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Zachariah Chandler

Chandler, Zachariah, 1813–79, U.S. Senator from Michigan (1857–75, 1879) and Secretary of the Interior (1875–77), b. Bedford, N.H. He moved to Detroit in 1833 and through merchandising, land speculation, and banking became a millionaire. Mayor of Detroit (1851–52), he helped organize and was long the boss of the Republican party in Michigan. Old Zack, as he was called, was an able and uncompromising abolitionist. A leading radical Republican, most closely associated with Benjamin F. Wade, he was a member of the congressional committee on the conduct of the war, and he violently opposed Lincoln's Reconstruction program. Chandler remained a powerful figure in the Senate until he was turned out by the Democratic landslide of 1874. He then entered the cabinet of President Grant and was also chairman of the Republican National Committee in the disputed election of 1876.

See biographies by W. C. Harris (1917) and M. K. George (1969); T. H. Williams, Lincoln and the Radicals (1941).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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