Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
A four-term Representative, Theodore Pomeroy of New York served as Speaker of the House for one day.
Speaker Theodore Pomeroy
of New York, who wielded the gavel for a single day in 1869, died on this date. Born in Cayuga, New York, and a graduate of Hamilton College in Clinton, Pomeroy studied law under then Governor William H. Seward of New York. Pomeroy used his fame as a successful district attorney to win a seat in the New York state assembly in 1856, serving until he was elected to the House in 1860. Loyal to the Republicans during the Civil War and Reconstruction, he earned a reputation as a fiscal conservative. In 1868, Pomeroy chose not to run for re-election to the 41st Congress
(1869–1871). Elected Vice President
in 1868, Speaker of the House Schuyler Colfax
was required to resign as Speaker prior to his March 4 inauguration. To complete the business of the 40th Congres
s (1867–1869), the House unanimously selected Pomeroy, for the largely ceremonial honor, to serve as Speaker for the last day of business. “The unanimity with which I have been chosen to preside for this brief period is evidence of itself that your choice carries with it no political significance,” Pomeroy noted upon his election, citing his credentials a popular Member on both sides of the aisle. Pomeroy’s political career continued in upstate New York, where he was elected Mayor of Auburn and served briefly in the state senate. Pomeroy worked as a banker before his death in Auburn.