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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesIllinois

Sidney BREESE

(1800-1878)
Senate Years of Service:
1843-1849
Party:
Democrat

BREESE, Sidney, a Senator from Illinois; born in Whitesboro, N.Y., July 15, 1800; attended Hamilton College, Clinton, N.Y., and graduated from Union College, Schenectady, N.Y., in 1818; moved to Illinois; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1820 and commenced practice in Kaskaskia; appointed postmaster of Kaskaskia in 1821; prosecuting attorney of the third judicial circuit 1822-1826; United States district attorney for Illinois 1827-1829; was the first reporter of the proceedings of the State supreme court in 1831; held several commissions in the militia and served as a lieutenant colonel of Volunteers in the Black Hawk War in 1832; circuit judge of the second district 1835-1841; judge of the State supreme court in 1841-1842; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1843, to March 3, 1849; unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1849; chairman, Committee on District of Columbia (Twenty-ninth Congress), Committee on Public Lands (Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth Congresses); member, State house of representatives 1851-1852, serving as speaker in 1851; judge of the circuit court of Illinois 1855-1857; judge of the supreme court of Illinois from 1857 until his death; served as chief justice 1867-1870, 1873, and 1874; died in Pinkneyville, Perry County, Ill., June 27, 1878; interment in Carlyle Cemetery, Carlyle, Ill.

Bibliography

Dictionary of American Biography; McNulty, John W. ‘Sidney Breese: His Early Career in Law and Politics in Illinois.’ Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 61 (Summer 1968): 164-81; Breese, Sidney. The Early History of Illinois. Edited by Thomas Hoyne. Chicago: E.B. Myers Co., 1884.

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

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