Schuyler Colfax

Schuyler Colfax

name =Schuyler Colfax

|thumb|right|Schuyler Colfax
order =17th Vice President of the United States
term_start =March 4, 1869
term_end =March 4, 1873
president =Ulysses S. Grant
predecessor =Andrew Johnson
successor =Henry Wilson
order2 =29th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
term_start2 =December 7, 1863
term_end2 =March 3, 1869
president2 =Abraham Lincoln
Andrew Johnson
predecessor2 =Galusha A. Grow
successor2 =Theodore M. Pomeroy
order3 =Member of U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 9th district
term_start3 =March 4, 1855
term_end3 =March 3, 1869
predecessor3 =Norman Eddy
successor3 =John P. C. Shanks
birth_date =March 23, 1823
birth_place =New York City, New York
death_date =January 13, 1885 (aged 61)
death_place =Mankato, Minnesota
nationality =
party =Republican
otherparty =
spouse =Evelyn Clark Colfax
Ellen Maria Wade Colfax
relations =
children =
residence =
alma_mater =
occupation =
profession =
net worth =
religion =

website =
footnotes =

Schuyler Colfax, Jr. (March 23, 1823 – January 13, 1885) was a U.S. Representative from Indiana, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the seventeenth Vice President of the United States.

President Ulysses S. Grant and Vice President Colfax, both 46 at time of entering offices, were the youngest Presidential team until election of Bill Clinton and Al Gore in 1992. [ [ THE 1992 CAMPAIGN: Democrats; CLINTON SELECTS SENATOR GORE OF TENNESSEE AS RUNNING MATE - New York Times ] ]


Colfax was born in New York City to Schuyler Colfax, Sr. (d. October 30, 1822 of tuberculosis) and Hannah Stryker. His grandfather William Colfax had served in George Washington's Life Guard during the American Revolution, became a General in the New Jersey Militia and married Hester Schuyler (Cousin of General Philip Schuyler.)

In 1836 he moved with his mother and stepfather to New Carlisle, Indiana. As a young man, Colfax contributed articles to the "New York Tribune" on Indiana politics and formed a lasting friendship with that paper's editor, Horace Greeley. He quickly established a reputation as rising young Whig in Indiana politics and at 19, became the editor of the pro-Whig "South Bend Free Press." In 1845, Colfax purchased the newspaper and changed its name to the "St. Joseph Valley Register".

Whig Party delegate

Colfax was a delegate to the Whig Party Convention of 1848 and the Indiana Constitutional Convention of 1849, and a member of the state constitutional convention in 1850. Colfax was nominated for Congress in 1850 and lost a narrow race to his Democratic opponent. As the Whig Party collapsed, Colfax ran again, this time successfully,cite book | last =Bain | first =David Haward | title =The Old Iron Road: An Epic of Rails, Roads, and the Urge to Go West | publisher =Penguin Books | date =2004 | location =New York City, New York | pages =65-6 | id =ISBN 0143035266] in 1854 as an Anti-Nebraska candidate in opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The same year, Colfax was initiated as a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity at DePauw University, without ever having attending that (or any) university.cite web | last = Brylski | first = S. | title = The Pleasantest Hours of All | publisher = The Beta Theta Pi Magazine | date = Winter 2008 | url = | accessdate = 2 Aug. 2008]

Republican party

After a brief flirtation with the Know-Nothing Party, Colfax joined the new Republican Party that was being formed as a fusion of Northern Whigs, Anti-Nebraska Democrats, Know Nothings and Free Soilers. After Republicans gained the majority in the House in 1856, Colfax became Chair of the Committee on Post Offices and Post Roads. Colfax was an energetic campaigner against slavery and his speech attacking the proslavery Lecompton Legislature in Kansas became the most widely requested Republican campaign document in that election. In 1862, following the electoral defeat of House Speaker Galusha Grow, Colfax was elected Speaker of the House. During his term as Speaker, he announced the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment.

