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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ENGLISH, William Haydeu, lawyer, born in Lexington, Scott County, Indiana, 27 August 1822. His father, Elisha G. English, one of the pioneers of Indiana, was honored with many public trusts during a period of forty years. William was educated in the common schools and at Hanbver College, studied law, and was admitted to practice in the U. S. Supreme Court before he was twenty-three years of age. He served as deputy clerk of his native County, and as postmaster of Lexington, before reaching his majority. In 1843'4 he was a principal clerk in the Indiana House of Representatives, he was principal secretary of the State convention of 1850, which framed the constitution of Indiana, and was a member and speaker of the first House of Representatives after its adoption in 1851.
He was a clerk in the U. S. treasury department during Polk's administration, and held a clerkship in the U. S. Senate about, 1850. He was elected to congress in 1852 as a Democrat, and served from 1853 till 1861, when he resigned and engaged in banking. He was prominently identified with the legislation of that period, and was the author of a compromise measure, in relation to the admission of Kansas as a state, which became a law, and was a prolific theme of controversy in the heated political contests of that day, under the name of "the English bill." From 1853 till 1861 he was one of the regents of the Smithsonian institution in Washington, D.C. In 1880 Mr. English was unanimously nominated for vice president, on the ticket with General Hancock, by the Democratic national convention. He is president of the Indiana historical society, and author of an historical and biographical work on the constitution and lawmakers of that state (Indianapolis, 1887).
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