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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BLAND, Richard Parks, congressman, born near Hartford, Ohio County, Kentucky, 19 August 1835. He was orphaned at an early age, and worked during the summer months in order to obtain means with which to attend school in the winter. When he became of age he taught, and so was enabled to follow his academic studies. Later he studied law, was admitted to the bar, and practiced his profession. In 1855 he removed to Missouri, and then westward to California. Subsequently he settled in Virginia City, Nevada, where he became interested in various mining operations, and also devoted his attention to law. In 1860 he became treasurer of Carson County, Nevada, and continued in that office until the organization of the stale government. In 1865 he returned to Missouri and settled in Rolla, entering into a law partnership with his brother, C. C. Bland. in 1869 he removed to Lebanon, where he followed his profession. In 1873 he was elected to congress from Missouri as a democrat, and he has since been regularly reelected. He became in 1875 chairman of the committee on mines and mining, and introduced in the 44th congress the well-known " Bland Bill," which provided that the secretary of the treasury shall purchase sufficient bullion to coin the minimum amount of $2,000,000 a month in silver dollars of 4121/2 grains each, and that these dollars shall be legal tender.
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