Photo of Confederate President Jefferson Davis

An enormous range of beliefs flowed across the political landscape of pre-Civil War America, and this is reflected in the rise and fall of a dozen different political parties that tried and failed to find a unifying political strategy that would end sectional strife. Only the events of April 12, 1861 would clarify this landscape and politicians of every description welcomed it… at first.

People from Politicians

Showing results 26-30 of 44

  • Judah P. Benjamin

    Photo of Judah Benjamin

    A close personal friend of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, Judah P. Benjamin served the Confederate cause as its Attorney General, Secretary of War and Secretary of State. Following the surrender of the Confederacy Benjamin fled to England and spent the rest of his life in exile, never returning to the United States. Read more

  • Louis Wigfall

    Photo of Senator Louis Trezevant Wigfall

    Ardent secessionist Louis Wigfall was one of the most hated men in the North in 1861, his name a byword for treason. On the eve of war, he was a United States senator from Texas staunchly set against compromise with the North. After a brief military career, he became a Confederate senator and opposed the central government of Jefferson Davis. Read more

  • Martin Van Buren National Historic Site

    Martin Van Buren

    Photo of President Martin Van Buren

    Martin Van Buren was elected eighth President of the United States in 1836 after serving as Andrew Jackson's Secretary of State and Vice President. Involved in New York state politics from the age of 17, Van Buren organized the first state-wide political organization, the Bucktails, whose leaders were known as the Albany Regency. Read more

  • Oliver Perry Morton

    Photo of Oliver Morton

    Oliver Morton was an ardent Unionist, Republican Party member and Governor of Indiana during the American Civil War. His tenure was marked by repeated clashes with the more conservative Indian State Legislature from which he usually emerged victorious. He became a U.S. Senator in 1867 and joined the so-called radical wing of the Party in struggles over Southern reconstruction. Read more

  • Patrick Francis Healy

    Photo of Patrick Healy

    Patrick Healy was the son of a Georgia planter and enslaved mother who rose to become a Jesuit priest and the first African American President of Georgetown University. Read more

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