1851-1874, U.S. Senator Charles Sumner


This U.S. Senator Charles Sumner history mug is one of a collection of U.S. Governance biographical mugs.  An image of Charles Sumner and a short biography are features of this history mug.

Small Mug, 11 oz.

Large Mug, 15 oz.

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Charles Sumner was an academic lawyer and senator from Massachusetts, as well as leader of the Radical Republicans.  Sumner worked to free all slaves.  In 1856, after delivering an antislavery speech called the “Crime against Kansas,” he was nearly killed by South Carolina Congressman Preston Brooks on the Senate floor.  Sumner worked closely with Lincoln to keep the British and French from intervening on the side of the Confederacy.  After the war he worked to minimize the power of ex-Confederates and guarantee equal rights for the freedmen.  He was continually at odds with President Johnson over plans for Reconstruction that would have kept former Confederate leaders in power.

The United States Senate and House of Representatives comprise the legislative branch of the U.S. government.  Each state has two senators regardless of the state’s population.  U.S. senators serve staggered terms of six years.  Prior to 1913, senators were appointed by their state legislatures.  This changed with the 17th Amendment, which mandated senators be elected by popular vote.  The Senate has the power to ratify treaties and to confirm cabinet secretaries, federal judges, Supreme Court justices, and other federal executive officials.

Charles Sumner was a member of the U.S. Senate prior to his election as vice president.  Many of the men who become president and vice president first served in Congress as members of the House of Representatives or in the U.S. Senate.  A number of these individuals first served in their state government as governor, state senator or in their state House of Representatives.

The biographical History Mugs were created to teach and inspire individuals to learn about our diverse and interesting history.  The biographies were researched and written by history enthusiast, Robert Compton.  He colorized most of the historic photos and images used on the mugs, which were originally black and white or sepia-tone.  The images and biographies are imprinted on mugs at his studio in rural Vermont.

  • Mugs are food and microwave safe.
  • To preserve photographic quality we recommend hand washing.
  • Mugs are usually shipped within 3-5 days.


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