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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesOregon

George Henry WILLIAMS

(1823-1910)
Senate Years of Service:
1865-1871
Party:
Republican

WILLIAMS, George Henry, a Senator from Oregon; born in New Lebanon, Columbia County, N.Y., March 26, 1823; completed preparatory studies; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1844 and commenced practice at Fort Madison, Iowa Territory; judge of the first judicial district of Iowa 1847-1852; presidential elector on the Democratic ticket in 1852; chief justice of the Territory of Oregon 1853-1857; reappointed by President James Buchanan but declined; member of the State constitutional convention of Oregon in 1858; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1865, to March 3, 1871; unsuccessful candidate for reelection; Attorney General of the United States in the Cabinet of President Ulysses Grant 1872-1875; nominated by President Grant as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States in 1873, but subsequently his name was withdrawn; mayor of Portland, Oreg., 1902-1905; died in Portland, Oreg., April 4, 1910; interment in Riverview Cemetery.

Bibliography

American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography; Teiser, Sidney. “Almost Chief-Justice: George H. Williams.” Oregon Historical Quarterly 47 (September 1946): 256-80, 47 (December 1946): 417-40; Williams, George H. “Political History of Oregon from 1853 to 1865.” Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society 2 (March 1901): 1-35.

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

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