Federalist, and took an active part in politics.
He became a member of the Massachusetts
House of Representatives in 1793 from Groton
, and later from Medford
Continuously to his death, in 1821, he was a member of the Legislature.
In 1806 he removed to Medford
He was Speaker
of the House
for thirteen years, which place he filled with marked ability and popularity, having the longest term of service in that capacity ever held by any one person.
He held this position in 1819, when the act was passed separating the District of Maine from the State of Massachusetts
, and was consequently the last speaker of the united legislature of the district and the Commonwealth
Together with George Cabot
, William Prescott
and Harrison Gray Otis
, Mr. Bigelow
in that famous political assembly in 1814 known as the Hartford Convention.
Amid the engrossing duties of his profession, and during thirty-two years of his practice, and though arguing more cases than any one of the profession in New England
, Mr. Bigelow
still found time for occasional literary work.
A few printed orations are all that inform the present day of the clear reason, strong logic and fervid eloquence which marked the advocate and politician and rendered his control over juries and popular gatherings almost unbounded.
He delivered the Phi Beta Kappa
oration at Cambridge
, July 21, 1796; a funeral oration on Samuel Dana
before the Masonic Lodge
at Amherst, N. H.
, April 4, 1798.
His exordium on the immortality of the soul in this oration is worthy of a divine.
He delivered a eulogy on Washington
before the Columbian Lodge
of Masons at Boston
, February 11, 1800, and it is perhaps one of the best specimens of political spirit in that burning period.
was identified with the Masonic fraternity in Massachusetts
, over which he presided with signal ability during two triennial terms.
He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, vicepresident