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Horatio Bisbee Jr.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Horatio Bisbee, Jr.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 2nd district
In office
June 1, 1882 – March 3, 1885
Preceded byJesse J. Finley
Succeeded byCharles Dougherty
In office
January 22, 1881 – March 3, 1881
Preceded byNoble A. Hull
Succeeded byJesse J. Finley
In office
March 4, 1877 – February 20, 1879
Preceded byJesse J. Finley
Succeeded byJesse J. Finley
11th Florida Attorney General
In office
GovernorHarrison Reed
Preceded byJ. B. C. Drew
Succeeded byJ. P. C. Emmons
United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida
In office
Appointed byUlysses S. Grant
Personal details
Born(1839-05-05)May 5, 1839
Canton, Maine
DiedMarch 27, 1916(1916-03-27) (aged 76)
Dixfield, Maine
Political partyRepublican
SpouseCharlotte Randolph
EducationTufts College
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
United States Army
Years of service1861–1863
Unit5th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Militia
Commands9th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War

Horatio Bisbee Jr. (May 1, 1839 – March 27, 1916) was an American attorney and politician who served as a U.S. Representative from Florida.[1]

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Early life and education

Bisbee was born on May 1, 1839, in Canton, Maine. Bisbee began attending Tufts College in Massachusetts, but halted his studies in 1861 when the American Civil War broke out.[2]

Bisbee enlisted in the Union Army with the 5th Massachusetts Militia as a private until July 1861, when he was appointed as a captain in the 9th Maine Infantry. He eventually rose to the ranks of lieutenant colonel and later colonel.[3] Bisbee retired from the army in March 1863 and returned to Tufts College, graduating later that year.[2]

Political career

Bisbee moved to Chicago, Illinois, in late 1863 and was admitted into the Illinois Bar in 1864. After the end of the war in 1865, Bisbee moved to Jacksonville, Florida, and established his law practice there. In 1869, President Ulysses S. Grant appointed Bisbee as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.[2] In this position, Bisbee, a Republican, made acquaintance with several high-profile Floridians, including Governor Harrison Reed and lawyer Joseph E. Lee, who was one of the most prominent black Republicans in Florida at the time.[4][5]

In 1872, Bisbee was temporarily appointed as the eleventh Florida Attorney General by Reed. He stepped down when lawyer J. P. C. Emmons was chosen to permanently fill the position. During his appointment, he was still serving as a U.S. Attorney. He resigned as U.S. Attorney in 1873.[6]

U.S. House of Representatives

In 1876, Bisbee was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Florida's recently created 2nd congressional district. Bisbee defeated Democratic incumbent Jesse J. Finley by just three votes. Finley successfully contested the election and was seated on February 20, 1879, less than a month before the term expired.[2]

As Finley was not seated until after the election of 1878, Bisbee was technically still the incumbent leading into that election. Bisbee was defeated by Democratic Lieutenant Governor Noble A. Hull by just 22 votes. Bisbee successfully contested the election, taking the seat on January 22, 1881, a month and a half before the term expired.[7]

During the 1880 elections, Hull, the technical incumbent going into the election, did not seek reelection. Bisbee and Finley again ran as the Republican and Democratic nominees. Finley won, but the election was contested by Bisbee. On June 1, 1882, Bisbee was declared the winner, meaning he would be the incumbent entering the 1882 election.[8]

In the 1882 election, Bisbee won a decisive and undisputed victory over Finley. Bisbee ran for reelection in 1884, losing to Charles Dougherty, the former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.[2]

After this loss, Bisbee retired from politics, returning to private practice.[6]

Personal life

At some point after his retirement, Bisbee married Charlotte Randolph. They had a daughter, Florence, in 1885.[9]

Bisbee and his wife returned to Maine leaving their daughter in Jacksonville with her husband and his family.[10]

Death and burial

Bisbee died in Dixfield, Maine, on March 27, 1916. He is buried with his wife, who died twelve years later, in Dixfield's Greenwood Cemetery.[2]

Electoral history

1884 United States House of Representatives election in Florida
Florida 2nd district[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Charles Dougherty 17,248 51.77% +2.27%
Republican Horatio Bisbee, Jr (inc.) 15,857 47.59% -2.91%
Independent Republican Josiah T. Walls 256 0.65% N/A
Majority 1,391 4.18% +3.18%
Turnout 33,320
1882 United States House of Representatives election in Florida
Florida 2nd district[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Horatio Bisbee, Jr. (inc.) 13,069 50.50% +2.80%
Democratic Jesse J. Finley 12,813 49.50% -2.80%
Majority 256 1.00% -3.54%
Turnout 25,882
1880 United States House of Representatives election in Florida
Florida 2nd district[a][13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Jesse J. Finley 13,105 52.30% +2.27%
Republican Horatio Bisbee, Jr. (inc.) 11,953 47.70% -2.27%
Majority 1,152 4.60% +4.54%
Turnout 25,058
1878 United States House of Representatives election in Florida
Florida 2nd district[b][14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Noble A. Hull 9,640 50.03% +0.04%
Republican Horatio Bisbee, Jr. (inc.) 9,628 49.97% -0.04%
Majority 12 0.06% N/A
Turnout 19,268
1876 United States House of Representatives election in Florida
Florida 2nd district[c][15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Horatio Bisbee, Jr. 11,574 50.01% -1.12%
Democratic Jesse J. Finley (inc.) 11,571 49.99% +1.12%
Majority 3 0.02% -2.24%
Turnout 23,145


  1. ^ Bisbee contested Finley's election and was seated in his place on June 1, 1882
  2. ^ Bisbee contested the election and was seated on January 22, 1881
  3. ^ Finley contested Bisbee's election and was seated in his place on February 20, 1879


  1. ^ "BISBEE, Horatio, Jr. | US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives". Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "BISBEE, Horatio, Jr. - Biographical Information". Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  3. ^ "Civil War Index - 9th Maine Infantry". Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  4. ^ "The Florida historical quarterly |". Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  5. ^ Florida, State Library and Archives of. "Letter to Joseph E. Lee Concerning the Florida Gubernatorial Election of 1916". Florida Memory. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Horatio Bisbee, Jr". Find a Grave. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  7. ^ United States Congressional Serial Set. U.S. Government Printing Office. 1879.
  8. ^ Political Pamphlets, 1876-1888. 1882.
  9. ^ "Charlotte "Lottie" Randolph Bisbee". Find a Grave. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  10. ^ "Florence B. Rogers". Find a Grave. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  11. ^ "1884 FL - District 02". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
  12. ^ "1882 FL - District 02". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
  13. ^ "1880 FL - District 02". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
  14. ^ "1878 FL - District 02". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
  15. ^ "1876 FL - District 02". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 2nd congressional district

March 4, 1877 – February 20, 1879
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 2nd congressional district

January 22, 1881 – March 3, 1881
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 2nd congressional district

June 1, 1882 – March 3, 1885
Succeeded by
Legal offices
Preceded by Florida Attorney General
Succeeded by

Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

This page was last edited on 2 May 2023, at 17:38
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