The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson
ĽName: Lyman Trumbull

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Lyman Trumbull was born in Colchester, Connecticut. He began teaching school at the age of sixteen and later studied law, being admitted to the bar in 1837. He moved to Belleville, in southern Illinois, and became active in state government. In 1841, he was elected secretary of state and, in 1848, he became a justice on the state supreme court. He was elected as a Democrat to the state legislature in 1854, then elected by that same body as a United States Senator a few months later in 1855. He became a Republican because of his opposition to the expansion of slavery, and was reelected to the Senate as a Republican in 1861 and 1867.

Trumbull was one of seven Republicans who broke party ranks and voted against the conviction of President Johnson during his impeachment trial in the Senate. The Senator was dubious about the legitimacy of the impeachment process, had fears that it would ultimately hurt the Republican party politically, and was contemptuous of Benjamin Wade, who was next in line for the Presidency. In 1872, he joined other Liberal Republicans in supporting Horace Greeley’s presidential candidacy against the reelection of President Grant. In 1880, Trumbull was the unsuccessful Democratic gubernatorial nominee in Illinois. A long-time advocate of "soft money," he supported the Populist party in the 1890s. He died in Chicago.

Robert C. Kennedy, HarpWeek

Sources consulted:  Harper’s Encyclopedia of United States History; Albert Castel, The Presidency of Andrew Johnson


Lyman Trumbull
(12 October 1813 - 25 June 1896)
Source:  History of Congress, 1867-69, Vol. II

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