PHELPS, John Smith

1814–1886

Biography

PHELPS, John Smith, (son of Elisha Phelps), a Representative from Missouri; born in Simsbury, Hartford County, Conn., December 22, 1814; attended the common schools and was graduated from Trinity College, Hartford, Conn., in 1832; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1835 and commenced practice in Simsbury; moved to Springfield, Greene County, Mo., in 1837; member of the State house of representatives in 1840; elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-ninth and to the eight succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1845-March 3, 1863); chairman, Committee on Ways and Means (Thirty-fifth Congress); was not a candidate for renomination in 1862; during the Civil War enlisted as a private in Captain Coleman's Company of Missouri Infantry; promoted to lieutenant colonel October 2, 1861, and to colonel December 19, 1861; mustered out May 13, 1862; appointed by President Lincoln in July 1862 as Military Governor of Arkansas; resumed the practice of his profession in Springfield; unsuccessful Democratic candidate in 1868 for Governor of Missouri; Governor of Missouri 1877-1881; resumed the practice of his profession; died in St. Louis, Mo., November 20, 1886; interment in Hazelwood Cemetery, Springfield, Mo.

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

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External Research Collections

New-York Historical Society

New York, NY
Papers: April 28, 1845. 1 letter.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Phelps, John Smith. Confiscation of property and emancipation of slaves. Speech ... in the House of Representatives, May 22. 1862. Washington: N.p., 1862?

------. Letter of Hon. John S. Phelps, of Missouri, to his constituents. [Washington, D.C.: N.p., 1856].

------. Speech of Hon. John S. Phelps, of Missouri, on the Kansas election. [Washington: Printed at the office of the Congressional Globe, 1856].

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Committee Assignments

  • House Committee - Ways and Means - Chair
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