SCHENCK, Robert Cumming

SCHENCK, Robert Cumming
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object


SCHENCK, Robert Cumming, a Representative from Ohio; born in Franklin, Ohio, October 4, 1809; attended the rural schools and was graduated from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, in 1827; became a professor in that university 1827-1829; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1833 and commenced practice in Dayton, Ohio; member of the State house of representatives 1839-1843; elected as a Whig to the Twenty-eighth and to the three succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1843-March 3, 1851); chairman, Committee on Roads and Canals (Thirtieth Congress); was not a candidate for renomination; Minister to Brazil and also accredited to Uruguay, Argentine Confederation, and Paraguay, 1851-1853; entered the Union Army May 17, 1861, and served as brigadier general of Volunteers; promoted to major general September 18, 1862, to date from August 30, 1862; resigned his commission in the Army on December 3, 1863, to take his seat in Congress; elected as a Republican to the Thirty-eighth and to the three succeeding Congresses and served from March 4, 1863, to January 5, 1871, when he resigned to accept a position in the diplomatic service; chairman, Committee on Military Affairs (Thirty-eighth and Thirty-ninth Congresses), Committee on Ways and Means (Fortieth and Forty-first Congresses); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1870 to the Forty-second Congress; Minister to Great Britain from December 1870 until March 1876, when he resigned; delegate to the Philadelphia Loyalist Convention in 1866; member of the Alabama Claims Commission in 1871; resumed the practice of law in Washington, D.C., where he died March 23, 1890; interment in Woodland Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio.

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

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External Research Collections

Miami University of Ohio Library
The Walter Havighurst Special Collections

Oxford, OH
Papers: 1857-1880, 10.83 linear feet. The papers of Robert Cumming Schenck contains correspondence and other papers relating to his congressional terms, Civil War service, diplomatic assignments, and business and family affairs.

Arkansas History Commission

Little Rock, AR
Papers: In the Calvin Comins Bliss Papers, ca. 1841-1906, 2 feet. Correspondents include Robert Cumming Schenck.

Boston Public Library

Boston, MA
Papers: 6 items.

Dartmouth College
Rauner Special Collections Library

Hanover, NH
Papers: 1861, 3 pages. A letter from Robert Schenck to Daniel Webster written on February 26, 1861. In the letter, Schenck writes that he is receiving applications for secretaryship of Brazilian Mission, and that the verbal assault on Webster was skillfully rebuked.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: Undated. 1 signed calling card.
Papers: In the James Gillespie Blaine Family Papers, ca. 1777-1945, 20 linear feet. Correspondents include Robert C. Schenck.
Papers: In the Columbus Delano Papers, 1871-1874, 0.5 cubic foot. Correspondents include Robert Cumming Schenck.
Papers: In the Hamilton Fish Papers, ca. 1732-1914, 85 linear feet. Correspondents include Robert Cumming Schenck.
Papers: In the Joshua R. Giddings Papers, 1821-1866, 2.5 cubic feet. Persons represented include Robert Cumming Schenck.
Papers: In the E. B. Washburne Papers, ca. 1829-1889, 31.4 linear feet. Correspondents include Robert Cumming Schenck.

The Morgan Library
Department of Literary and Historical Manuscripts

New York, NY
Papers: 1852, 1 item. A printed document filled out by another hand and signed by Fillmore : Washington, 1852 May 10. The document authorizes a letter to the President of the Argentine Confederation introducing R. C. Schenck.
Papers: 1870, 1 item. A letter from Alexander Cumming to General Robert C. Schenck, written on January 8, 1870. In the letter, Cumming asks to be recommended for the position to be vacated by Marshal Plummer. There is an autograph note from Schenck to the Attorney General on the back.
Papers: ca. 1871, 1 item. A letter from John Lothrop Motley to John Bright written about July 2, 1871. In the letter, Motley invites Bright to meet General Schenck. Schenck later succeeded Motley as Minister to Great Britain.
Papers: 1871, 1 item. A letter from Robert Cumming Schenck to William W. Belknap, written on August 7, 1871. In the letter, Schenck introduces an English friend, Thomas Bayley Potter.
Papers: 1870, 1 item. A letter from Robert Cumming Schenck to W. W. Belknap written on August 10, 1870. Schenck recommends the discharge of Lt. Grafton.
Papers: 1883, 1 item. A letter from Robert Cumming Schenck to J.Q. Thompson, Editor of the Sunday Chronicle, written on March 2, 1883. Schenck writes concerning the publication of some letters.

The Newberry Library

Chicago, IL
Papers: In the Orville E. Babcock Papers, ca. 1864-1947, 6.9 linear feet. Correspondents include Robert Cumming Schenck.

