James Edward English (13 Mar 1812 - 2 Mar 1890)
migration: New Haven, Connecticut
Senator and governor of Connecticut, James Edward English was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the son of James English and Nancy Giswold. He was a descendant of Clement English, an early settler of Salem, Massachusetts.

James English attended the local schools and worked on a neighbor's farm while still a boy. When he returned to his parents he studied architectural drawing and was then apprenticed to a master carpenter. At the age of twenty-one English became a master builder and began to build houses on a far more elaborate scale in New Haven had previously experienced. With the capital from those contracts he engaged in the lumber business, building and buying sailing ships, and other commercial enterprises. James English worked in this manner for over twenty years and then became engaged in the manufacture of clocks. His New Haven Clock Company became the world's largest. He was also president of the Goodyear Metallic Rubber Shoe Company.

James Edward English was a member of the state house of representatives in 1855 and the state senate in 1856-1858. English was elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-seventh and Thirty-eighth Congresses, 1861-1865. Two years later he was elected Governor of Connecticut and reelected in 1870. As a governor he attained the title of "Father of the Free School System". Governor English was appointed to the United States Senate in 1875 and served for two years.

English was very prosperous and generous with this fortune. He donated considerable amounts of money to New Haven and Yale University. James was married in 1835 to Carolina Fowler and of the four children born only one, Henry, lived to maturity. Governor English died in New Haven, Connecticut on Mar 2, 1890.

Source_bio 1:
American Genealogical Research Institute
Heritage Press, Inc.
Washington, D.C.; 1978


James Edward English, statesman, born in New Haven, Connecticut, 13 March 1812. He received a common school education, and served an apprenticeship in a carpenter's shop. Here his energy and capacity were such that before he had attained his majority he was made master builder. He then engaged in the lumber trade, and subsequently in real estate, banking, and manufacturing enterprises, and became one of the richest men in Connecticut.

In 1848 he was a member of the New Haven common council, and elected a member of the state general assembly in 1855, and elected to the senate in 1856-1858. He was then elected to congress as a War Democrat, and served from 1861 till 1865, voting with the Republicans for the abolition of slavery.

He was a delegate to the Philadelphia national union convention in 1866, and was governor of Connecticut in 1867-1870. He then traveled extensively in Europe and the United States. In 1875 he was elected U. S. senator to fill a vacancy, and served till the following spring. He is president of the New Haven savings bank, and a manager of Adams Express Co.


Source_bio 2:
Edited Appletons Encyclopedia
Copyright © 2001

ENGLISH, James Edward, 1812-1890
Senate Years of Service: 1875-1876
Party: Democrat
**ENGLISH, James Edward, a Representative and a Senator from Connecticut; born in New Haven, Conn., March 13, 1812; attended the common schools; engaged in the lumber business, banking, and manufacturing; member, New Haven board of selectmen 1847-1861; member, common council 1848-1849; member, State house of representatives 1855; member, State senate 1856-1858; unsuccessful candidate for lieutenant governor 1860; elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-seventh and Thirty-eighth Congresses (March 4, 1861-March 3, 1865); was not a candidate for renomination in 1864; unsuccessful candidate for election as Governor in 1866; elected Governor of Connecticut in 1867, 1868, and 1870; member, State house of representatives 1872; unsuccessful candidate for election in 1872 to the Forty-third Congress; appointed as a Democrat to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Orris S. Ferry and served from November 27, 1875, to May 17 1876, when a successor was elected; unsuccessful candidate for election in 1876 to fill the vacancy; resumed his manufacturing and commercial activities; died in New Haven, Conn., on March 2, 1890; interment in Evergreen Cemetery.
Dictionary of American Biography; English, Anna R. In Memoriam, James Edward English. New Haven: Privately printed, 1891.
**English, James Edward (1812-1890) -- also known as James E. English.

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