1881-1887, U.S. Senator William Mahone


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

Small Mug, 11 oz.

Large Mug, 15 oz.

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William Mahone was a native of Virginia, whose family narrowly escaped death during the Nat Turner Rebellion.  He was a railroad magnate, slaveholder, ardent secessionist, and a general in the Confederate Army.  After the war, Mahone emerged as the leader of a movement known as the Readjusters, a coalition of Democrats, Republicans, and African Americans, who enacted reforms such as the abolition of the whipping post and poll tax.  William Mahone helped to forge a biracial coalition that controlled the state for years.  At the height of the Readjusters᾽ power, African Americans made up nearly 30% of Virginia’s state employees.  In 1881, Mahone won a seat in the U.S.  Senate, and as an independent siding with Republicans, he had great political 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.

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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