John R. French
Born in Gilmanton, New Hampshire, French received an academic education in Gilmanton and Concord, New Hampshire. He learned the printer’s trade, and worked as publisher and associate editor of the New Hampshire Statesman at Concord for five years. He also worked as editor of the Eastern Journal at Biddeford, Maine for two years. He moved to Lake County, Ohio in 1854, where he worked as editor of the Telegraph, the Press, and, in 1856, of the Cleveland Morning Leader.
In 1858 and 1859, French served as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives. In 1861, he was appointed by Secretary Salmon P. Chase to a position in the Treasury Department, Washington, D.C.. In 1864, he was appointed by President Abraham Lincoln a member of the board of direct-tax commissioners for the State of North Carolina, and settled in Edenton, North Carolina at the close of the Civil War. In 1867, he served as a Delegate to the State constitutional convention.
Upon the readmission of the State of North Carolina to representation following the Civil War, French was elected as a Republican to the Fortieth Congress and served from July 6, 1868 to March 3, 1869. He was not a candidate for renomination in 1868, but was elected Sergeant at Arms of the United States Senate on March 22, 1869 and served in that capacity until March 24, 1879. He was appointed secretary of the Ute Commission in July 1880, whereupon he returned to Washington, D.C..
|United States House of Representatives|
William Nathan Harrell Smith
(before Civil War hiatus)
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 5th congressional district
1868 - 1869
Clinton L. Cobb
George T. Brown
|Sergeant at Arms of the United States Senate
1869 - 1879
Richard J. Bright