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Edgar Cowan

In office
March 14, 1861 – March 3, 1867
Preceded by William Bigler
Succeeded by Simon Cameron

Born September 19, 1815
Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, USA
Died August 31, 1885
Greensburg, Pennsylvania, USA
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Lucitra Oliver Cowan
Profession Politician, Lawyer, Raftsman, Schoolmaster

Edgar Cowan (September 19, 1815 – August 31, 1885) was an American lawyer and Republican politician from Greensburg, Pennsylvania. He represented Pennsylvania in the United States Senate during the American Civil War.

Cowan was born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Franklin College, Ohio, in 1839 and subsequently became a raftsman, boat builder, schoolmaster, and a student of medicine. He studied law, was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, in 1842. He was elected as a Republican to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1861, to March 3, 1867, and was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection to the Senate. During his tenure in office, he served as chairman, Committee on Patents and the Patent Office (Thirty-seventh through Thirty-ninth Congresses). Following the Civil War, he was appointed by President Andrew Johnson as Minister to Austria in January 1867, but was not confirmed by the Senate. He then resumed the practice of law.

Cowan died in Greensburg and was buried in St. Clair Cemetery.

External links

United States Senate
Preceded by
William Bigler
United States Senator (Class 3) from Pennsylvania
March 14, 1861 – March 3, 1867
Served alongside: Simon Cameron, David Wilmot and Charles R. Buckalew
Succeeded by
Simon Cameron


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