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Blaine, James Gillespie, 1830-1893

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Definition: Blaine, James Gillespie from

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US statesman, secretary of state (1881, 1889-92). An influential Republican from Maine, he served as state legislator (1858-62), Congressman (1863-76), speaker of the house (1869-75), and US senator (1876-81). He ran for president in 1884, but lost the election to the Democrat candidate, Grover Cleveland, partly because of the defection of reform Republicans.

Summary Article: Blaine, James Gillespie from The Columbia Encyclopedia
Blaine, James Gillespie, 1830-93, American politician, b. West Brownsville, Pa. Early Career Blaine taught school and studied law before moving (1854) to Maine, where he became an influential newspaper editor. A leader in the formation of the Republican party in Maine, he was state chairman (1859-81) and was elected to three terms in the legislature. In 1863 he entered Congress, serving in the House of Representatives until 1876 and holding the speakership from 1869 to 1875. His friendship with James A. Garfield of Ohio and William B. Allison of Iowa brought him support in the West, but a slighting personal remark he made in 1866 about Roscoe Conkling won him the lifelong enmity of that leader of the "Stalwart" Republicans. Attempts at the Presidency Blaine, leader of the "Half-Breed" Republicans, who were against corrupt patronage practices, wa...    Continue Reading

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