Biographical Directory of the United States Congress

The Biographical Directory of the United States Congress is a biographical dictionary of all present and former members of the United States Congress and its predecessor, the Continental Congress. Also included are Delegates from territories and the District of Columbia and Resident Commissioners from the Philippines and Puerto Rico.

The online edition also includes a guide to research collections (a list of institutions where member's papers, letters, correspondence, and other items are archived) as well as an extended bibliography of published works concerning the member (a shorter bibliography is included with the member's biography).[1] These additional resources when available can be accessed via links on the left side of the member's page on the website.


Charles Lanman, author, journalist, and former secretary to Daniel Webster, gathered the first collection of biographies of former and sitting members of Congress for his Dictionary of Congress, published by J. B. Lippincott & Co. in 1859. Lanman intended his Dictionary of the United States Congress to serve primarily as a guide for sitting Members of Congress, much as the Congressional Directory functions today.

In 1864, the House of Representatives and the Senate approved the publication of an updated version of Lanman's Dictionary of Congress by the recently established Government Printing Office. In the late 1860s Congress offered Benjamin Perley Poore, a journalist and clerk of the Senate Committee on Printing and Records, the job of preparing a Congressional Directory with biographical sketches and the kind of reference information found in the Dictionary of Congress.[2]

In anticipation of the centenary of American independence and in search of a market not served by Poore's Congressional Directory, Lanman prepared the Biographical Annals of the Civil Government of the United States, published by James Anglim of Washington, D.C. in 1876. This volume combined the biographies of the Dictionary of Congress with entries for other governmental officials since 1776 and expanded reference tables. Poore offered a competing historical volume in 1878 with his Political Register and Congressional Directory, published by Houghton, Osgood and Company, Boston.

Joseph M. Morrison's revision of Lanman's Biographical Annals (New York, 1887) was the final directory of congressional biography to be prepared and published privately. In 1903 Congress authorized the publication of A Biographical Congressional Directory, 1774 to 1903. Compiled under the direction of O. M. Enyart, this was the first volume prepared by congressional staff who drew on the Lanman and Poore editions as well as biographical information printed in the Congressional Directory since the 40th United States Congress (1867). The most thorough and systematic revision of biographical entries attempted prior to the Bicentennial Edition was conducted in preparation for the Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774–1927. Ansel Wold, chief clerk of the Joint Committee on Printing, directed the compilation of this volume published in 1928.[3]

This survey of the 1920s yielded more detailed and consistent biographies than had been found in the nineteenth-century editions or in the earlier volumes compiled by congressional staff. The frequent reliance on family legends and personal recollections, however, introduced dubious information into the volume. Although Congress authorized updates that were published in 1950, 1961, and 1971, the entries from the 1928 edition remained virtually intact in the three subsequent editions. The creation of the Senate Historical Office in 1975 and the Office for the Bicentennial in the United States House of Representatives in 1983 provided the first opportunity for professional historians to revise and update the Biographical Directory. Earlier editions of the Biographical Directory and their nineteenth century predecessors offered little information on congressional careers other than terms of service. The bicentennial edition provided a more complete record of the individual Members' years in office. A 1996 edition was published by Congressional Quarterly, but did not achieve wide circulation due to the much higher cover price.[4]

The development and growing use of the Internet in the 1990s led to the creation of websites for the House of Representatives and the Senate. Ray Strong, Assistant to the Clerk of the House, advocated the idea of publishing the entries from the Biographical Directory on the Internet. Through the efforts of Joe Carmel, Cindy S. Leach, and Gary Hahn of Legislative Computer Systems under the Clerk of the House, and Cheri Allen of the Office of the Secretary of the Senate, the entries of the Biographical Directory became available online during the week of November 9, 1998, at under the auspices of the House Legislative Resource Center and the Historian of the Senate. Internet technology has allowed the editors to update entries of the Biographical Directory on a daily basis. Besides the biographies, the online database includes extensive bibliographies and a guide to all available research collections for Senate and House entries. The project was the first SGML/XML project for the House and Senate and paved the way for the drafting of legislation in XML in both chambers.

The online version, accessible to the public, also has benefited from updated information provided to the House Office of History and Preservation and the Senate Historical Office from scholars, librarians, genealogists, and family members. Senate entries are accompanied by an image of the Senator, when available. Online House entries include images for women Members and Speakers with official oil portraits and members since the 109th United States Congress (2005). The data is maintained by staff in the House Office of History and Preservation and the Senate Office of the Historian.

Technical detail

The index value in the URL is a unique value for each member of Congress. There are some duplicates for name changes: [1] and [2] refer to the same person. The ID is also re-used in XML versions of House legislation (see and


  1. ^ Online edition
  2. ^ House Document 108-222, p. xi
  3. ^ House Document 108-222, p. xii
  4. ^ House Document 108-222, p. xii


External links

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Government.

