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ninth congress remaining, the Hon. T. M. Marquett, having been elected as member of the expiring congress, took the oath of office as the first member of congress for the new state. Three days thereafter, on March 4, 1867, began the session of the fortieth congress, with Gen. J. M. Thayer and T. W. Tipton as senators, and the Hon. John Taffe member of the house of representatives.
The following extract from the senate journal explains itself:
MR. TRUMBULL: I have the pleasure of presenting to the senate the credentials of the Hon. John M. Thayer and Hon. T. W. Tipton, elected senators from the new state of Nebraska. I ask that their credentials be read and that they be sworn.
THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE: The senators from Nebraska will now come forward and be qualified.
The senators elect were conducted to the desk of the president pro tempore by Mr. Sumner and Mr. Chandler, and the oaths prescribed by law having been administered to Mr. Thayer and Mr. Tipton, they took their seats in the senate.
MR. TRUMBULL: lution:
I offer for adoption the following reso
Resolved, That the senate proceed to ascertain the classes in which the senators from the state of Nebraska shall be inserted in conformity with the resolution of the 14th of May, 1789, and as the constitution requires, and that the secretary put into the ballot box three papers of equal size, numbered 1, 2, 3. Each of the senators from Nebraska shall draw out one paper. The paper numbered 1, if drawn, shall entitle the senator to be placed in the class of senators whose terms of service will expire the 3rd day of March, 1869; the paper numbered 2, if drawn, shall entitle the senator to be placed in the class of senators whose terms of service will expire the 3rd day of March, 1871; and the paper numbered 3, if drawn, shall entitle the senator to be placed in the class of senators whose terms of service expire the 3d day of March, 1873.
The resolution was adopted.
Three papers were accordingly put into the ballot box; the senators advanced to the secretary's desk and each drew one paper. Mr. Thayer drew the paper numbered 2, and was placed in the class of senators whose terms will expire March 3d, 1871.
Mr. Tipton drew the paper numbered 1, and was placed in the class of senators whose terms will expire March 3d, 1869.
Now that I am a member of the senate, and propose some of my reminiscences for the amusement of the old, and instruction for the young, I shall adopt the pronoun "I," for directness and precision.
And I here pause upon the threshold and contemplate our surroundings.
I find Massachusetts represented by Charles Sumner and Henry Wilson. The former well read in the law, polished in letters, enjoying a world-famed acquaintance, and distinguished as the champion of slave emancipation. The latter, the John the Baptist of the toiling masses and adorning the shoemaker's bench with the senator's commission. While men could admire Sumner for his persistency and acquirements, they could love Wilson for his success and nobility of soul.
As chairman of the committee on foreign relations Sumner could not be equaled, and the great success of the military committee during the war of the rebellion was a feather in the cap of Henry Wilson. To the roll-call of Ohio responded Sherman and Wade, the former to direct the finance legislation, with an experience dating back to years in the house before his accession to the senate. "Old Ben Wade" seemed retiring from business, since there were no bombs to be cast into the slave-holders' camps, nor demands to be made for "rifles for two." With Trumbull, of Illinois, to preside over the judiciary committee, having as his associates Edmunds, Conkling, Hendricks, and Reverdy Johnson, the legal department approximated perfection. To the standard of Kentucky rallied James Guthrie and Garret Davis; the first-named seventy-five years of age, a flat-boat trader to New Orleans, a college student, a lawyer, fifteen years a Kentucky legislator and railroad president, and secretary of the treasury for President Pierce. Mr. Davis was in his sixtysixth year; a Kentucky gentleman of the old school, pure in life, the soul of honor, a worshiper of Henry Clay and the peculiar institution for the African's good and the safety of the AngloSaxon. If a stranger in the gallery asked an Indianian to point out the greatest man in the senate, the reply would be, if from a democrat, "Tom Hendricks, of course"; while the republican
retorted, "When you muster your war governors we enter Oliver P. Morton." Rhode Island was represented by William Sprague and Henry B. Anthony; the former a governor at 30 years of age, a senator at 32, and subsequently known as the husband of Miss Kate Chase.
The newer states were represented by comparatively new men, including reconstructed Tennessee. Among them Nye of Nevada was the general champion, the amusing orator, the bishop in Biblical quotations, and amidst the clinking of glasses, the festive inspirer. But as my intention is not to furnish a biography of the senate, I must pass over many of the fifty-four senators, equally worthy of mention, for during the war the states were admonished to place only on guard "the tried and the true."
