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Representative Biographies

Here you will find biographies — in chronological order from present to past — of all those who have represented the municipalities found in the 7th district of Massachusetts in the House of Representatives.

MICHAEL E. CAPUANO
1999-Present

Capuano was born in Somerville, Massachusetts, in 1952 to Andrew Capuano and Rita Garvey. He graduated from Somerville High School in 1969 and received a BA from Dartmouth College in 1973. Capuano was awarded a law degree from Boston College Law School in 1977, and passed the bar the same year.

Prior to serving in Congress, Capuano held a variety of public offices. He served as alderman in Somerville from 1977 to 1979, the same seat his father once held. From 1985 to 1989, Capuano served as an alderman-at-large, a position he held for two terms. In November of 1989, he was elected Mayor of the City of Somerville and sworn in as Somerville's 34th mayor in January of 1990. He was elected five times, leaving halfway through his fifth term to serve in Congress.

Rep. Capuano is a member of the House Committee on Financial Services and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. He also served as Chair of the Special Task Force on Ethics Enforcement and Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosiís transition chair as Democrats prepared for a majority role in Congress in 2006.


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JOSEPH P. KENNEDY II
1987-1998

Kennedy — the son of Robert F. Kennedy and the nephew of John F. Kennedy — was born in Brighton in 1952. He attended the University of Massachusetts at Boston, and graduated in 1976. He started the non-profit Citizens Energy Corporation, which supplies the elderly and poor with fuel assistance. He operated the company until entering the political arena.

In 1986, Kennedy fought in a crowded Democratic primary for the nomination to the Eight District House seat. Legendary House speaker Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill was stepping down after 34 years in Congress, and Kennedy won the nomination. He went on to best his Republican opponent in the general election, receiving nearly three quarters of the vote and winning the seat once held by his uncle, President John F. Kennedy.

In each subsequent election, Kennedy was overwhelmingly reelected. In 1998, Kennedy opted not to seek reelection to Congress. His move opened up a heated Democratic primary for the seat. Kennedy returned to Citizens Energy, and resides in Brighton.


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THOMAS P. O'NEILL, JR.
1953-1986

O'Neill — known as "Tip" — was born in Cambridge in 1912. He pursued a career in real estate and insurance after graduating from Boston College in 1936. He began his long political career early, and was a member of the Massachusetts House from 1932 until 1952. He was the body's minority leader in 1947 and 1948, and was speaker from 1949 to 1952.

In 1952, after Rep. John F. Kennedy announced he would seek a Senate seat in Massachusetts, O'Neill declared his intentions to run for Kennedy's vacant House seat. He won as a Democrat, garnering 69 percent of the vote, and commencing a House career that would span four decades.

O'Neill quickly rose through the Democratic ranks, chairing several committees and subcommittees. In 1975, he was chosen Majority Leader by the Democratic caucus. In 1977, O'Neill became Speaker of the House of Representatives.

O'Neill served in that capacity until he left Congress in 1987, returning to private life. O'Neill served thirty-four years, and handily beat his competitors in each reelection campaign. In fact, he often drew no opponents at all. O'Neill died on January 5, 1994, in Cambridge.


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TORBERT H. MACDONALD
1955-1962

MacDonald was born in Everett, Massachusetts, in 1917, and attended schools in neighboring Medford and Malden. After graduating from Phillips Andover Academy and Harvard College, he served in the Navy as a PT boat commander in the Pacific in World War II. He was awarded the Silver Star Combat Award.

MacDonald returned to Massachusetts and opened a law practice in Boston. He served on the National Labor Relations Board in the 1940s and 1950s, and was a delegate to several Democratic National Conventions. In 1954, MacDonald won a seat in the House, defeating Rep. Angier L. Goodwin in a close race. He won three more terms, and improved his margin of victory in each election.

In 1962, MacDonald was elected in a neighboring congressional district, and reelected several more times. He served in the House until his death at the end of his tenth term. MacDonald died in Bethesda, Maryland, in 1976, and was buried in Malden.


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ANGIER L. GOODWIN
1943-1954

Goodwin was born in Fairfield, Maine, in 1881, and attended Colby College. He received a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1905, and practiced law in the Boston area.

Goodwin was active in politics in his home of Melrose, Massachusetts, and served on the city's Board of Aldermen. He was president of the board in 1920, and was elected Mayor of Melrose in 1921. Following one term as mayor, he served in both houses of the state legislature, and held the post of Senate president in 1941. In 1942, Goodwin won election to Congress as a Republican, and served six terms. He lost a reelection bid in 1954.

After twelve years in Congress, Goodwin returned to Melrose and held a position on the Massachusetts Board of Tax Appeals. He died in 1975 in Melrose.


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JOHN F. KENNEDY
1947-1952

Kennedy was born in Brookline in 1917, and attended public and private schools in New England. He graduated from Harvard College in 1940, and soon joined the war effort as a lieutenant in the United States Navy. Kennedy was a PT boat commander in the South Pacific, and returned to Massachusetts after the war to pursue a career as an author and newspaper correspondent. But this young Irish-Catholic made his mark as a politician, an idealist that inspired generations and won the hearts of the world as president.

Kennedy, a Democrat, threw his hat into the political arena in 1946, running for the Eleventh District congressional seat. He won with 72 percent of the vote, and cruised to two reelection victories in 1948 and 1950. Kennedy had his sights set higher, and challenged incumbent senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. in 1952. His margin of victory was large, and Kennedy was reelected easily in 1958.

