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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesIllinois

William Harrison BISSELL

(1811-1860)

BISSELL, William Harrison, a Representative from Illinois; born in Hartwick, Otsego County, N.Y., on April 25, 1811; attended the public schools, and was graduated from the Philadelphia Medical College in 1835; moved to Monroe County, Ill., in 1837; taught school and practiced medicine until 1840; member of the State house of representatives 1840-1842; studied law; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Belleville, St. Clair County, Ill.; prosecuting attorney of St. Clair County in 1844; served in the Mexican War as colonel of the Second Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry; elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-first and Thirty-second Congresses and as an Independent Democrat to the Thirty-third Congress (March 4, 1849-March 3, 1855); chairman, Committee on Military Affairs (Thirty-second and Thirty-third Congresses); was not a candidate for renomination in 1854; elected Governor of Illinois in 1856 and served from January 12, 1857, until his death; died in Springfield, Sangamon County, Ill., March 18, 1860; interment in Oak Ridge Cemetery.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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