Pettit, John

Born: 1807-06-24 Sacketts Harbor, New York

Died: 1877-01-17 Lafayette, Indiana

John Pettit was a lawyer, state legislator, U.S. district attorney, U.S. representative, U.S. senator, territorial judge, and state supreme court justice. He completed preparatory studies, read law, and earned admittance to the Indiana bar in 1831. Pettit moved to Lafayette, Indiana and started a law practice in 1838. He served as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives in 1838-1839. Pettit worked as U.S. district attorney from 1839 to 1843. He won election, as a Democrat, to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving from March 1843 to March 1849. He served alongside Abraham Lincoln during the Thirtieth Congress. After his term in Congress, Pettit returned to Indiana and was a delegate to the State Constitutional Convention in 1850. He served as a presidential elector on the Democratic ticket in 1852. He won election to the U.S. Senate to fill a vacancy and served from January 1853 to March 1855. Pettit worked as chief justice of the U.S. Courts in the Kansas Territory, a position he held from in 1859 to 1861. He served as judge of the Supreme Court of Indiana from 1870 until his death.

Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1774-1996 (Alexandria, VA: CQ Staff Directories, 1997), 1655; Gravestone, Greenbush Cemetery, Lafayette, IN.