Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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HOWELL, James B., senator, born near Morris-town, New Jersey, 4 July, 1816; died in Keokuk, Iowa, 17 June, 1880. His father, Elias, removed with his family to Ohio in 1819, and, settling in Licking county, was state senator, and in 1830 a member of congress. James was graduated at Miami university in 1839, and settled in Newark, Ohio. In 1841 he removed to Kosauque, Iowa, practised law, and engaged in politics, and was the editor of the "Des Moines Valley Whig." in 1849 he removed with his paper to Keokuk, and abandoning law devoted himself to politics and to his journal, which he now published under the title of the "Daily Gate City." He was one of the earliest advocates for the formation of the Republican party in the state, and in 1856 was a delegate from Iowa to the convention that nominated John C. Fremont for president. He supported Abraham Lincoln in the presidential campaign of 1861, and vehemently opposed slavery. In 1870 he was elected to the United States senate as a Republican, to fill the unexpired term of James W. Grimes, and served till 3 March, 1871. Shortly after the close of the session of 1871, President Grant selected him as one of the three commissioners that were authorized by the act of 3 March, 1871, to examine and report on claims for stores and supplies that had been taken or furnished for the use of the National army in the seceded states. He was engaged in this work until 10 March, 1880.
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