I’ve recently added ELEKTRATIG to my blogroll. He and I have cross-referenced several posts on topics like the inevitability of the American Civil War (available here) and he has always provided thoughtful comments.
Today, he has a post on George Bancroft that you can read here which speaks to the special relationship that Bancroft had with President James Polk. Bancroft was instrumental in Polk receiving the democratic nomination in 1844 because he was able to swing the Massachusetts vote his way. Bancroft became, as a result, the most powerful Democrat in Massachusetts.[i]
As Elektratig mentions, today not a lot of people know of Bancroft but for citizens of the nineteenth century he was, as biographer Robert Canary put it, “one of the first great American historians and one of the most widely read American historical writers of his time.”[ii]
Naval historians will know that it was Bancroft who founded the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis while serving as Secretary of the Navy under President Polk. (Below is Bancroft Hall at Annapolis).
[i] Russel B. Nye, George Bancroft, (New York: Washington Square Press. Inc., 1964), 10.
[ii] Robert H. Canary, George Bancroft, (New York: Twayne Publishers, Inc., 1974), i.