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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesIllinois

Richard Wellington TOWNSHEND

(1840-1889)

TOWNSHEND, Richard Wellington, a Representative from Illinois; born near Upper Marlboro, Prince Georges County, Md., April 30, 1840; moved to Washington, D.C., in 1846; attended public and private schools; page in the House of Representatives; moved to Cairo, Alexander County, Ill., in 1858; taught school in Fayette County; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1862 and commenced practice in McLeansboro, Ill.; clerk of the circuit court of Hamilton County 1863-1868; prosecuting attorney for the twelfth judicial circuit of Illinois 1868-1872; member of the Democratic State central committee in 1864, 1865, 1874, and 1875; delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1872; moved to Shawneetown, Gallatin County, Ill., in 1873 and resumed the practice of law; elected as a Democrat to the Forty-fifth and to the six succeeding Congresses and served from March 4, 1877, until his death in Washington, D.C., March 9, 1889; chairman, Committee on Expenditures in the Department of the Navy (Forty-sixth Congress), Committee on Military Affairs (Fiftieth Congress); interment in Rock Creek Cemetery.

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

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