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Stephen R. Bradley

Stephen Row Bradley (February 20, 1754 – December 9, 1830) was an American politician.

Bradley was born in Wallingford, Connecticut. His parents were Moses and Mary Bradley, members of prominent New England families who had arrived from England in the 1600s. Bradley spent his childhood in Wallingford and studied at Yale, graduating in 1775. He then fought on the American side in the Revolutionary War beginning as a captain but rising to the rank of colonel.

Bradley moved to Vermont in 1779. He studied law, settled in Westminster, Vermont and began practicing law there. He soon became an important citizen of the town and held the positions of register of probate and town clerk. He also served as a county judge in 1783 and served for seven years in the Vermont House of Representatives in the 1780s. He served as Speaker of the Vermont House during 1785. He also served as a judge of the Vermont Superior Court during the 1780s. He was active in settling Vermont's boundary disputes with New Hampshire.

When Vermont became part of the United States on March 4, 1791, Bradley and Moses Robinson were elected by the state legislature to be the first people to fill Vermont's two senate seats. Bradley entered the United States Senate in 1791 and supported the anti-administration faction. He was defeated for reelection in 1794.

Bradley returned to Westminster and was active in law and local politics, serving on the town council. He was reelected to the United States Senate for Vermont in 1800, as a member of the Democratic-Republican Party. He was reelected in 1807. He served as President pro tempore of the Senate from 1801 to 1803 and from 1807 to 1809. He retired from the Senate in 1813 and also then retired from politics. He returned to Westminster and lived there again for 5 years. In 1818 he moved to Walpole, New Hampshire where he lived for the rest of his life and died. His body was returned to Westminster, Vermont, to be buried in the Westminster Cemetery.

Bradley was known as an intelligent and eccentric man, and a good lawyer and orator.

He married three times, his first two wives having died before him. He had five children, and over a dozen grandchildren. His three daughters married rich and prominent men. His son William Czar Bradley was also a politician and served several terms in Congress. His other son, Stephen Bradley, Jr. drowned while at school in New Haven, Connecticut.

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United States Senate
Preceded by
None
United States Senator (Class 3) from Vermont
1791–1795
Served alongside: Moses Robinson
Succeeded by
Elijah Paine
Preceded by
Elijah Paine
United States Senator (Class 3) from Vermont
1801–1813
Served alongside: Nathaniel Chipman, Israel Smith, Jonathan Robinson
Succeeded by
Dudley Chase
Political offices
Preceded by
Abraham Baldwin
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
December 14, 1802–October 16, 1803
Succeeded by
John Brown
Preceded by
Samuel Smith
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
December 28, 1808–January 8, 1809
Succeeded by
John Milledge
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