Benjamin L. Huggins has recently published a book, Willie Mangum and the North Carolina Whigs in the Age of Jackson (McFarland, 2016). Huggins received his PhD in history from George Mason University in 2008, writing his dissertation under the direction of Professors Jane Turner Censer and Rosemarie Zagarri. Huggins is an associate editor at The Papers of George Washington and an associate professor at the University of Virginia. The publisher offers this description of the book:
In the 1820s, young congressman Willie Mangum imbibed the political philosophy of North Carolina’s senior senator Nathaniel Macon, the “prophet of pure republicanism.” From his election in 1824, Mangum was at the epicenter of national and state government. In the 1830s, he emerged as leader of an opposition party—the Whigs—and became an opponent of Andrew Jackson and his Democratic Party.
Mangum’s career offers insight into the ideology and politics of North Carolina’s Whigs. Opposition to executive power was fundamental to the Whig platform but in North Carolina the party was a coalition that melded the Old Republicans’ creed with the National Republican economic agenda touted by Henry Clay, a combination that enabled them to dominate. Mangum and the Carolina Whigs have received little attention from scholars. This book traces their rapid rise to power and their even more rapid fall in the years prior to the Civil War.
February 15, 2017