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Favorable or Unfavorable #287: William P Fessenden


Favorable or Unfavorable #287: William P Fessenden  

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  1. 1. Did you read my first comment?

  2. 2. Favorable or Unfavorable #287: William P Fessenden

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WP Fessenden (ME-R) starting off as one of the most vocal abolitionists but after emancipation he greatly moderated. One could say he believed in equality but not equity. During the homestead bill for freedman, he opposed it because he thought the provisions were more than were done for white people, but Charles Sumner shot back that white people hadn't just come out of slavery. The idea being that an equal homestead act for blacks and whites would not actually be equal in action, considering white people start at an advantage. Someone who believes in equity tries to take the disadvantages into account, attempting to make something that is actually more equal or even in reality. 

His actions:

Fessenden, William P. 1861 At peace conference to try and resolve secession
Fessenden, William P. 1861 Senate Finance Committee Chair. Served during most of the CW, 1861-1864 and again 1865-1867 for early Reconst
Fessenden, William P. 1861 Drafts revenue bill
Fessenden, William P. 1862 handles Legal Tender bill, despite opposing it
Fessenden, William P. 1864 Confirmed as Sec of Treasury for Lincoln
Fessenden, William P. 1865 heads joint committee on Reconstruction, snubs Sumner from joining
Fessenden, William P. 1866 a leader of Senate moderates, despite having been strong abolitionist previously
Fessenden, William P. 1867 1 of 2 Sens to vote against Alaska Purchase
Fessenden, William P. 1867 Opposes a homestead act for Freedman
Fessenden, William P. 1868 Votes against convicting Johnson in impeachment trial, fearing a Benj Wade presidency
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