The William Belknap impeachment - some historical background




Zander, Cecily Nelson

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Emerging Civil War


When American author Mark Twain referred to the postbellum United States as living through a ‘Gilded Age’ he almost certainly had in mind the excesses exhibited by men like William Belknap, whose term as Secretary of War in the cabinet of President Ulysses S. Grant ultimately exposed the rot of political cronyism and the failures of postbellum political reform. For his involvement in what is now known as the “trader post scandal,” Belknap was impeached by Congress, after he resigned from his cabinet post, in the first impeachment trial of a private citizen who had left public office.


Article originally published by Emerging Civil War. English. Published February 2021. Permission to deposit this file has been obtained directly from the publisher. Please read the faculty member's entry in the Project INDEX Master Sheet for more information about the publisher communications.


Credit Mobilier, Grant's presidency, Impeachment, John Rawlins, Ulysses S. Grant, Whiskey Ring, William Belknap


This is the published version of an article that is available at Recommended citation: Zander, C. N. (2021, February 10). The William Belknap impeachment - some historical background. Emerging Civil War. This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author’s permission.