Key facts about Joshua Giddings, a leader in the founding of the Republican Party and an outspoken opponent of the extension of slavery a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
- Joshua Reed Giddings
- October 6, 1795
- Tioga Point (later Athens) Pennsylvania
- Joshua and Elizabeth (Pease) Giddings
- Little, if any, formal education
- U.S. Congressman
- Consul-general to the British North American Provinces
- Laura Waters (1819)
Place of Death:
- Montreal, Canada
Date of Death:
- May 27, 1864
Place of Burial:
- Oakdale Cemetery, Jefferson, Ohio
- As an infant, Joshua Giddings moved with his parents to Canandaigua, N.Y., in 1795.
- In 1806, Joshua Giddings’s family relocated to Ashtabula County, Ohio.
- Joshua Giddings worked on his father’s farm and received little, if any, formal education during his youth.
- Joshua Giddings served in a regiment commanded by Colonel Richard Hayes during the War of 1812.
- At sixteen years of age, Joshua Giddings participated in a battle with American Indians on Marblehead Peninsula on September 29, 1812, during the War of 1812. Giddings later funded the erection of a monument on the site, honoring the six Americans who died.
- Joshua Giddings taught school while studying law under the tutelage of Elisha Whittlesey.
- In 1819, Joshua Giddings married Laura Waters, originally of Granby, Connecticut.
- In February 1821, Joshua Giddings was admitted to the Ohio bar.
- In 1822 Joshua Giddings opened a law practice in Jefferson, Ohio.
- Joshua Giddings was elected to the Ohio General Assembly in 1826.
- From 1831 to 1837 Joshua Giddings was in partnership with Benjamin F. Wade, future U.S. Senator and co-sponsor of the controversial Wade-Davis plan for Reconstruction.
- Joshua Giddings was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1836 to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of his former mentor, Elisha Whittlesey.
- Joshua Giddings’s twenty-year career in Congress was briefly interrupted when he resigned on March 22, 1842 as a result of being censured for resolutions he presented regarding the Creole affair.
- During his political career, Joshua Giddings was a member of the Whig, Free Soil, Opposition, and Republican parties.
- Throughout his Congressional career, Joshua Giddings was an outspoken opponent of the extension of slavery, voting against the annexation of Texas, the Mexican-American War, the Compromise of 1850, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, and the Kansas-Nebraska Act.
- Joshua Giddings was not re-nominated in the election of 1858, and his Congressional career ended when the new House was seated on March 4, 1859.
- On March 25, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln appointed Giddings as consul-general to the British North American Provinces (Canada).
- Joshua Giddings died in Montreal, Canada, on May 27, 1864.
- Joshua Giddings was buried in Oakdale Cemetery, Jefferson, Ohio.
- Reportedly, Joshua Giddings’s home in Jefferson was a stop on the Underground Railroad.
- Joshua Giddings’s original law office in Jefferson, Ohio is now maintained as a historic site by the Ashtabula County Historical Society.