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GIDDINGS, Joshua Reed

1795–1864

Biography

GIDDINGS, Joshua Reed, a Representative from Ohio; born in Tioga Point (later Athens), Bradford County, Pa., October 6, 1795; moved with his parents to Canandaigua, N.Y., in 1795; received a common-school education; again moved with his parents to Ashtabula County, Ohio, in 1806; completed preparatory studies; served in the War of 1812; taught school; studied law; was admitted to the bar in February 1821 and commenced practice in Jefferson, Ohio; member of the Ohio state house of representatives in 1826; elected as a Whig to the Twenty-fifth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Elisha Whittlesey; reelected to the Twenty-sixth and Twenty-seventh Congresses and resigned on March 22, 1842 (December 3, 1838-March 22, 1842); censured by the U.S. House of Representatives on March 22, 1842, in response to his motion in defense of the slave mutineers in the Creole case; subsequently elected to the Twenty-seventh Congress to fill the vacancy caused by his own resignation; reelected as a Whig to the Twenty-eighth through Thirtieth Congresses, as a Free-Soil candidate to the Thirty-first through Thirty-third Congresses, elected as an Opposition Party candidate to the Thirty-fourth Congress, and reelected as a Republican to the Thirty-fifth Congress (December 5, 1842-March 3, 1859); chairman, Committee on Claims (Twenty-seventh and Thirty-fourth Congresses); declined to be a candidate for reelection to the Thirty-sixth Congress in 1858; appointed consul general to the British North American Provinces by President Abraham Lincoln on March 25, 1861, and served until his death; died in Montreal, Canada, May 27, 1864; interment in Oakdale Cemetery, Jefferson, Ohio.

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

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External Research Collections

Ohio Historical Society

Columbus, OH
Papers: 1821-1866, amount unknown. The papers contain correspondence between Joshua Giddings, his family members and acquaintances in regard to political affairs, abolition, the Civil War, Giddings’ consulship in Canada, and family matters
Microfilm: ca. 1821-1867, 5 reels. The papers of Joshua Reed Giddings contain correspondence, diaries and scrapbooks of Joshua Giddings, his son Grotius and other family members; the correspondence deals with state and national legislative and political affairs, abolition, the Civil War, Giddings' consulship in Canada, and family matters. A finding aid is available in the repository.
Papers: In the Orrmel H. Fitch Papers, 1828-1935, 0.25 cubic foot. Other authors include Joshua R. Giddings.
Papers: In the Eli T. Tappan Family Papers, 1826-1904, 2 cubic feet. Other authors include Joshua R. Giddings.

Indiana State Library

Indianapolis, IN
Papers: In the Grace Julian Clarke Papers, 1857-1938, 3 boxes. The papers contain correspondence between Grace Clarke and historians in Indiana and Ohio and at the Library of Congress regarding the papers of Joshua Giddings, who was her grandfather.
Papers: In the Lura Maria Giddings Papers, 1840-1870, 1 box. The papers include letters from Joshua Reed Giddings to his family written from Washington, DC, (1840-1858) and from Montreal (1862-1864), his journals (1852-1860), several brief memoirs, and a biography by his daughter Lura Maria Giddings.

Lake County Historical Society

Mentor, OH
Papers: 1845, 1 item. A speech delivered by Joshua R. Giddings on January 22, 1845, in the U.S. House of Representatives, relating to the annexation of Texas.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: In the Papers of Joshua R. Giddings and George Washington Julian, 1839-1899, 1.8 linear feet. The papers contain correspondence of Joshua Giddings and his son-in-law and biographer, George W. Julian. A finding aid is available in the library.

Massachusetts Historical Society Library

Boston, MA
Papers: In the William Schouler Papers, 1840-1872, 3 boxes, 1 cased vol, and 1 oversize box. Correspondents include Joshua R. Giddings.

Oberlin College Library

Oberlin, OH
Papers: In the James Monroe Papers, 1819-1898, 12.4 linear feet. Other authors include Joshua R. Giddings.

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center

Fremont, Ohio
Papers: Correspondence in the Quintus Flaminius Atkins collection, 1785-1859.

University of Chicago
William E. Barton Collection of Lincolniana

Chicago, IL
Papers: ca. 1853, 2 items. Two autograph manuscripts signed by Joshua R. Giddings approximately around 1853 in Jefferson, Ohio.

Western Reserve Historical Society

Cleveland, OH
Papers: In the James A. Briggs Papers, 1842-1849, 0.2 linear foot. Letters received by James Briggs, primarily from Joshua R. Giddings, concerning personal and political matters.
Papers: In the Calvin Pease Papers, 1798-1841, 1.5 linear feet. Correspondents include Joshua R. Giddings.
Papers: In the A.G. Riddle Papers, 1835-1902, 2.6 linear feet. Other authors include Joshua R. Giddings.
Papers: In the Milton Sutliff Papers, 1838-1867, 0.2 linear foot. Correspondents include Joshua R. Giddings.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Borome, Joseph, ed. "Two Letters of Robert Charles Winthrop." Mississippi Valley Historical Review 38 (September 1951): 291-94.

Gamble, Douglas A. "Joshua Giddings and the Ohio Abolitionists: A Study in Radical Politics." Ohio History 88 (Winter 1979): 37-56.

Giddings, Joshua Reed]. The exiles of Florida; or, The crimes committed by our government against the Maroons who fled from South Carolina and other slave states, seeking protection under Spanish laws. 1858. Reprint, with an introduction by Arthur W. Thompson. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1964.

------. The rights and privileges of the several states in regard to slavery; being a series of essays, published in the Western Reserve chronicle, (Ohio,) after the election of 1842. By a Whig of Ohio. [Warren? Ohio: N.p., 1843?]

Julian, George W. The Life of Joshua R. Giddings. Chicago: A.C. McClurg, 1892.

Ludlum, Robert P. "Joshua R. Giddings, Antislavery Radical (1795-1844)." Ph.D. diss., Cornell University, 1936.

Solberg, Richard W. "Joshua Giddings, Politician and Idealist." Ph.D. diss., University of Chicago, 1952.

Stewart, James Brewer. Joshua R. Giddings and the Tactics of Radical Politics. Cleveland: Press of Case Western Reserve University, 1970.

Turner, Geneva C. "Giddings School." Negro History Bulletin 20 (May 1957): 178.

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