Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives, Gift of Jim Oliver


COVODE, John, A Representative from Pennsylvania; born near West Fairfield, Westmoreland County, Pa., March 17, 1808; attended the public schools; engaged in agricultural pursuits, manufacturing, and transportation; largely interested in the coal trade; elected as an Opposition Party candidate to the Thirty-fourth Congress and as a Republican to the Thirty-fifth, Thirty-sixth, and Thirty-seventh Congresses (March 4, 1855-March 3, 1863); chairman, Committee on Public Expenditures (Thirty-seventh Congress); delegate to the Union National Convention at Philadelphia in 1866; elected as a Republican to the Fortieth Congress (March 4, 1867-March 3, 1869); chairman, Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds (Fortieth Congress); contested with Henry D. Foster the election to the Forty-first Congress, neither being sworn pending the contest, as no credentials were issued by the Governor; on February 9, 1870, the House declared him duly elected, whereupon he qualified and served until his death; was not a candidate for reelection in 1870; died in Harrisburg, Pa., January 11, 1871; interment in Methodist Episcopal Cemetery, West Fairfield, Pa.

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: 1854-1870, 100 items. The papers of John Covode contain incoming correspondence and a draft of a report on conditions in Mississippi Valley after the Civil War.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA
Papers: 1870, 2 letter books. Volume 1, Sept. through Oct. 1870, contains incoming correspondence concerning John Covode's request for the lists of the names of persons nominated for Congress, State Senate and legislature; as well as the names of County Republican Committee Chairman and members. Volume 2, Aug. through Dec. 1870, contains correspondence with county Republican Committee regarding monies raised and other business.

Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, PA
Papers: ca. 1838-1892, 0.75 linear foot. The papers of John Covode include correspondence and printed material documenting Covode's career in the U.S. House of Representatives and his various concerns in Pennsylvania. Correspondence includes patronage requests, discussions of the Civil War and contemporary politics. An inventory is available in the repository.

University of Pittsburgh
University Library

Pittsburgh, PA
Papers: 1859-1869, 21 items. Correspondence with John Covode.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Chester, Edward W. "The Impact of the Covode Congressional Investigation." Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine 42 (December 1959): 343-50.

Covode, John. Kansas--the Lecompton constitution. Popular sovereignty, theoretical and practical. Speech of Hon. Jno. Covode, of Pennsylvania. Delivered in the House of Representatives, March 25, 1858. [Washington, D.C.: Buell & Blanchard, printers, 1858].

Memorial addresses on the life and character of John Covode, a Representative from Pennsylvania, delivered in the Senate and House of Representatives, February 9 and 10, 1871. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1871.

United States. Congress. House. Select committee on aleged [sic] corruptions in government. The Covode investigation. [Washington: N.p., 1860].

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