A Vice Presidential Unit
Schuyler Colfax was the 17th Vice President of the United States. He was born on March 23, 1823 in New York City, New York. He served as Vice President from March 4, 1869 to March 4, 1873. As a young writer, Colfax contributed many articles on Indiana Politics to the New York Tribune and by the age of 19, was the editor of the Whig publication, South Bend Free Press. His heavy involvement in the Whig Party, which included being a delegate for many party conventions, was forcefully ended with the party’s collapse. He then joined the Republican Party, where he thrived as an articulate, anti-slavery speaker. His eloquence led to his popularity, which was the reason for his rise to Speaker of the House in 1865. Serving as a successful Vice President, was not the end of his achievements, Colfax spent many of his later years sharing his charisma and public speaking ability as a lecturer. Colfax died on January 13, 1885 in Mankato, Minnesota.
Political Party: Whig, Republican
President: Ulysses S. Grant
Name of his Parents: Schuyler Colfax, Sr. and Hannah Stryker
Spouse(s): Evelyn Clark Colfax and Ellen Maria Wade Colfax
State of Birth: New York
1) How many states have a town or county named after Colfax?
8 - California, Washington, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, Colorado and New Mexico.
2) Colfax first attended a national nomination convention when he travelled to Baltimore in 1848 to attend the Whig National Convention. Who did Colfax support at the convention?
Winfield Scott. While Colfax grew up idolizing Henry Clay, he supported one of the heroes of the Mexican War, Winfield Scott, for the nomination. However, when another hero of the Mexican War, Zachary Taylor, won the nomination, Colfax actively campaigned for him.
3) Who was Colfax's primary opponent for the Republican vice-presidential nomination in 1868?
Benjamin Wade. Ulysses Grant was a lock for the 1868 Republican nomination for president but Colfax went six ballots before he won the vice-presidential nomination.
- Colfax is one of the two individuals that have ever served as both Speaker of the House and Vice President.
- Grant and Colfax were the youngest Presidential pair until 1993.