Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Beck, James Burnie
BECK, James Burnie, U. S. senator, b. in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, 13 Feb., 1822; d. in Washington, D. C., 3 May, 1890. He received an academic education in his native country, and, with his parents, settled in Lexington, Ky., and was graduated at the law school of Transylvania university in that place in 1846. He then practised law in Lexington, and in 1866 was elected to congress, serving four successive terms, from 1867 till 1875. In May, 1876, he was appointed a member of the commission to define the Virginia and Maryland boundary, and in the same year was elected to the U. S. senate. He took his seat on 4 March, 1877, was re-elected in 1882 for the term ending in March, 1889, and was re-elected for a third term. During his congressional career Mr. Beck served on important committees, and was prominent in important debates. He was specially interested in questions relating to the tariff and the currency.