James Speed was a Kentucky politician, lawyer, and professor of law at the University of Louisville. Speed opposed slavery and was agitating for the emancipation of American slaves before the Civil War. When the war broke out he worked to keep Kentucky in the Union. James Speed was a commander of the Louisville Home Guard and was elected to the Kentucky Senate in 1861. He introduced a bill to “confiscate the property” of those supporting the Confederacy in Kentucky. In 1864, Lincoln appointed Speed to be Attorney General of the United States. After Lincoln’s assassination Speed became disillusioned with the conservative policies of Andrew Johnson and resigned from the Cabinet to resume his law practice.
The position of attorney general was created as part of the president’s cabinet beginning with the administration of George Washington. Washington created four cabinet positions to provide him with a source of key advisers, in the form of the attorney general, secretary of the treasury, secretary of state, and secretary of war. Current presidential cabinets are made up of sixteen officers. Members are chosen by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The attorney general is the head of the Department of Justice and its top law enforcement officer.
This James Speed history mug is part of our U.S. Attorney General series which includes the many unique individuals who served as U.S. Attorney General.
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.