Cumberland School of Law

Cumberland Law School is unrelated to the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky, and is no longer a part of Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee.Cumberland School of Law is an ABA accredited law school at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, United States. Founded in 1847 at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, it is the 11th oldest law school in the United States and has more than 11,000 graduates. Its alumni include two United States Supreme Court Justices; Nobel Peace Prize recipient Cordell Hull, "the father of the United Nations"; over 50 U.S. representatives; and numerous senators, governors, and judges.

The school offers two degree programs: the 90-hour Juris Doctor (J.D.), and the Master of Comparative Law (M.C.L.), which is designed to educate foreign lawyers in the basic legal principles of the United States. The school also offers eight dual-degree programs and a Master of Laws (LL.M) program with concentrations in financial service regulatory compliance, health law and policy, higher education law and compliance, and legal project management.

Cyrus Cline

Cyrus Cline (July 12, 1856 – October 5, 1923) was a U.S. Representative from Indiana.

David W. Evans

David Walter Evans (born August 17, 1946) is a former U.S. Representative from Indiana.

Born in Lafayette, Indiana, Evans attended public schools in Shoals, Indiana. In 1967, he graduated from Indiana University, where he also did some postgraduate work from 1967 to 1969. This was followed by work at Butler University from 1969 to 1971.

Between 1968 and 1974, Evans was a teacher of social studies and science. Also, he served as delegate to the Democratic National Mid-term Convention in 1974. Evans was elected as a Democrat to the Ninety-fourth Congress as well as to the three succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1975 - January 3, 1983).

After the 1980 census, the Republican-controlled Indiana General Assembly radically altered Evans' 6th District, turning it into a heavily Republican district centered on Indianapolis' wealthy northern suburbs. It appeared that the district was redrawn for State Senator Dan Burton. In the process, Evans' home was moved into the neighboring 10th District of fellow Democrat Andy Jacobs. Rather than face almost certain defeat in the 6th, Evans ran against Jacobs in the Democratic primary for the 10th and was soundly defeated. He was succeeded by Burton, who would hold the seat (now numbered as the 5th District) for 30 years.

Evans lives in McLean, Virginia and works as a legislative consultant in Washington.

Edgar D. Crumpacker

Edgar Dean Crumpacker (May 27, 1851 – May 19, 1920) was a U.S. Representative from Indiana, father of Maurice Edgar Crumpacker and cousin of Shepard J. Crumpacker, Jr..

Elwood Hillis

Elwood Haynes "Bud" Hillis (born March 6, 1926) is a former U.S. Representative from Indiana.

Leonidas Sexton

Leonidas Sexton (May 19, 1827 – July 4, 1880) was a U.S. Representative from Indiana.

Born in Rushville, Indiana, Sexton attended the public schools of his native county and was graduated from Jefferson College (now Washington & Jefferson College), Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, in 1847.

He studied law in Rushville and in 1848 and 1849 attended the Cincinnati Law School.

He was admitted to the Indiana bar in 1850 and commenced the practice of his profession in Rushville, Indiana.

He served as member of the State house of representatives in 1856.

Sexton was elected the 17th Lieutenant Governor of Indiana and served from January 1873 to January 1877.

Sexton was elected as a Republican to the Forty-fifth Congress (March 4, 1877 – March 3, 1879).

He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1878 to the Forty-sixth Congress.

He died in Parsons, Kansas, July 4, 1880.

He was interred in East Hill Cemetery, Rushville, Indiana.

List of African-American United States Representatives

The United States House of Representatives has had 153 elected African-American members, of whom 147 have been Representatives from U.S. states and 6 have been Delegates from U.S. territories and the District of Columbia. The House of Representatives is the lower house of the bicameral United States Congress, which is the legislative branch of the federal government of the United States. The U.S. Census Bureau defines African Americans as citizens or residents of the United States who have origins in any of the black populations of Africa. The term is generally used for Americans with at least partial ancestry in any of the original peoples of sub-Saharan Africa. During the founding of the federal government, African Americans were consigned to a status of second-class citizenship or enslaved. No African American served in federal elective office before the ratification in 1870 of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Fifteenth Amendment prohibits the federal and state governments from denying any citizen the right to vote because of that citizen's race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Joseph Rainey was the first African-American representative to be seated in the U.S. House. He served South Carolina's 1st congressional district beginning in 1870 during the Reconstruction era following the American Civil War. The first African-American woman to serve as a representative was Shirley Chisholm from New York's 12th congressional district in 1969 during the Civil Rights Movement. Many African-American members of the House of Representatives serve majority-minority districts. These congressional districts are gerrymandered, limit serious challenges to their re-election, and limit their abilities to represent a larger, more diverse constituency. Overall, 29 of the 50 U.S. states, plus the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia, have elected an African American to represent them in the U.S. House of Representatives, with Colorado and Massachusetts being the most recent to elect their first in 2018; out of these, 19 states, plus the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia, have elected an African-American woman to represent them in the U.S. House. Illinois' 1st congressional district has the longest continuous streak of electing African-American representatives, a tendency which has occurred since 1929 to the present. There currently are 52 African-American Representatives and two African-American Delegates in the United States House of Representatives. Most are members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

