About this Famous Person
8th United States Secretary of the Interior
Source : Tim DOWLING
James Harlan was born in Clark County, Illinois. He was raised in Indiana and graduated from Indiana Asbury University (now DePauw University) in 1845.
He moved to Iowa City, Iowa, where he served as Superintendent of Schools. He also studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1850. Active in politics, in 1850 he declined the Whig nomination for Governor of Iowa. From 1853 to 1855 Harlan was president of Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa.
Harlan was elected to the United States Senate as a Free Soil Party candidate in 1855. In 1857 the Senate declared the seat vacant because of irregularities in the legislative election that Harlan won. He was then reelected as a Republican and served until 1865. In 1861 Harlan was a Delegate to the Peace Conference that unsuccessfully attempted to arrange a compromise that would head off the hostilities that commenced the American Civil War.
- Category American politician