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Rowland E. Trowbridge

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rowland E. Trowbridge
RowlandETrowbridge (1).jpg
Commissioner of Indian Affairs
In office
PresidentRutherford B. Hayes
Preceded byEzra A. Hayt
Succeeded byHiram Price
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 4th district
In office
March 4, 1861 – March 3, 1863
Preceded byDe Witt C. Leach
Succeeded byFrancis W. Kellogg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 5th district
In office
March 4, 1865 – March 4, 1869
Preceded byAugustus C. Baldwin
Succeeded byOmar D. Conger
Personal details
Born(1821-06-18)June 18, 1821
DiedApril 20, 1881(1881-04-20) (aged 59)
Political partyRepublican

Rowland Ebenezer Trowbridge (June 18, 1821 – April 20, 1881) was an American politician from Michigan. A United States congressman from Michigan's 4th congressional district from 1861 to 1863 and again from 1865 to 1869, he worked on agricultural policy and was chairman of the Committee on Agriculture during the 40th United States Congress.

For most of his life he remained a farmer but resumed a role in federal politics from 1880 to 1881 as commissioner of Indian Affairs for President Rutherford B. Hayes.

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Early life and education

Trowbridge was born in Horseheads, New York to Stephen Van Rensselaer Trowbridge (1794–1859) and Elizabeth Conkling (1797–1873) In the first year of his life, he moved with his parents and siblings in 1821 to Oakland County, Michigan, where his family settled a farm in present-day Troy.[1] He had eleven siblings, including mechanical engineer and general William Petit Trowbridge (1828–1892), and fellow general Luther Stephen Trowbridge (1836–1912).

Trowbridge attended Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where befriended future U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes and future Supreme Court Associate Justice Stanley Matthews, and graduated in 1841.[2] Problems with his vision forced him to halt his ambitions for a career in law.[2]

Political career

Returning to farming after graduation, he settled in Thorndale, Michigan, in 1848 and began a political career as town supervisor.[2] In 1851 he returned to his parents' county as a farmer and became a member of the Michigan Senate, serving from 1856 to 1860 from Bloomfield, Michigan. He married Mary Ann Satterlee in 1851, with whom he had four children: Susan Elisabeth (1852), Stephen Van Rensselaer (1855), Tillman Conklin (1857), and Samuel Satterlee (1860).[2] They moved to Mary Ann's hometown of Birmingham, Michigan, in 1860, trading the Bloomfield farm for a mill there.[2]


The same year, Trowbridge was elected as a Republican from Michigan's 4th congressional district to the 37th United States Congress, serving from March 4, 1861, to March 3, 1863.[3] After redistricting as a result of the 1860 census, Trowbridge ran as a candidate in the newly created 5th congressional district in 1862, losing to Democrat Augustus C. Baldwin. In 1864, Trowbridge defeated Baldwin to be elected to the 39th Congress, and was reelected in 1866 to the 40th Congress, serving from March 4, 1865, to March 3, 1869.[3] He served as chairman of the Committee on Agriculture during the 40th Congress.[3] He was an unsuccessful candidate for re-nomination,[3] and returned to life in farming, purchasing a farm in Lansing in 1873.[2]

Later federal service

Trowbridge's political career briefly resumed in the last few years of his life, when his college friend Rutherford Hayes was elected President of the United States. He served as commissioner of Indian Affairs under Hayes in 1880 and 1881.[2]


He died in Birmingham, Michigan, and is interred there in Greenwood Cemetery.[3]


  1. ^ Trowbridge 1908, pp. 556–59.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Trowbridge 1908, pp. 606–08.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Trowbridge, Rowland Ebeneezer (1821–1881)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. United States Congress. Retrieved May 10, 2015.


External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by United States Representative for the 4th Congressional District of Michigan
1861 – 1863
Succeeded by
Preceded by United States Representative for the 5th Congressional District of Michigan
1865 – 1869
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 2 April 2023, at 14:18
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