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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Bassett Alley
Allen c. 1860–65
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts
In office
March 4, 1863 – March 4, 1867
Preceded bySamuel Hooper
Succeeded byBenjamin Butler
Constituency6th district
In office
March 4, 1859 – March 4, 1863
Preceded byTimothy Davis
Succeeded byDaniel W. Gooch
Constituency6th district
Member of the Massachusetts State Senate from the Essex District
In office
Member of the Massachusetts Executive Council
In office
Member of the
Lynn Board of Aldermen
In office
Preceded byOffice established
Personal details
BornJanuary 7, 1817
Lynn, Massachusetts, USA
DiedJanuary 19, 1896(1896-01-19) (aged 79)
West Newton, Massachusetts
Resting placePine Grove Cemetery
Political partyLiberty
Free Soil
Spouse(s)Hannah Maria Rhodes
ChildrenJohn and Emma
ProfessionShoe Manufacture

John Bassett Alley (January 7, 1817 – January 19, 1896) was a businessman and politician who served as a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts.

Early life

John Alley was born on January 7, 1817 in Lynn, Massachusetts. He attended the common schools and Phillips Academy Andover. At the age of fourteen, he was apprenticed to work for a shoemaker and was released at nineteen.

In 1832, his parents, John Sr. and Mercy (née Buffum), and his younger sister Sarah joined the Church of Christ in 1832, later renamed the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.[1][2] They moved to Nauvoo, Illinois, where Sarah was one of the first women to marry polygamously and became the first Mormon woman to bear a child as a polygamist.[3]

In 1836, Alley moved to Cincinnati, Ohio and took a job freighting merchandise up and down the Mississippi River. In 1838, he returned to Lynn and entered the shoe manufacturing business. He established a hide and leather house in Boston in 1847.

Political career

Alley served as a member of the Massachusetts Governor's Council from 1847 to 1851. In 1850, he served as member of the first Board of Aldermen of Lynn.

He represented Lynn in the State Senate in 1852 and as a member of the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention of 1853.

United States Congress

In 1852, Alley was a Free Soil candidate for U.S. Representative, but lost.[4] He joined the new Republican Party and was elected to the Thirty-sixth and to the three succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1859 – March 3, 1867). He served as chairman of the Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads (Thirty-eighth and Thirty-ninth Congresses). He was not a candidate for renomination in 1866. He became connected with the Union Pacific Railroad.

Later life and death

During the 1880s and 1890s, Alley was involved in a protracted lawsuit known as the Snow-Alley case which damaged his health and cost him a large part of his fortune.[5]

He abandoned active business pursuits in 1886 and died in West Newton, Massachusetts on January 19, 1896. He was interred in Pine Grove Cemetery, Lynn, Massachusetts.


  1. ^ "Minutes of a Conference", Evening and Morning Star, vol. 2, no. 20, p. 160.
  2. ^ H. Michael Marquardt and Wesley P. Walters (1994). Inventing Mormonism: Tradition and the Historical Record (Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books) p. 160.
  3. ^ Bergera, Gary James. "Identifying the Earliest Mormon Polygamists, 1841–44" (PDF). Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
  4. ^ Barstow, Benjamin (22 September 1853), Speech of Benjamin Barstow, of Salem: on the abolition propensities of Caleb Cushing. Delivered at the Massachusetts National Democratic Convention, held at Boston, Sept. 22, 1853. to Franklin Pierce:., Boston, Massachusetts: Office of the National Democrat, p. 6
  5. ^ "Ex-Congressman Alley Seriously Ill", The New York Times, p. 2, August 31, 1893


U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 6th congressional district

March 4, 1859 – March 3, 1863
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 5th congressional district

March 4, 1863 – March 3, 1867
Succeeded by

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

This page was last edited on 20 July 2022, at 02:44
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