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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesFlorida

Jesse Johnson FINLEY

(1812-1904)

FINLEY, Jesse Johnson, a Representative from Florida; born near Lebanon, Wilson County, Tenn., November 18, 1812; pursued an academic course; captain of mounted volunteers in the Seminole War in 1836; studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1838; moved to Mississippi County, Ark., in 1840 and practiced his profession; served in the State senate in 1841; moved to Memphis, Tenn. in 1842, and continued the practice of law; mayor of Memphis in 1845; moved to Mariana, Fla., in November 1846; elected to the State senate of Florida in 1850; presidential elector on the Whig ticket in 1852; judge of the western circuit of Florida 1853-1861; appointed judge of the Confederate States court for the district of Florida in 1861; resigned and volunteered as a private in the Confederate Army in March 1862, and was successively promoted to the rank of brigadier general November 16, 1863; settled in Lake City, Fla., in 1865, and continued the practice of law; moved to Jacksonville, Fla., in 1871; successfully contested as a Democrat the election of Josiah J. Walls to the Forty-fourth Congress and served from April 19, 1876, to March 3, 1877; successfully contested the election of Horatio Bisbee, Jr., to the Forty-fifth Congress and served from February 20 to March 3, 1879; presented credentials as a Member-elect to the Forty-Seventh Congress and served from March 4, 1881, to June 1, 1882, when he was succeeded by Horatio Bisbee, Jr., who contested his election; presented credentials on December 5, 1887, as a Senator-designate to the United States Senate for the term commencing March 4, 1887, but was not permitted to qualify for the reason that the appointment was made before the vacancy occurred; died in Lake City, Fla., November 6, 1904; interment in Evergreen Cemetery, Gainesville, Fla.

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

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