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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesFlorida

William James PURMAN

(1840-1928)

PURMAN, William James, a Representative from Florida; born in Millheim, Centre County, Pa., April 11, 1840; attended the common schools and completed his studies at Aaronsburg Academy, Centre County, Pa.; taught school; studied law at Lock Haven, Pa.; during the Civil War entered the Union Army as a private and served on special duty at the War Department until transferred to Florida in 1865; was admitted to the bar in 1868 and commenced practice in Tallahassee, Fla.; member of the State constitutional convention in 1868; served in the State senate 1869-1872; appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the State senate as secretary of state in 1869, but declined; chairman of the Florida Commission in 1869 for entering into negotiations for transfer of West Florida to the State of Alabama, which transfer was not ratified by Alabama; assessor of United States internal revenue for the district of Florida 1870-1872; chairman of the Republican State committee 1870-1872; member of the Republican National Committee 1876-1880; elected as a Republican to the Forty-third Congress and served from March 4, 1873, to January 25, 1875, when he resigned; member of the State house of representatives for one session and resigned when elected to Congress; elected to the Forty-fourth Congress (March 4, 1875-March 3, 1877); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1876 to the Forty-fifth Congress; returned in 1878 to Millheim, Pa., and engaged in agricultural pursuits; moved to Boston, Mass., in 1883; moved to Washington, D.C., where he lived in retirement until his death on August 14, 1928; the remains were cremated and the ashes deposited in a vault at Glenwood Cemetery.

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

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