Saturday, 8 October 2011

The Washburns of Maine - a noble family.

Israel Washburn (1784 – 1876) and Martha Washburn (1792 – 1861) ran a store, and then a farm in Livermore, Maine. They had a hard-scrabble life.

Israel had moved to Maine from Raynham, MA.  

He had been a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1815/16 and 1818/19.

The Washburns had eleven children (one of whom died soon after birth) – seven sons and four daughters.

Here are some notes on five of the sons:

Israel Washburn Jr 1813-1883 was a Representative to the U.S. Congress (Maine 6th District from 1851 -1853.  He was Governor of Maine from 1861 -1863.

Elihu B Washburne 1816 – 1887 (he added an “e” to the family name) was a United States Representative from Illinois between 1853 and 1869. 

He became the United States Secretary of State under President Ulysses Grant (President from 1869 – 1877). Washburne had the briefest term of any Secretary of State -  a meagre ten days, for then he accepted the post of Minister (Ambassador) to France.  He served there for the whole of Grant’s Presidency.

Elihu was without doubt one of the noblest Americans of the 19th Century. He was the only Ambassador to remain in Paris during the Prussian siege (Sep 18th 1870 – Jan 28th 1871), and in the days of the revolutionary Paris Commune (Mar 18th 1871 – May 28th 1871). In those dark and dreadful days Elihu never faltered in his representation of the greatest American values of justice and mercy.

Cadwallader Washburn 1818 – 1882 served three terms in the United States House of Representatives (Wisconsin 6th district) between 1867 and 1871.  

He was Governor of Wisconsin between 1872 and 1874.

Charles Washburn 1822 – 1889 was the U.S. Diplomatic Commissioner to Paraguay between 1861 and 1863, and Minister (Ambassador) to that Country from 1863 – 1868.

William Washburn 1831 – 1912 was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Minnesota between 1879 and 1895, and a United States Senator from Minnesota between 1889 and 1895.

Five sons – five noble Americans – five great citizens - each from one family.

Martha and Israel (Sr) Washburn must have been fabulous parents.

And every member of this family  were Republicans in those good old days before the Republican Party had been hi-jacked by the Reaganites,  and by the Christian right-wing.

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