Admitted to Ohio bar, 1843. Served as captain 4th Ohio Infantry, Mexican War, 1848-1850. Member Ohio House of Representatives (Democrat), 1848-1850.
City solicitor Cincinnati, 1850. Attorney general Ohio, 1852-1854. Member United States Senate from Ohio, 1855-1861, advocated congressional non-intervention in slavery question in territories, opposed proslavery Lecompton Constitution for Kansas, 1858.
Head of Ohio delegation to Democratic Convention, Charleston, South Carolina., 1860. Delegate Democratic National Convention, Baltimore, 1860. Unsuccessful candidate for lieutenant governor Ohio on Vallandigham ticket, 1863.
Assisted Charles O’Conor as counsel for defendant in treason trial of Jefferson Davis, 1866-1867.