George Vickers

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George Vickers
George Vickers of Maryland - photo portrait seated.jpg
United States Senator
from Maryland
In office
March 7, 1868 – March 3, 1873
Preceded by John A. J. Creswell
Succeeded by George R. Dennis
Personal details
Born (1801-11-19)November 19, 1801
Chestertown, Maryland, US
Died October 8, 1879(1879-10-08) (aged 77)
Chestertown, Maryland, US
Political party Democratic
Profession Politician, Lawyer
Military service
Service/branch Maryland Militia
Rank Major General

George Vickers (November 19, 1801 – October 8, 1879), a Democrat, was a United States Senator from Maryland, serving from 1868-1873. He cast the deciding vote in the Senate that saved President Andrew Johnson from impeachment.[1] Vickers also served in the Maryland State Senate.

Vickers was born in Chestertown, Maryland, and was employed in the Kent County, Maryland clerk’s office for several years. He studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1832, commencing practice in Chestertown.

He also served as a Major General of the Maryland State Militia during the Civil War. Of his four sons, one fought for the North while a second son, Benjamin Vickers, fought in the Confederate 2nd Tennessee Regiment and was killed at the Battle of Shiloh.[1]

In 1864, Vickers served as presidential elector on the Democratic ticket, and was vice president of the National Union Convention of Conservatives in Philadelphia in 1866. He served as a member of the Maryland State Senate from 1866 to 1867, and was elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the action of the Senate in declining to permit Philip F. Thomas to qualify.

Just as Vickers was named to the Senate, the impeachment of Andrew Johnson had begun. Radical Republicans were trying to remove Johnson because of his moderate views on Reconstruction. Supporters of the President crossed the Chesapeake Bay in an iceboat, woke Vickers in the middle of the night, and notified him that the Republican effort to block his election to the Senate had failed. Vickers rushed to Washington, was sworn in on March 7, 1868, and shortly after cast the deciding vote against the impeachment of President Johnson.[1]

After his term in the Senate, which lasted until March 3, 1873, Vickers resumed the practice of law in Chestertown, and died there in 1879. He is interred in Chester Cemetery.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Slavery and the Civil War". Historical Society of Kent County. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
United States Senate
Preceded by
John A. J. Creswell
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Maryland
March 7, 1868 – March 3, 1873
Served alongside: Reverdy Johnson, William P. Whyte and William T. Hamilton
Succeeded by
George R. Dennis