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Benjamin Franklin Butler (1818-1893)
He was born in Deerfield, NH, and moved to Lowell with his widowed mother, sister, and brother in 1828. Butler attended Lowell High School and Colby College and in 1840 began a successful law practice in Lowell. Active in the Democratic Party in the 1850s, he was elected to several terms in the Massachusetts Legislature. In 1860, convinced that war was eminent, Butler organized a volunteer regiment and in April 1861 was the first to respond to President Lincoln’s call for troops at the outbreak of the Civil War. After the Civil War, Butler was elected as a Radical Republican to four terms of Congress (1867-1875) and was appointed by Congress as one of the managers to conduct the 1868 impeachment of President Andrew Johnson. Elected Governor of Massachusetts in 1882, he was an unsuccessful candidate for President of the United States in 1884. Butler died in 1893 while visiting Washington, DC. Always controversial, Butler spent much of his life living and working in Lowell.

Benjamin F. Butler Collection
The University of Massachusetts Lowell, Center for Lowell History houses extensive Butler Family Collections owned by UMass Lowell and the Lowell Historical Society which include correspondence, speeches, publications, and photographs, as well as a large series of lively and colorful political cartoons and prints published in the country’s most popular nineteenth century magazines, including Frank Leslie’s Illustrated, Harper’s Weekly, The Judge, and Puck.

Many of these Political Cartoons can be viewed below:

BC 002 Comic Monthly
Old Grannies of England Shocked at
Butler's Proclamation

BC 010 Daily Graphic
American Presidential Election
October 25, 1884

BC 011 Daily Graphic
Benjamin F. Butler
January 21, 1893
BC 012 Every Saturday
Candidates for the Governorship
of Massachusetts
September 30, 1871
BC 014 Frank Leslie's Illustrated
One of General Butler's "Contraband of War"
Now in Fortress Monroe
June 22, 1861
BC 015 Frank Leslie's Illustrated
Encampment of Massachusetts Troops
on Federal Hill, near Baltimore
BC 016 Frank Leslie's Illustrated
Major General Benjamin F. Butler,
BC 019 Frank Leslie's Illustrated
The War in Virginia -
Butler's Lines South of the James
July 02, 1864
BC 020 Frank Leslie's Illustrated
Signal Station Near Point of Rocks,
Shelled and Struck by the Rebels
While General Butler Was There
July 16, 1864
BC 022 Frank Leslie's Illustrated
A Dove of Peace
July 16, 1864
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