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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesMissouri

John Smith PHELPS

(1814-1886)

PHELPS, John Smith, (son of Elisha Phelps), a Representative from Missouri; born in Simsbury, Hartford County, Conn., December 22, 1814; attended the common schools and was graduated from Trinity College, Hartford, Conn., in 1832; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1835 and commenced practice in Simsbury; moved to Springfield, Greene County, Mo., in 1837; member of the State house of representatives in 1840; elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-ninth and to the eight succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1845-March 3, 1863); chairman, Committee on Ways and Means (Thirty-fifth Congress); was not a candidate for renomination in 1862; during the Civil War enlisted as a private in Captain Coleman’s Company of Missouri Infantry; promoted to lieutenant colonel October 2, 1861, and to colonel December 19, 1861; mustered out May 13, 1862; appointed by President Lincoln in July 1862 as Military Governor of Arkansas; resumed the practice of his profession in Springfield; unsuccessful Democratic candidate in 1868 for Governor of Missouri; Governor of Missouri 1877-1881; resumed the practice of his profession; died in St. Louis, Mo., November 20, 1886; interment in Hazelwood Cemetery, Springfield, Mo.

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

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