List of Governors of Maine

The Governor of Maine is the head of the executive branch of Maine's state government and the commander-in-chief of its military forces. The governor has a duty to enforce state laws, and the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Maine Legislature, to convene the legislature at any time, and, except in cases of impeachment, to grant pardons.According to official numbering, there have been 74 governors of Maine since statehood. 70 men have held the office; 4 of them served multiple non-consecutive terms. The longest-serving governor was Joseph E. Brennan, who served two terms from 1979 to 1987. The shortest-serving governors were Nathaniel M. Haskell and Richard H. Vose, who each served only one day. John W. Dana also served for one day in 1844, after the incumbent governor resigned, but was later elected to the governorship. The current governor is Democrat Janet Mills, who took office on January 2, 2019.

List of Governors of New York

The governor of New York is the head of the executive branch of New York's state government and the commander-in-chief of the state's National Guard. The governor has a duty to enforce state laws, to convene the New York legislature, the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the legislature, and to grant pardons, except in cases of treason and impeachment.Fifty-six people have served as governor, four of whom served non-consecutive terms; the official numbering only lists each governor once, so there have officially been fifty-six governors. This numbering includes one acting governor: the lieutenant governor who filled the vacancy after the resignation of the governor, under the 1777 Constitution. The list does not include people who have acted as governor when the governor was out of state, such as Lieutenant Governor Timothy L. Woodruff during Theodore Roosevelt's vice presidential campaign in 1900, or Acting Speaker of the New York State Assembly Moses M. Weinstein, who acted as governor for ten days in 1968 while the governor, the lieutenant governor and the senate majority leader were out of the state, attending the Republican National Convention in Miami.Four men have become President of the United States after serving as Governor of New York: Martin Van Buren, Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, and six were Vice President of the United States. Van Buren and Theodore Roosevelt held both offices. Two governors have been Chief Justice of the United States: John Jay held that position when he was elected governor in 1795, and Charles Evans Hughes became chief justice in 1930, two decades after leaving the governorship.

The longest-serving governor was the first, George Clinton, who first took office on July 30, 1777, and served seven terms in two different periods, totaling just under 21 years in office. As 18 of those years were consecutive, Clinton also served the longest consecutive period in office for a New York governor. Charles Poletti had the shortest term, serving 29 days following the resignation of the previous governor in 1942. The current governor is Democrat Andrew Cuomo, who took office on January 1, 2011.

List of Governors of Ohio

The Governor of the State of Ohio is the head of the executive branch of the Government of Ohio and the commander-in-chief of the U.S. state's military forces. The officeholder has a duty to enforce state laws, the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Ohio General Assembly, the power to convene the legislature and the power to grant pardons, except in cases of treason and impeachment.There have been 63 governors of Ohio, serving 69 distinct terms. The longest term was held by Jim Rhodes, who was elected four times and served just under sixteen years in two non-consecutive periods of two terms each (1963–1971 and 1975–1983). The shortest terms were held by John William Brown and Nancy Hollister, who each served for only 11 days after the governors preceding them resigned in order to begin the terms to which they had been elected in the United States Senate; the shortest-serving elected governor was John M. Pattison, who died in office five months into his term. The current governor is Republican Mike DeWine, who took office on January 14, 2019.

List of United States Representatives from West Virginia

The following is an alphabetical list of members of the United States House of Representatives from the state of West Virginia. For chronological tables of members of both houses of the United States Congress from the state (through the present day), see United States Congressional Delegations from West Virginia. The list of names should be complete (as of January 3, 2019).

List of unsuccessful major party candidates for Vice President of the United States

The United States has had a two-party system for much of its history, and the two major parties have nominated vice presidential candidates in most presidential elections. Since the ratification of the United States Constitution in 1789, there have been 58 unsuccessful major party candidates for Vice President of the United States. Eight other individuals have served as the main running mate to a third party or independent presidential candidate who won at least ten percent of the popular or electoral vote.

