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George H. Williams


THE present Attorney-General of the United States, GEORGE H. WILLIAMS, was born in Columbia county, New York, on the 23rd day of March, 1823; received an academical education at an academy in Onondaga county; studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1844. He immediately sought a field for the exercise of his talents in the "Great West," and located in the young and growing State of Iowa. Here he displayed energy, probity, and versatile talents which attracted attention, and resulted, not only in a flattering professional business, but in the honor of being elected, in 1847, Judge of the First Judicial District of that State, a position which he occupied, with credit to himself and to the general satisfaction of the public, until 1852.

In that year he was a presidential elector from Iowa, and received, in 1853, from President Pierce, the appointment of Chief Justice of the then Territory of Oregon, to which he was again reappointed in 1857, by President Buchanan, but resigned. Ile was elected a member of the State Constitutional Convention of Oregon in 1858; and in 1865 took his seat in the United States Senate, as a Union Republican, from that State (succeeding B. F. Harding, Union Republican), his term expiring March 4th, 1871.

His course on the bench and as Senator was characterized by sound judgment, fine legal abilities, and unquestioned honesty of principle and purpose.   In Congress he served on many important committees, such as the Standing Committee on Claims, Private Land Claims, Finance, and the Special Committees on the Rebellious States and Reconstruction, Expenses of Senate, and the National Committee to accompany the remains of the martyred Lincoln from Washington to his home in Illinois.

His remarkable legal attainments, and especially his profound knowledge of constitutional and international law made his name prominent for the position of Attorney-General when 
Judge Hoar resigned, but the President for some cause selected Judge Akerman of Georgia, who in turn resigned in January, 1872, when Judge Williams was tendered the office and accepted it. The Attorney-General's office can boast of many eminent names, men like Reverdy Johnson, Judge Black, William M. Evarts, and others, who brought to it the lustre of great reputations, but it has been filled by no jurist of higher ability or more spotless reputation than the present incumbent.

Source: Source: Men of Our Day; or Biographical Sketches of Patriots, Orators, Statesmen, Generals, Reformers, Financiers and Merchants, Now on the state of Action: Including Those Who in Military, Political, Business and Social Life, are the Prominent Leaders of the Time in This Country, by L. P. Brockett, M. D., Published by Ziegler and McCurdy, Philadelphia Penna; Springfield, Mass; Cincinnati, Ohio; St. Louis, Mo., 1872  

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