Monday, December 11, 2006
Oregon Republican League: Elder Photos
Oregon Republican League:Republican League Register of Oregon, The Register Publishing Company, 1896, page 32.
WILLIAMS, HON. GEORGE H., of Portland, and ex- Attorney General of the United States, was born in New Lebanon, New York, March 26, 1823. He was educated at the Pompey Academy and studied law with Hon. Daniel Gott. He was admitted to the bar at the age of twenty-one. In 1844 he removed to Iowa territory and became at once prominent in politics. In 1847 he was elected Judge of the first judicial district, and in 1852 was a Presidential Elector. In 1853 he was appointed Supreme Judge of Oregon, and was reappointed in 1857. He was a member of the constitutional convention of 1857. He became an influential member of the Union party during the war and has remained an earnest Republican ever since. In 1864 he was elected to the United States Senate. He took high rank among the great men of the nation during that period of reconstruction, and his ability as a lawyer and his high character were recognized in 1871 by his appointment as one of the committee to frame a treaty between England and the United States for settlement of the Alabama claims. It was largely through his counsel that the United States succeeded in establishing its claim to the San Juan islands. In 1871 President Grant called him into the cabinet as Attorney-General. In 1874 General Grant nominated him for Chief Justice of the United States, to succeed Salmon P. Chase, but his confirmation was bitterly opposed by those who were offended by the great work he had done for the cause of the Union, and he requested the President to withdraw his name. He then returned to Portland and began the practice of law, which he still continues. He has been continuously in the counsels of his party, without being at anytime identified with ring or machine politics, and so holds the confidence of the people, that during the recent bitter contest in the Republican ranks in Multnomah County he was appealed to as an arbiter by both sides, and was made the unanimous choice for Chairman of the state convention which was called upon to decide between the contesting delegations, and this convention adopted his advice to seat one half of each delegation.