Never was a body of men better acquainted with a system of legislation, for under their scrutiny and moulding influences the legal superstructure had arisen.
The war just ended had demanded a new currency and a system of revenue, and "war legislation" and constitutional modifications, and centralization of power and the fostering of the dominant political party by congressional enactments. Of the fifty-four senators seven had been elected as democrats and forty-seven as republicans; but of the latter many had been before the war democrats on the subjects of tariffs, and the construction of the constitution, and others had been whigs, agreeing with them as to the true doctrines of state rights. It was evident, therefore, that as soon as the government should be prepared to return to a peace basis again, unless the return was unanimously conceded, some republican methods would be repudiated and old cherished doctrines revived and made prominent. This defection had already commenced, and Dixon of Connecticut, Norton of Minnesota, and Doolittle of Wisconsin, were frequently joined with the opposition.
But the most conspicuous opponent of radical republicanism, during the fortieth congress and subsequently, was Andrew Johnson, president of the United States. Mr. Johnson had been a lifelong democrat, a devoted union man, of a very combative
nature, and of most uncompromising individuality. In his youth he had never gone to school, and yet he acquired a fair English education. At seventeen years of age we find him a tailor by occupation; at twenty the Mayor of Greenville, Tenn.; at twenty-seven in the legislature of the State, and at thirtythree in the State senate. He was in congress ten years, beginning in 1843, and twice elected governor prior to 1857 in which year he was elected to the United States senate.
Amidst the fury of the rebellion he left the senate to become military governor of his state, and received the nomination for vice-president in 1864. Mr. Lincoln had been assassinated April 14, 1865, and Mr. Johnson sworn into office on the 15th of the same month, only six days from the date of General Lee's surrender to General Grant.
On the 26th of May, 1865, the last army of the confederacy having surrendered, and congress not being in session, Mr. Johnson began the work of reconstructing the rebel states, according to what was known as (his) "My Policy"; and which gave ex-rebels an opportunity of controlling completely the legal white element and freemen. Congress claimed the power over the whole territory subdued by war, and stood ready to comply with the 4th article of the constitution which declares that "The United States shall guarantee to every state in this Union a republican form of government."
When, therefore that body assembled in the next session, the struggle began in earnest between the president and congress. On the second of March, 1867, an act was passed for the "reorganization of civil government in the ten rebel states," and another to "govern the tenure of civil office," both of which were promptly vetoed by the president, and as promptly passed over the veto. Thus stood the question on the day of our admission to the senate.
As General Thayer had made an honorable record in the army and had experience in Indian affairs, it was very proper that he should be assigned to duty on the military and Indian affairs committees, while he also secured an assignment to that of patents.
SENATOR T. W. TIPTON.
Thomas W. Tipton was born upon a farm, near Cadiz, Harrison County, Ohio, August 5th, 1817. His father, Rev. William Tipton, was, during fifty years, minister of the M. E. Church. His parents were pioneers to Ohio, from Huntington County, Pennsylvania. He attended common school during winter seasons, more or less interrupted by farm work until seventeen years of age. Subsequent to his eighteenth year he spent one year in a select school in Waynesburgh, Pa., two years in Allegheny College at Meadsville, and two years in Madison College at Uniontown, Fayette County, Pa., and graduated in September, 1840, delivering the valedictory.
Before graduation, as a representative of a college society, he utterly refused to appear in a joint debate, unless the faculty would allow him to argue against the "utility and policy" of the established devotion to the "dead languages," in the usual course of study. In this he displayed that trait of character, "the courage of his convictions," which stamped his personality during life and led him to change church relations and political associations in accordance with increased experience and investigation.
Leaving college and returning to Ohio for a time, he engaged in teaching and reading law, being admitted to the bar in 1844.
CAREER IN POLITICS.
Though a Whig, he was not able to vote for Gen. Harrison in 1840, having lost his residence in Ohio, while a student in Pennsylvania. In 1844 he delivered fifty speeches for Henry Clay; in 1848 seventy-five for Gen. Taylor; in 1852, resigned a clerkship in the General Land Office in Washington, D. C., and gave four months to the campaign for Gen. Scott; in 1856 ad