He graduated from Williams College and studied law with his brother in Cooperstown, New New York
He was admitted to the bar in 1825, establishing a practice in Mansfield, Ohio. He located in Canton, Ohio in 1828. He was a judge in one of the higher courts in Stark County, Ohio.
He was a representative of the Democrats in Congress from Ohio from 1839 to 1841 and again from 1845 to 1847.
He was chosen a Presidential elector in 1848 for Cass/Butler, and served as United States. Envoy to Chile from 1854 to 1857. He lost election to Ohio"s 18th congressional district in 1860.
He was a member of the Ohio House of Representatives from 1833 to 1835, and a member of the Ohio Senate from 1836 to 1838. In his first term, he was a member of the Committee on Roads and Canals, and a member of the Committee on Invalid Pensions the second term.