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 John Covode

John Covode

Birth
Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 11 Jan 1871 (aged 62)
Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial West Fairfield, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, USA
Memorial ID 12605261 · View Source
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US Congressman. He was born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, and grew up working on a farm and served an apprenticeship to a blacksmith; later he worked in woolen mills, first in New York, then in Lockport, Pennsylvania. Speculating in the coal business, he also became an owner of a woolen mill, invested in the Pennsylvania Canal and the Pennsylvania Central Railroad, and was a justice of the peace and a state legislator. Known nationally as "Honest John," he was elected as a Republican to represent first Pennsylvania's 19th Congressional District, then the 21st Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives, serving from 1855 to 1863, and from 1967 until his death in office in 1871. In 1860 he opened an investigation into President James Buchanan's political practices, claiming that two House members had been offered bribes and coerced by Buchanan into voting for passage of the Lecompton resolution. Some speculated that he opened his investigation because of Buchanan's charges that through bribery the 1858 congressional elections in Pennsylvania had been fixed, elections that had returned him to the House. Others speculated that he pursued the investigation only to get favorable press coverage for Republicans running in the 1860 elections, or that he was just vindictive. Whatever his motives, the investigation resulted in his appointment to the joint Committee on the Conduct of the War, a body with a reputation for vindictiveness. On December 10, 1861, the House voted unanimously to establish the committee and appointed 3 senators and 4 congressmen members, he among them. Until 1863 he helped look into the Union defeats at Ball's Bluff, Virginia, Second Bull Run, Virginia, Lexington, Kentucky, and Wilson's Creek, Missouri. He took part in the inquisition and ruin of Brigadier General Charles P. Stone, supported the possibilities of having Major General George McClellan relieved, and helped absolve former Republican presidential candidate Major General John C. Fremont of charges of incompetence. Now a Radical Republican, he stuck by that wing of the party, favoring vigorous prosecution of the war, all abolition measures, and a hard hand with former Confederates. In 1863 he ended his Civil War congressional career, declining to run for reelection. He professed to be tired after having served in Congress since 1854. But following the Confederate surrender he toured the South at President Andrew Johnson's request to report on the progress of Reconstruction, a report that displeased the President. In 1866 he won his seat in Congress again, and later in his term introduced the resolution calling for Johnson's impeachment. He served one more term, then left Congress in 1870. He would die the following year in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Bio by: Ugaalltheway



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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Ugaalltheway
  • Added: 4 Dec 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 12605261
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for John Covode (17 Mar 1808–11 Jan 1871), Find A Grave Memorial no. 12605261, citing West Fairfield Methodist Episcopal Cemetery, West Fairfield, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .