Balie Peyton lived a life of contrasts. As a congressman from Tennessee in the nineteenth century, he shaped national policy. Elected as a follower of President Andrew Jackson, he turned against the Jackson administration in his second term and helped found the opposition Whig Party. He quit Congress after two terms, but remained active in politics. Peyton also had another love -- thoroughbred horses -- but financial success in turf matters always seemed to elude him. In the ultimate contrast, Balie Peyton was a loyal Unionist from a Southern state. He opposed Tennessee's secession from the republic, and urged reconciliation. Although a slaveholder, the issues of slavery and Southern rights weren't enough to change his loyalty, not even when his son joined the Confederate Army and died in battle. Rich in detail and drawn mainly from original sources, Balie Peyton of Tennessee celebrates the many facets of the life of this American patriot and statesman.