Grimes, James W. (James Wilson), 1816-1872

Alternative names
Birth 1816-10-20
Death 1872-02-07

Biographical notes:

American lawyer, legislator, governor of Iowa.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Burlington, Iowa, to William W. Belknap, 1871 Dec. 29. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270498820

Grimes was member of the Iowa Territorial Legislature (1838-1839, 1843-1844); governor of Iowa (1854-1858) and U.S. senator from Iowa (1859-1869). He was born and educated in New Hampshire. After school, he began his law practice in Burlington, Iowa, part of the Black Hawk Purchase territory.

From the description of James W. Grimes correspondence, 1848-1866. (State Historical Society of Iowa, Library). WorldCat record id: 692846000

A founder of the Republican Party; third Governor of Iowa; United States Senator.

From the description of Letters, 1854-1870. (University of Iowa Libraries). WorldCat record id: 122371726

Iowa governor, 1854-1858; U.S. senator from Iowa, 1859-1869.

From the description of Autograph, n.d. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library). WorldCat record id: 32363811

From the description of Printed letter: Iowa City, [Iowa], 1855 Jan. 17. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library). WorldCat record id: 32363860

James W. Grimes was born in Deering, N.H. on October 20, 1816. After he completed his education at Dartmouth, he practiced law in the "Black Hawk Purchase" Wisconsin Territory (later part of the state of Iowa). After serving in various territorial posts, Grimes was elected to the state legislature in 1852.

Grimes was elected governor of Iowa in 1854 and remained in office until 1858. He served as a Republican United States Senator from 1859-1869. While a Senator, Grimes served on the Naval Committee and advocated the building of iron-clads and earthworks for defense rather than the traditional wooden ships and stone forts. He died in Burlington, Iowa, February 7, 1872.

From the description of The James W. Grimes collection. 1816-1872. (Wichita State University). WorldCat record id: 22232875


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  • Legislators
  • Business records
  • Bull Run, 2nd Battle, 1862 June 26
  • Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877)
  • General stores
  • Smithsonian Weather Service
  • Legislators--Correspondence
  • Securities--Sources
  • Governor--Correspondence
  • Merchants
  • River engineering


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  • Mississippi River Valley (as recorded)
  • South Carolina (as recorded)
  • Branchville (S.C.) (as recorded)
  • South Carolina--Orangeburg County (as recorded)
  • Iowa (as recorded)
  • Iowa (as recorded)
  • Orangeburg (S.C.) (as recorded)
  • Mississippi River (as recorded)
  • South Carolina--Branchville (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Iowa (as recorded)