Burke, Edmund (Congressman)

Born: 1809-01-23 Vermont

Died: 1882-01-25 New Hampshire

Flourished: New Hampshire

Burke was an attorney, newspaper editor, U.S. congressman, and U.S. commissioner of patents. After attending public schools, Burke read law and earned admission to the bar in 1826. He established a law practice in Colbrook, New Hampshire. In 1833, he moved to Claremont, New Hampshire to undertake the editorship of the New Hampshire Argus. A year later, he moved to Newport, New Hampshire and united the Argus with the Newport Spectator, continuing as editor of the joint papers for several years thereafter. In 1838, he won election as a Democrat to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving from March 1839 to March 1845. He was not a candidate for reelection in 1844. In May 1846, President James K. Polk appointed Burke commissioner of patents, a position he held until September 1850. After leaving the Patent Office, Burke resumed his law practice in Newport. He remained active in Democratic Party politics, serving as a delegate to the Democratic national conventions in 1844 and 1852. In 1860, he was practicing law in Newport and owned real estate valued at $3,700 and had a personal estate of $30,000.

Gravestone, Maple Grove Cemetery, Newport, NH; Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1774-1996 (Alexandria, VA: CQ Staff Directories, 1997), 743; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Newport, Sullivan County, NH, 32.