Solomon L. Hoge

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Solomon Lafayette Hoge
Solomon L. Hoge - Brady-Handy.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 3rd district
In office
March 4, 1875 – March 3, 1877
Preceded by Robert B. Elliott
Succeeded by D. Wyatt Aiken
In office
April 8, 1869 – March 3, 1871
Preceded by Manuel S. Corley
Succeeded by Robert B. Elliott
18th Comptroller General of South Carolina
In office
December 7, 1872 – December 1, 1874
Governor Franklin J. Moses, Jr.
Preceded by John L. Neagle
Succeeded by Thomas C. Dunn
Associate Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court
In office
Preceded by None (Supreme Court reformed in 1868)
Succeeded by Jonathan Jasper Wright
Personal details
Born (1836-07-11)July 11, 1836
Pickrelltown, Ohio
Died February 23, 1909(1909-02-23) (aged 72)
Battle Creek, Michigan
Resting place Kenton, Ohio
Political party Republican
Alma mater Geneva College
Cincinnati Law School
Profession lawyer, politician, banker
Military service
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch Union Army
Years of service 1861–1865
Rank Union army cpt rank insignia.jpg Captain
Battles/wars American Civil War

Solomon Lafayette Hoge (July 11, 1836 – February 23, 1909) was a lawyer, soldier, judge and politician in Ohio and South Carolina.

Hoge was born in Pickrelltown, Ohio, and he received his early childhood education at the public schools in the nearby city of Bellefontaine. Afterwards, he received a classical education at Geneva College in Northwood and he graduated from Cincinnati Law School in 1859. Hoge was admitted to the bar the same year and commenced the practice of law in Bellefontaine. Upon the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, Hoge enrolled in the Union Army as a First Lieutenant in the Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He was promoted to captain and became the commander of a Federal company of infantry.

After the war, Hoge settled in Columbia, South Carolina, and despite possessing little legal experience was elected in 1868 as an associate justice to the South Carolina Supreme Court. While on the bench, Hoge never wrote a single opinion and "I concur" was the extent of his legal analysis. He was aware of his incapacity as a judge and he only served eighteen months on the bench before moving on to the House of Representatives.

Hoge won a seat as a Republican to represent the 3rd congressional district after he successfully challenged the election of Democrat J.P. Reed to the Forty-first Congress. Since the Republicans controlled Congress, the two Democrats elected from South Carolina were unseated and Hoge filled the seat on April 8, 1869 and served the remainder of the term until March 3, 1871. Running on the Republican ticket with Franklin J. Moses, Jr. for governor in 1872, Hoge won the race for comptroller general against the Independent Republican candidate J. Scott Murray of Anderson. In 1874, Hoge waged another run for Congress to represent the 3rd district and he defeated Samuel McGowan, a Conservative Party candidate, to win the seat.

In 1870, Hoge appointed James Webster Smith, a former slave, to the United States Military Academy marking the first time an African-American had been admitted.[1] Six years later, in 1876 Hoge appointed Johnson Chesnut Whittaker, another African-American, to the United States Military Academy.[2]

Upon the completion of Hoge's term in 1877, South Carolina Republicans were in a state of disarray following Wade Hampton's victory in the 1876 gubernatorial election. Most white carpetbaggers left the state and Hoge was no different. He moved to Kenton, Ohio and practiced law there until 1882 when he became president of the First National Bank of Kenton. Hoge died in Battle Creek, Michigan, and was interned at Grove Cemetery in Kenton.


United States Congress. "HOGE, Solomon Lafayette (id: H000698)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.  at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress

  • Reynolds, John S. (1969). Reconstruction in South Carolina. Negro University Press. pp. 104, 112–113. ISBN 0-8371-1638-4. 
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Manuel S. Corley
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Robert B. Elliott
Preceded by
Lewis C. Carpenter
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
D. Wyatt Aiken