Detroit mayor, Michigan Radical Republican leader in Senate, Grant’s Interior Secretary
Autograph ID: 5135
Condition: Very good
Description: “(1813-1879) Mayor of Detroit 1851–52, Michigan Senator 1857–75 & 1879, Secretary of the Interior (Grant) 1875–77. Frequent and liberal contributor to the “Underground Railroad”, called meeting in Jackson July 6, 1854 to defeat the Kansas-Nebraska & Fugitive Slave Acts. Active in leading anti-slavery Whigs into the new Republican Party in Jackson, Michigan 1854. Elected to the Senate 1857, closely associated with Radical Republican Senators Benjamin F. Wade of Ohio and Lyman Trumbull of Illinois. Chairman of Committee on Commerce 1861-75, responsible for funneling large sums of federal money into the developing Midwest. He was critical of Lincoln for not taking immediate stronger action against secessionist states, very critical of McClellan for not aggressively pursuing victory on the battlefield, critical of Lincoln’s liberal Reconstruction plan. Active in 1868 impeachment of President Johnson, whom he viewed as an incompetent favoring “soft” reconstruction. Appointed Interior Secretary by Grant, served 1875-77. As Chairman of the Republican National Committee, managed Rutherford B. Hayes’ successful 1876 presidential campaign, though Hayes declined to keep him at Interior. Michigan GOP chairman 1878, again elected to the Senate in 1879 to fill vacancy, served to his death later that year.
Signed 3 x 7 fragment of an autograph album page, adds “Mich” under signature, most likely as US Senator. Undated but ca. 1869.”