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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesMassachusetts / US

Joseph Bradley VARNUM

(1750/1751-1821)
Senate Years of Service:
1811-1817
Party:
Democratic Republican

VARNUM, Joseph Bradley, (brother of James Mitchell Varnum), a Representative and a Senator from Massachusetts; born in Dracut, Middlesex County, Mass., January 29, 1750 or 1751; largely self-taught; farmer; served in the Revolutionary Army; member, State house of representatives 1780-1785; member, State senate 1786-1795; delegate to the State convention that ratified the Federal Constitution in 1788; justice of the court of common pleas; chief justice of the court of general sessions; elected to the Fourth and to the eight succeeding Congresses and served from March 4, 1795, to June 29, 1811, when he resigned, having been elected Senator; Speaker of the House during the Tenth and Eleventh Congresses; chairman, Committee on Elections (Fifth Congress); elected as a Democratic Republican to the United States Senate in 1811 to fill the vacancy in the term commencing March 4, 1811, and served from June 29, 1811, to March 3, 1817; served as President pro tempore of the Senate during the Thirteenth Congress; chairman, Committee on Militia (Fourteenth Congress); delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1820; member, State senate 1817-1821; died in Dracut, Mass., September 21, 1821; interment in Varnum Cemetery.

Bibliography

Dictionary of American Biography; Varnum, Joseph. “Autobiography of General Joseph B. Varnum.” Edited by James M. Varnum. Magazine of American History 20 (November 1888): 405-14.

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

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