About this Famous Person
James G. BLAINE
American politician, 28th and 31st United States Secretary of State
Source : Tim DOWLING
James G. Blaine was born in West Brownsville, Pennsylvania, the third child of Ephraim Lyon Blaine and his wife Maria Gillespie Blaine. Blaine's father was a western Pennsylvania businessman and landowner, and the family lived in relative comfort. On his father's side, Blaine was descended from Scotch-Irish settlers who first emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1745. His great-grandfather, Ephraim Blaine, served as a Commissary-General under George Washington in the American Revolutionary War. Blaine's mother and her forebears were Irish Catholics who emigrated to Pennsylvania in the 1780s. Blaine's parents were married in 1820 in a Roman Catholic ceremony, although Blaine's father remained a Presbyterian. Following a common compromise of the era, the Blaines agreed that their daughters would be raised in their mother's Catholic faith while their sons would be brought up in their father's religion. In politics, Blaine's father supported the Whig party.
Blaine's biographers describe his childhood as "harmonious," and note that the boy took an early interest in history and literature. At the age of thirteen, Blaine enrolled in his father's alma mater, Washington College (now Washington & Jefferson College), in nearby Washington, Pennsylvania. There, he was a member of the Washington Literary Society, one of the college's debating societies. Blaine succeeded academically, graduating near the top of his class and delivering the salutatory address in June 1847. After graduation, Blaine considered attending law school at Yale Law School, but ultimately decided against it, instead moving west to find a job.
- Category American politician