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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: Tweedy, John Hubbard 1814 - 1891


lawyer, politician, territorial delegate to Congress, businessman, b. Danbury, Conn. He graduated from Yale Univ. (A.B., 1834; LL.B., 1836), and was admitted to the bar. In 1836 he moved to Wisconsin, settling in Milwaukee, where he set up a law practice, and from 1841 to 1847 practiced in partnership with Hans Crocker (q.v.); after 1847 he retired from active practice. A Whig, Tweedy was an important figure in early Milwaukee politics. He was a member of the upper house of the territorial legislature (1841-1842), and was the only Whig member from Milwaukee County to be elected to the first state constitutional convention of 1846. In the convention, Tweedy was an influential figure, served on several important committees, but eventually fought ratification of the 1846 document largely because of an article in the constitution prohibiting banking. Elected on the Whig ticket, Tweedy served as territorial delegate in Congress from Mar., 1847, until Wisconsin was admitted to the Union (May 29, 1848). In 1848 he ran as Whig candidate for governor, but was defeated by Democrat Nelson Dewey (q.v.), and in 1853 served one term as state assemblyman. In 1854 he joined the Republican party and, although declining public office after that date, remained an important figure in state party affairs. Tweedy was prominently identified with many of Wisconsin's early business and railroad ventures; in 1852 he played a leading role in the campaign that deposed Byron Kilbourn (q.v.) from the presidency of the Milwaukee and Mississippi R.R. Tweedy retired from active business and politics in the 1860's, but continued to live in Milwaukee until his death. Biog. Dir. Amer. Cong. (1928); M. M. Quaife, ed., Convention of 1846 (Madison, 1919); Wis. Mag. Hist., 2, 8; Milwaukee Sentinel, Nov. 13, 1891; WPA field notes; J. H. Tweedy Papers.

The Wisconsin Historical Society has manuscripts related to this topic. See the catalog description of the John Hubbard Tweedy Papers for details.

View a related article at Wisconsin Magazine of History Archives.

[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]
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