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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesIowa

Samuel Ryan CURTIS

(1805-1866)

CURTIS, Samuel Ryan, a Representative from Iowa; born near Champlain, Clinton County, N.Y., February 3, 1805; moved to Ohio, where he attended the public schools; appointed a cadet in the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1827, and was graduated in July 1831, as brevet second lieutenant in the Seventh Infantry; resigned in June 1832; studied law; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Zanesville, Ohio; chief engineer of the Muskingum River improvements from April 1837 to May 1839; served in the war with Mexico as adjutant general of Ohio and colonel of the Third Regiment, Ohio Infantry; honorably discharged June 24, 1847; resumed the practice of law; elected as a Republican to the Thirty-fifth, Thirty-sixth, and Thirty-seventh Congresses and served from March 4, 1857, to August 4, 1861, when he resigned; member of the peace convention of 1861 held in Washington, D.C., in an effort to devise means to prevent the impending war; appointed colonel of the Second Regiment, Iowa Volunteer Infantry, June 1, 1861; brigadier general of Volunteers May 17, 1861; major general of Volunteers March 21, 1862; mustered out April 30, 1866; appointed United States peace commissioner to treat with the Indians in 1865; appointed commissioner to examine and report on the condition of the Union Pacific Railroad, and served from November 1865 to April 1866; died in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on December 25, 1866; interment in Oakland Cemetery, Keokuk, Iowa.

Bibliography

Beckenbaugh, Terry Lee. “The War of Politics: Samuel Ryan Curtis, Race, and The Political/Military Establishment.” Ph. D. Diss., University of Arkansas, 2001; Rosenberg, Morton M. “The First Republican Election Victory in Iowa.” Annals of Iowa, 3 ser., 36 (Summer 1962): 355-71.

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

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