In 1956, Kennedy narrowly lost the Democratic vice presidential nomination, but sought the party's presidential nomination in 1960. He was selected as the party's nominee, and bested then-Vice President Richard M. Nixon by a mere 100,000 ballots in the popular vote. He resigned from the Senate and was inaugurated the thirty-fifth President of the United States in January of 1961.

Kennedy never finished his term, as he was assassinated in late 1963. But his message and vision for the United States lived on, and his legacy still endures.


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JAMES M. CURLEY
1943-1946

Born in Boston in 1874, Curley attended public schools and became a salesperson for a bakery supply company. He left that job for positions in the real estate and insurance businesses, but soon began one of the most storied political careers in the history of Massachusetts.

Curley served briefly in the Massachusetts House, and then on the Boston Board of Aldermen from 1904 to 1909. In 1910 and 1911, Curley was a city councilor, and in 1910 he was elected as a Democrat to the House of Representatives from a Boston district. He ran for mayor of Boston in 1913 and won, thus relinquishing his seat in Congress. Curley was mayor until 1918, but was elected two other times (1921 and 1929).

In 1934, Curley was elected as governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In 1936, he decided to make a run for the United States Senate, but was not successful. He also lost two bids for mayor in 1938 and 1941.

However, in a different congressional district — the Eleventh — Curley was elected to the House in 1942, and reelected in 1944. Instead of running for reelection to the House in 1946, Curley was a candidate for mayor of Boston again, and won the race. He served until 1950, but was the loser in two more attempts, in 1951 and 1955.

Following a tour of duty on the State Labor Relations Commission, Curley died in Boston in 1958. He had truly left his mark on the Boston political scene.


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THOMAS H. ELIOT
1941-1942

Born in Cambridge in 1907, Eliot graduated from Harvard College in 1928, and from the law school there in 1932. He practiced law in Buffalo, New York, and served in the Department of Labor and on the Social Security Commission in the 1930s. He frequently returned to Harvard as a lecturer on government.

Eliot moved to Boston, and lost a close race for Congress as a New Deal Democrat in 1938. He tried again in 1940, and beat the incumbent, Rep. Robert Luce. He ran again in 1942 and 1944, but lost in both attempts. Eliot held various positions with other government entities, such as the National War Labor Board, the Office of Strategic Services and the Department of the Interior.

Eliot moved to St. Louis and he taught political science at Washington University. He was Dean of the College of Liberal Arts there in the 1960s, and Chancellor of the university from 1965 to 1972. He held several other positions in the academic world, and is currently a resident of Cambridge.


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THOMAS A. FLAHERTY
1937-1942

Flaherty was born in Boston in 1898, attending public schools and Northeastern University. He enlisted in the United States Army during World War I, and was employed by the Veterans Administration in Boston from 1920 until 1934.

After a brief stint as a member of the Massachusetts House, Democrat Flaherty won a special election to the United States House after Rep. John P. Higgins resigned in 1937. He coasted to reelection in 1938 and 1940, but chose not to run again in 1942.

Instead, Flaherty returned to Boston and took on several civic responsibilities. He was the transit commissioner for Boston (1943-1945), chair of the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (1946-1953) and chair of the Board of Review of the Boston Assessing Department (1956-1960). Flaherty also held jobs as a real estate broker and appraiser later in life. He died in Charlestown in 1965.


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ARTHUR D. HEALEY
1933-1942

Healey was born in Somerville in 1889, and went to public schools in the area. He attended Dartmouth College and Boston University, where he graduated with a law degree in 1913. He began a practice in Boston, and also served from 1917 to 1919 as a lieutenant in World War I.

He pursued politics upon his return to the Bay State, and ran several unsuccessful races for Congress. Finally, in 1932, Democrat Healey won a House seat, edging out his Republican foe by less than 1,000 votes. He served five terms in the House until he resigned in 1942 after being appointed to the United States District Court.

Healey was on the bench until he died in Somerville in 1948.


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ROBERT LUCE
1933-1934, 1937-1940

Luce was born in Auburn, Maine, in 1862, and attended public schools there. He graduated from Harvard in 1882, and taught English for two years at Waltham High School in Waltham, Massachusetts. He jumped into the field of journalism, and founded Luce's Press Clipping Bureau in 1888.

Active in Republican political circles, Luce ran for the Massachusetts House in 1908, winning the first of two terms. He was elected lieutenant governor of the Commonwealth in 1912, but briefly dropped politics for writing when his term expired. He authored several political science books.

Luce was elected to the House in 1932 as a Republican, but was defeated for reelection in 1934. He won two more terms in 1936 and 1938, but again lost a close reelection race in 1940. During his congressional career, Luce chaired the Elections Committee and was a member of the Veterans' Affairs Committee.

After resuming his business pursuits, Luce died in Waltham in 1946.


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JOHN P. HIGGINS
1935-1936

Higgins was born in Boston in 1893, and attended local public schools. He was a graduate of Harvard College, and served in the United States Navy during World War I. After holding a job as a chemist, he received a law degree from Northeastern University and commenced practice shortly after.

After brief a service in the Massachusetts House, Higgins ran for Congress as a Democrat in 1934 and won, without any opposition in the general election. Overwhelmingly reelected in 1936, Higgins resigned in late 1937 after being appointed chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts by Gov. Charles F. Hurley. Higgins also served as a judge on the International Military Tribunal, but was suspended by Gen. Douglas MacArthur in 1946.

Higgins continued to serve as chief justice until his death in Boston in 1955.


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RICHARD M. RUSSELL
1935-1936

Born in 1891 in Cambridge, Russell graduated from Harvard College in 1914 and from Harvard Law in 1917. He served as a lieutenant in World War I in France from 1917 until 1919, when he was honorably discharged.

