BATES, Edward

1793–1869

Biography

BATES, Edward, (brother of James Woodson Bates), a Representative from Missouri; born in Belmont, Goochland County, Va., September 4, 1793; attended Charlotte Hall Academy, Maryland; acted as sergeant in a volunteer brigade during the War of 1812; moved to St. Louis, Mo., in 1814; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1817 and practiced; circuit prosecuting attorney in 1818; member of the State constitutional convention in 1820; State's attorney in 1820; member of the State house of representatives in 1822; United States district attorney 1821-1826; elected as an Adams to the Twentieth Congress (March 4, 1827-March 3, 1829); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1828 to the Twenty-first Congress; resumed the practice of law; member of the State senate in 1830; again a member of the State house of representatives in 1834; declined the appointment as Secretary of War in 1850 in the Cabinet of President Fillmore; judge of the St. Louis land court 1853-1856; presided at the Whig National Convention in 1856; appointed by President Lincoln as Attorney General of the United States and served from March 5, 1861, to September 1864; died in St. Louis, Mo., March 25, 1869; interment in private cemetery, Florissant, Mo.; removed from private cemetery in 1906, reinterment in Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis, Mo.

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: ca. 1818-1904, 311 items. The papers of Edward Bates contain correspondence, a diary, newspaper clippings, printed material, and other papers reflecting his career in Missouri state politics and the U.S. House of Representatives and as U.S. attorney general. Includes memoranda read to President Lincoln's cabinet, Edward Bates's opinion on the admission of West Virginia into the Union, and his statement entitled "The Present Condition of the Country." Correspondents include C. R. Fritsch, Abraham Lincoln, and William T. Sherman. A finding aid is available in the library.
Papers: In the William Maxwell Evarts Papers, ca. 1667-1918, 12.6 linear feet. Correspondents include Edward Bates. A finding aid is available in the library.
Papers: In the John W. Forney Papers, 1841-1881, 150 items. Persons represented include Edward Bates.
Papers: In the Abraham Lincoln Papers, 1774-1948, 48 linear feet. Correspondents include Edward Bates. A finding aid is available in the library.

Columbia University
Rare Book and Manuscript Library

New York, NY
Papers: In the Jay Family Papers, 1828-1943, 38.5 linear feet. Correspondents include Edward Bates. A finding aid is available in the repository.
Papers: In the Edmund Clarence Stedman Papers, 1840-1960, 120 linear feet. Correspondents include Edward Bates. A finding aid is available in the repository.

Missouri Historical Society

St. Louis, MO
Papers: In the Bates Family Papers, 1754-1973, 17 boxes, 22 volumes, and 1 oversize folder. Persons represented include Edward Bates.

Pennsylvania State University
Special Collections Library, Paterno Library

University Park, PA
Papers: In the Charlotte Hanes Harding Collection, 1861, 1 letter. A letter from Edward Bates, Attorney General in Abraham Lincoln's cabinet, to Simon Cameron, Secretary of War, written in 1861. In the letter, Edward Bates expresses the opinion that the Pennsylvania Reserve Regiments should be mustered into the service of the United States.

The Morgan Library
Department of Literary and Historical Manuscripts

New York, NY
Papers: 1864, 1 item. A letter from Edward Bates to Gordon L. Ford.

Virginia Historical Society

Richmond, VA
Papers: 1778-1872, 82 items. The Edward Bates collection includes letters written by Edward Bates to his wife, Julia Davenport (Coalter) Bates of St. Louis, Mo., from locations in Kentucky and western Virginia while traveling to Congress (with comments on Henry Clay), as a member of the Missouri General Assembly in Jefferson City, Mo., and as U.S. attorney general. Also, contains correspondence with or about Thomas Hart Benton, Edward Everett, Reverdy Johnson, John Randolph of Roanoke, and William Tecumseh Sherman. Also, includes correspondence of Frederick Bates at Detroit, Mich., and St. Louis, Mo., and members of the Bates family at Belmont plantation in Goochland County, Va.; and a diary, 1828, of Caroline Matilda (Bates) Jett (1813-1832) kept on a journey from Northumberland County, Va., to St. Louis, Mo.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Bates, Edward. The Diary of Edward Bates, 1859-1866. Edited by Howard Kennedy Beale. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1933. Reprint, New York: Da Capo Press, 1971.

------. Edward Bates against Thomas H. Benton. St. Louis: Charless & Paschall, printers, 1828.

------. Letter of Hon. Edward Bates, of Missouri, indorsing Mr. Lincoln, and giving his reasons for supporting the Chicago nominees. [Washington: Printed at the Congressional globe office, 1860].

Cain, Marvin R. Lincoln's Attorney General: Edward Bates of Missouri. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1965.

Frank, John P. "Edward Bates, Lincoln's Attorney General." American Journal of Legal History 10 (January 1966): 34-50.

Nicholas, Samuel Smith. A review of the argument of President Lincoln and Attorney General Bates, in favor of presidential power to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. Louisville, Ky.: Printed by Bradley & Gilbert, 1861.

Shoemaker, Floyd C. "David Barton, John Rice Jones and Edward Bates: Three Missouri State and Statehood Founders." Missouri Historical Review 65 (July 1971): 527-43.

United States. Attorney-General. Opinion of Attorney General Bates on citizenship. 1862. Reprint, Washington: Government Printing Office, 1863.

------. Opinion of Hon. Edward Bates, attorney general of the United States, on the validity of the acceptances given by John B. Floyd, secretary of war, to Russell, Majors, & Waddell, now held by Peirce & Bacon. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1862.

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