James Speed (1812-1887) was a U.S. attorney general, politician, lawyer and law professor from Kentucky. During the Civil War, he was the commander of the Louisville Home Guard and the mustering officer for Kentucky. President Lincoln appointed him attorney general in 1864. Speed was against slavery and worked to enact black suffrage. He resigned from the U.S. cabinet because he felt President Andrew Johnson's lack of support towards congressional reconstruction and racial discrimination undermined the justice department's efforts to protect freedmen.

December 02, 1864
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