- James G. Blaine
name =James Gillespie Blaine
office =Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
March 4, 1869
March 4, 1875
Ulysses S. Grant
predecessor =Theodore M. Pomeroy
Michael C. Kerr
order2 =Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
Maine's 3rd district
March 4, 1863
July 10, 1876
Samuel C. Fessenden
order3 =United States Senator
July 10, 1876
March 5, 1881
Lot M. Morrill
William P. Frye
order4 =28th & 31st
United States Secretary of State
March 7, 1881
December 19, 1881 March 7, 1889– June 4, 1892
William M. Evarts Thomas F. Bayard
successor4 =Frederick T. Frelinghuysen
John W. Foster
January 31, 1830
West Brownsville, Pennsylvania
January 27, 1893
spouse =Harriet Stanwood Blaine
Washington & Jefferson College
James Gillespie Blaine (
January 31, 1830– January 27, 1893) was a U.S. Representative, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, U.S. Senator from Maine, two-time United States Secretary of State, and champion of the Half-Breeds. He was a dominant Republican leader of the post-Civil War period, obtaining the 1884 Republican nomination, but lost to Democrat Grover Cleveland.
Secretary of State James Blaine of Maine was born in West Brownsville,
Washington County, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh. His parents were Ephraim Lyon Blaine and his wife Maria Gillespie. The Blaines were Scotch-Irish Americans. [ [http://www.pabook.libraries.psu.edu/palitmap/bios/Blaine__James_Gillespie.html Heather Schillaci, "Blaine, James Gillespie"] ] [ [http://www.chartiers.com/crumrine/twp-b-wbrownsville.html Boyd Crumrine, "History of Washington County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men" (1882)] ] According to Blaine's entry in the "Representative Men of Maine" (1893), "Ephraim L. was an intellectual, an educated, and, in many respects, a brilliant man, but he was not regarded as a practical man. He was a graduate of Washington College. In 1820 he married Maria Gillespie, a granddaughter of Neal Gillespie, who came to America from the north of Irelandin 1771. The husband was a Presbyterian and the wife a Roman Catholic of the milder form." [ [http://www.onlinebiographies.info/me/rmm/blaine-jg.htm "Bio of James Gillespie Blaine As found in "Representative Men of Maine" (1893), A Collection of Biographical Sketches."] ] Ephraim reportedly "laid out the original plat of the town of West Brownsville." in 1831 [ [http://www.chartiers.com/crumrine/twp-b-wbrownsville.html Boyd Crumrine, "History of Washington County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men" (1882)] ]
His paternal grandfather was another James Blaine, the first of the family to settle in Brownsville. He was elected
Justice of the Peacefor several years. [ [http://www.chartiers.com/crumrine/twp-b-wbrownsville.html Boyd Crumrine, "History of Washington County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men" (1882)] ] His paternal great-grandfather Col. Ephraim Blaine (1741-1804), served in the Continental Armyduring the American War of Independence, from 1778 to 1782 as commissary-general of the Northern Department. [ [http://www.onlinebiographies.info/me/rmm/blaine-jg.htm "Bio of James Gillespie Blaine As found in "Representative Men of Maine" (1893), A Collection of Biographical Sketches."] ] His wife was Rebekah Galbraith. [ [http://www.chartiers.com/crumrine/twp-b-wbrownsville.html Boyd Crumrine, "History of Washington County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men" (1882)] ]
With many early evidences of literary capacity and political aptitude, James Blaine graduated at Washington College (now
Washington and Jefferson College) in nearby Washington, Pennsylvania, in 1847, where Blaine was a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilonfraternity. Subsequently, Blaine taught at the Western Military Institutein Blue Lick Springs, Kentucky, and from 1852 to 1854, he taught at the Pennsylvania Institution for the Blind in Philadelphia. During this period, also, he studied law. Blaine married Harriet Stanwood on June 30, 1850.
Augusta, Maine, in 1854, he became editor of the " Kennebec Journal", and subsequently on the "Portland Advertiser".
