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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LAWRENCE, William jurist, born in Mount Pleasant, Jefferson County, Ohio, 26 June, 1819. He was graduated at Franklin college, Ohio, in 1838, and two years later was admitted to the bar. He was appointed commissioner of bankruptcy for Logan county in 1842, in 1845 prosecuting attorney for the same county, and from 1845 till 1847 was editor and proprietor of the " Logan Gazette," subsequently conducting the "Western Law Journal." He was in the legislature in 1846-'7, in 1848 a member of the state senate, in 1851 was elected reporter for the supreme court of the state, and in 1853 again elected to the state senate, where he advocated and carried bills to quiet land titles. He was elected judge of the court of common pleas for five years in 1856, and re-elected in 1861, but resigned in 1864. He served as colonel of the 84th Ohio regiment at Cumberland and New Creek in 1862, and in 1863 was tendered a United States judgeship in Florida, which he declined. He was then elected to congress from Ohio as a Republican, serving from 4 December, 1865, till 3 March, 1871: and from 1 December, 1873, till 3 March, 1877. he was a delegate to the Philadelphia loyalist convention in 1866, and in 1880 was appointed first comptroller of the United States treasury, which post he resigned, 20 March, 1885. Judge Lawrence is the only one of the first comptrollers whose decisions were regularly published. After his resignation he engaged in the practice of law in Bellefontaine, Ohio, and Washington. In addition to monographs and speeches on political and literary topics, he is the author of " Reports of Decisions of the Supreme Court of Ohio " (Columbus, 1852): "The Treaty Question" (Washington, 1871); "The Law of Religious Societies and Church Corporations" (Philadelphia, 1873-'4); " The Law of Claims against the Government" (Washington, 1875); "The Organization of the Treasury Department of the United States " (1880); and" Decisions of the First Comptroller in the Department of the Treasury of the United States" (6 vols., 1881-'5).
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