Augustus C. Dodge

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Augustus Caesar Dodge
Augustus Caesar Dodge.jpg
United States Senator
from Iowa
In office
December 7, 1848 – February 22, 1855
Preceded by (none)
Succeeded by James Harlan
Personal details
Born (1812-01-02)January 2, 1812
Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, USA
Died November 20, 1883(1883-11-20) (aged 71)
Burlington, Iowa, USA
Political party Democratic
Profession Politician
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Battles/wars Black Hawk War

Augustus Caesar Dodge (January 2, 1812 – November 20, 1883) was one of the first set of United States Senators to represent the state of Iowa after it was admitted to the Union as a state in 1846. Dodge, a Democrat, had also represented Iowa Territory in Congress as its delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives from 1840 to 1846.

He was born in what is now Ste. Genevieve, Missouri (then in Louisiana Territory). Self-educated, he moved to Illinois in 1827, settled in Galena, and was employed there in various capacities in his father's lead mines. He served in the Black Hawk War and other Indian wars. In 1837, he moved to what is now Burlington, Iowa (then in Wisconsin Territory), where he served as register of the land office until 1840.

Congress created Iowa Territory in 1838, from what was formerly the Iowa District of Wisconsin Territory. As a result of the Act of March 3, 1839,[1] the position of Iowa Territory's Delegate to the U.S. House would become vacant on October 27, 1840, and Dodge was elected to fill it. After initially serving in the Twenty-sixth United States Congress, he was re-elected in 1840 (to the Twenty-seventh Congress), 1842 (to the Twenty-eighth Congress), and 1844 (to the Twenty-ninth Congress). He served as delegate until Iowa became a state in December 1846, and his role was replaced by two voting Representatives.

For its first two years, the Iowa General Assembly failed to choose Iowa's first U.S. Senators, due to a three-way split that prevented any candidate from earning the required number of 30 legislators' votes.[2] However, after the 1848 elections gave the Democratic Party a greater share of Iowa legislators, Dodge (and George W. Jones) were elected as Iowa's first two U.S. Senators.[2] By drawing lots, Dodge received the seat with the shorter term (to expire in 1849), but was re-elected that year to a full six-year term.[2] While in the Senate, he served as chairman of the Committee to Audit and Control the Contingent Expenses (in the Thirty-first and Thirty-second Congresses), the Committee on Pensions (in the Thirty-first Congress), the Committee on Revolutionary Claims (in the Thirty-second Congress), and the Committee on Public Lands (in the Thirty-third Congress).

In 1854, as Dodge's second term was near its end, the Iowa General Assembly chose Free Soil Party member (and future Republican) James Harlan, rather than Dodge.[2] Dodge was the preferred choice of Democratic legislators, whose ranks had declined. But in a failed effort to defeat Harlan by uniting Democrats and nationalist Whigs behind a single candidate, Dodge dropped out after the fourth ballot.[2]

Dodge served in the Senate from until February 22, 1855, when President Franklin Pierce appointed him to the post of minister to Spain. He served as the minister until 1859.

Dodge unsuccessfully ran for Governor of Iowa in 1859, losing to Republican Samuel J. Kirkwood. In 1868, Dodge supported the candidacy of George H. Pendleton for the Democratic presidential nomination.[3] He served as mayor of Burlington, Iowa from 1874 to 1875.

He died in Burlington on November 20, 1883, and was interred in Aspen Grove Cemetery.

His father, Henry Dodge, served as a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin. They are the first, and so far only father-son pair to serve concurrently in the U.S. Senate. He was also the nephew of Lewis F. Linn. His brother-in-law James Clarke served as the third and last Governor of Iowa Territory.[4]

Legacy[edit]

Dodge County, Nebraska and Dodge Street in Omaha, Nebraska were named after Augustus Dodge.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
William W. Chapman
Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa Territory

October 28, 1840 – December 28, 1846
Succeeded by
(none)
United States Senate
Preceded by
(none)
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Iowa
December 7, 1848 – February 22, 1855
Served alongside: George W. Jones
Succeeded by
James Harlan
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Pierre Soulé
United States Ambassador to Spain
February 9, 1855 – March 12, 1859
Succeeded by
William Preston