Pursued classical studies and was graduated from Washington (now Trinity) College, Hartford, Conn., in 1841; studied law.
Was admitted to the bar in 1842 and commenced practice in Petersburg, Menard County, Ill.; school commissioner for Menard County in 1845; during the Mexican War raised and commanded a company and joined the Fourth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry; subsequently elected major of the regiment; while absent and with the Army was elected a member of the State senate in 1846; was presented with a sword by the State of Illinois for gallantry at the Battle of Cerro Gordo, Mexico; elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-first Congress (March 4, 1849-March 3, 1851); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1850 to the Thirty-second Congress; was not a candidate in 1852; elected to the Thirty-fourth and Thirty-fifth Congresses and served from March 4, 1855, until his death; chairman, Committee on Expenditures in the Department of the Navy (Thirty-fourth Congress), Committee on Elections (Thirty-fifth Congress); had been reelected to the Thirty-sixth Congress; died in Springfield, Ill., November 24, 1858; interment in Rose Hill Cemetery, Petersburg, Ill.
He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1850 to the Thirty-second Congress. He was not a candidate in 1852.
Member Illinois Senate (in absentia), 1846. Member United States Ho.