The Entire U.S. Senate of the 52nd Congress Honors Vice President Levi Morton As He, and Some of Them, Leave Office

They agree to throw him a banquet, with every single Senator signing and agreeing to pay for it

Signatories include 8 Confederate generals, 2 giants of education, and other notables

Levi Morton served as Vice President of the United States during the term of President Benjamin Harrison. As vice president, he presided over the U.S. Senate. Although Harrison ran for reelection in 1892, Morton was not on the ticket, and...

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The Entire U.S. Senate of the 52nd Congress Honors Vice President Levi Morton As He, and Some of Them, Leave Office

They agree to throw him a banquet, with every single Senator signing and agreeing to pay for it

Signatories include 8 Confederate generals, 2 giants of education, and other notables

Levi Morton served as Vice President of the United States during the term of President Benjamin Harrison. As vice president, he presided over the U.S. Senate. Although Harrison ran for reelection in 1892, Morton was not on the ticket, and in any event Harrison lost to Grover Cleveland. So on March 4, 1893, both Harrison and Morton were leaving office. Morton was popular in the Senate, and the senators sought to honor him as he laid down the burdens of office.

Agreement signed by 85 Senators, on United States Senate letterhead, February 15, 1893, establishing a banquet for Morton and promising to participate. “We the undersigned will tender Vice President Morton a complimentary banquet on the 27th day of February [at] 7:30 pm, and will respectively pay our share of the expenses thereof.”  Since there were 3 vacancies, the 85 figure represents the entire Senate.

Signers include fully 8 Confederate generals: John B. Gordon, John T. Morgan, Alfred Colquitt, Randall Gibson, Francis Cockrell, Matt Ramson, William Bate, and Matthew Butler; plus wartime Confederate governor of North Carolina Zebulon Vance. There are two giants of education: industrialist and founder of Stanford University Leland Stanford, and Justin Morrill, who wrote the bill that gave land to establish 76 state colleges and universities. Other notables include future Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Edward D. White, and John Sherman, brother of William T. Sherman, who wrote the Sherman Antitrust Act.

We can only think of one other time in all our decades in this field that we have had something signed by the entire U.S. Senate.

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