Admitted to Cincinnati bar, 1847. Member Ohio Senate (Democrat), 1854-1856. Member United States House of Representatives from Ohio, 35th-38th congresses, 1857-1865, member judiciary committee, ways and means committee, member committee of mgrs. in impeachment of the United States Judge West H. Humphreys of Tennessee.
Nominated for vice president United States on National Democratic ticket with McClellan, 1864. Delegate to National Union Convention, Philadelphia, 1866. President Kentucky Central R.R., 1869-1879.
Member United States Senate from Ohio, 1879-1885, Chairman of Commission on civil service, 1883. Envoy Extraordinary anu Minister Plenipotentiary to Germany, 1885-1889.