In 1851 Richard Jacobs Haldeman was graduated from Yale College. While at Yale, he was a member of the Skull and Bones Society. He also attended Heidelberg and Berlin Universities.
Richard Jacobs Haldeman served as United States attaché of the legation at Paris in 1853 and later occupied similar positions at St. Petersburg and Vienna. He returned to Harrisburg and purchased the Daily and Weekly Patriot and Union and was its editor until 1860. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions at Baltimore, Maryland, and Charleston, South Carolina, in 1860. Haldeman was elected as a Democrat to the Forty-first and Forty-second Congresses. He was not a candidate for renomination in 1872.
Richard Jacobs Haldeman was married to Margaretta Cameron. They had two children.