1861-1861, U.S. Senator John Breckinridge


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

Small Mug, 11 oz.

Large Mug, 15 oz.

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John Breckinridge was a lawyer from Kentucky and vice president under Buchanan.  Notably, he was the 14th and youngest vice president.  When the Civil War broke out, he was serving in the U.S. Senate and was subsequently expelled after joining the Confederate Army.  He is the only U.S. senator convicted of treason because of his Confederate sympathies.  He attained the rank of major general in the Confederate Army, serving under Braxton Bragg and working with Jubal Early’s campaigns in the Shenandoah Valley.  In 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis appointed Breckinridge as the C.S.A. secretary of war.  After the war, he fled to Cuba, Great Britain and Canada, until 1868, when President Andrew Johnson extended amnesty to all former Confederates.

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.

John Breckinridge 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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