James Rood Doolittle (January 3, 1815July 27, 1897) was an Americans, American politician who served as a United States Senate, U.S. Senator from Wisconsin from March 4, 1857, to March 4, 1869. He was a strong supporter of President of the United States, President Abraham Lincoln's administration during the American Civil War.

Early life

Born in Hampton, New York, Doolittle was the son of Reuben Doolittle and Sarah Rood. He attended Middlebury Academy (Wyoming, New York), Middlebury Academy in Wyoming, New York, and, in 1834, he graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Hobart College in Geneva, New York. He subsequently studied law and was admitted to the New York State Bar Association, New York bar association in 1837.

Early career

He then established a law practice in Rochester, New York, Rochester. Doolittle moved to Warsaw, New York, in 1841. From 1847 to 1850, he was the district attorney for Wyoming County, New York, Wyoming County. He also served for a time as a colonel in the New York State militia. In 1851, Doolittle moved to Racine, Wisconsin, and, in 1853, was elected Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge for the 1st Circuit, defeating incumbent appointee Wyman Spooner. During his time as judge, he presided over the July 1855 case of ''The State of Wisconsin v. David F. Mayberry'', the result of which led to the only recorded lynching in the history of Rock County, Wisconsin. Doolittle resigned from the court in March 1856.


Until the 1850 repeal of the Missouri Compromise, Doolittle was a US Democratic Party, Democrat. He left the party and was elected and then re-elected to the Senate as a US Republican Party, Republican in 1857 and 1863, respectively. He was a delegate to the Peace Conference of 1861 in Washington, DC. While senator, Doolittle was the Chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs. Along with his colleague, Jacob Collamer of Vermont, Doolittle represented the minority view for the Mason Report (June 1860), which was prepared by the Senate committee to investigate John Brown (abolitionist), John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry in October 1859. He also proposed a constitutional amendment to ban secession. During the Civil War, Doolittle supported many of Lincoln's policies, and he was active in representing Wisconsin's interests on Capitol Hill. During the summer recess of 1865, he visited the Natives west of the Mississippi River as chairman of the United States Congress Joint Special Committee on Conditions of Indian Tribes, Joint Special Committee on Conditions of Indian Tribes, which was charged with an inquiry into the condition of the Native tribes and their treatment by the US civil and military authorities. In the West, the committee split into subcommittees, which considered different regions with Doolittle participating in the inquiry into Native affairs in Kansas, the Indian Territory, and Colorado. The report of the committee, ''The Condition of the Tribes'', was issued on January 26, 1867. Doolittle was accused by ''The New York Times'' in 1872, while he was under consideration for appointment as United States Secretary of the Interior, Secretary of the Interior in the projected "reform cabinet" by Democratic presidential candidate Horace Greeley, of suppressing the report, as it contained information exposing the Native ring of fraudulent suppliers of goods to the Native tribes under treaty obligations. The ''Times'' alleged that the report was printed only after the ''Cincinnati Gazette'' obtained a copy of it. Doolittle took a prominent part in the debate on the various war and reconstruction measures, upholding the federal government but always insisting that the secession, seceding states had never ceased to be a part of the Union (American Civil War), Union. He strongly opposed the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Fifteenth Amendment and believed that each state should determine questions of suffrage for itself.

Later life

After he left US Congress, Congress, he ran for Governor of Wisconsin in 1871 as a Democrat. After he lost, he retired from politics. Doolittle returned to the Midwest and became a lawyer in Chicago, Illinois while he maintained his residence in Racine. He served for a year as the acting president of the Old University of Chicago, and he spent many years on its staff as a professor in the law school as well as serving on the Board of Trustees. In 1884 and 1885, he served as President of the Chicago Board of Education. He was president of the National Union Convention of 1866 in Philadelphia and also of the 1872 Democratic National Convention in Baltimore, which adopted the nomination of Horace Greeley. He died of Bright's disease in Edgewood (Cranston), Edgewood, Rhode Island in 1897, and was interred in Mound Cemetery in Racine, Wisconsin.



Retrieved on 2009-04-28 * {{DEFAULTSORT:Doolittle, James Rood 1815 births 1897 deaths People from Hampton, New York Doolittle family Wisconsin Democrats Republican Party United States senators from Wisconsin Candidates in the 1868 United States presidential election Wisconsin state court judges Politicians from Racine, Wisconsin People from Warsaw, New York Politicians from Chicago New York (state) lawyers Illinois lawyers Wisconsin lawyers People of Wisconsin in the American Civil War 19th-century American judges 19th-century American lawyers Presidents of the Chicago Board of Education Wisconsin Republicans