US Congressman, Minnesota Governor, US Senator, Presidential Cabinet Member. Born in Harrisburgh, Pennsylvania, he attended Lafayette College, studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1839 and commenced to practice in Harrisburgh, Pennsylvania. He was secretary to the electoral college of Pennsylvania in 1840, clerk of the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives in 1841 and elected as a Whig to the Twenty-eighth and Twenty-ninth Congresses, serving (1843-47). He declined renomination, when appointed the 1st Territorial Governor of Minnesota, serving (1849-53), was Mayor of St. Paul Minnesota, in 1855 and was elected the 2nd Governor of Minnesota, serving (1860-63). In 1863, he was elected as a Republican to the United States Senate and served until 1875. President Rutherford Hayes appointed him Secretary of War in 1879, he served until 1881 and later was the president of the Minnesota Historical Society, (1891-1903). He died at age 87 in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith