Grimes, James W.

3rd Iowa Governor, one of 7 GOP Senators to vote to acquit President Andrew Johnson

Price: $40.00

Description:
(1816-1872) New Hampshire-born 3rd Governor of Iowa and US Senator. Began law practice in Wisconsin Territory in what was later incorporated as Burlington, Iowa. Member of Iowa Territorial House of Representatives 1838-39 & 1843-44, Governor 1854-58. While elected as a Whig in 1854, he was a guiding light in the Republican Party's establishment in Iowa 1855-56. He served in the US Senate March 4, 1859-Dec. 6, 1869, resigning due to ill health. He was chairman of the Senate Committee on the District of Columbia 1861-65 and the Committee on Naval Affairs 1865-71. He also served on the Joint Committee on Reconstruction which drafted the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. In 1861 he was a member of the Washington Peace Convention to prevent Civil War. In Dec. 1861, he introduced the Senate bill which led to the creation of the Medal of Honor (initially for Navy and Marine personnel only). During President Johnson's impeachment trial, Grimes broke party ranks with 6 other GOP senators (Fessenden, Fowler, Henderson, Trumbull, Van Winkle, and Ross) and voted for acquittal. The 7 GOP senators were disturbed by how the proceedings had been manipulated to give a one-sided presentation of the evidence. After the trial, Rep. Ben Butler conducted hearings on widespread reports that Republican senators were bribed to vote for Johnson's acquittal. In Butler's hearings, and in subsequent inquiries, there was increasing evidence that some acquittal votes were acquired by promises of patronage and cash. The town of Grimes, Iowa is named for him. Signature on 2 ˝ x 6 fragment of an autograph album page, adds “Iowa” under signature, likely while Senator. Undated but ca. 1869.

Condition: Very good
Type:Signature






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