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 Henry Gaither Worthington

Henry Gaither Worthington

Birth
Cumberland, Allegany County, Maryland, USA
Death 29 Jul 1909 (aged 81)
Washington, District of Columbia, District Of Columbia, USA
Burial Washington, District of Columbia, District Of Columbia, USA
Plot Range 25, Site 41
Memorial ID 7372274 · View Source
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US Congressman, Diplomat. A Republican, he was the first to represent Nevada in the US Congress. The Maryland-born Worthington had a rather picaresque career, prompted by wanderlust and a taste for adventure. At age 24 he moved to California, where he studied law and was admitted to the bar in Tuolumne County. He then joined William Walker as a mercenary on his expedition to Mexico (1853) and his short-lived conquest of Nicaragua (1855 to 1857). Interestingly, he would turn against Walker's fierce pro-slavery stance. By 1861 he was a practicing attorney in San Francisco and a member of the California Assembly, noted for favoring expanded civil rights for African Americans. During the Civil War and postwar years Worthington was considered a carpetbagger. He moved to the Nevada Territory in 1862, and upon Nevada's admission to the Union (1864) he won a special election to represent the new state as an At-Large delegate in the Thirty-Eighth Congress; he served from October 31, 1864 to March 3, 1865. Worthington's vote was crucial in securing the two-thirds majority needed to pass the 13th Amendment (abolishing slavery) in the US House in January 1865, and he also authored a bill establishing Federal courts in Nevada. Defeated for reelection to Congress, he remained in Washington DC long enough to witness Lincoln's assassination at Ford's Theatre, and was one the pallbearers at the President's funeral. In 1867 he was in Omaha, Nebraska, waging losing campaigns for the US Senate and a place as a US district judge, before President Andrew Johnson appointed him Minister to Argentina and Uruguay (1868 to 1869). From 1870 to 1875 Worthington aided Reconstruction efforts in South Carolina, for which he was named Collector for the Port of Charleston and a Major General in the State Militia. He then settled permanently in Washington DC and maintained a private law practice until his death. Burial was at Congressional Cemetery. A new memorial, sponsored in part by US Senator Richard Bryan, was dedicated at his gravesite in 2000.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Garver Graver
  • Added: 21 Apr 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7372274
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Henry Gaither Worthington (9 Feb 1828–29 Jul 1909), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7372274, citing Congressional Cemetery, Washington, District of Columbia, District Of Columbia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .