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Willard Saulsbury, Debate on the Civil Rights Bill, U.S. Senate, January 29, 1866

Willard Saulsbury, image by Brady, detail
Senator Willard Saulsbury of Delaware, a Dickinson College alumnus of the class of 1842, typified the Democrat response to the Civil Rights Bill being debated in the Senate. Calling the bill "one of the most dangerous ever introduced into the Senate of the United States," he stated baldly that "the time for shedding tears over the poor slave has well nigh passed in this country. The tears which the honest white people of this country have been made to shed from the oppressive acts of this Government, in its various departments, during the last four years, call more loudly for my sympathies..." Declaring that the measure, along with the Freedmen's Bureau Bill were blatantly unconstitutional, he called on the Senate to reject such distractions and concentrate on making the Union strong again. The bill passed through Congress on March 13, 1866 but President Andrew Johnson vetoed the measure. For the first time in American history Congress over-turned a presidential veto and the Civil Rights Act became law on April 9, 1866. (By John Osborne)

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How to Cite This Page: "Willard Saulsbury, Debate on the Civil Rights Bill, U.S. Senate, January 29, 1866," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/45069.