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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesNew York

James Bedell McKEAN

(1821-1879)

McKEAN, James Bedell, (nephew of Samuel McKean), a Representative from New York; born in Bennington, Vt., August 5, 1821; moved to New York; pursued an academic course; taught in the district schools for several terms and was one of the professors in Jonesville Academy for some time; superintendent of the common schools in Half Moon in 1842; elected colonel of the One Hundred and Forty-fourth Regiment, New York Militia, in 1844; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1849 and commenced practice in Ballston Spa, N.Y.; moved to Saratoga Springs in 1851; county judge of Saratoga County 1854-1858; elected as a Republican to the Thirty-sixth and Thirty-seventh Congresses (March 4, 1859-March 3, 1863); chairman, Committee on Expenditures in the Department of State (Thirty-sixth and Thirty-seventh Congresses); during the Civil War organized the Seventy-seventh Regiment, New York Volunteers, in 1861 and served as colonel of the regiment until July 27, 1863, when he resigned his commission; appointed treaty commissioner to Honduras in 1865; appointed chief justice of the supreme court of Utah Territory by President Grant in 1870 and served until 1875; died in Salt Lake City, Utah, January 5, 1879; interment in Mount Olivet Cemetery.

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

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