Fessenden, William Pitt
William Pitt Fessenden, 1806–69, American politician, b. Boscawen, N.H. Admitted (1827) to the bar, he began practice in Portland in 1829 and by 1835 was regarded as one of the leading lawyers of Maine. A Whig, he served several terms in the state legislature and one (1841–43) in the U.S. House of Representatives. Fessenden was active in organizing the Republican party in Maine and in 1854 was elected to the U.S. Senate, where, except for nine months as Lincoln's Secretary of the Treasury (June, 1864–Mar., 1865), he remained until his death. Beginning with a notable speech against the Kansas-Nebraska Act, he gained a reputation as one of the Senate's greatest debaters. Made a member of the finance committee in 1857, Fessenden was its chairman during most of the Civil War. In that capacity and as Secretary of the Treasury he established an excellent record in public finance, trying to confine expenditures to necessary measures and to resist inflation. In Dec., 1865, he became chairman of the joint committee on Reconstruction and wrote most of its famous report. Although he believed Congress, and not the President, should direct Reconstruction, and although he disliked Andrew Johnson personally, he refused to vote for Johnson's impeachment. He also refused to vote on the Tenure of Office Act and in general acted more moderately than his fellow radical Republicans. His course, particularly in regard to the impeachment proceedings, was contrary to the expressed wishes of his constituency, and for a time he was unpopular.
See biography by his son, F. Fessenden (1907, repr. 1970); B. J. Hendrick, Lincoln's War Cabinet (1946, repr. 1965); C. A. Jellison, Fessenden of Maine: Civil War Senator (1962).
"Fessenden, William Pitt." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 16, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/fessenden-william-pitt
"Fessenden, William Pitt." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved December 16, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/fessenden-william-pitt
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.