Log In

James Gillesple Blaine

Secretary of State , senator

James Gillesple Blaine, American senator, secretary of state. member editorial staff Portland Advertiser, also editor Kennebec Journal, 1854-1860; member Maine House of Representatives, 1858-1862, speaker, 1860-1862; member United States House of Representatives from Maine, 38th-44th congresses, 1863-July 10, 1876, speaker, 1869-1875; member United States Senate from Maine, July 10, 1876-1881.

Background

Blaine, James Gillesple was born on January 31, 1830 in West Brownsville, Pennsylvania, United States. Son of Ephraim and Maria (Gillespie) Blaine.

Education

Graduate Washington College, 1847.

Career

Teacher, Pennsylvania Institution for Blind, Philadelphia, 1852-1854. Member editorial staff Portland Advertiser, also editor Kennebec Journal, 1854-1860. A founder Republican Party in Maine, 1854.

Member Maine House of Representatives, 1858-1862, speaker, 1860-1862. Chairman Republican State Committee, 1859. Member United States House of Representatives from Maine, 38th-44th congresses, 1863-July 10, 1876, speaker, 1869-1875.

Became leader Half-Breed wing Republican Party. Member United States Senate from Maine, July 10, 1876-1881. United States secretary of state under President Garfield, March-December 1881.

Unsuccessful candidate for President United States, 1884, lost election when Republican Party split into Mugwumps wing because of graft accusations connecting Blair with railroad bonds (accusations revived and enlarged from those previously made in “Mulligan Letters” which had probably lost him Republican nomination in 1876). Lost State of New York by 600 votes largely due to Irish vote influenced by Democratic press (capitalizing on Review South Dakot Burchard’s description of Democratic Party as party of “rum, Romanism and rebellion,” 1880). United States secretary of state under President Harrison, 1889-1892, organized and presided over 1st Pan-American Congress, promoted thoery of reciprocal tariffs, secured treaty concerning Pacific seal hunting with Great Britain.

Known as Plumed Knight. Author: Twenty Years of Congress, 2 vols., 1884, 86. Political Discussions (collection of speeches), 1887.

Works

  • Other Work

    • Author: Twenty Years of Congress, 2 vols., 1884, 86. Political Discussions (collection of speeches), 1887.

Membership

Member editorial staff Portland Advertiser, also editor Kennebec Journal, 1854-1860. Member Maine House of Representatives, 1858-1862, speaker, 1860-1862. Member United States House of Representatives from Maine, 38th-44th congresses, 1863-July 10, 1876, speaker, 1869-1875.

Member United States Senate from Maine, July 10, 1876-1881.

Connections

Married Harriet Stonwood, June 30, 1850, 7 children.

father:
Ephraim Blaine

mother:
Maria (Gillespie) Blaine

spouse:
Harriet Stonwood