Editorial work was soon abandoned for a more active public career. Blaine served as a member in the
Maine House of Representativesfrom 1859 to 1862, serving the last two years as Speaker of the House. He also became chairman of the Republican state committee in 1859, and for more than 20 years personally directed every campaign of his party. Among Blaine's adoring admirers, he was known as the "Plumed Knight."
Blaine was elected as a Republican to the
38th United States Congressand to the six succeeding U.S. Congresses and served from March 4, 1863, to July 10, 1876, when he resigned. He was Speaker of the House for three terms—during the 41st through 43rd United States Congresses. He served as chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Rulesduring the 43rd through 45th United States Congresses, followed by over four years in the Senate.
The House was the fit arena for his political and parliamentary ability. He was a ready and powerful debater, full of resource, and dexterous in controversy. The tempestuous politics of the Civil War and Reconstruction period suited his aggressive nature and constructive talent. The measures for the rehabilitation of the states that had seceded from the Union occupied the chief attention of Congress for several years, and Blaine bore a leading part in framing and discussing them. The primary question related to the basis of representation upon which they should be restored to their full rank in the political system. A powerful section contended that the basis should be the body of legal voters, on the ground that the South should not be given more seats as long it disenfranchised
Freedmen. Blaine, on the other hand, contended that representation should be based on population instead of voters, as being fairer to the North, where the ratio of voters varied widely, and he insisted that it should be safeguarded by security for impartial suffrage. This view prevailed, and the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitutionwas substantially Blaine's proposition.
James Blaine of Maine opposed the Radical Republican scheme of military governments for the southern states, insisting there be a clear path by which they could release themselves from military rule and resume civil government. He was the first in Congress to oppose the claim, which gained momentary and widespread favor in 1867, that the public debt, pledged in coin, should be paid in
greenbacks. He took up the cause of naturalized American citizens who, on return to their native land, were subject to prosecution on charges of disloyalty. His work led to the treaty of 1870 between the United States and Britain, which placed adopted and native citizens on the same footing.
Andrew Johnsonappointed General Hugh B. Ewing as U.S. Minister to Holland in 1866, James Blaine urged for Ewing to be recalled and replaced with his brother Charles. James Blaine of Maine told the President that Hugh was 'acting badly', although this seems to have arisen out of James Blaine's personal conflict with President Johnson. [ [http://publications.ohiohistory.org/ohstemplate.cfm?action=detail&Page=0059185.html&StartPage=165&EndPage=195&volume=59&newtitle=Volume%2059%20Page%20165 Beatty, p. 184] ] James Blaine was disingenuous, having represented to prominent politicians in Ohio, including Senator John Sherman, that he was doing everything possible to nominate his close personal friend Ohioan General Roeliff Brinkerhofffor the post. [ [http://publications.ohiohistory.org/ohstemplate.cfm?action=detail&Page=0059185.html&StartPage=165&EndPage=195&volume=59&newtitle=Volume%2059%20Page%20165 Beatty, p. 185] ] Nonetheless, James Blaine's request to recall General Ewing was never acted upon, and Ewing served until 1870.
In 1875, allegedly to promote the
separation of church and state, Blaine proposed a constitutional amendmentthat would prohibit the use of public funds by any religious school. The amendment did not pass at the federal level, falling only four votes short of the required two-thirds majority in the Senate, but a majority of states subsequently adopted similar laws, which are commonly known as Blaine Amendments. The amendment did not forbid generic religious instruction at public schools, so long as it was not under the control of a particular sect. (Indeed, public schools continued to teach Biblical studies and religious instruction for some years even in states which adopted Blaine Amendments.)
Catholics denounced the Blaine Amendment as anti-Catholic, but it was strongly supported by pietistic Protestants, especially Methodists, Baptists and Congregationalists.
James Blaine of Maine was an unsuccessful candidate for nomination for President on the Republican ticket in 1876. (See
U.S. presidential election, 1876, U.S. presidential election, 1880.) His chance for securing the 1876 nomination, however, was damaged by persistent charges that as a member of Congress he had been guilty of corruption in his relations with the Little Rock & Fort Smith Railwayand the Northern Pacific Railway. By the majority of Republicans, he was considered to have cleared himself completely, and at the Republican National Convention he missed the nomination for President by only 28 votes, being finally beaten by a combination of supporters of all the other candidates going to dark horse nominee Rutherford B. Hayes. He was mocked by political opponents as "Blaine, Blaine, James G. Blaine, the continental liar from the State of Maine!"
