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[110] careless or slothful. But to Palfrey all that New Englanders did and thought was good. He did not question the spirit of Puritanism, and he did not find its narrowness unpleasant; he accepted it as a thing of course. He was the last of the complacent defenders of the old regime in the land of Bradford and Winthrop. Before he had retired from the scene Charles Francis Adams's severe blows were beginning to tell.

Over against these books from the North we must place a Southern history, the existence of which was due to the belief that the South had not received fair consideration at the hands of men who knew little about its life and natural environment. Such a book was George Tucker's (1775-1861) History of the United States (4 vols., 1856-58), which carried the story of the national development to the year 1841. The author was a lawyer in Virginia, a well-known and voluminous writer on political subjects. His History was not an extreme Republican book, as some have thought. It represented the ideas which one would expect from a conservative Virginian of the old school; it was well written, but not brilliant. Had it been offered to a section more accustomed to reading history, it would have been recognized as a standard book of its kind; as it is, it is known chiefly for the impression it made on those who held views it was intended to counteract. Tucker1 wrote also a Life of Thomas Jefferson (2 vols., 1837), probably the best of the early lives of this statesman.

The last of the general historians who fall within this chapter's limits is George Bancroft, who, during his lifetime, held a larger place in the minds of his countrymen than any other historian who has lived in the United States. This he did partly because of his literary worth, partly because of his political activity, and partly because of his social prominence. President Arthur once said that the President is ‘permitted to accept the invitations of members of the cabinet, supreme court judges, and—Mr. George Bancroft.’

Bancroft was born in Massachusetts in 1800 and died in Washington in 1891. Having graduated from Harvard in 1817, he went to Gottingen on funds subscribed by Harvard and its friends. Back in America in 1822 with a doctor's degree, he settled for a year at Harvard as tutor in Greek. He brought

1 See also Book II, Chap. VII.

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