BLAIR, Austin, a Representative from Michigan; born in Caroline, Tompkins County, N.Y., February 8, 1818; attended the common schools, Cazenovia Seminary, and Hamilton College, Clinton, N.Y.; was graduated from Union College, Schenectady, N.Y., in 1837; studied law in Oswego; was admitted to the bar in Tioga County, N.Y., in 1841; moved to Michigan and settled in Eaton Rapids, where he commenced the practice of his profession in 1842; county clerk of Eaton County; moved to Jackson, Mich., in 1844; elected to the State house of representatives in 1845; delegate to the Free-Soil National Convention at Buffalo, N.Y., in 1848; elected prosecuting attorney of Jackson County in 1852; elected to the State senate in 1854; was present at the organization of the Republican Party in Jackson, Mich., on July 6, 1854, and was a member of the platform committee; delegate to the Republican National Convention at Chicago in 1860; Governor of Michigan from January 1, 1861, to January 1, 1865; elected as a Republican to the Fortieth, Forty-first, and Forty-second Congresses (March 4, 1867-March 3, 1873); chairman, Committee on Private Land Claims (Forty-first and Forty-second Congresses); was not a candidate for renomination in 1872, but was an unsuccessful Liberal Republican candidate for Governor; resumed the practice of law in Jackson, Mich., and died there August 6, 1894; interment in Mount Evergreen Cemetery.
BibliographyCrofts, Daniel W. “The Blair Bill and the Elections Bill: The Congressional Aftermath to Reconstruction.” Ph.D. diss., Yale University, 1968; Harris, Robert C. “Austin Blair of Michigan: A Political Biography.” Ph.D. diss., Michigan State University, 1969.
Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present