Chris McIlwain once again sets his critical eye on another Alabamian who led the state to make a series of disastrous decisions during the mid-nineteenth century. David Hubbard started his political career as a firm supporter of Andrew Jackson, but with each new national conflict-over Indian removal, annexation of Texas, war with Mexico, the Wilmot Proviso, and others-he emerged as a more radical and uncompromising defender of a separate Southern nation. Much of his success lay in gaining the votes of the non-slaveholders by over appeals to their fears of slave rebellions and to their resentment of the wealthy. At the time, Hubbard was among those north Alabamians pushing for critical economic changes, including industrialization, which McIlwain details in a particularly significant contribution. In short, Alabama's Forgotten Fire-Eater
is a fresh look at one road to secession-twists, turns, dust, rocks, and all.
—G. Ward Hubbs, author of Searching for Freedom after the Civil War: Klansman, Carpetbagger, Scalawag, and Freedman