Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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DOOLITTLE, James Rood, senator, born in Hampton, Washington County, New York, 3 January 1815. After attending Middlebury academy, he entered Geneva (now Hobart) College, where he was graduated in 1834. He then studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1837, and practiced at Rochester and at Warsaw, N.Y. He was elected district attorney of Wyoming County, New York, in 1845, and also served for some time as a colonel of militia. He removed to Wisconsin in 1851, and was elected judge of the first judicial circuit of that state in 1853, but resigned in 1856, and was elected U. S. senator as a Democratic Republican, to succeed Henry Dodge, serving two terms, from 1857 till 1869. He was a delegate to the peace convention of 1861. While in the senate, he served as chairman of the committee on Indian affairs and as member of other important committees. During the summer recess of 1865, he visited the Indians west of the Mississippi as a member of a special senate committee. He took a prominent part in debate on the various war and reconstruction measures, upholding the national government, but always insisting that the seceding states had never ceased to be a part of the Union. He opposed the fifteenth amendment to the constitution of the United States, on the ground that each state should determine questions of suffrage for itself. Mr. Doolittle retired from public life in 1869, and has since resided in Racine, Wis., though practicing law in Chicago. He was president of the Philadelphia national union convention of 1866, and also of the Baltimore national Democratic convention of 1872, which adopted the nomination of Horace Greeley for the presidency. Judge Doolittle has been a trustee of Chicago University since its foundation, served for one year as its president, and was for many years a professor in its law school.
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