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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesMaryland

James Alfred PEARCE

(1805-1862)
Senate Years of Service:
1843-1855; 1855-1857; 1857-1862
Party:
Whig; Opposition; Democrat

PEARCE, James Alfred, a Representative and a Senator from Maryland; born in Alexandria, Va., December 14, 1805; attended a private academy in Alexandria; graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1822; studied law; admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Cambridge, Dorchester County, Md., in 1824; moved to Louisiana in 1825 and engaged in sugar planting; returned to Maryland and settled in Kent County in 1828; resumed the practice of law in Chestertown; member, State house of delegates 1831-1835; elected as a Whig to the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth Congresses (March 4, 1835-March 3, 1839); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1838 to the Twenty-sixth Congress; elected to the Twenty-seventh Congress (March 4, 1841-March 3, 1843); elected as a Whig to the United States Senate in 1843; reelected in 1849, 1855, and 1861, the last time as a Democrat, and served from March 4, 1843, until his death; chairman, Committee on the Library (Twenty-ninth through Thirty-seventh Congresses); chairman, Committee on Finance (Thirty-sixth Congress); died in Chestertown, Md., on December 20, 1862; interment in New Chester Cemetery.

Bibliography

American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography; Steiner, Bernard. “James Alfred Pearce.” Maryland Historical Magazine 16 (December 1921): 319-39, 17 (March 1922): 33-47, 17 (June 1922): 177-90, 17 (September 1922): 269-83, 17 (December 1922): 348-63, 18 (March 1923): 38-52, 18 (June 1923): 134-50, 18 (September 1923): 257-73, 18 (December 1923): 341-57, 19 (March 1924): 13-29, 19 (June 1924): 162-78.

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

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