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Isaac Bassett


Photo of Isaac Bassett

An employee of the Senate for 64 years during the 19th century, first as a Senate page, then messenger, and finally assistant doorkeeper, Isaac Bassett left a rich collection of written reminiscences upon his death in 1895. Having lived through the turbulence of the Civil War, Bassett recorded his observations and noted several significant moments during the war, such as the arrival of troops at the Capitol in 1861 and the Grand Review of the Union Armies in 1865 following the death of Abraham Lincoln. An online exhibit, Isaac Bassett: A Senate Memoir, highlights more of his recollections of the Senate leading up to and throughout the war period.