William King Sebastian

William King Sebastian

Birth
Centerville, Hickman County, Tennessee, USA
Death 20 May 1865 (aged 52)
Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee, USA
Burial Helena, Phillips County, Arkansas, USA
Memorial ID 2316 · View Source
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Arkansas Senator. William King Sebastian graduated from Columbia College, in Tennessee, about 1834, and began studying law. In 1835 he began a law practice in Helena, Arkansas. He served the Arkansas court system in various positions from 1840 to 1846. He then became a member of the state Senate, serving as its president until 1847. In 1848, upon the death of the incumbent, he was appointed to the United States Senate. At age thirty-six, he was the youngest senator in the Thirtieth U.S. Congress. On January 3, 1849, he proposed a national highway that would run from Fort Smith (Sebastian County) to San Diego, California, by way of Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 1850, he fought for better law enforcement in the Indian Territory west of Arkansas. He was reelected in 1853 and 1859. He served as the chair of the Committee on Manufactures, and on the Committee on Indian Affairs. He supported plans to form a series of Indian reservations in California; the first of these reservations was named for him. At the beginning of the Civil War in 1861, most Southern senators resigned their seats in Congress, but he was one of two who did not. He and Andrew Johnson were instead expelled from the Senate on July 11, 1861. He returned to Helena, where he lived for the duration of the Civil War and practiced law. In 1863, when much of Arkansas had been captured by the Union army and a new state government was being formed, he considered returning to the U.S. Senate. President Abraham Lincoln encouraged such a return, but he eventually decided against the attempt, reasoning that the Senate would not accept his return. After federal troops occupied Helena, he moved to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1864 and resumed the practice of law. In 1877, the Senate revoked the resolution of expulsion which they had passed upon him, and consequently paid the compensation due to his children.

Bio by: Stone Finder


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 2316
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William King Sebastian (12 Jun 1812–20 May 1865), Find A Grave Memorial no. 2316, citing King Family Burial Ground, Helena, Phillips County, Arkansas, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .