William Upham Edit Profile
He attended the district schools, the Montpelier Academy, and was privately tutored. He attended the University of Vermont and then studied law with Samuel Prentiss. In addition to maintaining a successful practice, Upham also guided the efforts of several prospective lawyers who studied in his office, including Peter T. Washburn.
Upham was admitted to the bar in 1811 and commenced practice in Montpelier. In 1830 he again served in the Vermont House of Representatives. In 1842 Samuel Prentiss resigned his seat in the U.S. Senate in order to accept appointment as United States District Court for the District of Vermont.
Former Governor Samuel C. Crafts was appointed to fill the vacancy, and served until the end of the term to which Prentiss had been elected, April 23, 1842 to March 3, 1843. Crafts was not a candidate for a full term, and Upham was the successful Whig candidate for the seat. He was reelected in 1848 and served from March 4, 1843 until his death.
While in the Senate, he was chairman of the Committee on Agriculture (28th Congress) and the Committee on Pensions (29th Congress). Upham died of smallpox in Washington, D.C., and was buried in the Congressional Cemetery. "...Slavery is a crime against humanity and a sore evil in the body politic."
Upham was a descendant of Edmund Rice, an English immigrant to Massachusetts Bay Colony, as follows:
William Upham, son of
Martha Livermore (1768–1832), daughter of
James Livermore, Jr.
(1736–1825), son of
Elizabeth Rice (1713–1799), daughter of
Elisha Rice (1679–1761), son of
Thomas Rice (1626–1681), son of
Edmund Rice (1594–1663).
Upham was a member of the Vermont House of Representatives from 1827 to 1828 and was State's attorney for Washington County in 1829.