Timothy O. Howe
Timothy O. Howe
|30th United States Postmaster General|
December 20, 1881 – March 25, 1883
|President||Chester A. Arthur|
|Preceded by||Thomas L. James|
|Succeeded by||Walter Q. Gresham|
|United States Senator|
March 4, 1861 – March 3, 1879
|Preceded by||Charles Durkee|
|Succeeded by||Matthew H. Carpenter|
|Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court|
January 1, 1851 – June 1, 1853
|Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge for the 4th Circuit|
January 1, 1851 – 1855
|Preceded by||Alexander W. Stow|
|Succeeded by||William R. Gorsline|
Timothy Otis Howe
February 24, 1816
Livermore, Maine, U.S.
|Died||March 25, 1883 (aged 67)|
Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S.
|Resting place||Woodlawn Cemetery |
Green Bay, Wisconsin
|Education||Maine Wesleyan Seminary|
Timothy Otis Howe (February 24, 1816 – March 25, 1883) was a member of the United States Senate for three terms, representing the state of Wisconsin from March 4, 1861, to March 3, 1879. He also served as U.S. Postmaster General under President Chester A. Arthur from 1881 until his death in 1883. Earlier in his career, he was a Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Howe was born in Livermore, Maine (then, part of the commonwealth of Massachusetts), to Timothy Howe and Betsey Howard, attended Readfield Seminary now Kents Hill School, in Readfield, Maine, and studied law with local judges. In 1839, Howe was admitted to the Maine Bar and began practicing law in Readfield. In 1845, he was elected to the Maine House of Representatives. Shortly thereafter, Howe moved to Green Bay, Wisconsin, and opened a law office. He was an ardent Whig and ran an unsuccessful campaign for U.S. Congress in 1848.
Howe married Linda Ann Haines and together the couple had 2 children, Mary E. Howe and Frank K. Howe.
Howe was elected circuit judge in Wisconsin and served in that position from 1851 to 1855. As a circuit judge, he also served as a justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court until a separate Supreme Court was organized in 1853.
In 1857, Howe ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate. In 1861, Howe ran again and won election to the Senate, serving during the American Civil War and Reconstruction. During his time in the Senate, he was an abolitionist and supporter of the Fifteenth Amendment. Howe argued against the claims of contemporary Democrats that blacks were inherently racially inferior, and remarked that their claim that abolition would cause a war of racial extermination was "a libel upon humanity, black or white."
While in the Senate, President Ulysses S. Grant offered Howe the position of Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. However, Howe declined the offer because he feared his successor to the Senate would be a Democrat. Howe lost his senate seat in 1879 to fellow Republican Matthew H. Carpenter. In 1881, he was appointed United States Postmaster General by President Chester A. Arthur, a position he held until his death in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on March 25, 1883.
- United States Congress. "Timothy O. Howe (id: H000856)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- "Post Master General Howe Dead". Greensboro North State. March 29, 1883. p. 2. Retrieved March 29, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Oakes, James (2013). Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865. W.W. Norton. p. 451.
- William H. Russell, "Timothy O. Howe, Stalwart Republican," Wisconsin Magazine of History, vol. 35, no. 2 (Winter 1951), pp. 90–99. In JSTOR
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Alexander W. Stow
| Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge for the 4th Circuit
1851 – 1855
William R. Gorsline
| U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Wisconsin
1861 – 1879
Served alongside: James R. Doolittle (1861–1869)
Matthew H. Carpenter (1869–1875)
Angus Cameron (1875–1879)
Matthew H. Carpenter
Thomas L. James
| United States Postmaster General
Served under: Chester A. Arthur
1881 – 1883
Walter Q. Gresham