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James B. McCreary was born in Madison County, Ky., July 8, 1839; graduated when eighteen years old at Center College, in 1859 graduated in the law department of Cumberland University, Tenn., with first honors in a class of forty-seven members, and at once began the practice of law in Richmond. After his capture at Cheshire, Ohio., he was incarcerated in the Ohio penitentiary, and afterwards at Fort Delaware, Del., and later at Morris Island, S. C. In 1868 he was elected a delegate to the National Democratic Convention, held in New York; elected a member of the House of Representatives of Kentucky in 1869, 1871 and 1873, and was Speaker of the House in 1871 and 1873; elected Governor of Kentucky in 1875, and served to 1879; was appointed, under an act of Congress, by the President of the United States, and served as a delegate to the International Monetary Conference held at Brussells, Belgium, in 1892, where twenty nations were represented; was elected to represent the Eighth Kentucky district in the Forty-ninth Congress in 1884, and re-elected to the Fiftieth, Fifty-first, Fifty-second, Fifty-third  and Fifty-fourth Congresses; was elected a delegate from the State-at-large to the National Democratic Convention held in Kansas City in 1900, and was chairman of the State Democratic Committee in the campaign of that year; was elected delegate from the State-at-large to the National Convention held in St. Louis in 1904. He was elected to the United States Senate in 1902 for the term beginning March 4, 1903, and ending March 3, 1909.
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