TOWNSHEND, Richard Wellington



TOWNSHEND, Richard Wellington, a Representative from Illinois; born near Upper Marlboro, Prince George's County, Md., April 30, 1840; moved to Washington, D.C., in 1846; attended public and private schools; page in the House of Representatives; moved to Cairo, Alexander County, Ill., in 1858; taught school in Fayette County; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1862 and commenced practice in McLeansboro, Ill.; clerk of the circuit court of Hamilton County 1863-1868; prosecuting attorney for the twelfth judicial circuit of Illinois 1868-1872; member of the Democratic State central committee in 1864, 1865, 1874, and 1875; delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1872; moved to Shawneetown, Gallatin County, Ill., in 1873 and resumed the practice of law; elected as a Democrat to the Forty-fifth and to the six succeeding Congresses and served from March 4, 1877, until his death in Washington, D.C., March 9, 1889; chairman, Committee on Expenditures in the Department of the Navy (Forty-sixth Congress), Committee on Military Affairs (Fiftieth Congress); interment in Rock Creek Cemetery.

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

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External Research Collections

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library

Springfield, IL
Papers: 1877, 1 page. A letter from Richard W. Townshend to Ben Perley Poore written on March 29, 1877. In the letter, Townshend states that he is sending a sketch "of the most important event in my life" for the Congressional Directory.

The Newberry Library

Chicago, IL
Papers: In the Lambert Tree Papers, 1821-1933, 5 linear feet. Correspondents include Richard W. Townshend.
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