by Ted Bauman
The Sovereign Investor
The United States had a strange year in 1865. The Civil War had just ended, but Abraham Lincoln, the man who gave it moral purpose, was dead — felled by an assassin’s bullet. His replacement, Andrew Johnson, was sympathetic to the South, leading to a bitter political conflict with Congress and his Cabinet. To many, it appeared that the brutal sacrifices of the previous four years would come to nothing.
To make matters worse, demobilized Union soldiers were flooding back into the Northeast, looking for work or trying to revive their farms. The economy was in a nosedive, as federal procurement wound down.
Above all, there was a sense that the old America, and it’s quality of life, was dead. In the midst of this, Horace Greely wrote in a July 13, 1865 New York Tribune editorial that the American East “… is not a place to live in.