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James W. Grimes


James Wilson Grimes (born October 20, 1816, Deering, New Hampshire – d. February 7, 1872, Burlington, Iowa) was an American politician, serving as the Whig governor of and senator from Iowa.


Grimes graduated from Hampton Academy and attended Dartmouth College. He studied law; moved west and commenced practice in the 'Black Hawk Purchase', Wisconsin Territory, afterward the site of Burlington, Iowa. He also engaged in agriculture. Grimes served as a member of the Iowa Territorial House of Representatives 1838–1839, 1843 – 1844. He served as Governor of Iowa 1854 –1858.


Grimes was elected as Republican to the United States Senate in 1859 and reelected in 1856.  He served from March 4, 1859, until December 6, 1869, when he resigned due to ill health. 

He served as chairman of the Committe on the District of Columbia (37th and 38th Congresses), the Committe on Naval Affairs (39th through 41st Congresses).


In 1861 Grimes was a member of the peace convention held in Washington, D.C., in an effort to devise means to prevent the impending Civil War.


During President Andrew Johnson's impeachment trial, Grimes broke party ranks, along with six other Republican senators, and in a courageous act of political suicide, voted for acquital. These seven Republican senators were disturbed by how the proceedings had been manipulated in order to give a one-sided presentation of the evidence.


Senators William Pitt Fessenden, Joseph S. Fowler, James W. Grimes, John B. Henderson, Lyman Trumbull, Peter G. Van Winkle[1], and Edmund G. Ross of Kansas, who provided the decisive vote[2], defied their party and public opinion and voted against impeachment.


Grimes died in Burlington, Iowa on February 7, 1872, aged 55. He buried in the Aspen Grove cemetery, in Burlington, Iowa.



References: James W. Grimes, Wikipedia

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