1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Pendleton, George Hunt

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

PENDLETON, GEORGE HUNT (1825–1889), American lawyer and legislator, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on the 25th of July 1825. He was educated at the university of Heidelberg, studied law, was admitted to the bar, and began to practise at Cincinnati. He was a member of the Ohio Senate in 1854 and 1855, and from 1857 to 1865 was a Democratic member of the national House of Representatives, in which he opposed the war policy of Lincoln. In 1864 he was the Democratic candidate for vice-president. After leaving Congress he became one of the earliest champions of the “Ohio idea” (which he is said to have originated), demanding that the government should pay the principal of its 5–20-year 6% bonds in the “greenback” currency instead of in coin. The agricultural classes of the West regarded this as a means of relief, and Pendleton became their recognized leader and a candidate for the Democratic nomination to the presidency in 1868, but he failed to receive the requisite two-thirds majority. In 1869 he was the Democratic candidate for governor of Ohio, but was defeated by Rutherford B. Hayes. For the next ten years he devoted himself to the practice of law and to the supervision of the Kentucky Railroad Company, of which he had become president in 1869. From 1879 to 1885 he was a Democratic member of the United States Senate, and introduced the so-called Pendleton Act of 1885 for reforming the civil service, hostility to which lost him his seat in 1885 He was minister to Germany from 1885 to the summer of 1889, and died at Brussels on the 24th of November 1889