Statesman; born in Albany, N. Y.
, Oct. 30, 1829; received an academic education; studied law with his father, a judge in the United States District Court and former minister to Mexico
; admitted to the bar in 1850 in Utica
; elected mayor in 1858, and also to Congress as a Republican; re-elected
to Congress in 1860, 1864, and 1866, and in January, 1867, was chosen United States Senator
and held his seat till 1881.
During his service in the Senate he was active in the promotion of the reconstruction measures and in opposition to President Johnson
's policy; was influential in securing the passage of the Civil rights bill
(q. v.) over President Johnson
's veto; and was notably conspicuous in his support of President Grant
. Senator Conkling
was a member of the judiciary committee during the entire course of his senatorial career.
He was a strong advocate of a third term for President Grant
in 1880, and after the election of James A. Garfield
, when an influential federal appointment was made in New York City, Senator Conkling
and his associate, Senator Platt
, claiming that they should have been consulted concerning such an appointment in their State, resigned.
At the ensuing session of the State legislature, the two ex-Senators failed to secure re-election, and Mr. Conkling
retired to the practice of law in New York City.
He was offered by President Arthur
a seat on the bench of the United
States Supreme Court in 1882, but declined.
He died in New York City, April 18, 1888.
The following is Senator Conkling
's speech before the National Republican Convention, in Chicago
, on June 6, 1880, nominating General Grant
for a third Presidential term: