Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The purpose of this thesis is to give an account of the events which lead to the resignation of Secretary of War William Worth Belknap in 1876, to examine the circumstances surrounding his impeachment, and to study the testimony in his Senate trial.

Although Belknap was not convicted on charges of accepting bribes, most of those senators who voted to acquit him did so on the technical ground that the Senate lacked the jurisdiction to try a private citizen. The evidence in the case clearly indicated Belknap's involvement, and there seems little doubt that if Belknap did not know what was going on, he should have.