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John P. Hale: Wikis


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John Parker Hale

In office
March 4, 1847 – March 3, 1853
July 30, 1855 – March 3, 1865
Preceded by Joseph Cilley
Jared W. Williams
Succeeded by Charles G. Atherton
Aaron H. Cragin

Born March 31, 1806(1806-03-31)
Rochester, New Hampshire, U.S.
Died November 19, 1873 (aged 67)
Dover, New Hampshire, U.S.
Political party Democrat, Free Soil, Oppositionist, Republican
Spouse(s) Lucy Lambert Hale
Profession Politician, Lawyer

John Parker Hale (March 31, 1806 - November 19, 1873) was an American politician and lawyer from New Hampshire. He served in the United States House of Representatives from 1843 to 1845 and in the United States Senate from 1847 to 1853 and again from 1855 to 1865. Hale was a leading member of the Free Soil Party and was its presidential nominee in 1852.


Early years

Hale was born in Rochester, Strafford County, New Hampshire, the son of John Parker Hale and Lydia Clarkson O'Brien. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy and graduated in 1827 from Bowdoin College, where he was a prominent member of the Peucinian Society, a literary society. After passing the bar examination, Hale lived and practiced law in Dover, New Hampshire. He married Lucy Lambert, the daughter of William Thomas Lambert and Abigail Ricker. In 1834, President Andrew Jackson appointed him to serve as a U.S. Attorney.

Career in politics

John P. Hale

He was elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-eighth Congress, serving from March 4, 1843 to March 3, 1845. He was later elected as a Free Soil candidate to the United States Senate in 1846 and served from March 4, 1847, to March 3, 1853. He was among the strongest opponents of the Mexican-American War in the Senate and is considered "the first U.S. Senator with an openly anti-slavery (or abolitionist) platform".[1]

Hale was an unsuccessful candidate for President of the United States on the Free Soil ticket in 1852, losing to Democrat Franklin Pierce, a staunch political enemy of Hale's. (See U.S. presidential election, 1852.)

The picture of Lucy Hale found on the body of John Wilkes Booth

He was again elected to the Senate in 1855 to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Charles G. Atherton. He was re-elected in 1859, in total serving from July 30, 1855, to March 3, 1865. He became a Republican and served as the chair of the Senate Republican Conference until 1862.

President Lincoln nominated Hale to the post of minister to Spain and he served in that capacity 1865–1869.[2]

Hale's daughter Lucy Lambert Hale was betrothed in 1865 to John Wilkes Booth, Abraham Lincoln's assassin.[3] Booth had a picture of Lucy Hale with him when he was killed by pursuing Federal troops on April 26, 1865.[3][4] Today, portraits of President Lincoln and John Hale hang next to each other in the chambers of the New Hampshire House of Representatives.

John Parker Hale is buried in Dover at the Pine Hill Cemetery. His Federal style house, built in 1813, is now part of the Woodman Institute Museum.


  1. ^ J. Dennis Robinson
  2. ^ United States Department of State list of ambassadors
  3. ^ a b Kunhardt, Dorothy and Philip, Jr. (1965). Twenty Days. North Hollywood, Calif.: Newcastle. pp. 178–179. LCCN 62-015660.  
  4. ^ Ford’s Theater National Historic Site – National Park Service

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Charles G. Atherton
Edmund Burke
Ira A. Eastman
John R. Reding
Tristram Shaw
Member from New Hampshire's At-large congressional district
March 4, 1843 – March 3, 1845
Served alongside: Edmund Burke, Moses Norris, Jr., John R. Reding
Succeeded by
James H. Johnson
Mace Moulton
Moses Norris, Jr.
United States Senate
Preceded by
Joseph Cilley
Senator from New Hampshire (Class 2)
March 4, 1847 – March 3, 1853
Served alongside: Charles G. Atherton, Moses Norris, Jr.
Succeeded by
Charles G. Atherton
Preceded by
Jared W. Williams
Senator from New Hampshire (Class 2)
July 30, 1855 – March 3, 1865
Served alongside: James Bell, Daniel Clark
Succeeded by
Aaron H. Cragin
Party political offices
Preceded by
Martin Van Buren
Free Soil Party presidential candidate
Party dissolved
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Gustavus Koerner
United States Minister to Spain
March 10, 1865 – July 29, 1869
Succeeded by
Daniel Sickles


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