Lives of Lord Lyndhurst and Lord Brougham: Lord Chancellors and Keepers of the Great Seal of England, Volume 8

J. Murray
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Publisher
J. Murray
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Published on
Dec 31, 1869
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Pages
596
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Language
English
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This content is DRM free.
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Author Glenn Tucker’s interest in research on the War of 1812 was piqued whilst he was employed as a newspaperman in Washington, D.C.

“I wanted to find out what truly occurred when the British occupied the American capital in 1814. Nothing like Ross’s seizure of the capital of a great power with a small attacking force has happened elsewhere in modern times. No other event gives so clear a view of the trials of our young government. Searching out the details of Ross’s conquest, I found them gripping, but meagerly reported and often with a farcical touch. Often the incidents, which many have regarded as humiliating and have wished forgotten, abound in human interest and pointed lesson.

“The interest and significance of the story of the Ross expedition led me to the story of the entire war. Study of the war as a whole revealed strong contrast of cowardice and courage. I have been amazed by the poltroonery and incompetence of some of the generals and cabinet members; I have been stirred by the patriotic devotion of James Monroe, by the flashing genius of Henry Clay, by the patience and true greatness of James Madison. And I discovered that not only men of high position played exciting roles in the war. Soldiers, seamen, newsmen, couriers and many others, whose names are now obscure, played brilliant, if brief, scenes—some comic, some adventurous, some tragic.

“The course of the War of 1812, like that of all wars, was determined as much by emotion as by economic and political pressures. Men acted and reacted violently, passionately. Today the wisdom and courage of some of their deeds evoke tremendous respect; the foolhardiness of others evokes laughter. Throughout these volumes I have made an effort to discern the thoughts and feelings of the people whose actions wove the variegated pattern of the war.”
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