James W. Nye

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James W. Nye
James W. Nye - Brady-Handy.jpg
United States Senator
from Nevada
In office
February 1, 1865 – March 3, 1873
Preceded byNone
Succeeded byJohn P. Jones
Governor of Nevada Territory
In office
March 2, 1861 – December 5, 1864
Preceded byIsaac Roop
as provisional governor
Succeeded byHenry G. Blasdel
as state governor
Personal details
Born(1815-06-10)June 10, 1815
DeRuyter (town), New York, US
DiedDecember 25, 1876(1876-12-25) (aged 61)
White Plains, New York, US
Resting placeWoodlawn Cemetery
The Bronx, New York City, New York, US
Political partyRepublican
Free Soil (1840s)

James Warren Nye (June 10, 1815 – December 25, 1876) was a United States Senator from Nevada.


He was born in DeRuyter, New York, he attended the common schools and Homer Academy in Homer, New York; he studied law in Troy, New York, was admitted to the bar, and practiced in Madison County.

Nye was district attorney in 1839 and served as judge of Madison County from 1840 to 1848. He was an unsuccessful Free-Soiler candidate for election to the Thirtieth Congress in 1846, and was first president of New York City's Metropolitan Board of Police, holding that position from 1857 to 1860.

In 1861, James Nye was appointed by President Abraham Lincoln as governor of the newly created Nevada Territory; upon the admission of Nevada as a state into the Union in 1864, he was elected as a Republican to the U.S. Senate; he was reelected in 1867 and served from February 1, 1865 to March 3, 1873. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection. While in the Senate, Nye was chairman of the Committee on Enrolled Bills (Thirty-ninth Congress) and a member of the Committees on Revolutionary Claims (Fortieth Congress) and Territories (Forty-first Congress).

Mark Twain was briefly Senator Nye's secretary. In Sketches Old and New he gives an account of their parting, which occurred after Twain supposedly wrote ridiculous letters to constituents, following the Senator's orders not to address controversial issues.

He died in White Plains, New York, in 1876 and was interred in Woodlawn Cemetery, New York City.

Nye County, Nevada, the largest county in Nevada, third largest after San Bernardino County, California and Coconino County, Arizona in the 48 contiguous states, was named after Nye.


External links[edit]

Media related to James Warren Nye at Wikimedia Commons

  • United States Congress. "James W. Nye (id: N000177)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • James W. Nye at Find a Grave Retrieved on 2009-5-12
  • Welcome to Nye County, Nevada
  • Mark Twain My late senatorial secretaryship
Carl Schurz and his Senate neighbor, James Nye, in a political cartoon from Harper's Weekly
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Nevada
Served alongside: William M. Stewart
Succeeded by
John P. Jones
Political offices
Preceded by
Isaac Roop
provisional governor
Governor of Nevada Territory
Succeeded by
Henry G. Blasdel
state governor