William Pitt Fessenden Papers

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Creator -
Fessenden, William Pitt, 1806-1869
William Pitt Fessenden papers
Date [inclusive]
0.25 Cubic feet , 5 reels ( 1,000 items)

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Biographical Note

William Pitt Fessenden (1806-1869) was a lawyer, member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1811-1843), U.S. senator (1854-1864) and Secretary of the Treasury (1864-1865).

1806, October 16 Born, Boscawen, New Hampshire

1823 Graduated from Bowdoin College

1827 Admitted to the bar

1829 Entered into law partnership with his father in Portland, Maine

1832 Member of Maine House of Representatives

1832 Married Ellen Maria Deering

1835-1855 Practiced law in partnership with William Willia

1837 Accompanied Daniel Webster on a tour of the western states

1841-1843 U.S. Representative

1854-1864 U.S. Senator

1864-1865 Secretary of the Treasury

1865-1869 U.S. Senator

1869, September 8 Died, Portland, Maine

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Principal Speeches

1854 Kansas-Nebraska Bill (against)

1856 Clayton-Bulver Treaty

1857 Dred Scott decision

1858 Lecompton Constitution for Kansas

1868 Impeachment of Andrew Johnson (against)

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Scope and Contents note

This collection consists of microfilm containing correspondence, telegrams, newspaper clippings and printed material relating to national and Maine state politics. Topics include abolition, the operations of the Treasury Department (1864-1865), financing the Civil War, Reconstruction, and Andrew Johnson's impeachment. Correspondents include Gamaliel Bradford, Nathaniel Dale, Hamilton Fish, Alexander T. Galt, Robert A. Maxwell, Joseph A. Ware and others.

The Library of Congress revised the finding aid in 2005 and can be found at http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/eadmss.ms007018

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Reproduction and publication restricted, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.

Ownership and Custodial History

Purchased from the Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.

Location of Originals

William Pitt Fessenden Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, 2nd St. and Independence Ave., S.E., Washington, D.C. 20540, USA

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Controlled Access Headings


  • Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Microfilms

Geographic Name(s)

  • Great Britain -- Foreign relations
  • Maine -- Politics and government
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Economic aspects
  • United States -- Politics and government -- 19th century

Personal Name(s)

  • Allen, Elisha Hunt, 1804-1883
  • Birney, John
  • Bradford, Gamaliel, 1831-1911
  • Cisco, John J.
  • Dale, Nathaniel
  • Davis, Timothy, 1821-1888
  • Fish, Hamilton, 1808-1893
  • Galt, A. T., Sir, (Alexander Tilloch), 1817-1893
  • Griffin, R. M.
  • Johnson, Andrew, 1808-1875
  • Ketchum, Morris, active 1864
  • Maxwell, Robert A.
  • McCulloch, Hugh, 1808-1895
  • Morse, Freeman H., (Freeman Harlow), 1807-1891
  • Porter, Wm D., (William Dennison), 1810-1883
  • Stewart, John Aikman, 1822-1926
  • Towle, George M., (George Makepeace), 1841-1893
  • Ware, Joseph A.


  • Abolitionists -- United States
  • Antislavery movements -- United States
  • Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877)

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Reproduction Note

Microfilm. Washington, D.C. : Library of Congress, 1968. 5 reels ; 35 mm.

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Collection Inventory


5 reels of microfilm