from the Senate and was named diplomatic envoy to England by Jefferson Davis.

In recounting Masons years as a diplomat, Young analyzes the infamous Trent affair, in which Mason and a fellow Confederate official were arrested on the high seas by a Union Navy captain. Young places this crisis, which was ultimately resolved in the Unions favor, within the larger context of diplomatic blunders made by the Confederacy.

Finally, in chronicling Masonsdisappointment in the face of the Confederacys defeat, Young evokes the enormous sense of loss that accompanied the passing of the Old Souths way of life.Written in a lively and engaging style, James Murray Mason offers new insights into the key personalities and political issues of the turbulent Civil War era.



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