The First Impeachment

The First Impeachment

by Buckner F. Jr. Melton
     
 
William Blount (1749-1800), a land speculator and national politician, served as governor of the Southwest Territory from 1790 to 1796. In I796 he became one of Tennessee's first two United States senators. In 1796 and 1797 he became involved in a frontier plot to invade Spanish-held Louisiana and Florida, with British backing, in order to facilitate economic

Overview

William Blount (1749-1800), a land speculator and national politician, served as governor of the Southwest Territory from 1790 to 1796. In I796 he became one of Tennessee's first two United States senators. In 1796 and 1797 he became involved in a frontier plot to invade Spanish-held Louisiana and Florida, with British backing, in order to facilitate economic development in the western United States and to increase his land sales there. When the federal government discovered Blount's involvement in the conspiracy in mid-1797, the House of Representatives impeached him, the first time it ever exercised this power, and the Senate simultaneously expelled him. Impeachment proceedings continued until early 1799, when the Senate dismissed the impeachment, finding that senators are not subject to the process.

This story, told here in detail for the first time, answers many questions about the process that are currently rising once again with impeachment's post-Watergate era renaissance.

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In 1797 land speculator Blount, serving as US senator from Tennessee, was discovered to be plotting to invade Spanish-held Louisiana and Florida with British help to facilitate the western spread of the US. Melton (law, U. of North Carolina-Chapel Hill) recounts his impeachment by the House of Representatives, the first such action since the Constitution was adopted a decade earlier. He notes that because many of the framers of the Constitution took part in the proceedings, the case reveals their original intent.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780865545977
Publisher:
Mercer University Press
Publication date:
04/01/1999
Pages:
372
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

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