Events The 19th century was an era of tremendous crisis and transformation in the history of the United States, and the Senate played a central role in steering the nation through these turbulent times. Isaac Bassett, uniquely placed among the senators, was an eyewitness to the triumphs, defeats, and great moments of this era.

Webster's Reply to Hayne

"The morning of Tuesday January 26, 1830 dawned upon a feverish and excited community—all eager to witness . . ." View Transcript »


Assassination Attempt on Jackson

"On Friday the 30 of January 1835, the president with members of his cabinet attended the funeral . . ." View Transcript »


Samuel Morse and the Telegraph

"Professor Morse was above the medium height, well made, dark hair and eyes, large square forehead . . ." View Transcript »


Foote Threatens Benton

"I witnessed the attack on Senator Benton by Senator Foote while the Compromise measures were under discussion . . ." View Transcript »


Caning of Sumner

"I witness[ed] the attack on Senator Sumner by Mr. Brooks of South Carolina in 1856. Sumner was sitting in his . . ." View Transcript »


Move from the Old to the New Chamber

"They were events of much interest in the old Senate Chamber. On the 4 of January 1859 . . ." View Transcript »


Sixth Massachusetts Regiment

"The Sixth Regiment of Massachusetts, nine hundred strong, under the command of Col. Jones, were attacked . . ." View Transcript »


The Civil War

"The 36th Congress was the one immediately preceding the great Civil War, and the Senate's . . ." View Transcript »


Abolition of Slavery

"A wonderful change has taken place in society in and around the Capitol. In olden days a slave was . . ." View Transcript »


Counting the Electoral Votes, February 1877

"Counting the votes for president and vice president of the United States in the House of Representatives . . ." View Transcript »


Death of Henry Wilson

"Mr. Wilson and I had many conversations in relation to the affairs of the Senate. When Vice President Mr. Wilson had an iron . . ." View Transcript »