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Edward John Phelps

diplomat , educator , Lawyer , politician

Edward John Phelps was an american lawyer and diplomat, b. Middlebury, Vt. , was admitted to the bar in 1843, and practiced law in Vermont and later in New York City. . His Orations and Essays appeared in 1901. He died in 1900.


Edward Phelps was born in Middlebury, July 11, 1822. His father Samuel S. Phelps had been a U.S. Senator from Vermont.


Edward Phelps graduated from Middlebury College in 1840.

He studied law at Yale University, completed his studies in the office of Horatio Seymour.


He was admitted to the bar in 1843, and began the practice of law at Middlebury and later in New York, but moved to Burlington in 1845.

He then practiced law in New York City until 1857, when he returned to Burlington. There he became a Democrat and served as a delegate to the state constitutional convention in 1870.

Phelps was one of the founders of the American Bar Association and was its president in 1880-1881.

He served as minister to Great Britain from 1885 to 1889, and in 1893 as Senior Counsel for the United States before a Paris tribunal to adjudicate the Bering Sea controversy.


He became a Democrat after the Whig party had ceased to exist. He was debarred from a political career in his own state, where his party was in the minority, but he served in the state constitutional convention in 1870


Quotations: "The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything." From a speech given at the Mansion House in London on January 24, 1899, quoting Bishop W. C. Magee of Peterborough in 1868.

"Better a hundred times an honest and capable administration of an erroneous policy than a corrupt and incapable administration of a good one." Spoken at a dinner of the New York Chamber of Commerce.


Samuel Shethar Phelps