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William Hayden English

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 2nd district
In office
March 4, 1853 – March 3, 1861
Preceded by Cyrus L. Dunham
Succeeded by James A. Cravens

Born August 27, 1822(1822-08-27)
Lexington, Indiana, USA
Died February 7, 1896 (aged 73)
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Political party Democratic
Profession Politician, Lawyer

William Hayden English (August 27, 1822 – February 7, 1896) was an American politician.

Born in Lexington, Indiana, he pursued classical studies at Hanover College and then studied law. He was admitted to the bar in 1846 and commenced practice at Lexington.

He was the principal clerk of the Indiana House of Representatives in 1843; a clerk in the United States Treasury Department at Washington, D.C. from to 1844 to 1848.

He was secretary of the Indiana state constitutional convention in 1850. He served in the Indiana House in 1851 and 1852, including a stint as Speaker of the House.

He was elected as a Democrat to Congress in 1853 and served four terms, through 1861. He was chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Post Office and Post Roads during the 35th Congress, and was a close associate of powerful Indiana Democratic Senator Jesse D. Bright, noted for his pro-southern views. English served as a Regent of the Smithsonian Institution while in Congress. The English Bill is named for him.

He moved to Indianapolis, Indiana at the end of his congressional term. In 1880, he was the unsuccessful candidate for Vice President of the United States on the Democratic ticket in the U.S. presidential election, 1880 running with Winfield Scott Hancock and only losing by 1,898 popular votes and 54 electoral votes: 214 to 155.

English was the author of several books; died at his home in Indianapolis on February 7, 1896 and is interred in Crown Hill Cemetery. He was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, and an organizational marker was added to his grave in 2007.[1] English, Indiana, the county seat of Crawford County, is named after him. Identical statues of English stand in front of the Scott County Courthouse in Scottsburg and at the Crawford County Fairgrounds in English.

His son William Eastin English was also a congressman. His grandson was the noted socialist William English Walling.


  1. ^ Clarence A Cook SAR Newsletters, Winter 2007 and Summer 2007

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Cyrus L. Dunham
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 2nd congressional district

March 4, 1853 – March 3, 1861
Succeeded by
James A. Cravens
Party political offices
Preceded by
Thomas A. Hendricks
Democratic Party vice presidential candidate
1880 (lost)
Succeeded by
Thomas A. Hendricks


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