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Joseph Hodges Choate

diplomat , Lawyer

American lawyer and diplomat.


CHOATE, Joseph Hodges was born on January 24, 1832 in Salem.


He was graduated from Harvard University and the Harvard Law School.


In 1855 he was admitted to the bar and in 1856 settled in New York City, where he commenced practice. Choate emerged as a prominent Republican in his ardent support of John C. Fremont for president in 1856. In the same year he joined the firm in New York, which in 1884 became Evarts, Choate, and Beaman. Choate gained an immense reputation as a trial lawyer; among his cases was his successful defense of General Fitz-John Porter, who had been deprived of his army rank by a court martial investigating his conduct at the second Battle of Bull Run. He also won fame by his prosecution of the infamous Tweed Ring in New York. In 1884 he was president of the New York State constitutional convention. Choate was an unsuccessful candidate for the United States Senate in 1896. Three years later President William McKinley appointed him ambassador to Great Britain, a position he filled until 1905. Choate was head of the United States delegation to the Second International Peace Conference at The Hague in 1907 and a trustee of the American Museum of Natural History, of which he was a founder.