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Peleg Sprague (Maine politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Peleg Sprague
Peleg Sprague (1793-1880) at the age of 51.jpg
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
In office
July 16, 1841 – March 13, 1865
Appointed byJohn Tyler
Preceded byJohn Davis
Succeeded byJohn Lowell
United States Senator
from Maine
In office
March 4, 1829 – January 1, 1835
Preceded byJohn Chandler
Succeeded byJohn Ruggles
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maine's 4th district
In office
March 4, 1825 – March 3, 1829
Preceded byStephen Longfellow
Succeeded byGeorge Evans
Personal details
Peleg Sprague

(1793-04-27)April 27, 1793
Duxbury, Massachusetts
DiedOctober 13, 1880(1880-10-13) (aged 87)
Boston, Massachusetts
Resting placeMount Auburn Cemetery
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Political partyNational Republican
RelativesCharles F. Sprague
EducationHarvard University (A.B.)
Litchfield Law School
read law

Peleg Sprague (April 27, 1793 – October 13, 1880) was a United States representative and a United States senator from Maine and a United States district judge of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

Education and career

Born on April 27, 1793, in Duxbury, Massachusetts,[1] Sprague received an Artium Baccalaureus degree in 1812 from Harvard University, attended Litchfield Law School, then read law in 1815.[1] He was admitted to the bar and entered private practice in Augusta, District of Maine (then part of Massachusetts) from 1815 to 1817.[1] He continued private practice in Hallowell, Kennebec County, District of Maine (State of Maine from March 15, 1820) from 1817 to 1821.[1] He was a member of the Maine House of Representatives from 1821 to 1822.[1] He was a corporate member of the Maine Historical Society.[2] He resumed private practice in Hallowell from 1822 to 1824.[1]

Congressional service

Sprague was elected as a member of the National Republican Party from Maine's 4th congressional district to the United States House of Representatives of the 19th, 20th and 21st United States Congresses and served from March 4, 1825, until his resignation, effective March 3, 1829, having been elected United States Senator.[2] He was elected to the United States Senate from Maine and served from March 4, 1829, to January 1, 1835, when he resigned.[2] Following his departure from Congress, Sprague resumed private practice in Boston, Massachusetts from 1836 to 1841.[1] In 1840, he served as a presidential elector on the Whig ticket in 1840.[2]

Opposition to Indian removal

During his time in the Senate, Sprague became a prominent campaigner against President Andrew Jackson's controversial policy of Indian removal, whereby Indians in the Southern states were to be forcibly relocated to West of the Mississippi River. Sprague argued that the policy was corrupt as it largely relied on bribes for support, and he also attacked the plan for its immorality and lack of humanity, claiming that the Indians would receive no assistance in starting new lives in an alien environment.[3]

Federal judicial service

Sprague was nominated by President John Tyler on July 15, 1841, to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts vacated by Judge John Davis.[1] He was confirmed by the United States Senate on July 16, 1841, and received his commission the same day.[1] His service terminated on March 13, 1865, due to his resignation.[1]

Later career and death

Following his resignation from the federal bench, Sprague resumed private practice in Boston from 1865 to 1880.[1] He died on October 13, 1880, in Boston.[1] He was interred in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[2]


Sprague was the grandfather of Charles F. Sprague, a United States Representative from Massachusetts.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Peleg Sprague at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Peleg Sprague". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  3. ^ Georgia and the Conversation over Indian Removal. By: Morris, Michael, Georgia Historical Quarterly, 00168297, Winter 2007, Vol. 91, Issue 4


Party political offices
First Whig nominee for Governor of Maine
Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maine's 4th congressional district

Succeeded by
U.S. Senate
Preceded by  U.S. senator (Class 2) from Maine
Served alongside: John Holmes, Ether Shepley
Succeeded by
Legal offices
Preceded by Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
Succeeded by
Honorary titles
Preceded by Most senior living U.S. senator
(Sitting or former)

Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 7 June 2022, at 23:56
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