Jeremiah McLain Rusk

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Jeremiah McLain Rusk
Jeremiah McLain Rusk - Brady-Handy.jpg
2nd United States Secretary of Agriculture
In office
March 6, 1889 – March 6, 1893
President Benjamin Harrison
Preceded by Norman J. Coleman
Succeeded by Julius S. Morton
15th Governor of Wisconsin
In office
January 2, 1882 – January 7, 1889
Lieutenant Sam S. Fifield (1882-1887)

George W. Ryland (1887-1889)

Preceded by William E. Smith
Succeeded by William D. Hoard
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 7th district
In office
March 4, 1873 – March 3, 1877
Preceded by District Created
Succeeded by Herman L. Humphrey
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 6th district
In office
March 4, 1871 – March 3, 1873
Preceded by Cadwallader C. Washburn
Succeeded by Philetus Sawyer
Personal details
Born (1830-06-17)June 17, 1830
Malta, Ohio, U.S.
Died November 21, 1893(1893-11-21) (aged 63)
Viroqua, Wisconsin, U.S.
Political party Republican
Profession Politician, Banker, Farmer
Military service
Service/branch Union Army
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Brevet Brigadier General
Unit 25th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment
Battles/wars American Civil War

Jeremiah McLain Rusk (June 17, 1830 – November 21, 1893) was a U.S. Representative, the 15th Governor of the U.S. state of Wisconsin from 1882 to 1889 and the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture from 1889 to 1893.

Biography[edit]

Representative Jeremiah M. Rusk

Rusk was born in Malta, Ohio.[1] He was a member of the Republican Party. He began as a planter, then turned to innkeeping and finally to banking before the American Civil War.

Rusk started his service with the Union Army during Civil War as major of the 25th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment on August 14, 1862.[2] He was promoted to lieutenant colonel on September 16, 1863.[2] He took command of the regiment on July 22, 1864 when Colonel Milton Montgomery was wounded and captured at Decatur, Georgia during the Battle of Atlanta.[2][3] He continued in command after Montgomery was exchanged because Montgomery was given command of the brigade to which the 25th Wisconsin Infantry was assigned.[2][3] Rusk was wounded at Salkehatchie River, Georgia on January 20, 1865.[2] Rusk was mustered out of the volunteers on June 7, 1865.[2] He received an appointment as brevet colonel to rank from March 13, 1865, preliminary to his appointment as a brevet brigadier general of volunteers.[2] On February 24, 1866, President Andrew Johnson nominated Rusk for appointment to the grade of brevet brigadier general of volunteers to rank from March 13, 1865, and the United States Senate confirmed the appointment on April 10, 1866.[4]

After the Civil War, he became a congressman in the United States House of Representatives.[5] He was elected to the Forty-second United States Congress as the representative of Wisconsin's 6th congressional district serving from March 4, 1871 to March 3, 1873. For the Forty-third Congress he redistricted and was elected as representative of Wisconsin's newly created 7th District. He was reelected to the Forty-fourth Congress as well serving from March 4, 1873 to March 4, 1877. While in congress, he was chairman of Committee on Invalid Pensions (Forty-third congress). After his terms in congress he ran as a Republican for Governor of Wisconsin, an election he won.[5] His most noted act during his governorship was when he sent the National Guard into Milwaukee to keep the peace during the May Day Labor Strikes of 1886. The strikers had shut down every business in the city except the North Chicago Rolling Mills in Bay View. The guardsmen's orders were that, if the strikers were to enter the Mills, they should shoot to kill. But when the captain received the order it had a different meaning: he ordered his men to pick out a man and shoot to kill when the order was given. This led to the Bay View Tragedy, in which a number of workers were killed; Governor Rusk took most of the blame.

In 1889, after the end of his third term as governor, he accepted the new cabinet position of Secretary of Agriculture in the Benjamin Harrison administration.[5] He lived, died and was buried in Viroqua, Wisconsin.[6]

The house he bought and lived in while Governor of Wisconsin, now known as the Old Executive Mansion, was used by the state as the official residence of the Governor for several decades and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rusk, Jeremiah McLain (1830–1893)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. United States Congress. Retrieved 20 December 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher, Civil War High Commands. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8047-3641-3. p. 465.
  3. ^ a b Eicher, 2001, pp. 393–394.
  4. ^ Eicher, 2001, p. 756.
  5. ^ a b c Spetter, Allan. "Jeremiah M. Rusk (1889–1893): Secretary of Agriculture". American President: An Online Reference Resource. University of Virginia. Retrieved 20 December 2010. 
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ [2]

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Cadwallader C. Washburn
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 6th congressional district

March 4, 1871 – March 3, 1873
Succeeded by
Philetus Sawyer
Preceded by
District Created
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 7th congressional district

March 4, 1873 – March 3, 1877
Succeeded by
H. L. Humphrey
Political offices
Preceded by
William E. Smith
Governor of Wisconsin
1882 – 1889
Succeeded by
William D. Hoard
Preceded by
Norman J. Coleman
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture
Served under: Benjamin Harrison

March 6, 1889 – March 6, 1893
Succeeded by
Julius S. Morton