He returned to Massachusetts in 1919, and began a law practice in Boston. He served on the Cambridge City Council (1918-1919) and as mayor of Cambridge (1930-1935). He ran for the House as a Democrat in 1934 and defeated the incumbent, Rep. Robert Luce. He ran for reelection but lost a close race, and returned to practicing law.

In 1950, Russell won a seat in an adjacent House district in a special election. He won a full term of his own the same year, but stepped down in 1953 in favor of his law practice. He died in Essex, Massachusetts, in 1977.


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JOHN J. DOUGLASS
1925-1934

Douglass was born in East Boston in 1873 and graduated from Boston College in 1893. He went on to Georgetown Law School, and was admitted to the bar after graduating. He began a practice in Boston. Douglass was also a noted author and playwright, composing several works that were popular locally.

He was a member of the Massachusetts House (1899, 1900, 1906, 1913), a delegate to the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention (1917-1918) and twice a delegate Democratic National Convention. In 1924, Douglass defeated incumbent Peter F. Tague in the Democratic primary for the Boston-based Tenth Congressional District. He went on to win the general election by a comfortable margin. In the House, he chaired the Committee on Education. He was reelected in 1926, 1928, 1930 and 1932 by wide margins over weak Republican opposition.

Upon retirement, Douglass resumed his law practice and became the commissioner of Boston's penal institutions in 1935. He held that post until he died in West Roxbury in 1939.


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FREDERICK W. DALLINGER
1915-1924, 1926-1932

Dallinger was born in Cambridge in 1871, and graduated from Harvard College in 1893. He pursued his law degree at Harvard Law School, and was admitted to the bar in 1897. He began a practice in Boston, and served in both houses of the Massachusetts General Court.

In 1914, Dallinger ran for Congress on the Republican and Progressive tickets, and won by a scant 800 votes. In subsequent elections, his margin of victory grew substantially, and he was reelected four times to his House seat. In 1924, he decided instead to run for the Senate, but lost in that attempt. When Rep. Harry I. Thayer died in 1926, Dallinger prevailed in the special election, and regained his seat in Congress.

Dallinger began the second portion of his congressional career, and served three more full terms. He resigned in 1932, having been appointed to the federal bench. He was a judge on the United States Customs Court for ten years, and resigned in 1942.

Late in life, Dallinger engaged in agriculture. He died in North Conway, New Hampshire, in 1955. He was buried in Center Lovell, Maine.


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CHARLES L. UNDERHILL
1921-1932

Born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1867, Underhill moved with his family to Massachusetts in the 1870s. He attended common schools and held various jobs in his 20s, including the positions of office boy, coal teamster and blacksmith. He moved to Somerville, and worked in the hardware industry.

Underhill served several terms in the Massachusetts House as a Republican, and had yearnings for higher office. He ran for Congress in 1920 and won in a landslide, garnering 71 percent of the vote. He held several posts in the House, including chair of the Claims Committee and the Committee on Accounts. After serving six terms in Congress, Underhill did not seek reelection in 1932.

Following his congressional career, Underhill engaged in real estate development in Washington, D.C. from 1933 until his retirement in 1941. He died in New York in 1946, and was buried in Cambridge.


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HARRY I. THAYER
1925-1926

Thayer was born in Pembroke, Massachusetts, in 1869, and attended public schools in Hanover, Massachusetts. He learned the leather trade, and founded the Thayer-Ross Company. He was president of the New England Shoe and Leather Association from 1916 to 1921, and of the Tanners' Council of the United States in 1920 and 1921.

Thayer — a Republican — ran for a Massachusetts House seat in 1924, easily besting his Democratic opponent. His career in Congress was brief, however. In 1926, Thayer died in Wakefield, Massachusetts.


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PETER F. TAGUE
1915-1924

Tague was born in Boston in 1871, and attended local public schools. He pursued a career first as a blacksmith and then as a chemical manufacturer, but soon began a life of politics. He served in both houses of the Massachusetts General Court, and won election to Congress as a Democrat in 1914.

Tague was reelected in 1916, and tried unsuccessfully to become mayor of Boston in 1917. Running for reelection in 1918, Tague was defeated in the Democratic primary by John F. Fitzgerald. He challenged Fitzgerald as an Independent in the general election, but lost by 200 votes. After a ballot challenge, however, it was determined that Tague had won. He was reelected in 1920 and 1922 as a Democrat.

Following a bitter defeat in the election of 1924, Tague returned to chemical manufacturing and private life. He was named postmaster of Boston in 1936, and served until his death in Boston in 1941.


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ALVAN T. FULLER
1917-1920

Fuller was born in Boston in 1878, and attended public schools locally. He engaged in the bicycle business, and founded the Packard Motor Car Company in the early 1900s. He was elected to the Massachusetts House, and was active in Boston political circles as a Republican.

In 1916, Fuller ran for Congress and won by about 300 votes. He was reelected in 1918, but chose not to seek a third term. Instead, he came back to Massachusetts to run for lieutenant governor. He won the election and served one term before running for governor. Massachusetts voters sent Fuller to Beacon Hill in 1924, and again in 1926. While an elected official, Fuller never accepted monetary compensation for his service.

After two terms as governor, Fuller returned to business pursuits. He chaired the board of the Cadillac-Oldsmobile Corporation. In 1958, he died, and was buried in Rye, New Hampshire.


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ERNEST W. ROBERTS
1913-1916

Born in East Madison, Maine, in 1858, Roberts attended public schools in Chelsea, Massachusetts. He graduated from Highland Military Academy in Worcester, Massachusetts, and pursued a law degree at Boston University. After graduation, he was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Boston.

