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Hotze, Henry (02 September 1833–19 April 1887), Confederate propagandist, was born in Zurich, Switzerland, the son of Rudolph Hotze, a captain in the French Royal Service, and Sophie Esslinger. Educated by the Jesuits, Hotze emigrated as a youth to the United States. In 1855 he became a naturalized citizen in Mobile, Alabama, where his intelligence, manners, and racial views (he translated Joseph Arthur, Comte de Gobineau’s ...

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Huse, Caleb (11 February 1831–11 March 1905), soldier and Confederate arms procurement agent in Europe, was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, the son of Ralph Cross Huse and Caroline Evans, occupations unknown. In 1851 he graduated from the U.S. Military Academy, seventh in his class. A year later he married Harriet Pinckney, a union that produced thirteen children. From 1852 until 1859 Huse was assigned to West Point as an assistant professor of chemistry, mineralogy, and geology, serving under Superintendent ...

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Peyton, John Lewis (15 September 1824–21 May 1896), author and Confederate envoy, was born near Staunton, Virginia, the son of John Howe Peyton, an attorney, and Anne Montgomery Lewis. Both parents were members of well-established Virginia families. Ill health forced Peyton out of Virginia Military Institute, but he later studied law at the University of Virginia, graduating in 1844. He subsequently established a legal practice in Staunton. In 1848 Peyton took a long journey through the states and territories of the Old Northwest, then proceeded up the Missouri as far as Jefferson City—a trip that, two decades later, yielded a memoir, ...

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Sanders, George Nicholas (27 February 1812–12 August 1873), political booster and Confederate agent, was born in Lexington, Kentucky, the son of Lewis Sanders, a breeder of horses, and Ann Nicholas. Sanders’s maternal grandfather was Colonel George Nicholas, who had proposed the celebrated Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 in opposition to the Federalists’ Alien and Sedition Acts. As a youth, Sanders worked with his father raising and selling Kentucky thoroughbreds. He first spoke politically during a November 1843 mass meeting at Ghent, Kentucky, held in support of Texas annexation. He used this opportunity to begin a dialogue with various contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination to discover attitudes on the Texas issue, and he soon became acquainted with the rough and tumble world of political promotion and lobbying. In 1846 Sanders used his lobbying skills to calm Democratic critics after it was rumored that he had earned a huge commission as the agent of the Hudson’s Bay Company, seeking claims adjustments during the settlement of the Oregon country question. During the next few years he acted as an agent in a series of curious business arrangements, ranging from highly speculative Chicago real estate transactions to the provision of weapons to the French revolutionists of 1848....

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Jacob Thompson. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-12082).

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Thompson, Jacob (15 May 1810–24 March 1885), congressman, secretary of the interior, and Confederate agent, was born in Caswell County, North Carolina, the son of Nicholas Thompson, a tanner, and Lucretia Van Hook. Thompson was raised in a family of some wealth as the result of his father’s marriage. He attended Bingham Academy in Orange County and graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1831. He tutored at the university for eighteen months and then, in opposition to his father’s wishes that he become an Episcopal minister, he studied law in Greensboro and joined the bar in 1835. Like many other ambitious young lawyers, he left the East and headed for the booming frontier in the Old Southwest. In 1837 he set up his law practice in Pontotoc, Mississippi, the site of a land office inundated by whites seeking to get their share of the lands recently opened up by the Chickasaw cession. Thompson quickly staked a claim to political leadership in northern Mississippi through his role in organizing the courts and championing the demands of the new counties for immediate representation in the state legislature. In 1838, after he had moved to Oxford, he married Catherine Ann Jones; the couple had one child....