Lovell Harrison Rousseau (American National Biography)

Leonard Schlup, "Rousseau, Lovell Harrison," American National Biography Online, February 2000,
Rousseau compiled a solid record as a national legislator. Because of his knowledge of military matters, he was a valuable member of the Committee on Military Affairs. He participated in the debates over Reconstruction policies for the South; in a noted speech of 11 June 1866, he abandoned any ties he had to Radical Republicanism. Rousseau denounced the vindictive measures that Radical Republicans such as Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania wished to impose on the vanquished South. The independent-minded Kentuckian also opposed the Freedmen's Bureau, a temporary agency to provide aid to freedmen and deal with abandoned southern lands; it was the original federal civil rights department for African Americans, which became a branch of the Department of War. The debate hinged on conceptions of property rights and public purpose and the principle of using government action to promote the welfare of a class of people.
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