39th Congress Project

About the 39th Congress Project

The 39th Congress of the U,S. was one of the most important Congresses in the nation’s history. 

Meeting as the Civil War ended and Reconstruction began, it was the Congress that enacted legislation and proposed a constitutional amendment that was designed to secure the peace and prevent future wars. It passed more legislation than any other Congress up to that time. Among the most important statutes enacted was the act creating the Freedman’s & Refuges Bureau, the 1866 Civil Rights Act, and the Fourteenth Amendment.

The University of Akron Constitutional Law Center’s 39th Congress project addresses the important and continuing role of the actions of this Congress by posting materials about the 39th Congress, providing links to research materials about it, and biographical articles concerning members of the 39th Congress.

The 39th Congress (1865-1867) and the 14th Amendment: Some Preliminary Perspectives
by Richard L. Aynes

Continuing Importance of Congressman John A. Bingham
by Richard L. Aynes

The Antislavery and Abolitionist Background of John A. Bingham
by Richard L. Aynes

Impeachment and Removal of Tennessee Judge West Humphreys
by Richard L. Aynes

On Misreading John Bingham and the Fourteenth Amendment
by Richard L. Aynes

Student Papers on Members of the 39th Congress

Biography of Rufus Paine Spaulding
by Daniel J. Petricini 

Robert Cumming Schenck: Ohio’s Bitter, Fearless Fighter
by Devin C. Capece 

James M. Ashley Paper
by Robin J. Lau

Martin Welker: Ohio’s Unsung Hero
by Aaron Boothby

William Lawrence: Perspectives of a Reconstruction Repubican on the 14thAmendment
by Jeremy D. Burkhart

39th Congress Project Links

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress

History of the Thirty-Ninth Congress of the United States (1868)
by William H. Barnes