ASHLEY, James Mitchell

ASHLEY, James Mitchell
Image courtesy of Library of Congress
1824–1896

Biography

ASHLEY, James Mitchell, (great–grandfather of Thomas William Ludlow Ashley), a Representative from Ohio; born near Pittsburgh, Pa., November 14, 1824; instructed himself in elementary subjects while employed as a clerk on boats operating on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers; editor of the Dispatch, and afterwards of the Democrat, in Portsmouth, Ohio; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1849 but never practiced; moved to Toledo, Ohio, and engaged in the wholesale drug business; elected as a Republican to the Thirty-sixth and to the four succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1859-March 3, 1869); chairman, Committee on Territories (Thirty-seventh through Fortieth Congresses); unsuccessful Republican candidate for reelection in 1868 to the Forty-first Congress; delegate to the Philadelphia Loyalists' Convention in 1866; Governor of the Territory of Montana in 1869 and 1870; constructed the Toledo, Ann Arbor & Northern Railroad, and served as president from 1877 to 1893; died in Alma, Gratiot County, Mich., September 16, 1896; interment in Woodlawn Cemetery, Toledo, Ohio.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: In the Sankey A. Latty Papers, 1851-1890, 0.2 linear foot. Correspondents include James Mitchell Ashley. A finding aid is available in the library.
Papers: In the Ambrose W. Thompson Papers, ca. 1847-1960, 26 linear feet. Correspondents include James M. Ashley. A finding aid is available in the library.

Montana Historical Society
Library and Archives Department

Helena, MT
Papers: 1866-1869, 2 items. The items include a copy of a letter (1866 Dec. 26) from several Montanans to Congressman James Ashley, protesting actions of the first two territorial legislatures; and a copy of James Ashley's message (1869) to the sixth Territorial Legislative Assembly.
Papers: In the Montana Governor Records, 1863-1891, 1.5 linear feet. Persons represented include James M. Ashley. An unpublished guide is available in the repository.

Ohio Historical Society

Columbus, OH
Papers: In the Salmon P. Chase Papers, 1825-1871, 3 cubic feet. Other authors include James Mitchell Ashley.

Todelo-Lucas County Public Library

Toledo, OH
Papers: 1 letter (1864) and a scrapbook of newspaper clippings (1890-1892). Finding aid in repository.

University of Toledo Library
Ward M. Canaday Center

Toledo, OH
Papers: 1884-1920, 0.25 linear foot. Memoirs (3 drafts) detailing James Ashley's life, including his childhood in Portsmouth, Ohio, experiences as a cabin boy (1840) on river boats on the Tennessee and Ohio rivers, his opposition to slavery, and his political campaigns (1854, 1856, 1858, 1862, and 1868). Includes correspondence from his son, Charles S. Ashley, describing Charlevoix, Mich. (1884). A finding aid is available in the repository.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Ashley, James Mitchell. Impartial suffrage the only safe basis of Reconstruction: speech of Hon. James M. Ashley of Ohio, in the House of Representatives, May 29, 1866. Washington: Congressional Globe Office , 1866.

__. Speech of Hon. J.M. Ashley, of Ohio: delivered in the House of Representatives, on Friday, January 6, 1865: on the constitutional amendment for the abolition of slavery. New York: W.C. Bryant & Co., printers, 1865.

___. Speech of Hon. J.M. Ashley, of Ohio: In the House of Representatives, on the 30th day of March, 1864. Washington, D.C.: H. Polkinhorn, printer, [1864?]

Benedict, Les. "James M. Ashley, Toledo Politics, and the Thirteenth Amendment." University of Toledo Law Review, 38 (Spring 2007), 815-37.

Horowitz, Robert F. Great Impeacher: A Political Biography of James M. Ashley. New York: Brooklyn College Press, 1979.

___. "James M. Ashley: A Biography." Ph.D. diss., City University of New York, 1973.

Jackson, W. Sherman. "Representative James M. Ashley and the Midwestern Origins of Amendment Thirteen." Lincoln Herald 80 (Summer 1978): 83-95.

Kahn, Maxine B. "Congressman Ashley in the Post-Civil War Years." Northwest Ohio Quarterly 36 (1964): 116-33, 194-210.

Smith, Gerrit. Gerrit Smith to General Ashley: [text of letter]. [Peterboro, N.Y.?: N.p., 1865?]

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