William Whiting

Well I am back again to show you that what I stated was true that you all wallow in ignorance. Those of you that say you could not find ANYTHING on the man Whiting, and you looked real hard, shows that you are not even novices at being a good researcher. So I rub your noses in your ignorance. This is what I found. Now, ignorant ones that are so hasty to condemn and lead all other readers down the primrose path of ignorance, read and dispute what I have found. I dare you to the ends of earth. And I don’t want no collateral attacks to help dispel your ignorance that you did not believe about Whiting existing. That is the issue so as Sgt Friday would say “all I want is the facts ma’am just the facts.” Did anybody try the library of Congress of the book titled Who’s Who in America? Obviously not.

War Powers Under the Constitution of the United States, Author William Whiting. An introduction by John Yoo, Professor of Law, Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkley: JD., 1992, Yale Law School; AB., 1989, Harvard University who teaches and writes in the areas of constitutional law.

Upon opening this book, the tenth edition of William Whiting’s War Powers under the Constitution of The United States the reader may be surprised . . . If anything, Whiting’s work helps remove the blinders that a half century of controversy over undeclared wars- from Korea to Vietnam to Panama to the Persian Gulf- has placed over the eyes of the legal profession. Born on March 3, 1813 in Concorde, Mass. He attended Harvard and got his law degree in 1838. As a Boston attorney, Whiting became known as so masterful a trial lawyer that, in his day, the Common Pleas Court was sometimes called “Whiting’s Court.” The Boston lawyer began writing in support of the Lincoln administration’s arrests of suspected sympathizers of the rebellion. As the war proceeded, Whiting joined the War Department as Solicitor at the request of President Lincoln himself. No doubt it had to do with Whiting’s publication, in 1862 in Boston. Whatever the reason for his appointment, Whiting became the point man for the Lincoln administration on the difficult and delicate constitutional issues that arose from the war.

Whiting joined a truly exceptional group of lawyers who would create many of the theories of the independent presidency and the national security state that would reappear in the middle of the twentieth century. I addition to patient officer Peter Wilson, Whiting was joined by former cabinet member and first judge advocate general Joseph Holt, international law scholar, and Francis Leiber, and Eathan Allen Hitchcock and Henry W. Halleck, both lawyers who became generals, the latter becoming general in chief in 1862. In Whiting’s documents he developed the legal theories that would justify Lincoln’s measures to conduct the war successfully on both the war front and home front, he also took a prominate role in publicly disseminating and explaining these views.

One of the best students of Lincoln and of the Civil War, Pulitzer Prize – winning historian – Mark E. Neely, even suggests that it was Whiting’s first pamphlet, War Powers and the President, that convinced Lincoln that as commander in chief he could abolish slavery in the rebellious states. Until reading Whiting’s works, Neely suggests, Lincoln had been reluctant to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.

It is perhaps a tribute to Whiting’s success that no successor was ever appointed to his position upon his resignation in 1865. His ardent support for the Republican party continued after leaving government service. In 1868 he served as presidential elector for Ulysses S. Grant, and in 1872 he was overwhelmingly elected to Congress by the third district of Massachusetts. Death at age sixty, however, prevented Whiting from joining the legislative body that he had once worked with as a member of the executive branch.