Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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DURKEE, Charles, senator, born in Royalton, Vermont, 5 December 1807: died in Omaha, Neb., 14 January 1870. He was educated in his native town and in the Burlington academy, after which he engaged in business, and later immigrated to the territory of Wisconsin, where he was one of the founders of Southport, now Kenosha. He was a member of the first territorial legislature of Wisconsin, held in Burlington (Iowa and Minnesota being then parts of the territory). In 1847 he was again a member of the territorial legislature, and in 1848 was elected to the first state legislature of Wisconsin. He was elected as a Free-soiler to congress, serving from 6 December 1849, till 3 March 1853, and was the first distinctive antislavery man in congress from the northwest. In 1855 he was chosen as a Republican to be U. S. senator from Wisconsin, succeeding Isaac P. Walker. lib was a member of the peace congress in 1861, and was appointed governor of Utah ill 1865, holding that office until failing health compelled him to resign.
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