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George Franklin Edmunds


In office
April 3, 1866 – November 1, 1891
Preceded by Solomon Foot
Succeeded by Redfield Proctor

Born February 1, 1828
Richmond, Vermont, USA
Died February 27, 1919
Pasadena, California, USA
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Susan Marsh Edmunds
Profession Politician, Lawyer

George Franklin Edmunds (February 1, 1828 – February 27, 1919) was a Republican U.S. Senator from Vermont from 1866 to 1891.

Born in Richmond, Vermont, Edmunds attended common schools and was privately tutored as a child. After being admitted to the bar in 1849, he started a law practice in Burlington, Vermont. He became active in politics when he was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives which he served as a member of from 1854 to 1859, also serving as Speaker of the House for three of those years. He then moved on to the Vermont Senate of which he served as President pro tempore from 1861 to 1862.

George Franklin Edmunds

After the death of U.S. Senator Solomon Foot in March 1866, Edmunds was appointed to take his place starting in April, a seat in which he would remain in until November 1891, being reelected in 1868, 1874, 1880 and 1886. In the Senate, he took an active part in the attempt to impeach President Andrew Johnson in 1868. He was influential in providing for the electoral commission to decide the disputed presidential election of 1876 and served as one of the commissioners, voting for Republicans Rutherford B. Hayes and William A. Wheeler. At the Republican National Conventions of 1880 and 1884, he was a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. He was conspicuous on account of his legal and parliamentary attainments, his industry and his liberal opinions. He was the author of the Edmunds Act for the suppression of polygamy in Utah and of the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 to limit monopolies in the United States. Edmunds served as President pro tempore of the Senate from 1883 to 1885, was chairman of the Republican Conference of the Senate from 1885 to 1891, chairman of the Senate Committee on Pensions from 1869 to 1873, chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary from 1872 to 1879 and again from 1881 to 1891, chairman of the Senate Committee on Private Land Claims from 1879 to 1881 and chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in 1881.

Edmunds resigned from the Senate in 1891 in order to focus on his law practice in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He later retired to Pasadena, California where he died on February 27, 1919. He was buried in Green Mount Cemetery in Burlington, Vermont with his wife, Susan Marsh, who died in 1916. George F. Edmunds Middle School, one of two middle schools in Burlington, was named in his honor. Despite the spelling, the town of Edmonds, Washington was named for him.

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United States Senate
Preceded by
Solomon Foot
United States Senator (Class 1) from Vermont
April 3, 1866 – November 1, 1891
Served alongside: Luke P. Poland and Justin S. Morrill
Succeeded by
Redfield Proctor
Political offices
Preceded by
David Davis
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
March 3, 1883 – March 3, 1885
Succeeded by
John Sherman
Preceded by
John Sherman
Chairman of the Republican Conference of the United States Senate
1885 – 1891
Honorary titles
Preceded by
William Sprague
Most Senior Living U.S. Senator
(Sitting or Former)

September 11, 1915 – February 27, 1919
Succeeded by
Cornelius Cole
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