James Blaine of Maine was appointed and subsequently elected as a Republican to the
United States Senate. He served for four years, and his political activity was unabated— currency laws were especially prominent in his legislative portfolio. Blaine, who had previously opposed greenbackinflation, now resisted depreciated silver coinage. He championed the advancement of American shipping, and advocated generous subsidies, insisting that the policy of protection should be applied on sea as well as on land.
James Blaine of Maine was re-elected and served from
July 10, 1876, to March 5, 1881, when he resigned to become Secretary of State. While in the Senate, he held the minor chairmanships of the U.S. Senate Committee on Civil Service and Retrenchment(45th Congress) and U.S. Senate Committee on Rules (also 45th Congress). During this period he tried again for a Presidential nomination: the Republican National Convention of 1880, divided between the two nearly equal forces of Blaine and former President Ulysses Grant—John Sherman of Ohio also having a considerable following—struggled through 36 ballots, when the friends of Blaine, combining with those of Sherman, succeeded in nominating James A. Garfield.
ecretary of State and run for the presidency
Blaine was Secretary of State in the cabinets of
James A. Garfieldand Chester A. Arthur; he was the second and last person to hold this position in two non-consecutive terms. After Garfield was assassinated, President Arthur kept him on until December 1881.
He was the unsuccessful Republican nominee for President in 1884; he was the only nonincumbent Republican nominee to lose a presidential race between 1860 and 1912, and only the second Republican Presidential nominee to lose at all. (See
U.S. presidential election, 1884.) Republican reformers, called " Mugwumps," supported Cleveland because of Blaine's reputation for corruption. After heated canvassing, during which he made a series of brilliant speeches, he was beaten by a narrow margin in New York. Many, including Blaine himself, attributed his defeat to the effect of a phrase, "Rum, Romanism and Rebellion", used by a Protestant clergyman, the Rev. Samuel D. Burchard, on October 29, 1884, in Blaine's presence, to characterize what, in his opinion, the Democrats stood for. "Rum" meant the liquor interest; "Romanism" meant Catholics; "Rebellion" meant Confederates in 1861.
The phrase was not Blaine's, but his opponents made use of it to characterize his hostility toward Catholics, some of whom probably did switch their vote. Blaine's mother was a Roman Catholic of Irish descent and his sister was a nun, and speculation was that he might gain votes from a heavily Democratic group. However, Catholics were already suspicious of Blaine over his support of the
Blaine Amendments, and this confirmed many suspicions.
Refusing to be a presidential candidate again in 1888, he became Secretary of State in the Cabinet of President
Benjamin Harrisonfrom 1889 to 1892.
His service at State was distinguished by several notable steps. In order to promote the friendly understanding and cooperation of the nations on the American continents he projected a
Pan-American Congress, which, after being arranged for and led by Blaine as its first president, was frustrated by his retirement. (Its most important conclusions were the need for reciprocity in trade, a continental railway and compulsory arbitration in international complications.) Shaping the tariff legislation for this policy, Blaine negotiated a large number of reciprocity treaties which augmented the commerce of his country.
He upheld American rights in
Samoa, pursued a vigorous diplomacy with Italyover the lynching of 11 Italians accused of being Mafiosi who murdered the police chief in New Orleansin 1891, held a firm attitude during the strained relations between the United States and Chileover a deadly barroom brawl involving sailors from the USS "Baltimore"; and carried on with Britain a controversy over the seal fisheries of Bering Sea—a difference afterward settled by arbitration. Blaine sought to secure a modification of the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty, and in an extended correspondence with the British government strongly asserted the policy of an exclusive American control of any isthmian canal which might be built to connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Blaine resigned on
June 4, 1892, on the eve of the meeting of the Republican National Convention. His name, when once again submitted for consideration by the delegates, drew little support.
