Sen. James Asheton Bayard, Jr.

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Sen. James Asheton Bayard, Jr.

Also Known As: "James Ashton Bayard"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware, United States
Death: June 13, 1880 (80)
Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware, United States
Place of Burial: Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Sen. James Asheton Bayard, Jr. and Nancy Bayard
Husband of Anne Bayard
Father of Ellen Schermerhorn; Thomas F. Bayard, Sr., U.S. Senator, U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom and Secretary of State; Florence Bayard Lockwood and Mabel Kane
Brother of Sen. Richard Henry Bayard; Edward Bayard; Caroline Bayard; Mary Bayard; Henry Bayard and 1 other

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Sen. James Asheton Bayard, Jr.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_A._Bayard,_Jr%2E

James Asheton Bayard, Jr. (November 15, 1799 – June 13, 1880) was an American lawyer and politician from Wilmington, in New Castle County, Delaware. He was a member of the Democratic Party, who served as U.S. Senator from Delaware.


Early life and family


See also: Bayard family


Bayard was born in Wilmington, Delaware, son of James A. Bayard, Sr. and Nancy Bassett Bayard. His father was a member of the Federalist Party, who served as U.S. Representative from Delaware and U.S. Senator from Delaware. His mother was the daughter of another U.S. Senator from Delaware, Richard Bassett. His older brother, Richard H. Bayard, was also a U.S. Senator from Delaware.


Professional and political career


Bayard studied the law, and began his legal practice in the city of Wilmington. From 1836 until 1843 he served as United States District Attorney for Delaware and in 1851 was elected by the General Assembly to the United States Senate. He was re-elected in 1857 and 1863 and served from March 4, 1851, to January 29, 1864, when he resigned. As U.S. Senator he was chairman of the Committee on Engrossed Bills in the 32nd Congress, a member of the Committee on Public Buildings in the 33rd Congress and 34th Congress, a member of the Committee on Judiciary in the 35th Congress and 36th Congress, and a member of the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds in the 35th Congress.


The Civil War


Bayard was generally a conservative and adhered to his interpretation of tradition throughout the Civil War. He believed that the seceding states should be allowed to go their own way, but did not call for Delaware to secede from the Union. Citing property rights of owners, he opposed abolitionist measures. He also stated both his opposition to the Civil War and his opposition to the any presidential acts used to suppress the rebellion of the Southern states.


During the Civil War, the United States Senate passed a rule stating that all senators would have to swear an oath of loyalty to the Union. Bayard refused, stating that such an oath would be unconstitutional, and resigned his post in the Senate.


When the death of his successor, George R. Riddle, caused a vacancy in the United States Senate in 1867, Bayard interrupted his practice of law in Wilmington and served again as the U.S. Senator from April 5, 1867, to March 4, 1869. During the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson, Bayard cast a vote of "not guilty." After declining to again run for reelection, he continued his law practice until his death.


Death and legacy


Bayard died at Wilmington and is buried there in the Old Swedes Episcopal Church Cemetery. He was the father of U.S. Senator Thomas F. Bayard, Sr. and grandfather of U.S. Senator Thomas F. Bayard, Jr.


James Asheton Bayard was an American lawyer and politician from Delaware. He was a member of the Democratic Party and served as U.S. Senator from Delaware.

Bayard was born in Wilmington, Delaware, son of James A. Bayard and Nancy Bassett Bayard. His father was a member of the Federalist Party and served as U.S. Representative and Senator from Delaware. His mother was the daughter of Richard Bassett, signatory to the United States Constitution and Senator from Delaware. His older brother, Richard H. Bayard, was also a U.S. Senator from Delaware.

Bayard studied the law, and began his legal practice in the city of Wilmington. From 1836 until 1843 he served as United States Attorney for Delaware. In 1851 he was elected to the U.S. Senate. He was re-elected in 1857 and 1863, and served from March 4, 1851, to January 29, 1864, when he resigned. As U.S. Senator he was chairman of the Committee on Engrossed Bills in the 32nd Congress, a member of the Committee on Public Buildings in the 33rd Congress and 34th Congress, a member of the Committee on Judiciary in the 35th Congress and 36th Congress, and a member of the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds in the 35th Congress.

Bayard served on the boards of various railroads, including the Wilmington and Susquehanna Railroad, the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad (for which service he is named on the 1839 Newkirk Viaduct Monument), and the Pennsylvania Railroad.

In 1846, Bayard represented slave owners in a civil suit against Thomas Garrett, a Wilmington iron merchant who was also a "stationmaster" on the Underground Railroad. The plaintiffs demanded damages from Garrett for helping around 10 slaves escape to freedom. The suit was tried in the U.S. District Court in New Castle, Delaware before Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Roger B. Taney (sitting as a circuit judge). (Taney later issued the notorious Dred Scott decision as Chief Justice.) Bayard won a judgement that all but bankrupted Garrett, who declared on the spot that he would redouble his anti-slavery efforts: "Friend, I haven't a dollar in the world, but if thee knows a fugitive who needs a breakfast, send him to me."

Bayard was a conservative and adhered to his interpretation of tradition throughout the American Civil War. He believed the South should be allowed to secede peacefully, and privately hoped for the secession of Delaware and a state convention to address the issue.[4] Citing property rights of owners, he opposed abolitionist measures. He also stated both his opposition to the Civil War and his opposition to any presidential or congressional acts used to suppress the independence of the Southern states.

During the Civil War, the Senate required all senators to swear an oath of loyalty to the Union. Bayard refused, stating that such an oath would be unconstitutional, and after taking the oath and giving a long speech disputing its legality, resigned from the Senate.

The death of his successor, George R. Riddle, on March 29, 1867, left the Senate seat vacant. Bayard interrupted his practice of law in Wilmington and accepted appointment to the vacant seat. He was subsequently elected to fill it, and served again from April 5, 1867, to March 4, 1869. During the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson, Bayard voted "not guilty." After declining to run again for re-election, he returned to private practice for several years until poor health incapacitated him.

In 1872, he was among the nine politicians whose names were submitted by the House of Representatives to the Senate for investigation in the Credit Mobilier scandal. He wrote a letter disavowing any knowledge of the affair, and his name was generally dropped from the investigation.

Bayard died at Wilmington and is buried there in the Old Swedes Episcopal Church Cemetery. He was the father of U.S. Senator Thomas F. Bayard and grandfather of U.S. Senator Thomas F. Bayard Jr.

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Sen. James Asheton Bayard, Jr.'s Timeline

1799
November 15, 1799
Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware, United States
1827
January 5, 1827
1828
October 29, 1828
Wilmington, Delaware, United States
1837
May 16, 1837
Wilmington, New Castle, DE, United States
1842
March 4, 1842
Delaware, United States
1880
June 13, 1880
Age 80
Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware, United States
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Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware, United States