Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Ashley, James Monroe

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ASHLEY, James Monroe, congressman, b. near Pittsburg, Pa., 14 Nov., 1824; d. in Alma, Mich, 16 Sept., 1896. His education was acquired while a clerk on boats. Later he worked in printing-offices, and became editor of the “Dispatch,” and afterward of the “Democrat,” at Portsmouth, Ohio. He then studied law, and was admitted to the bar of Ohio in 1849, but never practised. Subsequently he settled in Toledo, where he became interested in the wholesale drug business. He was elected to congress as a republican in 1859, and was reëlected four times, serving continuously from 5 Dec., 1859, till 3 March, 1869. He was for four terms chairman of the committee on territories, and it was under his supervision that the territories of Arizona, Idaho, and Montana were organized. He was nominated for the 41st congress, but was defeated, and in 1869 was appointed governor of Montana. In 1866 he was a delegate to the loyalist convention held in Philadelphia.