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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesWisconsin

Matthew Hale CARPENTER

(1824-1881)
Senate Years of Service:
1869-1875; 1879-1881
Party:
Republican; Republican

CARPENTER, Matthew Hale, a Senator from Wisconsin; born Decatur Merritt Hammond Carpenter in Moretown, Washington County, Vt., December 22, 1824; attended the common schools; entered the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1843 and remained two years; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1847 and practiced in Boston, Mass.; moved to Beloit, Wis., in 1848 and became known as Matthew Hale Carpenter; district attorney of Rock County 1850-1854; moved to Milwaukee in 1858; belonged to the Douglas wing of the Democratic Party until the commencement of the Civil War; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1869, to March 3, 1875; unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1875; served as President pro tempore of the Senate during the Forty-third Congress; chairman, Committee on Enrolled Bills (Forty-second Congress), Committee to Audit and Control the Contingent Expense (Forty-second and Forty-third Congresses); resumed the practice of law in Washington and in Milwaukee; again elected as a Republican to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1879, until his death in Washington, D.C., February 24, 1881; interment in Forest Home Cemetery, Milwaukee, Wis.

Bibliography

American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography; The Yale Biographical Dictionary of American Law; Deutsch, Herman J. “Carpenter and the Senatorial Election of 1875 in Wisconsin.” Wisconsin Magazine of History 16 (September 1932): 26-46; Thompson, E. Bruce. Matthew Hale Carpenter, Webster of the West. Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1954.

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

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