Benjamin Franklin Whittemore

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Benjamin Franklin Whittemore
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 1st district
In office
July 18, 1868 – February 24, 1870
Preceded by John McQueen (1860)
Succeeded by Joseph H. Rainey
Member of the South Carolina Senate from Darlington County
In office
November 22, 1870 – June 9, 1877
Preceded by John Lunney
Succeeded by William Caleb Coker
Personal details
Born (1824-05-18)May 18, 1824
Malden, Massachusetts
Died January 25, 1894(1894-01-25) (aged 69)
Montvale, Massachusetts
Resting place Woburn, Massachusetts
Political party Republican
Alma mater Amherst College
Profession minister, politician, publisher
Military service
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch Union Army
Years of service 1861–1865
Rank ChristChaplainBC.gif Chaplain

Benjamin Franklin Whittemore (May 18, 1824 – January 25, 1894) was a U.S. Representative from South Carolina.


Born in Malden, Massachusetts, Whittemore attended the public schools of Worcester, and received an academic education at Amherst College.

He engaged in mercantile pursuits until 1859. After studying theology, he became a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church of the New England Conference in 1859.


During the Civil War, Whittemore served as chaplain of the Fifty-third Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers, and later with the Thirtieth Regiment, Veteran Volunteers. After the war was over, he settled in Darlington, South Carolina. He served as delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1867 and was elected president of the Republican State executive board in 1867.

He founded the New Era in Darlington. He was elected to the State senate in 1868, but resigned before the session to take a seat in Congress. He served as delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1868. Upon the readmission of South Carolina to the Union, Whittemore was elected as a Republican to the Fortieth and Forty-first Congresses and served from July 18, 1868, to February 24, 1870. He resigned, pending the investigation of his conduct in connection with certain appointments to the United States Military and Naval academies. He was censured by the House of Representatives on February 24, 1870, following his resignation.

He presented credentials of a second election to the same Congress on June 18, 1870, but the House declined to allow him to take his seat.

During increasing violence by Red Shirts, paramilitary insurgents who worked to suppress black voting, in 1870 Whittemore was elected to the State senate. He served until 1877, when he resigned. Democrats had regained power in the state legislature and began to pass laws to restrict voter registration and reduce the civil rights of freedmen.

Whittemore returned to Massachusetts, settling in Woburn where he became a publisher.

He died in Montvale, Massachusetts, on January 25, 1894. He was interred in the Salem Street Cemetery, Woburn.

See also[edit]


Shepard, Christopher. "The Carpetbagging Congressman: The Corruption Case of Benjamin Whittemore." Carologue. 32 no. 2 (Fall 2016): 18-23.

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
John McQueen (1860)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
Joseph H. Rainey