Charles Miner

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For the character on the US TV series The Office, see Charles Miner.

Charles Miner (February 1, 1780 – October 26, 1865) was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.

Charles Miner was born in Norwich, Connecticut son of Seth Miner and Anna Charleton. He attended the public schools of Norwich and moved with his brother Asher Miner in 1797 to his father’s lands in the Wyoming Valley, and to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, in 1802. He became the publisher of the Luzerne County Federalist.

Miner was elected as a Federalist to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and served in 1807 and 1808. He moved to West Chester, Pennsylvania, in 1816. He was elected as an Adams candidate to the Nineteenth and Twentieth Congresses. He was not a candidate for renomination in 1828. He was editor and publisher of the Village Record from 1829 to 1832. He returned to Wilkes-Barre in 1834 and became involved in the mining of the large fields of anthracite coal in the Wyoming Valley. He died in Wilkes-Barre in 1865. Interment in Hollenback Cemetery in Wilkes-Barre.

Miner's essay "Who'll turn Grindstone?" published in The Centinel 1810 coined the phrase "an axe to grind" as a metaphor for having ulterior personal motives. "When I see a man holding a fat office, sounding 'the horn on the borders' to call the people to support the man on whom he depends for his office. Well, thinks I, no wonder the man is zealous in the cause, he evidently has an axe to grind."


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United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
James S. Mitchell
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 4th congressional district

1825–1827 alongside:James Buchanan and

Samuel Edwards
1827–1829 alongside:James Buchanan and Samuel Anderson

Succeeded by
James Buchanan
Joshua Evans, Jr.
George G. Leiper