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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Ohio: Licking County

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1903 Bio. ~ James F. Wilson ~ born Newark, Ohio
Posted by: Deborah Brownfield - Stanley (ID *****1616) Date: December 12, 2003 at 12:09:24
  of 1310

JAMES F. WILSON was born at Newark, Ohio, October 19, 1828. His education was
obtained in the common schools and he learned the trade of harness making in
his youth. He soon decided to study law and was admitted to the bar in 1851.
In 1853 he became a resident of Iowa, and locating at Fairfield opened a law
office. In 1856 he was a delegate to the convention which organized the
Republican party. In 1857 he was a member of the convention which framed the
present Constitution of the State. Although one of the youngest members he took an
active part in the work. In October of that year he was elected to the House
of the Seventh General Assembly and was chairman on ways and means. In 1860
he was a member of the State Senate and after serving through a regular and
extra session was elected Representative in Congress to fill a vacancy in the
First District. He was three times reelected, serving through the war and
reconstruction periods until March, 1871. When Grant was inaugurated President in
1869 he tendered Mr. Wilson a place in his cabinet as Secretary of State which
was declined. In the impeachment trial of President Johnson, Mr. Wilson was
one of the managers on part of the House. He had originally opposed
impeachment and as a member of the judiciary committee had made a minority report in
which he gave an able review of the most important cases of impeachment in the
British Parliament and Senate of the United States. His report forms a
valuable treatise on the subject. He was the author of the joint resolution for
amendment of the Constitution of the United States in 1864, abolishing slavery,
and made one of the greatest speeches of his life on that subject. In January,
1882, Mr. Wilson was elected to the United States Senate for six years and was
reelected, serving until March, 1895. Mr. Wilson died at his home in
Fairfield in April, 1895.

Debbie Clough Gerischer
Iowa Gen Web, Assistant CC, Scott County
IAGENWEB: Special History Project:
Gerischer Family Web Site:

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