Historical Highlights

Representative Schuyler Colfax of Indiana

January 13, 1885
Representative Schuyler Colfax of Indiana Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
Schuyler Colfax of Indiana started his career as a journalist reporting on legislation and retired as Vice President of the United States.
On this date, Representative Schuyler Colfax of Indiana died in Mankato, Blue Earth County, Minnesota. Born in New York City in 1823, Colfax was elected to the 34th Congress (1855–1857) and served for the six succeeding Congresses. As chairman of the Post Office and Post Roads Committee in the 36th and 37th Congresses (1859–1863), he reorganized the delivery of mail to California. In the 38th through the 40th Congresses (1863–1869), the House elected Colfax Speaker of the House. In 1868, Republicans nominated Colfax for Vice President on the ticket headed by Ulysses S. Grant. Elected Vice President, Colfax retired from the House at the end of the 40th Congress (1867–1869). He served one term as Vice President before being linked to the Crédit Mobilier scandal of 1872, damaging his political reputation beyond repair. A contemporary observer noted that although Colfax, “never developed the qualities of a great statesman . . . he was a capable legislator—popular with his constituents and, as a rule, faithful to their interests.”

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