James Meacham

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James Meacham
James Meacham.jpg
Member of the
United States House of Representatives
from Vermont's 3rd district
In office
December 3, 1849 – August 23, 1856
Preceded by George Perkins Marsh
Succeeded by Alvah Sabin
Personal details
Born (1810-08-16)August 16, 1810
Rutland (town), Vermont, US
Died August 23, 1856(1856-08-23) (aged 46)
Rutland, Vermont, US
Political party Whig Party and Opposition Party
Spouse(s) Caroline Button Meacham and Mary Gifford Meacham
Children Elias B. Meacham, Emma P. Meacham and William M. Davis
Alma mater Middlebury College and Andover Theological Seminary
Profession Politician, Minister, Professor
Religion Congregationalist

James Meacham (August 16, 1810 – August 23, 1856) was an American politician, minister and professor. He served as a U.S. Representative from Vermont.

Early life[edit]

Meacham was born in Rutland, Vermont to Lewis and Naomi Eayres Meacham. He graduated from Middlebury College in 1832 and taught in the seminary at Castleton, Vermont, from 1832 until 1833.[1] In addition, he attended the local academy at St. Albans, Vermont, and taught at St. Albans Academy from 1833 until 1834.[2] He was a tutor at Middlebury College from 1836 until 1838.[3]

From 1834 until 1836 he attended Andover Theological Seminary where he studied for the ministry. He was ordained as a Congregational minister in 1838,[4] assuming his duties as pastor in New Haven, Vermont, where he served as minister from 1839 to 1846.[5] He was also a tutor and professor of Rhetoric and English Literature at Middlebury College from 1846 to 1850.[6]

Political career[edit]

Meacham was elected as a Whig candidate to the 31st United States Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of George P. Marsh. Meacham was reelected as a Whig candidate to the 32nd and 33rd congresses, and then elected as an Opposition Party candidate to the 34th United States Congress. He served in Congress from December 3, 1849, until his death on August 23, 1856.[7][8] He served as chairman for the Committee on the District of Columbia in the 34th Congress.

He was a trustee at Middlebury College from 1855 until 1856,[9] and was a regent at the Smithsonian Institution from 1852 until 1856.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Meacham married Caroline Button on May 17, 1842. They had one child together, Elias B. Meacham. Following Caroline's death, Meacham married Mary Gifford on February 20, 1845. Meacham and Mary had two children together, Emma P. Meacham and William M. Davis.[11]

Death and legacy[edit]

He died in Rutland, Vermont and is interred in West Cemetery in Middlebury, Vermont.[12] A cenotaph in his memory is located at the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC.[13]


  1. ^ Lanman, Charles (1876). Biographical annals of the civil government of the United States: during its first century. From original and official sources. J. Anglim. p. 289. 
  2. ^ Middlebury College (1917). Catalogue of officers and students of Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont: and of others who have received degrees, 1800-1915. Middlebury College. p. 99. 
  3. ^ Middlebury College (1890). Catalogue of the officers and alumni of Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont: and all others who have received degrees, 1800 to 1889. The Register Co. p. 71. 
  4. ^ Vermont Historical Society (1918). Vermont History. Vermont Historical Society. p. 124. 
  5. ^ "MEACHAM, James, (1810 - 1856)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  6. ^ Middlebury College (1853). Catalogue of the graduates of Middlebury College: embracing a biographical register and directory. The Vermont Chronicle Press. p. 90. 
  7. ^ "Rep. James Meacham". Govtrack.us. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  8. ^ Poore, Benjamin Perley (1878). The political register and congressional directory: a statistical record of the federal officials, legislative, executive, and judicial, of the United States of America, 1776-1878. Houghton, Osgood. p. 530. 
  9. ^ Middlebury College (1890). Catalogue of the officers and alumni of Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont: and all others who have received degrees, 1800 to 1889. The Register Co. p. 71. 
  10. ^ "Meacham, James (8/16/1810-8/23/1856)". Smithsonian Institution Archives. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Re: James Meacham In Congress in 1849 Whig". Ancestry.com. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Meacham, James (1810-1856)". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  13. ^ "James Meacham". Find A Grave. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 

External links[edit]