Peter G. Van Winkle

Peter G. Van Winkle

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Peter Godwin Van Winkle (September 7, 1808 April 15, 1872) was a United States Senator from West Virginia
West Virginia
West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east...


Born in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, he completed preparatory studies, studied law, and was admitted to the bar
Admission to the bar in the United States
In the United States, admission to the bar is the granting of permission by a particular court system to a lawyer to practice law in that system. Each U.S. state and similar jurisdiction has its own court system and sets its own rules for bar admission , which can lead to different admission...

, commencing practice in Parkersburg, Virginia
Parkersburg, West Virginia
As of the census of 2000, there were 33,099 people, 14,467 households, and 8,767 families residing in the city. In 2006 the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that Parkersburg's population had decreased 4.4% to 31,755. The population density was 2,800.5 people per square mile . There were 16,100 housing...

 (now West Virginia) in 1835. He was president of the town board of trustees from 1844 to 1850 and was a member of the Virginia State constitutional convention in 1850. He was treasurer and later president of the Northwestern Virginia Railroad Co. in 1852 and a member of the Wheeling
Wheeling, West Virginia
Wheeling is a city in Ohio and Marshall counties in the U.S. state of West Virginia; it is the county seat of Ohio County. Wheeling is the principal city of the Wheeling Metropolitan Statistical Area...

 reorganization convention in 1861. He was a delegate to the State convention which framed the constitution
West Virginia Constitution
The Constitution of the State of West Virginia is the supreme law of the U.S. State of West Virginia. It expresses the rights of the State's citizens and provides the framework for the organization of law and government. The state's founding document was ratified in 1862, a year before the state...

 of West Virginia and a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates
West Virginia House of Delegates
The West Virginia House of Delegates is the lower house of the West Virginia Legislature. Only three states—Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia—refer to their lower house as the House of Delegates.-Historical:-Current:-District organization:...

 in 1863. Upon the admission of West Virginia as a State into the Union, he was elected as a Unionist to the U.S. Senate and served from August 4, 1863, to March 4, 1869. While in the Senate, he was chairman of the Committee on Pensions (Fortieth Congress).

During President Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson was the 17th President of the United States . As Vice-President of the United States in 1865, he succeeded Abraham Lincoln following the latter's assassination. Johnson then presided over the initial and contentious Reconstruction era of the United States following the American...

's impeachment trial, Van Winkle broke party ranks, along with six other Republican senators and voted for acquittal. These seven Republican senators were disturbed by how the proceedings had been manipulated in order to give a one-sided presentation of the evidence. Senators William Pitt Fessenden, Joseph S. Fowler
Joseph S. Fowler
Joseph Smith Fowler was a United States Senator from Tennessee from 1866 to 1871.-Biography:Fowler was born in Steubenville, Ohio. He graduated from Grove Academy in that city and subsequently from Franklin College in New Athens, Ohio in 1843. He taught school in Shelby County, Kentucky in 1844...

, James W. Grimes
James W. Grimes
James Wilson Grimes was an American politician, serving as the third Governor of Iowa and a United States Senator from Iowa.-Biography:...

, John B. Henderson
John B. Henderson
John Brooks Henderson was a United States Senator from Missouri and a co-author of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution....

, Lyman Trumbull
Lyman Trumbull
Lyman Trumbull was a United States Senator from Illinois during the American Civil War, and co-author of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.-Education and early career:...

, Peter G. Van Winkle , and Edmund G. Ross
Edmund G. Ross
Edmund Gibson Ross was a politician who represented the state of Kansas after the American Civil War and was later governor of the New Mexico Territory. His vote against convicting of President Andrew Johnson of "high crimes and misdemeanors" allowed Johnson to stay in office by the margin of one...

 of Kansas, who provided the decisive vote , defied their party and public opinion and voted against impeachment.

Van Winkle was a delegate to the Southern Loyalist Convention
National Union Convention
The National Union Convention was held on August 14, 15 , and 16 1866, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.The convention was called in advance of the mid-year elections of 1866 in an attempt to help president Johnson,...

 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 in 1866; he resided in Parkersburg, where he died in 1872. Interment was in Riverview Cemetery.

Marshall Van Winkle
Marshall Van Winkle
Marshall Van Winkle was a U.S. Representative from New Jersey, grandnephew of Peter G. Van Winkle.-Biography:Born in Jersey City, New Jersey, Van Winkle attended the public schools.He studied law....

, Peter Van Winkle's grandnephew, was a U.S. Representative from New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

 in the Fifty-ninth Congress.

His former home at Parkersburg is located in the Julia-Ann Square Historic District
Julia-Ann Square Historic District
The Julia-Ann Square Historic District, is a national historic district located at Parkersburg, Wood County, West Virginia. It is to the west of the Avery Street Historic District. It encompasses all houses on Ann and Juliana Streets from Riverview Cemetery to 9th Street. There are 116 contributing...

., it's known as the Peter G. Van Winkle House
Peter G. Van Winkle House
The Peter G. Van Winkle House is a historic home located in the Julia-Ann Square Historic District in Parkersburg, Wood County, West Virginia. It was built between about 1880 and 1899, and is a two-story duplex in the Queen Anne style. It features a deck hipped roof with intersecting gables,...