Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Crawford, Paul K.||Wood, Margaret Louise

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Political Science


King; Thomas Starr; 1824-1864


Some of Thomas Starr King's contemporaries, notably Richard Frothingham, Edwin P. Whipple, and Charles V. Wendte, who will be mentioned in the following chapters, attempted to explain the basis of his oratorical success. They have heaped lavish praise upon him for his critical thinking concerning issues in the fields of theology, metaphysics, and philosophy. They felt that Mr. King's success was largely due to his thorough mastery of subject matter and his ability to generalize logically. They also attributed his power over vast audiences to the vivid imagery of his style. A third basis of his effectiveness, according to those who knew his, was his personal charm which carried into his delivery and which seemed to inspire confidence in the orator as a sincere friend who knew all aspects of the problem he was dealing with at any given mount. These were common reactions from King's contemporaries. The two latest biographies are limited in scope. One is Starr King, Patriot and Mason by Hal Curtis, published by the Crane Printing Company in San Francisco in 1951, and portrays him as an outstanding Mason. The other is Apostle of Liberty: Starr King California by Arnold Crompton and published by the Beacon Press in Boston in 1950. With Curtis, Crompton emphasizes King's patriotism and his role in keeping California in the Union just prior to and during the Civil War. Neither seeks to make any critical rhetorical analysis. An earlier biography was published in 1917 in San Francisco by Paul Bider and Company. It was written by Gillian Day Simonds whose declared purpose in the brief introduction was twofold: first, to know the real conditions in California during that critical tine and to discover to what extent those conditions were modified by the oratory of King, and second, to memorialize the person, himself, whom recent historians have not treated adequately.


Includes bibliographical references.


iv, 113 pages




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