As a resident of Chelsea, Roberts was elected to the City Council in 1887. He served in both houses of the state legislature in the late 1890s, and won a seat in Congress as a Republican in 1912. He was reelected by a comfortable margin in 1914, but was defeated in his 1916 reelection bid by Alvan T. Fuller.

After his career in public service ended, Roberts practiced law in Washington, D.C. He died there in 1924, and was buried in Everett, Massachusetts.


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FREDERICK S. DEITRICK
1913-1914

Deitrick was born in New Brighton, Pennsylvania, in 1875, and graduated from Geneva College in 1895. He attended Harvard Law School, where he received a degree in 1898. He was admitted to the bar, and began a practice in Boston.

Deitrick served as an alderman in Cambridge, and as a member of the Massachusetts House in the early 1900s. In 1906, he ran as a Democrat for Congress against an entrenched incumbent, Rep. Samuel W. McCall. After three runs against McCall, the representative retired, and Deitrick launched a campaign for the open seat. In 1912, he won in a three-way race, beating a Republican and a Progressive candidate. However, he failed to be reelected in 1914, and resumed his Boston law practice. He died in Boston in 1948, and was buried in Cambridge.


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SAMUEL W. MCCALL
1893-1912

Born in East Providence, Pennsylvania, in 1851, McCall grew up in Illinois and graduated from preparatory school in New Hampshire. He attended Dartmouth College, and studied law after graduation. He was admitted to the bar in 1875, and opened a practice in Worcester, Massachusetts.

After moving his practice to Boston, he served as editor of the Boston Daily Advertiser, and won election to the Massachusetts House. In 1892, McCall — a staunch Republican — was narrowly elected to Congress, and began a long career in the House. He was reelected nine times to his House seat, winning most of the elections by large margins. He did not seek reelection in 1912, and stepped down after twenty years of service.

McCall moved back to Boston to practice law, and decided to run for governor of the Commonwealth. He served one term from 1916 until 1918, when he retired to Winchester, Massachusetts. He died in 1923.


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WILLIAM F. MURRAY
1911-1914

Murray was born in Boston in 1881, and attended public schools and the Boston Latin School. He graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School, and began a law practice in 1907. He served in the Spanish-American War as a corporal.

Murray was a member of the Massachusetts House in 1907 and 1908, and was elected to the Governor's Council in 1910. He was elected to Congress as a Democrat in 1910 in a close election, but cruised to reelection in 1912. He resigned close to the end of his term in 1914 to take the position of postmaster in Boston. He served as postmaster until his death in Boston in 1918.


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JOHN A. KELIHER
1903-1910

Keliher was born in Boston in 1866 and attended local schools. He pursued a career in the real estate business, and then launched a political career. He served in both houses of the Massachusetts legislature in the late 1800s and early 1900s. In 1902, Democrat Keliher defeated incumbent representative Joseph A. Conry for a seat in Congress, where he served until 1911. He tried for reelection as an Independent in 1910, but was unsuccessful. After serving in the House, Keliher chaired the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention from 1917 to 1919.

But Keliher's longest political job was sheriff of Suffolk County. He was first elected in 1917, and was reelected soundly to that office three times. He died at his home in Boston in 1938.


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JOSEPH A. CONRY
1901-1902

Conry was born in Brookline in 1868 and pursued a career in law after working through the public school system. He was admitted to the bar, and practiced law in Boston. Conry was president of the Boston Common Council in 1896 and 1897, and chaired the Board of Aldermen in 1898.

Conry was elected in 1900 as a Democrat to the House of Representatives. He lost a bid for reelection in 1902 by 250 votes, and resumed his law practice in Boston. In 1912, Conry became consul to Russia, and served until 1919. During his tenure, he was decorated by Czar Nicholas II and was made a member of the Knights of St. Anne.

Conry also directed the port of Boston from 1911 until 1916, and was the special attorney for the Maritime Commission in 1938 and 1939. Following that endeavor, he practiced law in Washington, where he died in 1943.


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JOHN F. FITZGERALD
1895-1900

Fitzgerald — the grandfather of John F. Kennedy, Edward M. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy — was born in Boston in 1863. He attended Harvard Medical School for a year, but left for employment in the Boston Customhouse, a job he held from 1886 to 1891. He served on the Boston Common Council and in the state Senate in the early 1890s.

In 1894, Democrat Fitzgerald won a hard-fought campaign for a seat in the House of Representatives, and was subsequently reelected in 1896 and 1898. He chose not to seek reelection to a fourth term in 1900, but had no intention of leaving politics. He was the mayor of Boston from 1906 to 1907, and again from 1910-1914. He was also involved in insurance and investment, and was the owner of a local weekly newspaper.

He ran unsuccessfully for the United States Senate in 1916 and for governor of Massachusetts in 1922. In 1918, he ran for the House again, and won by a 200 vote margin on election day. However, his opponent, incumbent representative Peter F. Tague, contested the election, and was deemed the winner after a long ballot challenge. Tague was seated, and Fitzgerald resumed work in the newspaper business.

Fitzgerald was later a member of the Boston Port Authority (1934-1948) and took up investment banking. He died in Boston in 1950, but had begun a family political tradition that would become an American dynasty.


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JOSEPH H. O'NEIL
1889-1894

O'Neil was born in Fall River, Massachusetts, in 1853, and moved to Boston with his family the following year. He attended public schools, and spent ten years as a carpenter. He was active in local politics, and served on the Boston School Committee (1874-1877), in the Massachusetts House (1878-1882) and as a member of the board of directors of public institutions (1880-1886).