Ohio Historical Society

Columbus, OH
Papers: 1802-1902. 24 rolls of microfilm. Personal, business, and congressional papers and correspondence and memorabilia. Original manuscripts at Miami University.

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center

Fremont, OH
Papers: ca. 1809-1882, 1 file folder and 22 microfilm reels. Chiefly personal and business correspondence, memoranda, reports, speeches, charts, photographs, and other papers, reflecting Robert Cumming Schenck's career and family life, including his activities as lawyer and member of Ohio House of Representatives, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. minister to Brazil (1851-1853), Union Army officer during the Civil War, member of the court of commissioners for Alabama claims, signer for the U.S., of the Treaty of Washington (1871), and minister to Great Britain (1871-1876). Includes charts (1863 Mar. 29 and Apr. 10) showing the strength and condition of Union troops in the District of Kanawha (West Virginia); information concerning Schenck's advocacy of the contraction of currency at the end of the war; and materials relating to the Fort Wayne & Western Railroad Co. Correspondents include I.C. Bates, A.H. Chaffee, William H. Chesebrough, John R. Cook, Thomas Corwin, Ferdinand Coxe, Robert Davidson, Millard Fillmore, J.A. Garfield, George S. Hartsuff, Charles Lanman, Donn Piatt, William M. Redfield, W.S. Rosecrans, Julia, Lilly, and Sally Schenck, E.H. Schermerhorn, E.F. Treadwell, and Max Woodhull. A finding aid is available in the repository.

University of Chicago Library
Special Collections Research Center

Chicago, IL
Papers: 1863, 3 items. An autograph note signed and 2 autograph signatures, 1863. Individuals who signed include Robert Schenck.
Papers: 1863, 1 item. A letter from Robert Schenck to the General-in-Chief, written on January 24, 1863. In the letter, Schenck comments on four recommendations made by General Barry.
Papers: 1863, 1 item. A letter from Robert Schenck to the General-in-Chief written on January 29, 1863.
Papers: 1863, 1 item. A letter from Robert Schenck to [John Cunningham] Kelton written on January 16, 1863. In the letter, Schenck requests that Brigadier General Garfield be reassigned.
Papers: 1863, 1 item. A letter from William F. Reynolds to Robert Cumming Schenck written on May 11, 1863. In the letter, Reynolds requests 500 "Negroes" to work on the fortification at Harpers Ferry.
Papers: 1864, 1 item. A letter from Robert C. Schenck to the publisher of the Congressional Globe, written on May 17, 1864. In the letter, Robert Schenck requests several copies of the Congressional Globe that includes remarks make by Schenck.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

[Garfield club], Dayton, O. In memoriam. Genl. Robert C. Schenck. [Dayton?: N.p., 1890?]

Havighurst, Walter. "Robert Cumming Schenck: Son of Miami." In Men of Old Miami, 1809-1873: A Book of Portraits, pp. 25-48. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1974.

[Jackson, Richard H.] To Robert E. [i. e. C.] Schenck. [Washington: N.p., 1867].

Joyner, Fred B. "Robert Cumming Schenck, First Citizen and Statesman of the Ohio Valley." Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Quarterly 58 (July 1949): 286-97.

Points in the case of General Schenck, with reference to the evidence taken before the Honorable Committee of Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives. [Washington: N.p., 1876].

Robert C. Schenck, U.S.A., Major General of Volunteers. Published by order of Union Central Committee, 3d Congressional District, Ohio [186-].

Schenck, Robert Cumming. Address delivered before the Scholars' Union Society at the exhibition of the Springfield Classical School, February 13, 1835. Springfield: John M. Gallagher, printer, 1835.

------. Draw. Rules for playing poker. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Privately printed, 1880.

------. [Letter to] Brigadier General Thomas [relative to Brigadier General Schenck's position]. N.p., 1862?

------. Mr. Schenck--in reply to Mr. Giddings. [Washington: Printed at the Congressional Globe Office, 1849].

------. No compromise with treason. Remarks of Mr. Schenck, of Ohio, in reply to Mr. Fernando Wood, in the debate on the resolution to expel Mr. Long. Delivered in the House of Representatives, April 11, 1864. Washington: Printed by L. Towers, [1864].

------. Public credit--gold contracts. Washington: F. & J. Rives & G. A. Bailey, 1869.

------. Speech of Mr. Schenck, of Ohio, on the bill to refund General Jackson's fine, in the House of Representatives, January 8, 1844. [N.p., 1844].

Williams, John, editor of the Iron age. Letter to Hon. Robert C. Schenck ... Chairman of Committee of Ways and Means, on the origin, object, and effect of the National Banking System of the United States, with some suggestions for its improvement. New York: Office of "The Iron Age," 1868.

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Committee Assignments

  • House Committee - Ways and Means - Chair
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