Victory Birdseye

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Victory Birdseye
Victory Birdseye.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 19th district
In office
March 4, 1815 – March 3, 1817
Preceded by James Geddes
Succeeded by James Porter
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 23rd district
In office
March 4, 1841 – March 3, 1843
Preceded by Nehemiah H. Earll
Succeeded by Orville Robinson
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the Onondaga County district
In office
January 1, 1823 – December 31, 1823
Preceded by Silvester Gardner
Succeeded by Samuel L. Edwards
In office
January 1, 1838 – December 31, 1838
Preceded by Daniel Denison
Succeeded by James R. Lawrence
In office
January 1, 1840 – December 31, 1840
Preceded by James R. Lawrence
Succeeded by Moses D. Burnet
Member of the New York Senate
from the 7th district
In office
January 1, 1827 – December 31, 1827
Preceded by Jedediah Morgan
Succeeded by George B. Throop
Personal details
Born December 25, 1782 (1782-12-25)
Cornwall, Litchfield County, Connecticut
Died September 16, 1853 (1853-09-17) (aged 70)
Pompey, Onondaga County, New York
Citizenship  United States
Political party


Spouse(s) Electa Beebee Birdseye
Children Ellen Douglas Birdseye Wheaton
Alma mater Williams College



Victory Birdseye (December 25, 1782 – September 16, 1853) was an American politician and a U. S. Representative from New York.


Birdseye was born in Cornwall, Litchfield County, Connecticut attended the public schools at Cornwall, Connecticut. He graduated from Williams College in 1804. Then he studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1807, and commenced practice in partnership with Daniel Wood, Esquire, in Pompey Hill, New York until 1814. In 1813, he married Electa Beebee of Pompey. His great-grandson Clarence Birdseye developed the process for freezing food and founded Birds Eye Frozen Foods.


Elected as a Democratic-Republican to the 14th United States Congress, Birdseye held the office of United States Representative for the nineteenth district of New York from March 4, 1815, to March 3, 1817.

Birdseye was Postmaster of Pompey Hill from 1817 to 1838, D.A. of Onondaga County from 1818 to 1833, and a delegate to the New York State Constitutional Convention of 1821. He was a member of the New York State Assembly (Onondaga Co.) in 1823, and of the New York State Senate (7th D.) in 1827.

Birdseye served as the special counsel to conduct prosecution in the trial of parties for the alleged abduction of William Morgan, a man who threatened exposure of the Freemason's secrets and whose disappearance brought about powerful anti-masonic sentiments in the U.S., sparking the formation of the Anti-Masonic Party.[1]

Birdseye was again a member of the State Assembly in 1838 and 1840. While serving the latter term, Birdseye drafted and ushered through a bill that provided for the rescue of New York State citizens who had been kidnapped and sold into slavery. [2] Under the provisions of that law, Solomon Northup, who had been enslaved in Louisiana, was restored to freedom in 1853.

Elected as a Whig to the 27th United States Congress, Birdseye held the office of U. S. Representative for the twenty-third district of New York from March 4, 1841, to March 3, 1843. Afterwards he resumed the practice of law.


He died on September 16, 1853, in Pompey, Onondaga County, New York; and was buried at the Pompey Hill Cemetery there.


  1. ^ "Victory Birdseye". The Strangest Names In American Political History. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  2. ^ David Fiske. "The Law That Saved Solomon Northup, and Others". New York History Blog. Retrieved 19 April 2015. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
James Geddes
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 19th congressional district

Succeeded by
James Porter
New York State Senate
Preceded by
Jedediah Morgan
New York State Senate
Seventh District (Class 1)

Succeeded by
George B. Throop
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Nehemiah H. Earll,
Edward Rogers
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 23rd congressional district

with A. Lawrence Foster
Succeeded by
Orville Robinson