Essays on Profiles in Courage

Profiles in Courage
Original title Profiles in Courage
Author John F. Kennedy
Genre Biography
Language English
Characters John F Kennedy, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams
Published January 1, 1956
ISBN 978-0-394-53129-3
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About Profiles in Courage

John F. Kennedy’s Profiles in Courage is a book about eight U.S. Senators who risked their careers by taking unpopular positions on highly controversial issues. These men put their principles above their political ambitions, and in doing so, they helped to shape the course of history.The first profile is of Senator John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts, who, in 1806, spoke out against the slave trade, even though it was a lucrative business for his home state. Adams knew that the slave trade was morally wrong, and he was not afraid to stand up to his colleagues in the Senate and argue for its abolition.The second profile is of Senator Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, who, in 1830, took a stand against his state’s powerful governor, John Hancock. Webster believed that Hancock was abusing his power, and he spoke out against him in the Senate. As a result, Webster was ostracized by his fellow Massachusetts senators, but he continued to fight for what he believed was right.The third profile is of Senator Samuel Houston of Texas, who, in 1832, defied his state’s governor, Sam Houston, and refused to sign a bill that would have made Texas a slave state. As a result, Houston was forced to resign from the Senate, but he later became the first president of the Republic of Texas.The fourth profile is of Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri, who, in 1854, took a stand against his state’s powerful senator, Jesse James. Benton believed that James was a traitor to the Union, and he spoke out against him in the Senate. As a result, Benton was ostracized by his fellow Missouri senators, but he continued to fight for what he believed was right.The fifth profile is of Senator William H. Seward of New York, who, in 1860, took a stand against his state’s powerful senator, William C. Bryant. Seward believed that Bryant was a traitor to the Union, and he spoke out against him in the Senate. As a result, Seward was ostracized by his fellow New York senators, but he continued to fight for what he believed was right.The sixth profile is of Senator Edmund G. Ross of Kansas, who, in 1866, took a stand against his state’s powerful senator, Samuel C. Pomeroy. Ross believed that Pomeroy was a traitor to the Union, and he spoke out against him in the Senate. As a result, Ross was ostracized by his fellow Kansas senators, but he continued to fight for what he believed was right.The seventh profile is of Senator George F. Hoar of Massachusetts, who, in 1874, took a stand against his state’s powerful senator, Charles Sumner. Hoar believed that Sumner was a traitor to the Union, and he spoke out against him in the Senate. As a result, Hoar was ostracized by his fellow Massachusetts senators, but he continued to fight for what he believed was right.The eighth and final profile is of Senator Benjamin R. Tillman of South Carolina, who, in 1896, took a stand against his state’s powerful senator, John C. Calhoun. Tillman believed that Calhoun was a traitor to the Union, and he spoke out against him in the Senate. As a result, Tillman was ostracized by his fellow South Carolina senators, but he continued to fight for what he believed was right.

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