Later life and death
During the leisure of his later years he wrote "Twenty Years of Congress" (1884-1886), a brilliant historical work in two volumes.
Blaine played a role in founding
Bates Collegein Lewiston, Maine, and he served as a longtime trustee (1863-1893) of the college. Blaine received an honorary degree from Bates in 1869.
Blaine died in Washington at the age of 62 and was interred in Oak Hill Cemetery. Reinterment took place in the Blaine Memorial Park,
Augusta, Maine, in June 1920.
Monuments and memorials
* Counties named in his honor include
Blaine County, Idaho; Blaine County, Montana; Blaine County, Oklahoma; and Blaine County, Nebraska.
* The cities of
Blaine, Washington, and Blaine, Minnesota, and the towns of Blaine, Maine, and Blain, Pennsylvaniaare named after him.
* There is a James G. Blaine school in Chicago, Illinois.
* His house,
Blaine Mansion, is now the official residence of the Governor of Maine.
* There is a James G. Blaine Memorial in downtown
Blaine is featured as the
President of the United Statesin Harry Turtledove's Timeline 191 novel" How Few Remain", in which he leads the United States to defeat against the Confederate States of Americain the Second Mexican War. Following this defeat, he is remembered as the second, and last Republican president (as of 1946). His defeat in the Second Mexican War combined with Abraham Lincoln's loss of the American Civil Warpushes the Republican Party to the political margins. This situation is exacerbated by the party being caught ideologically between the Socialists on the left, and the Democrats on the right.
* Kennedy, David, and Lizabeth Cohen. "The American Pageant". 12th ed. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 2002.
* Morgan, H. Wayne "From Hayes to McKinley: National Party Politics, 1877-1896." (1969).
* Muzzey, David Saville. "James G. Blaine: A Political Idol of Other Days" (1934), the standard biography [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=94446383 online edition]
* Rolde, Neil, "Continental Liar from the State of Maine: James G Blaine", Gardiner, Maine, 2006
* Summers, Mark Wahlgren. "Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion: The Making of a President, 1884" [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=104865169 (2000) online version]
* Conwell, Russell H. The Life and Public Services of James G. Blaine. 1884. American Publishing Co.
* "The Diary of John Beatty", Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Quarterly, Vol. 59
* Bates College 2006 Alumni Directory
* [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=98 James G. Blaine] at
Find A Grave
* [http://content.lib.umt.edu/spcoll/pamphlets/blaine.html James G. Blaine Pamphlet Collection at the University of Montana]
Samuel C. Fessenden
March 4, 1863– July 10, 1876
Edwin FlyeU.S. Senator box
Lot M. Morrill
July 10, 1876– March 5, 1881
William P. Frye
NAME = Blaine, James Gillespie
ALTERNATIVE NAMES =
SHORT DESCRIPTION = U.S. Representative,
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, U.S. Senator from Maineand a two-time United States Secretary of State
DATE OF BIRTH = birth date|1830|1|31|mf=y
PLACE OF BIRTH =
West Brownsville, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DATE OF DEATH = death date|1893|1|27|mf=y
PLACE OF DEATH =
Washington, D.C., U.S.
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Look at other dictionaries:
James Gillespie Blaine — (* 31. Januar 1830 in West Brownsville, Washington County, Pennsylvania; † 27. Januar 1893 in Washington D.C.) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker … Deutsch Wikipedia
James G. Blaine — James Gillespie Blaine James Gillespie Blaine (* 31. Januar 1830 in West Brownsville, Washington County, Pennsylvania; † 27. Januar 1893 in Washington D.C.) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker … Deutsch Wikipedia
James G. Blaine — James Blaine James Blaine (1830 1893) James Gillespie Blaine (1830–1893) était un homme politique américain, membre du Parti républicain, député au Congrès des États Unis de 1863 à 1875, sénateur du Maine de 1876 à 1881 … Wikipédia en Français
James Gillespie Blaine — n. (1830 1893)United States statesman and politician … English contemporary dictionary
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