Benjamin Franklin "Bluff" Wade (October 27, 1800 – March 2, 1878) was an American lawyer and politician who served as one of the two United States senators from Ohio from 1851 to 1869. He is known for his leading role among the Radical Republicans including support for Civil Rights, Women's Suffrage, and trade unions. Had the 1868 impeachment of U.S. President Andrew Johnson led to a conviction in the Senate, as president pro tempore of the U.S. Senate, Wade would have become acting president for the remaining months of Johnson's term.
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- I do not like slavery. There are very few you can find to resist it more strongly. If that makes me an Abolitionist, I cannot help it. But let me say to my northern Democratic friends, who are Jeffersonian Democrats, who make that their boast on every stump from Maine to Chicago, that no boast could be more glorious, for no one, in my judgment, be more glorious has ever breathed the breath of life, even among that great galaxy of worthies of revolutionary memory. I have always admired him. I have endeavored to imitate him; and now, if I have Abolitionism about me more than is due, I have come very honestly by it, for he taught me. He told me all about it, as he has told those Jefferson Democrats and Abolition men so often.
About Benjamin Wade
- It was believed by many at the time that some of the [moderate] Republican Senators that voted for acquittal [of Andrew Johnson] did so chiefly on account of their antipathy to the man who would succeed to the presidency in the event of the conviction of the [sitting] president. This man was Senator Benjamin Wade, of Ohio, President pro tempore of the Senate who as the law then stood, would have succeeded to the presidency in the event of a vacancy in the office from any cause. Senator Wade was an able man … He was a strong party man. He had no patience with those who claimed to be [Radical] Republicans and yet refused to abide by the decision of the majority of the party organization [as did Grimes, Johnson, Lincoln, Pratt, and Trumbull] … the sort of active and aggressive man that would be likely to make for himself enemies of men in his own organization who were afraid of his great power and influence, and jealous of him as a political rival. That some of his senatorial Republican associates should feel that the best service they could render their country would be to do all in their power to prevent such a man from being elevated to the Presidency … for while they knew he was an able man, they also knew that, according to his convictions of party duty and party obligations, he firmly believed he who served his party best served his country best…that he would have given the country an able administration is concurrent opinion of those who knew him best.