Prior to the ratification of the Twelfth Amendment in 1804, each member of the Electoral College cast two votes for president; whichever individual who won the most electoral votes would become president, while the individual with the second-most electoral votes would become vice president. In the elections of 1792, 1796, and 1800, at least one of the major parties ran a candidate whom they intended to elect vice president. The Twelfth Amendment changed the presidential election process, requiring members of the Electoral College to cast separate votes for president and vice president. Since then, the two major parties have almost always nominated a ticket consisting of a single presidential candidate and a single vice presidential candidate. Before the election of 1832, both major parties used a congressional nominating caucus, or nominations by state legislatures, to determine presidential and vice presidential candidates. Since 1840, each major party has consistently nominated a single ticket at their respective presidential nominating conventions.

The two current major parties are the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. At various points prior to the American Civil War, the Federalist Party, the Democratic-Republican Party, the National Republican Party, and the Whig Party were major parties. In the 1872 presidential election, the Liberal Republican Party put forward an unsuccessful major party vice presidential nominee, Benjamin Gratz Brown. Brown and his running mate, Horace Greeley, were also nominated by the Democratic Party.

Phineas Bruce

Hon. Phineas Bruce (June 7, 1762 – October 4, 1809) was a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts who was unable to serve in the U.S. Congress due to his declining health.

Southern Democrats

Southern Democrats are members of the U.S. Democratic Party who reside in the Southern United States.

In the 19th century, Southern Democrats were whites in the South who believed in Jeffersonian democracy. In the 1850s they defended slavery in the United States, and promoted its expansion into the West against northern Free Soil opposition. The United States presidential election of 1860 formalized the split, and brought the American Civil War. After Reconstruction ended in the late 1870s they controlled all the Southern states and disenfranchised blacks (who were Republicans). The "Solid South" gave nearly all its electoral votes to Democrats in presidential elections. Republicans seldom were elected to office outside some Appalachian mountain districts and a few heavily German-American counties of Texas.The monopoly that the Democratic Party held over most of the South first showed major signs of breaking apart in 1948, when many Southern Democrats, dissatisfied with the policies of desegregation enacted during the administration of Democratic President Harry Truman, created the States Rights Democratic Party, which nominated South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond for president and Mississippi Governor Fielding L. Wright for vice president. The "Dixiecrats" managed to win many Southern states, but collapsed as a party soon after the election, with effectively all members returning to the Democratic Party. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, a Democrat from the Southern state of Texas, led many Southern Democrats to vote for Barry Goldwater at the national level. In the ensuing years, the increasing conservatism of the Republican Party compared to the liberalism of the Democratic Party (especially on social and cultural issues) led many more conservative white Democrats in the South to vote Republican. However, many continued to vote for Democrats at the state and local levels, especially before 1994. After 2010, Republicans had gained a solid advantage over Democrats at all levels of politics in most Southern states.

Thomas Chandler Thacher

Thomas Chandler Thacher (July 20, 1858 – April 11, 1945) was a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts.

United States House Committee on Rules

The Committee on Rules, or more commonly, the Rules Committee, is a committee of the United States House of Representatives. Rather than being responsible for a specific area of policy, as most other committees are, it is in charge of determining under what rule other bills will come to the floor. As such, it is one of the most powerful committees and is often described as "an arm of the leadership" and as the "traffic cop of Congress." A rule is a simple resolution of the House of Representatives, usually reported by the Committee on Rules, to permit the immediate consideration of a legislative measure, notwithstanding the usual order of business, and to prescribe conditions for its debate and amendment.

United States congressional delegations from Indiana

These are tables of congressional delegations from Indiana to the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate.

Since its statehood in 1816, the U.S. state of Indiana has sent congressional delegations to the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives. Each state elects two Senators statewide to serve for six years, and their elections are staggered to be held in two of every three even-numbered years—Indiana's Senate election years are to Classes I and III. Before the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913, Senators were elected by the Indiana General Assembly. Members of the House of Representatives are elected to two-year terms, one from each of Indiana's nine congressional districts. Before becoming a state, the Indiana Territory elected delegates at-large and sent three to Congress, but the territorial delegates were restricted from voting on legislation.

The longest-serving of any of Indiana's Congressmen is Senator Richard Lugar, serving from 1977 to 2013. The longest-serving House member is Lee H. Hamilton, who served from 1965 to 1999. There have been 346 people who have represented Indiana in Congress: 320 in the House, 27 in the Senate, and 18 in both houses, with an average term of seven years. Indiana has elected seven women and three African Americans to Congress.

University of Wisconsin Law School

The University of Wisconsin Law School is the professional school for the study of law at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in Madison, Wisconsin. The law school was founded in 1868.

William Ely

William Ely (August 14, 1765 – October 9, 1817) was a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts.

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