Elected as city clerk of Boston in 1887, O'Neil won a seat as a Democrat in the House of Representatives in 1888. He served three terms in Congress, but lost a bid for renomination in 1894 to fellow Democrat John F. Fitzgerald. However, O'Neil remained active politically, and was appointed by President Cleveland to the office of assistant treasurer for the United States.

That position allowed O'Neil to successfully organize the Federal Trust Company of Boston in 1899 after leaving the Treasury. He served as its president until 1922, when it merged into the Federal National Bank. He was chair of the board of that corporation until his death in Boston in 1935.


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SHERMAN HOAR
1891-1892

A member of a legendary Massachusetts political family, Hoar was born in Concord, Massachusetts, in 1860. He attended public schools and Phillips Exeter Academy, and graduated from Harvard College in 1882. He received his law degree from Harvard two years later, and commenced practice in Concord. Hoar was also a trustee of Phillips Exeter and served as director of the American Unitarian Association.

Hoar — a Democrat — was elected to the House in 1890 with 54 percent of the vote. He did not seek reelection, but instead became the United States district attorney for the Commonwealth in 1893. He directed the Massachusetts Volunteer Aid Program while the United States was engaged in war with Spain, and he also worked in several army hospitals in the South.

He returned to Massachusetts and died in Concord in 1898.


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NATHANIEL P. BANKS
1853-1858, 1865-1872, 1875-1878, 1889-1890

Banks was born in Waltham, Massachusetts, in 1816, and attended common schools in the region. He was a machinist by trade, and was a newspaper editor in Waltham. He moved to Boston to study law and to work in the custom house, and was admitted to the bar in 1847. He began a practice in Boston, and was elected to the Massachusetts House. He served as speaker of the body for two years.

Banks ran for Congress in 1952 as a Democrat, and bested his opponent by about three hundred votes. He ran for reelection on the American Party ticket, and won in a landslide. He was elected speaker of the House in his second term, but only held the position for two years. He switched parties again in his bid for a third term and won handily, this time as a Republican.

In 1857, Banks ran for governor of the Commonwealth and won. He resigned from his House seat and assumed executive duties in 1858. In 1861, he left office and moved to Chicago, where he became vice president of the Illinois Central Railroad.

The Civil War drew Banks into the ranks of the Union Army, and he served as a major general. He returned to Massachusetts after the war ended in 1865, when he was elected on the Unionist Party line to fill the vacancy caused by Rep. Daniel W. Gooch's resignation. He won another full term in 1866 as a Republican, and was reelected handily in both 1868 and 1870. During this period of his congressional career, Banks chaired the Foreign Affairs Committee.

In 1872, he ran for reelection as a Liberal Republican, and lost a close race. But in 1874, Banks — now a Democrat — reclaimed his seat in the House. Once more, Banks switched parties and became a Republican. He won as a Republican in 1876, but failed to gain the party's nomination in the 1878 election.

Banks was named a United States marshal in 1879, and held the position for nine years. In 1888, he once again entered the political arena to run for his old seat in Congress as a Republican. He won in a close election, and served as chair of the Committee on Expenditures during that term. He failed to be renominated by the Republicans in 1890, and returned to private life for good. He died in Waltham in 1894.


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EDWARD D. HAYDEN
1885-1888

Hayden was born in Cambridge in 1833 and studied law at Harvard. He was admitted to the bar in 1857 and commenced practice in Woburn, Massachusetts. He entered the United States Navy in 1861 and served in the Mississippi squadron under Admiral Porter in the Vicksburg campaign.

He returned to Woburn after the Civil War and served as president of the First National Bank from 1874 until 1900. During that period, he was a state representative and was involved in local politics. Hayden won election to the House in 1884 as a Republican, and was reelected in 1886. He chose not to run for a third term.

Back in Massachusetts, Hayden continued his work as bank president, and was also on the directorate of the Boston & Albany Railroad. In 1900, he left the First National Bank and became director of the Shawmut National Bank of Boston. He died in Woburn in 1908, and was buried in Cambridge.


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PATRICK A. COLLINS
1883-1888

Collins was born in Fermoy, Ireland, in 1844, and immigrated with his parents to the United States. His family settled in Chelsea in 1848, and Collins attended public schools and learned the upholstery trade. He was elected to the Massachusetts House in 1868 and to the state Senate in 1870. He left politics briefly to study law at Harvard University, and was admitted to the bar in 1871.

After starting a law practice in Boston, he became the judge advocate general for Massachusetts in 1875. In 1882, he ran for Congress as a Democrat, and easily disposed of his Republican opponent. Collins served three terms in the House before retiring and resuming his law practice. He was also a delegate four times to the Democratic National Convention, and served as consul general at London under President Cleveland (1893-1897).

In 1901, Collins was elected Mayor of Boston by a large margin, and held the office until his death in 1905. He died on an official visit to Hot Springs, Virginia, and was buried in Brookline.


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LEOPOLD MORSE
1877-1884

Morse was born in 1831 in Wachenheim, Bavaria, and immigrated to the Unites States in 1849. He lived briefly in New Hampshire before moving to Boston to open a clothing store, which he operated for decades. He was greatly interested in politics, and was a staunch Democrat for most of his life.

Morse ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1870 as a Democrat and 1872 as a Liberal Republican. He ran again as a Democrat in 1876 and won the first of four terms. He was chair of the Committee on Expenditures. Morse was also a delegate from Massachusetts to the Democratic National Convention in 1876 and 1880.

Morse sought reelection in the newly-drawn Fifth District in 1882. Redistricting placed Morse (of the Fourth District) and Fifth District incumbent Selwyn Z. Bowman in the same district. In the election, Morse bested Bowman. Morse did not seek reelection in 1884, and returned to his business in Boston. He died in Boston in 1892.


