James Brooks (politician)

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James Brooks

James Brooks (November 10, 1810 – April 30, 1873) was a U.S. Representative from New York during the latter half of the American Civil War.

He was born on November 10, 1810, in Portland, Maine. As a student, he attended public schools and then the academy at Monmouth, Maine. By the age of 16, he was teaching school, in Lewiston, Maine. He graduated from Waterville College (now Colby College) in 1831.

While studying law, Brooks also worked as an editor for the Portland Advertiser. After graduation, he worked as the Advertiser's Washington correspondent. He served as a member of the Maine House of Representatives in 1835 and lost a Congressional election in 1836. After losing, he moved to New York City and founded the New York Daily Express, where he was editor-in-chief for the rest of his life. He was a member of the New York State Assembly (New York Co., 16th D.) in 1848.

He was elected, as a Whig, to the Thirty-first and Thirty-second Congresses (March 4, 1849 - March 3, 1853). He lost a race for re-election in 1852 and resumed his editorial pursuits.

Brooks was elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-eighth Congress (March 4, 1863 – March 3, 1865). He presented credentials as a Member-elect to the Thirty-ninth Congress, after a disputed election; he served from March 4, 1865 until April 7, 1866. He was succeeded by William E. Dodge, who had contested the election and won his case.

In 1866, Brooks was elected as a Democrat to the Fortieth Congress, and to the three succeeding Congresses. He was a Member of Congress until his death in 1873.

Brooks served as member of the New York State constitutional convention in 1867. That same year, he was appointed a government director of the Union Pacific Railroad.

Brooks was censured by the House of Representatives on February 27, 1873, for attempted bribery, in connection with the Crédit Mobilier of America scandal.

He died in Washington, D.C., April 30, 1873. He was interred at Green-Wood Cemetery, in Brooklyn, New York.

State Senator Erastus Brooks (1815–1886) was his brother.

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Horace Greeley
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 6th congressional district

1849-1853
Succeeded by
John Wheeler
Preceded by
William E. Dodge
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 8th congressional district

1867-1873
Succeeded by
John D. Lawson
Preceded by
Samuel S. Cox
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 6th congressional district

1873
Succeeded by
Samuel S. Cox