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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HICKMAN, John, lawyer, born in Chester county, Pennsylvania, 11 September, 1810; died in West Chester, Pennsylvania, 23 March, 1875. He was educated by private tutors, read law in West Chester, and was admitted to the bar there in 1832. He acquired reputation at the bar and as a political speaker, and in 1854 he was elected to congress as a Democrat in a strong Whig district. He was re-elected in 1856, changed his views on the slavery question, was again elected in 1858 as a Douglas Democrat by a large majority over both the regular nominees, and became a leader on the side of the north, acquiring a national reputation through his brilliant speeches. In 1860 he was a candidate for the Republican nomination for the vice presidency. He was again elected to congress in 1860 as a Republican, and was the first to propose in congress the freeing of the slaves and the enlisting of negro soldiers. At the close of his fourth congressional term he declined a re-election, and with the exception of a single term in the legislature passed the remainder of his life at his home in West Chester.
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