Everett, Edward

Life Span
Full name
Edward Everett
Place of Birth
Birth Date Certainty
Death Date Certainty
Sectional choice
Free State
No. of Spouses
No. of Children
Oliver Everett (father), Lucy Hill Everett (mother), Charlotte Gray Brooks (wife)
Other Education
Göttingen University
Writer or Artist
Relation to Slavery
White non-slaveholder
Church or Religious Denomination
Unitarian or Universalist
Political Parties
Constitutional Union (1860)
Fillmore Administration (1850-53)
US Senate
US House of Representatives

Edward Everett (American National Biography)

In 1853 the Massachusetts legislature elected Everett to the U.S. Senate. He spoke against the Kansas-Nebraska Bill but was absent when the vote on it was taken. Though he pleaded illness, his constituents were outraged, and Everett resigned, having served but fifteen months of his six-year term. For the rest of the 1850s, Everett was cast in the politically futile role of a moderate in a time of polarization. A Burkean conservative dedicated to balance and harmony, he felt the Union was being torn apart by ideological extremism. Holding no office, Everett traveled about the country giving speeches designed to foster nationalist sentiments, the most famous of them being "The Character of Washington," which he delivered 135 times. In 1860 Everett was the vice presidential candidate of the Constitutional Union party, the last gasp of the Whigs, though he entertained no illusions about his chance of winning. The Constitutional Union ticket, headed by John Bell of Tennessee, ran fairly well in the South, where it provided an acceptable vehicle for southern Whigs, but most northern Whigs had by this time transferred their allegiance to the new Republican party.

Once Fort Sumter had been fired upon, Everett ceased to be a moderate of any sort; his nationalism now dictated strong support for the war effort. Accordingly, the elder statesman embarked on another round of speech making, rallying northern public opinion.
Daniel Walker Howe, "Everett, Edward," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/04/04-00352.html.

Edward Everett (Congressional Biographical Directory)

EVERETT, Edward,  (father of William Everett), a Representative and a Senator from Massachusetts; born in Dorchester, Mass., April 11, 1794; graduated from Harvard University in 1811; tutor in that university 1812-1814; studied theology and was ordained pastor of the Brattle Street Unitarian Church, Boston, in 1814; professor of Greek literature at Harvard University 1815-1826; overseer of Harvard University 1827-1847, 1849-1854, and 1862-1865; elected to the Nineteenth and to the four succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1825-March 3, 1835); declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1834; chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs (Twentieth Congress); Governor of Massachusetts 1836-1840; appointed United States Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Great Britain 1841-1845; declined a diplomatic commission to China in 1843; president of Harvard University 1846-1849; appointed Secretary of State by President Millard Fillmore to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Daniel Webster and served from November 6, 1852, to March 3, 1853; elected as a Whig to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1853, until his resignation, effective June 1, 1854; unsuccessful candidate for vice president of the United States in 1860 on the Constitutional-Union ticket; died in Boston, Mass., January 15, 1865; interment in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Mass.
“Everett, Edward,” Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774 to Present, http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=E000264.
Date Title
David Davis to Julius Rockwell, March 4, 1855
Fayetteville (NC) Observer, “1860,” September 13, 1858
Hartford (CT) Courant, “Untitled,” December 20, 1859
Fayetteville (NC) Observer, "The Black Republican Nominees," May 21, 1860
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune,“The Fillmore Men,” May 25, 1860
New York Herald, “Bell and Everett Going Ahead,” May 27, 1860
Charlestown (VA) Free Press, “Bell and Everett Going Ahead,” May 31, 1860
Charlestown (VA) Free Press, “Mr. Bell’s Acceptance,” June 14, 1860
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “The Fillmore Men,” June 19, 1860
Charlestown (VA) Free Press, “Jeff. Davis on Platforms,” June 21, 1860
Charlestown (VA) Free Press, “In A Quandary,” July 12, 1860
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “A Word For Douglasites,” August 6, 1860
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “How the Field Looks,” August 17, 1860
Fayetteville (NC) Observer, “The South for Bell and Everett,” August 20, 1860
Cleveland (OH) Herald, “A Two-Edged Sword,” September 3, 1860
Raleigh (NC) Register, "Bell and Everett Pole-Raising," September 19, 1860
Cleveland (OH) Herald, “Wolves In Sheep’s Clothing,” September 29, 1860
Chicago (IL) Tribune, "The Union at the South," October 29, 1860
(Montpelier) Vermont Patriot, “John C. Breckinridge,” November 10, 1860
Richmond (VA) Dispatch, “The One Man Power,” January 11, 1861
John P. Crawford to Abraham Lincoln, August 10, 1861
David Wills to Abraham Lincoln, November 2, 1863
David Wills to Abraham Lincoln, November 2, 1863, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Gettysburg Address (Everett Copy), November 19, 1863
"A Voice from the Dead," Patriot and Union Editorial, November 24, 1863
Chicago Style Entry Link
Green, Don. "Constitutional Unionists: The Party that Tried to Stop Lincoln and Save the Union." Historian 69, no. 2 (2007): 231-253. view record
How to Cite This Page: "Everett, Edward," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, https://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/index.php/node/12626.