Vice Presidency under Ulysses S. Grant

In 1868 he was elected Vice President of the United States on the Republican ticket headed by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. He was inaugurated March 4, 1869 and served through March 4, 1873. Colfax was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination for Vice Presidency in 1872 and was replaced on the ticket by Massachusetts Senator Henry Wilson. Compounding Colfax's ill fortune, he became embroiled in the Crédit Mobilier of America scandal and left office under a cloud.cite book | last =Brinkley | first =Alan | title =The Unfinished Nation: A Concise History of the American People | edition =5th edition | publisher =McGraw-Hill | date =2008 | location =New York City, New York | pages =409 | id =ISBN 978-0-07-330702-2]

Personal life

On October 10, 1844, he married a childhood playmate, Evelyn Clark, who died in 1863 and had no children. On November 18, 1868, two weeks after he was elected Vice President, Colfax married Ella M. Wade, a daughter of Senator Benjamin Franklin Wade; related to Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes; see Dudley-Winthrop Family. They had one son, Schuyler Colfax III, in 1870.


After leaving office, Colfax embarked on a successful career as a lecturer. On January 13, 1885, Colfax walked some ¾ of a mile in -30˚F weather from the Front Street depot to the Omaha rail depot in Mankato, Minnesota. He was changing trains in Mankato to reach Rock Rapids, Iowa, en route from South Bend via Chicago for a speaking engagement. [Hollister, 1886] Five minutes after arriving at the depot, he dropped dead of a heart attack brought on by extreme cold and exhaustion. ["Schuyler Colfax Dead", "The New York Times", January 14, 1885, p. 1] He is interred in the City Cemetery, South Bend, Indiana. [ [ Political Graveyard] ] A historical marker in Mankato in Washington Park, the site of the former depot, marks the place where he died.


The towns of Colfax, California; Colfax, Washington; and Colfax, Louisiana, are named for Schuyler Colfax. The "Jewel of the Midwest," Schuyler, Nebraska, named after Colfax, is the county seat of Colfax County, Nebraska. The now ghost town of Colfax, Colorado, was named after him. Colfax County, New Mexico, is named after the Speaker as well. In addition, the "main street" traversing Aurora, Denver, and Lakewood, Colorado, and abutting the Colorado State Capitol is named "Colfax Avenue" in the politician's honor.

There is another Colfax Avenue in South Bend, Ind. (a few miles east of his New Carlisle home); in the Grant City section of Staten Island, NY; and a Colfax Avenue on Chicago's Southeast Side. There is a Colfax Street leading up Mt. Colfax in Springdale, PA, and a Colfax Avenue in Benton Harbor, Mich., where the school fight song contains the phrase "of that Colfax school" because the high school is located on Colfax.


*cite book |last=Hollister |first=Ovando James |authorlink= |coauthors= |editor= |others= |title=Life of Schuyler Colfax |origdate= |origyear=1886 |origmonth= |url= |format= |accessdate= |accessyear= |accessmonth= |edition= |series= |volume= |date= |year= |month= |publisher=Funk & Wagnalls |location=New York |language= |isbn= |oclc= |doi= |id= |pages= |chapter= |chapterurl= |quote= |ref=

ee also

* Dudley-Winthrop Family


External links

* Schuyler Colfax's signature on the [ 1864 joint resolution proposing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution abolishing slavery]

* [ Find-A-Grave profile for Schuyler Colfax]
* [ "Fremont's hundred days in Missouri : speech of Schuyler Colfax, of Indiana, in reply to Mr. Blair, of Missouri, delivered in the House of Representatives, March 7, 1862" at]
* [ "The life and public services of Schuyler Colfax: together with his most important speeches" at]


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  • Schuyler Colfax — (1823 1885) est un homme politique américain du XIXe siècle, 17e Vice président des États Unis. Schuyler Colfax (1823 1885) Schuyler Colfax est né le 23 mars 1823 à New York et en 1836 il accompagne ses parents dans l Indiana. Correspondant… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Schuyler Colfax — (* 23. März 1823 in New York City; † 13. Januar 1885 in Mankato, Minnesota) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker und von 1869 bis 1873 der 17. Vizepräsident der Vereinigten Staaten …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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