Von Holst, Hermann Eduard (1841–1904)
VON HOLST, HERMANN EDUARD (1841–1904)
A German immigrant who became chairman of the department of history at the University of Chicago, Hermann E. von Holst published a seven-volume Constitutional and Political History of the United States (1876–1892). The work is malproportioned; the last four volumes cover 1850–1861. Intent on condemning the "slavocracy," the author blamed the annexation of texas, the Mexican War, the kansas-nebraska act, and the civil war on a slaveholders' conspiracy. The decision in dred scott v. sandford (1857), wrote von Holst, was "an unparalleled prostitution of the judicial ermine." Von Holst believed that centralized sovereignty and a free society stood for morality and national salvation. Despite his valuable use of newspapers and public documents, his style is so turgid and his judgments are so biased that he is no longer read.
Leonard W. Levy