BOOK NOTES:  Some books which might be of general interest to students of the "Early Republic" period -- If you find any worth purchasing after following one of these links, a portion will go to support of this web site:
The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris by David McCullough a "story of the adventurous American artists, writers, doctors, politicians, architects, and others of high aspiration who set off for Paris in the years between 1830 and 1900, ambitious to excel in their work."
The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity by Jeffrey Sachs.  From book description: "For more than three decades, Jeffrey D. Sachs has been at the forefront of international economic problem solving.  But Sachs turns his attention back home in The Price of Civilization, a book that is essential reading for every American. In a forceful, impassioned, and personal voice, he offers not only a searing and incisive diagnosis of our country’s economic ills but also an urgent call for Americans to restore the virtues of fairness, honesty, and foresight as the foundations of national prosperity.

Brief Biographies from the Jackson/Van Buren Era (O):

O'Connell, Daniel 1775 - 1847:

Irish nationalist leader called "The Liberator". Known in America partly for his harsh criticism of slavery, and unsuccessful calls for Irish-Americans to support the cause of the slaves. The Irish-Americans, anxious to be assimilated and to carve out for themselves a separate place from that of the blacks with whom they were at first often thrown together, actually became one of the most racist elements in the U.S. in the antebellum period.

He led the movement to repeal the Act of Union of 1800, which merged British and Irish parliaments.

Source: Ignatiev, How the Irish Became White.

Offut, Denton ? - ?: 

Hired Abraham Lincoln in Spring 1831 to build a flatboat, (with others, including John D. Johnston) and pilot it, with a load of goods, down to New Orleans; later, bragging to all who would listen about Lincoln, he set him up to work his store, and the mill he later acquired. A boastful dreamer and entrepreneur, he disappeared around the end of 1831. (Source: Beveridge, Lincoln, vol. 1, p105-114)


A chief of western Cherokees, whose people were on Hiwasee Island in eastern Tennessee. He welcomed Sam Houston when he ran away at age 16 and adopted him, in effect, if not actually. By 1829 his people had moved to the west, beyond the confluence of the Illinois River (of modern day Oklahoma) and the Arkansas River. In that year, Houston again went to live with Ooleteka and his people, and became a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and ambassador from the Cherokees to Washington. He was very prosperous and, according to Return J. Meigs (not certain which Return J. Meigs), in Tennessee, kept one of the "best houses in the South" (Source: Da Bruhl, Sword of San Jacinto, p109).

Otis, Harrison Gray 1765 - 1848:

Served in both houses of Congress; H. of R. from 1797-1801, and Senate from 1817-22; Delegate to the "infamous" Hartford Convention, Mayor of Boston 1829-32.

Nephew of James Otis.

Otis, James 1725 - 1783:

Revolutionary leader; lawyer from about 1750, in Boston. In MA legislature from 1761; published The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved, in 1765. Helped lead the MA legislature from 1766-1769. Went to seed after the revolution. Died being struck by lightning while standing in a doorway.

Uncle of Harrison Gray Otis.

Owen, Robert 1771 - 1858 :

Industrialist, anti-religion crusader, and promoter of communistic communities in Britain and the U.S. Born in Newtown, Wales. He quickly amassed a fortune, and bought the New Lanark mills at Manchester, converting it (with later partnership of the Quaker William Allen and the philosopher-activist Jeremy Bentham) into a showplace of liberal caring for workers. Took extreme environmentalist position in A New View of Society (1813). Founded several cooperative communities in Britain and one called New Harmony in the U.S. After 1834, he confined his efforts to writing and lecturing.

(source:  Eckhardt, Fanny Wright, incl. picture on p125)

Owen, Robert Dale 1801 - 1877 :

Accompanied his father, Robert Owen, to the U.S. in 1825. In New Harmony, edited the New Harmony Gazette.

(source:  Eckhardt, Fanny Wright, incl. picture on p125)

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