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JOHN W. CANDLER
1881-1882

Born in Boston in 1828, Candler attended local private schools and joined a counting house in Boston in 1845. He was a merchant, and engaged in shipping and commerce with the East and West Indies, as well as South America, out of Boston. He was also president of the Boston Board of Trade and of the Boston Commercial Club.

After serving in the Massachusetts House, Candler won a seat in Congress as a Republican in 1880. He failed to win a reelection bid in 1882, but served another term in the House from a neighboring district in the late 1880s.

Candler returned to his business after politics in 1893. He died in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1903, and was buried in Cambridge.


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SELWYN Z. BOWMAN
1879-1882

Bowman was born in Charlestown in 1840, and attended local public schools before moving to Somerville. He graduated from Harvard College in 1860, and from the law school in 1863. He passed the bar, and began a practice in Boston in 1864.

He was elected to both houses of the Massachusetts legislature in the 1870s, and also served as city solicitor of Somerville. He ran for Congress from a Middlesex County-based district in 1878 as a Republican, and easily beat his Democratic opponent. He won another term in 1880, but was defeated by Rep. Leopold Morse in 1882 after their congressional districts merged in the redistricting process.

Bowman returned to Somerville and resumed his law practice. He was elected city solicitor once more before moving to Cohasset, Massachusetts, in 1914. He died in Framingham, Massachusetts, in 1928. He was buried in Cambridge.


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WILLIAM C. CLAFLIN
1877-1880

Claflin was born in Milford, Massachusetts, in 1818, and attended private schools in the region. He graduated from Brown University in 1840, following which he was involved in the leather and shoe business in St. Louis and then Boston.

He served in both houses of the Massachusetts General Court. In 1861, he was elected Senate president. He served on the Republican National Executive Committee (1864-1875), and chaired the committee in the early 1870s. As a Republican, he was lieutenant governor (1866-1868) and governor (1869-1871) of the Bay State.

In 1876, he ran for Congress and defeated the incumbent, Rep. William W. Warren (D). He ran for reelection in 1878 and won by a comfortable margin, but chose not to seek a third term in 1880. Instead, he resumed his business pursuits. He died in Newton, Massachusetts, in 1905.


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RUFUS S. FROST
1875-1876

Frost was born in Marlboro, New Hampshire, in 1826, and moved to Boston with his family in 1833. He attended public schools in the city, and participated in the mercantile industry. He served as the mayor of Chelsea from 1867 to 1868, and was elected to the Massachusetts Senate and Governor's Council in the 1870s.

In 1874, Frost ran for Congress as a Republican, and defeated Democrat Josiah G. Abbott by a 200 vote margin. After taking his seat in the House, Abbott successfully challenged Frost's election. In late 1876, Frost's election was nullified, and Abbott took the seat for the brief remainder of the term. Frost lost a bid for the seat in 1876, and left politics for good.

Frost was involved in many cultural, academic and business pursuits in Boston after his term in Congress. He was president of the National Association of Woolen Manufacturers (1877-1884), president of the Boston Board of Trade (1878-1880) and president of the New England Conservatory of Music. He also co-founded the New England Law and Order League and the Boston Art Club later in his life. He died in Chicago in 1894.


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WILLIAM W. WARREN
1875-1876

Warren was born in Brighton, Massachusetts, in 1834, and pursued classical studies at Harvard College. He graduated in 1856, and commenced a law practice in Boston in 1857. Warren was also involved in political pursuits, and was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1868, and served in the state Senate in 1870.

In 1872, he ran unsuccessfully for Congress, but won in a second try for the seat in 1874. Warren, however, went down to defeat in a reelection run in 1876. He returned to private life and his law practice, and died in Boston in 1880.


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JOHN M. S. WILLIAMS
1873-1874

Williams was born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1818, and moved to Boston and attended public schools. He was a ship owner and engaged in mercantile pursuits.

Williams served in both houses of the Massachusetts legislature in the 1850s. He won a seat in Congress in 1872 as a Republican, easily defeating his opponent, William W. Warren. Warren, however, defeated Williams in his bid for reelection in 1874. Williams returned to private life in Massachusetts, and resumed his former business ventures.

He died in Cambridge in 1886.


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DANIEL W. GOOCH
1858-1864, 1873-1874

Gooch was born in Wells, Maine, in 1820. He attended Phillips Andover Academy and Dartmouth College, where he earned a law degree. He was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Boston in 1846.

After being elected to the Massachusetts House and the state Constitutional Convention in the 1850s, he was elected to fill a vacancy to a congressional seat in 1858. He was elected to a full term the same year as a Republican, and served until 1865. In 1865, he resigned at the end of his fourth full term to manage the port of Boston, but was removed from the position by President Andrew Johnson in 1866.

In 1872, Gooch returned to the political fray and was elected to Congress over incumbent Nathaniel P. Banks. He was unsuccessful in a reelection attempt in 1874, and became a pension agent in Boston and resumed his law practice. He died in Melrose, Massachusetts, in 1891.


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SAMUEL HOOPER
1861-1874

Hooper was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts, in 1808, and attended common schools in the area. He worked for an importing agency and traveled the world on business trips. After 1832, he took up residence in Boston, and held jobs in the importing and iron working industries.

Hooper served in both houses of the Massachusetts General Court from 1851 until 1861, when he was elected to Congress to fill the vacancy caused by Rep. William Appleton's resignation. He won reelection to a full term in 1862 as a Republican, and was easily reelected in successive elections until his death in 1875.

