By Raoul Granqvist
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His behavior at the convention almost defied explanation, but biographer T. A. Bland, who researched Butler's motives for supporting Breckinridge, found that early in the convention Butler had spoken with southern leaders in an effort to discourage them from seceding, receiving in exchange for his support promises of high office, honors, and cash. Covert deal-making was not inconsistent with Butler's methods for acquiring power and wealth. 32 Back in Massachusetts, the faltering Breckinridge Democrats in 1860 named Butler as their choice for governor.
All that remained of Butler's eight months' rule is a staggering stack of correspondence, a few scattered and often controversial biographies, and no clear answers. 1 To understand the underpinnings of Butler's personality, one must first understand his profession. As a sharp criminal lawyer before the war, he spent many years profiting legitimately from his association with felons and other unsavory characters. A smart defense lawyer knows his way around the law better than a prosecutor and quickly learns how to avoid creating incriminating evidence.
Sherman to Butler, October 10, 1891, in Benjamin F. S. Navy (New York, 1879), 262. Page 5 loudly against the general's record of corruption. Butler searched for methods to improve his image, and by a stroke of good fortune James Parton, the nation's foremost biographer, offered his services. Delighted, Butler invited the author to his home and gave him access to the many files of documents comprising his life's work. Parton, who wrote with great energy, completed General Butler in New Orleans in the autumn of 1863, and it immediately became a huge success.
Culture in Africa: an appeal for pluralism by Raoul Granqvist