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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HUGHES, Francis Wade, lawyer, born in Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, 20 August, 1817; died in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, 25 October, 1885. He was educated at Milton academy, Pennsylvania, studied at the law school in Carlisle, was admitted to the bar in 1837, and began practice in Pottsville. He was appointed deputy attorney-general of Pennsylvania, in 1839, resigned the office there several times, but was reappointed and held it for eleven years. In 1843 he was elected to the state senate as a Democrat by the largest majority ever given in the county of Schuylkill; but he resigned this office in the following year and returned to his practice. In 1851 he was appointed secretary of state, and in 1853 attorney-general of the state, which office he filled until 1855. He was a Democratic presidential elector in 1856, and was a delegate to many state and national conventions, over some of which he presided. In February, 1861, he was a member of the state convention at Harrisburg, known as the Peace convention, and was a member of the committee on resolutions. When the war began, his support of the Union was prompt, energetic, and valuable. He aided in fitting out one of the first five companies that reached Washington, and maintained with voice and pen the legal right of the government to put down rebellion by force of arms. He originated and aided in many extensive enterprises, among which were the opening and working of coal and iron mines, and the establishment of iron-works and other factories.
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