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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesMaine / US

James Gillespie BLAINE

(1830-1893)
Senate Years of Service:
1876-1881
Party:
Republican

BLAINE, James Gillespie, a Representative and a Senator from Maine; born in West Brownsville, Washington County, Pa., January 31, 1830; graduated from Washington College, Washington, Pa., in 1847; taught at the Western Military Institute, Blue Lick Springs, Ky.; returned to Pennsylvania; studied law; taught at the Pennsylvania Institution for the Blind in Philadelphia 1852-1854; moved in 1854 to Maine, where he edited the Portland Advertiser and the Kennebec Journal; member, State house of representatives 1859-1862, serving the last two years as speaker; elected as a Republican to the Thirty-eighth and to the six succeeding Congresses and served from March 4, 1863, to July 10, 1876, when he resigned; Speaker of the House of Representatives (Forty-first through Forty-third Congresses); chairman, Committee on Rules (Forty-third through Forty-fifth Congresses); unsuccessful candidate for nomination for President on the Republican ticket in 1876 and 1880; appointed and subsequently elected as a Republican to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Lot M. Morrill; reelected and served from July 10, 1876, to March 5, 1881, when he resigned to become Secretary of State; chairman, Committee on Civil Service and Retrenchment (Forty-fifth Congress), Committee on Rules (Forty-fifth Congress); Secretary of State in the Cabinets of Presidents James Garfield and Chester Arthur, from March 5 to December 12, 1881; unsuccessful Republican candidate for President of the United States in 1884; Secretary of State in the Cabinet of President Benjamin Harrison 1889-1892, when he resigned; aided in organizing and was the first president of the Pan American Congress; died in Washington, D.C., January 27, 1893; interment in Oak Hill Cemetery; reinterment at the request of the State of Maine in the Blaine Memorial Park, Augusta, Maine, in June 1920.

Bibliography

Dictionary of American Biography; Blaine, James G. Twenty Years of Congress: From Lincoln to Garfield. 2 vols. Norwich, Conn.: Henry Bill Publishing Co. 1884-1886; Healy, David. James G. Blaine and Latin America. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2001.

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

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