A powerful presence in Congress, Hooper served as chair of the Ways and Means Committee, the Committee on Banking and Currency and the Committee on Coinage, Weights and Measures at different times during his tenure. He declined to seek reelection in 1874 because of failing health, and died in Washington at the end of his sixth full term.


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WILLIAM APPLETON
1851-1854, 1860

Appleton, a cousin of Rep. Nathan Appleton, was born in 1786 in New Ipswich, New Hampshire. He attended schools in New Hampshire and Massachusetts and worked in several country stores. He moved to Boston in 1807 and was involved in mercantile pursuits. Appleton served as president of the Boston branch of the United States Bank from 1832 to 1836.

As a Whig, Appleton was elected to Congress by a wide margin in 1850, and was reelected in 1852. He lost bids for the seat in 1854 and 1858, but squeaked back into office as a Republican in 1860, defeating incumbent representative Anson Burlingame. He resigned in 1861 because of failing health, and died in Brookline in 1862.


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ANSON BURLINGAME
1855-1860

Burlingame was born in New Berlin, New York in 1820, and moved to Ohio and then Michigan as a youth. He attended private schools in Detroit, and graduated from Harvard in 1846 with a law degree. He was admitted to the bar and began a practice in Boston.

Burlingame served in the Massachusetts Senate in 1852, and was elected to the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention in 1853. He won a seat in congress on the American Party ticket in 1854, and squeaked by to a reelection victory by 69 votes in 1856. He switched to the newly-formed Republican Party to seek reelection in 1858, and won another close race. Burlingame was defeated in his bid for reelection in 1860.

President Lincoln appointed Burlingame as minister to Austria in 1861, but the Austrian government rejected his appointment because of his views toward Hungary and Sardinia. However, he won appointment as minister to China in 1861, and served until 1867. In 1867, the Chinese government named Burlingame its ambassador to negotiate treaties with foreign powers. He died in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1870, and was buried in Cambridge.


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BENJAMIN THOMPSON
1845-1846, 1849-1852

Born in Charlestown in 1798, Thompson attended public schools in the region. He engaged in mercantile pursuits, and served in the Massachusetts House in the 1830s and the Senate in 1841.

Thompson was elected as a Whig to Congress in 1844, defeating Rep. William Parmenter, a Democrat, by a comfortable margin. He did not seek reelection in 1846, but ran again for the seat in 1848 and won. He was reelected by less than 100 votes in 1850, but won nonetheless.

He died in Charlestown in 1852, toward the end of his third term. He was buried in the Congressional Cemetery in Washington.


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ROBERT C. WINTHROP
1840-1850

Winthrop was born in Boston in 1809, and graduated from Harvard College in 1828. He studied law under Daniel Webster, and was admitted to the bar in 1831. Winthrop set up a law practice in Boston, and became involved in state politics.

He served in the Massachusetts House from 1835-1840, and was speaker in 1838. He ran as a Whig for Congress when Rep. Abbott Lawrence resigned. He won the election, and relinquished his post on Beacon Hill. Winthrop coasted to easy reelection victories in the proceeding years, and served as speaker of the House of Representatives during the Thirtieth Congress. He resigned from the House in 1850 when he won appointment to the Senate, filling the vacancy of Sen. Daniel Webster. His stint in the Senate was brief, as he failed to gain reelection in 1851. He unsuccessfully ran for governor of the Commonwealth that year, and was a presidential elector for the Whig Party in 1852.

Winthrop became an active philanthropist in Boston, where he died in 1894.


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JOHN G. PALFREY
1847-1848

Palfrey was born in Boston in 1796, and attended Phillips Exeter Academy and Harvard College. He studied theology at Harvard, and was ordained a minister of the Brattle Street Unitarian Church in 1818.

Palfrey held positions in the newspaper business, and was editor of the North American Review from 1835 until 1843. After two years in the Massachusetts legislature, he was elected to two terms as secretary of state in the 1840s. As a Whig, Palfrey captured the Middlesex County-based Fourth District in 1846, and served out his term. He ran for reelection on the Free Soil Party line, but lost, and returned to literary pursuits in Boston. Palfrey also served as postmaster of Boston for six years in the 1860s. He died in Cambridge in 1881.


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WILLIAM PARMENTER
1837-1844

Parmenter, born in Boston in 1789, attended local public schools. He served in both houses of the Massachusetts General Court in the 1830s, and was a selectman in Cambridge. Parmenter also managed the New England Crown Glass Company during this period, and was on the board of directors of the Middlesex Bank.

He won a seat in Congress as a Democrat in 1836 by defeating the incumbent, Rep. Samuel Hoar, by a thousand votes. He was reelected four times, and chaired the Committee on Naval Affairs. Parmenter was defeated for reelection in 1844 by Benjamin Thompson, a Whig. He returned to Massachusetts, and was a naval officer at the port of Boston from 1845 until 1849. He died in Cambridge in 1866.


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SAMUEL HOAR
1835-1836

Hoar was born in Lincoln, Massachusetts, in 1778. He pursued the classics at Harvard and graduated from that institution in 1802. After studying law, Hoar was admitted to the bar in 1805. He began a legal practice in Concord, Massachusetts.

After being a member of the state Constitutional Convention and a state senator for several terms, Hoar was elected as a Whig to Congress in 1834. He served one term, but was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1836. He returned to his law practice in Concord.

Hoar did not leave the public eye for good, though, and made a then-controversial visit to South Carolina in 1844 to talk with leaders there about slavery. The South Carolina legislature expelled him from the state upon his arrival, and Hoar returned to Massachusetts determined to undermine slavery's constitutionality. After serving in the state House of Representatives in 1850, Hoar chaired a political convention in 1855 that formed the Massachusetts Republican Party. He died in Concord in 1856.


