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William Pitt Fessenden (Congressional Biographical Directory)


“Fessenden, William Pitt,” Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774 to Present,

FESSENDEN, William Pitt,  (brother of Samuel Clement Fessenden and Thomas Amory Deblois Fessenden), a Representative and a Senator from Maine; born in Boscawen, Merrimack County, N.H., October 16, 1806; attended the common schools; graduated from Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, in 1827; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1827 and practiced in Bridgeton, Bangor, and Portland, Maine; member, State house of representatives in 1832 and 1840; elected as a Whig to the Twenty-seventh Congress (March 4, 1841-March 3, 1843); declined to be a candidate for reelection in 1842; member, State house of representatives 1845-1846; unsuccessful Whig candidate for election to the Thirty-second Congress; member, State house of representatives 1853-1854; elected as a Whig to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy in the term beginning March 4, 1853, caused by the failure of the legislature to elect; reelected in 1859 as a Republican and served from February 10, 1854, to July 1, 1864, when he resigned to accept a Cabinet appointment; chairman, Committee on Finance (Thirty-seventh through Thirty-ninth Congresses); appointed Secretary of the Treasury by President Abraham Lincoln and served from 1864-1865; member of the peace convention of 1861 held in Washington, D.C., in an effort to devise means to prevent the impending war; again elected to the United States Senate as a Republican and served from March 4, 1865, until his death in Portland, Maine, September 8, 1869; chairman, Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds (Fortieth Congress), Committee on Appropriations (Forty-first Congress), Committee on the Library (Forty-first Congress); originally interred in Western Cemetery in Portland, Maine; later reinterred in an unmarked grave in the Fessenden family plot in Evergreen Cemetery.
How to Cite This Page: "William Pitt Fessenden (Congressional Biographical Directory)," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,