Frederick Theodore Frelinghuysen - Encyclopedia

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FREDERICK THEODORE FRELINGHUYSEN (1817-1885), American lawyer and statesman, of Dutch descent, was born at Millstone, New Jersey, on the 4th of August 1817. His grandfather, Frederick Frelinghuysen (1753-1804), was an eminent lawyer, one of the framers of the first New Jersey constitution, a soldier in the War of Independence, and a member (1778-1779 and 1782-1783) of the Continental Congress from New Jersey, and in 1793-1796 of the United States senate; and his uncle, Theodore (1787-1862), was attorney-general of New Jersey from 1817 to 1829, was a United States senator from New Jersey in 1829-1835, was the Whig candidate for vice-president on the Clay ticket in 1844, and was chancellor of the university of New York in 1839-1850 and president of Rutgers College in 1850-1862. Frederick Theodore, left an orphan at the age of three, was adopted by his uncle, graduated at Rutgers in 1836, and studied law in Newark with his uncle, to whose practice he succeeded in 1839, soon after his admission to the bar. He became attorney for the Central Railroad of New Jersey, the Morris Canal and Banking Company, and other corporations, and from 1861 to 1867 was attorney-general of New Jersey. In 1861 he was a delegate to the peace congress at Washington, and in 1866 was appointed by the governor of New Jersey, as a Republican, to fill a vacancy in the United States senate. In the winter of 1867 he was elected to fill the unexpired term, but a Democratic majority in the legislature prevented his re-election in 1869. In 1870 he was nominated by President Grant, and confirmed by the senate, as United States minister to England to succeed John Lothrop Motley, but declined the mission. From 1871 to 1877 he was again a member of the United States senate, in which he was prominent in debate and in committee work, and was chairman of the committee on foreign affairs during the Alabama Claims negotiations. He was a strong opponent of the reconstruction measures of President Johnson, for whose conviction he voted (on most of the specific charges) in the impeachment trial. He was a member of the joint committee which drew up and reported (1877) the Electoral Commission Bill, and subsequently served as a member of the commission. On the 12th of December 1881 he was appointed secretary of state by President Arthur to succeed James G. Blaine, and served until the inauguration of President Cleveland in 1885. Retiring, with his health impaired by overwork, to his home in Newark, he died there on the 20th of May, less than three months after relinquishing the cares of office.

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