WADE, Benjamin Franklin (1800-1878)
Senate Years of Service: 1851-1855; 1855-1857; 1857-1869

WADE, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, (brother of Edward Wade), a Senator from Ohio; born in Feeding Hills, near Springfield, Hampden County, Mass., October 27, 1800; received his early education from his mother; moved with his parents to Andover, Ohio, in 1821; taught school; studied medicine in Albany, N.Y., 1823-1825; returned to Ohio; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1828 and commenced practice in Jefferson, Ashtabula County, Ohio; prosecuting attorney of Ashtabula County 1835-1837; member, State senate 1837-1838, 1841-1842; judge of the third judicial court of Ohio 1847-1851; elected as a Whig to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy in the term commencing March 4, 1851, caused by the failure of the legislature to elect; reelected as a Republican in 1856 and 1863 and served from March 15, 1851, to March 3, 1869; unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1868; served as President pro tempore of the Senate during the Thirty-ninth and Fortieth Congresses; chairman, Committee on Territories (Thirty-seventh, Thirty-eighth, and Thirty-ninth Congresses); unsuccessful Republican candidate for the vice presidential nomination in 1868; resumed the practice of law in Jefferson, Ohio, in 1869; appointed a government director of the Union Pacific Railroad; member of the Santo Domingo Commission in 1871; died in Jefferson, Ashtabula County, Ohio, on March 2, 1878; interment in Oakdale Cemetery.

Many papers were burned, according to Hans L. Trefousse in his biography of Wade


Cincinnati Historical Society
Cincinnati, OH
Papers: Miscellaneous items in various collections.

Cornell University
Rare Books and Manuscript Collections
Ithaca, NY
Papers: Correspondence in Fowler family papers, 1807-1968 (bulk 1836-1901).

Henry E. Huntington Library
San Marino, CA
Papers: Correspondence in Edwin McMasters Stanton papers, 1815-1907.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
Papers: In Salmon Portland Chase papers, 1824-1881.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: 1832-1886. 18 containers. Chiefly correspondence (1852-1869) about Ohio and national politics together with some family and law practice correspondence, speeches, and business papers. Subjects include Ohio and national politics, elections, secession, the Civil War, the Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War, emancipation, Reconstruction, suffrage, and the impeachment of Andrew Johnson. Available on 11 microfilm reels. Finding aid.
Papers: Correspondence in Parsons family papers, 1769-1878, available on 1 microfilm reel.

Ohio Historical Society
Columbus, OH
Papers: Miscellaneous letters and photographs in various collections including Edward H. Fitch papers, 1828-1888.

Pierpont Morgan Library
New York, NY
Papers: 4 items (1854-1871); and 2 items (August 1, 1868 and January 18, 1886) in the Gilder Lehrman collection. Finding aid.

University of Michigan
Bentley Historical Library
Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: Correspondence in Zachariah Chandler papers, 1854-1899, on 4 microfilm reels of originals at Library of Congress; and in George D. Hill papers, 1843-1866 and 1870-1876.

University of Rochester
Rush Rhees Library
Rochester, NY
Papers: 4 letters by and 6 to Wade (1852-1868) in various collections. Finding aid.

Western Reserve Historical Society
Cleveland, OH
Papers: Correspondence in Joel Blakeslee papers, ca. 1820-1860; and 50 letters (1836-1867) from Wade in Milton Sutliff papers, 1838-1867.

  • Erlich, Martin. "Benjamin Franklin Wade: The Road to Radical Republicanism.'' Master's thesis, Wayne State University, 1954.
  • Land, Mary. " `Bluff' Ben Wade's New England Background.'' New England Quarterly 27 (December 1954): 484-509.
  • ___. "Old Backbone: `Bluff' Ben Wade.'' Ph.D. dissertation, Western Reserve University, 1957.
  • Riddle, Albert Gallatin. The Life of Benjamin F. Wade. Cleveland: W.W. Williams, 1886.
  • Seligman, Harvey. "Benjamin Franklin Wade: The `Buckeye' Radical: 1861-1865.'' Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University, 1949.
  • Shover, Kenneth Bruce. "The Life of Benjamin F. Wade.'' Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Berkeley, 1962.
  • ___. "Maverick at Bay: Ben Wade's Senate Re-election Campaign, 1862-1863.'' Civil War History 12 (March 1966): 23-42.
  • Trefousse, Hans L. Benjamin Franklin Wade: Radical Republican from Ohio. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1963.
  • ___. "Ben Wade and the Failure of the Impeachment of Johnson.'' Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio Bulletin 18 (October 1960): 241-52.
  • ___. "Ben Wade and the Negro.'' Ohio Historical Quarterly 68 (April 1959): 161-76.
  • ___. "The Motivation of a Radical Republican: Benjamin F. Wade.'' Ohio History 73 (Spring 1964): 63-74.
  • Volpe, Vernon L. "Benjamin Wade's Strange Defeat.'' Ohio History 97 (Summer-Autumn 1988): 122-32.
  • Williams, Harry. "Benjamin F. Wade and the Atrocity Propaganda of the Civil War.'' Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Quarterly 48 (January 1939): 33-43.
  • Zornow, William Frank. " `Bluff Ben' Wade in Lawrence, Kansas: The Issue of Class Conflict.'' Ohio Historical Quarterly 65 (January 1956): 44-52.