Augustus C. Dodge
|United States Ambassador to Spain|
June 17, 1855 – March 12, 1859
|Preceded by||Pierre Soulé|
|Succeeded by||William Preston|
|United States Senator|
December 7, 1848 – February 22, 1855
|Preceded by||Seat established|
|Succeeded by||James Harlan|
|Delegate to the|
U.S. House of Representatives
from the Iowa Territory's
October 28, 1840 – December 28, 1846
|Preceded by||Francis Gehon (Delegate-elect)|
|Succeeded by||Serranus Hastings (Representative)|
Augustus Caesar Dodge
January 2, 1812
Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, U.S.
|Died||November 20, 1883 (aged 71)|
Burlington, Iowa, U.S.
|Resting place||Aspen Grove Cemetery|
Burlington, Iowa, U.S.
|Branch/service||United States Army|
|Battles/wars||Black Hawk War|
Augustus Caesar Dodge (January 2, 1812 – November 20, 1883) was a Democratic delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives from Iowa Territory, a U.S. minister to Spain, and one of the first set of United States Senators to represent Iowa after it was admitted to the Union as a state. His father, Henry Dodge, served as a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin; the two were the first and so far the only father-son pair to serve concurrently in the Senate, which they did from 1848 to 1855.
Augustus Dodge 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, 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. 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. 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. 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).
On December 14, 1853, Dodge introduced a bill to organize the new territory of Nebraska. Under the leadership of Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas, that bill eventually became the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which Dodge supported forcefully.
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. 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.
Life after the Senate
In 1868, Dodge supported the candidacy of George H. Pendleton for the Democratic presidential nomination. During that same election year, Dodge himself had been mentioned for the vice-presidency. "His nomination", said The Democratic Watchman (Bellfontaine, Pennsylvania) "would probably give satisfaction to as many Democrats as that of any other western man." Looking toward the 1872 presidential election, Dodge recommended Thomas A. Hendricks as a "worthy, able and excellent man." He believed that there was strong support throughout the Midwest for the Indianan, although he doubted that Hendricks would run well in the East.
Dodge County, Nebraska and Dodge Street in Omaha, Nebraska were named after Augustus Dodge. His home in Burlington, Iowa is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Augustus Caesar Dodge House.
- Statute III, March 3, 1839, ch. XCII, Section 2.
- Clark, Dan Elbert (1913). History of Senatorial Elections in Iowa. Iowa. pp. 17–46, 72–79.
- "SEYMOUR AND BLAIR.; The Nominations Formally Tendered the Democratic Candidates—Their Addresses—Speeches by Samuel J. Tilden, Gen, Geo, W.Morgan, Gen.Greene Clay Smith, Gen. A.C. Dodge, and Others" (PDF). The New York Times. 1868-07-11. p. 8. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
- Augustus Caesar Dodge: A Study in American Politics – Google Books. State University of Iowa. 1909. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
- "U.S. Senate: Thomas A. Hendricks, 21st Vice President (1885)". Archived from the original on 2017-08-01. Retrieved 2018-02-16.
- "DODGE, Augustus Caesar". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2022-06-07.
- "The Political Graveyard: Dodge family of Missouri and Iowa". politicalgraveyard.com. Archived from the original on 2008-12-03.
- "Dodge County". Nebraska Association of County Officials. Archived from the original on 7 February 2012. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- "Street Names 4". Douglas County Historical Society. Archived from the original on 21 October 2007. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- M.H. Bowers. "Augustus Caesar Dodge House" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2015-12-07.
- Digitized Augustus C. Dodge and George W. Jones letters, MSS 4046 at L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University
- Transcription of above letters
- United States Congress. "Augustus C. Dodge (id: D000394)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- Augustus C. Dodge at Find a Grave