Ashmun, George

Born: 1804-12-25 Blandford, Massachusetts

Died: 1870-07-17 Springfield, Massachusetts

Born into a political family, George Ashmun graduated from Yale University in 1823 and began practicing law in Springfield, Massachusetts, later that decade. He married Martha E. Hall in 1828, with whom he had two daughters. Ashmun began his political career in 1833, when he was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, where he served until 1838. That year, he was appointed to the Massachusetts Senate but returned to the House for a final term in 1841, during which he acted as speaker. A Whig, Ashmun in 1844 garnered a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he opposed the Mexican War alongside many of his fellow party members, including Abraham Lincoln. He served until 1851, when he returned to his legal practice in Springfield. During that decade, he aligned himself with the Republican Party and presided over its 1860 National Convention. He was among the delegation who personally informed Lincoln he had won his party's presidential nomination. During the Civil War, Lincoln appointed Ashum to the board of directors for the Union Pacific Railroad.

Patrick G. Williams, "Ashmun, George," American National Biography, ed. by John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 1:684.