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Charles R. Buckalew

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Charles R. Buckalew
Charles R. Buckalew - Brady-Handy.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 17th district
In office
March 4, 1889 – March 3, 1891
Preceded byEdward Scull
Succeeded bySimon P. Wolverton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 11th district
In office
March 4, 1887 – March 3, 1889
Preceded byJohn B. Storm
Succeeded byJoseph A. Scranton
United States Senator
from Pennsylvania
In office
March 4, 1863 – March 4, 1869
Preceded byDavid Wilmot
Succeeded byJohn Scott
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate for the 16th district
In office
1851 to 1854 and 1869 to 1870
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate for the 13th district
In office
Personal details
Charles Rollin Buckalew

(1821-12-28)December 28, 1821
Fishing Creek Township, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedMay 19, 1899(1899-05-19) (aged 77)
Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Permelia Wadsworth Buckalew
ProfessionPolitician, Lawyer

Charles Rollin Buckalew (December 28, 1821 – May 19, 1899) was an American lawyer, diplomat, and politician from Pennsylvania. He served as a Democratic member of the Pennsylvania Senate for the 16th district from 1851 to 1854 and 1859 to 1860. He also served in the Pennsylvania Senate for the 13th district from 1858 to 1861 and as Minister Resident for Ecuador from 1858 to 1861. He served as a U.S. Senator for Pennsylvania from 1863 to 1869, a U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania's 11th district from 1887 to 1889 and a U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania's 17th district from 1889 to 1891.

Early life and education

Buckalew was born in Fishing Creek Township, Pennsylvania on December 28, 1821 to John McKinney Sr. and Martha Funston Buckalew. He was a graduate of Harford Academy, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, where he studied law. He was admitted to the bar in 1843.[1]


Buckalew was the most influential early advocate of proportional representation in the United States. His proposals for a type of voting system known as cumulative voting gained significant support in Congress, and he played a central role in the adoption of cumulative voting in several places, including Illinois for state legislative elections in 1870, a system that lasted in that state until 1980.

Buckalew was elected by the Pennsylvania General Assembly to the U.S. Senate in 1863. In a number of speeches, notably in the Senate on July 11, 1867; at a large public meeting in Philadelphia in November of the same year; before the Social Science Association at Philadelphia in October 1870; and in the Senate of Pennsylvania on March 27, 1871; as well as in the report of the Select Committee on Representative Reform of the United States Senate, of which be was chairman, Buckalew argued persuasively for the use of cumulative voting in the election of representatives in Congress, state legislatures, town councils and other bodies.[2]

Buckalew's bill in the Senate would have allowed all the electors of a state to have the number of votes equal to the number of house of representatives members to be elected from that state. The voter could give all his votes to one candidate, or distribute them in any fashion, equally or unequally, among candidates. The candidates with the highest number of votes would be elected.[3]

In addition to serving in Congress and the Pennsylvania state legislature, Buckalew was commissioner to exchange ratifications of a treaty with Paraguay in 1854; chairman of the Democratic State committee in 1857; appointed one of the commissioners to revise the penal code of Pennsylvania in 1857; Minister Resident to the Republic of Ecuador 1858-1861;[4] unsuccessful candidate for governor of Pennsylvania in 1872; and a delegate to the Pennsylvania constitutional convention of 1873.

He resumed the practice of law when he left Congress in 1891, age 69, in Bloomsburg, Columbia County, where he died on May 19, 1899. He is interred in Rosemont Cemetery in Bloomsburg.[1]

Buckalew's writings and speeches on cumulative voting were collected in an 1872 book titled Proportional Representation. 1872, Philadelphia, J. Campbell & Son.

References and notes

  1. ^ a b "Pennsylvania State Senate - Charles Rollins Buckalew Biography". Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  2. ^ Hoag, Clarence Gilbert and George Hervey Hallett, Proportional Representation. New York: The MacMillan Company, 1926. CHAPTER IX,  THE HISTORY OF PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE UNITED STATES Archived 2008-05-12 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Senate Bill 772, 40th Cong., 3d Sess., January 13, 1869
  4. ^ Sauers, Richard A. (2012). The Fishing Creek Confederacy: A Story of Civil War Draft Resistance. Columbia and London: University of Missouri Press. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-8262-1988-6. Retrieved 18 October 2019.

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Asa Packer
Democratic nominee for Governor of Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
Cyrus L. Pershing
Pennsylvania State Senate
Preceded by
Robert Chambers Sterrett
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate, 16th district
Succeeded by
Bartram A. Schaffer
Preceded by
Samuel Wherry
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate, 13th district
Succeeded by
Henry Fetter
Preceded by
David Mumma
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate, 16th district
Succeeded by
Butler B. Strang
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
David Wilmot
 U.S. senator (Class 1) from Pennsylvania
March 4, 1863 – March 4, 1869
Served alongside: Edgar Cowan and Simon Cameron
Succeeded by
John Scott
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
John B. Storm
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 11th congressional district

March 4, 1887 – March 4, 1889
Succeeded by
Joseph A. Scranton
Preceded by
Edward Scull
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 17th congressional district

March 4, 1889 – March 4, 1891
Succeeded by
Simon P. Wolverton
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Philo White
United States Minister Resident, Ecuador
20 September 1858 – 10 July 1861
Succeeded by
Frederick Hassaurek
This page was last edited on 29 January 2021, at 13:20
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