WEAVER, James Baird

1833–1912

Biography

WEAVER, James Baird, a Representative from Iowa; born in Dayton, Ohio, June 12, 1833; moved with his parents to Michigan in 1835 and subsequently moved to Iowa and settled on a farm near Bloomfield; attended the common schools; studied law at Bloomfield 1853-1856; was graduated from the Cincinnati Law School in April 1856; was admitted to the bar in 1856 and commenced practice in Bloomfield; enlisted as a private in the Second Regiment, Iowa Volunteer Infantry, in April 1861; commissioned first lieutenant of Company G May 27, 1861; major July 25, 1862; colonel November 10, 1862; brevetted brigadier general of Volunteers March 13, 1864; mustered out May 27, 1864; elected district attorney for the second judicial district of Iowa in 1866 and served four years; appointed assessor of internal revenue for the first district of Iowa by President Johnson March 25, 1867, and served until May 20, 1873; elected as a Greenbacker to the Forty-sixth Congress (March 4, 1879-March 3, 1881); was not a candidate for renomination in 1880, but was nominated at Chicago in 1880 by the National Greenback Party as their candidate for President of the United States; unsuccessful candidate for election to the Forty-eighth Congress in 1882; elected to the Forty-ninth and Fiftieth Congresses (March 4, 1885-March 3, 1889); chairman, Committee on Expenditures in the Department of the Interior (Forty-ninth Congress), Committee on Patents (Fiftieth Congress); unsuccessful candidate for reelection to the Fifty-first Congress in 1888; Populist candidate for President in 1892; unsuccessful candidate for reelection to the Fifty-fourth Congress in 1894; unsuccessful candidate for reelection to the Fifty-sixth Congress in 1898; mayor of Colfax, Iowa, 1901-1903; died in Des Moines, Iowa, February 6, 1912; interment in Woodland Cemetery.

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

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External Research Collections

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: In the Grover Cleveland Papers, ca. 1743-1945, 235.8 linear feet. Correspondents include James B. Weaver.

State Historical Society of Iowa

Des Moines, IA
Papers: In the James Baird Weaver and James Bellamy Weaver, Jr. Papers, 1858-1926, 0.8 linear foot. Papers of father and son attorneys and politicians from Keosauqua and Bloomfield, Iowa. The collection mainly contains correspondence, writings and news clippings. James Baird Weaver’s Civil War correspondence consists of transcripts from the originals. Includes his incoming correspondence on political and other issues, addresses, and news clippings about James Baird Weaver. Also contains limited material associated with James Bellamy Weaver, Jr. and his writings about his father.

University of Iowa Libraries
Special Collections & University Archives

Iowa City, IA
Papers: 1837-1893, 76 items. This collection is comprised mostly of correspondence between James Baird Weaver and Clara Vinson Weaver, and most of the letters are from the Civil War period. There are a few letters from others in the Weaver family and a copy of a speech Weaver delivered in the House of Representatives. A finding aid is available in the repository and online.

Wisconsin Historical Society

Madison, WI
Papers: In the Luman Hamlin Weller Papers, 1828-1912, 4.4 cubic feet. Also included is correspondence on the career of James B. Weaver, Greenback-Labor presidential candidate in 1892, and exchanges with prominent Populist Ignatius Donnelly and with Robert Schilling of Milwaukee.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Allen, Emory Adams. The Life and Public Services of James Baird Weaver, embracing a full account of his early life; his ambition as a student; his early political career and rapid advancement; his ... record as a soldier: his honorable career in Congress, etc. N.p.: The People's Party Publishing Company, [1892].

Colbert, Thomas Burnell. "Disgruntled 'Chronic Office Seeker' or Man of Political Integrity: James Baird Weaver and the Republican Party in Iowa, 1857-1877." Annals of Iowa 49 (Winter/Spring 1988): 187-207.

------. "Political Fusion in Iowa: The Election of James B. Weaver to Congress in 1878." Arizona and the West 20 (Spring 1978): 25-40.

Haynes, Fred Emory. James Baird Weaver. Iowa City: State Historical Society of Iowa, 1919. New York: Arno Press, 1975.

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