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ABBOTT LAWRENCE
1835-1836, 1839-1840

Lawrence was born in Groton, Massachusetts, in 1792. He attended Groton academy, and moved to Boston to pursue a career as a merchant and an importer. He was a member of the Boston Common Council in 1831.

He was elected to Congress as a Whig by a wide margin in 1834, but did not seek reelection in 1836. He ran again in 1839 when Rep. Richard Fletcher left office, but resigned in 1840 before his term had expired. However, Lawrence remained active in politics, and was appointed a commissioner to settle the northern boundary dispute with Canada in 1842. He was a delegate to the Whig Party's national convention in 1844, and was appointed by President Taylor to be United States Minister to Great Britain in 1849.

Lawrence retired from that post in 1852 to resume his business pursuits in Boston. In 1853, he founded the Lawrence Scientific School at Harvard University. He died in Boston in 1855.


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RICHARD FLETCHER
1837-1838

Fletcher was born in Cavendish, Vermont, in 1788, and pursued classical studies at Dartmouth College. Following graduation, Fletcher taught school in New Hampshire and was admitted to the bar after completing courses in law. In 1809, Fletcher set up a law practice in Salisbury, New Hampshire. He moved his firm to Boston in 1819.

A staunch Whig, Fletcher gained the nomination of his party in 1836 to represent Boston's First District in Washington. He easily defeated his Democratic opponent, and was soundly reelected in 1838. He resigned during his second term, however, to return to private life. Fletcher also served as a justice of the Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts from 1848 to 1853. He died in Boston in 1869.


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BENJAMIN GORHAM
1827-1830, 1833-1834

Gorham was born in Charlestown in 1775 and pursued a degree at Harvard College, where he graduated in 1795. He studied law, was admitted to the bar and started a practice in Boston. Gorham served in the Massachusetts General Court as a representative and senator in the early 1800s.

A National Republican, Gorham was elected as a United States representative twice, but each time chose not to seek reelection. Instead, in both cases, he opted to return to state politics on Beacon Hill. Gorham easily disposed of his opponents in his two congressional campaigns, a testament to the region's strong identification with the National Republican Party at the time. After retiring altogether from politics in 1843, he resumed his Boston law practice. Gorham died in Boston in 1855.


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EDWARD EVERETT
1823-1834

Everett was born in Dorchester in 1794, and graduated from Harvard College in 1811. He remained at Harvard as a tutor and to study theology, and he was an ordained pastor of the Brattle Street Unitarian Church in 1814. Everett also served as a professor of Greek literature and an overseer of the university for several years.

He was elected to the House in 1822 from a district in Middlesex County. Everett was handily reelected five times to the seat as a National Republican. He held the position of chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee before stepping down from Congress in 1835. He instead returned to state politics and ran for governor in 1835, winning that race and gaining reelection two years later.

After leaving Beacon Hill, Everett briefly was an envoy to Great Britain before being named president of Harvard. He served in that capacity from 1846 to 1849. President Millard Fillmore appointed him to the post of secretary of state, and after the administration Everett went to Washington as a Whig senator from the Bay State.

Everett's later political life held more disappointment, however. He pursued another term in the senate, and was not elected. Additionally, he made a long-shot bid for the vice presidency in 1860 that proved unsuccessful. He died in Boston in 1865.


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NATHAN APPLETON
1831-1832

Appleton was born in New Ipswich, New Hampshire, in 1779, and attended common schools in the region. He graduated from Dartmouth College, and joined his brother in Boston as a clerk in an importing house after college. A member of local industry groups, Appleton helped attract cotton mills to nearby Waltham, and was also a co-founder of Lowell, Massachusetts.

He served in the Massachusetts House until he won election as a National Republican to Congress in 1830. However, he did not seek reelection in 1832, and instead returned to private life. For a few months in 1842 Appleton filled a vacancy in Congress caused by Robert C. Winthrop's resignation, but again decided to engage in mercantile pursuits instead of seeking reelection. He died in Boston in 1861.


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DANIEL WEBSTER
1823-1826

Webster was born in Salisbury, New Hampshire, in 1782 and attended Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter. After graduating from Dartmouth College in 1801, he pursued a law degree and was admitted to the bar in 1805. He practiced law in New Hampshire for several years, and was active in politics in the Granite State.

Webster served as a representative to Congress from both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. He was a Federalist, and served two terms as a representative from New Hampshire. But after voters there kicked him out of office, he moved his law practice to Boston, where he would achieve national recognition while representing Dartmouth College before the Supreme Court. In 1822, now a local hero, Webster was elected to Congress from the Boston-based First District to the first of three terms.

He resigned the office following his reelection in 1826, as he was appointed to the United States Senate. Although Webster ran as a Federalist in New Hampshire, he was on the National Republican ticket as an office-holder in Massachusetts, and subsequently became a Whig while in the Senate. He ran unsuccessfully for president in 1836, but served as Secretary of State under presidents William Henry Harrison, John Tyler and Millard Fillmore.

Webster gained the national spotlight several times as an avid opponent of slavery in the Senate. He proposed excluding slavery from the territories in 1850, and also spoke out against the principles of Nullification in 1830. By doing so, he gained the ire of many Southerners in Congress. He died in Marshfield, Massachusetts, in 1852.


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Sources

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-1989. United States Congress Printing. 1998.

Congressional Quarterly Guide to U.S. Elections. Congressional Quarterly, Inc. 1976.

 

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