BLAIR, Henry William

BLAIR, Henry William
Library of Congress


BLAIR, Henry William, a Representative and a Senator from New Hampshire; born in Campton, Grafton County, N.H., December 6, 1834; attended the common schools and private academies; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1859 and commenced practice in Plymouth, N.H.; appointed prosecuting attorney for Grafton County 1860; during the Civil War served in the Union Army as lieutenant colonel of the Fifteenth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry; member, State house of representatives 1866; member, State senate 1867-1868; elected as a Republican to the Forty-fourth and Forty-fifth Congresses (March 4, 1875-March 3, 1879); was not a candidate for renomination in 1878; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate on June 17, 1879, for the vacancy in the term ending March 3, 1885, and served from June 20, 1879, to March 3, 1885; the State legislature not being in session, he was appointed on March 5, 1885, and elected on June 17, 1885, to fill the vacancy in the term beginning March 4, 1885, and served from March 10, 1885, to March 3, 1891; unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1891; chairman, Committee on Education and Labor (Forty-seventh through Fifty-first Congresses); declined an appointment as judge of the district court for the district of New Hampshire tendered by President Benjamin Harrison in 1891; was appointed Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to China March 6, 1891; he was objected to by the Chinese Government as being persona non grata; subsequently tendered his resignation which was accepted October 6, 1891; elected as a Republican to the Fifty-third Congress (March 4, 1893-March 3, 1895); was not a candidate for reelection in 1894; engaged in the practice of law in Washington, D.C., until his death on March 14, 1920; interment in Campton Cemetery, Campton, N.H.

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

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External Research Collections

Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH
Papers: Correspondence in the Edward Henry Rollins papers, March 18, 1858-January 26, 1916.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: Correspondence in Frederick Douglass papers, 1841-1964, available on 34 microfilm reels. Finding aid.

New Hampshire Historical Society

Concord, NH
Papers: 1795-1908. 10 linear feet. Correspondence, records of court cases, estate papers, depositions, land surveys, and other papers relating to Blair's law practice and insurance business and years in state legislature and Congress. Includes information about the New Hampshire Republican campaign of 1866-1867 and Blair's daily life in Washington, D.C. Finding aid. Additional correspondence in the Charles Doe papers, 1841-1890.

New Jersey Historical Society

Newark, NJ
Papers: Correspondence in George Perry Morris papers, 1843-1918.

Plymouth State College

Plymouth, NH
Papers: 4 campaign brochures and a speech (1883) on the evils of alcohol.

University of California, Berkeley
Bancroft Library

Berkeley, CA
Papers: 6 letters (1895) from Albert Kimsey Owen promoting the Pacific City Colonization Company, a proposed scheme with construction of a railroad in Topolobampo, Sinaloa, Mexico.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Crofts, Daniel W. "The Black Response to the Blair Education Bill." Journal of Southern History 37 (February 1971): 41-65.

McKinney, Gordon B. Henry W. Blair's Campaign to Reform America: From the Civil War to the U.S. Senate. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2013.

McKinney, Gordon B. "U.S. Senator Henry William Blair and the 'Labor and Capital Hearings' of 1883: An Industrial Economy in Microcosm." Historical New Hampshire 56 (Spring/Summer 2001): 20-33.

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