War Between the States

United States Congressman from Massachusetts

Member of the President Andrew Johnson Impeachment Congress

U.S. Speaker of the House

Governor of Massachusetts

Autograph Note Signed


(1816-1894) He was Speaker of the Massachusetts House, presided over the Constitutional Convention of 1853, and the same year was elected to Congress, the first of ten terms. Elected Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1856, Banks showed moderation in deciding among factions during the bitter slavery debates. In 1858 he was elected Governor of Massachusetts, serving until January 1861, when Abraham Lincoln appointed him a Major General of volunteers after Banks offered his services. Many West Point officers could not understand this appointment considering that Banks had substandard military qualifications for the job of a field commander. He did contibute immeasurably in recruits, morale, money and propaganda to the Federal cause however. He was defeated by Stonewall Jackson in the celebrated Valley campaign with the loss of 30% of his force, and again by Jackson at Cedar Mountain. Banks commanded the siege and capture of Port Hudson, La., and also commanded the Red River campaign. After the war Banks returned to his political career.

Autograph Note Signed: 3 1/2 x 2 1/4 card, written in ink. Waltham, Mass., July 29th, 1893. With much pleasure I transmit the signature you request. I transmit with pleasure my congratulations also on the prompt & attractive manifestations of your numerous & distinguished friends. Nathaniel P. Banks. Light age toning. Very fine.

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