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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HOWE, Timothy Otis, senator, born in Livermore, Me., 24 February, 1816; died in Kenosha, Wisconsin, 25 March, 1883. He received a common school education, working on a farm during his vacations. In 1839 he was admitted to the bar, and began practice in Readfield. He was an ardent Whig and admirer of Henry Clay, and in 1840 was in the legislature, where he was active in debate, Impaired health occasioned his removal to Wisconsin in the latter part of this year, and opening a law office in Green Bay, then a small village, he continued his residence there throughout his life. He was an unsuccessful candidate for congress in 1848, and two years afterward was elected circuit judge. The circuit judges were also judges of the supreme court, and during part of his term he served as chief justice of the state. Resigning his judgeship in 1855, he resumed his profession, and was an efficient Republican speaker in the canvass of 1856. In the trial that was held to ascertain whether William Boynton or Coles Bashford was lawful governor of Wisconsin, Mr. Howe appeared as Bashford's counsel and gained his case, and his success largely increased his reputation. In 1861 he was elected United States senator as a Republican, serving till 1879. During his long career he served on the committees of finance, commerce, pensions, and claims, was one of the earliest advocates of universal emancipation, and in a speech in the senate on 29 May, 1861, advocated in strong terms the negro-suffrage bill for the District of Columbia. He also urged the right of the National government to establish territorial governments over the seceded states. He made able speeches in 1865-'6 against the policy of Andrew Johnson, and voted in favor of his impeachment. He supported the silver bill in 1878, denounced President Hayes's policy regarding civil service reform in the southern states, and opposed the anti-Chinese bill. On the death of Salmon P. Chase, President Grant offered Judge Howe a judgeship in the supreme court, which he declined. He had left the senate when the third-term question came up, but favored the election of Grant, and in 1880 spoke strongly in its support. In 1881 he was a United States delegate to the International monetary conference in Paris. In December, 1881, he was appointed postmaster-general by President Arthur, and, although his term of service was little more than a year, a reduction of postage was effected, postal-notes were issued, and reform measures urged with great force.
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