The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson
ĽName: Thomas Williams

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Thomas Williams was born in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, to parents of Welsh descent. In 1825, he graduated from Dickinson College, then began to study law under the tutelage of two judges, Richard Coulter and John Kennedy. In reaction to President Andrew Jackson’s bank policies, Williams became active in Whig party politics, editing their organ, The Advocate, and winning a seat in the state senate in 1838. After reelection, he worked on the presidential campaign of William Henry Harrison. Eloquent passages from Williams’ eulogy for President Harrison became part of school declamations across the nation. Williams retired from politics to become one of Pennsylvania’s leading lawyers.

During the crisis years of the 1850s, he returned to politics as a Republican, representing his state on the new party’s national committee. In 1860, he was elected to Pennsylvania’s lower house and in 1862 to Congress. A member of the House Judiciary Committee, Williams was one of seven members chosen by the House of Representatives to prosecute its impeachment charges against President Andrew Johnson during the removal trial in the Senate. Williams supported moderate Republican policies during Reconstruction. He died in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania.

Robert C. Kennedy, HarpWeek

Source consulted:  Dictionary of American Biography

Thomas Williams
(28 August 1806 - 6 June 1872)
Source:  Harper's Weekly

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