John Wentworth (mayor)


John Wentworth (mayor)

Infobox_Congressman
name = John Wentworth


width =
height =
birth_date = March 5, 1815
birth_place = Sandwich, New Hampshire
death_date = October 16, 1888
death_place = Chicago, Illinois
residence = Chicago, Illinois
state = Illinois
district = 1st
term_start = 1865
term_end = 1867
predecessor = Isaac N. Arnold
successor = Norman B. Judd
state2 = Illinois
district2 = 2nd
term_start2 = 1853
term_end2 = 1855
predecessor2 = Willis Allen
successor2 = James H. Woodworth
state3 = Illinois
district3 = 4th
term_start3 = 1843
term_end3 = 1851
predecessor3 = District created
successor3 = Richard S. Molony
office4 = Mayor of Chicago
order4 = 19th
term_start4 = 1857
term_end4 = 1858
predecessor4 = Thomas Dyer
successor4 = John Charles Haines
office5 = Mayor of Chicago
order5 = 21st
term_start5 = 1860
term_end5 = 1861
predecessor5 = John Charles Haines
successor5 = Julian Sidney Rumsey
party = Democratic (1843-1855) Republican (1865)
religion =
spouse =
children =
website =

"Long" John Wentworth (March 5, 1815 – October 16, 1888) was the editor of the "Chicago Democrat", a two-term mayor of Chicago, and a six-term member of the United States House of Representatives.

Born in Sandwich, New Hampshire, John Wentworth was a huge man, towering 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) high and weighing more than 300 pounds (136 kg). He drank at least a pint of whiskey each day and would eat from 30-40 different foods during a single meal.

Wentworth was educated at the New Hampton Literary Institute [A Small Gore of Land, Merrill, Gowan et al. 1977] and Dartmouth College graduating from the latter in 1836. Later that year, he left for Chicago, arriving in the city on October 25. He was managing editor of Chicago's first newspaper, the "Chicago Democrat", eventually becoming its owner and publisher. He started a law practice, and eventually entered politics. In 1844, he married Roxanna Marie Loomis.

He served for six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives (March 4, 1843 – March 3, 1851 and March 4, 1853 – March 3, 1855 as a Democrat; and March 4, 1865 – March 3, 1867 as a Republican). While in the House, a controversial vote arose by which Wisconsin claimed land in Illinois as far as the tip of Lake Michigan. If Wentworth voted to give the land, including Chicago, to Wisconsin, he was promised a Senate seat. Wentworth declined the offer.

As a Republican, Wentworth served as mayor of Chicago for two terms, 1857–1858 and 1860–1861. Wentworth instituted chain gangs in the city and tried to clean up the city's morals. To do this, he hired spies to determine who was frequenting Chicago's brothels. In 1857, Wentworth led a raid on the Sands, Chicago's red-light district, which resulted in the burning of the area.

Wentworth was a personal friend of Abraham Lincoln.

He authored "The Wentworth Genealogy - English and American". 1878, 3 Volumes, 2241 pages. The [http://books.google.ca/books?hl=en&id=KR8aAAAAIAAJ&dq=Wentworth+genealogy+english+and+american&printsec=frontcover&source=web&ots=MdAKBttWFa&sig=ZCKBnaY2lkD5LNC3xNWIwjBSi18#PPP1,M first] volume chronicles the ancestry of Elder William Wentworth, the first of this family in New England, and his first five generations of New World descendants. The second and [http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/FH10&CISOPTR=58611&REC=17 third] volumes discuss the "Elder's" many descendants and others of the name. ("Chicago Giant: A Biography of "Long John" Wentworth". By Don E. Fehrenbacher. (Madison, Wis.: American History Research Center. 1957. Pp. viii, 278.))

From 1868, he lived at his country estate at 5441 South Harlem Avenue in Chicago where he owned about convert|5000|acre|km2|0 of land in what is today part of the Chicago neighborhood of Garfield Ridge and suburban Summit. Wentworth died at the estate in 1888, and was buried in Rosehill Cemetery. The house was then sold and lived in by another family for several decades until it was torn down in the mid-1960s to make way for new single family housing as the Garfield Ridge neighborhood exploded in population.

ee also

*The Wentworth Letter

References

External links

*CongBio|W000295|name=John Wentworth
* [http://www.chipublib.org/004chicago/mayors/speeches/wentworth57.html First Inaugural Address]
* [http://www.chipublib.org/004chicago/mayors/speeches/wentworth60.html Second Inaugural Address]


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