Obscure Newspapers

I have worked this morning on a tedious task; compiling a list of ALL the newspapers cited in the Stanton book.  My prior list cited the major newspapers: the New York Herald, the Daily Ohio Statesman, etc.  The new list, what you will see in the book, cites such newspapers as the Charleston (S.C.) Daily News and Flake’s Bulletin from Galveston, Texas.  In total, more than one hundred twenty different newspapers are now in the bibliography.

This highlights the difference between 20th and 21st century research.  In the 20th century, one reviewed newspapers on microfilm, and one could only review a few papers, in the major cities, or in places where one’s subject lived, such as Steubenville in the case of Stanton.

Copy Edit Corrections

I am working my way through the Stanton book again, dealing with the comments and questions of the copy editor.

In some cases her comments are annoying:  for example she wants me to list in the bibliography every newspaper that is cited even once in the notes.  I cite a lot of different newspapers, probably more than a hundred, because I did a lot of the newspaper research through databases, and that leads one to obscure places.  It will be tedious to list them all, but I guess that is what I will do, because I do not want to omit the newspaper list from the bibliography, the other alternative she suggested.

Battling the Bishop

I have been, for the past couple years, a member of St. James the Great Episcopal Church in Newport Beach, California.  Like Seward and Stanton, I have been an Episcopalian for most of my life, but not the best at attending church or living a godly life.  Seward, while he lived in Washington, was a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church, just north of the White House.  One of my favorite moments of the Seward book is when, on an Easter Sunday, he tells an aide, who says he will deal with something after church, “never mind about church today.”  Stanton, at least during the Civil War years, was a member of Epiphany Episcopal Church, a few blocks away, where he rented the pew previously rented by Jefferson Davis.  A reporter who knew him well said that he “goes to an Episcopal church–if at all.”


Simon & Schuster has requested, and I am working on, a bibliography for the back of the book.

In a sense, the bibliography is the first document I created, when I started work on Stanton, creating a list of books and articles and papers.  I still have that document, edited over the course of five years, on my computer.  (For more on the use of a bibliography as a research tool see my Seattle Prep talk on this blog.)  But I have had to edit it quite a bit to create the bibliography for the published book, because in many cases I listed books and articles on tangential issues.  Some of those I looked at but did not cite; some of them I never even looked at.  There is not much point sending the poor reader to look at things I decided were not much use.

With the copy editor

My Stanton book is now with the copy editor.  What that means is that someone is looking hard for typographical errors, for inconsistencies in capitalization, for proper punctuation.  I have been looking hard for these things myself, in recent weeks, but it is hard to see one’s own errors, and I am sure the copy editor will find some things to change.

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In early October 1863, Seward drafted and Lincoln issued a proclamation, calling upon Americans to thank God for their blessings.  How much of the final proclamation is Seward and how much Lincoln we do not know, but even Gideon Welles, who did not much like Seward, praised Seward’s draft in this case.

I received a copy of the proclamation by email this morning from a friend in Hong Kong, who suggested, and I think he is right, that Lincoln speaks to our situation today, in which we find ourselves in a war of words with one another, simply over an election.  Lincoln’s proclamation reminds us that we are all Americans, and that we have so much to thank God for.

Election Results

After a long, bitter, divisive election, a Republican president candidate has prevailed.  The candidate’s partisans rejoice, but his opponents are outraged that such a narrow, prejudiced man will become president.  Some are so outraged that they are thinking about leaving the United States.  A Republican senior statesman is asked for his comments.

August 2017

I have learned from Simon & Schuster in the past few days that Stanton will be published in August 2017.  We do not have a precise date within that month but we will fix one soon.

This means that I have to give the book, in final form, to S&S by some time in early December.  Suddenly all those things that I thought I would do “some day” have to be done some time between now and early December.  Yes, I can leave a few things to sort out later, a few footnotes to be checked and completed, a few images to find and permissions to secure.  But basically it has to be done soon.

Seattle Prep Remarks

Simon & Schuster has asked me for a list of my speeches about Seward, which turns out to be a long list.  While looking for them on my old computer, I came across these remarks at Seattle Prep in early 2014.  I post them in case they might help others understand why and how I write books, and indeed help students as they research and write their own papers.  They end with a bit of a “teaser” for the Stanton book, coming some time next fall.  “Mr. McCarthy,” in the first line, is my good friend Andy McCarthy, head coach of the Seattle Prep mock trial team.